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Primer on the Plagues (Rev 8&9 || 15&16) - Part 1

What to Biblically (Fully) Know, (including for SDA’s (cf. CET 187.3)), in Order to Avoid Suffering the 7 Last Plagues (Rev 18:4-8) - Part 1 [Cont'd in Part 2 here]

            While an exhaustive study on the ‘Seven Last “Plagues”’ will not be done at this time in this blog post, there are several key interpretational and understanding pointers that will help one arrive at the proper and full intended divine meaning in this revelation. These will be, as succinctly as possible, expounded upon here.

            It is typical in SDA circles to hermeneutically claim that ‘things must be interpreted literally unless they clearly are symbolic’ and while that is partially true, the truth of the matter is that, as seen in several prophecies, even OT prophecies, what determines how a statement is interpreted is how “removed” it is from its initially intended fulfilment. So for prophecies, e.g., OT prophecies in regards to Israel, they were to be literally fulfilled with Ancient Israel, however when they rebelled against God and were not able to enter into His New Covenant, the statements in those prophecies then entirely came to have a spiritually application with also a Spiritual New Israel.

            Consistently enough on God’s part, the same principle applies in Bible prophecies to be fulfilled in our day, in the now Eschatological (and no longer purely/linearly Historical) wave of prophecies. For those who ‘know and understand’ (cf. Dan 9:22-23, 25) this to be the (quasi-injunctively) applicable case today = Ezek 8; see this post), as moreover Biblically confirmed by the ‘“Fuller” understanding in God’s Sabbath’ (= EW 33.2 [cf. 85.2]), and the derived “Full” Gospel Work mandate that is understood, -an advanced Biblical/Spiritual ‘knowledge and understanding’ that has been applicably/pertinently, variously brought out throughout the deeper Biblical studies throughout this blog, it is rather straightforwardly quite simple to transparently see how this understanding does indeed apply. However for those who prefer to not “fully” obey God’s Law|Gospel, such understandings continue to remain “sealed” (John 9:39-41|2 Cor 3:4-18; cf. Isa 29:9-14; 6:8-13; Dan 12:3, 9-10).
            So now on with this prophetic “primer” (I.e., a historical prophetic foundation in order to better recognize/grasp/understand eschatological/future prophetic applications):

-the Greek word translated as “plague” is actually misrendered in the English. It is given an apocalyptic slant because of the context in which they occur in, pointedly the prophecies of Revelation, however the word literally “only” means “a (tangible) blow which results in (normal/common) wound”

-as such, the prophetic episode in Revelation is actually speaking of God gradually destroying the spirit of opposition against Him and His law by inflicting, in judgement, seven major blows/wounds upon what the group in opposition religiously values or physically rely upon. Thus, as seen in the OT background episode with Egypt, God is intended to gradually, increasingly destroy this opposing power, by key and significant ‘wounding blows’.

-applying the advanced understanding of (especially nature’s) symbols, as (introductorily and summarily) done below, is key to understanding the Spiritual meaning in these “wounds” (Rev 16).

-the following is an Eschatological Wave interpretation (cf. this understanding here). Therefore it is in the context of, and involving, as also explained throughout this blog, see e.g., this initiating posting, a ‘border of Canaan”-type judgement on a failing SDA Church, and that for refusing to enter into God’s full sabbatical rest by not heeding the sabbatical socio-economic mandate of God’s Sabbath (e.g., Isa 58); as tangibly re-stipulated in Christ’s Gospel (e.g, Matt 25:31-46). Therefore this results in a ending of priorly and/or potentially fulfilling Historic-ist/-al Prophecies, including those in the SOP, which both are replaced with an advanced symbology, undone Gospel Work-accomplishing, and Church Triumphant-establishing, Eschatological Wave of applications. (See another, and ensuingly-related, example of this unfolding revelation in this post).

Eschatological Plagues and Trumpets Are Combined
            It is quite readily seen upon a close study of the prophecies of Revelation that the Series of the Seven Trumpets (Rev 8:7-9:21 & 11:15-18) and the Seven Last Plagues (Rev 16) are very similar to each other. Succinctly pointed out here, they literally or essentially cover the same territory/area in their unfolding. This is seen in the following outline:

            Trumpets                    Plagues          Locational Meaning
1st        Earth                           Earth               Populations [e.g., Cities]
2nd       Seas                            Seas                Political Realm
3rd        Rivers                         Rivers              Religious World

4th        Sun|Moon|Stars           Sun                 Vital “Economies”

            Trumpets                   Plagues              Prophetic Development
5th        Darkness                    Darkness             Babylon Power Attacked
6th        River Euphrates          River Euphrates   Fall of Babylon; Rise of Egypt; Battle of H/Ar-Mageddon
7th        Whole Earth               Air/Atmosphere   Destruction of New Babylo-Egypt Power           

            Therefore due to these substantive similarities, which are indeed prophetically related, the 7 Trumpets are also discussed with the Seven Plagues here. And just like God had given Pharaoh a clarion warning before each and every plague, the Trumpets, which do occur first in Prophetic History, are discussed first. Indeed they help to give a background as to what to expect in the Plagues fulfilment. As the Historical fulfilment of the Trumpets is also quite contributive to understanding their eschatological fulfilment, then they are also briefly stated here.
            Most interestingly enough, this joint Trumpets and Plagues understanding here comes to substantiate what EGW apparently through direct inspiration understood as she saw that the Seven Trumpets would not only have an Eschatological Fulfilment, but would be jointly fulfilled with the Seven Last Plagues as she said:

Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded; vial after vial [cf. TM 432.1] poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. 3SM 426 (1890)  {LDE 238.1} (Cf. 15MR 219.2 =Rev 8:2; Psa 2:9 & Psa 110:1)

            There also manifestly is a typifying delineation of this Eschatologically-repeated 7 Trumpets, after their Historical fulfilment, understanding in the sacking of Jericho episode, as the 7 priests with the 7 Trumpets then, (as well as the rest of the entire military contingent of Israel) first marched around the city 6 times, once per day, then on that 7th day they marched around the city 7 times (Jos 6:3-4). This would typologically be prophetically seen with the 7 Trumpets in the fact that the First 6 Trumpets have indeed been fulfilled Historically, and that in a quite drawn out way covering ca. 1800+ years, and for the sounding of the 7th Trumpet (Rev 11:15-18), the 7 Trumpets are then to be Eschatologically, (and much more quickly than 1800+ years) (re-)fulfilled. As later pointed out in Rev 11:19 the fact that the second part of that verse restates Rev 8:5b almost verbatim in terms of the effectuated effects then, but with a key reversal of the “peals of thunders” and “lightnings”, is manifestly an indication that as that Seventh Trumpet is blown, there would be a reoccurrence of the (Eschatological) 7 Trumpets then, and this times, as represented in the symbols of  “thunder” vs. “lightning”, with: ‘“judgement” then being much more “tangibly visible” and not merely “pronounced”. Thus this indeed mirrors the 6+(1+7) sequence used during the sacking of Jericho, indeed probably also implicating the interlude between the 6th and the 7th Trumpet of Rev 10:1-11:14, and indeed making the 7th Trumpet and then restarted 7 Trumpets a single unit as were to be the marching schedule on the 7th day in the conquest of Jericho.

The Seven Trumpets and Plagues
First the important “setting up” prelude to the 7 Trumpets given in Rev 8:2-6, and then that for the 7 Plagues in Rev 15 are studied out.[1]

The quoted Bible texts are based on the NASB (1995) however when a more accurate exegetical (i.e., e.g., contextual, lexical, grammatical, syntactical) translation can be arrived at, it is included in the text, in bold. [Hover over, or click on, verse references to see original NASB translation].

Trumpets Prelude
Rev 8:2 - And I saw the seven angels who stand established in the presence|sight of God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

seven angels who stand established in the presence|sight of God - As discussed in this discussion post, this ‘very presence|sight of God’ (Greek enopios [#1799] = “in eye/sight of” = as with Gabriel in Luke 1:19) is a very restricted access even amongst Heavenly Beings, pointedly as a place to be (permanently) established, and is manifestly limited to the position of (7) Mighty Angels.

seven trumpets were given to them - As stated before, it is just like God to give a formal, and ample warning to peoples (= 7 Trumpets) before executing a warned final judgement (7 Last Plagues) (See e.g. Deut 20:10-18). While the plagues do themselves contain destructions, the warning for them had been given in the preceding messages in 7 Churches (Rev 2 & 3) and understandable actions during the 7 Seals (Rev 6-8:1).

Rev 8:3 - Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, in order to give the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

Before these given Trumpets (Rev 8:2) are even prepared to be blown (Rev 8:6), unfolding great and miraculous military conquests, God first needs to have perform a key Sanctuary action (Rev 8:3-5) in order to come to make His people acceptable. (= Jos 5:2-9; & 13-14 [=Deut 10:11-19; 30:6; Jer 4:4-8; Rom 2:25-29]). As pointed out by Paul in Rom 4:9-12, circumcision, which is to be of the heart, comes to seal a previously demonstrated belief-granted righteousness, which then allows God to most powerfully act favorably in order to abundantly bless His People. (Gen 17:1-14; cf. Deut 10:20-22). So before God similarly does so here, He first needs to, actually confirm/complete a sealing process (indeed the one which had just transpired in Rev 7). Then can the Eschatological joint Trumpets and Plagues begin. (= EW 279.2; cf. LDE 219.4).

The Altar of Incense - This was one of two altars in the Sanctuary, with the Altar of Burnt offerings being the other, and it was indeed the Altar which was covered in gold (Exod 30:1-3), whereas the Altar of Burnt Offerings was covered in bronze (Exod 27:1-2ff). This gold vs. bronze difference here manifestly is pointedly to be symbolic of the “greater value” that God sees/places on what, as discussed below, was to fully take at the Altar of Incense (personal and heartfelt devotion) vs. mere (perfunctory) sacrifices for sins. Indeed that Sin Sacrifice was not complete (i.e., accepted/acceptable to God) until the closing incense burning was done (cf. Exod 30:8). Interestingly enough, this Sanctuary rite was to be done in conjunction with the symbol which typified the continual Light Witness that Israel was to be, showing that only when they were acceptable to God could they also be a Light to the World. (Cf. Luke 2:32; John 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46 || Matt 5:14-16 || Acts 13:47; Isa 42:6-7; 49:5-6; 60:1-4ff)

much incense - With all of the sacrificing around, and blood sprinkling in, the Sanctuary every day (see e.g., Lev 4), and with it being literally cleansed only once a year, on the Day of Atonement (cf. Exod 30:10), there would be quite an overwhelming stench of burning and burnt flesh as well as fresh and dry blood (= emblems of Christ’s Total Sacrifice for sin - Matt 26:26-28) in the Sanctuary.[2] So this twice daily burning of incense, bookending the two sacrificial services that day (Exod 30:7-8), help to make these gruesome sin offerings acceptable to God (cf. Phil 4:18). And this is tangibly/practically done by ‘walking, chiefly in true, self-sacrificing love’ (Eph 4:32-5:2ff) (i.e., and not ‘disobediently’, merely, even rotely, professing such Christian Ambition things in prayers - cf. Eph 5:6). Indeed, just as this altar’s incense was not to be reproduced amongst the people as a perfume for themselves (Exod 30:37-38), with this incense representing prayers, which are to be heart felt, God was condemning a personal practice that would merely put on a  “sweet smelling” aroma and not instead rise out of devotionally heartfelt character which is implementing what is being professed in prayers (Isa 29:13|Matt 15:8-9; cf. Job 33:3; Psa 12:2; Pro 16:23; 26:24; Ezek 33:31 [Rom 10:9]).
            Also, having a true/full knowledge of Christ and His Gospel produces this sweet aroma in order to also have the stench of sins covered up so that God can instead find this prayer of His professed saints acceptable and thus answerable. (Cf. Psa 141:1-2). This Prayer-Incense-Favorable Answer implication here may have been deliberately involved in Gabriel’s Appearance to Zacharias (Luke 1:9-13a).
            Also, the fact that the incense had to be carefully composed (Exod 30:34-36) and not substituted by another, and more readily produceable, incense (see Exod 30:9), shows here that God would not accept material offerings as a substitute for the implicated conscientious personal devotion offering that is to be done in this service. (Isa 1:10-17; Matt 12:1-8; Mar 12:28-34; cf. Micah 6:6-8; Jer 7:22-23; Psa 40:6-8|Heb 10:5-10; Psa 51:16-17; 1 Sam 15:17-23; Hos 6:6-7)
            Also, in the prophetic context of a crisis in Rev 6:17 & 8:1, where there was silence in Heaven as the angels had stopped singing because God’s people were found unworthy (= EW 15.2; cf. PP 63.1|PP 65.3; EW 148.2|EW 151.2); it would now take much incense to make a prayer for the saints that would be acceptable to God. Indeed any slight deviance from this keyly needed symbol of a wholehearted devotion to God, even ‘in the light of many great successes in the past’ or ‘in order to enter into new campaigns for God’ would prove futile and not be honored (see 2 Chr 26:15b-21a), even leading to quite catastrophic results extending from especially such ‘independent-of-God and proud leaders’ to all of the derivedly wayward People (2 Chr 26:22|Isa 6:1, 8-13). See related SOP counsels in 5T 80.1-81.1; LDE 59.1-2; 60.3; 204.3, 205.2.
            In all of this careful symbolism is given a most pointed warning to many today who think that ‘having a surface air of being loving, courteous and kind, while thus not denouncing, confronting, nor opposing the indifferently wicked things being done to, particularly to people in (vital) need in the world, is not only something that God outrightly condemns, but He will also not individually honor (i.e., personal salvation cf. Matt 25:31-46), and if this attitude extends throughout the Church, will corporately hinder any militaristic advance/endeavor by His People in this ongoing GC. (Cf. Isa 1:17-20; Ezek 8:11).

in order to give the prayers of all the saints - the Greek text does not at all say that the incense was “added” nor “would/might be added” (a subjunctive notion), to the prayers of the saints, but rather that the incense itself was to be/become this prayer of the saints. In fact the word  “add” is not even being stated there, but “give”. The angel (‘definitely’ = future indicative tense) was to make this incense offering. What this service shows/states is that the prayers of the saints were in themselves not acceptable until this incense from Christ was wafted into them (Eph 5:2; cf. EW 32.3a) and made it well-pleasing to God. (cf. Phil 4:18). Then they were offered, almost indistinguishably as incense. Manifestly the fundamental problem with the prayers of all people is that since they are sinners (Rom 3:23), and thus defaultly condemned to death, their prayers reeks of decomposition and thus needs to be “masked” with sweet smelling incense (Luke 23:56a; 24:1b; John 19:39-40; cf. John 12:3, 7). And as this sweet aroma can be produced by a repenting sinner through his good works demonstrating an alive faith and an abiding in Christ (see 2 Cor 2:14-16).
            What is prophetically, pertinently interesting here about this issue of a sweet aroma is how this notion is interweaved by the Divine Intelligence in an application of its notion in the SOP. In discussing the “Sins of Babylon” in EW 274.1, it is said:

                        “I saw great iniquity and vileness in the churches; yet their members profess to be                        Christians. Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God. Said the angel, "God will not smell in their assemblies. ...”

            “God will not smell...”??? Where in the world does such a notion come from??? The answer can only be found in how this is connected with the priorly stated, various expressions (profession, prayers and exhortations) offered up to God by these spurious, vile Christians. In fact that SOP revelation has an explicit basis in the Bible, indeed directly from Amos 5:21 where the word “delight” actually, literally is/means: “smell” (=Strongs #07381a; -e.g., Gen 8:21; Lev 26:31; Psa 115:6). Evidently these expressions, while surfacely/audibly seeming to be most worthy, just do not pass the “smell test” of God. And so, as stated in Pro 28:9 (cf. Psa 66:18; 109:7), God rejects those expressions as unfit to be “accepted” (cf. 1 Sam 26:19 -which also uses that “smell” word), and thus not considered, nor answered, by Him. (As discussed here on Rev 18:5 the pointed “vileness” of  Babylon since 1844 has been in the way ‘Selfishness, fraud, and deceit are indifferently practiced amongst them’.)

The Location of this Altar - It is commonly understood that the Altar of Incense was located just outside of Most Holy Place (MHP), in front of its curtain, however there are several passages in the Bible that would seem to challenge that as they seem to suggest that it is located inside the MHP. Chief of those is Heb 9:1-5. On the surface is seems in vs. 3-5 that Paul is saying that the Altar of Incense was located inside the MHP, behind the veil. However that seeming contradiction with OT passage like Exod 30:6 which states that this Altar was located in front of the MHP’s veil. That apparent contradiction is resolved by the fact that in Heb 9:3-5, Paul did not actually say “Altar of Incense” in the Greek (which was probably someone else’s translating of an original Hebrew Text by Paul), but actually “the Golden Censer” (Gr. thumiatërion - cf. 2 Chr 26:19; Ezek 8:11). The instruction in Lev 16:12-13 show that this censer was used to actually produce the smoke from burning incense that filled in the Most Holy Place. Indeed the priest had to take this Golden Censer and, once a year, on the Day of Atonement, was to physically go within the veil of the MHP to burn this incense inside there in order to make atonement for the assembly. He specifically did so by (1) filling that Golden Censer with coals from the Altar of Incense in the HP, -the ‘Altar before the face/presence of the Yahweh’, along with filling his hand with (lit.) ‘as much as fills the whole/hollow of the hand’ [indeed not, illogically, “two?? handfuls” (NASB), -given the fact that the priest’s other hand was holding a censer] of finely grounded sweet incense, and then proceed to go inside the veil, into the MHP. And as this burning incense was to indeed cover the “Mercy Seat”[3], if /since the curtain that separated the HP from the MHP completely covered the MHP in order to completely shield the glory of God within it, thus being as high as the wall of the Tent of Meeting, and with this “Tent” surely having a ceiling/roof over it, then there was no opening for this cloud of incense to waft into the MHP from the HP, and it surely would not “seep” through the thick curtain.
            So while it is odd that Paul does not mention the Altar in the First Sanctuary apartment, but only a Golden Censer in the Second, he was manifestly only concern with that ultimate, Day of Atonement, use/purpose of the Incense Burning ceremony and not with its twice daily one which was done on the Altar in the Holy Place (Exod 30:7-8, 36). The Altar of Incense in the HP was so closely tied and associated with the MHP through its ultimate Atonement purpose that in the description of Solomon’s temple (1 Kgs 6:22) it is said to be towards the MHP (the “place of speaking” Heb: debir #1687 = Exod 25:22; cf. 30:6b)
            Also with the Altar of Incense in Heaven being said, as here in Rev 8:3, to be ‘before the throne of God,’ and with the Earthly Ark of the Covenant/Mercy Seat being the representation of that Heavenly Throne, an altar just before this throne room, and closely associated with that Most Holy Place would indeed be most accurately matching this placement.
            Most interestingly enough, EGW had a vision of the Heavenly Sanctuary (EW 250.1-253.1) that confirms this Biblical understanding in, especially, regards to the Golden Censer as, after relating that she saw the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place (EW 251.3), she then says that  there was a golden censer in the Most Holy Place, on the Mercy Seat between the two covering Cherubim and it smoked with incense before God with the prayers of the saints. (EW 252.1, also stated in EW 32.3). As this ‘smoking Golden Censer’ was to be brought into the MHP on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:12-13), its permanent depiction in those visions shows that the Heavenly Sanctuary Service then was indeed in its post-1844 Antitypical Day of Atonement phase.
            A very interesting Biblical incident that is manifestly related to this Day of Atonement priestly atoning (cf. Exod 30:10) is the NT one involving Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father in Luke 1:8-11. The several details stated there that may suggests/imply that this was this special Day of Atonement incense burning. Namely, though the service was according to a specific Priestly Division order, he was chosen by lot to enter the “Sanctuary” in order to burn the incense. Since a burning of incense was to be done daily (Exod 30:7-8), it is unlikely that there would be a casting of lots everyday, even twice a day, to see which (lone) priest should do this (= Lev 16:30-33). Furthermore, this casting of lots infers that something risky here was being done and so as to not put an unfair burden on a single priest to risk his life by doing this (see Lev 16:13b), the priest who was to go before God for this atonement was rather selected by lots which was none the less understood to be in accordance to God’s will (Pro 16:33; cf. Acts 1:21-26). It is also said that all of the people waited outside while Zacharias was doing this service (cf. Luke 1:21), indeed waiting for him to return, thus also implying that this was part of a larger ceremony still to unfold, as was the Day of Atonement, rather than the twice daily trimming and incense burning ritual. And indeed with the Day of Atonement being a Sabbath and day of Holy Convocation (Lev 16:29-31 & 23:27ff) most likely involving all of the people gathering around the Tabernacle. So those people in Zacharias day would have been gathered there according to this Law for this Day of Atonement ceremony and Zacharias would have been the selected priest to be anointed to do the various Atonements.[4]

Order of Attending Events - The deliberate arrangement of Armed Men-Trumpets-Ark-(Ark’s) Rear Guard-The People (Josh 6:5, 7, 9, 13, 16, 20), may also be symbolic of how God is to proceed in the application of these in Prophetic Development. In the prophecies of Revelation the Historical Trumpet involved actual military fighting (= Armed Men), and when all the Trumpets had more than less been blown during this Prophetic History (= Priests Trumpets), the Ark of the Covenant was seen in Heaven as the key Sanctuary, Day of Atonement and then Sabbath Truth were then discovered on Earth. Then in the light of these transpired events, revealing God’s testing and Final truths to the world, the Ark’s Rear Guard (= 7 Plagues Angels) justly executed their judgements, and then could be heard the shout of the Great Multitude (Rev 7:9-10; 19:1-3, 6-7) (=the clinching shout of the People).

Rev 8:4 - And the smoke of the incense, (which is the prayers of the saints [= Rev 5:8]), ascended before the presence of God out of the hand of the angel.

“much incense” further understood - The “much incense” stated in Rev 8:3, is said to be in the hand of that angel. Therefore, based on the indication in Lev 16:12 which is apparently being prophetically alluded to here, the “much incense” here refers to the ‘complete handful of incense’ that the priest was to take with him inside the Most Holy Place to burn before God while in the process of making the annual Atonement for the People. So this therefore means that the Rev 8:2-6 episode is a Day of Atonement service.

Burning of the Incense - Lev 16:13 shows that the priest produced the smoke cloud of the Incense by actually ‘putting the incense on the fire which was in the Golden Censer in his other hand. It is thus that here it is said that this incense smoke came out of the angel’s hand. Again this confirms that this was not a burning of Incense on an Altar, but rather in a handheld censer which again, only was done on the Day of Atonement.

EGW speaks of the ceremony involving the Golden Censer and explains that:

“The golden censer is waved, and the incense, the representation of the purity and righteousness of Christ, ascends, bearing the prayers of every soul that receives and believes on Christ to the altar which is before the throne of God. And Jesus is in the midst.” {12MR 415.3; cf. 19MR 215.1; ST, November 18, 1903 par. 3; 6BC 1078.2}

            She also implies in 8T 300.2 that this Golden Censer is also to be a “Golden Censer of Truth”. As this Censer is to present the prayers of the saints in the best aroma possible before God, then applying “Truth” here would involve saying the truth about the unworthiness of those praying. However when it is understood to be mixing in Christ’s Gospel Truth (2 Cor 5:21), then it is seen how this Censer can indeed be used to correct teachings, for any teaching that is not in accordance with Christ’s Gospel Truth/Teaching is indeed unbiblical.

Rev 8:5 - Then the angel having taken the censer, filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and voices and flashes of lightning and a shaking|earthquake.

Angel...censer...cast down - This ‘casting/throwing down of the censer itself’ (vs. reverentially/platonically laying it down) imagery recalls the one in EGW’s visions in which she sees Jesus similarly “casting down the censer” in the closing of the Third Angel’s Message, thus with the Rev 7 Sealing completed, upon the return of that Mighty Angel to Heaven, and with several things then being also completed in regards to the Kingdom of God and now with the plagues about to be poured out on those continuing in rebellion. (EW 279.1-282.1).

angels in priestly functions - While Angels are indeed God’s “ministering spirits” and messengers to give divine instructions to people on earth and carry out God will there (Heb 1:7, 14), with “ministering” being a pointed technical (Greek) term [“leitourgika” = Eng. liturgical] for service in the Sanctuary (see e.g., Heb 8:1-2; 10:11; LXX Exod 31:10; 39:12; Num 4:12, 26; 7:5; 2 Chr 24:14; cf. Rom 15:16), it is surfacely odd to read of an angel here doing those priestly duties in Heaven’s Sanctuary, especially as Jesus Christ is supposed to be the ministering priest there as stated in the book of Hebrews (Heb 8:1-2; 9:11-12). However there are several indicators in the Bible that indeed reveal that angels are essentially/interchangeably priestly ministers.
            Most pertinently to the imagery here, in Num 10:8 shows that the priests had the responsibility to variously blow the trumpets in Israel (Num 10:1-10). Relatedly Solomon had a depiction of 7 priests blowing the Trumpet before the Ark of God  for His Temple. 1 Chr 15:24; which was probably commemoratively reflective of the Jericho sacking episode (Josh 6). So it is quite normative to have the imagery in Rev 8:2-6 of those 7 angels who are in the presence of God, thus His Cherubim having been reflected by Israel trumpet blowing priests, even for war/military expeditions.[5]
            This is all significant because it then comes to make more readily understandable that the angel holding the censer could also be in priestly functions, and thus could indeed be a depiction of Jesus Christ Himself, for, as detailed in this comment, Jesus (then ‘God the Son’) had manifestly first been incarnated in Heaven as the Cherubim/Mighty Angel Michael prior to any thing being created (which was done by Him). And in this form and position He was the Chief Angel who Ministered before God.  So, as reflected in the visions of EGW, the angel in Rev 8:3-5 standing in the MHP, before God’s throne, with an incense burning censer, and then similarly proceed to unorthodoxly ‘throw it down’ was indeed Jesus Christ Himself. In fact, with the Rev 8:2 Seven Angels being manifestly 7 Mighty Angels|Cherubim, the angel in Rev 8:3-5 is exegetically/literally said in the Greek to be ‘an angel of the same kind’ and not ‘one of another kind’ (Gr. allos vs. heteros), thus the Rev 8:3-5 angel was also a Mighty Angel|Cherub, and was Jesus Christ, the Chief of Angels, indeed probably now being called Michael again. And just as the High Priest, was periodically selected from amongst the other priests, and also as one of the priests was selected, by God’s guidance from among the other priests to perform the Annual Censer Atonement ceremony, Jesus though also one of God’s “Ministering Angels”, is the enduring High Priest in Heaven (Heb 6:20), and was then responsible for, and even above the other 7 Mighty Angels, for doing this Censer Atonement Ceremony.
            And the correlation of this ‘Jesus angel throwing down the censer’, and that both in a Day of Atonement context, with the begin of judgements outpouring confirms that the Trumpets are indeed to be refulfilled in the end with the Plagues.
            And the Biblical understanding here is that the Trumpet judgement occurs first (thus Rev 8:6-11:18) involving pointed the Shaking of the SDA Church, but also having world implications; then that Shaking-purified ‘Remnant of a Remnant’ Church Triumphant does the Evangelizing work that is described in Rev 14 while fighting to terrible persecutions and formal/organized opposition (Rev 12 & 13 | 17 & 18); and this Finished Work is then followed by the Plagues. (Rev 15 & 16).

Ezek 9's Angels - As shown/seen in 4BC 1161.5; GC 656.2; [cf. here], the 6 men mentioned in Ezek 9:2 with an additional one clothed in priestly garments are explicitly (for the 6 men) and implicitly (for the man in linen) are angels. And just as the 7 priests in the sacking of the city of Jericho only had trumpets as their “instrument” of war, the personal destroying weapons (which are actually, generally/normatively non-weaponized “vessel|utensils|article”) of these six men may simply be trumpets which however will also be used to bring God’s destruction (cf. Jer 51:19-23; Isa 54:16-17). These are the ones who do the Rev 8:6-11:18 Shaking Trumpets Work. And the exegetically evident reason why there are only six angels dispatched for this mission, and not a symbolically common 7, is because this event is the Shaking of God’s professed people during the formation of the 144,000, thus first the SDA Church (Judah - Rev 7:4a); and then the rest of the Christian world (the other 11 tribes - Rev 7:4b-8). And, as discussed later in this post, as this all transpires before the Seventh Era, only Six Angels, the Trumpet Angels, whose Trumpets, as seen in the sacking of Jericho, is a battle weapon in itself, are responsible for effectuating this utter destruction in God’s Judah/Israel.

Jesus’ Silver Trumpet - Relatedly, in EW 15.2-16.1 it is Spiritually dually stated that Jesus had a “silver trumpet” While this is indeed symbolic of the Trumpet of God that raises the physically dead (see 1 Thess 4:16), but in an also applicable Spiritual interpretation, for a temporal fulfilment of SOP prophecies as it is being done in this extended, Eschatological time, this imagery refers to the two silver trumpets of the priests in Num 10:1-2ff which was to be used  to either summon the congregation for a meeting or, when an alarm is blown (cf. vs. 7) , to set the camp out to advance in their wilderness wandering. The blowing of two trumpets would summon the entire congregation, but the blowing of one would only summons the leaders of the people. (Num 10:3-4). And the blowing of an alarm for war[6] was in a sort of momentary Sin Atoning way, for God’s remembrance and  protection (Num 10:9). The same was to be done for joyful feasts and offerings (Num 10:10).
            So the imagery of Jesus blowing a lone silver trumpet as He steps of His cloud in EW 15.2-16.1, can, and does, apply to summoning (but to judge) the Leader of God’s Israel. And then that trumpet blast also wakes up the spiritually dead. (= Rev 11:13 see both this post and this one for this application.)
                        Also, just as the blowing of one trumpet is to for the leaders of the people and this trumpet can be either for an assembly or for judgement/war, depending on how it/what is blown, a first wave of “7 Trumpets blowing” could indeed be for dealing with only leaders (as it primarily was indeed the case in the Historical fulfilments of the trumpets ending in the temporal power diminishment/removal of the Roman Catholic Church and also the establishment of a place of refuge for those who had been persecuted by this power in Europe, with the opening up of a new land in the Americas, which indeed had as its founding basis, the freedom of worship/religion (e.g., First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution). However a Second Wave of the Trumpets, which, as stated earlier in the intro, is to be similar to the ‘7 Trumpets encircling on the 7th day’ in the Jericho sacking episode, this faster fulfilling wave will now focus on the people, indeed thematically similar to the blowing of two trumpets being to summons the people.

filled the censer with fire of the altar - It is commonly know that fire is a simultaneously a destructive and purifying agent. The difference is really only “ideologically” made here by the actual intention of the one who had started that fire. It is in that way that ‘the Hell Fire that will destroy the wicked will also purify the Earth so that the New Heaven and New Earth, the Promised conquered/“recaptured” territory of the righteous, will be established. (GC 674.1). And as the Trumpets prelude fire is unequivocally linked to the censer, which had been used to ‘give the prayers of the saints’ before the throne of God, then the now radical switch of uses of this utensil implies, literally here, a change from prayer to action, and most likely the acting answer to those prayers (cf. Rev 6:9-11).

and threw it to the earth - The imagery of (a) casting ‘destructive/purifying’ fire to the earth, (b) in the context of the above-mentioned, sudden radical shift, and © by a figure who, as explained earlier, was actually a high priestly functioning Jesus Christ, calls to mind the Jesus refrained from action in Luke 12:49-50, which was casting Hell Fire on planet earth. Then in Luke 12:51-53, Jesus went on to show that His message would actually result in the removal of present “peace”, which is the antithesis of “war”. (See also Matt 10:34-36ff).
            Interestingly enough, as mentioned by Jesus in Luke 12:50, He had refrained from sending that fire ‘because He first had a baptism of death to be baptized with’ (cf. Mark 10:38-39). This is echoed in the prayer of the saints who are under an altar in the Fifth Seal (Rev 6:9-11). And these ones praying for vengeance and judgement are given white robes (= from their ‘Christlike righteous acts’ (Rev 19:8), and told to rest a little while more until others are similar killed like them, which can be understood as undergoing the same ‘Christ Passion’ baptism. (cf. Rev 11:7-11). This is manifestly done in the bond-servants of God Sealing in Rev 7.
            So with that Baptism/Sealing/Death being then completed, Jesus can now send this “Hell-like” Fire to the earth, and as discussed here, the purpose of Hell Fire’s judgement is also to “torture/torment” the wicked into first confessing the truth of their actual guilt (cf. Rev 11:10).

there followed (1) peals of thunder and (2) voices and (3) flashes of lightning and (4) a shaking|earthquake - With fire having been thrown down by Jesus to the earth, and as a direct response to the prayers of vengeance and judgement of the persecuted and martyred saints, it is expected that the earth would then become a fireball. However what is instead seen is the above cited for manifestations. However these are actually the various ways in which God comes to bring various shades of judgement upon the earth, with the first tree actually being “stored” in His very throne room (Rev 4:5), -the 4th “earthquakes” being an effect that is tangible “earthborn”, indeed by acting upon an already existing fault line on Earth, or potently creating on Himself. Indeed in the following passages, these elements are repeatedly manifested at key judgement instances during the 7 Trumpets. Namely thunder (Rev 10:3-4); voices (Rev 9:13; 10:3-4; 11:12); lightning (Rev 11:19b); and earthquakes (Rev 11:13). (Cf. concerted reoccurrence (a) once 7 Trumpets Judgement is completed, beginning the Rev 12-14 sequence (Rev 11:19b) and (b) for the 7th Plague (Rev 16:17-18ff). And in Rev 8:5 these judgement elements are related in a ‘grouped, increased intensity’, sequence: as thunder is the harmless sound of lightning flashes and God’s voice is what “shakes” either the heaven or the earth. (See e.g, EW 41.2) (See much more on this actually most significant, incrementally reoccurring, judgement manifestation sequence here.)

Rev 8:6 - And the seven angels who have the seven trumpets prepared themselves (in advance) so that they would/might sound them.

prepared themselves (in advance) - Though these angels had been given these 7 Trumpets for a while, it manifestly was only because the censer had been thrown down, thus indicating an abrupt end of Atonement, thus in turn indicating an indeed due judgement, that they now ‘prepare themselves so that they would/might (Greek Subjunctive) sound them. The sounding of those trumpet was not a given and these Angels had to properly prepare for this Mission of Judgement before the actually set out to do them, so that when they do sound them, the desired judgement will indeed be realized.    

Trumpets Prelude Summary
            So in summary, in relation to these 7 Trumpets which are about to be blown, the Golden Censer of Incense in this prelude, and, as seen above, its Day of Atonement implication shows that the ministration concretely ties it with the Day of Judgement that was the Day of Atonement. And indeed when the ensuing 7 Trumpets are finished blowing, they do open up the way into the Most Holy Place (Rev 11:15ff & 19). Interestingly enough, in the conquest of Jericho, the contingent of Trumpets was also to precede the Ark of the Covenant (Josh 6:4, 6, 8). And also, in Israel’s Fall feasts, the whole purpose of the Feast of Trumpets was to serve as a reminder that the day of Judgement was coming up soon, in 10 days. (See Lev 23:23-27). However given the fact that the Golden Censer scene of Rev 8:2-6 is tied to the Day of Atonement, but precedes the Blowing of Trumpets, it can be scene that God went out of His way to first try to make a special, and complete Atonement for His People before the Series of Trumpets began, manifestly all in sequential relation to the halted Seals series of Rev 6:17 & 8:1 which led to the start of these Trumpets. However that Atonement could not be done for all, i.e., not all in the Remnant were sealed them (Rev 7; cf. EW 37.1 & 38.1-2) and thus these 7 Trumpet (and, eschatologically, also 7 Plagues) judgement would come to fall on even professed Sabbathkeepers who had not been  sealed by then. (EW 36.2; 71.2; 5T 213.2-214.3).
            As noticed and noted by Jon Paulien in his (1986) study on the Trumpets (see in note #4), there indeed is a striking. exegetically indicated continuance from the 7th Seal in Rev 8:1 to the prelude to the Trumpets (8:2ff), and that even though there is a major thematic switch between those two prophetic series. The exegetical indication is the use of “and” (Gr. “kai”) instead of the more distinguishing “after these things” (Gr. “meta tauta”) as in Rev 4:1; 7:1, 9; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1. So this indeed (exegetically) shows/confirms that the “silence” in heaven then was fully caused by the Remnant not being ready for the ‘en route’ Second Coming, by not being sealed, and so it was necessitated that the 7 Trumpets be made to unfold, and that to engage in judging, military expeditions and conquests to, like with Jericho, beginning procuring the temporal Promise Land for those (sealed ones) who had ‘already crossed the Jordan.’ (Cf. Jos 3:16b).
            As it will be discussed later, this ‘“and” continuance’ switching indeed has great significance here and elsewhere where it occurs.  This exegetical linking between a switching over from the Seals to the Trumpets is further discussed in this post.

Plagues Prelude
Rev 15:1 - Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the passion of God has been completed.

another sign in heaven, great and marvellous - It is interesting to see the manifestations and progression of ‘great signs’ in the prophecies of Revelation. The first occurs in Rev 12:1 in regards to God’s Israel that is about to birth their Messiah (Rev 12:2, 4b-5).And in response to this appears a second great sign in heaven, with Satan now marshalling the opposition needed to tr to counter and defeat this action of God. (Rev 12:3). As later seen, and as discussed in this post at Rev 17:3, this opposition entity that Satan then set up went on to take on various incarnations/forms throughout Church History, even to our day, in trying to defeat God’s True Israel. Then most fittingly here, the third time a “great”, and now also marvellous sign appears in heaven is when God is about to intervene in behalf of His people, as He did in Egypt, to break to oppression of upon them and set them free (cf. GC 627.3), a supernatural intervention that Satan will be allowed to try to match to some degree with his own ‘great signs from heaven’ as he then tries to fasten people in his deceptions (Rev 13:13-14; 16:14; 19:20).

Rev 15:2 - And I saw something like a sea of glass as a result of having been mixed by fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, having been standing [but not (yet) established] on the sea of glass, holding lyres of God.

Sea of Glass - A fast-tracked prophetic fulfilment plan had been granted to SDA’s, which actually had to involve the curtailing, truncating and rearranging of the full prophecies in Revelation, probably merely in honoring response to the fact that they had freely (effectively) chosen/voted to make the proclamation of the Second Coming a part of the “character” that they would reflect to the world, on top of the Sabbath (i.e., the freely chosen name: Seventh-day Adventist).[7] Those repacked prophecies were then prominently shown to EGW, however as the SDA Church failed to meet the needed conditions, or even live up to their name professions in this regards, that Secondary prophetic plan, as with OT prophecies and Ancient Israel, has by now been made void of literal meanings, and the fuller intentions in especially the book of Revelation, (and even many obscure, seemingly insignificant statements in SOP prophecies), which provided for a tangible fulfilment of the many postponed OT temporal/Zionistic prophecies, have since been endeavored to be established, as reflected in the NJK Project; and its other 3 major supporting Projects. (See in this post).
            In the SDA’s, prophetically abridged, scenario, mentions of a temporal establishment of God’s Zion (= Church Triumphant) was instead spiritually blended with the literal event of the Second Coming. However it is clear in the prophecies of Revelation, and also in the SOP, when all details are taken into consideration,-many of which have not had any prior fulfilment at all, that God indeed had a fuller prophetic plan for the GC before the end. And this is seen here in the mention of ‘a sea of glass where those who have been victorious over the beast and its image now stand.’ In early works, the SOP echoes this statement in e.g., EW 285.2, just before the mention of the commencement of a Jubilee period. So the saints are then here being typologically shown to  already then be in “Heaven”, standing on the Sea of Glass.
            What is significant in all of this that a consistently recurring key motif has again here transpired in this Rev 15:2 “Sea of Glass” mention. Back in Rev 14:1-5, which is significantly, linearly before the events of Rev 15, the 144,000 are said to be standing on Mount Zion (which is God’s Holy Mountain - e.g., Joel 2:1; cf. Psa 87:1-3ff). Then, following the Three Angel Message proclamation of those 144,000 (Rev 14:6-12) with their enduring of its, even ultimately costly, backlash (Rev 14:13; cf. Luke 9:22-26), and a resulting great separating harvest (Rev 14:14-16 & 17-20) then all those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of its name are said/shown to then be standing on the Sea off Glass just before the Plagues are poured out on the impenitent rest of the Earth. This key ‘Mount Zion|Holy Mountain of God’ and the ‘populated/occupied Sea’ is variously, relatedly, repeatedly mentioned in the Bible, and in that key order.
            Succinctly said here, it occurs in Dan 2:35b where the stone that had struck the statue and cause its composing metals to become like chaff which were blown away by the wind, became first ‘a great mountain’, and then ‘filled the whole earth’. (More on how this is to prophetically “tangibly” occur later at Rev 8:8-9; Plus see more on this Daniel 2 prophetic section within this dedicated post). However Dan 2:45 further specifies that the crushing stone had been cut out of an already existing mountain. And this whole new establishment is said to be a superior and enduring Kingdom that God will set up. The global expansion of that Kingdom of God inevitably involves all of the Seas of the earth which are to be also covered by that ‘expansive mountain’ (cf. Rev 21:1ff).
            The Mountain and Kingdom theme is also found throughout the OT where God repeatedly, pivotally seeks to have a righteous and pure Mount Zion, which then is determinative about the viability and strength of the entire land of Israel. Indeed if the “headquarters” of Israel, where the Capital city Jerusalem and the Temple is located, is corrupt, then how can the rest of the land not but also, permissively, be corrupt. (Cf. Isa 1:1; 5:1-7ff)
            Relatedly, in Rev 21, while John had already been shown the end of all things with the New Jerusalem having been established on Earth in vs. 1-8; he, in vss. 9-10ff is manifestly brought back in prophetic time by one of the Seven Plagues Angels who then still has (= Greek present tense) his full/unpoured plague bowl, thus to manifestly the period of time just before those plague are poured out; thus in the time of Rev 15's developments. (The exact same time shifted retroactivity was made with the Rev 17:1 Angel which presents the plague judgement that Fallen Babylon will suffer. Rev 18:4, 8 = 16:2, 10-11) And there in Rev 21:8-9, that “mountain and habitation” (= Holy City) motif is repeated as John is first taken to a “great and high mountain” to then see the Holy City coming down. This reflects the Rev 14 “Mount Zion” and Rev 15 “Sea of Glass” development, and is indicating that this Holy City can have a temporal fulfilment in/with the pre-plagues saints; all typologically reflective of the final fulfilment which had been described in Rev 21:1-8.
            As typical of OT prophetic statements, this motif is most explicitly/literally related in the Eschatological prophecy of Dan 11, where, following an Israel North vs. South Civil War, in vs. 45 it is said that

‘the (victorious) King of the North (= of Israel’s 10+ Northern Tribes) will pitch/establish the tents/habitations of his royal pavilion in the midst of the seas, due to the beautiful Holy Mountain.’

            This literally involves the King of the North having habitations of his realm in the Seas, and all because of an accomplished and thriving “Mount Zion” (cf. Isa 65:25b). Also, as it was discussed in this post, (cf. here at Rev 17:9), the symbol of a mountain from nature is today reflected in what is variously provided in/through successful organizations/corporations. So it is here being shown that a Godly, headquarter/leadership organization (= 144,000 on Mount Zion) will first need to be achieved prior to the then larger plans of establishing a kingdom of/for God (for the resulting Great Multitude), and which will tangibly inhabit the Seas.
            A contemporized understanding of this key development was shown to EGW in 1SM 109-111 which involved seeking to be admitted into an important building. The condition to be admitted was whether or not the prospective person had received the Holy Spirit (i.e., had received and been faithfully living up to all of the provision of the Early and Latter Rain).

as a result of having been mixed by fire - What is most significant to understanding how this, indeed actually, “pre-final-Plagues” Sea of Glass episode of Rev 15:1-3 is to fulfilled is that when the Bible makes mention of the Sea of Glass that is in Heaven (Rev 4:6), which is no doubt supplied by the ‘River of Life’ in God’s  (ultimate/anti-typological) Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Rev 22:1), it says that it “like unto” crystal. However in Rev 15:2, the Sea of Glass there is instead (literally) said to be so ‘as a result of having been mixed with fire’ [= perfect passive (accusative) participle]. The key distinction here between ‘[glass made from] crystals’ and ‘glass made from fire’ is seen in the fact that glass that is made with fire, which is the common everyday silica-based various glass of today, by inherent substantive necessity, must not have a crystalized composition (= a clear and definite structural shape), but instead have an amorphous one (= having no definite form or distinct compositional shape) (cf. this illustration). So the “pre-final-Plagues” Sea of Glass spoken of in Rev 15:2, where those who have victory over ‘the beast, its image and the number of its name’ have been standing [but not (yet) established there], is a ‘non-crystalized’ one, thus one that is manufactured from a fire process, and thus, most likely/logically, from silica (from sands). And as glass is an imitation of naturally occurring crystals, similarly so is this ‘manufactured Sea of Glass’ is to substantively and thematically be of the reality which is in Heaven. All this theologically involves that, prior to the last plagues being poured out, God’s Triumphant Remnant people would have accomplished Christ’s desire, as expressed in Matt 6:9, of having a people on earth that perfectly/fully reflect His Image and Character to the point where a perfect representation of the Kingdom of God/Heaven is, by this point, also being tangibly effectuated on Earth in order to here/there fully carry out God’s (Sabbatical/Gospel) Will as it is, and will ever be, in Heaven. When such a temporal, clear, geo-testimony is finally realized then, once all accountable people on Earth have made a knowledgeable and resolute decision ‘for or against’ this tangibly-modelled Gospel witness, will their probation be closed, and the end come. (See E.g, Matt 24:14; COL 69.1).

            Now all of these various element and themes involved in this ‘manufactured Sea of Glass’ have been incorporatedly fulfilled in the NJK Project plans. And one of those fulfilments is in the fact that it will indeed be setting up habitations for this temporal, pre-advent, ‘Jubilee-fulfilling’ Kingdom of God, in the International Waters of the World’s seas/oceans, in Floating Cities, which furthermore will float on “floatstructures” made of a combination of Fiberglass Reinforced Polymers (FRP’s) and Fused Silica Glass, hence the “standing [established, -when tangibly realized] on a Sea of Glass” fulfilment. Furthermore, with glass production, especially on such a large scale requiring much energy, all of this will be facilitatively made possible by the use of an abundant innovative source of electrical energy, as currently engineering/technological developments are working towards implementing from its already patented scientific concept [CIPO #2,696,825]. And, as electricity has indeed replaced all previous uses for fire (e.g., for light, heat, power), with now even electricity-powered glass oven/kilns, this will indeed also fulfilled the prophetic: “as a result of having been mixed with fire” aspect here for this conversion through great heat of the abundant silica in sands into these finished structural fiberglass/glass products.

            On a, also implicated, Spiritual level, EGW states (in passing) in GC 648.3a, and, significantly, conflatingly so (i.e., Crystal River = Glass Sea), -yet still in some degree perhaps/likely from a direct revelation, that the Sea of Glass, (which, it must indeed be emphasized, is technically different than the ‘crystal River of (the water of) Life’, which is itself right from/before the throne of God (Rev 22:1), thus its further “sea” formation is much further removed from the throne/throne room of God), is: “as it were mingled with fire,--so resplendent is it with the glory of God”. While I consider here Sea-River conflating to be of the personal glib/glossing rationalization, I still find it Spiritually applicable/valid, that the “further/“down-(Crystal)River”” Sea of Glass is still indeed “resplendent of God’s glory. And in/for the applicable typological tangible application made above, it is only by a likewise ‘continued, full reflection of God’s glory’ (which is the outshining of His Character), that the “NJK Sea of Glass”, which really/especially is necessary in order to provide a home and viable sustenance for potentially up to 65,000,000 infants annually saved from abortion, that such a realization will ever be endeavored and achieved. Furthermore, which the symbol of a “River” representing a “religious grouping/body of people” (i.e., Church) and a “Sea” representing a political grouping/body of people, the fact that the River of life continues to reflect God’s glory, -which it had “picked up” when/as is flowed out from before His throne/throne room, even when it further has become a Sea, is “Spiritually” indicative that the kingdom/national/political NJK entity must (indeed) continue to reflect the have the same reflection of God’s character/glory which it has when merely a Church! Indeed, just as Noah’s ark still needed supernatural assistance to make it through the flood (PP 100.1), that effectively is likewise how the NJK Project itself will, figuratively speaking, remain geo-politically “afloat” (cf. Isa 54:14-17). I.e, protected, even pre-emptingly (e.g., 2 Kgs 6:8-12) so, against the various, many, and quite capable, capitalistic and/or “heathen” (all Satanically-goaded selfish) enemies that it most likely will, in some form and degree, sustainedly have (Rev 16:16; cf. Rev 9:20-21; 16:9, 11).

            That said above, it nonetheless manifestly is the statement in Rev 4:6 which speaks of “a Sea of Glass, like crystal, which may have led to EGW’s “conflatingly” statement when it comes to the Sea of Glass mentioned in Rev 15:2, but the Biblical text does make a distinction there in Rev 15:2 by not mentioning that it is “like crystal”, but instead that it is “mixed with fire”. Significantly enough, the “Crystal Sea of Glass” mentioned in Rev 4:6 is ‘“before” (lit. “in the sight/presence of”) the throne of God’, meaning that it is in close proximity to the throne. So that in itself may be the reason why it is still of the “crystal” make up as it flows from the ‘‘clear Crystal River of life’ from the (shared (Rev 3:21)) throne of God and the Lamb.’ (Rev 22:2). It may seem logical to assume based on the (concentric) descriptions in Rev 4:4-6 that the “Crystal Sea of Glass” is right within the confines of God’s Throne Room, however it would seem to me from Rev 22:1-2 (cf. EW 289.1|GC 675.1)  that the Tree of Life itself which is on either side of the River of Life, will not be growing withing God’s Throne Room but ‘in the middle of the streets of the New Jerusalem (i.e., as a sort of divider)” (Rev 21:2a). [That would make facilitating/practical sense if people are to have ready access to it.] So the “Crystal Sea of Glass” which “normatively/scientifically” flows/forms from a river, would “naturally” be located further beyond there, -also outside of God’s Throne room, yet still, relatively, in (or within) sight of the Throne. If the purpose of that sort of “launching” vision in Rev 4 is to “introductorily” give John the Spiritual basis for the rule of God, then it does make sense to selectively include things like the Crystal Sea of Glass within the sphere of that vision, though it may not physically be very close to the throne itself. But then in Rev 22, when “concluding” things are mentioned, details are then filled in, in relation to the various “amenities” for the redeem who will have made it through the ordeal related in Rev 6-19, and so elements such as the River of Life which is immediately linked to the throne of God (Rev 22:1-12) are then “insertedly” mentioned. It is however still validly observable that the “Crystal Sea” mentioned in Rev 4:6 and the “Mixed Fire Sea”, -in fact, as if mixed with the 7 Torches of Fire = 7 Spirits which are also in/with the presence/sight of God’s throne (Rev 4:5)...through the “eyes” of the Little Lamb (Kingdom) (Rev 5:6), are indeed, not only distinct, or at the very least: distinctly procedurally produced entities, and with the Rev 15:2 ‘Sea of (non-crystallized) Glass’ having been produced by the ‘fire (=glory) of God [~GC 648.3a] replicating and diffusing 7 Spirits of the Little Lamb’ (=Rev 4:5 & Rev 5:6). And, as it was detailedly presented above, that is how that Little Lamb Kingdom comes to be established on its Earthly wrought ‘Sea of (non-crystallized) Glass’!! In other words, the Crystal Sea of Glass (in Heaven), for the Heavenly New Jerusalem, is directly wrought by God Himself, hence its “crystalized perfection”, however the ‘Sea of (non-crystallized) Glass’ will have been (indirectly) wrought, (on this Earth/in the present (pre-Second Coming) age), by, “fire” (=Acts 2:3), through men and women who will be infused with God’s Latter Rain-ed Holy Spirit!

            Again the above is not all what EGW herself perceived/understood, -moreover for/in her “Plan B revelations”, but, as she herself has said|would say, she is not, nor to be, the final word/understanding of the Bible! So while a “Spiritual” association in EGW’s conflating of the Rev 4:6 and the Rev 15:2 “Sea of Glass” may apply, the deeper deliberate distinguishing does allow for a nuanced understanding of these, most manifestly distinct, (types of) Seas.
            The interpreting history of the prophecies of, especially Revelation during Church History, right through the present, has shown that it has become more and more self evident to the reader that more and more, and also deeper meaning are found with its every statements, and even words, and, as stated in Dan 12:3-4, 10|1SM 25.4, it is an advanced experience with God through righteous living which aids to unlock and understand, and that accurately, these cryptically contained meanings. (Pro 4:18). As it was for the Pharisees of old, those who are variously refusing to walk into these furthering paths of True and Full Righteousness will either not even perceive (John 3:3), or blindly think it best not to enter (Matt 23:37), this temporally/Jubilee (Matt 4:17; 6:10/EW 286.1) manifested Kingdom of God. (Matt 5:20)

lyres of God - The appending of “of God” after lyres (actually not the distinct “harps” cf. Psa 33:2; 57:8) here is manifestly to distinguish these lyres from any common lyre. As such they refer to harps which have a divine connection and interestingly enough these harps are found at each advancing stage of the Lamb’s Temporal Kingdom (discussed here), from (1) its inceptive, inaugural unveiling (Rev 5:8); (2) its key, as discussed above, later organization upon Mount Zion (Rev 14:2); and (3) and now, as also discussed above, it is also played when the habitations of this Mount Zion have been established upon the Sea of Glass (Rev 15:2).
            Probably not coincidentally enough, it, out of probably several available instruments then (Psa 150:3; cf. Dan 3:5, 7, 10, 15)) apparently was the favorite/default instrument used by David in composing his Psalms of praise and thanks to God as it was apparently ‘an instrument of joy and gladness’ (SDABD 688) (cf. e.g, 1 Sam 16:16, 23). Indeed when Zion is downtrodden, these lyres are hung up and not played (Psa 137:2). So it is symbolically most fitting the they are here played when this Zion of God is finally reestablished. It may also be that the actual “harp” (OT Strong’s #5035b) had a distinct solemn sound, and like the modern day pipe organ today was preferentially used for solemn religious services (see e.g., Amos 5:21-23; 6:5), (e.g., a today with a bagpipe for funerals), though it could be also in other (solemn/religious & celebratory) events (1 Chr 15:16, 20, 28), whereas the lyre, having a more festive sound, was used for substantively outright celebratory events, as this temporal establishing of the Lamb’s Kingdom was.

The Lyre Players - It is interesting to see a transferring of lyres in Rev 5:8; 14:2; 15:2. In Rev 5:8 it is the Four Living Creatures who are holding these harps; in Rev 14:2, on Mount Zion, it is an unidentified ‘lyrists’ (a.k.a. “harpists”) who now hold those lyres. It is there said that that sound was like the sound of many waters and thunder; which, as seen here, are respectively representative of ‘many peoples’ and ‘the sound of without necessarily a striking/tangible manifestation’. This is indeed fitting of the experience the 144,000 who are then assembled in faith based upon the sounds of Judgement that they have heard and heeded from the message in the Seven Thunders which were sounded with the appearing of the Mighty Angel of Rev 10. Though they are not yet seeing those prophesied tangible judgement, they have through knowledge, leading to a personal experience in those messages, chosen to follow this message. And now they also wait in hope of the promised many peoples (=the Great Multitude) who will join them and complete this temporal kingdom of God establishment; which is indeed based on a reestablished purified/Biblical religion (temple, implements & ministry) of God. (= Ezek. 43:1-9ff) after God’s prior “Sealing-Shaking” Judgement of Judah. (Ezek 8 & 9).
            However in Rev 15:2, it is the overcomers of the Beast|Image|Number who are now playing these lyres. They are now probably playing the same “new song” of Rev 14:3 that the 144,000 had exclusively learned. (I.e., because they had gone through the experience expressed in that song - GC 648.3).

Complimenting SOP Symbolism - It is here that a couple, seemingly idle statements in the SOP can be understood. First it has been shown to EGW that the redeemed were first arranged into a perfect square before entering the Holy City (EW 287.2). As the leading 144,000 are later joined with the Great Multitude to form a single grand group of the redeemed, these are collectively later said in EW 16.2 to be standing in a perfect square on the Sea of Glass (=Rev 15:2) and they indeed have them emblems given to them in a palm branch (Rev 7:9) and a harp of gold (= God) (Rev 15:2; cf. EW 288.1). Then in 4bSG 31.4 EGW was apparently shown a depiction of the harpist of Rev 14:2, who are teaching the new song there, as a company of angels are said to be standing in a “hollow square” and each one having a harp of gold. Evidently it is the 144,000 who come to fill in this hollow square after they have been both sealed/gathered (Rev 7:1-8) and then perfectly arranged in a square. However their own square is also to be hollow (GC 645.3).

Rev 15:3 - And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous|Just and True are Your ways, King of the nations!

Song of Moses - It is commonly understood that the song that Israel and Moses sang in Exod 15 upon their deliverance from the pursuing Egyptians armies at the Red Sea, culminating their Exodus from Egypt, is this Song of Moses (e.g., SDABC 7:836 [PDF p.6639] = “undoubtedly”; this presentation by Stephen Bohr {esp. 47:44ff}), however Moses, at God’s dictation (Deut 31:19-22 - just like the “Law of Moses” (e.g., 1 Cor 9:19|Deut 25:4) actually was dictated by God (cf. Deut 6:1-2ff; 26:16ff; 28:1)) sang/taught another song to Israel just prior to his death as Israel was then, after much hard learning in the wilderness, set to enter the Promised Land, as a standing warning to Israel (Deut 31:24-29; 32:45-46). This is found in Deut 31:30-32:44. Indeed the whole song is spoken/sung from a first person, singular voice to Israel (i.e., from a lone, distinct/outsider’s and leader’s voice (e.g., Deut 32:1-3, 6), and even in relating prophetic expression (e.g., Deut 32:37ff), thus as from a unique perspective which Moses had) and about God. (In fact, the actual lyrical start of the Deut 32 song is at Deut 32:4 and it perfectly echoes what is (also, merely openingly?) said in Rev 15:3). Of course, under the SOP revealed fast tracking of prophecies, it is merely the Exod 15 Song of Deliverance that is seen as fitting and not the Deut 32 Song of Warning, however under a fuller eschatological wave, involving here a newly established temporal/earthly (Little Lamb) Kingdom of God, this Song of Warning also has a fitting application to serve as a warning testimony to those who would inhabit this realized temporal kingdom of God for however long it will need to last, (serving as a most tangible and clear witness to all nations (Matt 24:14)) and all in the context of also the Great Time of Trouble Deliverance that God has then wrought for them.
            This Song of Moses was also (conversely) intended to be “rememberingly” sung by a people who had seen/experience the due, and forewarned judgement of God. (Deut 31:21a). So it not merely a “warning”, but would also serve as a “testimony”. And in its applicable, typological, eschatological context, this “Song of Moses” would be sung by the Shaking-surviving (cf. Rev 11:13b), Sealed (Rev 3:12) Remnant from all 12 Tribes of God’s Israel (Rev 7:4-8), including the “12,000” from the Southern Kingdom tribe of Judah (=the SDA Church), who had just witnessed the promised (e.g., LDE 59-61) outpouring of God’s Judgement on an unfaithful, failing people....and which had all been just like the sealing (Rev 5:10) and delivering (Rev 17:14; 19:11-16) Little Lamb had been telling them....hence the adjoining of the singing of, as later presented, the Song of this Little Lamb here. In fact, the singing of this song can easily be through these sealed once having fully gone through a similar “experience” as this sacrificial Little Lamb (=Rev 6:11); -and mainly due to their own pursuit of Actual/Full/True Righteousness (2 Tim 3:12).

Moses, bond-servant of God - It is easy to see/think of Paul as the (self-confessed) bondservant/slave of God, however not readily so with Moses given the great position of leadership that he held in delivering and leading Israel. However, as stated in Heb 11:24-27, Moses, by faith, gave up much and risked all, even his very life, in order to be most faithful to the calling of God on him (Heb 3:5). He thus, like Paul, proved to indeed be a most faithful and obedient ‘slave’ of God, a deliberate characteristic|attitude|quality that God is looking for from those who are to form the 144,000 in the end (cf. Rev 7:3); as John himself was (Rev 1:1).
            Not surprisingly, as it will discussed later, God’s bond-servants are only in danger of coming short when they tolerate a Jezebel within them and even follow her ways. (Rev 2:20)

Song of the Lamb - Similar to the reasons for the common view of the Song of Moses above, the “Song of the Lamb” has been commonly been understood to be the song of (spiritual) of grace and redemption (see e.g., TM 433.1) however, the book of Revelation also gives an indication of what this song is to (also) be. In Rev 5:8, once this “Little Lamb” has seized the Seven-Seal Scroll, a “new song” breaks out in Heaven, first started by the 4 Living Creatures around God’s Throne (Rev 5:9-10), and which is increasingly joined in by others: many angels and (24) elders (Rev 5:11-12); and then every created thing (Rev 5:13). This is not merely a song about grace and redemption, but also one that extols the various tributes that this “Little Lamb” is fully entitled to be given in reward.
So in those two song is fully seen, i.e., in relation to the here eschatologically realized temporal kingdom of God, first in the Song of Moses: (1a) a deliverance from sin, the world and the (pursuing/persecuting) unrighteous in the world; (1b) an enduring warning to remain faithful to God and His ways; (2a) the saving righteousness in the sacrifice of the Lamb; (2b) the temporal, regnal authority of this Little Lamb (cf. Rev 11:15 - indeed Rev 11:15-18 echoes honor, worship and Sanctuary themes in both Rev 5 & Rev 15).
            Interestingly enough, these cited 4 distinct but joint themes found the Song of Moses and the Lamb have apparently been condensed in the phrase (correspondingly delineated) here:

(1a) "Great and marvelous are Your works, (1b) O Lord God, the Almighty; (2a) Righteous and true are Your ways, (2b) King of the nations!

As explained here:

(1a) "Great and marvelous are Your works = God’s acts wrought to bring about the Deliverance of His people echoing the ‘marvelous wonders’ that God deliberately wanted to perform in the Exodus (Exod 7:3-4; 11:9). Indeed, manifestly quite intentionally, this started, corresponding Plague judgment deliverance work in Rev 15 was indicatively, identically introduced as something that will be “great and marvelous” (Rev 15:1).

(1b) O Lord God, the Almighty = One of the main reasons why Israel fell into apostasy was because they lost faith in God for the reasons of variously not believing that God was able to do something. That variously involved them not believing that He could protect them, deliver them, provide for them, keep His promises and/or do something. However if they had maintained this understanding that God is indeed “All Mighty”, meaning that He can do anything if He wills, then this would have help them maintain their faith and help them continue walking in His ways, however stringent, testing and difficult. And this is exactly what Moses sought to remind and instill in the minds of the Israelites in his Deut 32 warning Song, showing that this Almighty Power of God means that He not only will come through and take care of them, but that He will also duly enter into fitting judgment with them, even if it needs to involve Him overturning His prior promises to them. (Num 14:22-35; Heb 3:7-19 [Psa 95:7-11]) This latter lesson is indeed one that Israel had to constantly be reminded of as it was easy for them to complacently believe that God will not annul/postpone/defer or overturn/destroy what He has previously said or establish no matter how they misbehaved (Jer 18:9-18; Ezek 8).
            Indeed this ‘Almighty Power of God’ theme is what is central to, being variously involved in, the Battle of H/Ar-Mageddon (Rev 16:14). On the one hand are the Worldly and “Christian” Beast supporters who do not believe that God can nor will deliver the Faithful from their hand as they seek to execute a Death Decree. (EW 282.2-283.2) On the other hand are the nominal SDA’s (= EW 33.2) who do not believe that God can enter intro judgement against them for not believing, teaching/preaching and observing the Full Sabbath of God (= EW 36.2; 5T 213.2-214.3) which involves complete and tangible socio-economic relieving and aiding works to all and any in need (Isa 58/Matt 25:31-46).
            As faulty/deficient Theology results in erroneous beliefs, SDA’s pointedly are on a path to reject the Full Sabbath Truth of God because they are, through shoddy, indifferent, neglectful “exegesis”, including not critically examining the statements of EGW in the light of the Bible, and also her own Divinely-given direct (=SOP) revelations holding on to a belief that (a) God knows the future and (b) this future is set in stone. Whereas the Biblical Truth is, as discussed here, that God instead foreplans the future (= Isa 46:9-11; cf. 25:1) and (b) that this planned future actually do not tangibly exist. (Pertinently enough here, God was able to foresee, and thus foreplan for Israel later (much more than less) expected utter rebellion because, as He says in Deut 31:21b, He was actually seeing, and thus ‘“knew” the evil intents (lit. the mouth of the seed of evil) that Israel was already developing/ofstering in their hearts.’)
            Thus SDA’s cannot see, nor understand, that God can postpone the Second Coming beyond their lifetime especially as they claimingly see that ‘sure signs of the end are being fulfilled’. The fact is that, as with Ancient Israel, God has the All Mighty Power to drastically abort Final Events even if His professed people are then on the very borders of Canaan, if the circumstances on Earth warrant it so. So this belief in a God who knows the future may seem sanctimoniously good, it is however Theologically wrong. Indeed it leads to a false complacency in a present status quo, leading them to believe that they must be on the right track and have nothing to change or improve. In fact this belief makes a false god out of a ‘Future Knowledge’ by effectively claiming that not even God Himself has the power to overturn it. All quite contrary to many examples of drastic and sudden, judgement overturning in the Bible.

(2a) Righteous|Just and True are Your ways = While Jesus did indeed provide grace and redemption from sin, He, almost just as importantly came to provide in His Gospel the righteous, just and true ways that one ought to walk in, indeed in order to avoid committing sin. So this provision is also key to Christ’s redemptive work. It is thus also found as a key characteristic of the Little Lamb. Indeed the Jews is Christ’s days had practically perfected the letter of the Law observance of the Law, but they were greatly deficient on both its Spirit and its provisions towards justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matt 23:23-24). Indeed their selfishness, which is the Chief of sins, (see here) led them to not love their neighbor, and also violate God’s Full Sabbath Law. (See here).

(2b) King of the Nations = This statement clearly is making reference to temporal power. (Cf. Rev 11:15-18). It is however, when combined with the first phrase in Rev 15:4, manifestly deliberately allusive to the OT statement in Jer 10:7 where it is said, in a Satire on Idolatry, that ‘God is King over the nations because there is none as wise as He in all of these nations/kingdoms, indeed merely by these “wise” people having given themselves over to obeying things that they themselves have made, in gods made out of wood. The same ‘senseless, foolish and delusional’ mentality is seen today in Capitalists who allow money and the self-given value to their own created works to worshipfully determine if people should even live or die.
            And so, correspondingly, this same ‘authority over nations’, borne out of following God’s ways is capable of being realized in the temporal kingdom aspects of Revelation’s Little Lamb=One Like Unto a Son of Man (cf. here)=White Horse Rider. (cf. Rev 2:26-27 (cf. Psa 2:8-9); 12:5 (cf. Rev 5); Rev 19:11-16 (cf. Rev 14:14; 18-20|Isa 63:1-6)).

            Bond-servants and Jezebel - Not coincidentally, it is the “bond-servants” of God who overcome the “Jezebel” within them who can ever come to partake of this promise (Rev 2:20-27). And it will take a honest, deep and zealous searching out of the hearts and mind to self-eradicate this idolatrous, Elijah Message and reforms despising, affections; indeed before God Himself does in then irreversible judgement. (Rev 2:22-23).
            On top of leading God’s bond-servants to commit the self-evident unacceptable acts of immorality, this tolerated Jezebel also leads them to commit the more sly unacceptable act of eating things that have been sacrificed to idols. (Rev 2:20). This was an act that was explicitly condemn from among the newly converted Gentiles (Acts 15:29) as it also constituted idolatry and is ‘a sharing in demons’ (1 Cor 10:14-22), indeed provoking God to due jealousy (Exod 20:4-6; Ezek 8:3-6). Indeed this Second Command violating act, involves, as with the First Commandment, having  a split allegiance to God and with another, here created, graven image god, and the Creator God of Heaven is not willing so share allegiance. (Isa 42:8; 48:11) Obviously this is not because these other gods exist or have any power (1 Cor 8:4-6 - Isa 44:8; 45:5, 14b; 21-22; 46:9; Joel 2:27); but because this leads an idolatrous people of God to turn away from God to these idols; even, as a stumbling block, for the weak minded in the Faith (1 Cor 8). And thus God is in no capability of blessing them or even protecting them as they are then not even praying to Him. And as in Elijah’s reforms, the withholding of blessing, even in the supposed realm that those other gods had power over, is done by God to try to instill this pivotal reality.

            Modern Day Application - In the practice of Baalism Capitalism, it, unlike neutral foods, has, contrary to popular opinion, no salvageable qualities in it to contribute to God’s work. At its over-exacting, non-essentials root, it is condemned in God’s Israel, with the lending at interest categorically condemned amongst God’s Israel. Yet today, there worshipfully is the equivalency of: ‘God’s Israel going to surrounding nations and borrowing various resources from them at more-than-basically-necessary profits and (compounding) interest, while neglecting, misusing, and even not developing/using their own resources.’ As the ‘borrower is (inevitably) the servant of the lender’ (Pro 22:7), it is therefore not surprising that the work, and also people of God, are made to be subservient to the self-serving “will” of Capitalistic gains. And so God’s People are thus slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and only those who are willing to come out from under this bondage to instead be ‘bond-servants of God’, thus being sealed (Rev 7:3) will manage to take part of Revelation’s prophetic Exodus.

            Bond-servants of God Instead - Relatedly, it is significant to note from the OT background form this prophetic development in the Egypt Plagues and Exodus, that there, Israel was to go from ‘being slaves of Egypt’ (see Exod 14:5; cf. vs. 12) to instead being ‘slaves of God’ (See Exod 7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1, 13; 10:3, 7, 26). Similar is to be the mindset of those who come out in the end time Egypt and Babylon to serve God in His, first, temporally established kingdom.

Rev 15:4 - "Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS|Judgements HAVE BEEN REVEALED."

fear and glorify God’s name - The Song of Moses and the Lamb from Rev 15:3 continues here. The first phrase was partly discussed above in Rev 15:2b showing its relation to Jer 10:7. And breaking the hold of idolatry (i.e., various man-made Gods, e.g., Capitalism) from peoples is manifestly the chief work of God in wrapping up this Great Controversy, including/especially with His professed people (cf. here). This is also seen by the fact that this first phrase echoes the end goal of the (very) First Angel’s Message (Rev 14:7).
            As the question here is: ‘who will not but fear and glorify God now/then’ i.e., in the light/face of those revealed judgements, then it can be seen and understood why God had delayed making those judgement manifestations earlier given the need of genuine faith in order to be worthy of being saved. The question is indeed also emphatically rhetorically asking: ‘who in their right mind will not then fear and glorify God’?? (cf. Psa 22:22-31 [The Passion Psalm]) (As seen in the developments of prophetic events discussed in/from this post, this all actually, tacitly implies/implicates/involves that a settling into opinions and sides was possible during this judgment outpouring.)

-For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU - This phrase is taken from David’s Psalm (86:9-10), a Psalm of Supplication (for protection and deliverance) and Trust in God. It indeed reflects what the faithful ones in the Great Time of Jacob’s trouble will also be asking from God. And interestingly enough, David end’s that Psalm by asking God for a ‘sign for good, That those who hate him may see it and be ashamed, because God would thus have helped me and comforted his faithful servant David.’ God similarly does the same thing with the faithful in this end time of trouble by giving them the ‘great and marvelous’ sign of the Seven Angels which are going to inflict, in open/revealed judgements, God’s Plagues. (Rev 15:1). Still, these Mark of the Beast proponents and adherents will resolutely refuse to become ashamed (Rev 16:8 & 9; 9:20-21) and that by having had the mentality of a harlot which fully enjoys her (religious) immoralities. (Rev 17:5|Jer 3:3; cf. Rev 2:20-21).
            It is significant to note how this notion here of all nations coming to worship before God echoes the Temporal Triumph of Zion themes from the OT where God’s Israel will then be the most glorious nation on Earth (See e.g., Mic 4:1-8; Isa 66:24; Psa 22:27-31; Jer 3:17; cf. Zech 8:3). And this inherently/logically temporal notion (i.e., pre-final consummation of this present age as described in e.g., 2 Pet 3:7, 10-12) is actually also restated in Rev 21:24-27 = Isa 60:3, 5ff, 10-12ff, 16.

Rev 15:5 - After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle|tent of testimony in heaven was opened,

It is significant to note here that this passage shows that there exists the notion of both a temple|sanctuary in heaven which encloses the tent of testimony. Yet this is just a depiction of the realities of Heaven. As God had reminded David in 2 Sam 7, ever since God had brought Israel out of Egypt, He had chosen to only be present among them in a tent (2 Sam 7:6), even when they were settled in the Promised Land, for now several centuries. God had not instructed Israel to build himself the “house” that David was here proposing. The notion of a “tent” implies a temporary dwelling place whereas a house or temple|sanctuary (Greek naos) is both more permanent and would allow for a greater inhabiting by God. Apparently the reason in God’s preferring a temporary dwelling was that Israel was still on probation then. Indeed it was not until after the Babylonian Captivity, when God indicated that He intended to resolutely enter into a covenant with Israel (Ezek 36:16-38), but only for His name’s sake as it was being profaned in the heathen nations which were seeing the great calamity that God had brought upon His People in judgement (Ezek 36:1-15), a resolute restoring work that would literally involve God even raising the long ago dead (Ezek 37; see this post), and even miraculous fighting against the then assembled enemies of Israel (Gog and Magog) obstinately seeking to overwhelmingly oppose this, albeit, manifest Divinely-effectuated restoration (Ezek 38 & 39; cf. Rev 20:8), -it was then, that God Himself indicated that He was going to allow a temple (= house) to be built for Him in Israel. The Temple that had been allowed to be built by Solomon, according to David’s plans and preparations, was manifestly just in honor of David and his desire to see His God well represented. However God knew that Israel was not really ready for this advanced step which would involve a greater manifestation of His presence amongst them.
            So just as a Temple was to be God’s practically tangible dwelling place, but a tabernacle/tent was merely to house His Presence, for God to more tangibly dwell amongst His People in a temple, they first had to become more holy, and the up to then given Tabernacle tent which enclosed the Testimony or Covenant of God (see Exod 34:28-29) was to religiously first seek to do this.
            All this to say that this statement in Rev 15:5 is actually focusing on the Temple which encloses the two-apartment tent of the testimony being opened in Heaven. Considering that this statement linearly occurs after the Rev 11:19 statement which had in similar terms said that the ark of the covenant was then seen, which is located within the second apartment of that Tabernacle|tent, it can be seen that this passage is depicting a stepping backwards from that second apartment. And combined with the statements later made about this opened up Temple it can indeed be seen that a withdrawing from it is indeed being done.

Rev 15:6 - and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes.

Angels coming out of the Temple - Manifestly the Temple in Heaven, which depicts the specific place where God dwells in Heaven, was opened to let these Seven Plague Angels come out and go forth on their mission.

clothed in linen, clean and bright - Rev 19:8 shows that the symbol of ‘fine linen’, which is ‘bright and clean linen’, represent righteous|just acts. And as it was declared before in Rev 15:4; God’s judgements which by then had been revealed to those standing on the Sea of Glass were indeed righteous|just. So those Plague Angels, though about to execute most terrible judgements, were carrying out righteous and just decisions. And so they were accordingly dressed.

girded around their chests with golden sashes - the “sash” is actually a belt (see Matt 3:4; Acts 21:11) however when it is worn across the chest instead of the waist, it is understood to be a belt. What is significant about this placement distinction is that, as discussed in this post, the belt was functionally worn around the waist to hold a robe closed, thus one that was typically/commonly split in the front. A “belt” that is however worn a across the chest is merely for emblematic/decorative purposes, and that representing some sort of victory, and does not have this necessary, practical, robe fastening purpose.
            So, as with the figure in Rev 1:10-16, which is further identified to be Jesus Himself (vs. 17-20), who wears His golden “sash” across His chest (Rev 1:13), these angels also do not have to wear their golden “belt/sash” out of a functional necessity. Instead the emblematic depiction of them wearing it across their chest involves/implies that they do not have this functional necessity to hold their robe, (which is symbolic of one’s righteousness), together with their gold (which is symbolic of the ‘most valuable character traits’ of “faith and love combined, and love takes the precedence of faith” (see here) -indeed. although one may not have faith in someone, a love for that unworthy person would come to help them to nonetheless act favorably towards that person.) belts (which is symbolic of involving righteousness/faithfulness (Isa 11:5) and Truth (Eph 6:14)). So a “golden belt” is indeed the very best vestment accessory for one to securely fasten their robe of righteousness.
            And, indeed, by being worn across the chest, a sash cannot at all functionally hold an open robe together/close. So that robe worn would have to be one that itself is already closed. Thus, symbolically speaking, there would be no chance for the “nakedness” (= unrighteousness) of the one wearing this closed robe, especially if it ‘reaches down to the feet’ (= Rev 1:13) to ever be exposed.[8]

Rev 15:7 - Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the passion of God, who lives forever and ever.

one of the four living creatures - As, as discussed here, those four living creatures are symbolic of: (1) God’s Kingdom (Lion), (2) Pure and Practical, Biblical Religion (Ox), (3) Perfected Socio-economic Interactions (Man), (4) Powerful and Beneficent Technology (Flying Eagle), it is any one of four living Creatures, which can initiate and effectuate this passion of God. However, as it will be more fully detailed later, based on Rev 8:13, it appears that these Plague bowls are distributed to those Seven Angels by the ‘Flying Eagle-faced’ Living Creature.

Seven Golden Bowls full of the passion of God - If the symbolism of “gold” discussed in the preceding verse is to consistently apply here, then these plague bowls are to also involve “faith and love combined, and love takes the precedence of faith”. However with them being full of the “passion” of God, which, as discussed here, is ‘His unrelenting desire to see truth prevail and justice being done,’ then it is seen that the subjects and objects of this “faith and love” are actually the righteous. (cf. Rev 16:5-7). So, as also discussed here, God will now only care for those who are interested in being faithful to Him, and no longer, mercifully, allow Himself to abstain from delving out due justice upon those who are indifferently (indeed no longer obliviously) opposing Him and wantonly transgressing His Laws.

Bowls - The precise translation of the Greek word here phiale should be the derived English word “phial” however as this is now commonly understood as “a small bottle that contains a drug (especially a sealed sterile container for injection by needle)”, it is not readily seen how this understanding applies to the Plagues. As seen in the illustration on this page, the (Greek) phiale was a small shallow bowl that was mainly used for special mixing and/or samplings. Sort of as a lab dish. As such it was most likely used to administer medicines and thus the modern day derived term for such a usage. The KJV “vials” would seem to be more accurate here, but these nowadays connote more of a long cylindric flask, rather than a shallow bowl. However as the manifest main imagery is indeed here a compound mixing container, all of those translations that connote such “lab ware” are quite proper.
            Indeed, as seen in just reading those 7 Plagues, it is clear that God has here “passionate” specially concocted something, as in a lab, to produce a specific destructive effect. EGW’s relating in TM 432.1 that ‘after the Plague Angels have, most obediently, poured out the content of their bowl/phial upon the Earth they then lay the empty vials at the feet of the Lord’, this is indeed a new and strange work by God. As it was seen with God in the OT (Isa 6:9-13) and mirrored by Jesus, for the same applicable reasons, in the NT (Matt 13:10-17), the 7 Plagues will involve orchestrating things to give those rebellious people exactly what they want, and/or would have, if God was not been mercifully preventing this from occurring.[9]

Post Script (ca. 2.5 years later) - With, corroboratingly, now more “experience” (=1SM 25.4) having transpired upon this issue, this revelation of God can be further searched and shaken to discover its deeper meanings, as seen to be applicable to the present fulfillment scenario, building upon what has already been exegetically stated above, and adjusting it when now applicable/necessary, i.e., based upon ‘(spiritual) developments on the ground’ since:

one of the four living creature - this Living Creature is indeed the (also “flying”) Eagle, -the ominously-missioned, warning one, of Rev 8:13. So upon having completed its three “Woes” warnings/messages in the ensuing Trumpets #5-#7 which have served to forewarn what God will do, and in a last gasp attempt to call out, and assemble, His True People prior to the execution of the warring actions related in those warnings, it has now come time to, in these ‘7 Trumpets rehashing and expanding 7 Plagues’, to carry out these warned, most destructive, judgements. And with the Eagle being the one to, effectively, delegatingly mandate these destructions, it can be seen, from what that (flying) Eagle Spiritually and tangibly represents, that, as explained in the typological Rev 19:17-18, “Second Woe 9/11 II” scenario in this post, this will be involving God using the very own assets of the “World and Church” (=EW 54.1) (Eschatological) Mark of the Beast Camp, -which by then also includes the EW 266-269-deceived and fallen SDA Church (=EW 36.2), as well as indeed other merely professing Christians, against them for their destruction. This is actually just like God had allowed & assisted, -if not, at least overseeingly, frameworkly, also directed/orchestrated (cf. 1 Kgs 22:19-22), the “(eschatological) First Woe” (Rev 9:1-12) 9/11 Attacks by, “Spiritually”, using both the “Freedom” ideology, and, “tangibly”,  the high-end/advanced technology, “assets”, of the United States, indeed against them, to their own detriment. And so likewise here God will be, and even through super/supra-natural implication, further turning, through the direction of this (flying) Eagle, what is ideologically/Spiritually still, and worsely, wanting and unBiblical in this by now seamlessly three-tiered (cf. Rev 16:19), Babylonian, Mark of the Beast Assembly, and also what is technologically capable of being conversely, adversially used. Indeed (as manifested in the (prior) 9/11 Attacks), comparatively as “spectacularly” and “sophisticatedly” as she has done when committing her various lawless trespasses (Cf. Rev 18:6-8) (I.e., e.g., offensive (=“pre-emptive”) attacks; wanton (remote-controlled) drone strikes, etc).
            So given this pointed/particular slant and substance of these plagues, it is manifestly the Eagle Living Creature, -(who actually also, as discussed in here, also produces the Latter Rain and its Third Angel’s Sabbatical Loud Cry; and which is actually what incites and binds these Babylonian wicked ones in opposition, thus meriting them the Seven Last Plagues (EW 271.2-272.1));  who has been mandated with directing the effectuation of the Seven Last Plagues, and manifestly all in order to keyly make them seem to be as humanistically natural as possible, all in order for them to accomplish their intended global, detrimental (correspondingly) “confusing” (=EW 272.1a; Mic 7:4b) effect.

the seven angels - This is referring back to the 7 angels mentioned in Rev 15:1, but it very well may be that these are the same Seven Mighty Angels of Rev 8:2, 6, the ‘ones who stand before God’, who back then had been given the 7 Trumpets to warningly sound, and now, since that task was done, they are instead given the 7 phials/“bowls” which contain the 7 last plagues.

seven golden phials/bowls - Interestingly enough, the prior time that “golden phials/bowls” are mentioned in Revelation, it is in Rev 5:8, when speaking of the golden phials/bowls full incense which are the prayers of the saints. And so, evidently here/now, these same, or at least 7of these, golden phials/bowls have been emptied of that prior, prayers-assisting purpose function, to now be filled up with God’s wrath. This imagery is substantively and thematically virtually identical to what takes place in Rev 8:3-5 when the, also “golden”, censer, (discussed earlier), is “commandeered” from it prior/normative prayers-assisting function, to instead be filled with fire from the altar in order to be thrown to the Earth (Rev 8:5; =Rev 11:19) for, as cited above at Rev 8:5, things which variously produced within the following period of the activity of the 7 Trumpets (Rev 8:6).
            And so, it is seen that in both the preceding circumstances to the Trumpets and the Plagues, which again are closely correspondingly linked to one another, God involves that a prior prayers-assisting means is turned into a vengeance exacting implement. No doubt prayers are still being offered up by, evidently former saints who had apostasied, (e.g., as depicted in the EW 56.1 about the Rev 2:9; 3:9 “Synagogue of Satan”), but now God is seamlessly “answering”/ responding  to these hollow prayers from these indifferently clueless apostates (cf. Psa 66:18; Matt 7:21-23; 25:41-46; EW 36.2; John 9:31) with answers which are according to, thus conducive to, the effectuating of, priorly, the Seven Trumpets, and now, the Seven Last Plagues. So as involved in God’s “wrathful” judgements in Ezek 14:1-9 (see here|here); whatever answers He will be granting to these abominable prayers (=Amos 5:21-27) He is indeed now doing this, and in regards to SDAs, even most directly through their bevy of ca. 7 echoing “half-prophets” (cf. Hos 4:5), all to compliment their long misleading apostate leadership (=Isa 29:9-16; cf. John 3:19-21), all in order to unwittingly lead them to hit His erected “Adamant Wall” (Amos 7:7-9). And God indeed does this drowsing vengeance by continuing to, vacuously enough, regurgitatingly, feed these apostate with their Babylonian wine-tinged, “milk of the word” (Heb 5:11-6:8), elementary knowledge & understandings (Isa 28:5-13; Hos 4:6) indeed as these Spiritually Immature, Holy-Spirit Void Grown-Up Children (=1SM 110.1) dullardly much prefer.
            And despite their vehement opposing, this “Synagogue of Satan”, by refusing themselves to advanced in God’s Word, Truth and Understanding, are inherently indeed ‘bowing down and worshipping at the feet of God’s preserved (Rev 15:2ff), loved saints’ (Rev 3:9; EW 15.1) for they had not “advanced” (represented by “feet” symbolism) any further into God’s Full Truth than what these Philadelphian saints had either told/revealed to them, or had facilitated for them. So even if they won’t recognize and admit it, they helplessly are, in regards to fulfilling God’s will, at the very mercy of whatever God’s Accepted/Righteous ones accomplish/do, even adversially (=Isa 6:8-13; Matt 21:42)!!

full of the passion/wrath of God - Indeed, as chiefly summarized for this post, these self-detrimenting acts orchestrated and/or allowed by God in vengeance upon rebel transgressors is indeed perfectly in line with how God “passionately, wrathfully” has always acted as stated in Rom 1:18, 24, 26, 28 all so that the abominable sinner will surely reap the whirlwind of what they have been sowing.’ (Hos 8:7-8 -see here in regards to the SDA’s own ‘Ezek 13:1-16ff “Whirlwind Judgement”’.)
            Interestingly enough, though the 7 Trumpets are mirroringly reflected in these ensuing 7 Last Plagues, it is easily observable, indeed by the various limited, and even redemptive “destruction” actions during the 7 Trumpets that, unlike the 7 Plagues, they are actually not inflicted in/through “wrath” . But the 7 Plagues explicitly and clearly are (Rev 15:1ff), thus being “no more mercy” judgement from God. And this theme was actually involved in Old Testament prophesying, namely Isa 27, as God spoke of His Plans to gather up His scattered Israel. There that gathering will be done through the blowing of a Great Trumpet (Isa 27:13) which manifestly is the same one represented by Israel’s Two Silver Trumpets. (Num 10:1-4; cf. EW 15.2-16.1 -which reveals another element in to Rev 14:14 by indicating that ‘the other (=“left” (thus an alternative, non-favored, Plan B)) hand had a silver trumpet’ all indicating that it is not God’s/that Son of Man, “favored” Plan to sound this (inherently “resurrective”) “warning” prior to reaping that crop. (Rev 14:15-16)). And thematically related enough, in Isa 27:4, it is overarchingly stated by God that should people thrown briars and thorns at Him while He is doing this GC-culminating, eschatological/apocalytic (-Isa 27:1 (=ending the world-destroying influence of the dragon Satan (=Rev 20:1-3)) redemptive work with/through His being-regathered-and-restored Israel (Isa 27:2-6), it will not incur wrath from Him (Isa 27:4), clearly because, as with Jesus enduring inflicted suffering and inherent shame on/of the Cross (e.g. Luke 23:35-38) who was, tellingly enough, was first mocked, violated and abused through the use of a “crown of thorns” (Matt 27:27-31), it did not then incur wrath from Him because He knew that these abusers were completely clueless of the fact that they were thus accomplishing God’s Grand Will and Triumph (Luke 23:34a; John 12:31-33; Heb 12:2). And this was a pointed text, i.e., Isa 27:4, which had been revealed to me in a vision back on Nov. 6, 2000 cited in the ensuing Note for here, evidently to, as now confirmingly understood, show the similar abusive and lawless “mal-treatment” “naturally” (=1 Cor 2:6-18) from “drunkenly” Spiritually immature (Hos 6:8; Isa 28:5-13; 1SM 110.1 =Mic 7:1-4a*) and clueless/blind (2 Cor 3:7-18) people which would come because of my various similar ‘Israel of God maintaining and regathering’ “Trumpets” (Rev 8:1-11:18) endeavors.

* And Micah 7 is fully discussed in this pertinently related post at Rev 19:15; with its background relation to Matt 10:34-36 and its, as also later discussed in this present post, Second Series “persecutions/oppositions” Implications, which (i.e., that Second Series Era) is, as seamlessly revealed in the SOP (i.e., GC 627.3ff = Rev 16:4-7), is indeed around the (earliest) point from where, first life-long imprisoning (Rev 2:10a) persecutions, and the precursor of then a more actively effectuated Death Decree, begins.

            And so ‘no wrath’ is involved in the sounding of these leaders, and peoples, calling and assembling (Num 10:1-4), and also organizing into a (Wilderness) Progressing/Moving Procession (Num 10:5-8), or even marshalling into Army for war (Num 10:9), and also Ultimate Victory celebrating (Num 10:10), Trumpets. And these are all activities which transpire during the blowing of the Seven Trumpets of Revelation, when God then is likewise ‘taking on the world’, pointedly the then ruling powers which have brought these decimating detriment to His Israel (Isa 27:12-13; cf. Hos 8:8-9, 13b).

who lives forever and ever - It would seem obvious, and inherently redundant, to add this qualifier after mentioning “God”, but this is manifestly to distinguish this “wrath” from that of the Lamb (Rev 6:16-17), as it is evident that the Lamb’s Wrath is inevitably “mixed with mercy” as, unlike the Father, the Lamb had been made human, and suffer and die (cf. Rev 1:18), and thus better knows/understands fallen man (Heb 4:14-16) (cf. here). So here, in regards to the Seven Last Plagues, God Himself will be providing these “unmixed” wrathful judgement, and the Lamb will (merely) be looking on (Rev 14:9-10; 16:19).

Rev 15:8 - And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was of themselves powerful enough to enter the temple so that the seven plagues of the seven angels might be finished.

Temple filled with smoke - As seen in 1 Kgs 8:10-11 when the Temple becomes filled with smoke, the interceding priests can no longer minister in to. And so this will be the circumstance for all while all of those Plagues are poured out. Indeed this notion|symbolism|imagery was identically previously seen in Isa 6:4 as this was in the context of God (in 739 B.C.) no longer wanting to have mercy on rebellious Israel (cf. Lam 3:44) and here calling and commissioning Isaiah on a mission to fasten them on their utter destruction course (Isa 6:9-13; cf. Matt 13:10-17; see PK 305.1-310.1). And that intended most costly destruction indeed first soon came upon the 10 Northern Tribes in their Assyrian Invasion and Conquest in 723 B.C. and then later on a relatively momentarily the more faithful Southern Tribes of Judah [cf. the Isa 36-37 deliverance] starting in 606 B.C. in their Babylonian Captivity and Deportation. This all indeed involves a ‘close of probation’ and ‘due rewards as works have been’ (Rev 22:11-12).

from the glory of God and from His power - the specific understanding here is discussed in this post at Rev 19:1.

no one was of themselves powerful enough - It is addedly seen here that, as in the OT example of such a happening in 1 Kgs 8:10-11, only the “glory” of God was needed to fill the Temple with smoke, and, as seen in the OT episode when Moses was desperately interceding for Israel after the Golden Calf (Exod 33:12-23), seeing the glory of God, as Moses requested, was not entirely an impossibility, especially if only the back side of God’s glory and not His face was then seen, -a revelation which, pertinently enough here involved God’s compassion and mercy, it may either be that God here also ‘showed His face’ when filling this Temple with smoke, or it was that in also manifesting His “Power” here this is what made it that no one was then powerful enough in themselves to overcome this power and enter the Temple in order to intercede in it. Yet the fact still remains that the glory of God manifested here still made it possible that He Himself could incredibly have compassion on an unworthy person who may present themselves or their sins in that Temple during this time. However, at this time, there would not be an intercessor present there for that sinner. They would then have to take there chances by directly dealing with God Himself.
            In this depicted dual involvement in God’s glory where Justice is done but Mercy is also available, is best understood the statement of EGW that:

“It is the glory of God to be merciful, full of forbearance, kindness, goodness, and truth. But the justice shown in punishing the sinner is as verily the glory of the Lord as is the manifestation of His mercy.” RH March 10, 1904. {LDE 240.1} (cf. LDE 240.3-4)

so that.. might be finished - in order that all 7 Plagues may be accomplished, God filled the Temple with smoke from His Glory and Power so that no one would be able to enter in intercede, thus probably interrupting this judgement in mercy (cf. Rev 22:11).[10]
            It may seem odd that God would express this wish to ‘see the plagues through to their full end’, and take actions for this to be done, but that is all understood in the light of a past couple of interrupted series of 7's in Revelation, namely the Seals and the Trumpets. Between the 6th and 7th Seals and Trumpets, which ran concurrently in Church History, there came to be a time extending interlude, namely Rev 7-8:6 for the Seals and Rev 10-11:14 for the Trumpets. The applicable parallelism with the 7 Churches shows that those Sixth period coincide with the period of the Church of Philadelphia, which was the Best of all of the 7 Churches, and the one that God had all of the best qualities with which to bring about the end. However because their came to be an increasingly hindering problem of righteousness with that Church leading to the frightful questioning amongst even them of “Who will be able to Stand?” (Rev 6:17 = EW 15.2; see this post); leading to a measuring of that standing temple to see if it measured up to God standard (Ezek 8-9; 40-42; 43:10-12 = Rev 10 & 11; see, respectively, this post and this one), Jesus, not being able to find amongst His Remnant Church enough, if any, people who had “clean hands and pure hearts” in order to mercifully withstand His “Lamb’s Wrath” on those who, contrary to His Gospel (Matt 25:31-46; cf. 1T 287.1) were indifferent to the plight and vital needs of the spiritually and temporally poor (cf. Rev 9:20-21), was then not able to grace such deliberate sinning (see EW 15.2 & DA 825.4), and thus instead halted even Final Events and most mercifully extended time (= Rev 7:1ff), momentarily delaying the consummating Judgement in the Seventh Seal and Trumpet. Yet that was actually to His great demise and peril as He knew that the then also transpiring 7th Church, Laodicea, would not be one that would have the same commendable qualities and works as Philadelphia, at its best, thus then requiring an entire resting of (Historical) prophetic fulfillments, in now an Eschatological Wave, as a return to that Philadelphia Church, the foundation of the Church Triumphant, is first made.
            So it is in order to here, when this judgement of the 7 Last Plagues is finally to be poured out, not have it occur that they also be similarly interrupted before they are all poured out, that God has taken such resolute measures in filling the Temple with Smoke, literally entirely clearing His dwelling, to the point where even Jesus Christ, who manifestly, is outwardly in a Mighty Angel form and inwardly still has His Incarnate Human Nature, may Himself also not have the “power” to needed to override this act of God the Father and be able to intercede in the Temple then. (Notice in EW 38.1 the quasi-desperate prior pleading of: “My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood!” when He was trying to have halted and postponed the Full Consummation by averting the full fulfillments of the related ‘7th Events’ in Revelation. Indeed “there will be no period of respite until the end. TM 182 (1894)  {LDE 238.2}
Rev 16:1 - Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go, and pour out the seven bowls of the passion of God into the earth."

the Passion of God - As explained here, the “wrath of God” here is actually His “Passion” for Truth and Justice that, now, does not permit itself to be hampered by those who are insisting of hanging on to error and unrighteousness.

            As seen with the prophecy of Rev 10, in its Historical Wave of Fulfilment it pointedly had Spiritual fulfillments which focused on Ecclesiastical Affairs and Objectives, however in its Eschatological Wave, it’s then had more temporal application, as the focus then/now is on the Kingdom Aspects of God’s Israel, all for full carrying out God’s redemptive purposes. The same dual Church & Kingdom application is seen with the Trumpets as shown below. In their Historical Wave, its main focus was to carve out a place on earth so that God’s NT Church, His True, Spiritual Israel can be concretely established, with the opposition then being mainly the OT Covenant Jewish Religion and then Spiritual Babylon, the Roman Catholic Church. In their Eschatological fulfillments, the evolved, widened and more entrenched enemy now is a globally established, Religio-Economic form of that previous Babylon, indeed a Geo-political, temporal, New World Ordering, Superpower which is foundationally claiming to be the ‘representative (Christian) nation of God on Earth’ (see in this post). And so the necessary “Conquest” then, so that God can now establish His interim Israel Kingdom, -the Rev 5's, 7-Horn ‘Little Lamb’ Kingdom, (see in both of the just referred to blog posts), is to be one that temporal confronts this global superpower. As previously stated, as seen below, the 7 Plagues also address the same, step-by-step issues as the 7 Trumpets in this major confrontation.

Destruction Event with Each Blast - In this Revelation Series’s OT background of th sacking of Jericho, there was no destructive result until the trumpets were finally sounded after the 7th days seven encirclings. So, quite manifestly, in this prophetic application there is a destructive action/event with each trumpet as they are each “sounded”, however this destruction is correspondingly on a part of the targeted whole, being one sounding out of 7 instead of all 7 trumpets at once. (So the 6+7 times silent encircling of Jericho was actually the ‘warning of judgement/war given to that city.) It is also significant to note that, as stated in Jos 6:5, 10, 16, 20-21, 24, it was (a) the ensuingly enjoining shout of the people that caused the walls of Jericho to fall down. This indeed confirmed the people’s faith, as well as their previous total silence, and (b) the army/people had a tangible conquest work to do to overthrow and secure the city. The trumpets and the shout only caused the blocking walls to that possession to fall. So in a similar way, it is to be expected that the trumpets blasts are (a) to be followed by the proclaiming “shouting” of God’s people, and (b) whatever tangible action is require to overrun and overtake that previously walled off area, as the trumpets blasts and shouting will only cause the spiritual walls to these key sections in God’s overall promised/provided temporal/territorial possession to fall.

Contributions of the 7 Churches and 7 Seals - With the 7 Trumpets themselves covering the same time periods as the Historical 7 Churches of Rev 2 & 3[11] and also the 7 Seals, a brief statements about them is significant for contextual background since they respectively, (1) with the 7 Churches, come to pertinently show what the Internal State of the Christian Church was at those times; -thus ‘what God will have to work with; and (2) reveal what would external be the State of the Church in the World (=John 15:18-21ff; 17:9, 11, 13-19); -thus what would be their state/work in the world. And for that matter, (4) the corresponding 7 Trumpets then come to reveal the Confrontation of the Church Against the World as God then would be working to confront and overturn incurred wrongs and damages; and (5) the capping, final judgement 7 Plagues come to present the State of the World Without the Ministry/Testimony of the Church; with (3) having, through a duly effectuated Denominational judgement, cf. here) pivotally been the intermediating: to be heard, heeded and understood, 7 Thunder-ingReviving and ReformingMessages/Prophecies-of-Ezekiel-based ‘Utterances’/Statements of God Spiritually revealing how to become Sealed and thus escape the Shaking of the Church in order to then form the renewed Conquesting Military Ranks of the Church Triumphant Remnant, leading to the establishment of the Temporal “Little Lamb” Kingdom of God.

Contribution of Parallel Series Preludes - In regards to their preludes, (namely Rev 1:10-20 for the 7 Churches, and Rev 4&5 for the 7 Seals [which are both discussed in greater details in here]), as they are parallel to the one for the 7 Trumpets (Rev 8:2-6), they, as shown below, indeed do provide some applicable insight into what the Historically capping 7 Trumpets are to do.

Prelude to the 7 Churches - In Rev 1:10-20, the “one like unto a Son of Man” there is shown to have been ministering amongst the 7 Churches, and as stated in the following assessing messages to them in Rev 2 & 3, he has indeed found several key problems with most of them which zealously need to be address. Their lampstand witnessing is dependently wavering to the point of almost being functionless in their surrounding dark world (cf. Matt 5:14-16).

Prelude to the 7 Seals - In Rev 4 & 5, a new kingdom is first introduced there as the 7-Horn Little Lamb Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. This comes on the heels of (hopefully) the completion of reforms with the Church. With these Religious reforms done, God now wants to heighten the prominence of His New Covenant Israel in the Temporal world, thus completing His Full Israel Restoration according to the plan He always had for them. However before this begins to be done, God first, as with OT Israel’s conquering of Canaan (Deut 20:10-18) mercifully offers an opportunity for the about to be conquered pagan lands to be converted and join in Truth and Faith with His Israel. But, as seen in the unfolding History of the 7 Seals, each advancing period of History instead brought forth a new way to oppose His Kingdom of God purposes.
            So a confrontation in war is the only solution then, and hence the 7 Trumpets which follow as God seeks to overturn these physical obstacles to the establishment of His 7-Horn Little Lamb Kingdom, and in the Eschatological wave, also the 7 Last Plagues to, in judgement, make utterly void the “religious” ideologies which served to prop up those physical “walls”. Indeed as seen in the conquests of Israel, their victories were not complete when the various standing “walls” against them were knocked down, but when they then also eradicated the formed gods and religious items in those physically conquered cities, even if it also extended to the inhabitants those cities as they could teach Israel their past idolatrous ways. (See e.g., Deut 20:16-18; Jos 6:16-19; 21, 24; 7:1ff [the sin of Achan])

Seven Thunders Expounded - With the merging exposition of the indeed related 7 Churches, 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets and 7 Plagues which is next done in this post, therein comes to be done a detailed exposition on the Seven Thunders, for as shown in the major arranging chart there, those distinct 7 Series messages do indeed merge to give the corresponding message of each of those Seven Thunders. So after reading one of the next comprehensive Sections of Sevens of Revelation, you can consult that chart fully delineating the Seven Thunders to see what its corresponding typological messages are from the prophetic messages given in Ezekiel. Only the applying section headings will be included here at the end of each Series of Seven. The preceding exposition of the other explicitly stated Events in that Series should help one to readily grasp the Ezekiel sections, prophetic applications.

            For reasons of time, the various descriptions that follow are more than less (conclusively) “tell” than (detailedly) “show” comments, which is normative with a “commentary”.
            Also see this post for more detailed, fundamental explanations of common symbols found throughout these prophetic passages.

First Trumpet & Plague
            After God’s actions of judgement and casting away with a previous unfaithful people, come His days/times of new beginnings and new building, to pursue His Glorious redemptive plans.

Internal State of Church: (First Church - Rev 2:1-7 [31-100 A.D.]) - The Church had lost its first degree of love of the Gospel of Christ and naturally accompanying works through the misleading teachings of false apostles (cf. 2 Cor 11:2-5ff). Perhaps the many hardships that it had had to endure had contributed to it drawing back, yet, as seen in Paul’s letters, its work amongst itself was not yet what it needed to be. Yet they strongly preached against the gnostic, ‘no law of God’, teachings of the Nicolaitans.
            This Church Era, being the first, is given a most severe warning as to what will be its punishment if it is not faithful. It is warned that if it does not go back on its track to where it veered off course to re-embark on the right course, back to its first love, and produce the expected good deeds, its lampstand will be remove from its place. (Rev 2:5) Given that the Bible reveals that there are three parts to a lighted lampstand, namely a lamp (Gr. luchnos #3088) and a lampstand (Gr. luchnias #3087 -Heb 9:12)  to highly/prominently elevate it (see Matt 5:15), and a torch light (Gr. lampas #2985) which lights up the lamp (see e.g., Rev 4:5; John 18:3), then the pointed warning here is not that the light of the lamp of this Church will go out, but that its lighted lampstand will be moved out of its present place. It there will not have the same and most favorable, circle of influence/enlightenment that it initially, if actually any then. At best it will be the ‘inconsequential lighted lamp laying on the floor’ of Matt 5:15. (= LDE 59.1-61.1) And that is indeed all because this Church would have gone off on a wayward path despite having had much light, first hand knowledge/experience in the Truth and absolute no overwhelming opposition as other Churches/Future Church Ages.

State of the Church in the World: (First Seal - Rev 6:1-2 - opened by the (little) Lamb with the first Living Creature of Rev 4:7, - thus the Lion* speaking an invitational message, which all 4 other Creatures also speak: “Come”) - The Apostolic Church managed to internally impact the peoples (cf. Acts 17:1-8) in virtually all of the world (Col 1:23). As seen in Acts 17:7; cf. 21:11, they were so successful, that, as with Jesus (Luke 23:1-2ff; 13ff; cf. Matt 20:17-19; John 19:12, 15), in order to stop them, indeed similarly, the Jews themselves, were beginning to falsely paint them as enemies of the state|government|Law and Order. As with the corresponding Mark of the Beast issues, they were differentiatingly shown that, on the other hand, their religion and beliefs called them to be most loyal to the Roman Emperor. God’s New Israel however knew that they (a) were not acting unlawfully, and (b) in all things, that they ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:27-29)
            As discussed here, this First Seal came to have its most pointed fulfilment in the cataclysmic event of the Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, thus virtually, the entire Kingdom of Israel then.
            So those two parallel background reveal that there was a key issue of false teachings amongst the Church and also direct opposition by the Jews who were key in directly or indirectly causing persecutions to the followers of Jesus Christ. So it was against these obstacles that God first had to tangibly act against in the First Trumpet.
            Given the Kingdom of God implications here, it is most fitting that it is the Lion Living Creature that unseals this Historical period.

* Indeed the citing of the corresponding Living Creatures here, and with the next 3 Seals, which speak as each of those Seals are opened, follows the exact order in which they are cited in Rev 4:7.

First Trumpet
Rev 8:7 - The first sounded, and there came ‘hail and fire from having been mixed in blood’, and they were thrown to the earth; and the third of the earth was burned up, and the third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

Hail and Fire... - The mention of ‘hail and fire’ refers to the 7th Plague that God sent upon Egypt (Exod 9:18, 23-24). The surreal combination of fire and, literally, ice, (and not even “brimstones” -cf. Ezek 38:22), even leading to a “flaming fire” (Psa 104:32-33; cf. 78:47-48 [“bolts of lightning” actually is literally: ‘flaming fire’), and interestingly enough, initiated by peals of thunder (Exod 9:23, 28-29), and also a rainstorm (vss. 33, 34), (perhaps to self-limit the damage of the fire) is indeed quite unusual and inherently, substantively involves an overt miracle of God. Indeed, of all of the 10 plagues that fell on Egypt, all but two actually involved something that was attested in the natural world. I.e., Frogs Gnats, Flies, Death of Livestock, Boils, Locust, Darkness and Death of People were from existing/natural/possible sources. It was their timely and pointed/discriminating occurrences that was the actual miracle here. However with the first and seventh plagues, thus the Nile turning into actual blood (and not ‘red clay coloring’ as claimed by some), and then a hail and fire mixture, these two plagues were indeed, substantively, miracles in themselves. Water does not ever naturally become blood, nor does fire ever continually flash from ice.
            This plague on Egypt was to affect whatever livestock was ‘unbelievingly/“fearlessly”’ left out in the field (Exod 9:19-21, 25a), also every plant and tree of the field (vs. Exod 9:25b)
            Interestingly, as seen in Isa 30:30-31 (cf. Psa 18:12-13), God makes His voice of authority to be heard through His arm of strength which brings forth fire and hail for destruction of wicked rulers (Isa 28:2) and (their) wicked works of opposition (Hag 2:17;  Ezek 13:11 (prophetic implication discussed here)) and even a city (cf. Isa 32:19). In fact, God strikingly reveals in Job 38:22-23 that He also has a storehouse of hailstones (a.k.a., militarily today: a “(WMD) stockpile”)* which He has reserved for the time of trouble/distress and for the day war and battle. Quite clearly, to come to the defense of His people then, and that is evidently what is involved in the Rev 16:21 ultimate, GC-overturning, hailstone outpouring (discussed later), with, as cited above, several intermediary usage of it prior to that time.
            Indeed, since hail naturally only forms in the lowest layer of the Earth’s Atmosphere, (i.e. the Troposphere which reaches up 12 mi/63,360 ft), in Cumulonimbus clouds (=700 to 10,000 ft, or peaks at 20,000 ft) and which have only extreme instances at 75,000 ft, and since it would take a projectile forming/coming down from “Outer Space” (=the Thermosphere [62-310+ mi]) to become inflamed as it travel’s through the lower parts of the Atmosphere; with the Earth’s next highest atmospheric layer being the Mesosphere [31–62 mi], and with it having the coldest temperatures in the atmosphere, -dropping to as low as -226 °F / -143 °C, and with actually most incoming meteors burning up within this atmospheric later; its “meteorological phenomenon” of: ‘water ice crystals’ Noctilucent (=“Night”) clouds (47-53 mi), -(only first observed in 1885 -(which was in lead up to the time when, as ca. 1858+ pointedly-prophesied (cf. here) [and indeed prophetically possible], -{and as even Skeptics couldn’t deny & no matter how ‘unimportant’ and ‘ridiculous’ some non-believers may idiotically, novicely think [cf. here] that: “the Great Controversy pivoting on the systematic violating of the [Letter or Spirit] of one/any of God's Ten Commandment (=Dan 7:25)” is. (e.g. Matt 5:17-20; John 14:15; Jam 2:8-13; Rev 14:6-12ff) }, a Federal/National Sunday Law (cf. here) Bill was introduced in the US Senate (1888-89), but was eventually successfully opposed) -See this sermon) and: “appear to be increasing in frequency, brightness and extent”), would make the perfect location, source/factory and “storehouse” for these (periodically, Supernaturally, =Angels-assistedly: strategically produced, amassed and ready-to-be-launched (ala. Gen 19:24), -as packed megacryometeor-sized): ‘(huge) hailstone ordnance’ of God (Job 38:22-23; e.g. Rev 16:21); with them having added their “fire” (=inflamed) element by the lower Stratosphere (ca. 26,000-161,000 ft) where (surviving) glowing & streaking meteors are visibly observed. And, as expounded upon later, prophetically pertinently enough, most jet-powered aircraft, -such as the Superjumbo Airbus 380 with its service altitude ceiling of 43,100 ft defaulty (=“cruisingly”) go up into this atmospheric layer.
            And, as stated later, the, actually sourcing:“mixed in blood” element in this judgement implement of God, well that manifestly is indeed the ‘righteous religiously justifying signature’ for this Divine Sacking Operation against Babylon. (Cf. Rev 16:3-7; Luke 11:49-51; Rev 18:24-19:3; 15:1, 4; LDE 239.3).

* And indeed also, as e.g., Napoleon Bonaparte and, more pertinently here, Adolf Hitler (e.g., with regards to this), would probably now readily state, (indeed as it was crucially the case in the pre-modern technology days, as still being seen with Afghanistan’s Taliban fighters), there is nothing like a freakish, or even natural/normative weather condition, such as especially snow, to greatly foil one’s warring efforts and even turn the course of a war. And so it can be seen why God would also have a “storehouse of (regular) snow” for war and battles, i.e. in the case where He has to cause a sudden freakish snow storm, with most likely, for our advanced power technologies days (e.g. powerful tanks), an over abundance of snow, able to entirely bury a tank and thus literally stop them right in their track, and/or, for fighter plans, cause such a dense snow fall which completely blinds the visibility of fighter planes, and even “satellite eye’s in the sky”, thus literally, completely grounding even the most advanced fighting forces of our day. And as such hyper-freak snow is not normatively generated by nature, then God had to prepare it in advance. (Indeed just like He probably first amassed the Genesis Flood’s abundant rainwater in order for it to last for 40 consecutive days and nights). And with God potentially having to use His weapon of snow in a war theater where it then may be summer and/or just, climate-wise, never snow, then He would there also need a (moreover mobile) refrigerated storehouse for stockpiling this purposeful snow.

...from having been mixed in blood - From the above ‘substantive miracle’ understanding, it can be seen that the added blood mention here is thematically allusive to the first Egypt plague of Water into blood.
            Spiritually speaking, just as the affectation of the Nile attacked a chief, and tangibly most vital (Exod 7:18-21, 24) “god” of the Egyptian, literally ‘shedding out its lifeblood’, thus killing it (cf. Gen 9:6), a chief and vital god of the entity standing against God’s Church|Kingdom is to be affect in the blowing of the First Trumpet.
            Also this plague of hail and fire was so great that Pharaoh, for the first time confessed that he had “sinned” and that God was “righteous” in so judging him and his people, the “wicked” ones. (Exod 9:27). A similar ‘understanding reaction’ is expected to be seen in those who suffer this judgement. However as with Pharaoh, who for the only time in the last 5 plagues (#6-#10), himself (vs. Yahweh; cf. this post) went on to harden his own heart then when the plague was ended. Pharaoh had also previously hardened his heart for the plague of blood when His magicians did the same thing, and the Egyptian people also managed to find a alternative way to get water during the 7 days of that plague by digging wells around the Nile, which brought forth manifestly unaffected fresh groundwater (Exod 7:22-24).

the third of earth|trees vs. all grass - While this potent, vitality damaging plague of ‘hail and fire mixed in blood’ had been cast to the earth, its damage was specifically limited by God, however only in regards to certain areas, namely “the* third” of the earth and trees, yet all of the grass. If this “the third” is thus being judged, then it must be a most prominent part of these areas.

* While the Greek articular expression: “the third” is normatively understood as simply: ‘a/one third’, it is rendered whenever it occurs in the prophecies discussed in this post as “the third”, because the prophetic context of those mentions shows that it is not merely quantitatively targeting an indiscriminate “third”, but is actually qualitatively targeting a specific, common “chief” grouping.
            Manifestly it is in order to be reflective of the fact that Satan was able to convince, really dupe, “one third” (down from an initial “half” (1SP 22.3a)) of the angels in his warring rebellion (Rev 12:4) that he has been given a similar “one third” direct sway/input into the affairs of this world...And so this would be these “drunkenly corrupted and, religiously and/or socio-economically, misleading” (i.e. pointedly First World) parts of the world (=Rev 17&18; cf. Rev 17:18) that God would be entering into judgement with here with these “one third” global affectations. And, as stated here, such Historical Divine oppositional intervenings have literally kept apostate/Babylonian Christianity from comprising ca. half of the world’s population today, instead of the present ca. one third spread that it has.

Earth - The Earth is symbolically generally representative of where people live and stands in contrast to the Sea. The Greek expression for “Earth” gen can, particularly in the Old Testament, also be limitedly referring to a specific “land”/country. (E.g., Matt 2:16; Mar 15:33; Acts 7:3, 6, 36).

Trees - Useful, and facilitating provider of various food and/or living materials for man. (See Dan 4:10-14, 20-22)

Grass - The Greek expression for grass is not only limited to “decorative grass” as modernly understood, but any single blade plant that springs up from the earth. That even includes food plants such as wheat (Matt 13:26; Mar 4:28; 1 Cor 3:12). As such “grass” can be representative of one of the most basic necessities of life for when “wheat” is being referred to, it indeed represents one of the most basic food need of all peoples, particularly in Bible times, from which many other food products were made.

burned up - As the end destruction effect is to be a (degree of) ‘burning” in all of the three affected areas, then the fire is to have a more prominent power than the opposing hail.

First Trumpet Historical (Church) Application:
            The first major opposing obstacle that God’s True NT Church had to confront was the standing OT Israel. As shown above they were key in causing physical, even state-borne persecutions against Christians. Also, internally/religiously, even amongst Jewish Christian Converts, the passing of the Old Covenant and many of its typological rites were not seen to have passed away (cf. Gal 3:1-5ff) as, particularly, the Jerusalem Temple, the center of their worship, and Jerusalem itself, still stood, and visibly completely unaffected at that. This may also have been out of an extreme opposing reaction against a popular ‘no-laws-of-God-at-all” belief amongst Gentile converts, (which was actually not at all the belief of the Apostolic Church (see Acts 15; cf. 2 Pet 3:14-18)), with an implicated, implicit faith-less belief that: ‘Jesus’ New Covenant teaching was manifestly fundamentally flawed’. Also with the Temple standing strong and tall, the many words that Jesus had uttered against the Temple Cultus and its sure passing away seemed for ca. 40 years to have been empty words, thus challenging whether Jesus was even actually a prophet sent from God. So as long as these variously “stood” undisturbed and visually immune of Christ’s pronouncements against them, and also as long as the city of Jerusalem continued to increasingly thrive in the Roman world, this caused not only many Jews to reject the New Covenant message of Christ, but also caused many Jewish Christian converts to have a limited understanding of what this New Covenant was to practically fully mean for them (see Gal 4:21-31). This is manifestly why the book of Hebrews was written, likely by Paul, and before his final imprisonment and martyrdom of ca. 66-68 A.D., thus even before the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed or even physically threatened by War. As long as these two formidable emblems of the Old Covenant stood strong it justified the rejecting, alienating, and persecutive actions and measure that were taken against Christians, and to some degree, as seen in some reprimanding statements by Paul, even from Jewish Christians towards Israel-joining Gentiles. Christ’s prophecies which spoke of the utter destruction of this Jerusalem and its temple were summarily denounce as false prophecies given the presumed still standing OT prophecies concerning a Triumphant and Zionistic end for this present, Babylonian Captivity restored Jerusalem and the Temple (cf. Isa 56-66). On top of the many problems with that Restored Remnant Israel (only the tribe of Judah) that were pointed out by Christ in His Gospels, that had priorly entirely neglected to follow the blueprint of restoration that God had given them through the prophet Ezekiel and also been still remained Spiritually indolent as seen in the messages of post-exile prophets.
            So the first major action that God had to take in order to firmly establish His New Covenant Church then, was to strike at this first major Ecclesiastical obstruction.

Hail and Fire - As in the plague of hail and fire in Egypt, God had given Israel, through the words and prophecies of Jesus Christ, many indication of how to escape the physical judgements that were to fall on Jerusalem (see e.g., Matt 24:15-18ff). Whoever heeded that warning were saved. And as with the “Divine Origin” of, as stated earlier, the inherently Super-natural “Hail and Fire” phenomenon, as parabolically detailingly prophesied by Jesus/God in Matt 22:7, the destruction of Jerusalem, though clearly tangibly effectuated by the Romans, was still an “act of (i.e. allowed & initiated by -cf. Isa 13:17-19) God” (cf. Luke 21:20-22).
mixed with blood - In the destruction of Jerusalem, the very “vitality” of the Old Covenant was also affected as blood did indeed gushingly flow during that event, thus fulfilling the pointed ‘venging’ pronouncements of Christ to that regard (Matt 23:29-36 cf. 27:24-25; COL 294.1)

One-third of earth - With the destruction in that First Historical Trumpet being limited to Jerusalem and not to other lands, nor even, physically, upon the millions of Jews who lived throughout the inhabited world then (cf. Acts 2:5, 8-11), it can readily be seen how this destruction was limited to only part of the “land”. Indeed not all of Judea itself was affected. Jerusalem and its Temple and the leaders who administered therein were indeed the most prominent part of Old Covenant Israel then, thus that limitedly-judged one third. With trees being the sour

One-third of Trees - With trees being a key source of vital and functional livelihood, it is seen that God did not then effectuate a complete destruction of all of the Jewish religions vital and functional capacity. Indeed from that stunning destruction of its Holy City and Temple it came to find many vital and functional “alternatives” to provide for its religious survival in the following years and centuries, even to this day.

All Grass - A very interesting comparison is made in Scripture in regards to grass. In Isa 40:8, quoted in 1 Pet 1:24, the Word of God is said to be even more enduring than grass. As this grass can also be wheat, which is used to produce foods such as bread, it is further seen that God’s word is to valued more than even food/bread. This notion was stated by Christ during His very first temptation (Matt 4:2-4) reflecting an OT understanding (Deut 8:3). Jesus had also expressed the sureness and importance of heeding His words in regards to the calamity that he said would also pointed befall on Jerusalem (Matt 24:34-35). And those who, like in Egypt’s Thunder-initiated, Hail and Fire Plague, those who heeded His voice/words were able to avoid this judgement. As similarly analogically spoken on in Amos 8:11 ‘famine/word of God’ statement, Israel did indeed suffer this loss because, due to their wayward actions, they had placed themselves outside of being granted the opportunity to hear a, thus prophetic, instructively saving, word of God. (cf. 2 Chr 20:20)
            Thus it is seen that all of OT Israel ‘wheat-grass food’, i.e., the Divine-word for their religion, came to all be consumed in that destruction. It came to be that they suddenly no longer had the Zionistic hopes that they had cherished all of this time and which had led to oppose and reject Christ and His New Covenant message, despite the fact that this potential/conditional destruction had also been prophesied in that same OT corpus (Mal 4:5-6; Dan 9:26b & 27b; as, pertinently, similarly done with the SDA Church, LDE 59-61). And with their hope now drastically gone, many of the Jews came to also lose confidence in the entire Scriptures.
burned up - As mentioned above with the feeding and functioning alternative in “trees”, the Jews were able to “rebuild” a semblance of their religion, but it would forever lose the previous status it had had while still in Covenant with their God. Indeed the most prominent (= the one-third) parts of these previous “facilitating” feeding (religiously synonymous with “ministries” which help to feed God people with vital food), were not reestablished (i.e., the Temple ministry), but only lesser ones were form then on to be found and utilized. This similarly transpired with the loss of Israel’s prominent “Land” Jerusalem and its Temple. However there most radically, effectively was nothing left in “God’s word” for them to feed on following that judgement, particularly prophetically, (contrary to popular Futurist-Dispensationalist claims).

            So in the First Trumpet blast, God caused the first major obstacle to the Triumph of His NT Church to, literally and spiritually, be reduced to conquerable ruins.

First Trumpet Temporal (Kingdom) Application:
In the Temporal application of the Trumpets, God is now working to restore a temporal
possession for his Church Triumphant (cf. Isa 49:5-7). Therefore in this First Eschatological Trumpet blast, He is to similarly also work against a chief god/belief/ideology that is now temporally opposing Him. As previously, variously pointed out, the greatest obstacle today to the fulfilment of God’s True/Full Gospel Kingdom is the deified economy, and even within SDA Church.
            Of all of the factors that fluctuatingly affect the cost of living in today’s economy, the cost of energy is the one factor that has the greatest weight and sway. As seen in recent years, the increase in the price of a crude oil barrel is almost instantaneously reflected not only directly “at the pump” but also in every product/merchandise that depends on transportation/shipping. Energy also not only comes to affect various market prices in developed countries, thus affecting one’s way of daily life, but it also comes to determine the quality of life in poor countries which cannot afford to make use of it. Indeed as energy is not widely affordable in such developing countries, many of today’s advanced technologies are also not pursued as most need a abundant supply of constant and readily available, ‘non-natural’ energy to be worthwhile and practical. The lack of acquirable energy also, more widely, works against the overall development of a country, e.g., in regards to transportation, roads, trade, etc.
            Of course, the way in which markets are artificially controlled and limited, should those poorer countries sudden be capable of tapping into those global energy markets, as seen in the rise of China, then energy prices would be increased by those who control this capital, and so prices in especially First World countries who are mostly greatly energy dependent, using much more energy than they can produce, would literally soar through any previously deemed price ceilings.
            So as God is here, in this extended, interim time, seeking to establish a temporal kingdom to fulfill the many prophecies in regards to the glorious, geo-testify, redemptive reign He had for His Israel in this world/age, not only does this key energy obstacle has to be met, but it needs to also be a means that will not come to add to the existing global energy burden. Also, given as a new, physical territory is needed to establish this kingdom, and as all lands are fully owned or occupied on earth, with the only remaining space for this kingdom then needing to be, as previously mentioned, floating cities in international waters, it is clear that a most potent and abundant energy source will need to be owned by this new kingdom. And so comes the First Conquering Trumpet of God’s Eschatological Israel.

Hail and Fire mixed with Blood - For various proprietary reason, the description here will not be detailed, however a currently divinely-led to, patented concept [CIPO #2,696,825] for a potent energy source/production does involve that odd combination of ‘hail (“ice”),with fire (= electricity) continually flashing, and also can involve a viscous fluid, functionally comparable to blood.
            While such an energy solution would seem to be capable of only producing positive results, the fact of the matter is that, though the NJK will indeed be building an industry to mass produce this invention, it will however be primarily aiming to help relieve the poorest countries/peoples first. Even the prices for this invention which can be marketly perpetually charged according to use, will be tailored to be readily affordable by poor countries/ As these groups currently have very little share in the current use flow of global energy, even their then complete withdrawal from that current market will actually only cause energy prices to drop in more developed countries given the corresponding drop in demand then. So for a while, as the market price for the use of this invention in First World countries will be according to their then current market energy prices, they will most probably just continue to use their current energy sources, of course for ca. 20 years, until patent laws permit them to produce the invention themselves. Many will probably opt for financially equivalent patent rights swaps, or straightforward licensing rights, to be able to make use of it earlier.
            The whole point in this First Trumpet is to knock down this formidable energy source, techno-economic wall, that would hamper the establishment of this temporal Kingdom of God.

the third of Earth|Trees vs. all Grass burned - Succinctly said, in this Eschatological Wave of fulfilment, which involve more natural/physical applications vs. Spiritual ones, the Earth is symbolic of where people live; Trees are symbolic of (facilitating) businesses and Grass is symbolic of a fuel source. In the scenario detailed above of the deliberate affectations of this Energy Source invention, indeed only one-third of the world, namely the First World, will come to be most pronouncedly affected by its implementation. The rest of the world, the Developing Third World and even the “(Second) World” in between (generally known as BRIC countries today) which each still have millions of abjectly poor people living in them, will be readily and quite inexpensively benefited by this invention. So while (a) First World Countries while have (b) a most significant part of their economy, the energy sector, affected by this development, all of the world’s current energy/fuel sources potentially can be, indeed at least effectively, rendered needless through this invention. Of course people in those First World Countries will have that choice of switching over to this new energy source or not. So it is there acceptance of it or not that will determine if and/or when ‘all of the world’s current energy/fuel sources will be “burned up”’.
            Really the only obstacle to the non-contentious development of this Eschatological Trumpet will be whether or not those in the First World who are thus effectively being judged (cf. this post) through this favoring of poorer countries will accept this “sabbatical relief based” judgement. Chances are that they will not, and will instead oppose those socio-economic Sabbatical actions of the NJK. As these actions are part of what constitutes the Seal of God, then there resistance to it will concretize their adherence to the Fuller Mark of the Beast, which indeed involves the Economy in its ultimate Eschatological Wave. So, as seen next with the corresponding First “Plague” to this First Trumpet, they will through such persisted opposition to God’s will and right ways, come to cause “plagues” to fall upon them. And of course, all those who will be claiming this judgement to be unfair and tangibly side with them will share in the fate of ‘this Babylon, here being judged with such pointed plagues’. (Rev 18).
            The Plagues are indeed not to be universal (GC 628.2), and as with their falling upon Egypt, indeed as with the plague of Hail and Fire, those in the world who will not heed such saving instructions/directives of God (see Exod 9:19-21) will come to incur its destruction, ‘not having a shelter over them’ (EW 44.2; 64.2).

SDA Church Specific Application - God’s judgement duly first begins in His Sanctuary (Ezek 9:6; 1 Pet 4:17). And so the Trumpets have had a precursor fulfilment in the SDA Church prior to their larger Christian Church Fulfilment (cf. Jer 3:18), all in the context of the Sealing of the 12,000 from the tribe of Judah (Rev 7:5a). So with the Trumpet having been expounded here, it can be most transparently seen what the SDA Church specific fulfillement is.
            Succinctly said, just as the standing Jerusalem was a hindrance to the Christian Church, as it was tacitly claiming that Jesus was a false prophet and the ever increasing in greatness Jerusalem was about to usher in the long expected Zionistic era in the Church, the current pervasive SDA assumption that ‘signs of the time clearly show that these are the very last days’ which in turns entrenches them in their deficient teachings and false/unbiblical practices, as ‘they must then be on the right course’, will, as was the effect of the suddenly sacked Jerusalem, the Biblical demonstration that God’s Fuller Sabbatical teaching is indeed the Biblical truth, will come to make SDA’s realize that their curtailed view of God’s Sabbath, leading to their indifference and neglect of those in need, indeed preferring to use their various denominational institutional and human resources for actually business purposes versus humanitarian ones, will lead them to terrorizingly realize that they have been preaching the inaccurate message all along (EW 36.2|Ezek 34:17-22|Matt 25:45-46; cf. Jer 3:15-18) and should the Second Coming occur ‘tomorrow’ or even “in 2 or 3 years” as they “hope”, the only words that they would get from Christ are those of condemnation and rejection for, through their entrenched and pervasive selfishness, having violated His True/Full Sabbath. (Isa 58).
            So God’s first act will be to remove this chief false belief that, like the one of the indifferently rebellious First Century Jews, they have the Truth and God has not other option than to fulfill His Zionistic promises, even timed prophecies (which by then were all passed in Christ advent and ministry, i.e., Dan 9:24-27), (supposedly) “unalienably” made to them.

First Plague
Rev 16:2 - So the first angel went and poured out his bowl into the earth; and of itself it became a loathsome and malignant/calamitous and evil-working sore on the people who are continuing to have the mark of the beast and who are worshipping his image.

poured into the earth... - This plague is generally poured out throughout the earth and it is only those who are continuing to have the mark of the beast and worshipping the Rev 13's second beast’s image who are affected by it.

of itself it became a loathsome and malignant/calamitous and evil-working sore - One of the leading causes to the Mark of the Beast enforced establishment was in an effort to deal with the various problems occurring in the world. Towards this end, as discussed here, Capitalism, being now also in its then more widely-acceptable inclusive form of philanthrocapitalism has been imposed upon everyone, at the penalty of marginalization suffering and even death. So the world will then be dealing with trying to heal this wide reaching wound. This plague however results in this wound becoming worst by opposing its healing, and producing it instead, medically speaking: ‘a loathsome and malignant’, but apocalyptically speaking: ‘a calamitous (=adversarial, =Isa 45:7) and evil-working’, sore, which thus is both life-threatening and also painful. Indeed, as seen in the First Eschatological Trumpet action/result stated above, this Plague will not actually be causing the persisted trouble here. The choice of those who are opposed to the Sabbatical purposes under the Trumpet will cause the detrimental effect of Plague.

            And as several instances, in particularly recent history/development of Capitalism where economists now know to better be preemptively closely monitoring various levels of news, from local, regional, national to global, it indeed merely takes some kind of temporal calamity and crisis in world to come to greatly, tankingly affect the Capitalistic Economy. And so, in this First Plague, the by then already executed: ‘sudden “balls of fire” adversarial “calamity”’ heralded in/by the parallel First Trumpet is sure to begin this foundational ‘economic tanking’ “evil-outworking”....all to, as discussed later, find its climatic effect in the Fifth Plague.

First Thunder - Judgement Remnant Formation
Eze 2:1ff - The Vision of the Scroll
Eze 3:12ff - Ezekiel at the River Chebar
Eze 3:22ff - Ezekiel Isolated and Silenced
Eze 4:1ff - The Siege of Jerusalem Portrayed
Eze 5:1ff - A Sword against Jerusalem
Eze 6:1ff - Judgment on Idolatrous Israel
Eze 7:1ff - Impending Disaster

First Series Summation
            So evidently, as seen from the Bible & SOP, God will be making use of this last resort “WMD” of an hail-based  measure in order to (A) end the “Little Time of Trouble” (cf. LDE 143.1-154.1) of His faithful remnant who had been His Shaking (EW 269-273) Testing Truth in “proclaiming the Sabbath more fully”, by assaulting the symbiotically-joined Church & State establishments which are then opposing and obstructing them (cf. LDE 145.1-4), and thus “malignantly plaguing” this Mark of the Beast Camp (Rev 16:2); {thus, as key with the Capitalism Economy god for this MOB camp, patently enough (i.e. as in Exod 9:13-26) via a “hailing” event which is engrossingly more economically affecting // devastating // “impactful” // costly than was/has been the 9/11/01 Event!!}, which will then “naturally” (1 Cor 2:14-16), gradually, lead into the (B) widerspread, life or death, “Great Time of Trouble” Religio-Political Battle & Era (cf. LDE 238.2-282.4) which God also reserves the right to likewise supernaturally intervene, (if His faithful, (prospectively) established, people/nation (Rev 15:1-4ff) cannot by then militarily do so themselves), in order to once and for all end it by sacking its source: Babylon (Rev 16:17; 18:21-24)....{Therefore, “militarily”, starting with a Counterforce “First Strike” which completely “defunctions” and/or destroys, “Babylon’s”, (i.e. NATO’s) entire Global Nuclear Arsenal Command & Control Infrastructures and Ordnance Delivery Systems...all within 15 minutes!!!....}

Second Trumpet & Plague
            When God’s people truly live according to His Full will, ultimately ruthless opposition will only be the end result (2 Tim 3:12|GC 48.3):

Internal State of Church: (Second Church - Rev 2:8-11 [90-313 A.D.]) - Following the Religiously striking destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, a dual new obstacle was formed to oppose God’s True Followers. As a Remnant of the prior Jewish opposition, came opposition even from within the Church of those who said that they were true followers, claiming even to be “Jews”, but were actually, by having sided with the world/State, ‘the synagogue/assembly (notice no more centralizing Temple then) of Satan.’ Moreover, from outside the Church began a new wave of systematic State persecution, as discussed next. (=Acts 20:29-30).
            Most encouragingly Christ’s trailblazing Triumph over and through death (i.e., Rev 2:9 ~ 1 Thess 4:14; -see its exegetical explanation in here) as well as His related warning and promise in regards to surely to come deadly persecutions, is stated to those who would live in, and from, this Church Era (i.e., Rev 2:11b = Matt 10:28)

State of the Church in the World: (Second Seal - Rev 6:3-4 - Ox) - Whereas prior persecutions of Christians by the (Roman) State were either opportunistic (under Nero) or out of a conflated confusion with the post-66-70 A.D., increasingly despised Jews, starting around in 90 A.D., around the time when John received the vision of the Revelation (cf. Rev 1:9), Christians began to be systematically targeted by the State. This was not out of empty reasons, but, as seen early in the ministry of the Apostles/Disciples, their teaching that (a) there was no other God than the Creator God and (b) that God had verifiably manifested itself in Earth in Jesus Christ, literally ignited a destructive fire in the very heart of not only Pagan Religions, but their derived and lucrative business/commerce and trade (see Acts 19:23-29ff). And of course, to make things worst, the Roman Emperor himself, who considered himself to be a god, was also being snubbed of his adoration. In fact, as discussed here, Josephus claims that it was the refusal of the Jewish leaders to pay (harmless) well-wishing, tangible homage to the Roman Emperor which was the fundamental start of their 66-70 A.D. So how much more the Christians now preaching things that did indeed denounce the Roman Emperor as a fraud/false god.
            Interestingly enough, the symbolism here is literally saying that this Red Horse rider who had been given a Great Sword (=the word of God (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12) had the mandate to take peace away from the earth to the point of men in general coming into conflict with each other. Indeed the message of the Christian Church was not to leave anyone, anywhere in a complacent corner but was to make them and their natural enemies see the vulnerability of their belief systems vs. Biblical Truths. Indeed that is exactly what Jesus said would be the backlashing consequence of His True/Full Gospel Message (Matt 10:34-36; cf. Luke 12:51-53 [cf. Luke 22:36-38, 49-52] = GC 45.3). (It can even be assumed that after the 70 A.D. destruction, the NT Church, seeing this fulfilled prophecy and thus sensing also that the end was near, dramatically increased their evangelistic and missionary efforts.)
            And so was the circumstance of the Roman Empire vs. the Christians, who by now existed in quite significant numbers in all of their territories. They naturally saw this as a most imminent and Great threat because it religiously, politically and substantively (i.e., economically) made them vulnerable in the eyes of not only their own citizens but also their surrounding enemies. And so, the only solution to this threat that the Roman saw was, as even secular history also records, expellingly dissasociate themselves from this undermining sect of Christ followers (=Acts 18:2), which then paramountly were Jewish Christians, and then later, more drastically, eradicate them. And thus began the targeted, bloody (“pre-emptive, National Security”) persecutions against them. The State responded with the only defence it knew against this ideologically and even substantively most formidable “affront”, and that was correspondingly wielding what it thought to be justified (Rom 13:4|Mark 14:48), its own “sword” (cf. The converse in Rev 13:10).
            As this era involved the most religious aspects of God’s Community, involving the full implementation of His Covenantal expectation for His righteous society throughout the world, it is fitting that it is the Ox that unseals this period revealing the State of God’s Church in the World.

Second Trumpet
Rev 8:8a - The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain being made to burn with fire was put into the sea;

a great mountain being made to burn with fire - Getting right to the studied out point here, a (great) mountain burning with fire has a OT background imagery in the state in which Mount Sinai (a.k.a. Mount Horeb) came to be when God “occupied” it, which was to enter into covenant with Israel, at which time He gave them the Ten Commandments. (Exod 19:18; 24:16-17; Deut 4:11-13; 5:4-5, 22-26; 9:10-11, 15; 10:4). What is further prophetically significant here is that Paul in Heb 12:18-24 equates it with Mount Zion, also speaking of the kind of people (interestingly dubbed in my (John) MacArthur NASB Study Bible’s sectional title as “The Glorious Company”) that would be there, which all echoes themes made in regards to Rev 14:1's Mount Zion assembly (= Rev 7:9's ‘great multitude before the throne and before the Little Lamb’; cf. Rev 15:1-3's ‘victorious people of God’). In fact the preceding section of Heb 12:12-17 which many Bible see as one unit with vss. 18-24, indeed, exegetically, “warnings of rejecting God’s Grace, draws from various (reformatory) sections of the Bible such as, e.g., vs. 12: Isa 35:3-4; vs. 13: Isa 40:1-5ff|Luke 3:3-6; vs. 14: Matt 5:8 (MB 25.1); and most notably comments in vs. 16-17 on Esau’s base rejection of the Israel Covenant blessing, (which is actually what is to be typologically repeated in the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” between those who have forsook God’s Covenant, Full Sabbath/Gospel blessing in order to assure their earthly subsistence by worshipfully adhering to Capitalism, thus taken on the Mark of the Beast (= EW 36.2; 5T 213.2-214.3)), indeed echoes themes stated in Psa 15; as to who will dwell on the Holy Mountain of the Lord, Mount Zion.
            So this statement is speaking about an entering into a covenant with God by an assembled people in this “Mount Zion”, and which is to also have worldwide geo-political affectations (= Isa 2:1-4|Mic 4:1-8), even upon independent nations (Mic 4:4-5; cf. Isa 11:9-10). Ezek 28:14, 16 also shows that the Regnal Seat of God on His Holy Mountain is set amongst fire stones.

was put into the sea - the Greek word for “put” (#906) is commonly translated as “cast/throw”, however it does not alway connote a violent throwing, but merely a ‘putting down’. However in those ca. 19 such renderings in the NASB, the underlying notion is always something done with a degree of disregard. That is disregard for either where/the context in which, the thing is then being put into, or even removed from, thus without any or fully required care (e.g., Matt 9:17; Mar 7:33), or even a certain respect (Matt 27:6). So for, example, Thomas statement in John 20:25 is crudely (i.e., vs. John 20:20), but not actually rudely, saying ‘unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and “stick” my finger into the place of the nails, and “thrust” my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ However, manifestly given the stretching discomfort, even pain, of ‘sticking his finger into the small nail hole in Christ’s hand’ vs. the larger, spear imprint (John 19:34) in Christ side, notice that Jesus only permitted Thomas to do this ‘crude sticking’ for his side. (John 20:27). So this action is referring to an indiscriminate “putting” whereas a Greek word like tithemi (#5087) implies ‘a careful placing’ (and may have some thematic relation to our English term ‘tithe’ (Greek apodekatoute (Mat 23:23|Luke 11:42 #586b), as it involves a ‘careful/counted/discriminately calculated giving’).
            So it is here expected that this mountain will be, is some aspect, ‘irrespectfully’ put into the sea. And with the symbol of the sea being representative of political groupings|divisions, then this “covenant mountain/Mount Zion of God” will then be quasi-haphazardly/unconventionally “put” within those political realms|arenas, thus without respect to those established peoples divisions.
            Also significant to this symbolism here is the imagery that Jesus gave in Matt 21:21 of a mountain being cast, through faith, into the sea. It can then be seen that great faith in God will also be needed to effectuate this mountain displacement. What is further pertinently significant about that imagery of Jesus is that it was said in relation to his just effectuated cursing of the fig tree Israel (Matt 21:18-19), which, as detailed in DA 580-588, sealed the doom and soon replacement of the Jewish People as God’s Israel. So Jesus was here effectively pointedly saying that ‘this cursing of the Jewish People’ would be nothing compared to what can/will further be done. And, as seen in History, their rejection as the Chosen People was indeed something, but the physical destruction of their kingdom was something else. So this Gospels imagery was manifestly being referred to here in Revelation to thematically indicate that ‘God can, involving a double miracle, even/further “take up” His Mount Zion from where it presently is (in Jerusalem), and “set it up/upon” the Sea. I.e., God’s Holy Nation is not limited by present physical borders, but God can set it up anywhere on earth where He wishes, even (floating) upon the waters of the Sea.
            So this symbolism also involves a displacing of God’s temporal Kingdom of Israel into another territorial realm.
            There is also a pertinent contrast with a similar action taken against Babylon (Rev 18:21 - discussed here). So, comparatively, unlike that judged Babylon, no “violence”, thus no judgement of God, is being involved in the putting this “Mount Zion” into the Sea (Political World)....
...And speaking of “Babylon”, in an also pertinent OT background to this statement in this Second Series Event, in Jer 51:25, God speaks of how He is going to end the hegemonic reign of Babylon, a Kingdom which He had effectively, momentarily converted, -through its King Nebuchadnezzar (e.g Dan 4:34-37; 7:4), to be His Instrument of ordering and punishing “terrible righteousness” in the (“First”) World then (cf. Jer 25:8-11; 27:5-6, 8; 43:10-13), by ‘pushing that then “burnt out mountain” off a cliff, presumably into the sea’...This was indeed realized when God allowed the priorly Babylon-subdued nations of the world to “overflow” Babylon (=Jer 27:7; 50:21-27ff)...Well typologically similarly God effectuated the same thing with the NT Era “Babylon”, namely the Roman Empire (=1 Pet 5:13). By allowing Christianity to unstoppably flourish in it, God came to effectively convert the heart of the Roman Empire (in ca. 313 AD.ff), through its now people who were in significant numbers Christians, or pagans who no longer opposed Christianity (and were increasingly losing influential/popular ground to it). But then, as with OT Babylon, this NT “Babylon” overreached its favoring of God as, led by Constantine the Great, it sought to politicize and enforce the observance of, moreover a heretical and paganistic form of, Christianity upon its people. So God would similarly bring that ensuingly overreaching, covenant-violating/corrupting (=“burnt out mountain”), temporal Babylon to an end, by allowing the hordes of barbaric nations that it had been subduing to politically overrun, and thus end it by ca. 476 A.D. Thus, in the ultimate manifestation, Rome’s World Peace, i.e. its “Pax Romana” was ended, virtually without a war/battle (=as also per a ‘peaceful setting of the “burnt out mountain” in the (political) sea’...where it actually continued to burn (Rev 8:8)) , and a strifeful, bloody, warring free-for-all ensued (=Rev 6:4) with those barbaric nations seeking to fill in that political/realm vacuum (See more on this (prophesied) transitioning in here at Dan 7:7b).

Probable Full/Precise Identity of “Burning Mountain” - There is a very interesting section of Biblical Scholarship that believes that Mount Sinai/Horeb, (whose actual location is still not definitely known; cf. SDABD 1043-1045; cf. this post), may have actually been a volcano, indeed, as many believe one of the existing volcanoes in northwestern Saudi Arabia (cf. Gal 4:25). If so, all of the manifested natural phenomena stated upon the covenant assembly there could indeed be fulfilled by a volcano that is (merely), seriously threatening to erupt. I have not done an indepth, by necessity, original study of the material on this topic, which has quite plausible arguments for the volcano theory. Since I also foundationally believe that God does not do anything through “hocus pocus,” but through higher science, which involves nature is some deliberate/super-natural way, I do not see anything wrong or “faithless” in seeing that God here made use of an existing, previously dormant volcano to produce this awesome, fearing effect (cf. Exod 20:18-21). Of course non-believers of different degrees will pounce on this to claim that it was not at all a miracle, but my view here, even if “naturalistic”, still involves that it was God who, at will, actuated these natural phenomena.
            A quite directly related imagery in a vision (the non-posted (19th) one referred to here), which, similar to the Rev 8:8a imagery/symbolism, showed an awesomely threatening volcano in coastal waters/seas, clinches the discussion here for me that the actual Mount Sinai/Horeb, which as seen above is related to this prophetic imagery, was manifestly a capped volcanic mountain. In other words, like pre-1980 Mount St. Helens in Washington State, prior to erupting, it looked like any other mountain. However it was actually a volcano.[12] The “fire stones” of Ezek 28:14 & 16 within which is found God’s Throne may be magna rocks, and are manifestly necessarily used to keep that fire stoked.

Rev 8:8b - and the third of the sea became blood

Rev 8:9 - and the third of the creatures which were in the sea and had “a life”, died; and the third of the ships were spoiled.

the third of... - The symbolism of one third here is similar in meaning to its previous uses as explained in the First Trumpet in Rev 8:7, it represent ‘the foremost, most prominent, chiefest part of the associated entity’.

....sea became blood - the foremost part of political entities would become vitally affected.

...sea creatures, which had “a life”, died - Creatures in the sea, (thus “salt water creatures”) represent people who live/operate in the political realm. Thus the personnel in political entities and the offices they hold. They were not merely vitally affected by “bleeding”, but actually went a step further and died. That manifestly is, as with the fish in the affected Nile (Exod 7:18, 21), by no longer having water to sustain their life. Thus, applying the symbols here, ‘foremost political entities/figures lost their previous prestige, even positions, by no longer have electing, democratic support from the people.’ Indeed the word for “life” here (#5590) is referring to the psyche, and not to merely ‘physical life’ (Gr. zoe - #2222 -cf. John 5:29; 11:25). So it is indeed here more deeply speaking of a ‘livening mentality’, rather than physical affectations. And so it is the ideology of these political entities, which indeed gave them “life” which will be affected by the effects of this Trumpet blast.

...ships were destroyed - As seen in the discussion in this post on Rev 18:9ff, this is here speaking of ‘the world’s top global trading being affected’, and that here, by being innerly made void of necessity/value.

Second Trumpet Historical (Church) Application:
            Details on how this 2nd Trumpet was fulfilled in Church History are readily seen/gleaned in the already given explanations above however, somewhat summarily restating things here, with the success of the Gospel having successfully reached, indeed with many, many (Gentile) converts, throughout particularly the ruling Roman World/Empire, it thus constituted a Spiritual “call out of Egypt” for these former pagans. And as they sought to most faithfully, fully live out their faith, they came to drastically affect the pagan and sinful culture around them, from slavery to idolatry to immorality, all as Jesus had said His Gospel message would (Luke 12:51-53). And so came the State-spearheaded, Roman, physical, persecutive back lash against Christians then to these attempts to literally/inevitably (Spiritually) set up a full covenant-entering “Mount Zion” to God amongst them. (cf. Heb 12:22-24; (EW 273.2)). The Roman response to these most “detrimental” and tangible affectations was: ‘no within my Empire’. And so for ca. 200 years Christianity was outlawed and viciously attempted to be uprooted. However as this backlash only fulfilled Christ’s warnings, it only resulted in more people seeing that it was indeed truth and also exposed the Roman Empire as inherently weak as its religion and great power could not freely convince such people to adhere to them.
            In short, the Second Trumpet Era Historically spoke of how God’s Kingdom came to be established within the existing geo-political realm then and how it then naturally, drastically affected the “chiefest” of political and economical entities therein.

Second Trumpet Temporal (Kingdom) Application:
            As seen throughout this blog, coming to fully understand God’s Sabbatical Truth and duly entering into this Full Covenant with Him, leads one to clearly see the great evil of Capitalism and how it is responsible for many needless and senseless, various premature deaths in our world. Stemming from that Covenantal understanding come the tangible necessities to do something to oppose and counteract this Devil-inspired, Full Spiritual Babylonian, and quite ‘Overmasteringly Deluding’, Evil. And so have been birth the, prophetically ratified/confirmed, tangible plans of the NJK Project. As setting up this Biblical Christian Society in the midst of the existing world countries will surely cause sharp conflict with governments, given that the NJK’s objectives are essentially completely opposed to what those of countries, there came to be the tangible need to ‘set up the dwelling places of this New Country in, geo-politically, jurisdictionally-open, International Waters’ (Dan 11:45). And so this Spiritual Covenant that is to be ratified on the Eschatological Mount Sinai/Horeb will indeed be put into the sea, i.e., on this world’s political realm thus establishing God’s Mount Zion. Interestingly enough, in a similar “Two Mounts” way, after Ancient Israel had received the Covenant at Mount Sinai/Horeb, this was not to be the end of their missions. They still had to secure a land for them to dwell in and flourish as God’s Nation (cf. Deut 2:3). So after Mount Sinai/Horeb, there was still a Mount Zion to conquered and settle. Similarly here, with the NJK Project, after these glorious and full religious understanding into the Law of God , there still is the need to tangibly implement these understandings. (= EW 285.2 & 286.1).
            As the chiefest of the world’s political and economic entities will be ideologically, and thus substantively, affected by this concrete establishment of the NJK Project, then a certain desperate backlash, as variously already pre-emptively experienced, will surely, more fully occur then. However the God who will judge this ‘Full-Sabbath-of-God’ opposing Babylon and defend His faithful People is indeed “strong” (Rev 18:8).

            What is most interesting and significant about this related themes of a habitable floating cities being this “sea of glass” is that an erupting volcano can naturally come to produce quite habitable, even most exotically beautiful islands. The magma/lava that is spewed out of these volcanoes, when they cool form, actually choice, igneous (= “fire”) rock land, which indeed is the composition of 95% of the Earth’s crust. Interestingly enough this magma, (like in glass vs. crystal) either “crystalizes” or does not. These formations are known as “volcanic islands” and the most notable of these are the Hawaiian Islands.  (See here for the recently created (12/19/11) land mass in the Red Sea by a volcanic eruption.)
            As also seen in this dedicated post of Daniel 2, this prophetic imagery and understanding perfectly dovetails with the vision of Dan 2 where ‘a rock detached without hands [i.e., ‘without the tangible means of doing things’] from a first mountain (Dan 2:45, which is representative of the distinct, and primarily set up, Mount Zion), after smashing down the ‘Great Image of worldly kingdoms’, itself becomes a (second) great mountain and fills the Earth. (Dan 2:35b). -With the effectuating “stone” (Dan 2:34) being ultimately symbolic of “cornerstone” truth of the person of Christ (Matt 16:16-19) and His Full Gospel message (see e.g., Luke 6:46-49; 10:25-28; Matt 22:34-40) which are truly both observed when he and it are fully obeyed (cf. Matt 7:21-24; 25:45). As it is here Biblically understood that this “Second Mountain” typologically represents the temporal “refuge” habitations for the Great Multitude (Rev 7:9ff) stemming from the Religio-Temporal Kingdom work of Mount Zion congregation, the 144,000 (Rev 7:3-8 & 14:1-5) who will be endeavoring to truly and fully live according to those two “Cornerstone Truths” towards both God and their Neighbor, -and thus all fulfilling Dan 11:45, then it is concretely/applicably understood that this Second Mountain is symbolically a volcano which comes to form those needed habitable lands in the sea through (naturally) volcanic island forming activities.[13]

SDA Church Specific Application - Preaching the key Sealing and Shaking, Everlasting Covenant-founding Truth of God’s Full Sabbatical Truth will actually bring about a storm of persecution against the proclaimants. That is indeed the natural man’s reaction against Christ’s Sword of Truth. Yet God has revealed the place of refuge that He has prepared for those who are faithful to His Full Sabbath and Gospel Message here.

Second Plague
Rev 16:3 - The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and of itself it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.

            As it is overall intrinsic in the Eschatological Trumpets and Plagues pairing, the first-transpiring Trumpets provide related a call and instructions for a convocation, warning of judgement and of War. As seen in the Jericho episode, when they are sounded, after ample demonstrative warning, they do provide a limited blow upon the adversely targeted entity. With the Plagues covering the same grounds as the Trumpets, it is however seen that they, like the Judgement Plagues in Egypt (who were all preceded by a clear warning of judgement by Moses), come to deal a final blow on the matter at hand.
            This two-part and heightened “blow” is most vividly seen in these Second Trumpet and Plague. Whereas the Second Trumpet limited its damage to ‘the third’ and to “creatures” (= “entities”), the Second Plague ‘takes no prisoners’ and most pointedly inflicts its related damage. And so, the ‘blood of the sea’ here is said to be “like that of a dead man”. This manifestly is indicative of the fact that the affectation then will in that final judging form, be made to, as with the first Plague, personally/physically affect men themselves rather than merely entities/institutions. Indeed it is really men and women who come to make those entities “behave” as the unrighteously and lawless do. So under the Plagues they are pointedly the object of that inflicted final judgement. And as the result of that heightened Second Plague, “every living this in the sea” i.e., not only the chiefest parts (“one-third”) are most vitally affected.
            Here will evidently be God’s judgement against any political entity in those “seas” that try to oppose the political establishment of His Mountain/Kingdom. (= Isa 54:14-17)

Second Thunder - Judah/Israel Sealing and Sifting/Shaking
Eze 8:1ff - Abominations in the Temple
Eze 9:1ff - The Slaughter of the Idolaters
Eze 10:1ff - God's Glory Leaves Jerusalem
Eze 11:1ff - Judgment on Wicked Counselors
Eze 11:14ff - God Will Restore Israel
Eze 12:1ff - Judah's Captivity Portrayed
Eze 12:17ff - Judgment Not Postponed
Eze 13:1ff - False Prophets Condemned
Eze 14:1ff - God's Judgments Justified
Eze 15:1ff - The Useless Vine
Eze 16:1ff - God's Faithless Bride
Eze 16:59ff - An Everlasting Covenant
Eze 17:1ff - The Two Eagles and the Vine
Eze 17:22ff - Israel Exalted at Last
Eze 18:1ff - Individual Retribution
Eze 19:1ff - Israel Degraded

Third Trumpet & Plague
The proper carrying out of the work of God requires constant vigilance, but God’s people
can, for various pleasing reasons become “moronically” complacent, -preferring to look at a/the surface rather than doing a deeper and Spiritual pondering, and tellingly so, it is under the Third’s in Revelation’s (Historical) Series, (Churches|Seals|Trumpets), the setting up of the (albeit permissively purposeful (cf. Rev 17:17)) prophetic Babylonian System and its “Captivity” which will last until the 2011+ times of Rev 18:4, is set up. (cf. GC 50.1-2)

Internal State of Church: (Third Church - Rev 2:12-17 [313-538 A.D.]) - For the key developments and implications involved in this era when indeed the Word and Teachings/Instructions of God were compromised/“spiritually adulterated” and Spiritual Babylon was born and, as long, wisely-expectedly planned by God (Dan 7:7ff = 2 Thess 2:3-6ff; see here), seamlessly took over for Political Babylon (i.e., Rome -1 Peter 5:13), -manifestly all to further test the genuineness of faith of these professed believers (cf. Gen 22:12; Luke 4:1ff; Heb 11:6), it is the one (Rev 1:16) who has the ‘deeply cutting and clearly exposing’ (Heb 4:11-13) “sharp two-edged sword” (Pro 5:1-4, 5-6ff; cf. Eph 6:17 = Isa 49:1-7ff|Rev 19:15) which addresses this Church Era. (Rev 2:12)

Summative Intro - The Church of God has, at the implicitly “imposed” cost for ending State persecutions, come to increasingly compromise the various teachings and principles that had priorly made it so hated by the world (John 15:18-25, cf. 7:1-7). Indeed the Church tacitly accepting that people in the Roman Government|Empire were now to forcefully become Christians was the first step towards this Exile into this long known “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13a). And by having allowed the State to have an authoritative say in Church Affairs, they had come to, for the first time, give over the Throne of authority in the NT Church to Satan himself (Rev 2:13); -a then predominantly secular throne which he would advantageously/conveniently soon give over to the then fully corrupted Religious leadership of the Church once it, through its accrued ‘unbiblical ways of thinking’ and forcefully overruled powers (= 7 Heads & 10 (crowned) Horns), had actually self-established/placed itself in this position. (Rev 13:1-3).
            What is interesting to see in the content of all of those related 3rd Series events is that, while Religious corruption is the major theme, the common, inceptive, underlying cause/reason for these corruptions is money, a, moreover, covetous, love/lust for individual gain and wealth, leading to perverting the word and principles of God towards achieving this base end. (= 1 Tim 6:3-11; cf. 1 Tim 3:1-3) instead of fully/wholly trusting in the ‘faultless provision of the Lord’ (Heb 13:5-6|Psa 118:5-14ff; cf. Matt 10:28).
            And so, this religiously unscrupulous lust for money and wealth is the major objection that God has with the Church at this newly entered into time of physical peace, when indeed now, for the first time since its establishment the Church (1) is neither, rightly, entirely consumed with helping others in need and spreading the Gospel message as with the First, Apostolic Church Age, nor (2) being ruthlessly persecuted, being systematically marginalized and dispossessed, if not killed, and thus having to be fugitives and hide, but instead is now in a state of peace, even State favor, and thus bound to enter for the first time into an Era of great material prosperity.[14]
Nicolaitans’ Teaching - And on top of this God-distrusting-money-lusting (Matt 6:19-24; Luke 12:22-34) was the philosophically keyly related ‘Gnostical & Licentious “No Law”’ Nicolaitan belief/teaching that: (a) ‘whatever they do to please the “flesh” is of no consequence, as long as they mentally believe’ and (b) that ‘God’s law could be selectively ignored and altered’ (cf. SDABD 794-795; SDABC 7:957 [PDF p.6549] [15]), a belief that, as seen in the many contra-gnosticism and Law upholding statements in the writings of Paul was indeed “hated” (‘as God also did’ cf. Heb 1:9) from Apostolic times (Rev 2:6 = First Church Era). However now, in this Third Church Era, is was no longer hated, but had now been ‘“taken hold of/seized” by some’ (Rev 2:15). And so this gave them spiritual licence to indifferently live lives of insatiable covetousness and non-contentment (1 Tim 6:3-11) particularly by those who had the “power” to do so, which then was the Church’s leadership. (contra. Inspired counsel in 1 Tim 3:1-3).
            As depicted in Christ’s “Threatened Unjust Manager” in Luke 16:1-13 it similarly is in order to self-assure their subsistence at the threat of losing their compensated position that these Church leaders, contrarily, greedily sought to exact more than enough from the Church laity contrary to all clear counsel of Christ, Paul and the rest of the Bible. So it is Spiritually most fitting that it is the episode of the OT prophet Balaam that is related in this prophetic segment (Rev 2:14), due to his base ‘love of the wages of unrighteousness’ (2 Pet 2:15; Jude 1:11) and “covetousness” (PP 439.2, 5; -Satan’s, still most subtly effective, “ace-in-the-hole”, deception for God’s elect. EW 266-269).

The Teaching of Balaam - In reading through the entire Balaam episode in Num 22-24, especially as inspiredly, and thus as predominantly normative, enlightingly/insightfully, “filled in” by the SOP account (PP 438-452)[16] Upon reading through this account(s) it is seen that the “teaching of Balaam” involved making obedience to the word and will of God subject to money and gain. Even worse, Balaam, (who was actually quite sincere in his genuine Biblical  prophetic ministry (cf. PP 439.2)), though he went through great effort to conceal his true greed motives, had the fundamental belief that a suddenly presented opportunity to make money must somehow come to sway even God’s previously expressed will. And so, though he knew that God’s Israel was ultimately going to triumph, as several statements in the already written book of Genesis showed (Gen 3:15; 12:1-3; 15:5-20; 49:8-10; 50:24), he, probably knowing that Israel (i.e., the adults) had been condemned to die in the wilderness, manifestly, basely thought that God had not considered this most “opportune opportunity” to effectuate this destruction through Balak. However he should also have known that God had already, and with finality, “[been] turned down from such a possibility’ (Num 14:12, 20-23ff) and so now He indeed ‘would not, as a fickle man, neither change His mind on this already settled matter’ (cf. Num 23:19). God was also certainly not going to ‘turn over’ the judgement of Israel to a foreign, pagan king/nation, particularly one who did not at all fully/truly fear Him, even at all, for an invading and conquering army such as these ‘utterly scared Moabites’ (Num 22:1-6) would surely endeavor to not leave any ‘reestablishing trace’ of Israel and thus not allow the non-condemned ‘20 and under’ children in Israel to go free (nor any woman as they could reproduce this ‘holy/blessable seed’), but would instead either also kill them or enslave them.[17] And so God certainly, indeed ‘did not listen to the (greed-motivated) indifferent suggestion of Balaam,’ (Deut 23:4-5; Josh 24:8-9; Mic 6:5), ‘for Israel was [actually], (i.e., in an ultimate sense) blessed” (Num 22:12). Meaning that if any other waywardness, (indeed as immediately next transpired in the ‘idolatrous-immoral’ affair of Baal of Peor in Num 25 [and at Balaam’s own facilitating “counsel” (see Num 31:8; 16; Jos 13:22; cf. Ant. 4:6.13 #157)]; which probably then involved many of the previously spared, and now grown/over 20, youth), would be committed by Israel, God would, through a preserved righteous remnant, even if of only one, as with Moses (Exod 32:10; Num 14:12), come to accomplish this World Redeeming Messianic Triumph (cf. Ezek 36:22-38).
            So, at an even deeper level, the inceptively most dangerous “teaching of Balaam” in that Third Church era here (313-538 A.D.) was he (a) believed that ‘what God had clearly said should not be done, could actually be questioned and challenged instead of being categorically rejected and shunned, and (b) that the prospect of gain and wealth was a perfectly good reason for such a course.
            And that is how “unnecessary stumbling block” came to be strewn all over the path of this Church era and gradually, the people did, and that continually, stumble over them, especially, as indeed as in Balaam’s case, rewards of money/wealth and populous/worldly honor/acceptance were also dangled before them. Indeed as seen in the “report card” of succeeding (Fourth) Church Historical Era, the “stumbling blocks” of mainly “eating things sacrificed to idols” and committing acts of immorality” that was sown and planted during this Era (Rev 2:14) gradually, and most detrimentally, took a hold and then grew deep roots within the Christian Church (Rev 2:20; cf. 17:2; 18:3, 9; see EW 210.1-211.1). And so, as seen with the similarly ‘idolatrous’ and ‘immoral’ main sins of prosperous King Solomon (1 Kgs 11:1-14ff; 23ff), in direct contradiction to explicit Law (Deut 17:17a) and, sanctimoniously, in order to try to gain favor, even conversions, from the then surrounding pagan nations around Israel (see PK 52.2-54.2ff), this sanctioned creeping compromise came to be the radical inherent and adjudged downfall of God’s Israel (cf. 1 Kgs 11:28-40; 12:15).

two-edged sword - So in the light of what was going to be dealt with in this Church age, it is most fitting that,  as referenced earlier, this ‘greed-controlled, Compromising Church’ is actively and warringly (Rev 2:16) confronted by ‘the One with a two-edged sword’ (= Rev 19:15), for as seen in Heb 4:12 this “sword” is to be used to ‘pierce as far as the division of psyche and “spirit”, of both joints and marrow, and in order to be able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.’[18]

hidden manna - Also “loadedly” quite significant here is the mention/allusion to manna in the promise to this Church age. As the fundamental fault in this Church age is not trusting God enough in regards to their material subsistence and thus giving in to the base conditions of the world for even basic gain/livelihood, Jesus here promises to give them the supernatural food of manna. And not merely manna, but the hidden manna, which is allusive to the pot of manna that was hidden in the Ark of the Covenant (Exod 16:32-34; Heb 9:4). Since manna is antitypically spiritually representative of: ‘doing the works of God by fully believing/doing the “Sealed” Gospel Message and Works of Christ’ (John 6:26-38ff, 48-58ff) and since it is also used to test the believers trust in God’s everyday provision for their basic life needs (Deut 8:3; cf. Matt 4:3, 4), and is all related to ‘wealth and the power to gain wealth’ (Deut 8:16-18), then it is indeed seen how this is most significant to the pivotal circumstances of this Third Church Age. And how many Christians still today, and that pervasively so, fall in this key area here by selling-out themselves, Gospel Truth and Principles, for even merely basic subsistence, let alone the extreme of “filthy lucre” (= ‘love of money’) even, and most reprimandful, amongst the Church leadership (1 Tim 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7; 1 Pet 5:2). Indeed the reason why Capitalistic principles and practices are espoused and various implemented in Christianity, and even within the SDA Church, is, sanctimoniously, indeed as with Balaam, ‘a careful seeking to hide the true/actual motive of greed’, out of a claimed necessity to ‘provide the (very) basic necessities of life.’
            However the Promise here to this Church Age comprehensively is that those who instead faithfully adhere to the Gospel principles of Christ, indeed by seeking to fully do its works and not selfishly first seek to provide for themselves, will be given of the “hidden manna”. Thus key concealed ‘spiritual insights in regards to God’s Law and Everlasting Covenant.’ It is these self-disinterested ones who will be Sealed by God and Glorious Triumph, as God will, as with the manna, temporally provide for them in their transitional/journeying period until they can provide from the provided promises of God. (Exod 16:35; Jos 5:12).

white stone - Succinctly said in regards to this special ‘white “pebble”’ (Gr. psephon) from its uses in the Bible (including the LXX), those who are faithful to Christ’s Full Gospel in the light of this religio-economic trial, indeed who have ‘held fast to Christ’s name, and did not deny His faith, even in the face of death (Rev 2:13)’; will be given a deciding vote/ballot (Acts 26:10; cf 4 Macc 15:26), thus with which they will be able to decide judgement (Matt 25:31-46) (cf. Matt 19:27-30, -context of wealth (Matt 19:16-26) & Luke 22:28-30, -context of greatness (Luke 22:24-27)).

concealed new name on pebble - the given of a new name by God, as seen in the Bible, most notably with Jacob (Gen 32:24-29; 35:9-12), is involved during an exalting by God (cf. Heb 1:3b-4; Phil 2:1-11). And so those who will successfully go through the eschatological time of Jacob’s trouble will similarly be exalted and correspondingly given a new name, representing their newly achieve/triumphing “character”. (As it gradually/eventually came to fully occur with “Peter”. Matt 16:17-19 |DA 412.2-4).

to the Triumphing Ones - As the key symbols in regards to the One engaging this Compromising, Mark-of-the-Beast-basis accepting Church, and the resulting Triumphant ones are all described as those in the GC Deciding, cavalier army from heaven of Rev 19:11-15 [all, even at this Third Church Age stage, pointedly couched in the symbolism of Christ’s “quick/rapidly coming” Advent (Rev 2:16 = 22:7, 12], which includes allusions to Jacob’s wrestling incident, including the explicit mention of the non-named name, actually title, of Gen 32:29 (= Rev 19:15), a “title” which, by implication, is however, by making allusion to “the thigh”, ascribed to an Eschatological victorious Jacob (= Rev 3:12b; cf. 3:21), then it is seen that that Rev 19:11-15 army will be composed of the Triumphant Ones from this Church, who indeed come to, from then on, separate themselves from the now apostate mainline Church, and thus escape its further apostasying and eventual downfall.
            And most relatedly, as the final judgement of all will be on the basis described in Matt 25:31-46, it is not surprising that the Second Coming-allusive “quickly/rapidly coming statement” with its associated rewards (Rev 22:12) is, as shown in DA 641.4, drawn from Pro 24:11-12, which there shows that a ‘weighing of the heart’ will be done to see who was indifferently ignoring people in need. And so the two-edged sword of Heb 4:12 cited for this Church will indeed need to be unsheathed and applied to determine one true heart-intent/knowledge here. (cf. DA 639.3)

State of the Church in the World: (Third Seal - Rev 6:5-6 - Man)
Not surprisingly, fittingly, it is the Living Creature with the Face of a Man, which is
concerned with socio-economic interactions, who is involved with the Third Seal. However, as seen above in the Third Church (Pergamum), by/in this time, the Church had internally become corrupt. In the Seals focus on the state of the Church in the world, a black horse is now its depictively ominous representation. The Sword of the Second Seal’s horse rider is now replaced by a scale which are used for “weighing” (Ezek 5:1) which is synonymous with judging/evaluating. (Cf. e.g., Isa 40:12; Dan 5:27).
            Skipping a thorough discussion of the actually readily observable details here, as the many key thematic, textual and lexical indications show, the express background for Rev 6:5-6's Third Seal is Ezek 45:10-15.[19] The context of that Second Temple instruction by God (Ezek 45:7-17) is to pre-emptively check and prevent the exaction greed oppressions and abuses that had occurred in Israel before by the ruling princes of the land (i.e., leaders in each tribe) (See Ezek 22:27; 1 Kgs 21; cf. Isa 5:8; Deut 19:14; 27:17; Hos 5:10; Mic 2:1-2).

            Psychologically key to this material thievery and extortions, is, as pointed reflected in Rev 6:5-6, the abuses that these princes did in regards to the more overtly religious collection of the ‘contribution/heave (i.e., fund-raising) offering’ [Strong’s #8641] (Ezek 45:10-16; cf. Exod 25:2-3; 29:28; 35:5), which was used to provide “portion” subsistence for them as, being full-time “public servants”, they had to make their daily living for their family from ‘the people’. Thus from the people’s grain, burnt and peace offering, these princes were to measure out a exactly prescribed portion for themselves. In fact, their using “false balances” here to increase their personal portion was actually not merely robbing the people (thus, unbeknownst to them, spiritually, making their offerings deficient and thus inadequate, but they were actually robbing God (cf. Mal 3:8-12)). And these thieving priest probably did not reciprocate from these offerings for the major feasts offerings as they were supposed to (Ezek 45:17-18) but just continued to take from the people. And given that this ‘subsistence contribution’ was to be taken from regular “mandatory” and not optional “freewill”, then these princes really did not have any fear that they would, or could later on not have enough to live on if the people did not bring an offering. So them taking more than what was ordered from each offering was thus purely out of greed and not any, or merely, ‘a preemptive/protective act to assure their livelihood’. Ironically enough, in order to assure their livelihood, these princes had just to most properly do their assigned public duties, which probably also included seeing that the people were spiritually well informed and knowledgeable and also faithful in especially understanding the ‘atoning’ need for these ceremonial offerings (cf. Ezek 45:17), the source of their “contribution”. Nonetheless, rightly inculcating this underlying Spiritual reason could be perverted and instead fallaciously used to manipulate the people into giving more than they actually had to as it was variously done in/by Jesus’ time.
            Indeed, as seen in Jesus’ most forceful reformatory actions in regards to abuses on, inclusively, the yearly census “contribution offerings” (=Exod 30:12-16) [see John 2:14-17 (cf. DA 155.1-2) & Matt 21:12-13 (cf. 589.1)], this thievery was indeed quasi-intrinsically common in Israel, indeed ‘transforming God’s “house of prayer”, (and the evangelistic/missionary implication in that pointedly quoted Isa 56:6-8 title, into a den of thieves instead. Indeed, at these great feasts of Israel, other nations would witness the mass pilgrimage “exodus” of Israelites to Jerusalem (cf. Acts 2:5-11), even joining themselves to them, and in the process witnessing the great Religious Economy of Israel and learning/comprehending the significant Great Controversy purposes of these major feast. As it naturally transpired when the thieves were expelled from God’s house, those in need were then able to be physically and spiritual blessed in God’s House. (Matt 21:14)
            A similar outreach work is to be done today through Church Institutions, however as with the thieving self-serving and greedy princes and priests of Ancient Israel, these Church institutions are instead operated to make profit and be of service to only those who can afford its capitalistically exorbitant “market” prices. And so the purpose and mission of these institution is drastically swallowed up in the fundamental self-seeking, and naturally resulting shades of competitive in-fighting, that is inherent with this institutional “token”, ‘self-serving’,‘king like the surrounding nations’ and cosmetic/‘in name only’, -all instead of ‘according to God’s/Christ Full Gospel mandate’, establishment and operational approach.
Thievery in the Christian Church - And so, this ‘leadership thievery’ was indeed the end result of the compromising church.
            So it was to be expected that, even also out of such a believed righteous approach/reason for doing this, that the Third Christian Church Era’s approach soon became, first Theologically  perverted. This laid the foundation for what was later to full-blownly explode as overt Church and Clerical Socio-economic abuses and directly led to Martin Luther’s “protesting” and the Reformation. The Religious foundation of corruption that was laid then, with indeed around 517, at the Council of Epaon (in Burgundy, France), allowing “the payment of fixed sums of money depending on the various kinds of offences”; known as “tariff penances”, indeed “justifiably” done “due to the changing times and social conditions of Christians” gradually later became the, appropriately enough, the teaching/rite/sacrament of “indulgences”. And it was under that false teaching/practice that more than what was necessary for Churches and (some directly self-serving) Church Institutions (vs. missionary/outreach ministry and humanitarian ones) was exacted from the people. And of course the priests took out a considerable portion for their own personal gain. Probably seeing, especially by then, that the Church laity was living quite comfortably and prosperously, the Church Leadership, even out of probably at first, a “zeal” for God’s House/work, however, unbiblically resorted to this exacting of more from the people. This was all an “unbiblical” approach because, as seen when God was going to build His Sanctuary, He did not exact more, but just made a call for a freewill offering from the people. (Exod 35:4-9). Even skilled labor was to be a freewill contribution (Exod 35:10ff) Indeed those who really cared to see the prospering of God’s Work would cheerfully contribute to this cause. (Exod 35:20-29).
            And to fasten the people in this scheme, unbiblical theologies came to be formulated. Manifestly, the notion of “making an atonement for oneself” of Exod 30:14-15|Ezek 45:17b, which as seen in the ASV/KJV-based expression in DA 155.1, it was, perhaps even knowingly/indifferently, understood as a ‘a ransom for one’s soul’, i.e., ‘a price to pay to rescue one’s (supposed) “eternal soul” from (also supposed) “interim hell punishment”. Indeed this key fundamental ideology was derivedly instituted then, when, warningly enough, the honor, respect and favor-seeking Church allowed the pure doctrinal teachings of the Christ to be theologically diluted and corrupted by pagan and humanistic philosophy and ideology, such as, most pertinently, grace not being a free gift, the eternal soul and the Greco-Roman understanding of Hades, resulting in such false practices.
:           And just as the foundational religious aspects for the Antichrist/Man of Sin/Beast Power was laid in this Third Church Era, its also involved evil socio-economic aspects were also planted then. This eventually led to the reactionary creation of (Protestant) Capitalism to quite mirroringly provide personal wealth and gain for the laity themselves (cf. here).
            Of course to prevent the laity from finding out the truth of the matter in such affairs, which was however merely seen as a justified effort to prevent the uneducated laity from coming to false understandings, the Bible was increasingly removed from the hands of the people and left to be read, studied and expounded, only by the priests. And those who also could have helped avoid the deviancing here in this period of compromising, namely the Church Fathers, who were the theologians/scholars/teachers of the Church then, were, interestingly enough, egoistically distractedly preoccupied with conjecturingly concocting another, any-but-exegetical, fanciful allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures. (Just like, as discussed here, it is popularly/acceptedly the case today in the SDA Church during this period of the Ezek 8 & 9 consummation of the Church’s Shaking).

voice from midst of Living Creatures - God however had something to say against, pointedly, this planted root of, eventually/ultimately, socio-economic abuse and thievery. For all that God has involved in His “Bible Religion”, as seen in the two divisions of the Ten Commandments, and also the Sabbath, ultimately also has the aim of perfecting interpersonal, socio-economic interactions amongst men. So as it is God’s throne that is in the midst of the Living Creatures (Ezek 1:26; 10:1 [=Psa 99:1b; 80:1; Exod 25:22; 1 Sam 4:4]; Rev 4:6), it is He who decrees the next “price setting” statements.

God’s price setting - The text, being lexically linked to Ezek 45:13-14, exegetically means: ‘one ephah of wheat for/from (i.e. costing) a denarius’ and ‘three ephahs barley for/from (i.e. costing) a denarius’. This, (including the also cited “oil and wine”), was the main/common/abundant staple of food for people, (-especially pertinently here in/for ‘God’s (health-conscious) “Israel”’ (e.g., Deut 7:13; 11:14; 28:51, 2 Chr 32:28; Hos 2:8, 22; Joel 2:19; cf. Hag 1:11 -see pointedly for barley: Num 5:15; Judg 7:13; 2 Kgs 4:42; Ezek 4:12; John 6:9; 13). And with the denarius being the wage for a day’s labour (see Matt 20:1-16), and as taught by the Christ-representing “landowner” in that manifestly thematically alluded to, parable: ‘equivalent, for actually any capably fully contributed amount/time of work’, it was symbolically being stated by God what the common price should be for all. And with approximating calculations based on such factors as Exod 16:16 that one omer of manna per day per person was deemed sufficient by God for subsistence, and with Exod 16:36 showing that this 1 omer was equivalent to one-tenth of an ephah, along with the fact that (see main factor-label unit conversion work in this note[20] but other calculations not posted):

-an ephah had a volume of 5.81 U.S. gallons (USG) [see SDABC 1:167 (PDF p.131)]:
=thus 1 omer = .581 USG
-264.2 gallons = 1 cubic meter (m3)
=thus 1 cubic meter = 454 omers or 1 omer = .002 m3
-wheat has density of 790kg/m3
-and e.g., 2 slices of whole wheat bread weighs 78g
-a (typical semi-thick-sliced) loaf contains 18 slices, thus weighs 702g
-2 slices (i.e., a sandwich) can be used for a most basic, subsistence lunch/meal.

            And with wheat having a calorific value of ca. 360 kcal/100g in order to meet the health recommended health (male/adult) value of 2500 kcal per day, (generalizingly speaking here) an (adult, male) person would have to eat 18 slices of this whole wheat bread per day (thus ca. one common loaf).
            Therefore one ephah would contain 17.37 kg (17,370 grams) of wheat, thus an equivalent of ca 25 loaves (of 450 slices), thus enough for 75 calorifically sufficient meals (i.e. a serving of 6 slices), and thus 25 days of food at 3 such meals per day. And with the less rich barley, (which mathematically is indeed about 3-4 times less nutritional than equivalent amount of wheat, hence its greater portions in Rev 6:6b) with its density of ca. 609 kg/m3 having similar food production/supply results, it can overall be seen that, quite contrary to the common surface (SDA-BC [PDF p.6585]) presuming/assuming or inaccurately reckoned claim that these prices and measurement was to indicate a scarcity, God was instead explicitly stating what He accurately knew was the price of wheat and barley should most abundantly be, indeed in these peaceful and prosperous times of the Church, for the wage of simply 2 days of work (= 2 denarii) could/should purchase 1 ephah of wheat and 3 ephah of barley thus providing ca. 100 days, worth of food for one person. (Thus: about 25 days for a family of four having one wage earner; 8 days for an also single-worker household of the symbolically/“ideally” size (for Israel) of twelve people. This would also mean that one worker daily earned enough to feed ca. 50 people per day, thus e.g./i.e., ‘his family of four and 46 other persons in need per day’, or, ‘his family of twelve and 38 other people in need’. And if there was no one in need to take care of, this all meant that he only had to work ca. 2 days per week to provide food for his family of 12, with even one day of food for 12 left over.
            Moreover, proratedly more specific here, if this family of twelve were composed of two (non-sedentarily active) parents and (similarly active) 5 boys and 5 girls as children aged 19 and under (cf. Num 14:29, 31), each being evenly, and, gender-wise, also alternatively, spaced 2 years apart, (for extreme computations, a boy being the first child born) resulting in an average per person calorific need of 1323 kcal per day for that entire family, then, at a minimum, actually 9 extra days would be available for a demographically similarly composed 12-person group, (and ca. 5 days for a group of highest extreme of ‘12 physically active male adults’).
            And as a normative work week was up to six days of work, then the wages earned from the other 4 days could be used to provide other things than this food necessity, and obviously buy other complimentary foods, including, if applicable, feed for domestic farm animals.
            This bread/food subsistence abundance of pointedly ‘two out of 6 days per week being enough for an ‘Israelite ideal’ family of 12’ thus a 3 to 1 value ratio (with actually one extra day’s worth of food), was similar to the fact that, as discussed here, in God’s instituted sabbatical land rest (Exod 23:10-11), one year of harvest would “miraculously” provide food for the next 3 years, and also, simultaneously and distinctly/independently be providing for the needs of the poor (Lev 25:18-22), In fact with such related notions of ‘miraculous subsistence’; and that with socio-economic benevolence opportunity, and also with Exod 23:11 similarly, appendedly involving ‘wine’ (from the “vineyard”) and ‘oil’ (from the “olive grove”), there indeed seems to be a spiritual association with God price setting in Rev 6:5-6 and God’s Sabbatical land rest law, which, indeed as discussed here, was key in avoiding the Babylonian Captivity/Exile of God’s Israel. And, as also discussed in that post, this all indeed finds a correspondence to the evils and harms of the ‘Full Sabbath of God’ usurping system of Capitalism, which indeed was being religiously set up during this Third Church Era, with the seed for the subsequently derived socio-economic implications also being planted then.
            So God was here trying to clearly state what the price of food should be, and in spiritual terms, this was stating that the “word of God” was actually more than enough for everyone, even the “poor in spirit” (Matt 5:3). Even those who “hungered and thirst” for righteousness then, those who wanted to do what is right but were spiritually being starved and impoverished also were suffering then. This ‘true-value pricing of God’ was all spiritually quite contrary to the practice of the Church leadership then. In fact, the manifestly also high prices imposed for the basic, temporal subsistence then, in this now Church and State united world Empire, was probably being artificially done in the light of the great inflation that had occurred during the ‘unpayable public debt/budget and resulting devalued money’ economic crisis of the Third century (235–284 AD) (see here), all inherited by Constantine in the early/mid 4th century. [There indeed is really nothing new under the sun, just a varying manifestation of the old!!] Indeed, no doubt all spoken upon in God’s clarion proper price-setting call in Rev 6:6, due to this monetary/economic crisis, “the nearly pure silver coin, the denarius, used for 300 years, was gone.” God was instead stating that, as it is the case today in Capitalistic Market economies, prices were actually being artificially highly set, as there was much more actual production that could be achieved. And that maintained market value most foundationally was/is because in God’s own “Israel” Economy, there is no inflation, particularly as there is no (internal) usage of usury/interest (Exod 22:25; Lev 25:35, 36; Deut 23:19; cf. Ezek 18:8, 17; 18:13; 22:12; Deut 23:20; Pro 18:8). So initial prices always procure the same amount/weight of commodity/supply.
            This crisis in the economy probably greatly, and/or grossly exaggeratedly so, contributed to the persecutions of Christian who were probably blamed in some part for part of the economic/commercial non-productivity, adding to the inflation of prices, for as, as discussed above in the Second Church Era, their “Sharp-Sword” Gospel message sharply cut across, and “chopped down”, many of the lucrative ideologies and sinful practices in the Empire then. So both the sanctioning of Christianity on one hand, but also allowing “converted” pagans to continue their condemned practices (e.g., idol worship), would solve the problem of both of those sides, though Constantine would later (in ca. 331-336 A.D.) confiscate gold, silver and bronze statues from pagan temples to melt them for coins, -manifestly those statues that had not been assimilated in the Christian Church’s worship, [yet these statues could be rebuilt with cheaper materials]). And so this was, probably for those inclusive reasons, also thus indifferently done in this Church Era, and, as normative, with the Pagan side eventually influentially coming to have the upper hand.
            The same Religio-Economic ‘indifferent compromise’ occurs in Capitalism as (Protestant) Christians, in order to self-fulfill their fundamental belief that being materially wealth is a sign of God’s favor, even of one’s salvation, they, as seen in, pointedly the spearheading, “Christian Nation”/‘City on a Hill’ (i.e., ~Matt 5:14)- claiming country of the United States of America, don’t mind making money from (a) any (legalized) sinful industries and practices and/or (b) through unbiblical, greed/selfish means, all to keep their spurious economy “healthy”. Indeed the impetus is: “just make money”.
wheat-barley-oil...wine - An interesting substitution is made between the four main food products mentioned in Rev 6:5-6 Divine price-setting, and those which are mentioned in the OT background of Ezek 45:13-16 to provide for the ‘contribution offering’ from the people’s grain, burnt and peace offerings. While the wheat (vs. 13a), barley (vs. 13b) and oil (vs. 14) are repeated in Revelations Third Seal, the sheep of (vs. 15a) is replaced with wine in Rev 6:6b. With Jesus having shown that “wine” is symbolic of both (new, overarching) Theology (= Intellectual/Mental Ideology) (Matt 9:17) [versus Doctrines (= (bodily-incorporated Beliefs, thus tangible/actualized Practices, (Matt 26:26; cf. here)) = flesh (John 6:26-58)]; and Atonement (= Sin Eradicating Ceremony) (Matt 26:27-29; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25) cf. John 6:53-58 = Lev 17:11b; as (new, i.e., Eternal) life is in the (new) blood (Lev 17:11a)) of/in/for the New Covenant,[21] then it is seen that the sacrificial sheep of Ezek 45:15a is indeed perfectly substituted by wine for its (realized/successful) New Covenant context. (Indeed see how the conditions in the New Covenant (Heb 8:7-13) which is to, actually as with the Old Covenant, also spiritually involve a ‘circumcision of the heart’ (Rom 2:25-29; cf. Deut 10:16, 30:6: Jer 4:4), was the main part of a  major impeaching article that God redressingly addressed against the failing Levites for the new, pre-Messianic Temple Era (Eze 44:4-9). By having allowed u uncircumcised foreigners to take part of God’s Sanctuary Service, the main group of Levites were going to now be relegated to mainly peripheral, sin sacrificing duties (Ezek 44:10-14). Only the descendants of Zadok would be able to deal with the more inner sanctuary services (Ezek 44:15ff). This all has thematic relation to the Great pagan assimilation and compromise that took place in the Third Seal era. God was not against foreigner being an active part of His Chosen People. The condition however was that they first needed to be truly/actually converted. Most manifestly it was for reasons of work load expediency that those unconverted foreigners were allowed to minister in God’s Holy Affairs.
            As a true heart circumcision was to also leads to naturally performing socio-economic justice (Deut 10:17-19), then, by extended implication, God is not in favor of sacrificing Biblical principles and truth for socio-economic justice. For those who actually know what God Truths are, the two are not to be divorced (i.e., ‘just do humanitarian works and forget Biblical morality and truth’), as is the current common practice amongst nominal/secular Christians; nor mutually exclusive, as it also fallaciously sanctimoniously believed (e.g., spuriously protective First Century Jews & current SDA’s, -i.e., ‘doing full humanitarian will (somehow) be detrimental to the “Gospel” work and prevent it from going forward’?!?). God’s Bible religion calls for both Full Truth/Morality as well as Full Socio-Economic Justice. That indeed is Christ’s Full Gospel Message, which is to be tangibly demonstrated to the world, and nothing else/less will do (Matt 24:14).
            Significantly enough, notice how Jesus replaced the OT Covenant “food” of ‘the fat and the blood’ (Ezek 44:7) with the ‘bread and the wine’ for the New Covenant. These are not only less “gory”, representing the switch from the concrete object lesson intent of the Old Covenant, but more palpable, and bodily nutritious, for the New Covenant, which would involve more faith based beliefs. These two sets of Covenant symbols was utilized by Christ in His pivotal John 6:26-58 exposition, where the people, for the first time wanted to believe in Him, but for spiritually deficient reasons. He easily could have been their King, but their hearts were still uncircumcised. So, as He expounded, they first needed to fully partake of the new, actually better, form of covenant food that He was providing, and which they gladly would have, if it was merely, only actual/physical bread and wine and had nothing to do with living His Righteous Life and doing His Righteous Acts.
            All of this is indeed quite pertinent to the Third Seal in Rev 6:5-6 as:

(a) God did not want the Church leadership to oppress His people, particular in/through the Spiritual Elements of His Religion;

(b) God did not accept that His True Religion be paganized, which also involves diluting the Full Gospel message to either remove its Morality/Truth or its Socio-economic Justice Requirement.

            And so not only were the prices of key subsistence foods of the wheat an the barley were to be set aright to their actual value, -according to God’s Divine scales which He had/has given to His ‘world-patrolling Church’ [= Zech 1:7-11, the background of the First 4 Seals Horsemen] to effectuate (Rev 6:5), instead of the spurious ones imposed by the world, thus relating to the physical livelihood of all, especially the ones in vital need then; but the more spiritual elements of the oil and the wine, were also to not be (lit.) ‘made unrighteous’ (Strong’s #91). So the entire teaching of penances for sins instituted in that Third Church era, and which had as its fundamental basis that ‘their was a tangible and varying price to pay to obtain forgiveness’, thus involving that Christ had not paid the full price, was being categorically rejected by God here. All sins not only had the same “price”, but Jesus had fully paid that price, and His forgiveness, and the benefits of His Sacrifice were abundantly available to all.[22] Thus, a “woe” also to those who cause people to starve for the benefits of His Gospel and for its Truths due to spurious economic “false-balances” and artificial limitations. (cf. Mic 2:1-5ff)
            Furthermore with the use of a Greek subjunctive for the verb “made unrighteous”, thus fully reading as: “so that you would not make the oil and the wine unrighteous’, it was further being spiritually intimated that ‘having proper prices in the socio-economic sphere was key to keeping the New Covenant free of unrighteousness/wickedness’ for the love of money is indeed the root of all sorts of evil (1 Tim 6:10). And indeed while the institution of penances themselves did much damage to the New Covenant truth, it was really its furthering, starting in this Church era, to tariff penances that made it an even more wicked teaching, as it now came to most vitally affect people by warrantlessly substantively taking away from even their very livelihood.

Relation to Zech 5 - Not surprisingly the symbols, imagery and message are found as major elements throughout Zechariah’s Flying Scroll (Zech 5), which as discussed here, it the pertinent Scroll background for that Third Seal of Rev 5's Seven-Seal Scroll. Indeed there the ephah is used in a vision which shows that Israel was going to form a pagan, Babylonian Temple and shrine for unbiblical commercialism in order to validate their own socio-economic “wickedness”. (cf. Isa 5:7-10). Succinctly restated here, this is similarly what the NT Church, prominently led/upheld by (Protestant) America has come to do by instituting their Economic System of Capitalism, claiming it to be ‘God’s only and ideal way’, indeed to regulate/“Order” this World, and ensure social and geopolitical “Peace and Quiet” (Zech 1:11). And the foundation for all of these current Theological, Doctrinal and Socio-Economic waywardness in Christianity were all laid in that third Church Era. No wonder the horse for that Era is, indeed ominously, a black horse. (Rev 6:5a).
            In fact with the “black horse” not being a part of Zechariah’s three earth-patrolling horses (Zech 1:7-11; sorrel horse = the Fourth Seal’s Horse (Rev 6:7-8)), but it is including in the later matching/corresponding horse-drawn chariots (Zech 6:1-8 [-with 2 horses per chariot]); it is interpretationally deduced that God had priorly only given a mandate to Israel to purely Religiously influence and/or deal with other peoples (i.e., in regards to their pagan worship and idols = white horse), while, as stated in Deut 20:10-18, either making use of fatally wounding military power (red horse) and or enslaving them (sorrel/dappled/ashen/stripped/sickly pale|green horse), which could lead them to a slow death if they persisted in either unfaithful servitude (cf. Exod 21:20-21), at least psychologically/spiritually, they were not yet/then to socio-economically engage them. Perhaps because Israel, having not yet, relatively, perfected proper observation of these socio-economic requirements themselves, indeed even when relatively compared with their passable, purely “Religious” doings, as seen in their performance of the Sanctuary Service, yet while social justice atrociously lagged behind (see e.g, Mic 6:6-8; cf. Psa 40:6-10; which was the main reform concern of Jesus, e.g., Matt 23:23-24; cf. Heb 10:4-10, -indeed only a fully righteous life will result in one’s sins being expunged (=Matt 25:41-46 = Ezek 34:17-22 = EW 36.2)), really could thus not righteously enter into socio-economic evaluation/judgement with those other nations. However starting with the pre-Messianic, New Temple Era, they were then, if faithful, (which they were not), supposed to, as depicted in symbolism and imagery of Zech 6:1-8). 
            A similar pivotal “Beliefs/Faith vs. Practices/Works” dichotomy is transpiring in the  SDA Church where they, on one hand, relatively have perfected the belief in what they are understanding, (though elementarily and deficiently) as God’s (full) Truths, however when it comes to having corresponding righteous practices and works, i.e., in what pertains to the socio-economic realms, they are atrociously deficient, not bothering to do more than mere tokenly partial works.

            So with this necessarily detailed and lengthy background information into what the ‘internal state of the Church’; and the ‘State of the Church’ in the World was then in the Third Era, then it can better be understood what judgement/military action that God will here take in the corresponding Third Trumpet, and then Plague.

Third Trumpet
Rev 8:10 - The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, being made to burn like a torch/lamp, and it fell on the third of the rivers and on the springs of waters.

a great star fell from heaven - With a Star being an angel (Rev 1:20), and a “Great Star”, being likely a “Mighty Angel”, this imagery of “a great star having fallen from heaven” moreoverly, instantly recalls the events in which the one Covering Cherub, thus Mighty Angel, Lucifer was cast out of Heaven, but allowed to try to spread his 2/3 Heaven-rejected “No Law” ideology on Earth. (Rev 12:7-10; cf. Ezek 28:12-17; cf. this post). As seen in Isa 14:12-14, Satan had been working to inspire the Kingdom of Babylon with his own, grandiose, God-defying religious claims, manifestly, in order to finish off God’s Israel which by then, from ca. 723 B.C., was being survived by the still faithful Southern Kingdom of Judah, with the Northern Kingdom of Israel having had been overrun by Assyria, -a just state of affairs which God nonetheless, for His own glory, was also “fore-planning” to overturn (Isa 14:24-27).[23] So this, by then, fully Religiously-charged Babylonian people, since its first later assault of Israel in ca. 606 B.C. as it sought to expand its newly established Neo-Babylonian Empire, indeed had as its fundamental actions, to forcefully supercedingly supplant the religions of the peoples/kingdoms it came to conquer. And they were quite successful in even Judah (see Ezek 8, cf. this post).

being made to burn like a torch/lamp - This falling “Great Star” had been made to ‘burn like a torch/lamp.’ In the book of Revelation, as discussed in here, the only “torch/lamps” that are mentioned are the ones which are continually burning before the Throne of God (Rev 4:5), and which are manifestly the source of the fire that is to light the distinct 7 lampstands, which are the 7 Churches (Rev 1:20). It is this Divine fire that truly makes these lighted 7 Lamps on lampstands (= 7 Churches), ‘highly visible Lights’ in the, otherwise dark world. (Matt 5:14-15). Rev 1:4 & 4:5 also shows that these Torches/Lamps are God’s Spirits, which are later sent throughout the Earth through the 7 Eyes of then established “Little Lamb” Kingdom of God. (See more here.)
            So the falling Great Star is here, most deceptively resembling a genuine Message (cf. Psa 119:105) and Spirit of God, and by being made/allowed to burn like this Genuine Torch/Lamp, this is all, at least ultimately, by God’s doing, manifestly to test the hearts of people and see on which side they will then stand (Deut 13:1-5ff), -whether they will serve Mammon or God (Luke 16:9, 11, 13), with the determining key being whether or not the new light is in harmony with God’s Commandments or not (Deut 13:4).

it fell on the third of the rivers - As presented in this post, “rivers” as the world’s repositories of freshwater, represent, at the very least, ideologically, ‘religious groupings of peoples’, thus “religious bodies”, (a.k.a. Religious Denominations). And with Christianity being actually the only religion that “gives life” (cf. John 1:4; 11:25-26[cf. in here]; 14:6) it falls into this symbolic “religious” category of a River. But with a River actually being capable of being polluted, and thus harmful to health and life, it is thus, of all of the major religions in the world, Christianity as a whole that is being viewed as this ‘“most prominent” one-third of rivers’.

on the springs of waters - As seen in the modern quasi-hyper-paranoid craze for “pure” drinking water, springs of water, which are also accessible/manifested in “wells” (John 4:4, 14), are alternative sources of freshwater. (Cf. the ‘fresh spring at the bottom of a river’ in EGW’s vision in LS 124.3). Indeed Jesus’s main theme in His discourse with the Samaritan woman at the well, was that He had a much better source of potable water than what the (passing) Jewish Religion or the (formerly Jewish [cf. 1 Kgs 12:25-33], but by now wholly corrupted) Samaritan one had to offer (John 4:7-15 & 16-26; cf. the corresponding temporal work of the Little Lamb in Rev 7:17; (and moreover, which is actually in regards to: “springs of waters” and not more specifically: “....of life”, thus not actually literalistically synonymous with the ultimate fulfillment in the Heavenly New Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-7)). 
            As seen in the successfully sought alternative by the Egyptians (Exod 7:24-25) ‘groundwater springs’ are indeed life-savingly quite significant when the waters from the main and readily accessible source of a river have become polluted. And as seen in James 3:11, a spring of water cannot simultaneously both provide fresh and, pertinently enough here, bitter water. As springs are inherently fresh, they therefore are all sources of life-sustaining religion, but God intends to also adversely affect/infect all of them.

Rev 8:11 - The name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

“Wormwood” = bitterness - A study of the term “wormwood” in the Bible (OT Strong’s #03939) reveals that, as indicated in this verse, in the natural world, it is an element that made/makes things “bitter” (Heb. mar/marah #04751 & Gr. pikria) (Exod 15:23; Pro 5:4); pointedly water and produce which contained water (Deut 32:32; cf. Jer 2:21 LXX). It is thus by extension directly associated with the emotion of bitterness (not surprisingly, repletely stated in the story of Job 3:20; 7:11; 9:18; 10:1). However this bitterness was not merely distasteful, but it was also life threatening as “bitter” waters were poisonous waters. (Deut 32:32; Jer 23:15; cf. Deut 29:18) Thus “wormwood/bitterness” was the patent symbolism for a choice and most effective way in which God can fully inculcate His displeasure against His people (Jer 9:15; 23:15; Isa 28:21 LXX). Indeed it is quite hard to ignore, or forget a bitter taste on one hand, especially if it will kill you. Thus this “bitter” taste actually served as a warning to spit this poisonous liquid out. (See the converse instruction in Rev 10:9-10 (=Ezek 3:4) all in regards to the message of the coming judging and destruction of Judah & Jerusalem (Rev 11 & Ezek 9)) And so, after God had ‘given His people “wormwood” to drink, they would most vividly realize that they should not drink of those waters, nor its derived produce. (Cf. Jer 2:19; 4:18)
            Along the lines of the Spiritual applications of the term “wormwood”, it is indeed interesting to see the Israel episode contexts in which it was used. In the book of the Covenant, it is clearly indicated to Israel that turning to other idols and worshipping/serving them would establish a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood (Deut 29:14-18). Thus in Jer 9:12-16 God is going to feed such “wormwood” to a then rebellious people who have chosen to forsake His Law and ignore His Voice, by pointedly returning to their ancestral Baal worship, and then wield a sword against them. Similarly in Jer 23:9-40 a ‘wormwood feeding’ is going to be done upon Judah’s false prophets, corrupt priests and the lay people who non-judiciously, indifferently just listen to them. Indeed, as seen in the subsequent “Lamentation” over the now destroyed Jerusalem, the former Zion has indeed been made to ingest this “bitter” dose of wormwood (Lam 3:15, 19). In Amos 5:7 & 6:12, wormwood is said to be what results when Justice and Righteousness, which are the foundation of God’s Throne (Psa 89:14; 97:2b; cf. Isa 28:16-17 = Rom 9:32-33 & 1 Pet 2:6-9; Eccl 3:16-17; Ezek 33:12-20) are not done. Indeed is does produce/leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth, and also, ingestively in the rest of one’s body when they are desperately expecting justice and righteousness, i.e., in socio-economic affairs, but are instead met with (swindling) deception, (organized) fraud and (resolute) oppression, even in formal forums, e.g., and especially, in the administrative and judicial courts of God’s Israel, indeed (Amos 5:10-12, 15). Most significantly, in Pro 5:3-4 such spiritual adulterous misconduct is shown to be doomed to a ‘sure bitter end’ which is said to be like the cut from a sharp two-edged sword. As Heb 4:12 spiritually reveals that such a cutting implement for determining what the true intention of the heart are (cf. Ezek 21:1-5), it is thus being said here that the course of ignoring wisdom, refusing to hear understanding, resulting in not having either discerning discretion or knowledge in spiritual matters is indeed what such sensuous/adulterous living will surely make an even most sincere person someone do if they choose to venture on such a course. Therefore it is indeed most fitting that ‘the “two-edge sword” of the word of God’ (Heb 4:12) is the pointed symbol to deal with and judge affairs during this idolatrous and immoral Third Age of the Church (Rev 3:12b, 14-16). In the LXX understandings “bitterness” is equated with oppression and (Psa 10:7 [9:28] (cf. Rom 3:14)), and in Job 9:18 is contextually associated with what will transpire if there no longer is an ‘Arbitrator/Mediator between God and a (Just) Man.’
            What is also and further most interesting about the spiritual understandings and application of this “wormwood” root of bitterness is that it repeatedly occurs in a context where people are making use of God’s Message and Resources for personal monetary gain. In Heb 12:15-17 Paul pivots the episode of Esau indifferently selling his Israel birthright to Jacob for instantaneous gain upon a planted and sprung root of “bitterness”. (Indeed Esau did not think that Jacob would be able to “cash in” on this birthright, not expecting that Jacob (with the help of Rebekah) would use deception to get Isaac to (irreversibly) bless him (Gen 27). Thus his ensuing enduring and unappeasable anger and vendetta-obstinate hatred towards Jacob. And, spiritually/prophetically pertinent, that is the genesis and substantive consistency of ‘Jacob’s Great Time of Trouble,’ which is to similarly transpire in the end (Jer 30:7)). In Acts 8:18-23, Peter rebukes Simon the sorcerer for being “in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity” resulting in him thinking/believing that the Gift of God’s Spirit was procurable through money. (vs. 23).
            In a later epistle, Peter make a thematically related statement in a most scathing rebuke against existing (“sensuous”) false prophets and false teachers in the Church who were trying to make merchandise of the Gospel (2 Pet 2:1-3ff, 12-17ff). These, he states, have “a heart trained in greed” and have followed, prophetically pertinent enough, ‘the money-loving ways of Balaam’ (2 Pet 2:14, 15; cf. Jude 1:11, 16). Such false leaders are said to be “springs without water” showing their utter/heightened spiritual depravity, and ‘the blackness of darkness has been reserved for them.’ (2 Pet 2:17). With “bitterness” being a most acute state of hate (cf. Col 3:19; Exod 16:20; Job 21:25) as it then is no longer indifferent but spiteful, thus aiming to involve self-vindictive vengeance, ‘bitter people’ will not just walk away from the situation that has supposedly hurt them, but will try to get what s/he feels is deserved from it. And so it is almost natural that a person who has become embittered in the Church, usually due to some incurred hardship (cf. Lam 3:5; 3Mac 4:4), will unscrupulously, variously try to monetarily profit from it, most likely all stemming from a sense of having been, or being cheated by the God who they, self-deceivedly, claim to be “faithfully serving”. And so, and commonly, in order to not suffer in regards to livelihood, a pastor/teacher/scholar will prefer to do what is sure to maintain popular support, which usually translate into continued monetary support, rather than, as with Ezekiel’s call (Ezek 2:1-3:4ff = Rev 10:8-11), preach the full, undiluted, unwavering and unadulterated word/message of God.
            Indeed, most relatedly significant, today, in even, and especially in regards to, the SDA Church (who should know best), God’s word and message is conveniently curtailed from its full obligations in order to worshipfully pay homage and obeisance to the economy, for God’s Gospel Truth and Will/Mandate for His Church, especially by now given their matured resource and institutional wealth, is not what He has said it is, but rather what the spurious and artificial Capitalistic Economy allows to be done.
            In the light of this underlying profiteering theme tied to the demeanor of bitterness and polluted/dried spring of waters, it is most fitting that, in also an antitypical application/fulfilment, following God’s Full Sabbatical Sealing (Rev 7:2-3ff), rescuing God’s flock from false shepherds (cf. EW 36.2; 5T 213.2-214.3), the Little Lamb will shepherd this flock to “springs of waters” (Rev 7:17), and that “without cost” (Rev 21:6; 22:17 = Isa 55). These symbols, depictions and themes are all reflected in Ezek 34. And these “spring of the waters” (having in turn, as their “foundational source”, God and His own “Spring” of Truth; =Jer 2:13; 17:13; John 4:14; 14:6; Isa 58:11; Ezek 47:1-4; cf. Psa 36:8-9; Pro 14:27; (cf. Pro 25:26)) is what then, procedurally as in the order/course of nature, produces the “River (God’s Religion/Church) of life” (Rev 22:1-2 = Ezek 47:5-7; cf. Psa 1:1-3; Jer 17:7-8), which then results in the “Sea of Glass” (Rev 4:6a; 15:2 = Ezek 47:8) which, temporally, is for a now restored territorial blessing of God’s Israel (= Ezek 47:13-23), with indeed then a political realm symbolized by, ultimately, the “Seas” having also been made “fresh” (Ezek 47:9-12; cf. Jer 17:13; = Zech 14:8), thus also a source of Truth/Spiritual life. (See a reverse symbolic flowing of waters into the political realms of Seas in Ezek 32:2) Indeed this Third Trumpet of Rev 8:10-11 has an allusive background to Ezekiel’s purifying water of life revelation. (cf. 14MR 103.1). And Jesus also made pointed, knowing antitypical reference to this theme in John 7:37-38, on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacle (John 7:2ff, 14ff, 37), which, as it was rightly understood in John 7:39 (cf. John 4:14) was all allusive to the outpouring of the Latter Rain, which has its “eternal well-springing source” in righteousness/right action, -which Jesus see as most vitally fundamental to the truly Godly person (Matt 5:6; John 6:27, 35 & Rev 19:8; 22:14-15), and which will, through the people of God who receive/partake of it, indeed bring about the above spoken of ‘world-reaching, watering/refreshing/healing blessings of God.’

and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter - The main focus of this Third Trumpet is to make sources of previously fresh waters, both in large bodies of “rivers” and individual “springs”, life-threateningly no longer suitable for human consumption, and thus keyly needed livelihood. Therefore these then polluted, even poisonous, one-third of rivers and all springs will be avoided by those who have managed to survive them, but as water is essential to life, these will then, and that embitteredly, have to turn to an alternative available source for their subsistence, which, interpretatively speaking, for a Christian, will have to be a source other than the then other actually non-affected sources here, -the ‘2/3 of drinkable river waters’ i.e., other world religions (e.g, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism). Indeed it is God’s pointed judgement purpose to cause this sudden dearth in available/acceptable sources of “water” so that His people can go to seek for His waters of life. In other words, the effect of this Trumpets is to come to cause God’s people to most bitterly realize that their present sources of Spiritual Freshwater is both unhealthy and even deadly to their Religious lives.

Third Trumpet Historical (Church) Application:

a great star fell from heaven - With the symbolism of “heaven” being capable of being antitypically fulfilled wherever God’s will is being done (=Matt 6:10), the fall of this Great Star, which foundationally is representative of the two-event casting out Satan (Rev 12:7-10 & Luke 10:18|John 12:23-35ff|DA 761.2-3), the opposer of all/actual Truth and the father of lies (John 8:44), it was similarly manifested following the successful infiltration of Satan in the Church. This development had been foreseen, indeed purposefully foreplanned by God (2 Thess 2:1-12), for He knew that just as Satan had tried to spread his rebellion on a perfect earth after the first casting out, he surely would, after his second and more complete casting out now seek to undermine the more than less, up to the Third Church era, i.e., up to ca. 313 A.D., perfect Christian Church. Indeed this infiltration was prophetically delineated in the OT in Dan 8:9-14 & 22-26, in the “Little Horn” power that invades the “Beautiful Land” (Dan 8:9), (= God’s partially, and increasingly, re-established “Land” Spiritual Israel (=Dan 11:16, 41; cf. 11:45 [see this post])). Of course  and as seen in that prophecy, the most significant damage was not done until that little horn power, inspiredly empowered by inceptive Satanic idea of entering into a covenant with the State (Dan 8:24a), as done with Constantine, was able to first cast down some of the host of heaven (e.g., prominently, sun & moon; not planets; cf. e.g., Deut 4:19; 2 Kgs 17:16; 22:13; 23:4-5; Jer 8:22; Acts 7:42) and some of the stars (i.e., Religious leaders (cf. Rev 12:1, 4a) to the ground and trampled them (= Dan 8:10; 24b). And then with this achieved sufficient temporal power, it  was able to impose the Creator God usurping ideology that it conceived, most notably the taking away of Christ’s Creator’s authority, as done in the official establishment of Sunday as a Sabbath for Christians (Dan 7:25; 8:11a; 25b), and then with Christ’s High Priestly Mediatorial work (Dan 8:11b). As with any other successful temptation, the overt purpose was not declared to be “to ruin the Church” but to make it all that it can be, but in human, vs. God’s, way. And so the Church’s ambition to spread the Kingdom of God throughout the Earth was offered the shortcut of joining with the pagan State, and it readily accepted it (contra Christ’s Matt 10:16 “unmixed as doves” directive). And with this foundational transgression floodgate being opened, other compromising, and Commandment violating errors were gradually established in the Church (Dan 8:12; 23-24). These errors had the common underlying theme of seeking to gain various worldly honor. The objective of the Church should instead have been to staunchly uphold Biblical Truth, at all and any cost. But they were not ready to return to a course of worldly disdain and ensuing hardship/privation, and so, like Balaam, they gave in for gain, and took pleasure in this, variously most abundantly providing, unrighteousness. (cf. 2 Thess 2:12).

being made to burn like a torch/lamp - Of course, the success of this error infiltration was that, it was made to seem like God’s desire and very will for His Church, indeed ‘a “New Light” from before His very Throne’ to light that Third Church Lampstand. The problem is that they would first have to extinguish the Light already having made this Lampstand to burn, in order to now light it up with this false light. I.e., God’s Law and Christ’s Gospel would have to be essentially, indeed effectively, entirely (James 2:8-10) set aside and replaced by this false light. And as seen in the need to seek to genuinely convert the pagans in the State then, there was still much Gospel Work for Christ’s Church to first be done, before any notion of summarily assimilating them, and that forcefully, into any temporal Kingdom for Him. So taking such a shortcut was moreoverly, certainly not according to God’s will.

it fell on the third of the rivers - It is notable to see how, from within the Christian Church itself, the roots of apostasy germinated with the segment of the Church in Rome, (aka “Babylon” 1 Pet 5:13a). Just as Satan had managed to cause the Historic Babylon to seek to establish itself above God (Isa 14:12-14), (indeed repeatedly with King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 3 & 4) who, given his most striking first hand knowledge and interaction with the God of Heaven (Dan 2), should have known much better (cf. Dan 2:47; 5:18-23ff)), he endeavored to do the same things with that spiritual Temporal Babylon of Rome, leading to the formation of the Prophetic Ecclesiastical Babylon.
            It is no doubt, not a coincidence that Satan used a similar, but perverted modus operandi to seek to get Church leaders to obtain temporal power in the Roman Empire. Just like Daniel was established as the Prime Minister of the province of Babylon (Dan 2:48); (which was actually merely as it had been generally promised to any (Dan 2:6; cf. 5:16, 29)), and managed to have his three friends also given high leadership positions (Dan 2:49[24], and Daniel later maintained his temporal power position in the Medo-Persian Empire and was even promoted to a higher one (Dan 6:1-3), it is manifest that Satan used this to (in partial truth) make it seem acceptable to the Christian Church that a pagan King can be convinced through a dream to both serve God and to have God’s people occupy prominent positions of leadership. And so, through the famous dream or vision of Constantine which led him to embrace, promote and support Christianity, the foundation was laid to corrupt the Church through the (deceptive) fusion/compromising with Paganism and the illicit union between Church & State. (cf. GC 49.2-50.1)
            And through all of this, God was purposely working, while allowing obstinate people to follow their known wrong course in so uniting with the world, to, for GC purposes and for the benefit of future, and end-time, generations, allow the “mystery of iniquity/lawlessness” to fully bloom and run its course so that all may see what such deviance from God’s Will and Law will ultimately result/end in.

on the springs of waters - On top of generally corrupting the prominent establishments of the  Christian Church; i.e., those in Rome and in most of the Roman Empire (= “one-third of rivers”), most important to this work of deception was to remove any source of ‘purifying fresh water’, which, if left to flow would come to purify all bodies of water, even to the Seas (cf. Ezek 47:1-2ff & 8ff) leading to quite nutritious/healing, Tree-of-Life-like, temporally benefiting ‘leaves and fruits’ (Ezek 47:12 = Rev 21:1-2; 14MR 103.1; cf. this post). And so this ‘spring of fresh water’ being the word of God, was entirely suppressed from lay people, and when it was made to flow, its waters were indeed bitter by being filled with various perversions which maintained the compromisingly empowering and tangibly lucrative stance and course of the Church.

the third of the waters became wormwood - These water filled with wormwood were most profitable for corrupt Church leaders, however it only led to great bitterness amongst the laity. Indeed, ‘the nation of Christianity’, this one-third of the world’s waters (i.e., “peoples” -Rev 17:15). Indeed, as seen in Amos 5:7, 10-12, 15; 6:12, the Shaking Prophet and Prophetic Message,  it led to great socio-economic injustice and oppression, and pervasive unrighteousness in the Church.

and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter - Many spiritual and even directly and indirectly caused physical, deaths occurred in those times. Indeed with Rev 6:5-6's false/worldly balances being inclusively also used to manage the Empire’s economy then, many were caused to needlessly starve and die. Spiritual death was also inflicted upon many during those times because of these useless and hazardous bitter waters.

            In terms of the Trumpets Military Conquest/Destruction that was effectuated in the blowing of this Third Trumpet. By allowing the waters to be affected here, God was able to make the people in the Church to most vitally feel their desperate need for pure sources of water, Christ’s Water of Life, which is His Pure/Full Gospel Truth.

Third Trumpet Temporal (Kingdom) Application:

a great star fell from heaven - The various Biblical errors that had been established and practised in the Church finally began to be formally challenged through various “protesting Reformers’. John Wycliffe (ca. 1328-1384) is the one who is credited with starting this Reforming charge and is rightly called the “Morning Star of the Reformation”. Interestingly enough, as it is most pertinent to how the Church had inceptively veered off course in its Third Church Age, it is said that “he was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority influencing secular power.”
            As seen here in the symbolism of a Star, the Reformers each indeed provided great light that led many people out of religious, even civil darkness, and as ‘inherent potential solar system suns in themselves’, it is not surprising that many people began to “orbit” around them/their teachings and formed new Christian denominations. While none of the Reformers had all of the Light of Truth, when they provided Biblical corrections to Catholic Church errors, they indeed provided New Light to the Christian World. However many of them unknowingly, or even indifferently, held on to many erroneous teachings of the Catholic Church they were Protesting against, most notably, as taunted by Catholics, their belief in Sunday Sacredness.
            Most of the major New Light brought forth by Protestant Reformers was indeed Biblical, restoring long lost Truths, however a major “New” Light that was not at all was their (spuriously) religiously validated belief of Capitalism. The Reformation Star John Calvin, a contemporary of Martin Luther, brought forth this “New Light”. For the most part, it was so brought forth and religiously validated in direct reaction to the historical socio-economic tyranny and abuses of the Catholic Church, which indeed had its genesis in the Third Age of the Church. By the time of Martin Luther’s reform, the seeds of greed, covetousness and selfishness had, as inevitable, fully bloomed into such, especially Ecclesiastical evil. So that development itself amongst mainly the Catholic Church leadership gave strong validation to an opposing belief that (a) all can be wealthy if/since they work hard; (b) letting everyone take care of themselves rather than the Church (supposedly) do this (e.g., charitable giving) is the Biblical way and instead, © making money for the sake of making money (i.e., investment) was the best approach to dealing with poverty. It is interesting to see that early Protestant Capitalists shunned luxurious living as sin, but, as with the Catholic Church and their stance of money, by now this religious/moral restriction has been silenced from Capitalism.

being made to burn like a torch/lamp - John Calvin’s “New Light” was quite crucial to religious beliefs as it was said to be the “new” sign of one’s favor, even salvation, or at the very least, an expression of their confidence in having been chosen by God to be saved. So it is no wonder that many would readily pledge allegiance to it. With Capitalism as an economic system itself actually predating Protestants, it is seen how Calvin religious validation of it came to give it New Life. However it was just a perversion of the Gospel Message from its start, both theologically, and practically, as it directly went against the great care and generosity towards those in need that was taught and modelled by Christ, and followed by the Apostolic Church. Calvin thus came to do the same thing that the Third Era Church had compromisingly done, -they took a worldly and unbiblical practise and, after some minor tweaks, instituted as a truth it in the Church.
            So it is in this way that ‘a Great Star (of the Reformation) with a seemingly Biblical message’ (i.e., John Calvin and his capitalistic teachings) fell from heaven’ here.

it fell on the third of the rivers - With the Protestant Church, by being relatively most Biblical, having now become the forefront of all Religions in the world, taking the place of the Universal/Catholic Church, this rapidly spreading new teaching of Capitalism soon swept throughout the Protestant world, as seen today, even amongst SDAs (=the “hellish torch” prophesied in TM 409.2-3 (cf. COL 294.1-2) which has by now come to light their pseudo-eschatology).

on the springs of waters - With Protestantism being (relatively) the actual source of the Gospel Truth, by having the tenets of Capitalism being intertwined with that message, all of the springs of fresh water which, as discussed earlier, should serve to purify rivers and then Seas, has instead come to mislead Churches in its ungodly practices and in turn entrench (democratic) governments into conducting its affairs according to its objectives.

the third of the waters became wormwood - As all of this has similarly also been according to God’s purposes, indeed to see if His professed people will value and worship the false god of money and wealth more than the True Full Gospel message of Jesus Christ that they claim to believe and follow, His plan to get them to forsake this false god, is by experientially, typologically as with Elijah’s Baal confrontation and Mount Carmel showdown, letting them see for themselves how powerless and futile their worshipped false god is, -indeed how “man-made” it actually is. And for that purpose God has similarly allowed men to follow their natural flesh and heart and thus establish, and even entrench, Capitalism in the (Protestant) Church. However the only end result of anything that is ‘unjust, unrighteous and unbiblical’, thus inherently “Wormwood”,  is that it will only leave a “bitter” taste in those who partake of it, even leading to poisonous deaths.

and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter - Many economic indicators and socio-economic developments today are most transparently showing that Capitalism is a bankrupt system. In fact, while most Capitalists refuse to admit it, Capitalism failed a long time ago, in the 1930's Depression Era. Since then it has been propped up by Socialism, forming the current “Mixed-Economy” system. Yet all of the economic and socio-economic turbulence today is still from this diluted Capitalism. So Capitalism’s other shoe is on the verge of boisterously dropping. Yet, as it is fundamental to Capitalism, its adherent will refuse to learn any lesson until such tangible catastrophic failure occurs. Thus when ‘many men die from those bitter waters’, and, of course, that is many men from the affected one-third of waters, thus ‘when Western/(Protestant) Capitalists begin to suffer most severe and “unbailable” detrimental effects of increasingly failing Capitalism. It is quite telling of the complete Christian bankruptcy of Capitalism to see that the solution proposed by Right Wing Protestants to remedy it is to remove all social “safety nets” (e.g., Socialized Health Care, Social Security, Welfare, etc) as this is claimed to oppose its growth. The actual fact is that, as technology continues to advance, there will increasingly be less need of manual labor. E.g,. a task that previously needed 10 people to do, now only require 1. So Capitalism will eventually hit an untopplable wall, and unique/distinct “jobs” will increasingly become scarcer. So for those who are staunchly opposed to any type of Capital/Wealth “sharing”, they’ll just hit this wall at full speed and head on, result in this most bitter experience. It is then, and only then that they will have “crashingly” learned the lesson that they previously did not want to study out and learn in advance.

SDA Church Specific Application - With the First Trumpet, the most deified wall and obstacle to God’s Kingdom of (in the SDA Church) an non-honorable, in the light of persisted waywardness, “soon Second Coming”, and also in the Christian/Temporal world, a belief that anti-Gospel/Sabbath Capitalistic ways are Biblical, was quite formidably, and thus most strikingly toppled by God. With the Second Trumpet, the obstacle of a secure refuge in this world for God’s faithful people, who want to live according to His Full Sabbatical Laws, was also surmounted by God in the establishment of His Law Covenant mountain being politically established, and that, as seen in the Temporal (Kingdom) fulfilment, physically, in Floating Cities built in the Seas (i.e., in International Waters). And now with the Third Trumpet, God removes all possible excuses from amongst any people who are still continuing in rebellion and opposition to the Truth by making rivers (Churches) and spring of waters (Christian ministries), also become most adversely affected. By tangibly seeing how their various curtailed beliefs do hamper, even themselves in their socio-economic affairs, they will then finally see and understand that they are indeed bankrupt of anything good or Godly. Indeed the standing testimony of what has transpired under the First and Second Trumpet will be shown to them to indeed be God’s Ideal and Truth.
            Foundationally, just as it was the wrong balances being used to measure out spiritual things including God’s word, and all claiming to be for the good of the “lay people”, which led to the Genesis whole era of corruption and wayward, the same thing has been repeated in the SDA Church. As seen in the NAD Letter on page 279 of this document in response to the planned WBSC, it has become the Church’s policy to ‘keep things simple”, however that have confused this with dumbing things down where, e.g., the square root of 2 is just said to be 1. And so in pretty much the whole Church, especially outside of the NAD, proper and clear exegesis of the Biblical Text has virtually been thrown out of the window, in favor of surface readings of ‘any Bible version you like’ and anecdotal and opining arguments and “proofs”, and all so as to not burden the poor, simple-minded dumb people. And thus they are prophetically exactly re-doing what the clergy of the Catholic Church did starting in this Third Church Era when they effectively removed the Bible, (i.e., what Bible originally/exegetically, truly said, -thus from its rightly/accurately translated original languages), and put forth instead a, now further sanctimonious, “take my word for it” approach with the unsuspecting and fully trusting/deferring laity. Or at a “better worst”, sending this mostly most novice laity to consult for “proof” tertiary, i.e., not really scholarly, works which these “pastors” know (or probably don’t at all) to be undocumented, inadequate inaccurate and/or datedly deficient, especially, as typical in Capitalism, when freely available online (such as with James Strong’s (19th Century) Concordance Dictionary (vs. an Exegetical/Theological lexicon)). And all of this has only produced a (artificial/man-made) “famine in the land” (=EW 281.2) for a proper and exact understanding of the Bible, and has ultimately resulted in them not seeing their present duty in God’s advancing Full Gospel Plan. So be it, for such false, self-serving Shepherds (=Ezek 34:1-22), for the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of these, even paid, (spurious) pastors are, despite their purchased Theology/Religion, and even Seminary, degrees, exegetically non-cognitive, incompetent, dysfunctional and illiterate.

Third Plague
Rev 16:4 - Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and of themselves they became blood.

            In the light of all that has been discussed leading up to, and for, the Third Trumpet, what is too occur in the indeed corresponding Third Plague can be readily understood. Indeed the only symbolic difference between the Third Trumpet and this Third Plague is that the targeted and affected ‘rivers and spring waters’ then do not merely become bitter, but instead blood. Thus they do not merely lead to great discomfort if consumed, and even death if consumed in voluminous amounts, but they are outrightly inconsumable by being blood. Thus all life is vitally affected then, with literally only a few days of survival left if fresh water is not discovered.
            Spiritually that would involve adhering to another set of beliefs other than Christianity as a whole. In fact no “religious system” then, at all,  will be considered as valid, i.e., capable of providing life. And so it is from then on that an alternate source of water, i.e., a new religious system will be created.

            What is next stated in this plague reveals, based on a careful exegetically gleaning study of the Bible and SOP, that it is at this point that a significant development is to most propitiously, and here, encouragedly so, at least by this time, transpire. Summarily stated here, this, i.e., when it has been shown that the source of viable life, i.e., the word of God (see Deut 8:3|Matt 4:4) is where everyone is to take, and settle into, their final position for, or against, God’s Truth. Thus namely, this is when the Rev 18:1-5 Loud Cry is lastly sounded and an ensuing mass/final Exodus from Spiritual Babylon is to/can be most easily be made, for from then it will become more difficult for a person in Babylon to discern and heed the Truth and they will suffer then subsequent judgements of that Fallen System (Rev 18:6-24).

Rev 16:5 - And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous are You, who are and who were being, O Holy One, because You judged these things;

heard the angel of the waters - Back in Rev 15:4 it was those who are gathered on the Sea of Glass who are expressing praise at God’s manifested/coming judgements. Here it is, and that by the Third Plague, a Plague Angel who breaks forth in this praise. Manifestly Angels are indeed also passionately engrossed in the step-by-step unravelling of this Great Controversy.

Rev 16:6 - for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You give them blood in order to drink. They deserve it."

This statement pointedly relates to God’s corresponding action in the, even deadly, rejection of (a) those, i.e. "saints" (cf. Matt 27:52), who wanted to fully/wholly live according to God’s righteous ways (cf. Matt 23:34-35), and (b) the prophets who endeavored to bring God’s people back onto His righteous paths, that, by here making the rivers and springs of waters (i.e., the Christian/Religious Institutions) be only capable of producing and unusable, and vitally hazardous substance, namely blood, God is now acting to have those rebellious ones see the “fruit” of their persisted unrighteousness. (Cf. Rev 11:5b & 6b) Indeed by here, in the Third Plague, which is indeed shortly subsequent of the Third Trumpet, by now being able to clearly see that their waters are polluted, (unlike having to taste them when they were (merely) made bitter with the Third Trumpet), those people then will not be able to consume this water at all, nor will they even want to. And they will also have no possible/viable alternative to turn to.
            So this Plague judgment is here making an end of all (false) Religions/Religious Beliefs in the world, especially within Christianity, which prior to that, people had observed and God, looking at their heart and genuine belief/faith, did variously/relatively consider it to be acceptable if they were as honest as possible and really did not know any better (cf. Acts 17:22-23ff, 30; John 4:22-24ff). The standard then will be ‘if your Religion, even Christian Belief is producing Godly “Justice and Righteousness”’ (Acts 17:31; Psa 9:7-9; 96:13; 98:9; Isa 28:16-17 = Matt 25:31-46), which as stated above are the foundation of God’s throne, i.e., which most desirously stems from His very “Heart” (cf. 1 Sam 13:14; 2 Sam 8:15). And so those people will then clearly see that their Religion and Religious beliefs, which pervasively extends into all corners of their society, is completely false. Their false gods/worship will here radically be brought to naught. Only a new/supernatural reviving of them (as in Ezek 37:9’s “one-fourth wind”, namely the coming (i.e., Rev 16:8-9, 10-11's ‘wind of quasi-geo-crisis, -conflict & -strife’ presented in here) can now change this, like water: fundamentally, entrenchedly, essentially and pervasively, Divinely-inflicted fate... if ever that mercifully salvaged, last chance/gasp “Sixth Army” (=Ezek 37:10 & Rev 9:13-17ff) is ever to be raised up...
            Collectively, the transpired judgement and utilized symbolism, and imagery involved, here are indeed all mirroring how Moses made the worshippers of the Idolatry at Sinai, Golden Calf to “drink their now destroyed and finely grounded god” (Exod 32:20). Indeed “thus was shown the utter worthlessness of the god which they had been worshipping.” (PP 320.2) =Ezek 20:36. And just like that episode of Idolatry involved the people becoming ‘naked/unrestrained’, (Exod 32:25); the present anti-sabbatical socio-economic false system of religion/worship of the indeed most religiously and culturally pervasive Capitalism will only result in the ‘nakedness of unrighteousness’ being displayed by those who adhere to it. (cf. Rev 3:17-18; 16:15; contra. Rev 19:8)

Rev 16:7 - And I heard from the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."

the altar - As there were only two altars in Israel’s Sanctuary, the Altar of Burnt Offerings and the Altar of Incense, it theologically appears that this latter Altar is the referred to here and is manifestly associated with the last one mentioned in Rev 8:3, 5; 9:13; 14:18. This understanding is concretely grammatically supported by the fact that an article is used in the Greek, which thus refers to a priorly/lately mentioned “altar”, however there evidently is a key distinguishing that is being done here, namely between a ‘golden altar, which is before the throne of God (in heaven) (Rev 8:3, 5, 9:13)’; which indeed is the Altar of Incense’, and another altar (Rev 11:1; 14:18), -a replica, non-golden one (=one which is without, (as discussed here):“faith & love combined” (2T 36.2; cf. 18MR 284.4)). This thus can only be an altar on earth, one which has been, evidently, ‘theivingly = self-servingly’ (PH004 1.1-10.3; cf. PK 705.1) stripped of its ‘faith combined with love’ “gold”, and as God’s Temple on Earth now, in the New Covenant Era is, (as discussed at the end of this section): His Church, (the body of Christ), being collectively made up of its ‘temple building blocks’ members (Eph 2:19; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 1 Pet 2:5; John 2:19-21/(cf. Mark 14:58) = Eph 1:22-23; Col 1:18, 24).
            Furthermore, as discussed here, the “altar” focally represents the entire “Temple Ministry”. And so this “(earthly) altar” is pointing to an earthly “temple ministry”, one which is, as in heaven, working to deal with the prayers (=desires) of its assembling “saints” (church members). But as involved in two other citings of this “non-golden, earthly, altar” in Rev 11:1, 14:18, it is one which is deserving of judgement. And that is all because this “altar/temple ministry” is indeed the same compromisingly (& Laodicean) corrupted one of the pivotal Third Series Era discussed above, which moreover, compoundedly went on to, then transformed into “Babylon”, mortally persecute God’s most faithful ones as depicted in Rev 6:9. (=Rev 17:6; 18:24) Therefore that “altar/temple ministry” is, “at best”, (i.e., towards its “sheeple” members, the profiteering and self-serving “false shepherds/shepherding” leadership of Ezek 34:1-22 (NT = “pastors” (John 21:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2)). This corrupt leadership group is most disturbed, and thus most rejectful and persecutive of God’s prophets (Matt 23:29-33, 34-36; Rev 18:24). And so now, as stated in Rev 16:6, God has “deservingly” given these corrupt leaders who had effectuated this persecution, a taste of their own wounding/blood letting medicine.
            This above spiritual understanding is further textually seen in the fact that, of the (only) two altars in God Sanctuary Complex, the first one, was in the courtyard, and was mainly for the (sins-forgiving) sacrifices as well as for consuming offerings. This symbolically represented the two types of sins forgiving elements which God/Christ will accept. The first is of course an expressed full faith in Him as the sins bearing sacrifice, and the complimentary or sincerely lone, other, is, as decidingly seen in the Matt 25:31-46 judgement, are righteous/good works acts which both people who have known about Him and those who have not had the (valid) chance have done. (See James 2:24-26; LDE 218.3-219.3). So the “temple ministry” here is actually persecuting people who merely believe in Christ, nor even relative good non-believers, but instead those who are not then offering up their prayers to God through their ministry inside the Holy Place, pointedly at that pivotal altar just before the Most Holy Place. So these ‘non-golden altar dissenters’, who are indeed not working through this compromising/corrupt ministry which does not have ‘faith and love combined’, -not following the ‘Isa 58 (HP 110.3) True Right-Doing Message’, have been suffering marginalization, rejection and death, -all indeed symbolized by “blood” letting, for any blood letting wounding which is not allowed to clot/coagulate through indeed repeating wounding is effecting a process which will eventually lead to death. (cf. Gen 9:4; Deut 12:23).

            So in summary here, this “altar” is actually the earthly, but deficiently and theivingly
corrupt one in God’s Church which is persecuting God’s prophets and (actual) saints.

heard from - As discussed within here, (and so merely summarily restated now), the Greek verb “to hear” with an object in the genitive case, means merely “hearing”, but (to some degree) not fully, or at all, “understanding”. With an accusative case the notion of “understanding” is then involved. And interestingly enough, John has many cases of both throughout Revelation where he at times clearly hears things/words, but actually does not grasp the meaning (e.g. Rev 6:5; 8:13; 14:13; 21:3), and cases where he does understand. (e.g. Rev 5:11-13; 6:6; 7:4; 9:13-14, 16; 19:1, 6). Well in this instance in Rev 16:7, one would expect that John would “understand” what he is ‘heard from the altar’, as it seemingly is so straightforward. But he still does not. And that is because, it is not logically sequitur that this “altar”, which as explained above, is a corrupt Church leadership, and part of the Mark of the Beast camp, even the most pivotal part as it is the Religious aspect of it, is just vacuously saying this. I.e. they are here, forcedly, confessing that God’s trial judgement (Greek krisis) of them is “true and righteous” but they are not actually repenting and changing their ways. This is all exactly reflective of how Pharaoh falsely repented especially in the latter parts of his plagues judgement, but then continued to oppose God’s will, all leading to his complete destruction. Clearly this is also because God is acting to harden the hearts of these false confessors. Manifestly these Ezek 34 false shepherd leaders (=EW 36.2) have understood that ‘they have not part in the Davidic Establishment which God will raised in place of them.’ (=2 Sam 20:1|1 Kgs 12:16 & Ezek 34:23-24). So though they are vacuously recognizing that they have been wrong, and God has been judging, they still persist in their rebellion.
            This is actually part of their “blood to drink” judgement. With no water available for them to drink, God has duped them to think that they should instead drink “waters of, even life taking, rejection”. Ironically enough, as Jesus stipulated in Matt 23:34-36, God has priorly done this, and also with Jesus, by allowing, even incitingly (even by just speaking a hated truth (e.g. John 10:24-42; Matt 26:63-66) letting, such rebels think that they should, and even can, persecute and martyring those prophets and saints which He has sent them. Steep in their false, but not yet judged, compromising beliefs and abominable practices about/for God, these moronic rebels (=Matt 23:1-28ff) had thus been Divinely-duped to think that they were on God’s side, and thus thought that they were doing God a service by rejecting and even killing the prophets and saints. (John 16:2) This is all actually God’s most objective/candid, and also conclusive way of testing the actual hearts and intents of professed followers.
            So that is all why John does hear the words, discussed next, that these adjudged people are confessing, but just ‘cannot make sense’ of it, because there indeed is no change in their course. For God does indeed next have in reserve more “fiery” judgements against that King of South (=Ezek 20:47-48) entity and false ministry. (=Rev 14:18-20 = Rev 16:8-9a = Rev 18:8-10ff (cf. GC 653.1-3)). These words are indeed not “parables” (Ezek 20:49; cf. within here at Rev 20:9). And they even, as with Pharaoh, as the next plagues come upon them, then turn to blaspheming/slandering God....who is still duly judging them (Rev 16:9, 11)

righteous and true - Here this rebellious Temple Ministry is confessingly echoing what the righteous 144,000 camp who had been standing of the Sea of Glass had keynotely said, stemming from their long discovered experience. (Rev 15:1-3ff; -see more about this at the introductory sections of this present post). But significantly enough, unlike the Sealed Camp’s “righteous and true” expression which is reflective of how they had arrived at this 7 Plagues truth by having primarily pursued righteousness, i.e. by doing whatever is right, instead of first “pharisaically” seeking to be right, this MOB Camp rather first recognizes God’s actions against them as being “true” and then “right”. -Indeed, by contrast, the Plague Outpouring Angel likewise had prominently hailedGod’s (Terrible) Righteousness effectuation. (Rev 16:5) But clearly this neither had served to spare these rebels, nor has it led them to become “righteous”, for, as in Christ’s Good Samaritan parable (Luke 10:29-37), which is indeed most reflective of the standoff He experienced with the Jewish leaders throughout Him ministry, these likewise worthless religious leaders should have first sought to do what was right and that would have led them to, even verily been, truth itself. But they instead made it their object to try to pridefully find whatever spurious “Truth/Religious” caveats in order to avoid doing what was Right. (Hab 2:4)
            So it actually is indeed quite telling here how and why they still here, i.e. even despite this “confession”, are still not in proper harmony with God’s ideal. And that is why they fail.

the Almighty - As respondingly pointed out in here, this “Almighty” characterizing naming for God is Theologically reflective/indicative of His unstoppable “power” to accomplish whatever He said He will do (=His Prophetic “plan” Isa 46:10b-11). So what these rebels are here also, but also vacuously so, recognizing, and thus confessing, is that God has here, through sheer overpowering, done what He had said, through His Two Witnesses/Prophets (Rev 11:6), would be done to all (Rev 11:10) those who persecutively opposed these representatives of His.

Third Thunder - Remnant Church Reformation
Eze 20:1ff - Israel's Continuing Rebellion
Eze 20:33ff - God Will Restore Israel
Eze 20:45ff - A Prophecy against the Negeb
Eze 21:1ff - The Drawn Sword of God
Eze 22:1ff - The Bloody City
Eze 23:1ff - Oholah and Oholibah

Fourth Trumpet & Plague
Internal State of Church: (Fourth Church - Rev 2:18-29 [538-1560's A.D.]) - By the turn of the 4th Church Age, persecutions were again rekindled against those who opposed, now the Church which was then unified with the world (cf. EW 211.2-3; GC 54.2ff). However, as also with the first Christian Martyr Stephen seeing the “Son of Man” standing (Acts 7:54-56) Jesus, now even more concretely understood to be the “Son of God” (Rev 2:18a) was also standing to uphold these faithful ones (cf. Dan 12:1) for/during this (prophesied) Great Time of Trouble of 1260 years (Dan 7:25; 12:7). Thus was fulfilled the Rev 12:13-16 prophetic depictions. With two wings of a great eagle given to this woman, in order for her to flee into the wilderness and therein survive, and with an eagle being fulfilled in a ‘speed and power’ aid, whether it is Spiritually as in Spiritual Gifts (cf. here), or in what technology could do, it is seen in Church History that God variously provided/supplied such needed aids to His faithful “Church in the Wilderness”, mainly the Waldenses, thus ‘bearing them of Eagle Wings’ as promised (Exod 19:1-4; Deut 32:8-11; Isa 40:28-31; cf. Deut 32:12-13; Isa 58:13-14). Even the natural mountainous landscape and regions of this Divinely prepared Refuge became a natural, protective advantage (cf. Job 39:27; Jer 49:17; Oba 1:4) against pursuing Roman Catholic Church Inquisitors. (See GC 64.1-66.2ff). As discussed here on the Dan 10:5-6 symbols, the “eyes like a flame of fire” represented the Biblically correct “Theological Views” that Church was to have, and be diffusing then, and its “feet of polished bronze” represented the strong stance that it should be having. However the mainline Church was far from those expectations, and those qualities were instead present in the Church of the Wilderness.

greater, later works - Whereas faithful Christians always counter-currently existed throughout Church History, the early “dissidents” were more passive and reclusive than these latter ones. Starting with the covertly evangelistic Waldenses, then more pronouncedly with the outspoken reformers, the works of the faithful did now indeed do much more towards standing against the current of apostasy and error than the former.

tolerate Jezebel - One would think that God would give a Church being persecuted yet still trying to fight back “a break”, however God knew that they were capable of much more and thus deservingly rebukes them for ‘tolerating Jezebel’. This allusion calls back the opportunity missed by Elijah to complete his Israel reform work when in 1 Kgs 19 (PK 160.2-161.1ff; 166.1-168.1), he lost faith in God’s ability to continue to give him victory over any opposition and foe, and ran away from Jezebel who was threatening his life. And so Jezebel, moreover claiming to be speaking for/from God (Rev 2:20b), and which is all symbolic of ‘an indifferently still rebellious Church which moreoverly is still claiming to be doing God’s express will’ continue her rebellious ways, and more crucially, continue to misled King Ahab in those paths of apostasy, thus causing the entire nation to maintain an evil course. And so, prophetically, because the Jezebel of the 4th Mainline Church Era did not want to repent of their capital sinful deeds of idolatry and eating things sacrificed to idols, God decreed to take overturning actions against them, bring her to an utter end, with no posterity (Rev 2:21-23a). The ‘deep investigating/judging’ imagery of (in context) Heb 4:11-13, which was discussed above for Rev 2:12, on the Internal State of the Third Church Era, is also alluded to here. This ‘mind and heart’ search would extend to also groups such as the Waldenses, as even from among them many gradually gave in to Rome in the face of sustained persecutions (GC 65.2).
            And so, as with the investigative judgement, God will not be presenting merely the actions (whether good or bad) as the main evidence, but will more comprehensively be also taking into consideration the non-actions (=sins of omission), and also, more deeply, the reasons and motives for either actions or non-actions. E.g. many could claim that they remain faithful to the mainline Church because they believed that the Church leadership/priests were telling them God’s will, however God’s heart searching probe may instead reveal that they, indeed like, but much worst than, the momentarily distraught Elijah, were instead more concerned about protecting their well-being and life. However unlike Elijah, these ones would have never taken any courageous stand for God’s Truth and Honor in the face of apostasy, and thus had nothing to give them any credit of being faithful. And so no heart motivation then will be left hidden (Heb 4:13) and all will justly receive as they deserve (Rev 2:23b).

instilled sins of Balaam - The sins of idolatry and eating things sacrificed to idols had been basely contracted by the Church in the previous (Third) Era through compromises with the world. However now those sins were being resolutely entrenched in the Church, through now the supposed “prophetic” voice, no doubt stating that this was indeed God’s very will, even effacing the previously ascribed to defences of expediency.
            The same ‘prophetically entrenching’ seems to occur with major sins in the Church. E.g., (pointedly in the SDA Church), racial divisions were utilized in the Church because of the hardness of the hearts involved and given the general state of those racist times. However now, with those standing excuses having all been removed, the reason for continuing to persist in those division is “prophetically” being claimed to be ‘because it is according to God’s will. The same has occurred with Capitalism in the Church. At first it was merely for convenience and supposed practicality. However in our much more connected and shrunken world, those competitive and divisive capitalistic models are being maintain as God’s Will and Ideal. (Elective) Abortion in the SDA Church is also of the same nature as, summarily stated, it is deemed that ‘it is Godly to relieve someone of psychological pains caused by an unwanted pregnancy.’ (See here). Many other abominable sins in the SDA Church indeed follow this ‘convenience-to-“Biblical truth”’ development pattern.[25] In the Christian world at large, Sun-day sacredness was first done to facilitate the inclusion of pagans and also to differentiate from the hated Jews people. However now, especially in the Protestant world, this change in God’s Will was being upheld as something that is actually Biblical. Indeed so is the common attempt of Protestants today who are (futilely) trying to justify Sunday-keeping. (See e.g., here).

throw (Jezebel) into a bed of sickness - It is significant to note the method of judgement/destruction that stated in Rev 2:23b that God will used to ‘bring down’ this Jezebel. It will not be from an instantaneous blow, but through a slow death involving an understood long/protracted period of ‘sickness’, indeed to the point that she will not be able to leave this bed, hence the pointed “into a bed” notion.
            Indeed the Catholic Church was placed “into” this state of sickness and sick bed for centuries starting from the dawn of the rising and replacing Protestant Reformation movement and the 14th century clarion call of the dissident, (appropriately enough, independently known as) “Morning Star of the Reformation”, John Wycliffe, and it was not until, ca. 450 years later, in 1798 that its ‘fatal/mortal/death blow’ came. (cf. Rev 13:3, 12, 14).
no other burden - While God did indeed reproach the reformation works for not seeing it fully through, indeed with many errors from the Catholic Church being knowingly sustained, most notably, Martin Luther’s knowing refusal to return to the Bible Sabbath (the 7th day), even being taunted by Catholics for not doing so, because such incomplete works, as with Elijah’s shortcoming, were done out of a sincere belief that this was not contrary to the Truth, these had thus not being acting in “rebellion” to God. So God gave them credit for having shunned what they clearly saw/understood to be the “deep things of Satan” that were reigning supreme in the Church, and did not place any added burden on them. In a similar way, because God understood Elijah’s genuine fear of Jezebel’s threat, He did not call Elijah to directly confront her, yet he was to still carry out the laid out plans to complete this Reformation (1 Kgs 19:15-21|PK 167.1ff; cf. this comment). The People/Church of the Reformation was to however hold fast the good/commendable things/works that they had attained until Christ would come (Rev 2:25).

ruling authority over the nations/Gentiles - It is interesting to see that God here promised to give these faithful ones the exact temporal authority over other nations/Gentiles that the mainline Church had been seeking to obtain by (offensive) force. Under God’s plan, which was repeatedly stated in the Old Testament (see e.g., Isa 2; 60:1-3ff; Mic 4), yet constantly misunderstood by also the Jewish Nation, it would not be through the force of arms that this authority would be obtained, but by mere influence borne of jaw-dropping awe at the Righteous and Just ways of God’s People then. Indeed with the “Son of God” promise of Psa 2:7b being fulfilled to all as spoken of in Rev 21:7, and for those ‘overcoming’ reasons involved there (cf. Rev 21:8), it is quite inherently natural that the promises of authority and rulership over the nations in Rev 2:26-28) (quoted from Psa 2:8-9; cf. Rev 12:5 & 19:15) also be given to them. God’s Zionistic end goal, i.e., temporally through His People, is indeed to establish Righteousness and Justice throughout the earth, but it is not by the force of arms, but by the incontrovertible witnessing of this being modelled by His People. And not even a “single shot” will have to be fired to accomplish this. In fact the only “wounds” being inflicted then, (barring a vexatious physical confrontation which would then necessitate a matching, defensive countering), will be self-inflicted ones for those who choose to continue to follow their spurious and detrimental ways.

give him the morning star - As stated here under the symbol of “Stars”, this ruling over God’s created world could have been the appointment of Satan. However he, “jumping the gun through a lack of faith in God’s wisdom” chose to obtain this position through ungodly means, indeed just as he then went on to inspire the (preemptively aborted) Foundational Antiquity (Gen 11:1-9); Temporal Neo-Historic (Isa 14:12-14); Symbolic (i.e., Rome -Dan 7:19; Rev 12:3); then Spiritual/Prophetic (i.e., Holy Roman - Rev 13:1-10); and ultimately Socio-Economic (Rev 13:11-18; 17:1-18) Babylon (see details in this post) to similarly do so, and quite knowingly (see Rev 12:12) to their inevitable detriment.
            It is significant to note that the “Morning Star” is the first light of dawn, thus of a new day, and while the term “star” may seem to only imply a celestial body that shines at night, with, as discussed here under “Sun”, stars actually being all suns, (and, of course, vice-versa), the Morning Star is this referring to the actual Star|Sun that produces the brightest light on Earth, thus daylight. And that is of course what is commonly known as the Sun. It is thus most fitting that as Jesus was to bring about a “new day” upon this dark world (cf. DA 21.3-22.1; 34.4-35.1), that He is chiefly referred to as this Morning Star (2 Pet 1:19; Rev 22:16). His ‘New Day Lighting’ message of perfect/perfected Righteousness is indeed to produce a Spiritual and Physical healing to, and throughout, this world. (Mal 4:2). And as promised to this 4th Church, all those who are willing to partake in this work of Righteousness restoration (cf. 2 Pet 3:13) will share in His Authority over this world. As detailed in this post, the Four-Winds-halting Angel (= “Star”) rising up from the East (aka. sunrising) of Rev 7:1-3ff spearheads such a: ‘“new day” on Earth authoritative ‘national’ rule, through the temporally established kingdom of God, and that through the “perfected Righteousness” that is found in the Full Sabbath of God message. (cf. Matt 5:17-20; cf. vs. 10).

State of the Church in the World: (Fourth Seal - Rev 6:7-8 - Flying Eagle)

sickly pale horse - With the horse for this seal being the sickly pale (aka. ashen; Zech 6:3b, 6b, 7 - strong dappled) horse, it can symbolically be seen that God considers this as the “sick period” of the Church. It had contracted this sickness under the black horse religious and socio-economic compromising period of the Third Seal’s Horseman. For the first time in the deployment of these 4 horsemen, its rider is not one of reform, but, as with the Angel of Death of Egypt (Exod 12:23; cf. Psa 78:49-51; see also here) an Executioner of Death and Hades (i.e., the “grave” -cf. Acts 2:27, 31; 13:35 = Psa 16:10).

Death and Hades|Grave - Because of its persisted waywardness, like rebellious Ancient Israel, the Church would undergo a period of death here and be also, spiritually-speaking, “buried”. That was accomplished by God not providing any light or correction to this Church for a while, allowing it to sink to an unfathomable depth. All of this was for a pointed purpose, for just as the Second Church Era persecutions of the Church served to strengthen the faith of those who understood the pivotal Truths being rejected here, which indeed confirmed that they were in the right, the persecutive actions by the 4th Era Church here against those who would go by the Bible only and by its full message served to transparently demonstrate that the Church was not actuated by the Spirit of Christ but by the Truth-hating, blood-thirsty, Spirit of the Devil. And so these unwarranted actions of opposition only served to congeal the ranks of those who wanted to follow Truth more than anything else.
            It is interesting to see that in our day, the Catholic Church has effectively recanted of its claims of just actions during those persecutive times which then saw it, by some estimates, put to death ca. 100 million people. So still today, those now admitted/confessed wrongful actions continue to lead the honest seeker of Truth away from this system and towards the Truth.
            In the context of speaking of His lawless death at, effectively, the hands of the Jewish leaders (Matt 16:21), Jesus had stated, knowing concretely now (cf. here), that His ministry in Israel would not end in a triumphant enthronement, but instead lowly death, had declared that, although Death would come, and that He would be laid in the grave for a while (3 days), He would still succeed in establishing His Church, the New Covenant Israel, and the gates of the grave, (=Hades) would not be able to prevail against it, i.e., by (initially) holding Him in the grave. (Matt 16:18b). And so although the 4th Era Church, while itself being deathly sick, would projectionly be putting to death faithful people, Jesus’ promise that ‘the gates of Hades/Grave would not overpower/prevail over His (True) Church, and in an ultimate sense for all, because He had the keys of Death and the Grave (Rev 1:18; cf. 20:13-14), by the various strengthening and providences of God, even the realized threat of death was not able to prevail over Followers of Christ’s Truths.

a fourth of the earth - So the “Sick (4th) Church” indeed proceeded to spread its deadly state throughout the earth, pointedly over a ‘fourth of the Earth’ which, if only land mass is being considered here, could be representing its area of authority, namely the (Holy) Roman Empire, but if the whole planet is being considered, with water covering ca. 75% of the globe, it could, at least by extension, be speaking of the entire habitable world.
            A double entente understanding can be held here as, (1) while the Church then focused/limited its persecution to those within its realm of authority, the, here, “Dark Ages” damage of ca. mid 500's-1200's A.D. (distinct from the more broader “Middle Ages”) that was inflicted at that time stemming from the various, mainly religious-based, intellectual, suppressions of the Church, which notably included scientific study, (2) came to directly or indirectly affect the entire inhabited world. In fact it did even directly affect the then uninhabited world, as it was the Church’s opposition to scientific study/research/exploration surely prevented the earlier discovery of the thereto unknown continents of the “New World”.

kill by sword, pestilence, famine and wild beasts of the earth - As discussed in this post, this fourth horsemen and its destructions mirror the total destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem at the hand of Babylon [= “a wild beast”) in Jeremiah’s time. (E.g., Jer 21:7-9; 24:10; 32:36; cf. Ezek 7:14-15). It is significant to note that while the black horses of Zech 6:6 had been sent to the northern lands, which first included the region of Northern Kingdom of Israel (= 10+ tribes) with the evangelizing white ones following them (cf. Acts 1:8), the strong, dapple horses (= Rev 6:7's sickly pale one) was sent to the southern regions, which first went through the (relatively faithful) Southern Kingdom of Judah. And so, as depicted here, a North-South division of the land of this New Israel had occurred by then under the black horse period, which, in allowing those who insisted on compromising with the World/State then to fall, thus appeasing God’s wrath (Zech 6:8b), God was still allowing a now sickly pale, and also quite “eager” Church to go after the also relatively faithful ones in the Church, symbolized as those in that Southern region. The manifest purpose of this, as with any allowed persecution and trial of God, is to test the genuineness of the faith of those who claimed to be loyal to God and His Truth. (Cf. 1 Pet 4:12-13). Would they confirm this faith by ‘not loving their lives even when faced with death’? (-=Rev 12:11; cf. Luke 14:26b). Indeed many would come to give in to adherence to the heresies of the Church when faced with death (GC 65.2). As with the dwindling down episode of Gideon, it would not be profitable for God to establish a Remnant Church which included those who would just turn to falsehoods, and that readily so, when their livelihood and/or life became threatened. Indeed it was for such reasons of livelihood convenience and sustainment that the heresies of the Catholic Church had been adopted. Chief amongst them was the view that if they could align themselves with the State, then that would prevent another wave of persecutions against them. So through, and after, the persecution of the professing faithful ones then was the true number of God’s Israel capable of being measured, and God had a purified nucleus that He could work with to re-establish a Remnant of the Apostolic Church. (cf. LDE 153.3-154.1)
            According to this similarly found cause-effect mould today, it is seen that Capitalistic ways have been adopted and enshrined in the Church, even the SDA Church, out of ease-loving Cross-less living preference and/or a fear of suffering need. And today also, those who bindingly speak and/or tangibly act to uproot it in the Church are variously, correspondingly marginalized. Such inflicted consequence cause many prior denouncer, or those who would want to either completely keep silence, or if they say something against this Baal in the Church, just say something ambiguously, ambivalently innocuous. Persecutive measures will indeed come to purify the Church (LDE 173.5), first starting in the Biblical Shaking of the Church (5T 79.4), and all revolving around God’s Sabbath, however, in this Eschatological age, this will also, and actually prominently, include the observance of God’s socio-economic Sabbatical principles, which are included in Christ’s Full Gospel. (= LDE 173.6).

            As this was the period when the persecuted faithful Church of God should flee to the refuge of the mountains and wilderness, it is fittingly the Flying Eagle (= Rev 12:14) Living Creature that opens this Fourth seal, thus giving it various “powerful” advanced provisions to be able to survive these ordeals.

Fourth Trumpet
Rev 8:12 - The fourth angel sounded, and the third of the sun and the third of the moon and the third of the stars were struck, so that the third of them would be darkened and the day might not shine for the third of it, and the night likewise.

sun, moon and stars affected - Under this Fourth Trumpet, God is set on affecting the natural order of things. While natural disasters can occur on earth, the affectation of the sun, moon and stars, by them simply not normatively giving their light in due time, is generally deemed as most alarming. Applying the advanced understanding for these symbols it is seen that God will work to affect, respectively, the “most prominent parts of the (1) General Economy; (2) the, now (passing/old) Religious Economy; (3) the leadership of the ones who were to lead people to righteousness. And as seen in Isa 13:9-13, in the context of God coming to destroy Babylon, the affectation of these three key ‘earth ruling’ bodies is in order to: ‘punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless’.   

‘Day of the Lord’ Representation - It is significant to note that whenever the Sun, Moon and Stars (or the darkness resulting from their hindering) are said to be affected in some drastic way by God in the Bible it is always in the context of coming for the execution of a major judgement. (See e.g., Isa 13:9ff; Joel 2:10-11; 30-32; 3:12-17; Amos 5:18-20; Zeph 1:7ff, 14-18; Rev 6:12-13; cf. 1 Thess 5:1-9) So this similar instance here is to also be understood as such a major/drastic judgement execution, and that manifestly is in relation to the ending of the chance to easily escape Babylon before the blast of this Fourth Trumpet (See this (coming) post for more.)

Allusive Relation to the Creation’s Fourth Day - It is most interesting to see that the three affected entities in this Fourth Trumpet of the Sun, Moon and Stars were all created by God on the (perhaps somewhat merely coincidentally) Fourth Day of Creation (Gen 1:14-19). And it is in seeing the pointed natural reason and purpose why God had created these lights, and then seeing how they are symbolically used in the Bible that the meaning of such an affectation in the Fourth Trumpet is better understood.
            First of all, in the creation account, it is clear that God had created “Light” from the very first day, and had then distinctly established both day and night (Gen 1:3-5). The after creating the atmosphere on Day 2 (Gen 1:6-8), and habitable (dry) land masses and its vegetation, separating it (i.e., manifestly a single unified mass) from the seas on Day 3 (Gen 1:9-13), God then created two main great lights to order the days and nights and also to set/regulate/order major annual calendrical events, producing also months, seasons, and years. (Cf. Jer 31:35). Indeed the Sun and the Moon, by ordering the days and months, served to regulate the Religious Economy of Israel and its Sabbaths, Feasts and New Moons (e.g., 2 Chr 2:4; Ezek 45:17; Isa 66:23); with these antitypical institutions “tutorially” (Gal 3:23-27) being representative of what would be fulfilled with the Advent and Teachings of the Messiah (=Matt 5:14-16|17-18; Col 2:16-17); and from which idolatrous pagans (cf. Deut 4:19) have also sought to obtain answers and life guidance from them (Isa 47:13).
            So with the greater light, the Sun, no merely providing daylight, but also being conducive to the vital productivity of the earth, and with the Moon reflecting the sun’s light to lighten up the nights, -until the next dawning of the Sun (= Mal 3:1-5 & 4:2's ‘Full Righteousness’), and the Stars also providing lighting for the nights and also serving to accurately guide people at night, it is indeed applicationally seen that prophetically affecting them will result in the sudden darkenings in the above areas of the Economy, which pivotally includes the Socio-Economy, the (sustaining) Religious Economy, and the guidance provided by individual Spiritual preachers/leaders. (See also in next section.)
            So the point in this Fourth Trumpet is to ominously demonstrate that a drastic judgement had transpired here and indeed something worst was sure to come. Indeed just like a momentary, yet still quite noticeable power waning of the lights and other running electric appliances in a home is a “sign” that some sort of power failure had just occurred and that a future complete failure may come, the partial darkening of the Sun, Moon and Stars, and that at their ‘peak hours’, should similarly serve as a sign to the persisting rebellious Mark of the Beast camp that ‘one shoe had dropped here, and the other is also about to drop.’

Relation to God’s (True) Israel - Contrary to, on one extreme, the common belief (e.g, amongst SDA’s) that God has nothing major/significant to say in regards to the Economic realm, thus no emphasis on the (Economic) “Sun” but only the (Religious) “Moon” [with such a belief being the fruit of having defeatedly capitulated, bowed down and/or given deference to, the present ruling economic powers of the world]; and, at the other extreme, the idolatrous Capitalistic perversion that ‘God is intending His ‘“chosen” and “blessed” people (e.g., the so-believed U.S. nation) to merely/predominantly be interested in making money and amassing individual/private wealth’, as  God instead shows that the symbolic entities of His purposefully created Sun, Moon and Stars are to be intrinsically involved as Biblically, subjugatedly due, in a Nation that is Truly under Him. That was seen in God’s revelatory/prophetic depictions of His Israel, namely in Gen 37:9-10 and Rev 12:1.
            In Gen 37:9-10, Jacob is symbolized by the Sun and is understood to be Civil/National Entity of this Promised Nation of Israel. The ‘mother of Joseph’, thus actually, the albeit then deceased Rachel (cf. Gen 35:16-19), is Spiritually understood to be the mother of the Messiah, though the line of the Messiah actually was wholly (i.e., in both Joseph’s and Mary’s line) from Judah (Matt 1:2b-3a & Luke 3:33b-34a), with his mother being Leah (Gen 29:35; 35:23), the survival of God’s Israel is pointedly associated with Rachel children (Jer 31:15-17); even furthermore, the son of Joseph, Ephraim (Gen 41:52) who had one of Joseph’s double-tribe portion (Gen 48) in Israel (=Jer 31:18-20); as explicitly seen in Matthew’s understanding of this preferential substitution. (Matt 2:16-18). Indeed, as God was indicating in the dreams given to Joseph, it would be through Him that all Israel would be saved. (Gen 50:20-21). The with Joseph also being a star in that Gen 37:9-10 depiction, as were his other 11 brothers, thus was being shown the chief leadership of God’s Israel.
            In the Rev 12:1 depiction of this National Israel, indeed at that point with the Messiah, and NT Church not yet “birthed”, succinctly said the Sun is representing the provisional and socio-economic, righteous acts (cf. Rev 19:8) and Righteousness of God aspects that this Israel are to be clothed with, which are to be anchored in the Cornerstone of Righteousness (cf. 6BC 1116.6), indeed in order to provide a covering for their sins and unworthiness. The ‘moon under the feet’ is depicting the Religious Economy upon which Israel is to stand established, indeed, when properly observed, reflecting that bright Righteousness. And the ‘12 stars bespeckling a royal crown’ are symbolic of the righteous civil and religious leadership that should collectively exist in Israel, and that all of the twelve tribes were to variously contribute to (cf. Gen 49; cf. this post).

Full Sabbath and Fourth Trumpet - Most significantly, in Isa 58, in the context of God calling His people to also observe the socio-economic principles included in His (Full) Sabbath, an allusion is made to the Sun, Moon and Stars as in Isa 58:10-11, it is said that: “Then your light will rise in darkness [shining of daylight = Sun] And your gloom will become like midday [brightly illuminated nights = Moon] And the LORD will continually guide you [guidance of Stars]. (cf. Isa 58:5-9). Indeed then will God’s people be truly righteous (Isa 60:19-22).

            As long as there are to be days and nights, there will be a need for this ordering/regulating entities of the Sun Moon and Stars, but when God Himself is fully allowed to dwell amongst His People, then there, temporally, symbolically) will no longer be any night (cf. ), and thus there will no longer be a need for the Sun, moon, nor stars (=other suns). (Rev 21:22-24; Isa 60:17-20ff; Zech 14:7).

            Thus, from all of these understandings of the Sun, Moon and Stars with God’s Israel, it is indicatively fitting that when God’s People will, for Zionistic advances, be truly Revived and Reformed by having been thoroughly purged, perfectly fitted, and rightly re-organized to efficaciously take on the dark and evil world, and usher in a ‘bright and new day’ instead (e.g,. Isa 60), they will have become “as beautiful as the full moon, As pure as the sun, and as awesome as an army with banners [=a collective of “hosts” (Strong’s #6635), thus God’s (military) host = angels; -e.g., Num 2; Luke 2:13]” (See AA 90.2; 7BC 966.4; CH 464.2; PK 725.1; EW 52.1), and all within the precursory Church Shaking & Sealing context of/for the (Full) Mark of the Beast test (5T 81.1-2; cf. GC 424.2-425.2).

Rev 8:13 - Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

eagle flying in midheaven - It is tellingly eerie how the symbolism here of ‘an eagle flying in midheaven speaking in loud voice of three remaining angels about to sound their trumpets’. It is a thematic antithesis of the Three Angels Messages of Rev 14:6-11. This appears to be deliberate, as with the all-inclusive sounding of the Three Angels Messages in a final Loud Cry (= LDE 201.3), linearly following the post-Rev 7:1-8-Shaking of Judah and Sealing of the 144,000 in God’s Israel, and their assembly on Mount Zion (Rev 14:1-5), as discussed in this (coming) post, this would have transpired under the above-discussed first 3 Trumpets, in their Eschatological application. So leading through to the sounding of the final, culminating, Seventh Eschatological Trumpet (Rev 11:15-18), there are to now be 3 more “warnings”, but rather than these being ‘warnings of judgement with a hope/chance of repentance’, these next three will exegetically be quite literally “warnings of evil’ (= “woes”). I.e., if you thought the first three trumpets and their associated first 3 plagues were bad, just wait for the next three. This Fourth Trumpets was just to quite depictively demonstrate that a demarcating turning point had indeed occurred here, -when the ‘Earth’s leading providing/enlightening/guiding “lights”’ of, (correspondingly), the sun/moon/stars had quite noticeably gone out.
            (As stated earlier, as “delineated” in here, these “woes” here find a corresponding fulfilment in Ezek 24, i.e., vs. 6ff & 9ff (= Rev 11:14)).

            So while the Mark of The Beast camp had been emboldened in their opposition to God’s Just and Righteous ways because they had been seeing the past, now passing, “light” in their various Economic, Religious and Spiritual Leadership entities, those leading lights are here begun to be darkened, and indeed increasingly so, as the remaining Trumpet blasts are sounded. (= Amos 5:18-27; cf. Isa 1:10-17; Hos 2:11). As more pertinently depicted in Hos 8:1ff, the combination of an eagle and (about to be) sounded trumpets reveals that God is then going to allow those who have ‘sown the wind, to reap the whirlwind’ (Hos 8:7a; cf. here) for they have, like Israel of Old, (formally/officially/resolutely) broken their (intended to be) “everlasting covenant” (=Isa 24:5ff; ST, May 20, 1886 par. 4-5; Mar 216.1-7; PK 537.1-538.4).

Fourth Trumpet Historical (Church) Application:

Given the above general background on the Series of Fourths in Revelation, it is quite
straightforwardly seen that this Fourth Period was indeed fulfilled in what is widely known/understood as the “Dark Ages” of Church, and even, given the wide range and pervasive reach of the “Temporal Superpower” Holy Roman Catholic Church then, -World, History.
            Without rehashing the discussed reasons above here is how the Fourth Trumpet was fulfilled, first in Church History. As all of these application stemmed from, actually well-meaning, yet still unbiblical, Church directives,[26] the Religious affectations then are stated first, and then the wider Social, Political, and/or Economical extension/implication.

One-Third of Sun Darkening:
(A) Religious Application - Using a couple of misinterpreted Bible Statements, the Church clergy was raised to a position of actual/full-fledged, Old Covenant-type of priesthood. Thus the heavenly ministry belonging to the only worthy Priest, Christ, as stated in the book of Hebrews, (e.g., Heb 7:25; 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; cf. 1 Tim 2:5-6) was usurped and substituted for. The New Covenant ‘Sun of the Righteousness of Christ’ (Mal 4:2) was thus being partially obscured to those in the Church membership who were honestly/desperately searching for it. (However Matt 5:6).

(B) Temporal Implication - With the Sun being symbolic of the Economy (which is nonetheless/actually keyly dependent on individual acts of right-doing, indeed as Christ Himself would do), the assumed prerogative of the Church to prevent the laity from hearing the full and exact testimony of the word of God for themselves (contra e.g., Deut 31:10-13; 27:1-9|Jos 8:30-35; Neh 8:7-8, 13; Hab 2:2) further developed into a stifling and suppression of any idea that was (falsely) deemed to be in contradiction to the Bible. Thus scientific advance was also stifled then and it is not coincidental that a “Scientific Revolution” also occurred with the advent of the Reformation, -with many of the Scientific Pioneers then being dedicated Bible Believers. Thus knowledge was limited and as these Scientific ideas led to many of the useful innovations and inventions of the modern/developed age, the Economy of the times, which is not to be synonymously misunderstood according to current glib and worshipful Capitalistic notions of merely finance/wealth/money, but more pragmatically as what made everyday life more manageable, -(just as the Sun is not an entity of/for worship, but an instrument through which God provides useful and beneficial power, light and energy to various living things on Earth), was drastically halted in significant advance, and for a long time to come, became stagnant.

One-Third of Moon Darkening:
(A) Religious Application - With the calibrating New Covenant Righteousness of Christ being made absent from the Religious Economy of the Church many key Gospel Teachings and Truths came to also suffer corresponding darkness. Thus much of the Bible, especially key Gospel Message portions, were either being entirely ignored (thus kept in the dark) or grossly misinterpreted/misapplied, and the entire Religious System (i.e., Theology, Doctrine, Worship, Liturgy, Community, Ministry and Missions) of the Church was severely, detrimentally affected. Not all that the Church believed and taught then was unbiblical, but, as with the ‘chief’ notion in “a/the third”, all that was key to having a pure religion was pivotally perverted.

(B) Temporal Implication - Wrong beliefs most naturally produce wrong actions, and so, the perverted Religious System of the Church led to wrong, and also wrongful projection of those beliefs. And with the Political/Temporal power that the Church now controlled, these wrong beliefs led to the bloody period of Persecutions of those who were seeking to live by the actual True and Righteous ways of Christ.
            Furthermore, in God Cares Vol 2 p.242, Maxwell states a document historical fact that the Church during that time had declared ca. 150 days of the years to be “holy day” which, as with some of God’s instituted Old Covenant Feasts days, were to be observed as sabbath days, and so, during which, no physical work could be done. So these completely unbiblical institutions did indeed come to be of great detriment to the livelihood procurement of the laity.

One-Third of Stars Darkening:
(A) Religious Application - It is only natural, especially with the hierarchal way on which the Church leadership was structured them, with the “Greatest Sun/Star” then being claimed to be the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), that the dispersed clergy of the Church could themselves not provide any corrective light to their local congregations. And with the Biblical knowledge of most of them, though the indifferent/neglectful under-education of many of local priests later became a major issue in the Reformation, many of them were surely able to see that what they were being constrained to teach their Church members was not what the Bible actually taught. Yet they allowed their light to be darkened not desiring to “outshine” the Pope. It was not until several of such local priests and/or Bible Scholars began to let their known light of Truth shine during the days of the Reformation, indeed spearheaded by the Morning Star John Wycliffe, that the night that had settled on the Church then, and even the (First) World then began to lift, and gradually shine brighter and brighter towards the still to be temporally reached, “perfect noon day” of the fully replicated Righteousness and Character of Christ (Pro 4:18-19; 2SM 108.2; CT 230.3).

(B) Temporal Implication - As with the Darkened Sun and Moon above, with these Stars allowing their inherent and distinct light to also be darkened, the temporal world was also made to be deprived of most beneficial enlightening pertinent Truths found in God’s World. Indeed, simply from the civil and socio-economic laws and principles given throughout the Bible, many of the strife and conflicts present in the world then could have been resolve, as many of these same issues similarly can be resolved today. Also, as stated above, many “Scientific Stars” which were in full harmony with Biblical Science/Knowledge were also being kept in the dark then. In fact, it is more than likely the case, indeed as seen in the scientific revelations that were given to EGW through the Spirit of Prophecy, in fact even many instructions in the Bible, that God had always planned to reveal key scientific concept to Faithful People/Believers, which would indeed make them to be the ‘light to surrounding nations’ (Isa 60). So scientific knowledge is indeed not distinct from Biblical knowledge, for the Creator God is also the God of all Science.

Darkness Leads to Death - So it is not surprising that as depicted in the 4th Seal, all of this entrenched key “darkness” in the Church and world led to the violence and death stated there. Yet, as previously discussed, God had both (1) a purifying and object-lesson purpose in allowing this aberration to be fully carried out, and (2) a plan to lead His faithful people out of this dark age.

Three “Woe” Eagle Flying in Mid-Heaven - As discussed earlier, the Flying Eagle with three woes bears a quite striking demonstrative similarity to the Three Angels Message, and it is later more concretely seen that in the next three trumpets, where (1) the 5th involves an abyss (i.e., the state of the world prior to God’s organization of it) (Rev 9:1ff), (2) the 6th which involves affecting the (Babylonian’s sustaining/protecting/enlivening) River Euphrates (Rev 9:13), and (3) the 7th Trumpet which overwhelmingly engages the ruling worldly/secular powers, and is punctuated by the opening, for the first time of God’s Ark in Heaven, revealing most pointedly the light of the Seventh Day Sabbath Truth (Rev 11:15-18 & 19), do indeed match the targeted effectuations of the Three Angels messages (Rev 14:6-7, 8, 9-11).
            And so it was indeed through the supernaturally preserved and empowered faithful remnant in/from the wilderness (= the effected ‘Flying Eagle’ of Rev 12:14), that God will come to, in the next three Trumpet blasts to begin to destroy the then standing apostate Church-State power with, in Church History, the Protestant Movement. As stated in the SOP in PH028 3.2 ‘the three woes were pronounced upon a Church that no longer had the Light of Christ’s Righteousness to enlighten it.’ However, as discussed in this post on Rev 17, that supernaturally preserved woman of Rev 12:14, would itself become corrupted, indeed by a perverting of the aiding means that God had used to save and preserve her. And so in the ensuing Eschatological age, as prophetic History recursively repeats itself, it is actually the faithful seed/descendants of the wilderness woman, those who (truly and fully) “keep the commandments and have the testimony of Jesus” who will complete this work of destruction, of the then merged Apostate and (previously) Wilderness (i.e.,, until 1798 A.D.) Women (=Churches).

SOP’s Fourth Trumpet Revelation - It is most pivotal, in terms of spiritual discernment, to see the key indication that EGW was given in regards to this Era, known as The Great Apostasy|An Era of Spiritual Darkness (see e.g. EW 210-213ff; GC 49-60ff). In the EW she relates a representational vision that she was given of these times of struggle between the Apostates and God’s faithful people which was shown as two great armies under distinct banners warring against each other. Most interestingly in EW 211.2-212.1 she states that the banner of the Apostates “a large company of heathen idolaters” was: “a black banner, upon which were figures of the sun, moon, and stars”. That revelation indeed links them to the symbolism involved in Fourth Trumpet, and as these figures were manifestly worshipped, it surely was the case that these “fierce and angry” people who were warring against those under the ‘pure white, “Purity and holiness unto the Lord” banner’, had come to make gods out of these created ruling/regulating/order enlightening powers set by God over the world. (all contra. Deut 4:19; cf. Rev 4:11; 14:7; Exod 20:8-11). So these had come to make their usurping aberrations for God’s Entities to be the determinants of Truth and Righteousness in/for this world, and they were warring against those who were seeking to restore these, and all other things to their Godly purity and whole dedication, which in turn would be manifested in the worshipping individual. As seen in the next section, this banner fighting war from Church History is to have an Eschatological application, indeed as the Fourth Trumpet is then Eschatologically applied.

Fourth Trumpet Temporal (Kingdom) Application:

Modern-day Sun Moon and Stars worship - As typical with the ancient forms of worship, in our modern age the previous past crude objects of worship have been replaced with advanced and sophisticated ones, yet none the less still the creation and handiworks of men. So, getting right to the point, the previous religion of Baalism, which sought to give a more accessible intermediary entity than the “distant/absent/unseen” Creator God for the year-in-year-out upkeeping of creation and the provision of every day necessities (cf. SDABD 104-105), -and quite shockingly, a false Semitic religion/god, actually a ‘god of gods’, which had the most pervasive reach in God’s Israel, has today been most mimickly replaced by Capitalism in the Christian world, including in the SDA Church. In their worship of Baal, the Israelites did not actually reject that God was the Creator of everything. They just also believed that the pagan-worshipped god of Baal was mos probably the god who was responsible with properly administering that Creation. Similarly, Christians/SDA’s today will be the first to staunchly defend that God (and not evolution) is the Creator of this world. However, when it comes to providing for their everyday need, then they no longer feel a conviction to also believe that God and His righteous economic and socio-economic ways can provide those everyday material needs. And so they most reverentially turn to the pervasive economic, and socio-economic system of Capitalism, which foundationally needs to subvert God’s principles of righteousness to be functional. Even the often mindlessly and knee-jerkedly claimed ‘“work-or-don’t-eat” ethic’, is actually now mindlessly, stubbornly advocating in our advanced day and age, to slavingly, needlessly work (i.e., in secular work) because that is what the Capitalistic system commands/demands (cf. here).
            So this entrenched falsehood in both the Church and the world, in fact introduced to the world, and validated, by the Church, and that, as the world-saving “Gospel Truth” for our world, is a system that God is also to war against in the Eschatological Age. And so under this Fourth Eschatological Trumpet, God, by ‘darkening the third of the Sun, Moon and Stars for, thus one third of the day and night’, is aiming to concretely, warningly demonstrate that this system is not at all reliable. There is a higher, and actual, Authority to fear and worship in these matters of Economic (=Sun), Religious (=Moon) and Socio-Economic (=Stars) affairs, and it is God’s Law(s) and principles that are to be instead staunchly observed.

Three “Woe” Eagle Flying in Mid-Heaven - By this Fourth Trumpet, the Flying Eagle, which again is one of God’s Foundational Four Living Creatures, and indeed ‘Rev 6:7's Fourth Seal’s Living Creature’, would have come to aid God’s faithful people to both technologically, and also in regards to, Latter Rain-derived spiritual gifts and abilities, perfect means that will gradually, over the next three Trumpet blasts, bring the various worldly powers of/for evil to naught. And so whereas the Three Angels Messages would have been preached by then, indeed over the First Three Trumpets, their tangible effects will now begin to be achieved over the final three Trumpets.

SDA Church Specific Application - The specific application of the Fourth (Eschatological) Trumpet in the SDA Church is seen by the fact that the SOP cited ‘black vs. white bannered armies war’ theme is associated with the Shaking of the Church and its aftermath (See e.g., LDE 177.4 (=LDE 59-61); 180.6; SpTB07 17.1), which is to then be repeated in the final conflict between those who are faithful to God’s Truth vs. the others, in now the world, who have also accepted the Mark of the Beast (LDE 213.1). These topics have been amply discussed in this blog so they will not be rehashed here. (See especially this post on Ezek 9, and this one on SDA Church judgement; cf. this post.) However it is significant to note that in the Shaking parable of Matt 13:24-30|36-42, (which indeed is to first be done in the Church and then, upon similar parameters in the world (See COL 70.2ff; LDE 172.3-173.1; cf. LDE 14.2), and for the both of which, the decisive message is the Rev 7 Third Angel’s Sealing Message) the end result of that Shaking, of even the powers of heaven (i.e., the Sun, Moon and Stars) in the wider world application, is that, as punctuatingly stated in Matt 13:43: “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father”. As many see that the quoted portion of that verse (= caps) was taken by Christ from Dan 12:3 which speaks of ‘those who, through their Biblical/Prophetic knowledge, then stand firm being the stars who lead to righteousness,’ and with a star and the sun being scientifically one and the same, with the only difference being one of actual affectation to the earth, thus with any star capable of being considered as a Sun depending on how close to it one/others is/are, then it is seen how, through these (faithful) stars God will come to gloriously brighten up the world as these then become the new Suns, and thus also serve to light up the passively reflecting moon. (Cf. LDE 181.1).

Fourth Plague
Rev 16:8-9a - The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it in order to scorch men with fire. 9a. Men were scorched with fierce heat;

Sun affected - As with the Fourth Trumpet, the Fourth Plague involves the Sun, however noticeably not the Moon nor Stars. Manifestly that is for the practical reason that the Sun, being nearer than other “Stars” and having its own energy compared to the passively inert Moon, is the key to inflicting damage and harm upon those who have given themselves over to its idolatrous worship, -thus here, those who have, through Mark of the Beast adherence, chosen to make the Economy their god.[27]

Not darkness but heat - One would think that in keeping with the theme of the 4th Trumpet where the Sun also produced darkness when affected, the affectation of it in the 4th Plague would similarly produce darkness, but instead the Sun is made to, not actually inertly ‘brighten up the day by giving more light’, but to cause great, and most life-threateningly increase in its burning power and produce more heat.

‘poured upon the Sun’ - an active/deliberate judgement - In our Global Warming Awareness times, it can be scientifically understood that the sun radiation can become more intense by holes or depletion in the Ozone layer which allows more ultraviolet light capable of causing sunburns to get through, and the temperature from its heat can rise on the earth by radiation trapping Greenhouse gases. So by these two effects in this plague not being caused by the air/atmosphere being affected, but rather by the Sun itself being ‘tweaked’, it can be seen that this is not a passive (Economic) judgement, i.e., merely the peripheral consequence of prior bad Economic policies and dealings, as possible with an Ecological backlash due to the continued indifferent belching out of Fossil Fuel Waste/Emissions, but by the Economy itself being actively manipulated to become both unbearable and also untameable.

Further Similarities to Baal Worship - Above it was shown how Baal worship has come to find a contemporary, and modernized application in Capitalism. It is also significant to further see that Baal (the supposed god of lightnings and (storm) rains, and thus fertility) was believed to have been killed by his antagonist Mot, the supposed god of drought and scorching heat.[28] (SDABD 104-105). So by the Sun here producing this great heat, it was being represented that the Economic, Baal-type false god in Capitalism was clearly not powerful, as modernly claimed. In fact, in Baalism, when e.g, a great drought occurred, idolaters did not repent of their false god worship but merely attributed the turn of events to a ‘more powerful god’. Similarly, in Capitalism, when this economic system, as it was ideologically meant to operate in a Laissez-Faire way, with the pompous claim that it was thus failure proof, when it would actually inevitably fail, indeed starting back from the first of many major “Economic Panics” starting in the late 18th century, with a latest being the 2008 Great Recession, it has now come to be claimed that such periodic economic meltdowns are quite normative. Indeed just like it became the norm for pagans to then believe that Baal was supposed to annually die at the hand of Mot at the end of each rainy season, but then be resurrected. So those being scorched here with heat from the sun similarly prefer to believe in a god that could be overpowered and killed, and seek out an answer within their paganistic pantheon rather than admit that their god is false and instead worship Jesus the Creator God.
            It is also interesting to note the preferred intermediary aspect of these false gods. Baal, while being considered as the chief of gods as it provided fertility, did not encroach in the realm of the Sun god. These pagans, who did not believe in the Creator God at all, preferred to believe that other gods were responsible for things as rain, lightning and vegetation. However by the modern metamorphosis into Capitalism, the Sun has symbolic, more directly, been made into the chief god, now standing as the intermediary between the Creator God, indeed by people, i.e., (Protestant) Christians who professed that, like the Sun in those more overtly pagan systems of old, God the Creator is actually the highest God. Yet Capitalism is actually being directly worship as the chief god, as its dictates are worshipfully obeyed over the Biblical/Gospel teachings of God/Christ.
            In fact this whole, quite non-sequitur “intermediary chief god preference” actually betrays the fact that man actually wants to be a god in themselves. They therefore much prefer, even if subconsciously, to create a god with their own hands which they could somewhat control. And so in old times, this preferentially was a idol hand-carved out of wood (cf. Isa 44:9-20) instead of the uncontrollable/unreproducible Sun (altars were merely erected to worship it). And in this modern age, man has come create an all-pervasive Economic system of Capitalism that it can manipulate, yet which it in turn quite deferentially lets it determine who lives and who dies, including (“honestly”) themselves.

            So by allowing the economic god of this age, namely Capitalism, to scorch men with fire and incommodate them with great heat, something that those who are then gathered and ever firmly and fully established on Mount Zion pointedly avoid (Rev 7:16b = Isa 49:9-10), God is here demonstrating the utter futility in this Economic worship (= Sun worship).

Rev 16:9b - and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.

blasphemed the name of God - As blasphemy involves the “slandering” of the name (= character) of God (see in this post on Rev 17:3), rather than repent, and admit their wrong ways, these being scorched ones manifestly instead claim here that God is unfairly inflicting this upon them. By now, as these rebellious ones recognize that it is God who has power over these plagues, they thus clearly see/understand that their system of belief is not at all Biblical, and that God Himself is taking direct actions against it and them. Yet they still refuse to repent of their ways.

did not repent so as to give Him glory - This phrase loudly echoes the call of the First Angel’s Message, which has the Everlasting Gospel, to give glory and worship the Creator (Rev 14:6-7), indeed instead of created things such as here, the Sun, -i.e, the anti-Gospel/Righteousness, Capitalistic Economy. And so, as discussed above, the associated “3 woes” and judgements associated with each of these Final Three Messages will begin to unfold starting in the 5th Trumpet/Plague.

Eschatological 7 Seals - It is also important to summarily note at this point that, as seen in the discussion of the first four Seals, in their also possible Eschatological application, which is different in perspective from its Historical explanations given above, all of the actions stated in the text of Revelation, can be fully applied to the actions of a Most Faithful Church against the world. And so the First Seal speaks of a Church going forth to conquer, which indeed is to be the mandate of the victorious army in the Fourth Trumpet ‘war with banners’ (see PK 725.1). The Second Seal speaks of Church that, as Christ warns, removes the sense of false peace and security that even Christians have come to be lulled by, by having conformed themselves to the world. In the Third Seal God’s righteous people set forth the correct actual economic and socio-economic “prices” of the world, all to preserve the efficaciousness of the Gospel and Spirit of Christ, thus allowing for those who want to fully live according to its mandate to not suffer need, and actually thrive. And in the here corresponding Fourth Seal, God faithful movement begins to actively reduce to ruins, and that eternal ruin, all of the systems which insist on confrontationally oppose them, indeed by turning their own false/spurious gods against them. By this Forth Seal, they have set in place and motion all that is required to effectuate the actually self-inflicted destructions of the next three Series of 5, 6 and 7 in Revelation. And so, that is why the ‘patrolling horsemen of Zech 1:7-11 end by the Fourth Seal. Because by then God has acted to reverse the fortunes of His Church/Jerusalem in the world (cf. Zech 1:12-17). Also through an effectuated ensuing finalizing ministry, which had started in the land of Israel and from there was to reach out to the whole world (= Zech 6:1-8 four, now horses-drawn Chariots), God has also by this Fourth Seal done the needed work of reform Israel. In fact, as seen in the applicable depiction in Hab 1:8, God is now going to “step up” the Triumphal advance of His People, -from ‘galloping horsemen to eagles swooping down to devour’. The “patrolling” (= horsemen) and “warring ministry expedition” (=horse & chariots; cf. Isa 43:17; Jer 51:21; Micah 1:13) work of His People has been done. Now is the time to seal this victory by devouring what is left of these enemies of Israel (= Rev 19:17-21).
            Significantly this ‘(“diademed”) Righteousness-war-waging Rider upon the White Horse’ in Rev 19:11-16 (fully discussed here), who is actually from the ‘Laodicean Church’ (see Rev 19:11a vs. 3:14 (& 21) and returning, in this now ‘turned captivity time’ from a, pre-day of the Lord (Oba 1:15) mission in the land of his fraternal enemy in the just concluded “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (i.e., Esau’s land Edom (Gen 25:20; 32:3; 36:8) = Oba 1 & Isa 63:1-6; cf. Jer 30:7)), pointedly, pertinently comprises major attributes found only in the First 4 Trumpets-corresponding, First 4 Churches of Revelation. These are namely:

- ‘eyes as a flame of fire’ = #1C Rev 2:18
- ‘unknown, written name’ = #3C Rev 2:17
- ‘sharp sword in mouth’ = #3C Rev 2:12
- ‘iron rod rule of nations’ = #4C Rev 2:26-27

            So from the 5th Trumpet on, the downfalling effects of having lost the war by the Fourth Trumpet are begun to be felt upon those who ‘defeatedly would much prefer to destroy the earth rather than obey God.’ (Rev 11:17).[29]

Fourth Thunder - New Remnant Church Siege & Destruction of Old Jerusalem
Eze 24:1ff - The Boiling Pot

Fifth Trumpet & Plague
Internal State of Church: (Fifth Church - Rev 3:1-6 [1560's-1790's A.D.])

End of Rev 1:12-18 symbolism - Whereas the messages to the previous 4 Churches had opened with an exclusive allusion to a specific symbol from the Rev 1:12-18's ‘one like unto a son of man’ traits/descriptions (See Rev 2:1, 8, 12, 18), in this Fifth Church Era message; which, as discussed above, comes on the heels of 4th Era Church having been adjudged and doomed to destruction, -all echoing the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in Jeremiah’s days (= the Title Deed Scroll background). The only symbolic link to a Rev 1:12-18 trait is the mention of the “Seven Stars” (Rev 1:16, 20); however this is now mentioned in conjunction with the “Seven Spirits”, those which are before the Throne of God (Rev 1:4; cf. 4:5) and are, (linearly speaking) soon to be sent out throughout the earth after the era of the 7 Churches and just prior to the establishment of the Little Lamb power (Rev 5:6). So, as stated here, there is a precise, major shift here in this Fifth Church Age, and that, as the dichotomized symbolism indicates, indeed part way through this Church Age, with a reference now to the symbolism of the Dan 10 figure.
            Also by the fact that each of the 7 Church messages in Rev 2 & 3 had ended with ‘something that the Spirit had said to these Churches’ (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22), thus equivalently resulting in “7 Spirits”, it also appears that it is at this point in the unfolding development of the Church that the Seven Spirits were released throughout the earth, manifestly in order to bring about the New Church that God was now seeking to establish leading up to His still to come ‘Little Lamb Kingdom’.
            It is also interesting to note that the mention of these Seven Stars in this Fifth Church, is actually a repeat Rev 1:12-18 symbolism, the only one to be repeated. It had first occurred with the very First Church (Rev 2:1), and as that (Apostolic) Church Age was both a quite commendable Church, although it had since lost its first love (Rev 2:4), the rementioning of this symbolism here is manifestly indicative of a “beginning anew” in the Church. (This repetition also corresponds to conquesting action of First Seal in Rev 6:2 (=CET 228.2), fulfilling Rev 19:11, and as later seen starting in the Fifth Seal, then enjoined by other ‘righteous ones’ (Rev 19:14)).
            Also as the Seven Spirits are the “Seven Torches before the Throne” which evidently are used to light up the 7 Lampstands (Rev 1:4; 4:5), their mention here with the Seven Stars instead of the 7 Golden Lampstands as in Rev 2:1 is indicative that God was now going to work more through imparted Spirits than through a single lampstand (=Church) as in the first 4 Church ages, as that initially good, Apostolic Church had by now gradually devolved into Spiritual Babylon. While God was still going to have a Main Church to represent Him in the world, this would not be as singularly as with the dominant era of the Catholic Church. So it can be understood that the next three messages have an application to the Catholic Church replacing/supplanting Protestant Church in general, however, as quite strikingly tangibly seen in present day circumstances, while the Catholic Church currently is a single denomination of over 1.2 billion, there are just as many Protestants in the world today however in tens of thousands of denomination, and each, (and also including the Catholic Church) have an element of valid/viable Truth and Light to impart to the dark world. However they all have more work to do to attain Christ standard of perfect righteousness. Nonetheless, starting from this Fifth Church’s, now predominantly Protestant, Era, the object of these messages has come to gradually become more and more focused, honing in on an emerging Remnant, and actually, as it will be discussed in the next Church, reaching a apex in the Sixth Church of Philadelphia.
            So the pointed symbolism, and also ‘symbols’ source transitioning’ here was indicating that God was ushering in an entirely New Era for His Church on Earth starting in this Fifth Church, through the newly organized Protestant Movement.

a name that you are alive but dead - One would think that God would here be taking it easy on this group of Reformers who have broken away from the corrupt mainline Catholic Church in a effort to return to the ‘Bible and the Bible Only’ (Sola Scriptura). However the first statement to this Reformation Era Church is the tersely reprimanding: “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev 3:1b). In other words: ‘you all are not as great as you think or claim to be.’ However when the historical events soon after the explosion of the Reformation Movement struck by Martin Luther 95 Theses nailing in 1517, in ca. The 1560's, the various Reform groups started to do something that was indeed both quite reprimandable and also most detrimental to their cause, and their supposed (i.e., God-expected) end goal. These various groups led by quite a bevy of various theologians/scholars/pastors/teachers began to refuse to move further than what their leader had contributed in regard to a rediscovered Biblical Truth. As stated earlier, even the Roman Catholic Church used to taunt leaders like Luther for still maintaining various doctrines and practices which were really merely Church Traditions and had no Scriptural support/basis. Nonetheless, as seen in the 4-day, 1529 Marburg Colloquy which was participated by 8 other reformers, led by the main event of Martin Luther vs. Huldrych Zwingli, showed that the reformers did try to resolve their differences and remain/become united, and that on the Truth. However by the 1560's, the indifferent notion of ‘agreeing to disagree’ seemed to have become the settled, even default, norm. And so was the flourish birth of what would, indeed by nowadays, become the blooming of/for tens of thousands of denominations. No wonder God was most concerned and quite upset by this state of “Reforming” affairs. Indeed, as seen next, these divisive resolutions threatened His Spiritual Zionistic plan for His New Covenant Israel.

Wake up/Be Alert/Watchful - If God is telling a dead Church to, effectively, ‘wake itself up’; “remain alert and watchful’, then this “state of death” is indeed not actual/total one, but merely a drowsy sleep, and actually merely a half-awake/lucid (= “strengthen the things that remain”), lethargic dozing off state, one that they indeed have the ability to override/overpower and overcome, and thus ‘awake themselves from it’ in order to prevent things/people from actually/really dying off. For ‘the due/expected deeds (i.e., works) of this Holy Spirit-led  Reforming group, have not yet been fully done/fulfilled according to God’s own standard and evaluation’ (Rev 3:2b)

come as a thief - The direct consequence if this group did not do what was necessary to avoid this present deficient and divisive state was that ‘God would come to them as a thief’. (=14MR 97.1) This notion/theme of ‘coming as a thief’ is prophetically, consistently directly associated to the Second Coming of Christ (Matt 24:42-44; 1 Thess 5:1-6; 2 Pet 3:10; cf. Rev 16:15).
            It is a common Theological understanding in regards to a Law-Prophecy dependency that prophetic revelation and even understanding is either directly or naturally withheld by God from people who are not diligent in ascertaining what the Doctrinal Teachings of God are and putting these known Truth in full Practice. (See e.g, Lam 2:9; Ezek 7:26). Being obedient to God is indeed the condition that provide the keys that unlock the Secrets of God (Matt 13:10-12ff). So this indifferently lethargic Reformation group was in direct trouble, if they maintained this course, of not being ready for the Coming of Christ, indeed ‘then in an hour which they would not expect’ (Matt 24:44). With this 5th Church Era lasting until ca. 1790's and as this deplorable state of affairs in the Protestant Church continued through the Second Advent Movement Era and beyond, it is seen that the vast majority of them were, and remained, in total darkness in regards to the potential Second Coming of Christ, and but a few faithful people were able to discern the Prophetic Truth and (Signs of the) Times then, and become prepared for this manifest, Second Coming possibility. These were the ‘faithful few’ (Rev 3:4) in this Church that remained covered by God’s righteousness (‘unsoiled, white garments’ - cf. Isa 61:10; Job 29:14) and were thus guided to key prophetic discoveries as they did this ‘completing work’ of thoroughly searching out their Bibles for Truth, and were not indifferent, but obedient, to what they were newly discovering. (Pro 4:18).
            And indicative of the Grand ‘Consummation of All Things’ plans that God had starting with this Reformation Movement, the promise to this th Church if they are faithful is that of remaining in His Book of Life. So it is not surprising that God was quite disappointed with how this promising movement had stalemated, for HE knew that they foundation of something quite “lethal/deadly” was instead being laid here. Indeed, the foundation for the morphing continuation of the now Eschatological Babylon of Revelation, the most formidable Truth-opposition entity that the Devil could ever achieve, was definitely being established then.

Confess name before Father and Angels - With an unequivocal allusion to Christ’s Great promise to those who remain staunchly faithful to Him and His Gospel in Matt 10:32|Luke 12:8, indeed in the context of severe Gospel oppositions, even persecutions (Matt 10:28-39|Luke 12:4-12), and that by fully reflecting Christ’s Character (= “name”), then it can be inferentially understood, though quite surprisingly enough, that the faithful in this 1560+ Church would need to be as courageous as those who were being persecuted and killed not to long ago by the Mainline Church. Indeed their hardship was now going to be switched from the purely physical to the psychological. As discussed here on Rev 17:6, it was most shocking that it was now this Protestant Movement, the former Church which had fled into the wilderness (Rev 12:6, 14), that would increasingly take up this opposition of Biblical Truth, and ultimately persecutive, mandate, and that according to Satan’s own encroaching, covert plans. So indeed from the end of the 1260 day|year era in 1798, Protestantism would come to take the place having been vacated by the then fatally struck Catholic Church. And that sudden “great power” did indeed ‘greatly corrupt her’.

OT Background to this Fifth Church - It is interesting to note from the running themes of ‘Awakening, even from seeming/potential death’, ‘Pure Garments’, ‘Second Coming Plans/Purposes’, and ‘blasphemed name of God’, that the message to this Protestant Movement Fifth Church was taken directly from God’s exhorting call to the daughter of Zion in Isa 52:1-12. As seen by the fact that this call straightly precedes the events of the Suffering of God’s Servant in Isa 52:13-53:12, it is further understood that a similar call had been made (indeed by John the Baptist) just before the First Advent of Christ, which indeed, if Israel had been faithful, could have been the era of the Establishing of God’s Zionistic plans for His Israel. So with the same call being made to this 5th Church, God did indeed have great plans for that Reformation Church, hence His great urgency for them to ‘awake from their deathly, dust-rolling, garment-soiling, state’ (cf. Isa 52:2), to instead fully do the works (i.e., Evangelistic (Isa 52:7=Rom 10:14-15); Sanctification (Isa 52:11=2 Cor 6:14-17); Sabbatical Benevolence (Isa 52:12=Isa 58:5-8ff)), that would then allow for this, much sooner than later, Triumphal Restoration of the Holy City Jerusalem, God’s Zion. (Isa 52:8-9).

            This overall message in/to the Fifth Era Church shows that the key to ‘not soiling one’s garment’ (i.e., being and remaining righteous, which is to consistently ‘do what is right’, and thus keep advancing in our Christian walk towards the high standard of Christ), is to be/remain ‘watchful/alert/awake, even “revive” oneself if necessary (cf. here on the related Ezek 37 prophecy). Thus never settling for what is less than the truth/the Perfect as the variously led Reformation groups quite knowingly chose/preferred to do. They did not let the Word of God be their Guide and Light but rather their Pastors and Leaders, their “stars”; and indeed formed a new, but spurious, galaxy around these “new suns”.
            It is interesting to see how this exact same thing is being done today in, pointedly the SDA Church, where people “congregate” to their favorite preachers and refuse to believe anything that they have not taught, and simply for that surface/shallow reason, and not if what is being newly/advancedly taught is Biblical or not. It is indeed easy for people to prefer to remain in a settled comfort zone and to continue to believe something merely because ‘they have always believed it so, “even from the days of SDA Pioneers”’. And so, merely for that cosmetic reason,  it must be the infallible/unimprovable Truth. However that all effectively is the unbiblical, and most dangerous, practice of putting Church tradition over Biblical Truth, and that is most pointedly seen in the SDA Church’s refusal to obey the command of Christ to also engage in exhaustive humanitarian work (Matt 25:31-46), and that because, somehow, somewhere, it was decreed by someone, and not by Christ at all that: ‘the Church’s main Mission/Mandate is to preach the Three Angels Messages and a soon Second Coming.... I mean haven’t you seen their past two Denominational logos???? (Matt 15:3, 6). God’s True Apostolic Remnant Church will, at the very least, fully reflect what the Apostolic Church did, both doctrinally and practically, and that includes meeting the needs of all those who were in need (Acts 2:42-45; 4:32-35), which is not only fellow/local Church members as Jesus taught (Luke 10:29ff). Indeed the Apostolic Church would have more to learn, particularly prophetically, actually only as/when time was prolonged beyond a potential end of all things in/by the events of 70 A.D., hence the book of Revelation in ca. 90 A.D. And, it must be emphasized that the exhaustive, communistic social welfare of the Apostolic Church certainly did not affect them in terms of Church growth, indeed quite to the contrary, as they still ‘had favor with all the people’ (Acts 2:47). You can also be sure that the Apostles then responsibly did not allow spurious, “loaves and fishes” adherent come or remain in their midst. In fact, these believers were naturally of ‘one mind/accord, heart and soul.’ (Acts 1:14; 4:32a).

State of the Church in the World: (Fifth Seal - Rev 6:9-11)
            With, by this Fifth Seal, all of the Four Living Creatures having “acted” their due inviting part, it is manifest that God has taken all of the needed actions to once again have His Throne of both Righteous and Justice be established on Earth (= Ezek 1). Yet while God had now managed to raise up a formidably opposing Protestant Church movement against the now unsalvageably corrupt and fatally abusive Roman Catholic Church, the “psyche” of those who had been persecutively slain by that Apostate System, and which here seemed to be of no judicial consequence at all, were still, like righteous Abel’s shed blood (Gen 4:10; cf. Matt 23:35a), and similarly ‘though dead, through faith, were yet also still speaking’ (=Heb 11:4), indeed here, crying out, to God for this due avenging Justice. (cf. 2MR 309.2; cf. 2 Chr 24:22) Conversely applying Matt 10:28, within the larger Biblical context that these “psyche”are not one’s “immortal soul” (cf. Gen 2:7), but actually, indeed, what is scientifically, psychologically known as their ‘cognitive psyche’ in their mind (a.k.a. their ‘spirit’, as in the tangibly understood: ‘unbreakable spirit’), it can be seen that while these ones now do have a body, as they are given robes to wear (Rev 6:11a), their real loss here is that their psyche/spirit has been quite grievously broken and they are eagerly waiting for God the tangible manifestation of vengeance, to go along with His already manifested approval, in order to be openly vindicated before all, especially their opposers/persecutors. This ‘physical body’ vs. ‘cognitive psyche/spirit’ is prominently seen in the case of physical “torture” (which Hell will indeed also be), as a person may be physically tortured to literally a mangled pulp however they remain “strong” because their psyche has not yet broken. Indeed breaking one’s psyche is the pivotal object of torturing and using physical pain is commonly seen as the readily feasible, yet really elementary, way to do this. Hence Jesus’ warning/encouraging statement in Matt 10:28 - i.e., ‘don’t let them break your spirit’. For when the spirit goes, then all is loss, and thus “psychological torture”, as seen in terrorism, is deemed as an optimal way of “breaking your enemy. And so in the case of these martyrs, their physical body has been quite detrimentally affected, and now their Spirit is on the verge of breaking. And that is why they are crying out for Divine vindication. And this will be done by God openly, demonstrating that their testimony had indeed been true. However their poured out blood/life was now, most seemingly, wastefully, “sacrificially”, pooled at the base of the altar, [indeed with it having been shed/taken as a deemed sin-purging sacrificial offering for God’s cause, as was Jesus’s own death (see John 11:45-53)], of the still wayward “Church Ministry” (= the replica/representative “altar (on earth)”) of the still fully functional, -indeed despite the Protestant schism, Catholic Church, which had merely done some surface, face-saving, counter-reformation tweaking. So all seemed to be going really undisturbed for the apostate side.
            As “no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it” (Num 35:33; cf. Gen 9:5-6; Lev 24:17-18; Deut 19:16-21), then really, the only way to justly avenged these slain ones was to also shed the blood of their persecutor/persecuting system; at the very least, to openly demonstrate that their unbiblical ways, which these testifying ones had been openly denouncing, and which indeed resulted in their death, was indeed utterly worthless as they would indeed lead to death. It is indeed most foundational to the reign of God, “the Judge of all” (Heb 12:23),  that ‘no evil deed, such as especially the murder of righteous people, go unpunished.’ (cf. e.g., COL 294.1).
            What is most interesting is that all of these just mentioned Biblical allusions, symbolic imagery and theological themes are inclusively stated in Heb 12:23-27 in a ‘warning against despising/rejecting the shed blood of the most righteous one (i.e., more righteous than Abel), Jesus Christ’. There, then avenging action of God would be to ‘shake both the Heaven and Earth’ so that only that which cannot be shaken, i.e., the bedrock Truth, will then remain and all other spuriousness will be swept away.
            These martyred ones were then given a white robe, indicating their worthiness and manifestly defaultly granted salvation, as they had done the Ultimate “Righteous Act” (Rev 19:8), in preferring to die for the Cause and Truth of God rather than give in to falsehood and unbiblical ways (= Rev 12:11; cf. Luke 14:26; [Psa 69:7-9, 19 (=John 2:14-17)]). Yet their fully avenging vindication would have to be delayed, as this could only be fully done in Christ’s Glorious Appearance at His Second Coming, which is depicted in the next Seal (Rev 6:12-17). However until that time, there was much work to be done in “sealing” (=LDE 219.4) the destiny of others who like them will stand staunchly for the truth once they properly/fully actually understand it, or even hear of it for the first time. (Rev 6:11b). And, as prophetically planned, its due/set time would not begin until the Sanctuary Cleansing/Heavenly Judgement of Dan 8:14 was set up and its adjudging session executed (=Dan 7:13-14; 20b-22; 25-27). And such a sealing process will first variously require a “total, living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2; cf. Gal 2:20; 5:24), spiritual death (Col 2:20-3:10; Rom 6:4)” of the receiver of that warning message to their old, unbiblical ways. (16MR 34.3; cf. 19MR 244.3; 5MR 377.1; TM 444.3-445.2). And currently, Capitalism is the chief idol that is squarely standing against receiving the Sabbatarian Seal of God. (See here; cf. BLJ 136.5)

Credited Righteous Acts - It is also noteworthy to see that these “sighing and crying”, mainline-Church-oppressed ones in this Fifth Prophetic Age are given white robes as, manifestly, a consolating reward. With these white robes indeed being representative of ‘the righteous acts of the saints’ (Rev 19:8), then, as these “cut off” ones are not able to tangibly have such righteous acts on their ledger being prevented from doing so by their persecutors, God here still credits them with righteous acts, which is the demonstrative substance of saving righteousness. (=Isa 54:1-17; 61:10 which generally speaks of God’s Zion.)

about to be killed in the same way - In order to complete the “number” needed to get His reformation movement off the ground, God is here telling those who have already been martyred for their maintained witness that other will be joining them, however, duly, in terms of self-conviction, when they themselves both bear the same testimony as they had and are similar put to death because of it. In other words, the potential others will only be convinced of the Truth of this Reformatory movement when they are themselves also persecuted, ostracized and marginalized by those in the mainline Church who refuse to accept these Bible truths.
            And so today, SDA’s will only see the truth of the Reformatory Movement of the NJK Project when they themselves both want, and endeavor to, truly help their “brother” who is in need, both inside the Church and in the world. And, especially when they will realize that preaching the Gospel and claiming to be Christlike while being indifferent to people who are daily dying from preventable, curable and/or intentional causes, is completely irreconcilable (indeed how are such, most direct, life saving acts not part of the “Health” message), and will never be condoned, nor honored by God. And so they will see for themselves that adherence to Capitalistic principles will, not only ever enable them to fulfill God’s Full Sabbatical Gospel will, but these are indeed the very causes of these senseless deaths which is sending millions of people to Christless graves, indeed just as the Devil intended.
            So when these other ones will step out to bear such testimonies against the various standing and, Spiritually and tangibly, hindering abominations in the Church, (cf. here), and will be “killed” for it, they will have done the Chief Righteous things, and come to join this number of already martyr ones for this same Sealing Truth of God. (cf. EW 269.1-272.2).

Wider Theological View - Having expressed the above “conventional” view of the ‘crying out psyches under the (earthly) altar’, as discussed here, there is also the mused view, based on both Biblical and SOP Statements and Revelation, that these martyred ones had by then been resurrected by God and taken to Heaven. They were however still pleading for an open vindication of the testimony for the Gospel that had cost them their lives. Also, the fact that they are given white robes to wear, which is indicative of the reward of the victorious saints (see e.g., Rev 7:9, 13-15), implies that they indeed have a normative corporal form. And as a human does not have a soul, but rather is a soul, these “psyches” (which is also representative of one’s life (cf. John 15:13)), which are indeed most likely there in heaven, cannot but be in a full corporal/bodily form. They therefore are martyrs graciously, but also deservingly/rewardingly, resurrected before the end.

Unintentional Sin Sacrifice - The pertinent Sanctuary Service contribution here is also most enlightening. With God scientifically identifying one’s ‘life as being in their blood’ (see e.g., Gen 9:4; Lev 17:11, 14; Deut 12:23; Ezek 33:5; cf. Jonah 1:14; John 6:53-54), and with the original altar (of burnt offerings here) being in God’s Heavenly Sanctuary (cf. Heb 8:1-2; 9:11, 24), and as see in the previous section, those martyrs having been resurrected and taken to Heaven by then, then it is seen that these “living beings” are depicted, based upon an existing reality, as being poured at the base of the altar of burnt offering in Heaven. Indeed just like the Jews had seen Jesus’ execution as something that was “sacrificially necessary” in order to save the Jewish Nation from likely temporal ruin, but, as John points out in John 11:50-52, all the while it was God who was acting to provide obtainable salvation to both the Jewish nation and the rest of the world, the death of these martyr had been deemed as “sacrificially necessary” but God was actually acting to provide atonement for the Apostate Catholic Church. This is all seen in the fact that in the Sanctuary Service, the corresponding/background action for this prophetic imagery was that of pouring the blood of the “Sin Offering” at the base of the altar. (Lev 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34; 5:7b, 9). As shown in Lev 4:1-5:13, that action was only applicable, and to be only done, in the cases where atonement for unknown and unintentional sins was done, and also when no tangible restitution could be made (cf. Lev 5:14-16). This sacrifice also had to be done during the ordination of a priest in order to atone for any unknown sins that he may have priorly committed (Exod 29:12; Lev 8:24), and also the rest of the people (Lev 9:9), as well as for cleansing the altar, through the priests, for manifestly any unknown errors by the priesthood in its administration (Lev 8:15). (In cases where God has clearly already said ‘thou shalt not’, even if those individuals did not (bother) to know this, there was nothing but the distinct “Guilt Offering” that could be made to atone for them, which actually typifies the guilt inculcation that will be done in Hell’s Fire. (Lev 5:17-19; cf. Heb 10:26-27)).  And so the most unjust death of these faithful martyrs was actually because of the unintentional sins of their persecutors, and God was allowing their “soul”/psyche suffering and deaths as a means of atoning for such category of sins, especially as the Heavenly daily/regular sacrifice that was supposed to do this atoning had been removed through unlawful usurpation (Dan 8:11-12). However when those persecutors finally became aware of their sins and the sinfulness of their actions against these faithful ones, as they fully did when the Reformation reached its peak during this Fifth Era, then there was no longer any applicable sacrificing available for them for now this carelessness and indifference, and the scene suddenly, actionably shifted to judgment and vengeance which would begin to take place in the Sixth Era (=Dan 7:26; EW 55.1-56.2). The faithful martyrs had fully done their special, alternatively necessary, atoning work as God had injunctively commissioned upon them during this time.

Present Day Application
            There is a most valid exegetical and theological linking (cf. 2MR 309.2) that can be made here of the Fifth Seal’s symbolic episode.
-The first point is from the fact that the Rev 6:9-11 episode is indeed relatable to the death of Abel at the hands of his jealous brother Cain because Abel had offered a more acceptable sacrifice and was thus deemed “righteous” (Gen 4:3-8; Heb 11:4; Matt 23:35a).
-Second: Abel’s slaying was used as a bookend for the deaths of righteous ones which God will indeed surely avenge (Matt 23:35|Luke 11:51) with the only chance of the guilty camp of averting this judgement being to most contritely weep “between the porch and the altar” (cf. 2 Chr 8:12; 15:8) it can more deeply, also spiritually be seen that this was being viewed as a most capital. Indeed, with God’s penalty for murder being defaultly the murder of the perpetrator, then this act of putting to death God’s faithful servants, as it chiefly should have been in Jesus Christ’s case, were it but for His most merciful, interceding prayer (Luke 23:34; cf. Acts 7:60), is indeed potentially the point of no return in God’s longsufferring with an Apostate People. (Acts 7:51-54; Matt 27:25 = DA 293.3-294.1; cf. Dan 9:26b; 27b -see accurate translation of these latter verses in this post.)
-Thirdly, the other book end of the representative ‘murdering of historical righteous ones in God Israel’ is (presumably) said by Jesus to be “Zechariah, the son of Berechiah” (Matt 23:35). There is actually no indication in the Bible that Zechariah the son of Berechiah (Zech 1:1) was either martyred, and in that specific location, (which surely would have been recorded in the Bible), nor even that his message of rebuilding the Temple was being vehemently opposed by the people then. However there is the Biblical testimony that a ‘Zechariah, son of Jehoiada’, a priest who was at that moment under prophetic inspiration, living in ca. 835-796 B.C., was specifically so killed (2 Chr 24:20-21). And so this may have been either a ‘slip of the tongue’ by Jesus Himself, (which, revelation-wise was dependent of the prophetic gift and did not neededly have, at least constant, verbal inspiration (lest He here sustainedly have an advantage over any other man), but rather thought inspiration which guided His study of the Scriptures (=OT LXX)), or an absent-minded ‘slip of the pen’ by Matthew will relating that statement of Christ, with that latter Zechariah being much more known. With that latter Zechariah also being on of the last prophetic voices in the OT, though Malachi was actually the last OT prophet, the “why” and “how” of this mistake by most likely Matthew could be easily be seen. In fact Matthew may have tried to correct Jesus thinking that a corresponding “book-end” to the first martyr Abel can only be the much latter prophet Zechariah. So Jesus Himself probably said and/or meant the priest Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada.
            There is much that can be drawn and expoundedly said from the emblematic episodes of Abel and Zechariah, as it contributively relates to the Fifth Seal’s imagery that they are intrinsically allusive of, however such expository/commentary detailing will not be done here. Only these succinct points, whose deeper meanings and implications, as well as how the summary conclusions here were arrived at, should be readily grasp by anyone who is Spiritually in tune here:

Cain’s Spirit In and For Abel’s Murder
            First of all, on top of actively, though probably non-intentionally (hence God’s granted mercy Gen 4:13-15; cf. 23-24), killing his brother through jealousy-borne anger having morphed into indifferent hate (Gen 4:5-7), thus effectively murdering him by such festered premeditation (=Matt 5:21-22a), Cain then tried to excuse and self justify himself from his murderous act (Gen 4:8) by claiming that ‘he was not his brother’s keeper’, thus trying to convince a righteous and just God that he was not to be held responsible at all for having taken/cost the life of his brother. But that attempted, guileful “plausible deniability was not even considered as valid by God, indeed unlike Cain’s later granted plea for a more lenient penalty (Gen 4:9-10ff).
            Today, the same indifferent, non-loving (=hateful) spirit of Cain, all borne out of a jealousy-founded covetousness with inherent, interlaced anger, reigns Supreme in both the world and the Church, with the consensus solution having been determined to “neededly” be that “everyone must first look out for themselves and their well-being, which includes their dependent, immediate family. And so, through this rationalization and self-justifying, the plight of the ‘most remote” “neighbor” (Luke 10:27b-29ff) is ignored and left to suffer and die, if that is the case. Yet as unequivocally and most emphatically decried by God Himself in 1T 113.1-115.2, such Cain-like disculpating does not even begin to be considered as valid by the Heavenly Intelligence. And today, the Devil has engendered, engineered and inspired the most perfect socio-economic system to foster such “humanly natural” and base traits in men through the system of Capitalism, for therein, it is most fundamentally “necessary” and “just/righteous” to first and foremost, and solely, if “necessary” look out for oneself to the death of any other if necessary.[30] And so the murder of Abel, for such various levels of indifferent thinking serves as the perfect book end to the sins of people in general, as also being reproduced in God’s Israel in Christ day, and indeed perfectly speaks on the crux of Christ’s Gospel ministry, which was the Jewish people’s Spiritual and Humanitarian neglect and indifference towards those in such needs, in both Israel and the rest of the World.  (cf. DA 825.4)
The Inspired, Pointed Sarcastic Message of Zechariah
            After several unsuccessful prophetic intervention attempts by God to bring His idolatrously wayward people back to His ways (2 Chr 24:18-19), God raised up the priest Zechariah the son of Jehoiada as a prophet to deliver this stinging, sentencing dual liner: 

“Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.” (2 Chr 24:20)

            In other words: ‘why are you idolatrously living just as the pagan nations around you (i.e., “the world”) and still not prospering’, indeed as those sin/justice/righteousness-ignoring heathen nation themselves may have temporally then been, -hence the alluring temptation to Israel to emulate them and serve their gods, (cf. Psa 92:7 -which, as discussed starting from here, David understood under inspiration, and not coincidentally for that “Sabbath Day Psalm”, was because ‘that would be the only lifetime they would ever get to enjoy’.). The answer to that quite deep question of God was that: unlike these pagan nations that God was actually allowing to “flourish despite their unrighteousness”, God was actually actively acting to make His professed people not similarly thrive in rebellion. And so that was clearly because God had forsaken them, even to the point that those surrounding pagan nations became a existential threat to the survival of Israel.
            In today’s socio-economic context, the similar question is posed to the SDA Church. I.e., why, despite the fact that you have wholeheartedly chosen to operate God’s institutions according to the Capitalistic principles and policies of the world, are you still most sensitively susceptible to the slightest downturn in the Capitalistic Economy, to the point of closing or selling of institutions, laying off Pastors and Church Workers, cutting back on Evangelistic and Missionary efforts, etc. Clearly you are not being shielded and protected by God during those times of adversity as He easily could and had promised to do for His People (Psa 91; cf. LDE 172.2), and nor are your chosen apostate ways permitting you to go through these times unscathed. So the only answer is that, similar to God’s people in Zechariah’s time, God has also forsaken you, and by merely abandoning His actually inherently quite small and weak, and thus most vulnerable, people (Deut 7:7; 4:38; cf. Ezek 16:1-14ff) to the folly of their spurious ways during such times, when they are indeed inferiorly dominated by much stronger and wealthier entities and powers which thus “call the shots”, God can most naturally, easily effectuate this pointed and detrimental opposition. And really, the only reason why the Church does not realize the patheticness of their present standing, position and accomplishments is because they are circularly measuring themselves by themselves and not by what they should have been, especially by being in the hands of an Almighty God, had they fully been living according to God’s ways (cf. 5T 83.2) and His Greater Template for His Cause (=Ezek 40:1-2 = Rev 21:9-11ff cf. this TC2 post & Ezek 40:3ff = Rev 11:1ff; cf. this TC1 post).
            And so instead of the Church, and that pointedly the mal-exemplifying leadership, penitently weeping between the porch and the altar, as prophetically counselled in Joel 2:17a, they are instead prophetically, as indeed true today, (see here), are knowingly “collectively, representatively” gathered in that key location, but merely to “worship the Sun” (Ezek 8:16), i.e., seeking to find an answer to their difficulties in literally fantasaically enchanting, Capitalistic ways and not in God’s Gospel, Law and Testimonies (Isa 8:16-22; cf. 2 Chr 15:8-15).
            And so, as customarily so with Israel of old, pointedly in that episode of Zechariah, they conspire, and self-justifyingly so through legal/authoritative, even civil means, to put to death, anyone who merely is pointing out to them their actual apostate state, and/or who signals to them that God has indeed forsaken them (2 Chr 24:21). The fact that the “morale” of the Church argument is, and has always been, patently primarily set forth as the justification for such “murderous” actions is proof in itself that this is the quite manifest state of those people. They just don’t want to be reminded of it. Indeed, if a person constantly tells a thriving multi-billionaire that they are going to go broke soon, they will laughingly blow off and ignore that person as being crazy, and not even be worried about them affecting their reputation. However if that wealthy person is at the time involved in a scandal that, if/when proven to be true will literally ruin them, then a person constantly reminding them of this looming demise will most certainly bother them. And they will do whatever is necessary to silence that voice, (short, of course, of doing anything lawful legal, such as a lawsuit for libel and defamation, as it would not survive judicial scrutiny), less indeed others also realize this and believe that announcing voice and actually precipitate the doom of that wealthy person by, e.g., ceasing to invest in their company. And so, as typical with Israel, they really only had a problem with people who told them God’s very Truth about themselves. Thus their murdering of these righteous voices testifying against them, does constitute an act against God Himself, the actual originator of that message, and so it is indeed a most Capital Crime which is defaulty and in some definite way worthy of God’s own vengeance (2 Chr 24:22; cf. 2MR 309.2), whether, in most gracious, but actually otherly purposeful, mercy, delayed and/or postponed; or immediate. (Matt 23:34-36)
            And all during this time of actual apostasy in the SDA Church, God was working to provide obtainable atonement for the SDA Church by causing the “psyche” of those who are ‘sighing and crying’ for, and are marginalizingly suffering because of, the (actual) abominations in the Church by pouring out the blood of these faithful ones in atonement. So while the Church was, and actually still full is in apostasy, by chiefly committing the “sin of omission” of ignoring the plight of even the vitally, and thus crucially, poor, including aborted infants  (contra Matt 25:31-46 & Isa 58), and also, speaking from personal experience, ignoring, opposing and ostracizing anyone who remindingly brought this due mandate to their attention, and also thus not seeing any problem with Capitalism which fosters this state of social injustice, and all through sanctimoniously thinking that their only duty before God was to proclaim a soon Second Coming, in the context of SOP Final Events (=EW 36.2), this (assumedly) “unintentional” sin of theirs was being potentially atoned for (however see Isa 22:14) by God’s faithful bond-servants then who had long been sealed by God’s here applied, Full Sabbath Truth (cf. Rev 7:1-3).

Fifth Trumpet
Rev 9:1 - Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven, having fallen into the earth; and the key of the shaft/wellspring of the abyss was given to him.

a star from heaven, having fallen into the earth - The verbal tenses in this phrase make it clear that this “star from heaven” is one that had already fallen to the earth and was also here having an ongoing effect. Historically, SDA interpreters have commonly claimed that this fallen star was the prophet Mohammed[31] however while the Muslim world is indeed involved in the events of this Fifth Trumpet, they are mere “natural participants” instead of “pointed perpetrators”. According to proper exegesis, this ‘having already fallen star’ is the same as the one that had fallen from Heaven like a burning torch in the Third Trumpet and had there, as discussed above, had managed to corrupt the Christian Church through compromise with the World/State. (Rev 8:10-11).

the key of the shaft/wellspring of the abyss was given to him - As God is in total control of all that occurs on this planet, this giving of a pivotal “key” to this fallen angel Satan is evidently directly from God as it is indeed God who own/hold this ‘abyss key’ (See Rev 20:1). The fact of the matter is that God is here endeavoring to punish the Catholic Church for its waywardness and thus, as it is normative for Him to do (cf. 14MR 1-3 & GC 30-35[32]), He here abandons these impenitent former people of His to the direct control of Satan, who, especially by now in the Great Controversy War has really nothing else to lose and has long “perceived” that he is actually running out of time to prove whatever he may still want to prove (cf. Rev 12:12). No wonder such a turn of events in this Fifth Trumpet is qualified by a “woe” (Rev 8:13; cf. 12:12).
            So with the abyss speaking pointedly of ‘an unfathomably deep place,’ most notably the bottom of the ocean (LXX Gen 1:2[33]; Job 38:16, 30; Isa 51:10; 63:12-13; Apocrypha: Wis 10:19; Sir 24:29); God could here either cause water to burst up out of these regions and flood the earth (LXX Gen 7:11; 8:2); however as He had promised to never flood the earth again (Gen 9:8-11ff), what would come out of this “shaft” which reaches all the way down to the abyss depth will have to be an alternative destruction, yet one that still get the intended tangible destruction/judgement done.
            And with indeed the abyss also being in this passage symbolic of where demonic spirits, which can have quite powerful controlling influence over men, reside (Luke 8:27-33) and the place where Satan will be, possibly literally, confined during the millennium so that he cannot deceive the nations then, but until a short period after that (Rev 20:1-3), then the giving of this key of the abyss to Satan is reflective of him having been given the permission to variously, directly deceive men as he sees “best”, (though with checked limits), and with quite deluding power, e.g, with “angelic” apparitions. (cf. 2 Thess 2:9-12), as it, Biblically speaking, actually, substantively was the foundational case, as fully discussed later, on one hand, with the ‘Vision of Constantine’, and on the corresponding other hand, with the ‘apparition of Gabriel to Mohammed’. (Cf. Gal 1:7-10; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 Cor 11:14).

Rev 9:2 - He opened shaft/wellspring of the abyss pit, and smoke went up out of the shaft/wellspring, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the shaft/wellspring.

opened shaft/wellspring of the abyss, smoke... out of it - So with ‘fountains of water from the deep’ taken out of the destructive agent possibilities here given God past covenant, the only other effect that can be produced from such an “abysmally” deep well shaft is the tapping into a magma chamber which can instead produce most destructive “lava fountains”. However what transpires here when this, (by process of naturalistic elimination), ‘lava chamber shaft’ is opened is that only smoke is belched out of it. Such a natural phenomenon was seen in the 2010 Iceland Volcano Ash Cloud event which even grounded civil aviation in the area for days.[34]

like the smoke of a great furnace - This expression is almost verbatim taken from Exod 19:18 which is in the context of God being present at Mount Sinai/Horeb as He is establishing His Covenant with Israel and His presence is causing that mountain, most likely a volcano, to become active and belch out plumes of smoke, most likely forming a thick ash cloud.
            With this shaft thus being (1) a ‘deep volcanic spout’, and (2) one which resembles Israel’s Covenant-making event, it thus echoes/mirrors/imitates the priorly discussed and explained ‘volcano that was thrown in the midst of the sea during the Second Trumpet’. As that action had help to Spiritually, and then Territorially, establish God’s Remnant of Israel, the Church Triumphant, then this, however, lesser scale/effect imitation here, is manifestly an effort to counteract that achieved development.

the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the shaft/wellspring - Indeed rather than having a benign effect as in God’s descent upon mount Sinai, the effect of this smoke being released from this shaft directly greatly affect both living (air) and livelihood (sun) as it darkens those two key elements. So whereas only the third of the sun had been darkened under the 4th Trumpet blast, causing only partial (also a third of) darkness (Rev 8:12), thus affecting only the most prominent part of the world powers then (mainly focusing on the “Western world and Christianity), the effects of this 5th Trumpet are more widespread and generalized as it causes a total eclipse of the light of the Sun, which thus inevitably comes to affect everyone on earth. That is indeed further complicated by the air itself being darkened, which naturalistically involves this ash plumes making the air both dark and unbreathable.
            So it became vitally most urgent to seek to deal with the cause of this catastrophic overturning on Earth....In the Historical wave of fulfillment, this prophetic element transpired when the Roman Catholic Church began to feel vitally threatened by the rise of (Militant) Islam and so went to war against it...And the “urgency” posed by Islam against the Catholic Religion was pointedly seen when the RCC opted to turn away from dealing with the threat from Martin Luther and the Reformation to be capable of dealing with Islam instead who was being deem as the most vital danger....Just as God had always intended for Islam to obstructingly, distractingly and occupyingly do to Apostate Christianity!!

Rev 9:3 - Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and authority was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have authority.

locust - In the destruction inflicted upon Egypt, the plague of the locust was sent to finish up what the plague of the hail had not managed to destroy. (Exod 10:5, 12, 15). And so this Fifth Trumpet development is manifestly to continue what had been done under the First Trumpet, which, as discussed priorly, was to mainly put down the lingering, old/passing Religious system oppositions to the New Movement of God.

out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth - The relationship between locust and smoke is not a natural cause-effect one, as e.g., stagnant pools of water produce mosquitoes. So this sudden “outbreak” of locust from this smoke is a non-natural one. So this is better understood that the locust came together here because of the smoke, or more likely, ‘because of the detrimental livelihood effect of this sun and air darkening smoke’. So these locust specially came to ‘deal with this problem, and that at its source,’ as their livelihood and vitality were also being threatened.
            It is significant to note that these locust do not come out of the opened abyss shaft. But rather ‘out of, (or “because of”) the smoke’.

authority was given them - “Authority” (= ‘the right to do something’ -Strong’s #1849), rather than the distinct: “Power” (= ‘the force to do something’ -Strong’s #1411) is what is being granted here.

as the scorpions of the earth have authority - This ‘scorpion authority’ is described in the next statements however it can be conversely seen from Christ’s granted authority to His ‘sent out in judgement 70 Disciples’ (cf. here) over scorpions in Luke 10:19, that the key to the harm done by a scorpion stems from what God has allowed it to do to humans, which ultimately is to kill them, rather than by merely by its inherent “power”, which is mainly to torturously pain them. So Christ’s given countering, overwhelming authority there was enough to keep in check the authority that these scorpions had.

Rev 9:4 - And it was spoken to them in order that they would not do any unrighteous thing to the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

And it was spoken to them.... - This summoned destructive force was told (by God) to not wage wanton war which unrighteously destroys what is actually viable to life and livelihood, but only “just war”. This is a command that echoes what had fundamentally been told by the Commanding Sealing Angel in Rev 7:1-3 upon his “advent”.

...do not have the seal of God on their foreheads - This statement seems to undermine the belief that the seal of God is the Sabbath, and that in an endtime context, as this statement was expected to be (first) fulfilled ca. 300 years before the Sabbath truth was rediscovered/upheld in the mainline Protestant world. However an explanation on that statement made by James Rafferty in a presentation on this fifth Trumpet[35] more than less helps point to the comprehensive and accurate understanding of the Seal of God. It is commonly said in Christian circles based on Eph 1:13 that the Seal of God is not the Sabbath, but the Holy Spirit. Succinctly and summarily explained here, the Seal of God is indeed primarily the Holy Spirit, because, as stated in Eph 1:13-15 it is used by God to “seal” obedient people (cf. Acts 5:32) in the Biblical Truths that they have faithfully followed. In other words, when God sees that professed people in Him are indeed most faithfully obedient to his revealed Truths, then He confirms this faith by some manifest/tangible, experiential act of His Spirit which indeed settles these people in this truth both intellectually (leads them to further corroborating Scriptures/Testimonies) and Spiritually (confirming Spiritual Experience and/or Revelation) so that they can from then on not be moved (= LDE 219.4) by the sure to come [actually: ‘only then allowed by God’) overwhelming attempts by Satan to dissuade them.
            This is patently and consistently seen in Bible and also Church History where God indeed provides His faithful ones with a confirming act/manifestation of His Spirit which confirms that their way is indeed righteous. In such a manner, Jesus was Himself “sealed by the Holy Spirit” at His Baptism which officially, explicitly and openly confirmed, after over 35 years of most likely living by faith, and on the testimony of His parents, that He was indeed the Son of God. (Luke 3:21-22). So the Holy Spirit comes to indeed Seal the obeyed Biblical Truth with these faithful ones.
            In regards to the relation of this confirming process and the Sabbath, the Sabbath is indeed God’s most comprehensive Truth as it encompasses the ideal of God for His Created beings both in terms of worship due to Him the Creator, and also in interpersonal, socio-economic relations with fellow men. So understanding the Full Sabbath Truth comes to in turn seal a person into the Full Message and Truth of God.
            It is also significant to see that the Holy Spirit had been used to Seal the Law of God and Sabbath Truth amongst SDA Pioneers (= Isa 8:16).  As related in EW 32.1-33.1|LS 95.1-96.3 (cf. 1905 JNL, GSAM 255.3-256.1&3) it was only after SDA Pioneers came to see that the Seventh-day Sabbath message preached by Joseph Bates was indeed Biblical, and set out against an overwhelming tide in the Christian world to keep it from then on that EGW was given a vision which confirmed this Truth. Then, as also related in LS 96.4 (cf. 1905 JNL, GSAM 256.2), the Sabbath Truth was linked (for the first time in “SDA” circles) by the Vision Angel to the Third Angels’ Message of Rev 14:9-11. All of this shows how God uses the Holy Spirit to, as indeed explained in Eph 1:13-15 settled His actually obedient followers into His Truths, and as stated above, this is all out of a necessity given the formidable measures that while then taken by Satan, i.e., mentally|psychologically and/or physically, to unsettle them.

Rev 9:5 - And it was [merely] given to them (the locust-scorpions) in order that they may not put them (the non-sealed ones) to death, but, rather, in order that they will torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion whenever it stings a man.

it was [merely] given to them - Though the scorpion has a fearsome reputation as being venomous, only about 25 of 1752 described species are known to have venom capable of killing a human being. And here God took away even this small killing possibility away as He had another intent for this scourging.

no death but torment - God here instead wanted to torment (a.k.a.) those who did not have the Seal of God, and in keeping with the actual notion/purpose of “torture”, it is, not to kill the undergoer, but rather to get them to confess/accept/admit a truth. So here God wanted to make those who were rejecting His Seal to at the very least recognizingly see that their persisted upon course was not Biblical, as they thought and claimed it to be.

torment of a scorpion - So a ‘painful but not deadly’ stinging of a scorpion was indeed the most effective way to do this. That is why it is mentioned in the Bible as a most effective way of disciplining rebellious people (2 Chr 10:11, 14). And by the tortured ones here not being put to death, this therefore meant that they would later have an opportunity to repent and align their lives and beliefs with the Truth.

Rev 9:6 - And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

Seek death instead - When a person being tortured is seeking and longing to die it is clearly in order to end the torturing. However this could be for two reasons. Either they are being wrongly punished and really do not know the truth that is being sought; or they do know this truth and would prefer to die than confess it. Since those who are being tortured here are fully known by the all-knowing God, the only applicable possibility here is that they prefer to die rather than to admit the truth/the error of their ways. However God will not allow this to happen, but will instead allow these to continue to undergo this painful treatment, which will indeed serve as an object lesson and warning to others seeing this.

Next follows a symbolic physical description of this locust scourge which reveals its pointed identity and also its inherent reasons/justifications for such actions.

Rev 9:7 - The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were something as crowns as like of gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.

horses prepared for battle - despite these creatures being lowly locust, they actually had the formidable appearance and even organization of horses prepared for battle.

something as crowns as like of gold - They were also given something that resembled the emblem for those who have been found faithful in God, namely a golden crown, (Rev 4:4), having executed His will (Rev 6:2); which in turn fits them for radical judgement (Rev 14:14). (Cf. Num 25:11-13; Rev 9:18-21 & AG 138.3-4|Ed 115.1-2; GC 637.1)

faces of men - With the face being the most readily, accurately identifiable part of the body, these locust will be most readily identifiable as men. Yet as this is actually quite a generic identification, as there are billions of men on the planet, it is instead not a very helpful ‘ready identification’.
Rev 9:8 - They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.

hair like the hair of women - With a woman being a symbol of a Church, to say that these, actual men, would have hair that would make them seem like being a woman, states that they would thus be wrongly thought to be a legitimate (i.e., God-instituted) Church/Faith.

teeth like teeth of lions - A lion, the king of beasts, is symbolic of an earthly kingdom. And so these locust will have the “biting”, thus devouring effect of a lion’s (which non-symbolically is, and also, the chief of, nation’s/kingdom’s) tearing bite. Indeed, as seen in the OT background of this locust episode from Joel 1, it is as if another nation has invaded (Joel 1:6)

Rev 9:9 - They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of many horse-drawn chariots rushing to war.

breastplates like breastplates of iron - In the Bible, the breastplate is associated with “righteousness” (Eph 6:14), which is actually to be composed of faith and love (1 Thess 5:8). So such a breastplate, made up of the strong material of iron, is to be able to oppose any ‘unrighteous attack’, i.e., those which are borne out of a lack of faith in God and also devoid of love, pointedly here, towards fellow men. And that is why God also puts on also the breastplate for a (offensive) ‘mission of vengeance’ against His enemies, all in order to: ‘restore Justice, Righteousness, Truth and Uprightness’ (Isa 59:13-20; =Rev 19:11-13ff|EW 36.1; -cf. here); but in this instance, as God is doing this through this established, donned/invested and empowered army of Locust, this is an instance of ‘God arming his creation to repel his enemies’. (Wisdom 5:17-23)

...of iron - On a more technical-symbolic level, “iron” has had a previous usage and meaning in Bible prophecy (in Dan 2:33, 40; 7:7, 19), and that has consistently been in describing the ‘exceedingly strong’ Fourth Empire which would rule the Prominent World’s Nations of Ancient times (for ca. 644 years), namely Rome (168 BC-476 AD). Then, as prophesied in Dan 2:41-43, upon the fall of Rome would come a form of world governments which would be of mixed ‘strong and brittle” consistency being made up of “iron and miry clay”. This mixture is defined in the SOP as “the mingling of church craft and state craft” (1MR 51.1).
            As the “weakening here” is all in regards to this idol statue which represents the (oddly still pursued) various attempts by worldly men to try to establish a strong and lasting World Empire, -all mainly for better economic prosperity, (nations today try to “export their values” also in order to best access, expand and control international markets), the prediction in Daniel 2 predicted that there would come an era when, in pursuit of this Worldly Reign and assumed “Peace”, the secular, as inceptively started with Emperor Constantine, would seek to mix the Authoritatively-Controlling power of the State (cf. Rom 13:1-7) with the Influentially-Controlling power of the Church (cf. 2 Cor 4:6-7; (Hab 2:14|Rev 18:1)), -all fundamentally contrary to Christ’s merely evangelistic mandate (Matt 28:19-20; 24:14; John 18:36; cf. Luke 20:25).
            A little later on in World/Church History, it would be Popes who would be trying to combine the powers of the State and the Church into one office when they took over from Emperors the Supreme Rulership of the then Holy Roman Empire. Popes were enjoined by Monarchs in various countries of this Empire who claimed that they had derived their reigning authority directly from God, and if/when they would separate from the Holy Roman Empire, these kings or queens would also assume the office of Head of their, now national, Church. (And monarchies tried to mutually solidify, and thus perpetuate, this state of Church&State rule and kingdoms through vast intermarriage amongst Europe's Royal Families in order to reciprocally eliminate the greatest existent/existential threat then to them: externally-borne overthrow through war. (i.e. versus Domestic Revolution)). However, as God foreplanned, this ‘Church & State “mingling”’, -(as well as a non-sovereignly-united Europe [thus neither with the EU] nor World [thus neither with the UN]), would naturally not (at least enduringly) “adhere to one another”, -(pivotally due to, unlike prior times, the absence of a common State Church), through any scheme/endeavor. (Dan 2:43)...(until, -and purposefully so (=2 Thess 2:11-12), for God-ordained (Rev 17:13, 17), “Final Events” (Rev 17:14; 19:11-16, 17-21))....And so, this (default/popular) state of Neo-Monarchial government form & ruling affairs lasted up until the definitive/enduring powder keg populous blow by the American Revolution (1765-1783) which established itself on ‘two fundamental principles of: “Republicanism” (different than a (Direct) Democracy; -via the U.S. Constitution (1787//1788)) and “Protestantism” (~Freedom of Religion; -inclusively via the U.S. Bill of Rights (1789//1791); [cf. the Magna Carta (1215)])’ -which most likely, and directly, inspired and led to the later (Civil and Religious) French Revolution (1789-1799) (especially with American Revolution stalwarts like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson serving as the first two U.S. Ambassadors to France in the years leading up to it; (Mar 193.3; GC 441.1ff: =the ‘two crownless, Little Lamb-like, horned-beast’ of Rev 13:11ff -See also here; and here+here).
             So, with God’s ‘purposes in world affairs’ (Dan 2:20-21) through this templating statute of Daniel 2 actually being to increasingly degrade the luster of people to deified secular rule and worshipped kingdoms, this purpose would come to be effectuated by this achieved tiered-mixture of where His Church would have an offsetting Heaven-minded influence to the prior worshipped Earthly-authority of the State (see e.g. Dan 3:1-7ff; Dan 6:6-9, Roman Emperor’s). But, as pertinently seen in the socio-political battles in today’s democracies, there would be an effort to try to “democratically”, -(and even as insidiously “low” as through the violation of the fundamentally partitioning counsel in 2 Cor 6:14-18, -(which typically produce at best “lukewarm”, or outright secularistic, offspring (=“seed of men”) =Dan 2:44)), efface this Church and State partitioning where then the State/World (intrinsically) would have influence in the Church and/or the Church (intrinsically) would have authority in the State, (as actually seen today in the burgeoned political generations forming the “Religious Right” on one end, and the “Liberal Left” on the other end)....-which are really the neo-gods of this age, -as (parting) political ideologies...Today, these competing sides still remain ideologically separate because of the present enmity which God had promised to keep between these two camps (Gen 3:15). But when they do choose to intrinsically/fully mix, (as pointedly seen in such natural and/or ideological offspring), God’s Spirit, which leads to Truth, Godliness and Righteousness, is inherently removed from such an unsanctioned union and, at best, a Pseudo-Godliness is produced/instilled (just like it occurred before the Flood Gen 6:1-4|PP 81.2). Similarly God will remove His Spirit from increasingly Christian-diluting/compromising individuals-peoples-powers [producing the Rev 17:17 counter-effect (cf. John 13:27)] as these two opposition sides do “meet in the middle” under a Pseudo-Christianity, then ensuingly a Humanistic Spirituality (=Rev 16:12-14; cf. Ezek 38:3-16ff), which in both phases will persecute (2 Tim 3:12) and war against (Rev 16:16) those who are actually Biblically Christian and Godly Righteous/Spiritual. (Rev 17:14)
            Indeed this breaking down of this God-ordained partitioning will only culminate in, -as it also had occurred historically (Rev 13:1-10), in the now eschatological (Rev 13:11-18) ‘strong arming’ endavor of Rev 17:12-13, as identically represented by the “10 toes” in Dan 2 [with the number 10 being a symbol for a “comprehensive totality” of existing/ruling entities then (i.e. all of the world’s nations/countries (see Rev 17:15-18); -(whereas the number 7 would have merely been for a “perfect (but not complete) representation” of the world’s states (e.g. only Western or World Prominent Powers)]. And it is in those times of the mixed feet (and toes) that God would enter into judgement with the world (Dan 2:34; Rev 17:14; 19:11), when-ever, as stated in 1MR 51.1, it is that people would have made void the Law of God by having forged a proscribed integral mixture of Church and State/World; -even if merely “provisionally”.* God then would rightfully work to forcefully establish His own (applicably now: Temporal-Jubilee Millennial) Kingdom. (=Dan 2:35, 44-45; Rev 11:15-18; 19:12-16). -See much more on the Daniel 2 prophecy in its dedicated post.
            So with all of this backgrounding exposing into the prophetic usage and meaning of “iron” as seen in Dan 2 & 7 to represent “State Craft” which includes the “craft/art” of Law Enforcement (Rom 13:1-7) and War (Dan 7:7, 19), the “breastplate” = righteousness = right-doing of these locust would likewise be according to “State Craft”. Therefore we are to expect that these “locust” will also have a State-like Law Enforcing and Militaristic dimension where they would seek to have their positions enforced as if they were a State and also “warringly” onto/into other states.

            So as these locust see States themselves ‘vitally -(for the breastplate does protect them most vital functional parts of the body) acting’, -pointedly in enforcing laws, including capital punishment (e.g. the Holy Roman Empire forcing people to convert, and burning people alive at the stake, France chopping people’s head off with the Guillotine (until 1981); Western Powers (today) torturing people), and waging war (e.g. the “Holy Wars” of Crusades; Western-condoned terroristic land-grabbing by Israel; ‘Terrorizing’-Bombings/Nukings (Hiroshima & Nagasaki) and Terrorizing/“Shock & Awe”/“Exemplary” Wars (e.g. 2003 Iraq Invasion) and their indifferent mass killing of innocent civilians as “collateral damage”), then they will have the same “right” to also (re-)act in this way.

* Indeed, as quite empirically seen in the ongoing battles in the “War on Terror”, first with the aftermath of the 9/11 Attacks in the U.S., and recently with the Paris November 2015 attacks, where in both/such cases, it is quite naturally perfectly acceptable to effectively ‘repudiate any Religious and Civil Right’ (~5T 451.1), thus effectively returning, even if “provisionally” under “States of Emergencies”, Western Societies to a time when only government approved religions were/was lawful and permitted and when there were no checks or prohibitions to what the State could do, and without any evidentiary cause, to any individual, it is indeed not at all inconceivable that for that Rev 17:14 ‘one hour war against the Little Lamb power’, the U.S. and these leading Western Nations, and then virtually all others nations that it/they will have convinced to join this coalition of theirs, will indeed , probably by formal United Nation (GA&SC) Resolution, be permitted and empowered to again act as the (totalitarian) ‘“kings” (of olden times) =Rev 17:12’ and repudiate any principle of any form of Democratic “First Amendment elements” Rights, followed by the natural violation of virtually all other ‘Bill of Rights’ provisions, along with the authorization to use whatever, even deadly, force is deemed “necessary” (cf. LDE 257.2-260.3ff), and all that merely at any perceived (offensive) threat from those who in that Little Lamb power will actually be seeking to fully do God’s Full-Sabbatical Socio-Economic Righteousness Will. (cf. Matt 7:21-23)

sound of their wings - It is odd to here that these locust-scorpions had wings, which are associated with birds. This shows that they are capable of flying like birds, thus have a vast global range/reach and also that they are capable of moving fast relative to land-based creatures.

the sound of many horse-drawn chariots rushing to war - Yet the sound of these wings, thus the flying ability capability of these locust is as formidable as horse-drawn chariots rushing to war, which for centuries, before the mechanical/powered age, was a most formidable war implement give this combination of mobility, speed and pointed/targeted, damaging inflicting power.

Rev 9:10 - They have tails like scorpions and stingers; and in their tails is their authority to (unrighteously) harm men for five months.

authority in their tails - Normatively the destructive power of an animal is inflicted through their head/mouth. The tail is literally merely for sweeping/cleaning up effect. It is indeed merely the trailing part. Yet it is here being stated that as these scorpions indeed have their tormenting implement in their tail, this is the way in which they will produce this 5 month torment.
            It is significant to see, that in the War in Heaven, indeed as discussed in this post, that there were two distinct events involved in the fall of Satan. The first came when Satan was given an opportunity to prove the superiority and power of his view through a deciding war against the loyal angels. However when he was not able to win this war, then ‘there no longer was a place found for them in heaven’ and they were cast out. (Rev 12:7-9). So the angels were thus swept out of Heaven by the Dragon’s/Serpent’s tail because it pointedly was not able to win the prior war against God. So an effect that is done by the tail is one that is pointedly done as a secondary effect, and not directly by the main (head/mouth) one.

unrighteous harm - These scorpions are “green-lightingly” even granted the authority to effect unrighteous harm against those who do not have the Seal of God as they execute their 5-month torture.

Rev 9:11 - They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

king - angel of the abyss - While this entire development had been by God expressed permission, yet, as in the episode of Ahab vs. the prophet Micaiah (1 Kgs 22:13-28) God had turned over these warring and destructive event to the Angel of the abyss, which had been the Devil, which had first appeared in the Third Trumpet, as a ‘Star of Light’ (Rev 8:10).
            The notion of a ‘king over these locust’ is manifestly in almost verbatim allusion to the statement made in Pro 30:27, which, in its wider context ‘the wise/great/surprising feats that small creatures do’ (Pro 30:24-28), is saying of the locust that even when they do not have a commanding authority over them, they know that their devastative and overwhelming strength is jointly in their organized numbers. So how much more/worst their impact, when they do have a king over them, as is the case here in this prophecy.

Abaddon and Apollyon - However now, as the Hebrew\Greek name of this fallen Star indicates, it wanted to effectuate ‘Total Ruin/Destruction [cf. Strong’s #622] and Engulfing Burial’ (See Job 26:6; 28:22; 31:12; Psa 88:11; Pro 15:11; 27:20); probably sensing/thinking/“perceiving” that things were probably going to soon end, and thus his remaining time was about to run out (Rev 12:12). And so the passion of men were allowed to be unrestrained and influenced by the Devil in those times.

Rev 9:12 - The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

first of three woes - And so, as spoken of in this verse the “woe” of Rev 12:12 (~‘warning of evil’ cf. Isa 45:7) was indeed typically fulfilled by this development of events under the Fifth Trumpet; yet with two more coming...

Fifth Trumpet Historical (Church) Application:

Straightly said, (as succinctly presented in here [07:05-21:34] by David Obermiller), the Historical fulfilment of this Fifth Trumpet finds itself in the military confrontations between the Catholic Church and the Muslim World.

Star which had fallen to the Earth - It was seen earlier that this Star is the same one that had previously fallen during the Third Trumpet (Rev 8:10). As also previously seen, that Star was burning like the 7 Torch lamps which burn in the throne room of God and which are used to light the 7 lampstands (=Churches/Church Ages) in the Holy Place, and the effect of this deceptively burning Star upon that Third Church was to usher in a era of Faith and Practice compromises. Temporally this was fully manifested in the union of the Church with the State which led to the Church obtain its temporal power, and Religiously is led to the mixing in of worldly practices in the Church. The worship of idol was, without too much argument, the most prominent of these Religious compromises, yet with other ones being in ideological assimilation and probably the most subtle and subversive one having a corruptive effect in socio-economic realm, replacing Biblical ideals with worldly ones characterized by the love of money, greed and selfishness.
            So, as seen above, it is most surprising to see that this raised militant Islamic force, which, as concrete exegesis shows, what under the direction of the same fallen Star, was pointed against all those who worship more than one God and idols other than the God of the Bible. This would seem like a self-defeating, pointless “house divided” scenario (Matt 12:24-26), however since his second and ideologically decisive casting out of heaven (cf. Luke 10:18, which is also related in Rev 12:3-6ff; 10-12|DA 761.1-3), he knew that he had no chance of winning this GC war. Christ’s triumph at the Cross had secured the Earth as God’s possession and He would one day retake full possession of it. The only variable left in play was ‘how many people would populate this Kingdom,’ working to keep this number to as little as possible, and that by any achieving means, has been Satan’s main objective since the Cross. And so, with the eternal loss of people being most likely achievable by them dying when they are in an unsaved state, when then their natural life course will serve as their judge (see Rom 1:18-20ff; 2:14-16). And what better means of producing such mass, untimely deaths than through war. And so it served Satan’s purposes to raise up a militant force against the already corrupted Catholic Church, indeed an opposing force whose main objection would be against worshipping many gods and idols. Yet in all of these developments, God Almighty was actually maintaining the course for the ultimate triumph of Truth, a future turn of events that Satan, shortsightedly did not foresee. And so in this ongoing Great Controversy Chess Match, God had again here, as with the allowed, and long warned of, Second Church Age state persecutions of Christians, baited Satan into helping to, even more triumphantly, advancing the cause of Truth.
            So while Satan had intentions of ‘Death/Burial & Destruction’ (=Abaddon & Apollyon Rev 9:11) in inciting Islam into religious militant actions against Apostate Christianity, which are indeed both not God’s Spirit nor Kingdom, in any form (cf. Matt 12:28), God was acting to lay the foundation to bring one False Faith, and then the other to an end. Some today, even SDA Christians, are swayed by Islam to think that it is a Faith that is from God because it contains many things/truths in common with Biblical Christianity, but that does not make it a valid Biblical Faith. Indeed just like the many Christian Truths in Catholicism does not override its God’s ideal. The same is also said of, moreoverly, Capitalism-corrupted/minded Protestantism, which also involves the similarly  believing or indifferently adhering/mimicking SDA Church.

not to hurt certain things... but only unsealed ones... - God was indeed in total control of the harm that could harmfully transpire under these events, and by granting sufficient empowering authority to the locust army (=militant Islamic forces), thus guaranteeing that they would not suffer wiping out harm in those conflicts, and also limiting the harm that they could inflict to only torture and not death, while bringing about due and checking judgement upon the Apostate Catholic Church, He was affording them an opportunity to see the error of their ways, indeed in the “stinging” defeat at the hand of non-Christian forces, and seek to introspectingly search and find, as with the similar episode of Joshua’s defeat at Ai as they were ‘seeking to conquer God’s promised land’ (Josh 7), what quite manifestly impeding thing they needed to bring into harmony with the will of God.

Idolatry and Seal of God - It can here be asked what does idolatry have to do with the Seal of God, and the studied out answer reveals much. Succinctly said however, the SOP makes consistent statement to the fact that ‘God will not place His Seal where there is an idol’ (16MR 34.3). It is also said that “The observance of the Sabbath would have preserved the world from idolatry.” (LS 96.1; cf. BLJ 136.5; 1888 494.1). It is also obviously known that in world history, idolatry has been directed to either a man-made object (e.g., statuettes) or a man-established one (e.g., the Sun, Moon and/or planets). However when man obeys man-made teachings, particularly when they come to know that they are false/spurious (cf. Acts 17:16, 22-23ff, 29-31), they then are similarly worshipping an idol (cf. Rom 14:22-23), -their God-usurping, man-made institution, as both Sunday sacredness and Capitalism jointly are in regards to the Religious and Socio-economic aspects of God’s True and Full Sabbath.
            So that is how the notions of ‘idolatry in conjunction with the Seal of God’ were involved in the Historical Fifth Church Era as, through a main message of the Protestant Reformation which rightly condemned image worship, Catholics came to now prevent themselves from receiving the Seal of God by persisting in this now clearly-known-to-be-false way. And this image worship issue came to indeed be a crucially distinguishing Mark between Catholics and Protestants at this time.

long for death, but not find it - As in the earlier discussed two possible scenarios of a tortured person seeking death, the applicable scenario here was that the Catholic Church well knew of the many ways it had “altered” (actually “corrupted”) the Christian Faith. And that was most explicitly seen in their constant and confident referral to its instituted Traditions. It fully, though quite wrongly, felt that it had the God-given authority to do so, and so in refusing to admit this truth while “under torture”, which indeed could have been done by them outlawing the worshipping of idol which prominently made them a target of militant Islam, they instead defiantly preferred to engage in war. The thinking probably then was that if they were so wrong, then they would not survive such Religiously-based confrontation. So they were effectively placing a life and death ultimatum before God. But they, by God’s limiting here, would not be granted this effective “death wish”. God was gracefully giving them an opportunity to repent in faith rather than in force. So despite their survival of these Battles, including most notably the 732 A.D. victory in the Battle of Tours which preserved the Western World/Europe from Muslim domination as it was achieved by them in the Eastern World (see C.M. Maxwell, God Cares 2:248-250, they were to, especially in the light of many other defeats and territorial/Empire losses at the hand of the Muslims, seek to try to fully right their ways before God.

locust’s face like men, teeth like lions, hair like women - Although the people in those Muslim countries were most readily seen (= “face”) as simply living men, when they formally came together in 1299 to form the Ottoman Empire, their ability to inflict harm against its foes (=”teeth”) was indeed as militaristically formidable as it is due to any temporal Kingdom/Empire, yet its fundamental and overshadowing motivation for attacks and warfare were to be seen as being mainly religious (=“hair like a woman”).
            It is noteworthy to note that, as seen in the episode of Absalom and his long (thus women-like) hair (2 Sam 14:26; 18:9ff), it is not at all recommended for horsemen to have long hair, which manifestly here is allowed to freely-flowing be so observed, how much more when in the heat of battle, where this long flowing hair can easily be used against. And so, with Absalom’s story involving him trying to usurp the throne and authority of his father David, and with the ‘valid Religious Faith’ symbolism involved with their locust-scorpion army, who moreover are making a stately claim by also having crown that seem to be of gold, it appears that the background of this episode has been drawn from the attempt of Absalom to take the Kingdom away from David (e.g., 2 Sam 15:1-6ff; 13-14ff). Hence here, Islam was being made to appear like a genuine Biblical Faith, especially as it was here rightly entering into judgement with Catholic Religion which has corrupted actual Biblical teachings and/or outrightly ignoring them. And while it was God’s plan to judge this corrupt system through Islam, and He had limitingly given over the reigns of this judgement to Satan as God sometimes does when He no longer is, to a certain degree, intending to have mercy (see this post), and all that so as to hold it in check in its Historical Development (just as the Flood destruction had managed to be done), it was not his plan that Islam replace Christianity, indeed just like it was not His plan that invading powers against national Israel completely replace them or wipe them out, but merely judge and “discipline” them. And ironically enough it is this quasi-valid “Religious Faith” aspect of Islam which has fueled, from both sides, its war with Christianity and the West.

Five months - According to the attested Historicist method of applying such time periods in Bible prophecy, this mention of “5 months” (=150 days) has been seen to represent a period of 150 years. Typically in SDA interpretation it has been applied to the period of the founding of the Ottoman Empire-the largest and longest lasting empire in history, on July 27, 1299 through its ensuing period of gradual ascendency, -which was marked with several wars with the Eastern Roman Empire, and ended (by SDAs) in 1449 when it was deemed, (as claimed here), that: as this Byzantine Empire’s Emperor: Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos ‘shamefully’ refused to venture to ascend the throne, -upon the death of his childless reigning brother John VIII Palaiologos on October 31, 1448, without the permission of his enemy: the Turkish Sultan Amurath/Murad II and sent ambassadors to him to ask his consent before he presumed to call himself sovereign, effective authority/supremacy had thus been ceded to the Ottoman Empire. What had fully happened here, as explained here, was that the succession to the throne was disputed between Constantine and his brother Demetrios Palaiologos and the arbitrating decision/permission/support was sought for at the hands of the Turkish Sultan, who ruled in favor of Constantine. That permission was granted, and Constantine XI was coronated Emperor, -the last of that Eastern Roman Empire, starting on January 6, 1449.
            While that did demonstrate a subserviency by the Byzantine Emperor/Empire to that of the Ottoman’s Power, and thus an acceptable, effective, fall of that Empire to the Turks, the soonly eventual tangible fall of this Empire in the taking of its capital city: Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey) on May 29, 1453, -(on which day the Byzantine Emperor Constantine was killed), becoming the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, can be rather considered as its real fall. This latter ending event/date would however involve a ca. 154-year period vs. “150 years”.
            A ‘150 years’ prophetic understanding and application is acceptable, given that a “five month” period, as expressed here could be a little longer than a strict 150 days (thus merely ‘five 30-day months’). But if however it is to be more detailedly reckoned from, e.g., May to September, this would result in 153 days [i.e. M31+J30+J31+A31+S30], -according to the calendrical reckonings in use both at the time of the giving of the prophecies of Revelation and during its applicable fulfilment in Church History, [no consecutive sequence of months in the Julian Calender produces 154 days]. However, technically speaking, this period of the ‘turbulent Rise of the Ottoman Empire’ actually, specifically is 153 years, 10 months and 2 days, and with the normative life span of utilized symbol of “locust” in the field actually being 5 months, and that during, weather-wise favorable warm months of e.g., May to September (albeit in certain parts of the world), such as this involved/targeted Western Roman Empire, it can be seen that this indeed turbulent 153+ year period of July 27, 1299-May 29, 1453 does indeed fit the prophetic scenario here.
            However if the “five month” is ideologically understood to represent the ‘normative life span of a locust in the field’, then it can be seen that it was generally being stated that ‘this “locust militia” would be a constant source of torment/torture to those who did not have the “Seal of God” throughout their life span.’ This period would thus start from the time that the Muslim countries formed a united, militant front against the various opposing/encroaching parts of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire. Indeed after conquering the remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire with the taking of Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire then began its moves towards the also encroaching, through Crusade, (Holy) Western Roman Empire headed then by the Papacy. Ideologically understanding this “five months” period would resolve the semi-unorthodoxy of that 1299-1453 period taking place long before the understood time period of this Fifth Time Period Era age of ca. 1560's-1790's, as the Reformation Movement started to prematurely settle and stagnate, however the concrete retroactive application of those “five months” could still be done to refer to establishment of a formidable temporal power that would come to match and keep in check the, Biblically speaking, unlawfully obtained temporal power of the Catholic Church which it was using to quench the Light of Biblical Truth of Reformers and their followers. Yet for many reasons that will later be expounded, the ‘normative “five month” life span of a locust’ understanding is (also) quite interesting.

authority in their tails - As expounded earlier, the notion of the deadly implement of a creature being in its tail, rather in its head, through its mouth, implies that most stingy effect being residually or trailing felt. And this is certainly the case with the Ottoman Empire’s Rise against the Catholic Church-State Power. It is prophetically most significant that the apogee of the Ottoman Empire coincided exactly with the apogee of the Protestant Reformation. As stated here, “during the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the [Ottoman] empire became the most powerful state in the world.” And, in regards to the restoration of Truth, that was the time that such a temporal power vs. the Catholic Church was indeed most needed, as, as recounted in God Cares 2:254-255, decided actions were being pursued to delve a fatal blow to the Protestant Reformation by targeting its most transcendent, and thus quite successful, leader Martin Luther. However such militaristic attempts were keyly foiled before they could even be launched by more urgent/threatening duties to fight against armies of the Ottoman Empire. And so the long ago, 1299-established Ottoman Empire, despite its many skirmishes with ‘Roman Catholic World/Empire’ “tailingly” came to have its most contributive effect several centuries later in its life span during the decisive, peaking years of the Protestant Reformation. And when its continual militaristic opposition to the West/Catholic Church began to wane from the late 17th century, so was the, especially temporal power, of the Catholic Church, with the Reformation then having fully taken its roots. Even Martin Luther saw the hand of God in all of these favoring developments. (See the several historical examples cited by David Obermiller here [26:38-32:34]).

Israel Wilderness Object Lesson Parallel - The involved notions of: ‘scorpions, livelihood, non-death, Seal of God’ in this Fifth Trumpet make a manifest allusion to the OT Israel episode of the fiery serpents in the wilderness Succinctly said, the wilderness was full of both “fiery serpents and scorpions” (Deut 8:15). And when the people began to murmur against Moses and God for, not their safety, but for their livelihood/subsistence (Num 21:5), God pointedly sent “fiery serpents”, so called “on account of the terrible effects produced by their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death” (PP 429.1) and not the also present, and merely tormenting, scorpions. (See this forum discussion, starting here, on the key distinction.) And as seen in Rev 13:16-17, which is expounded throughout the SOP, the opposing Mark of the Beast, to the Seal of God, will be taken by most more in regards to ensuring their livelihood and subsistence. The wider issue is also a lack of faith and trust in God and His ways, and rather yielding to the unbiblical ways of the world, pointedly in regards to providing for one’s daily needs (cf. LDE 173.6).  So it can be seen that in this Fifth Trumpet similarly involves those issues, as the Mark of the Beast was indeed being firmly established here as untruths, pointedly in regards to Sunday Sacredness, was resolutely being persisted in by both Catholics and Protestants. Thus both sides were implicitly stating that they trusted more in man than in God. However, unlike with OT Israel which were sent deadly serpents which were to cause “speedy death”, God instead here, while now about to send the mainline Catholic Church into a wilderness (cf. Rev 13:10), was rather endeavoring to keep them both individually and also ecclesiastically alive, while allowing them to be torment/tortured by non-venomous scorpions, so that they would see and repent of their erroneous ways.

Fifth Trumpet Temporal (Kingdom) Application:

As typical of the Series of Trumpets in their Historical to Eschatological progression it is
quite normative for the Historical fulfilment to have a closely related Eschatological similarity, in a sort of a “neo-“ from of the historical. And so it is not hard to see that the historical skirmishes between the Militant Islam and the Catholic/Western Church, have today continued however with the Western Countries replacing the Holy Roman Empire. And, as also normative in actual Biblical/Prophetic fulfillments, such a final phase of application, the Eschatological one, also finds very pointed fulfillments of the symbols involved. First reading these related comments in this post may serve as a good background/introduction for the following prophetic exposition.

Rev 9:1 - Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven, having fallen into the earth; and the key of the shaft/wellspring of the abyss was given to him.

a star from heaven, having fallen into the earth - As seen in the earlier discussion on the Eschatological Third Trumpet, the Torch-like Star that had fallen from heaven then had brought forth the supposed Biblical socio-economic teaching/practice of Capitalism to Protestants. This led them to embark on a course which gradually progressed to its inevitable evil state where the making of money was the final arbitrator in any affair and over any authority including the Bible. Indeed it was being staunchly claim, and this indeed was where the overmastering deception of this teaching was, and still is, that this way of living was most Biblical.
            So most insidiously, as the skirmishes between militant Islam and the West have now continued, with a shift from the now temporally powerless Catholic/ Western Church to various Western Countries, it has been propagandizingly assumed that Islam is combative against the West out of spite towards “their way of living”. This is ironically partly true but not for economic aspects but rather for the decadence that the unbiblical ways of the West and its entrenched ‘license for sin’. Of course this is directly tied to the love of money of Capitalism for, take away the commonly, prominently present incentive of ‘making money’ from those various sinful enterprises and most, even all, of them would not be produced. The circular rationale is that ‘there is a demand for it in the society’ is still defeated by the fact that if there was no opportunity to make money from the offering/production of these sinful services, they would not be pursued. This all show how indeed this Protestant Capitalistic tenet of ‘religiously making money at any “cost”’ has gradually, but surely, revealed its natural evil end once unwrapped.

            As with the dual, but opposite, and seemingly self-defeating, action of “inspiring” the Historical Catholic Church to pursue Biblically compromising practices, and then also inspiring/inciting the Muslim Arab World to militantly oppose such idolatrous worshippers, this fallen Star now, in this Eschatological Age similarly re-done the same thing by inspiring the Protestant Church, led by the Temporal power of America, to, and all in direct reaction to the abuses and aberrations of the Historical Catholic Church, to sway to the completely opposite and also unbiblical extreme of ‘having (a purported) “freedom” in everything’ (cf. John 8:31-36). This was all what the Devil always wanted to see being done on Earth, where human are not bound by any Higher, especially Moral, Law, but are free to do whatever they think is best for them.[36] And on the other hand, Satan has similarly been allowed to (actually continue to) inspiringly incite a Militant Islam against, nowadays, an unwelcomed encroachment of the Western World in Muslim Society.
the key of the shaft/wellspring of the abyss was given to him - By having been permitted to set up these two conflicting entities in a Decadent, Capitalistic West and Militant Islam (again, nowadays mostly defensively reacting against the unlawful actions of the West), as seen in today’s on edge world, he had been able to engender the “chaotic” society that he prefers, for in all of this “noise” the Gospel Truth is stifled. Yet, as with the permitted historical developments between the previous form of those foes, a Sovereignly permitting, and limiting, God is actually acting to bring about His Perfect will.

Rev 9:2 - He opened shaft/wellspring of the abyss pit, and smoke went up out of the shaft/wellspring, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the shaft/wellspring.

opened shaft/wellspring of the abyss, smoke... out of it - So once those two modern day foes were allowed to clash, symbolized by the opening of that abyss’s shaft/wellspring, the result/product was sun and air darkening smoke.
            With demons capable of being confined into this abyss (Luke 8:31-33; cf. Rev 20:1-3), the opening of its shaft had, starting back in the Historical Age, opened an avenue where Spiritual Manifestations could be used to deceive people on Earth, and this was done in the manufactured apparition of the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed, establishing the religion of Islam....Yet with God having Mandating and/or Final Authority as to what can be, (lyingly) said (see 1 Kgs 22:19-23), or not at all said (e.g., Mark 1:34; cf. Luke 10:17) by such raised up (cf. Isa 45:7) and commandeered spirit/forces....which is why, at the very least, it is not at all quite Biblical things in the Qu’ran. (See some examples e.g., here [16:36-21:33]).

like the smoke of a great furnace - As discussed before, this is making a allusion to the OT episode when God was about to establish His covenant at Mount Sinai with His just delivered Israel. (Exod 19:18). Back in the historical age of this prophecy, Satan, through the falsified apparition of the Ark of the Covenant Angel Gabriel to Mohammed had managed to make it seem that God was establishing a new people and had even drastically changed His prior covenant, i.e., the New One He had made through Jesus Christ. And so Islam was made to seem to be God’s new religion and people from then on.

the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the shaft/wellspring - As already amply detailed, the symbol of the sun has the meaning of “Righteousness” in the religious realm and pointedly, the Economy, which however also crucially depends on “right-doing”, especially in its foundational socio-economic implications, to properly and most efficiently function. So a sun darkening of both Righteousness, and also relatedly, the Economy is to transpire here from the permitting of this abyss opening by God. There is also quite an economic overhead and also detrimental effect on the Economy when probable unrighteous actions of people have to also be protected against.

- With air being pervasively essential to life, this symbol is straightly understood to refer to what most immediately affects life. E.g., one can live ca. 40 days without food, and about a week without water, but only a few minutes without air. So anything that comes to affect this life element leaves no other option but to immediately and thoroughly deal with it.

            It is at this point in this exposition that it can be stated the pointed Eschatological event that has come to crystalize this long ongoing West vs. Militant Islam confrontation, and that was indeed, unequivocally brought to head in the 9/11 events. Indeed while the West and Militant Islam had been clashing for decades, particularly since the forceful imposition of the state of Israel in Palestinian occupied (and that for centuries) land (cf. here), relatively speaking, not much had been done by Western powers against Militant Islam. However when most formidable attacks were successfully carried out upon U.S. soil, needless to says, things drastically changed from then on. And so, a “War” was declared and carried out on Terror/Extremism and whatever was (subjectively) deemed to be the case; pointed Western governmental “Security” departments were either newly set up or heightened or expanded, to more squarely deal with this realized and realizable threat of domestic/domestically effected attacks.
            In addition to this direct fallout from these attacks, it however is the indirect ones that have had the most widespread impact. As seen from the prominent knee-jerk governmental rallying call to American to “go shopping” to both, most tellingly enough, recover their downtrodden Capitalistic morale and also try to stop the haemorrhaging and tanking economy, the “sun” was indeed darken by the fallout of that day. Indeed much of the exponential increase the U.S. Federal Budget deficit and thus the National debt, is directly due to the various damages and costs that have been caused by now having to variously deal with and protect against this heightened militancy. (Cf. here)
            And just as the lingering smoke above Ground Zero was toxic to health to breathe in, the overall “air” of the nation from that day on was drastically altered. Indeed “life” before and after September 11, 2001 became two worlds apart, and chiefly dropped in all of this were whatever was left of simple trust in others, as prominently seen in Airport Searches and Government Hyper/General Surveillance today. And in all of this, God had a pointed matter to adjudged, pointedly against those who are claiming to be followers of His but are actually a producing a completely opposite, global witness. (See 9T 11.1-14.1ff).

Rev 9:3 - Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and authority was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have authority.

locust - As previously discussed, the locust (plague) occurs here to “finish up” what the plague of the hail did not itself destroy.

out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth - The result of the volatile differences between the Capitalistic West and (chiefly) the Muslim Arab World was, on the Muslim Arab side, a Militant Islam faction, not composed of a conventional army but quite literally a “swarm” of, even lone individuals, however collectively acting against, and towards the same militant objective. And so was most pointedly fulfilled this “locust” symbolism, indeed even more specifically than when it was the formal armies of the Ottoman Empire that was acting against the West then.

authority was given them as the scorpions of the earth have authority - This statement is further specified below.

Rev 9:4 - And it was said to them in order that they would not do any unrighteous thing to the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

And it was spoken to them.... - I.e., indirectly by God’s limiting hand/influence.

not do any unrighteous thing to the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree - Given the jumpy state of the economy where any threat of another terrorist attack has a direct effect of various sectors of the economy, and also the way in which the current economy is quite interdependent, even upon its weakest links, it is quite interesting to see that, and despite calls from high up in the chain of command to do so, attacks, and that “whimsical” ones, for purely economic impact, and that anywhere in the world, have actually not been either threatened, as this is also effective, nor carried out. One can only see the overruling, limiting hand of God in all of this for it is indeed most natural for a locust to devour ‘any green thing’. However, God’s overall purpose in these permitted developments is not to produce a “Final Crisis”, as indeed many SDA preachers (see e.g., here) are claiming/expecting in order to see unravel “Final Events” (that is, as they preferentially, elementarily understand them to be), but actually to enter into due judgement with those who are leading the way in the eclipsing of His True, Biblical Religion, and, as with the Biblical aim of the Historical Era Protestant Movement, all towards the goal of establishing a Biblical Order against the corrupt, and now also temporally, on top of religious passing one, namely here the Protestant’s deficient belief system and way of doing thing.

do not have the seal of God on their foreheads - It is in the Eschatological era that this Key “Seal of God” distinguishing mark finds its fullest meaning, yet with all of the prior ones still being involved. As discussed in this post, and this one, in this Eschatological Era, the Seal of God fully involve God’s Sabbatical Socio-economic principles and derivedly due benevolence which is all being systematically undermined and opposed by Capitalism. And as those who ‘do not have the Seal of God’ instead have the Mark of the Beast, then those who are the object of this permitted judgement through a clash of foes, are those who adhere to this spurious and devil inspired system.

Rev 9:5 - And it was [merely] given to them (the locust-scorpions) in order that they may not put them (the non-sealed ones) to death, but, rather, in order that they will torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion whenever it stings a man.

it was [merely] given to them - Again by God All Mighty limiting hand, as similarly seen many times in the Bible.

no death but torment - Again, the object of torment/torture, (ironically enough, as seen in its use by Americans in its “War on Terror”), is not to kill, but to have a truth confessed/admitted. And so the aim of this (permitted) judgement from God on those who have the (Fuller) Mark of the Beast, i.e., those who idolatrously adhere to unBiblical Living and espouse its sidekick of Capitalism, is not to ‘bring an end to Western Countries’ but to get them to admit that their objected to ways of both moral decadence as well as Capital-ism|-istic Imperialism (euphemistically a.k.a.: “Globalization”) are not at all Biblical as they “religiously” claim and believe them to be.

“five months” of scorpion-sting-like, locust tormenting- Specifically in this Eschatological Era where prophetic fulfillments do not involve set/prophetic time periods, this period of “five months” is understood to be in reference to ‘the normative life span of a locust.’ And so, as long as those “locust” are alive, such “stinging torment” is expected to remain. And as seen in 1 Kgs 12:11, 14, a scorpion’s stinging is the best implement for disciplining, and that in order to ‘bring about the peaceful fruit of righteousness.’ (Heb 12:11). Indeed, as some World (Super)powers [who are also, pertinently, without the Seal of God (Rev 9:4)] need to learn and understand today, it is righteousness that brings about peace, and not war-mongering, bombastic threats and belligerence.’

“five months”: Spiritual allusion/meaning - And in that context of what is supposed to be correctingly effectuated during this supposed to be period of ‘five months of torturous redress’, a Spiritually derived understanding of it (vs. the above, nature-derived one) can be additionally understood here, again through the hermeneutic principle for prophetic interpretation of allowing the Bible to define its own terms. At first, it may seem superficially irrelevant that the only mention of “five months’ in the Bible occurs in Luke 1:24, where a miraculously impregnated Elizabeth responds to that Divine Intervention by, somewhat counterintuitively, secluding herself from the public for 5 months. One would think that someone who ‘had been deemed as a reproach for being childless’ (Luke 1:7, 25b), would now be proud of God’s favoring here and would publicly go about manifesting this quite obvious intervention of God....but instead (“righteous” =Luke 1:6) Elizabeth chose to remain in hiding for, at least, 5 months, (perhaps longer after Mary’s visit by her 6th month (Luke 1:36-37, 39ff, 57-58)), moreover as Elizabeth knew that this child would be the forerunner of the promised and long excitedly awaited Messiah (Luke 1:13-17). (And it is quite evident that the muted Zacharias never told his wife the prophetic role that this child she would be carrying would have. (Cf. Luke 1:60-66)). But nonetheless, it was Elizabeth’s counterintuitive reaction to not make publicly known the “expectancy” of this Messiah Forerunner, manifestly until he was actually birthed, and even from her “neighbors and relatives” (Luke 1:57-58). Only, of course, her cousin Mary, “the mother of her Lord” (Luke 1:43), was aware of this, but only by her sixth month (Luke 1:36, 39)
            What is key from all of this in regards to the, would be, five month symbolism in Rev 9:5, 10, is what Elizabeth also says in Luke 1:25 regards to her “counterintuitive” five month seclusion: She says that

“This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked upon me [“with favor”, nor actually: “me” are not in the underlying Greek text], in order to take away my disgrace among men.”
            And it is because this statement itself, as it is originally expressed, sounds like something bad that the attemptingly clarifying phrase: “with favor” is supplied in translation. It seems that Elizabeth found it a burden to actually have to bear a child in order to take away her reproach of having been childless all her life. And this could be the understandable since, [interestingly enough, as with Abraham and Sarah before who would also birth a promised forerunning (to Jacob/Israel) son (Gen 18:9-15; cf. Luke 1:37)], she manifestly was very advanced in age. (Luke 1:18). In other words, bearing a son in her old age, e.g. 75, was, to her, not the ideal way in which God would have made up for her not being able to conceive while she was of child-bearing age. Perhaps Elizabeth felt that God would have better done to take away this lifelong reproach of her, by expending miraculous power otherwise to make it publicly known that God was acting to take away that reproach of hers now. So it would seem that it was in actual embarrassment of the seemingly odd way that God had chosen to, as she merely/naturally deemed it: “take away her reproach”, that Elizabeth remained in seclusion for those five months, and manifestly longer, until she gave birth...But of course, all along, God was actually acting to bring about the birth of the Messianic forerunner, and it very well may be that Zacharias and Elizabeth, were the most righteous (married) couple he could find for such a task/responsibility in all of Judah/Israel then (cf. Luke 1:6), and, despite their advanced age, the were thus the most perfect choice.
            So, oddly and most ironically enough, Elizabeth, apparently saw this chosen “redressing/favoring”, way of God as itself as something reproachful. Perhaps for her, a “better way” for God to take away this reproach of hers, would have been for Him to make a public spectacle, (e.g. angelic cf. Luke 1:10-11, 22) announcement, wherein God would tell everyone that it had been of His will (a.k.a. “fault”) that righteous Zacharias and his wife had remained childless...But of course, wouldn’t the greater sign of God utmost approval and favor be as God did, by making them, clearly miraculously, be able to have a child in/despite their old age. But perhaps Elizabeth felt that this way of God would be implying that they had not been righteous (enough) before, and that is why God have prevented them from being able to conceive before now, ‘when they finally got things (fully) right with God’. But of course that was not the involved “punitive” case with Zacharias and Elizabeth, which therefore made their manifestly joint decision to keep Elizabeth in seclusion for 5+ months the wrong response, reaction and reasoning to what God was doing with/through them.
            So, applying all of this prospective background understanding to the terminological allusion in prophecy, -(and of course those who hold the non-Biblical: “Classical Foreknowledge” view about God and the Future, will glibly claim instead that God (symbolically) said “five months” in Rev 9:5, 10 because He had: ‘looked into the (existing/transpired) future and had seen that a period of 150 years would be involved in an important prophetic event’, but that simplistic claim itself can be weightedly refuted from the above discussed fact that unlike literally all other historical fulfillements of timed Biblical prophecies (i.e., the 70 Weeks, the 3.5 times/42 months/1260 days, the 1290 & 1335 days, and also the 391 years + 15 days from Rev 9:15a - see GC 334.4-335.1; 1905 JNL, GSAM 131.3-132.4)), the “five month” period is the only one where, effectively, God would have got it wrong, as the best historical applications is 153/4 years. So that may be an included indication that the prophetic period of “five months” in Rev 9:5, 10 was to involve more in its meaning than just a symbolized reckoning of time. And that ‘tacked on understanding’ can indeed be gleaned from its other/prior citation in the Bible, namely in Elizabeth’s expression in Luke 1:25, and the actual meaning/implication in it:
            And that would be that, just like Elizabeth had, quite apparently, balked at the way in which God had acted to, as she merely/surfacely deemed, ‘take away her bareness reproach’, -(and it indeed may not have been until the incident in Luke 1:41ff that Elizabeth finally Spiritually (fully) got it as to what God was doing through her and her old age child bearing), first, i.e. Historically, the Roman Catholic Church, and now, Eschatologically, the U.S./West, are likewise balking at the way in which God has chosen to act in order to redeem whatever righteous quality they may have, and that he can work with, all in order to bring out His actual Kingdom of God plans (Rev 11:15-18), and that has been, and continues to be, through the remonstrating and exposing “torturous/tormenting” scourge of His purposefully allowed instrument of (Militant) Islam, which, contrary to the moronic take of Westerners, is actually not endeavoring to: ‘forcefully convert Christians/people in Western countries to Islam through terrorism’ or even ‘try to change the way of life of Westerners’, but actually to get the West to butt out of their own (Religious) affairs and way of life which the West has deemed as being violations of human rights.*
            So if God is actually going to ever be able to salvage anything from the prior movements which He had guided and supported when they were acting honestly and righteously, they are here to accept this chosen correcting way of God in order to actually become righteous and take away their quite well-known (to especially Bible students) apostate reproach. (=Heb 12:5-11 ...if these people are really serious about being acceptable to God)...But of course, Historically the Roman Catholic Church, the Historical Spiritual Babylon,  refused this “offensive” disciplining from God and went on to, fulfill its apostate prophetic fate (e.g. Rev 13:1-10), and likewise the U.S./West, -the Eschatological Spiritual Babylon, is also balking at this scourging from God and is well on its way to fulfill is own “imaging” apostate prophetic fate (Rev 13:11-18). (=Rev 17-18): both right down to its ‘bloody drunkeness (Rev 17:4, 6; 18:24) anti-Christ/Satanic (Rev 12:15-17; 13:2, 11) dregs’ (cf. Luke 11:49-51/Matt 23:33ff). Indeed America/Americans, more, especially overtly, so than any other Western Nation/People have forever been, (assumedly), imploringly “praying” for ‘God to Bless Her/Them”, and yet it is refusing to perceive, accept and heed God’s, -who doesn’t ‘regard/hear/heed sinners’ (Psa 66:18; Mark 2:10-11; John 8:29 (cf. Rev 13:13-14; 16:13-14; 18:7; cf. John 9:16, 24-25, 31), attempt(s) to make them a righteous nation that He actually can bless, instead of curse (cf. Deut 28:15ff)....

* An objection from the, majoritarily Christian West that Muslim ways were ‘no longer applicable for believers in God’ would have been a better citation as what Muslim are doing is mainly in accordance to what Ancient Israel were instructed to (zealously) do during the Old Covenant Era (se. e.g. Num 25)...But of course, as more clearly seen in the U.S.’s West’s cordial dealing/alliance with ultra-religious Saudi Arabia (cf. this NYT article)...ditto China, the West actually cares nothing about the violating of “human rights”, nor the deprivation of democracy, but only about securing its own economic self-interests (cf. James 4:1-10)...It therefore is indeed most fitting that God has chosen to disciplinely scourge the (Apostate Christian) West through a religious movement, i.e. Islam, which actually means not “peace” but “submission to God” (=Jam 4:7)...Indeed, as discussed before on Rev 9:4, Islam has never had an issue with Christian sects/denominations who are actually ‘people faithful to the book’, namely Jews and Protestants in earlier (Historical) days, and lately Seventh-day Adventist Christians. Roman Catholics, Capitalistic=Imperialistic (Protestant) America/West and Zionistic Jews have all proven to be acting in contradiction to actual Biblical teachings and mandates and therefore, naturally/fittingly enough, have incurred the opposition and wrath from (Militant) Islam.

            Tellingly enough, the life of locust can be, especially prematurely cut short, if/when they cannot find nothing to swarm upon and devour....And so likewise, if those upon whom God has dispatched His locust scourge upon would redress the wrongs for which God is entering into judgement with them, by choosing to live Biblically, they would actually see an ending of these tormenting from God’s instrument of judgement. (And it is quite telling that even outside the Religious realm which is seeking to win some sort of “Holy War” against Islam, the ‘Venial|Abominable Solution’ from the non-Religious/Atheistic sector of Western society is this thinking that they can get Muslims to give up their “Radicalism” or entirely their Islamic faith, by, as only an agent of Satan can deem best to do: ‘flooding Muslim countries with materialism and/or (sexual) immorality’....sure... “moronically” go right ahead, -as if the resistance of serious Muslims against the encroachments of the West into their society is not for the milder/insidious attempts and manifestations of this), and see how even many more Muslims you ‘instantly/crystalizingly militantly enrage’ against you all, even, “instantly radically”, right from the “moderates” within your midst....It would indeed be even more backlashingly destructive than the “Final Solution” pined for by the Conservation/Religious West in either (unlawfully) indiscriminately carpet-bombing “cockroach” Muslims [so worse than Hitler’s: “vermin Jews”],  and their cities, -(indeed “collateral damage” be damned), even possibly via a “Holocaust” of incendiary/vaporizing terror-nukings....Then indeed would God have to, likewise “indiscriminately”, judge you all Himself....

Rev 9:6 - And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

Seek death instead - So the pivotal issue lies in what is understood in this verse’s statement, as discussed before, is whether or not the tormented/tortured party will recognize the error of its ways and confess/abandon them, thus ending the reason for this torture, or double down and prefer to continue as before and thus run the risks of “attracting” even more ‘scorpion-like locusts’. As seen in various events since 9/11 including an illegal war in Iraq which has really not done much in term of subsiding this “torturing” threat, and quite to the contrary, fuelling it, especially as there actually was no “threat” in/from Iraq, America and its Allies have instead chosen to maintain the same course which was the neo-cause of the 9/11 backlash. So, by not admitting their guilt/responsibility nor really changing their ways, indeed despite certain administration changes, they have effectively chosen to “seek death”.  Yet this, indeed fatalistic, course in order to end this “torturing” will not be how they will end it. Indeed by so pursuing it, they have simply placed themselves on a course to continue to suffer a slow, yet still elusive death. As in a long burning Hell, they will instead continue to, in full consciousness, endure this “torment”. And their actual/ultimate, only remedy to this is to really to accept the Seal of God. But by not changing their ways, they are indeed refusing to do so.

Rev 9:7 - The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were something as crowns as like of gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
Rev 9:8 - They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.

Rev 9:9 - They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of many horse-drawn chariots rushing to war.

In the earlier given explanations for the key symbols in these above verses of Rev 9:7-9 is it seen how the current form of Militant Islam in its individual, but still quite potent “cells”, does fit these descriptions of the locust. Indeed as seen in the War of Terror, while the West has been bogged down for years against a comparatively, practically non-existent, yet still quite stinging/biting “army”. Moreover, due to the way in which Islam has opposed unbiblical Christianity, it has been common for many, including especially in SDA Prophetic interpretation circles to claim that the Islamic Religion originated with God, citing the fallen Star of Rev 9:1 as proof believing that it represents Mohammed (who Islam believes received instruction from the Angel Gabriel), however the fact of the matter is that God has here only permitted Islam to grow its hair out to, at a distance, or without seeing the facial features, thus looking at it from behind, to look like a valid Faith, pointedly here to non-Christians, and manifestly all in order to have a large and physically capable geo-political, religious entity to counter the temporal and religious authority that the Catholic Church, and then later the Neo-form of that Babylonian system, led by Protestant America was going to aberratingly wield in the world. Therefore just to keep the Mark of the Beast camp in check and even accelerate it into its final Babylonian power form (cf. Rev 17:17 in this post).

Rev 9:10 - They have tails like scorpions and stingers; and in their tails is their authority to (unrighteously) harm men for five months.

authority in their tails - It has long been a observed fact that the most destructive/terrorizing/tormenting impact on the West of Militant Islam attacks, are not really the “front end” of them, i.e., the attack themselves, but the ensuing/residual effects which mainly most detrimentally affect both the economy and societal and individual psyche of Westerners. And so as with the “tail” symbolism here, the most significant harm being inflicted by this scorpion torture is in “what is to follow”. And as the “tail” symbolically involves lying/deception, even with “religious” involvement (=Isa 9:15), the common various guerilla and/or disguised covert “terroristic” attacks by Militant Islam on the West which have indeed been its most successful, and “tormentingly” so, weapon against the West’s powerful military might and advanced security, are indeed fulfillements of this symbolism.
            And so along these symbolizing lines, an aspect of the effects of the 9/11 attacks which has not really been duly regarded is not merely the various accrued Economic Costs; -the main part of it which is from the U.S. quite literally chasing shepherds in Afghanistan, and groping for spectres in Iraq; but the overarching fact that these costs have greatly contributed to the increase in the debt of pointedly America. Indeed the money to pay for these various costs had to come at the detriment of something else, and with radical budget costs not being an option, and with tax increase being, moronically, “crippling” to Capitalistic ventures, then the only solution to face these costs was to incur additional debt. This “penting up” Economic aspect has not been really talked about because the burden of repaying this currently incurred debt is actually being passed on to future generations, however this is how the “tail effect” will come to prove most detrimental to the tormented power here.
            Just like the effect of the ca. 154-year ascendency of Militant Islam vs. the West from 1299-1453 did have its immediate impact, their real contribution in the grand scheme of God in re-establish His Cause of Truth, was delayedly seen some ca. 60 years later when the apogee in the advances of the now more Western-ward entrenched Ottoman Empire coincided with the apogee of the Protestant Reformation. And then, as much as it wanted to try to take on Martin Luther and his rapid growing movement, the Catholic Church instead had to deal with the more pressing physical and existential threat of the Ottoman Empire. And so what God had allowed to transpire a few years before, came to have its intended contribution decades later.
            In a similar way, when the ever increasing debt of the United States will become untenable, and drastic measures will have to be demanded/imposed by foreign economies and creditors to deal with it and repay it; and/or its due fall out will be felt in its domestic economy, then that really will prove to be its self-defeating force in this Great Controversy War involving here, the Seal of God (i.e,. Biblical, socio-economic principles and practices, as adhered to by the NJK, vs. the Mark of the Beast ones found in Capitalism. As usual in such Economic Crises, the solution will be imposed and expanded Socialistic measures, even in merely increasing taxes which inherently is Socialistic. And so Capitalism will, even more diluted and further rendered, effectively defeated and dead. Indeed the U.S. will then not even be able to wield its economic, or even military, clout against this Movement of God, for, in terms of the extreme measures of militarism, as it may not get the needed green light from some other world powers who do not feel as ‘threatened” as it does from such movements, it will then not even be able to muster up its typical alternative of: “a coalition of the willing” (which is usually, by socialistic policy, based on the economic realities of cooperating countries, ca. 80% U.S. economically and militarily incurred), nor “go it alone” (no longer being able to, without tangible, present detriment, further go into debt; nor would the domestic raising of taxes be popularly accepted). Perhaps, if needed then, or shortly before, God will permit, or even “stir up” (Isa 13:17; cf. 2 Chr 20:22-24) another unforeseenly. all-engrossing and bogging down, major conflict against a claimed easy target (cf. 2 Chr 24:24), as the one which the U.S. and its allies are clamoring for against Iran, or even North Korea, to take place, to further deplete and diminish the opposing capability of this leader of the Babylon clan. (In fact a military confrontation with Iran, even if by Israel alone, will surely result in at least a severe global economic crisis given the fact that Iran can indeed easily restrict passage in Strait of Hormuz. God indeed has a multitude of ways to insure that His ultimate will and plan be accomplished. And then will be fulfilled the unsuccessful Gog/Magog Invasion attempt against God’s just raised up nation and army (Ezek 37-39).

            -And now there has compoundingly also come to be, in this “insuring” set/lead up time, a/(“the”) more direct, militaristic “prophetic tailing” effect to the 9/11/01 fulfilment of Rev 9:1-2ff: Just like the 1991 Gulf War marshalled Al-Qaeda against the U.S./West due to various developments (tellingly enough, not at all with/about/for Iraq, but with the deferringly U.S.-allying Saudi Arabia), all eventually leading to the 9/11 Attacks, the 2003+ “lyingly”-fabricated Assault of Iraq has now spawned the seriously-feared [full video], (western-fighters-influxed), ISIS (docu) para-state and paramilitary entity (relatedly enough, a direct descendant of the former 2004+ “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” invasion-reactionary militia group), -which, also relatedly enough,  has been permitted to grow and spread, and take over significant territory (Rev 9:3-11), by the reluctance of the (unjust)-war-weary and war-debt-ridden U.S., by not intervening in Syria. (cf. in here);...all crescendoing towards a “Second Woe” (=Rev 9:12b) 9/11 II effectuation?!!

unrighteous harm - Given the precipitous nature of an Economic Crisis, the effects of these encroaching future developments will surely go way beyond what is merely “compensatorily” due, indeed, as discussed in this post at Rev 18:6, to similarly a doubled/“punitive” extent.

Rev 9:11 - They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

king over them - With the statement of Pro 30:27 being involved here, it is indeed quite intriguing in itself to see the all out resolve of Militant Islam as repeated demonstrated in suicide attacks, however irrational that approach is in itself in most cases. However it is in those terms of ‘having a king over them,’ i.e., ‘one who has default authority over even your own life,’ that it is seen how this statement is indeed fulfilled by these actions. And who is that king? Well ask any Militant Muslim, and tell point you to the commending words and encouragement of Mohammed in the Qu’ran which he supposedly received from the angel Gabriel, and it is easy to see, in line with what was earlier Biblically ascertained as to the real source of these sayings, that these are actually the incitement of Satan himself. For he really does not care for the survival of those who follow after his will, and the earlier they die before having any opportunity to even hear of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ, and thus in a defaultly unsaved state, the better are his chances of sealing them into an eternal doom. However, as already expressed, I have a feeling that God will be most merciful in genuine cases of direct or indirect uncontrollable deception, yet, and this may be the pointed gamble of Satan, such people will still have to grow up character-wise, in Christ, in Heaven if they are saved and part of the first resurrection. (Cf. starting in this discussion post). So such inciting to senseless deaths is, theologically speaking, manifestly all part of Satan’s defeatist’s plan to try to spoil the future reward of the saved.[37]

the angel of the abyss - Again while Satan is delighted to bring about chaos and strife in the world, which is why he does not hesitate to be established as the leader of these ‘Burying Death and Destruction’ developments, he is only being a pawn in God’s greater scheme, which in the end will Gloriously triumph, all the while not leaving the guilty unpunished.
            And these historical and current clashes between the Western Church, and now the Western World vs. Militant Islam are all, as Jesus warned, the result of having chosen to, without God’s express permission/command/mandate (e.g. Deut 20:10-18), ‘take up/kill with the sword’ (=Matt 26:51-53 & Rev 13:10).

            Abaddon|Apollyon II - That all applicably said above on Rev 9:1-11, first in the general section above and here in the Historical (Church) and Eschatological (Kingdom) Application sections above and here, -and pointedly on the identity of the key “star|angel” mentioned in Rev 9:1, 11, which prior fulfillments, including the recent fulfilling 9/11/01 events, have pointed to this speaking of Satan, upon having been given this permission and role by God, however with, as fully discussed here, the 9/11/01 Events having been curtailed by God where they were not allowed to, as they were, foreplannedly, supposed to, begin the unravelling of “Last Day/Final Events” (=Rev 7:1-3 Holding of the Four Winds, cf. here), and with that “Holding” Intervention having also resulted in the prolonging of time (=15MR 292.3-4) where now God’s Plan A, Zionistic, “Earthly (Typological) Millennium” period is instead (again) in effect (cf. e.g., Rev 21:24-27 = Isa 60), then it correspondingly is now in order that a slightly different understanding of the angel in Rev 9:11 as, as discussed in this post, and relatedly dramatically depicted here, God will necessarily be using a “Second+Third Woe” (=9/11 II, -mentioned next), to render due justice on the Earth for various general and Zion-impeding lawlessness, and thus allow for the righteous establishment of His Zion (Isa 54:14). And so God then, actually now, will not be allowing Satan to have, pun intended: “book ending” participation, let alone authority, in this reset* initiating Fifth Trumpet (=9/11 II) destruction “Woe” event.

* And as awarely, from empirical Spiritual experience, also listed in here, contrary to what most, if not all SDA prophetic interpreters can comprehend, in the, since 1844, Eschatological Era of Prophetic Fulfillment, and pointedly since the Final Events resetting endeavor started by God in ca. 1996, any segment of the prophecies of Revelation, and in fact, throughout the Bible, can have multiple fulfillments, and not even have to be fulfilled according to any organizational/charting (cf. in here) sequencing, but instead, “(structurally) Randomly”, i.e., whenever and wherever “Spiritually” necessary/applicable. And the confirmingly astonishing thing is that, ‘there still is a decipherable “method” to even that (Spiritual) “madness”’.

            So succinctly interpreted and applied here: While, as discussed earlier, the “(precipitously) fallen star” in Rev 9:1-2 who is given the key to the Millennium’s “abyss” (Rev 20:1a), (-and, significantly enough, is not himself bound by a “chain” (Rev 20:1b) here/now, so he is indeed now still “loose” to go about and do his tempting and deceiving work), is still fulfilled by the Devil, pointedly here in how he has (been allowed to) deceive people into having a Muslim faith, -though their historical and contemporary warranted “judgement/retaliation” actions against Religious and now Socio-Economic Babylon (i.e. the RCC/Holy Roman Empire and then the West/United States) are not themselves “deceptions”, but the Just will of God; the (more explicitly described) “angel” at the other “book end” part (Rev 9:11) of/for this Divinely-utilized Militant Islam movement/force prophetically depicted as locust in Rev 9:3-10, can now be understood to be an angel of God, specifically: an Angel of Death/Destroying Angel.
            Indeed this position/function of “Angel of Death (=“Abaddon”/Destroying (=“Apollyon”) Angel” is one which is well attested in the Bible and SOP* and is, as discussed in the course of this post and its discussions (e.g, this main one), used whenever God Himself wants to effectuate a destruction and/or when Satan would not want to do a destruction, which typically is for a destruction judgement which is to have remedial results, and so it is not left in the hands/control of Satan to do.

* E.g.:
-for the Plagues of Egypt, esp. the 10th (Psa 78:49-51; 3SG 228.2);
-David/Israel’s Plague Punishment (1 Chr 21:12, 15; PP 748.4);
-Ezek 9's Shaking (GC 656.2; 4BC 1161.4-5; PH096 17.1&3MR 305.3 cf. RH, September 19, 1854 par. 12-13; 5T 505.2; 5MR 205.4; SD 227.4;
-“9/11-type” Events (Ev 28.2)); all a.k.a: ‘God’s avenging angel’ (YI, May 1, 1873 par. 3, 6, 11).

            So, whether explicitly or implicatedly, ultimately, and especially in the Eschatological Wave of fulfillments, Militant Islam has God’s own “Chief Destroying/Death Angel” as its King, and at the very least serves to “supremely/authoritatively” limit what they can and cannot do, -or even set their campaign mandate (cf. Rev 9:4-5), even when Satan is/has been, at least fundamentally/inherently/“religiously”, allowed to impel them into such Militant Actions, even so-deemed “Extremes”. {See in here, starting at Rev 19:17, how this valid understanding is applied as the “Reza Abaddon (formely Raze Abdullah)” character for/in the dramatic depiction [-which I seriously/solemnly consider as the Spiritually furthered/updated/contemporized, (if not injunctively, as still possible, merely “intermediary” (See Season 8's Episode 20)), Great Controversy book-like account; -just like how and what that EGW GC book, (-likewise also based on God’s recent revelations (cf. here)), has complimentarily/cumulatively/eludicatingly done for the book of Revelation] of/for the (resetted) Eschatological 7 Trumpets.

Rev 9:12 - The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

first of three woes - Again, in this judgement and “taking down” of the Apostate Babylonian System, what transpires under this Fifth Trumpet is only the ‘first of three woes,’ and if heeded, the first of three ‘clarion warnings of judging evil/adversity’. And as priorly discussed at the end of the Fourth Trumpet, in correspondence to the Three Angels Messages...
            ...But since this (perceivable/understandable) mercifully-curtailed Divine Warning (=‘wrath mixed with mercy’ (cf. LDE 112.3ff)) has certainly just not been heeded (=Rev 11:10; see in here) through the conditions that led to it (Isa 29:19-21; 30:12) not being “timely” overturned (11MR 361.1), then with Directly-Inspired Spiritual Insight (11MR 361.2) revealing that God did indeed allow the 9/11/01 events, satisfactorily substituting “balls of fire” with 500-600 mph, 255,000-395,000 lbs, fuel-laden aircrafts; and with the really only tenable understanding for the non-natural relative quick and quasi-free fall collapse of 3 WTC buildings being the one stated in the SOP that God’s own Mighty hand would do such destructions through angels of destruction (9T 13.2; =this here, Eschatological, First Woe), well He can just as easily, indeed as He has repeatedly done in especially the OT, “commission” a “band of destroying angels” (Psa 78:49) to, (if, security/defenses-wise, necessary), this time themselves entirely (see in here), yet still close to, as naturally seeming as required, (i.e., once again with (assumedly) “hi-jacked” (larger/heavier/wide-body) aircrafts (e.g., 747's | A380's), “soon” effectuate a 9/11 II event (on the then, by 2016, fully completed New WTC Complex+ [a preview clip]) (=Rev 11:14's “Second Woe”). (=Rev 11:6c; 11MR 362.1-2: “These representations of destruction were repeated.”)

SDA Church Specific Application - As it was noted in the related message to the Fifth Church and the end of references to Rev 1:12-18 symbolism, by this time in these prophetic development, a major shift is occurring in God Church on Earth. God is now no longer speaking to the mainline Church nor is He pleased with the halted progress of the Protestant Reformation Movement. And so at this point, having no concretely established Church on Earth through which to work with/from, He is instead now divulging His messages of Truth to the Star of the Churches which He is holding in His hand (Rev 3:1).
            And with the SDA Church, in this Eschatological Era, having chosen to, at the very least, tacitly align itself with those who do not have Seal of God, by knowingly choosing to reject the Fuller Sabbath message of God Sabbatical Socio-Economic mandate, they are on course to share in the stinging fate of those who have the Mark of the Beast. As seen in the next, Sixth, Church Era, their religiously continued ‘ignor-ing/-rance is bliss’ worship and training gatherings/assemblies/conferences/conventions, while indifferently, staunchly rebelling against and rejecting the Full Sabbath of God; which is the Full Gospel of Christ, and thus the Seal of God, are gradually becoming “the Worship Assemblies [cf. Strong’s #4863] of Satan”. (Rev 3:9; Amos 5:21-24; EW 54.1-55.1)
            So from this point on, there no longer is any distinctly warning/application of the Eschatological Trumpets to the SDA Church. For all intents and purpose, at this stage in its rebellion, as with the Jewish Nation after 31 (and not yet 34) A.D., it has corporately become quite inconsequential and irrelevant, and concretely doomed to meet its prophesied fate for such apostasy. (LDE 59-61). And its replacement will not even be by a passing Catholic Church, nor a standing “Protestant” Movement, but by the Great Multitude Remnant that God will call from them (Rev 7).

Summarizing OT (Joel) Background - The manifest Old Testament background for this entire Locust episode in this Fifth Trumpet is the one of Joel 1 (see Joel 1:4, 6) [and, quite tellingly, with Joel 2 being applied to the prophesied events in the next, Sixth Trumpet]. In Joel 1 God has a problem with a people who,  despite its many ostentatious facades and grandiose professions, living in a hope of the ‘Day of the Lord’ (Joel 1:15; cf. 2:1, 11, 31 (Acts 2:17-21)) but are ‘merely rending their garments and not their hearts’ (Joel 2:13). They are expecting this day to be a Great Day of Triumph and Deliverance for them, but as the prophet calls their oblivious attention to, ‘‘Hello drunkards???’ God has just executed utter ruin of your resources and livelihood’ (Joel 1:5, 15-20). Indeed the day of the Lord came as “destruction from the Almighty against them, and through a fourfold locust invasion.” (Joel 1:15b; 4-13; cf. EW 15.2). Both their everyday life (Joel 1:7, 10-12, 16a, 17-20) and, ensuingly, their religious resources for functionality (Joel 1:9, 13, 16b) have been brought to naught in this judgement.
            As seen in the above discussion on the Eschatological Fifth Trumpet, it is those who do not have the Seal of God who will suffer the locust judgement, and as seen, this will tailingly manifest itself in the, to be dealt with, whether, but equally economically detrimental, through debt defaulting or heightened debt repayment, with both options sure to bring about a serious economic downturn. And as seen before in the 2008 Great Recession, as goes the Economy, so goes the SDA Church, since, through its worshipful preference of tolerating, even espousing Capitalism, both by the corporate body and individual members, it is thus intrinsically tied with this spurious system, and is thus subject to its whimsical ups and downs.
            So now, the only option for God is to “Blow a Trumpet in Zion” in order to call for a gathering towards effectuating due, even “against all hope”, genuine and tangible repentance (Joel 2:15-17; cf. 1:5ff, 8ff, 13, 14; (Rev 11:3), which a most gracious God would honour (Joel 2:13-14, 18-21ff), including the Early Rain, as well as the outpouring of the promised Latter Rain, to actually help recover from the earlier locust destructions (Joel 2:22-27). But if the pivotal repentance is not done, then, as seen in the next trumpet (=Joel 2:1), this obstinately rebellious people will suffer the further devastating punishment in the mighty army that God will nonetheless succeed in raising on the “Day of the Lord” (Joel 2:1-11), for as seen with Gideon (Judges 7), with God, even a “small company” is a ‘mighty army with many banners’; -which will be ‘wholly clothed in the armor of righteousness’ (EW 273.2). This pointed Fifth Trumpet episode is covered in the SOP’s Early Writings chapter on “The Shaking” EW 269.1-270.3; with, as later seen, the events to transpire under the Sixth Trumpet next covered in EW 270.4-272.3).

Fifth Plague
Rev 16:10 - Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom came to be darkened; and they were gnawing their tongues because of pain,

on the throne of the beast - With the Trumpets being more than less, a “warning” and their corresponding plagues being the undiluted/heightened execution of that warning, it is noteworthy to see that the Fifth Plague pointedly targets ‘the throne of the beast power.’ And as most efficient in taking down an enemy power, taking down the leadership is the best approach (cf. Zech 13:7 = this post), especially in a situation where the ruled over people were being misled and, even unwittingly, “compelled”/constrained to be loyal, as it indeed is the case with Babylon. (Cf. e.g., EW 276.1; 286.1; 282.1).
            And by this time the ‘realm of the beast power’ also comes to naturally include ‘‘Soon-Second-Coming-zealous-SDA’s’ who have however chosen to trample upon God’s Sealing Sabbatical Truth’ (EW 36.2|LDE 59.3-60.2 = Ezek 34:17-22 = Matt 25:31-46 = Isa 58)

came to be darkened - Like the effect of the locust ‘darkening the sun and the air’ in the Fifth Trumpet (Rev 9:2), the throne of the beast is also, and distinctly darkened. Indeed this is the due fate of, ‘greed-controlled’, unrighteous false leaders, teachers and “prophets” (2 Pet 2:1-17-22) Thus the leadership of the beast power are here, spiritually speaking, as revealed in Eph 4:17-24, made to:

            ‘walk as (heathenistic) Gentiles, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their        
understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. All things which are outside of Christ, and have not been heard nor taught by Him, for truth is in Jesus. For the teaching of Christ is that one lays aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that they be renewed in the spirit of their mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.’ (Cf. 2 Thess 2:9-12)

            Indeed these, pointedly, greedy, selfish, and thus, unrighteous ones, really never knew their Master (1 John 2:3-11).
            And quite fittingly, with this ‘plague of darkness’ being based on the next to last plague which, and at ‘God’s own hardening insistence’, also befell on rebelling Egypt (Exod 10:21-29), as already discussed above in regards to the Fourth Trumpet (Rev 8:12-13), and as re-echoed in its corresponding Fourth Plague (Rev 16:8-9), -with a focus then pointedly on the chief/overarching symbol of the Sun (=righteousness|socio-economy), by this effectuated Fifth Plague, and indeed so that it would be more perfectly effectuated, all of the “luminaries/lights” (i.e., Sun, Moon and Stars (cf. Gen 1:14-18)) which may here have served to ‘lighten up this darkness’, and with them respectively symbolically representing: (Righteous) Socio-Economics, (Biblical) Religious Economy and (Righteousness) Leadership, had already all been detrimentally “darkened” in, actually despite, the heralded warnings* being sounded by the Fourth Trumpet.

* For it is fundamental to know and understands that unlike the Seven Plagues which are actively executed actions by God (Rev 16:1; TM 432.1), the (preluding) Seven Trumpets on the other hand are not necessarily/actually ‘God-executed action, but rather actions which naturally come to pass out of the natural developments of the various conflicts, evil, strife, passions and differences which have been fester by man. So the Trumpets do just merely give a “heads up” warning of what God will allow man to naturally do, yet God then, adding ‘injury to insult’ (i.e., ‘plaguing-wounds to warned-of-woes’), will add to these self-inflicted detriments His enjoining, further-wounding, Plagues!!

they were gnawing their tongues... - While this statement may surfacely seem to go without saying as to what it is meaning, much can be interpretationally and applicationally understood from it when it is considered in its context, particularly that of “blasphemy of God” spoken in the next verse (see below). Indeed with those who are gnawing their tongues here being plural, and thus not merely the headship of the beast whose throne had pointedly received the wrathful outpouring of this plague, it is seen that those who are part of his kingdom also do this tongue gnawing.
            It is natural that subjects of a kingdom reflect the spirit and character of their king and with the “beast” here being, in its Eschatological application (i.e., 1844ff, or actually now 2012+), the “beast” here is now the unified First and Second Beast of Rev 13, with the Second Beast having formed a mirror image to that First Beast (Rev 13:14), it thus now “similarly” also blasphemes (=slanders) God as the First Beast (Rev 13:6) who had received its throne from the dragon itself (Rev 13:2). And so it is no surprise to see that the “Little Lamb”-imitating (Second) Beast (i.e., which is trying to usurp God’s own genuine temporal “Little Lamb” power (Rev 5:6)), does speak, even more explicitly than the First Beast, “as a dragon” (Rev 13:11), on top of also exercising all of the power of the First Beast (Rev 13:12) and also adds signs of its own doing (Rev 13:13).
            So when the result of this plague judgement on the throne of this now conglomerate/joint beast power and those in its kingdom is that “they were gnawing their tongues”, it is indicating that the pain has caused them to refrain, at least momentarily, from speaking forth their ‘dragonic, Divine-ward blasphemies/slanders’.
            Interestingly enough, this joint theme of “blasphemy”, “the tongue” and “spurious (Christian) religion” is found in a protracted admonition by James (James 1:26-2:10). Succinctly said, there is shown that ‘not being able to control one’s tongue’ comes to cause that person to “deceive themself” as they really have a “worthless religion”. And speaking blasphemies against God both literally and most spiritually come under this categories of ‘not being able to control one’s tongue’. Indeed it literally can be ‘taking God’s name in vain’, but, as seen here on the Third Commandment (Exod 20:7) also is involved in someone ‘professing with their mouth’ to be followers of God/Christ but denying him in their actual acts/conduct.
            So the gnawing of the tongues of those in the beast power kingdom pointedly involves them momentarily not speaking blasphemies towards God. And in the case of the here leading Second Beast Power (=the USA), this would involve them not claiming, because of the great curse-manifesting pain that they are then experiencing, indeed pointedly from their government head (=throne of the beast), that they are ‘God’s nation’/‘God’s blessed nation’, e.g., by then not saying, as they tritely do, “God Bless America”; -for, as stated in James 1:25, it is only those who uphold and obey ‘God’s Law of (True) Liberty’ (Psa 119:45) who are actually “(always) blessed by God”, and especially by the time of this Fifth Plague, this nation/beast power is most certainly not observing the Law of God.
            And, relatedly, and tellingly enough, in James’ exposition on the tongue (James 1:26-2:16), he chiefly, relatedly, focuses on socio-economic implications, speaking there also on: an impure and defiled religion which is one which neglects those in need (James 1:27); showing favoritism/partiality towards the rich (James 2:1-5); the typical oppression of the poor and righteous by the rich (James 2:6); and they typical blaspheming attitude of the rich towards Christ (James 2:7), indeed whether out of spite (i.e., from unbelievers, or out of effective treason by nominal/professed believers); the overarching and curing requirement of love (of one’s “neighbor”) in God’s Law (James 2:8-10ff) -clearly all based/derived from what James had heard Jesus teach in e.g., Luke 10:25-37. Interestingly enough, James goes on to wrap up his entire expose here in James 2:12 by showing how closely related is one’s speech and one’s acts, indeed because they both come from the same source: the heart, the ‘seat of cherished affections.’ (cf. Luke 6:45; Matt 15:18-20)
            So this experience “pain”, indeed the only way in which people who are basely, vs. mindfully, controlled can ever be disciplined, will cause the leaders and people of the (Second) beast power to take some stock of their ways which have manifestly brought about this plague judgement from God, but, as seen next, that state of reason will be short lived, and God will therefore have to deal more severely with them through yet another “wounding blow” (=plague).
            It is interesting to see that the SOP calls this overall gradual/successive outpouring of plagues the ‘ministry of God’s wrath (LDE 39.6) [= his ‘non-wavering merciless passion for truth’]’, because as a “ministry” it indeed, none-the-wrathful-less, does have a pointed purpose in mind, and that is to try to completely “break” this power opposing His cause of Truth and Righteousness, wherever it may have become entrenched.

            Conversely enough, while the wicked are here variously psychologically and physically suffering from this painful plaguing, the people of God, who will have the (True) light of God’s Word and Truth (cf. Exod 10:23b), -indeed having faithfully followed the “Light of the World” (Rev 14:1-5; John 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; Matt 5:14) will here see, as did Israel in Egypt (Exod 10:24-26), the token of their coming Total Deliverance {cf. the “Plan B” application in GC 635.3-636.3}, so that they can indeed ‘leave this world’s spurious system behind, and/in order to worship God according to His own Sabbatically Righteous ways, and in His own globally testifying “Kingdom of Righteousness”. (=Isa 60:1-3ff; Matt 24:14; 9T 218.2; DA 138.3; AG 348.2-4; RH, August 18, 1896 par. 10; AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 2ff; CET 228.3).

Rev 16:11 - and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.

blasphemed (slandered) God - As with those who prefer to live according to a base pain or pleasure principle rather than from ‘zealously doing what is right’, then it is indeed only in pain that they will learn their lesson. And here, as seen in the related Joel 2:12-14, though they have a genuine chance to be spared/saved if they repent of their wrong deeds, they rather vexatiously prefer to double-down and now explicitly/knowingly/deliberately slander the name of God, even by the denying, rallying claims that “this is actually not the judgement of God against us”.
            They thus have sealed their fate to become the pawns of Satan towards the even more solemnly terrible events to next transpire under Revelation’s Series of Sixths.

sores - Indicatively enough, these “sores” are the same ones which these Mark of the Beast leaders and camp had been inflicted with back at the outpouring of the very first plague (Rev 16:2)....And “wounds/sores” themselves do become quite painful when they, as manifestly in this case, have neither healed, but become infected. This thus forms a natural connection with what had been begun in that first plague and what has now fully bloom/resulted in this fifth plague. And in the due ‘7 Trumpets and 7 Plagues correlation’ that First Series “sore” is associated with the “hail and fire (=“balls of fire”) with blood” onslaught which suddenly came under the First Trumpet (Rev 8:7) which indeed started this unravelling to now this Fifth Plague consequence of total and crippling darkness. (cf. Exod 10:21-23; Isa 60:2)

The Fifth Thunder - New Remnant Church’s Temporal Work
Eze 24:15ff - Ezekiel's Bereavement
Eze 25:1ff - Proclamation against Ammon
Eze 25:8ff - Proclamation against Moab
Eze 25:12ff - Proclamation against Edom
Eze 25:15ff - Proclamation against Philistia
Eze 26:1ff - Proclamation against Tyre
Eze 27:1ff - Lamentation over Tyre
Eze 28:1ff - Proclamation against the King of Tyre
Eze 28:11ff - Lamentation over the King of Tyre
Eze 28:20ff - Proclamation against Sidon
Eze 28:25ff - Future Blessing for Israel
Eze 29:1ff - Proclamation against Egypt
Eze 29:17ff - Babylonia Will Plunder Egypt
Eze 30:1ff - Lamentation for Egypt
Eze 30:20ff - Proclamation against Pharaoh
Eze 31:1ff - The Lofty Cedar
Eze 32:1ff - Lamentation over Pharaoh and Egypt
Eze 32:17ff - Dirge over Egypt
Eze 33:1ff - Ezekiel Israel's Sentry
Eze 33:10ff - God's Justice and Mercy

[This Blog post is cont'd in Part 2 here]

[1] SDA-systemically-typical enough, my exposition here on, pointedly the Trumpets, results, in its Historical application, in more than less the same fulfilling events as commonly claimed by SDA’s, however, as it had occurred with me vs. SDA’s in regards to the cornerstone prophecy of the 70 Weeks, (see a history of this research in this post starting here), the “proofs” that they provide for their interpretation turn out to be under proper, or even outright, exegetical investigation, merely a surface, shallow, non-rooted “smokescreen”, which qualitatively amounts to not much more than “proof texts.” See e.g., the “proofs” given in this May 2011 10-part presentation* on the 7 Trumpets by James Rafferty of Light Bearers Ministry, indeed comparing them with the Biblically deeper/contextual|exegetical ones given in this present post. Among many such examples, as also shown with this post, the exact same “elementary/proof-texting” SDA proofing had been done with their Historical fulfilment claims for the prophecy of Rev 10.

* As there are listing/linking errors in the posting of those presentations, a corrected listing of their videos presentations is made here:

 1. FP1651 - Book of Revelation Intro [repost]
 2. FP1652 - The Altar and Incense [repost]
 3. FP1661 - The First Trumpet - "Judaism" [repost]
 4. FP1662 - The Second Trumpet - Paganism [repost]
 5. FP1671 - The Third & Fourth Trumpet - Catholicism Part 1 & 2 [repost]
 6. FP1672 - The Fifth Trumpet - Islam #1 [repost]
 7. FP1681 - The Sixth Trumpet - Islam #2 [repost]
 8. FP1682 - Revelation 10 - The Millerite Movement [repost]
 9. FP1691 - Revelation 11 - Atheism [repost]
10. FP1692 - The Seventh Trumpet - Finished [repost]
[2] Notice that there would not be the stench of a dead corpse of an animal as these were not left to rot when killed. As Christ was to be a living and undefiled sacrifice for sin, they were to be offered and wholly consumed without having or experiencing any corruption. (Acts 2:27, 31; 13:34-37)
[3] The Ark of the Covenant was an uncovered box and the Mercy Seat was literally its lid - Exod 25:17, 21. Which means that to see/access the various articles that were place in it, this Mercy Seat lid had to be lifted up.
[4] This conclusion would comes to provide some datum for the birth of John the Baptist, and then in turn Jesus’ own, however as Zacharias is said to have remained some days for his division’s priestly service after that (Luke 1:23),* and that it was after that, after his return home, that his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, it is not known precisely how long after the Day of Atonement that this occurred. Nor is it know how long before her visit to Elizabeth was Mary herself pregnant (Luke 1:39), nor how many days after Elizabeth 6th month of pregnancy (cf. Luke 1:24, 26) had this visit had taken place. So the datum in this Day of Atonement announcement actually has little specifying contribution as to the time of the year when Jesus was born.

* Even if David’s 24 priestly, (weekly) divisions (1 Chr 24:7-18) were still being used, as likely, it is not possible to pinpoint when Zachariah’s Abijah (Luke 1:5) division, which was the 8th (vs. 1 Chr 24:10), took place as (1) the difference between 24x7x2 days (336) vs. the actual 365 day year made it that a third round was started ca. 4 weeks before the year ended and (2) it is also not known precisely when a round of 24 was, or had been first, started, even if it is assumed that the Spring-to-Spring (Nisan to Nisan = defaultly started in ca. mid April) was being used here.
[5] The blowing of trumpets by the priest was indeed most significant to Israel, as, as seen in the Dead Sea Scroll corpus, in 1QM 33:1-11 (which are, not surprisingly, known as the “War Scroll”) in writings made towards the soon expected Divinely-led militant expeditions and
conquests of Israel to achieve its glorious Zionistic end.* Just to highlight the great significance given to these Trumpets, here is a listing of them, in, manifestly their groupings, and also with their given labels. Notice the 6+7 Trumpets symbolism as well as 7 Trumpets for actual fighting, all fundamentally depictively reflective of the 6+7** sequence with Jericho.

[A] the trumpets of the muster of the infantrymen, when the gates of battle open so they can go out up to the enemy line - “Memorial of revenge at the moment appointed by God”

[B] the trumpets of alarm of the slain - “God's mighty hand in the battle to fell all the slain of unfaithfulness”
[C] the trumpets of ambush - “God's mysteries to destroy wickedness”
[D] the trumpets of pursuit, when the enemy is struck - “God has struck all the sons of darkness, he shall not cause his wrath to return, until they are exterminated”
[E] the trumpets of re-assembly, when they retreat from battle - “God has re-assembled”

[1] the trumpets of muster of the assembly - “Mustered by God”
[2] the trumpets of muster of the commanders - “Princes of God”
[3] the trumpets for enlisting - “Rule of God”
[4] And on the trumpets of the men of renown - “chiefs of the fathers of the congregation”
            -when they meet in the meeting house - “God's directives for the holy council”
[5] the trumpets of the camps - “Peace of God in the camps of his holy ones”
[6] the trumpets of pulling them out - “God's mighty deeds to scatter the enemy and force all those who hate justice to flee” and “Withdrawal of mercy from those who hate God”
[7] the trumpets of battle formations - “God's battle formations for avenging his wrath against all the sons of darkness”

[F] the trumpets of the path of return from battle with the enemy, to go back to the congregation of Jerusalem - “Exultations of God in a peaceful return”

* The common Theological understanding, all derived from the, actually, incorrect Classical View of Foreknowledge is that the writings in the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as other, especially Intertestamental writings have no contribution to Christian Theology apart from Historical statements, however in the Biblical Foreplanning View, as detailed in this blog post, if things had righteously and rightly developed with the Jews who had Returned from the Babylonian Captivity, they would have been able to achieve those prophetic Zionistic Promises, indeed as Jesus Himself initially expected with them (See Matt 10:23 -which is further discussed in this post). So in working towards that potential, but actually not likely righteous development then, God could indeed be working with and inspiring those who were writing such works. However, as with any such “prophesying”, they also have to be tested with already confirmed prophetic writings (1 Thess 5:19-21). (See in this discussion post for how e.g., the antichrist prophecies of Daniel could have all been accomplished within the First Century A.D., with a Second Coming end by 70 A.D.) Under the Classic View of Foreknowledge, God can only “foreknow” of one outcome of the future, and so there is no chance for any other alternative scenario, even if, as it had been with Nineveh, people suddenly and genuinely come to repent and thus render unjust the decreed punishment on them. (Jon 4:9-11; cf. Jer 18:1-10ff).

**....But in more specific details, this overall 6+7 sequence, which is representative of 6 Historical (Literalistic) Trumpets, injunctively followed by 7 Eschatological (Spiritual) Trumpets is actually indeed just as in that 5+7+1 sequence which was revealed for that OT Zion Conquest Apocalyptic plans. See the following, applications-filled in outline of these recursive Trumpets sequencing which is indeed filled in by the interpretations given in this blog post, including a summary of newer light from latest developments. (E.g., The now fully applicable way in which these 7 Trumpets will recursively be eschatologically further-fulfilled (=Second and Third Woes) given the present extent of lawless opposition.)

Reclaiming Actions towards Initial Remnant Church Movement  
[A] First (Historical) Trumpet [66-70 AD] - Long-delayed vengeance Judgement on Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24)

[B] Second (Historical) Trumpet [70-313 AD] - Social & Political Peace Taken from Earth by “Christ|Church (Word-of-God) Sword” (Matt 10:34|Rev 6:3-4)
[C] Third (Historical) Trumpet [313-1200's AD] - Permitted Subtle Rise of Man of Sin & Spiritual Babylon (2 Thess 2:6-7ff)
[D] Fourth (Historical) Trumpet [1200's-1500's AD] - Work of Early Reformers Strike Great Offensive Blows at the Medieval Church/Holy Roman Empire (Rev 6:7-8; 8:12)
[E] Fifth (Historical) Trumpet [1500's-1840's AD] - Era of formal re-organization of Christian Church, yet not complete so, under the resolute “Protestant” leadership and banner of Martin Luther. (Matt 16:18; Rev 3:1-6)

New Remnant Church & Zion Kingdom Movement
[1] First (Eschatological) Trumpet [1996-1999] - God’s Calling to Judgement/Warring Duty of Military Service eligible one(s) - (Seamlessly continuing Pre-Laodicean/Philadelphia Era in a new generation (=Rev 3:7, 8-10ff)).
[2] Second (Eschatological) Trumpet [8/1999-8/2000] - Assembly for religio-politico-socio-economic NJK Plans.
[3] Third (Eschatological) Trumpet [8/2000-12/2000] - Efforts to establish far-reaching foundational WBSC institution.
[4] Fourth (Eschatological) Trumpet [12/2000-1/2001-6/2001] - Final dedicated last chance effort to get Formal SDA Church/Institutional Participation in WWU trip (mentioned in passing in here), stay and meetings with certain positional “chiefs”, mainly through AKM work....Then “Eagle One” wider releasing and work.

Woes Launching
[5] Fifth (Eschatological) Trumpet [9/2001ff] - (Watered Down) 9/11 Events - Shaking Judgement of Heavens (Church(es)) and Earth (World). =God’s Political and Religious Peace removing, and upcoming/fuller (Rev 9:12) “Testings” (Rev 3:10) previewed (=11MR 361.1)
[6] Sixth (Eschatological) Trumpet [04/2006ff] - Wide (web) release of NJK Project plans for 200,000,000 Latter-Rain Church Triumphantly-Militant gathering from peoples. (=Rev 9:16)
[7] Seventh (Eschatological) Trumpet [07/2008 & 10/2009ff] - Theological Views Blog started, exposing (=Rev 11:19) the “Sons of Darkness” and variously anticipatingly and bindingly setting the “battle formations” for upcoming ultimate victory. (=Rev 11:15-18)

[F] Sixth (Historical-Eschatological) Trumpet [1840's+ & 11/2013+ AD] - What had been partly started, but halted (Rev 7:1-3), during the Historical Sixth Trumpet (=1844-1863-1996) =SDA Church), is, following an also eschatological interlude in that Trumpet (Rev 10-11) now Eschatologically resumed, to be complete in a fullest sounding of that Sixth Era Trumpet (Rev 9:13-19ff; 3:7-13; 6:12-17; 16:12-16)...and due to the lawlessness of these “Sons of Darkness”, through God’s corresponding supra-naturally-effectuated actions & preserving interventions (Rev 3:10), in a ‘“peacefully-effected” return to God’s Zion”. 
[6] which manifestly actually involved the whole camp, with the Sanctuary in its midst, marching off to that battlefield, thus showing faith in God’s protection and also pragmatically not leaving behind a defenseless camp, which would then require an overt, telling miraculous intervention to quash.
[7] As I have done a (converse) comprehensive Prophetic study on this issue, this comment here effectively is no longer a surface working thesis: Thus, it indeed is manifestly around/upon the formal selection of the name SDA in 1860, that God, to honor that expressed desired “character” (as still heard and implicated in the common ‘...because that's our name’ all-retorting, indifference-concealing, mantra today by SDA’s (however only ‘2 Chr 7:13-14’ will do)) began to give EGW Revelations which were calibrated to a non-temporal fulfilment of “Zionistic” statements. E.g. the 1847 vision (EW 32.1-35.1) spoke of a Jubilee period (also freeing pious slaves; and which Biblically was a period of release/gain for the poor) just after God delivered the Everlasting Covenant to the Saints to end their time of trouble but before Jesus appears in the clouds. Some details were slightly rearrangement and filled in the 1858 recounting of this vision in 1SG 206.1 (EW 286.1). However as early as the 1884 Spirit of Prophecy Vol. 4 book, and by the 1911 Great Controversy rendition of this vision, this detail is no longer mentioned.
            And just for emphasis here, the pre-Second Coming Jubilee period mentioned in the 1847 vision and first published in EW 35.1, was not EGW’s own idea or theological understanding, for those who had become first Millerites and then generally “Adventist” had abandoned the opposing and wider accepted view that the Second Coming would first be preceded by an Earthly Millennium during which the Saints would reign supreme on the Earth. So it is indeed God’s own (and Plan A) initiative to have a Jubilee period, which will last as long as it either needs to, or is permitted to, before the Second Coming. So this reformulation for a pre-Jubilee/Millennium Second Coming was indeed manifestly as a possible fast-track/curtailing scenario based on the quasi-vowing covenant made by those who wanted to be known as “Seventh-day Adventists.”* However (cf. Heb 8:7-9ff), as keynotely mentioned here they have long proven, and especially by 1996, to not have kept their part of that covenant (cf. 15MR 292.3-4 here), -including in, still now due to them still ‘worshipfully “drawing back”’ (EW 56.1; cf. Heb 10:35-39; 5MR 121.1), neither telling or showing the world what truly obeying God’s Sabbath Commandment was “fully” all about (cf. Isa 58; HP 110.3 =here), and so God’s “Plan A” is now once again in full effect.

* Cf. similar covenantal name giving/changing implications in Gen 32:28 after Jacob had proven worthy of the Israel promise, for like Abraham before, and who likewise also had to be tested (Gen 22:12; cf. Jer 30:7|EW 282.2-284.2), Jacob had priorly failed (Gen 27) the pivotal/determinative (cf. Heb 11:1-2ff; Rom 1:17) Righteousness-inheriting/imputing (Heb 11:7), faith (in God) test/condition.
[8] So as the Rev 10:1-3 Mighty Angel mimicking OT-appearing (=during Old Covenant time) figure in Dan 10:5-6 is “functionally” wearing a golden belt across the waist, and not “victoriously, emblematically” across the chest as a comparably depicted  figure in Rev 1:10-16 further sows that the Rev 1 figure indeed Jesus Himself while the “personage” depicted in Dan 10 = Rev 10 is not.
            Interestingly enough, the Rev 10 figure is not said to be clothed in a robe, but actually in a cloud, which as discussed here, in the Historical Wave of prophetic fulfillments, was symbolic of the Second Coming. This further corroborates the understanding there that it was indeed the, actual, faithful preaching and living in the expectation of the Second Coming, and all that this would naturally come to entail, such as doing all that is possible to provide the best, clearest and most convincing testimony to the world (Matt 24:14), that provided the needed “righteousness” for the Historical wave of that movement (cf. Rom 4:3). [The temporal, Eschatological understanding for this Rev 10:1a cloud statement is still being withheld here, as in that post, for the same proprietary reasons.]
            It is also significant to note that a waist-worn belt was probably a wide fabricate, almost like a winter scarf, and was why it could optionally alternatively be worn as a sash across the chest. It was also probable that when a man needed to “gird their loins”, (which involved bringing up a robe to one’s waste in order to be able to move about more swiftly and freely, such as for running (e.g, 1 Kgs 18:46; 2 Kgs 4:29; 9:1) or doing an arduous/energetic task (Jer 1:17; cf. Job 38:3; 40:7)), that this wide, and long enough, belt was then used to fastened the robe around the loins.
            In the light of these indications, it is noteworthy to see that the, as discussed here, derivedly related, man clothed in linen, (which was the main material for the clothing of the ministering Priest (e.g., Lev 16:4, 23, 32-33; Ezek 44:15-19)), in Ezek 9:2, 3, 11, is said to have ‘a writing kit|scribal inkhorn at his loins’, and not a belt. Inherently, as understood with a sword which has a custom, stronger harness to hold it around the waist/loins (see e.g., 2 Sam 20:8; 1 Sam 25:13; Psa 45:3), it is understood that this writing kit, which is to be held at the loins, as repeatedly stated, also has an accompanying, custom belt/harness.
[9] An interesting statement made in a Dead Sea Scroll (11Q18), which, interestingly enough, given that Jerusalem was fully rebuilt by then, is known as the New Jerusalem Scroll, it is mentioned in the various descriptions, in Frag. 18, of utensils to be used that ‘(6) bowls would be used to smell’. What led me here to make a link with the bowls/phials used for the plagues is that, as already stated, these phials were also used for sampling things. So those bowls which are used to smell, and not eat, must be the same type of shallow bowls. The connection of smelling with these bowls, then led me to the following observation. Summarily first stated here, this observation is that, in order to get man’s full attention in the GC wrapping up events contained in the book of Revelation, God, with each key ‘Series of 7'’s’, directed each one to each of man’s 5 senses. Indeed to get the best “knowledge” about something, the more senses that are involved in figuring out what that thing is, the more accurate the knowledge of it will be. Our 5 senses are indeed used to shape our understanding of things, and thus fully grasp any involved meaning. This leads to the following, summary, resulting listing of: Organ - Sense|Function - 7 Series :: Knowledge Input Contribution = Resulting Spiritual/Prophetic Implication

1. Eyes - Sight - 7 Lampstand~7 Churches (Rev 1:20b) :: Perceive = Views (cf. Rev 4:5)
2. Hands - Touch|Handle - 7 Seals :: Experience = Reveal
3. Mouth - Taste|Speech - 7 Trumpets :: Ingest|Express/Sound = Partake in|Warn
4. Ears - Hearing - 7 Thunders :: Listen/Heed = Understand (especially if “spiritually blind”, that, i.e., ‘there has indeed been a lightning flash’)
5. Nose - Breathe|Smell - 7 Bowls/Phials :: Oxygenate|Distinguish Scents = Live|Discern (especially what is not seen; e.g. fire, poison, decay, etc, a.k.a “the smell taste”)

            Quite literally, the most crucial/vital of those 5 senses, in term of life itself, is that Breathing|Smell as something deadly can most easily be breathed in such as a poisonous gas. Indeed it is even more vital that the sense of Taste as a poisonous substance can usually be first detected simply by the smell, and thus not ingested through eating, nor not even tasted in the mouth to verify if it is detrimental/harmful.
            This “crucial vitality” observation here would explain why the Plague Bowls are associated with the sense of Breathing|Smell as the intent of this Series is to incommode and even cause the death of, those who are unrepentfully rebellious to God. Furthermore, with a joint unfolding of the Trumpets and Plagues in that Final judgement, it can be seen that sure death is to be the end result as both organs that can be used for breathing will here be affected. On the other hand, with also the functions of Speech and Smell involved in those two senses, then those being judged then, even if, spiritually speaking, they cannot Perceive, Understand or Experience the Truth then, will nonetheless still have it Expressed to them in the clearest warnings (Trumpets), and also will be able to “smell” that great trouble is indeed about to come upon them.
[10] Indeed this expression is “subjunctively” conditional vs. e.g., an actual ‘actively intended/pursued, determined end’ as with the Greek future indicative expression in Rev 17:17 which involves the same key terms as here.
[11] An well-explained and detailed multimedia presentation on the Historic-al/ist Seven Churches is the one by Walter Veith, which I more than less agree with in, again in its Historic-al/ist fulfilment. See video here.            Upon later, (on 10-05-2013), viewing Walter Veith’s 2004 “Total Onslaught” series presentation on the Seven Trumpets, I see that his Historic-al/ist applications also are more than less the closest to the ones I am presenting here, particularly with how he also saw the determinative parallel with other (prior) Series of 7 in the book of Revelation.

            Similarly, as I have just [i.e., on October 13 & 30, 2013] substantively seen/read, the much more than less widely, and also SDA-critically, lauded (recently published (i.e,. 2009, then 2012 2nd Edition) 686-page commentary on the book of Revelation by Andrews Seminary professor Ranko Stefanovic commendingly does a much better job than most/prior SDA expositors in allowing the OT/Bible to duly explain the symbology and themes in the Biblically/Spiritually-encrypted prophecies of Revelation. Thus I have seen that several of his interpretations are (albeit only in the Historic-al/ist realm) quite close, (but still keyly, exegetically and Spiritually, comparatively deficient, glib and shortcoming), to mine own presented in these posts & blog. [His claim, as seen in the book’s TOC here, on “the contents of the Seven-Sealed Scroll” (Rev 5 & 6) is completely different from my own study, exegesis and observations (=1SM 25.4)...and how, except through eisegesis (see here), can the scroll of Rev 5 not expressedly have the “content” explicitly related in Rev 6????!]
            A 552-page, Croatian version of that work can be seen/read here, -in English through a Google Webpage/Document Translation; and Stefanovic has also (ca. January+ 2013) done a 26-part presentation of his work on 3ABN here. (Cf. his NEC Campmeeting seminar starting here)...(Now, as with Owusu-Antwi’s greatly advancing work on the 70 Weeks here, let’s see how much, even with such broad-casting efforts, this, -in its valid interpretations, also advancing work is corporately sectarianly and dysfunctionally not widely made use of in the, especially worldwide, SDA Church, as pointedly, various SDA pastors/preachers continue on their Ezek 8 foundationally abominable ‘jealously zealous’ “lone ranger” modus operandi.
[12] I have not studied out the geological science for the following claim yet, but it may be that, by simple formational “infrastructure” any mountain is a potential spout for a volcanic eruption.
[13] In this way is it also typologically understood how there then could virtually come to be “no more sea” Rev 21:2. Relatedly, the development in Jesus time, where He spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and which matches the imagery in Ezek 11:23 which showed that God’s glory, after having left the Temple and City of Jerusalem settled on that same East Mountain just before destruction came to that City and Temple (cf. DA 829.2a), reveals that this Mount of Olives then became God’s new Holy Mountain/Mount Zion. This is also the case with the pre-Second Coming, Earthly gathered 144,000 who have been sealed by the Sealing Angel and thus know how to survive the Shaking of the SDA Church. And it will be upon this new Mount Zion that Jesus, in an ultimate fulfilment, will step onto and cause it to become a great plain in which the Heavenly New Jerusalem will settle in. (GC 662.3|4SP 477.1). A typological fulfilment of this is also to be done.
[14] A summary statement made in a Church History work best captures the insidiousness of this radical change of interaction between the Roman State and the Christian Church then under newly converted/“convicted” (312 A.D.), by a supernatural vision, Roman Emperor Constantine, in order to save his threatened Empire :

“Constantine embarked on a policy of favoring the Christian church. In 313 he and [Eastern co-Emperor] Licinius granted all freedom of worship by the Edict of Milan. During the next few years Constantine issued edicts that brought about the restoration of confiscated property to the church, the subsidization of the church by the state, the exemption of the clergy from public service, a ban on soothsaying , and the setting apart of the “Day of the Sun” (Sunday) as a day of rest and worship. He even assumed a position of theological leadership at [the Synod of] Arles in 314 [“the first instance of an appeal of a Christian party to the secular power”] and at [the Council of] Nicea in 325 [which intended, for the first time (since Apostolic times) to “define unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom”], when he proposed to arbitrate the Donatist and Arian controversies. Even though the number of Christians could not have been much above one-tenth of the population of the empire at this time, they exercised an influence in the state far in excess of their number. (Earle E. Cairne, Christianity Through the Centuries, p. 119)
[15] Contrary to the tersely dismissive view in SDABD, 795 the actually factually/substantively independent testimonies of, actually, a couple of Early Church Fathers, (see here), that it was the Nicolas of Acts 6:5 rather seems quite plausible and likely, and the cited ‘contradicting testimony’ of Clement of Alexandria, about the chaste character of this Nicolas is actually reconciled by the fact that he may have indeed been a chaste married man at first, but then, when pestered about being a jealous/over protective husband for his beautiful wife he, to (irrationally) seek to quiet/disprove these accusations, became celibate of his wife and even offered her to other men. He then further went off the deep end by then preaching that promiscuity/adultery, and even polygamy, among other base sins was actually spiritually recommended. This all harmonizes and dovetails perfectly with the, as later discusses, the involved Balaamic ‘unnecessary temptings’ and “stumbling blocks” teachings accepted during this Church era. And based on the actions of Nicolas, this teaching also involves not doing what God has ordained and blessed, and can capably be done (i.e., Nicolas having normal relations with his wife (1 Cor 7:3-5) and also being “zealous jealous for her” (2 Cor 11:2-4), and thus implicitly expressing that such ‘beauty and happiness’ cannot be a blessing of God (cf. 1 Tim 4:1-3), and that to instead do the perversively worse opposite.
[16] Indeed, e.g., as said in Josephus’s writings on this episode, God’s answer to Balaam’s repeated consultation after the first categoric refusal of God in Num 22:19, especially giving God’s later quite upset confrontation of the then en route Balaam (Num 22:22ff) could be construed as having been a ‘deceptively ironic, displeased answer of God at this second “trial/testing” [same Greek word as in Matt 4:7]’ [see Ant. 4:6.3 #107], i.e., in the deliberate, entrappingly “ditsy” sense of: ‘Well, I mean, if/since these men have come here to call you, then by all means do go with them!! (Why didn’t I think of that the first time??!’)’. However a, evidently, direct revelation to EGW (i.e., vs. her own, moreover KJV/ASV, ‘exegetical’ (= contextual) analysis), recorded in PP 440.2-441.2 “reveals” that, among other things:

“Balaam had received permission to go with the messengers from Moab if they came in the morning to call him. But, annoyed at his delay, and expecting another refusal, they set out on their homeward journey without further consultation with him. Every excuse for complying with the request of Balak had now been removed. But Balaam was determined to secure the reward; and, taking the beast upon which he was accustomed to ride, he set out on the journey. He feared that even now the divine permission might be withdrawn, and he pressed eagerly forward, impatient lest he should by some means fail to gain the coveted reward.”

            That here indeed makes perfect Biblical and Theological sense, and was self-evidently a direct revelation.
[17] Indeed, ‘unscrupulous and non-restrain judgement’ later was the reason why God loathed having permitted Babylon to bring destruction on Israel (Jer 50 & 51) (who actually, through the known and understood prophesying of Jeremiah (Jer 39:11-12; 40:1-4; manifestly related to them by Jewish deserters (Jer 38:19; 39:9)) should have acted much better, more carefully and even non-gleefully (Jer 50:11)), -ruthless actions for which He vowed revenge (Jer 50:28-29ff; Psa 137:8-9); on top of also punishing Babylon for its own/inherent sins (Jer 25:12-14) (Cf. Isa 10:5-7 where Assyria had also overstepped its Divine, ‘People-of-God-punishment’ mandate.)
[18] A 20th vision (cf. here and here) on November 6, 2000 [~7:30 PM] which explicitly involved this Heb 4:12 passage revealed that it had a relation to the Fuller Mark of the Beast. And indeed, as seen in the Sabbatical-theme preceding context of that passage, which also is intertwine with entering the Promise Land (Heb 4:1-11), comes to further show here that, just as the basis of Revelation’s Babylon and its Mark of the Beast implication (Rev 14:9-11 & 16:19; 17 & 18) was set up in this greed-controlled, compromising Church Age, the (Full) Mark of the Beast indeed involves religiously-derived economic aspects. And that is perfectly manifested in the system of Capitalism.
[19] The most obscure of those various links is the lexical link of “the quart” (Gr. choinix) and that unit of measurement is shown through the LXX to be what is called in Ezek 45:10-11 the “ephah” (Strong’s #0374) in the OT Hebrew.
            As seen in the Word Biblical Commentary, 52b: it is assumed that the choinix unit of measurement here is defined by how the Greeks understood it. Thus as documented there from statements in Classical Greek, the portions of 1 choinix of wheat was the ration for a man, per day (and 3 choinix was the daily portion for a horse),* however as this NT passage is clearly making a reference to Ezek 45:10-11, and in the Hebrew of that text it is the ephah that is the unit of measurement, then the choinix here, which may be just a way to call it, without making a specific reference to how the Greek considered it, is to be understood.
            The same difference in reckoning commonly named units occurred in the Bible where e.g., the length of the cubit varied with peoples (e.g., 18 inches for the Egyptians), and this is also seen today as, e.g., a gallon is 3.79 liters in the U.S., but 4.54 liters in the U.K. Similar differences with the quart, ounce, pint, etc.
            So the due Biblical understanding here, with the LXX having already made the nominal equivalency between the ephah and the choinix (-surely the Jewish authors of the LXX did not intent to change the quantitative measures there in Ezek 45:10-11, and that quite drastically, by ca. a factor of 8-10x), and moreoverly with God making the statement here, is thus what He had set out as the accurate measurement in the OT, in the background of this passage. Indeed that is the key to properly interpreting the book of Revelation, and many Christians expositors, as seen throughout the WBC comments on Revelation have made the patent mistake of seeking the meaning of the ca. 278 verses with OT symbols and imagery (ca. 70% of the entire book) in secular writings rather than the Bible (and especially via the LXX for these pointly-LXX-quoting OT allusions).

            As later seen, it is interesting to note that according to Greek (i.e., secular/worldly) measures, the price for this food supply was quite costly and “just enough” for daily subsistence, but according to God’s ephah measurement, this price made the affordability of food much more than enough. So the theme of worldly vs. Godly socio-economic “scales/balances” is also involved here, and, most tellingly, it is by using God’s own, and as stated later: “interest free”, Bible/Biblical measures that the right value is set for such temporal substance. In the same way today, Capitalistic pricing results in artificial, whimsical, non scientific and unfair prices which a great many in the world cannot afford, resulting in their basic life needs being vitally unmet.
            Indeed only the ‘weightier matters of God’s Law’ set things according to their proper, i.e., “Godly” values here (Matt 23:23-24; OHC 139.1-5), and tip the related ‘sanctuary (i.e., Most Holy Place) justice scales’, where God’s Throne is (=Rev 6:6a = Ezek 1:22ff, 26-28; cf. EW 32.3a), on the justified/graced/accepted/vindicated side (=LDE 59.3-60.2; cf. Dan 5:27).

* Herodotus 7.187; Xenophon Anabasis 7:3.23; Athenaeus Deipn. 3.98e; Diogenes Laertius 8.18; Livy 4:15.6; Polybius 6:39.13; cf. Thucydides 4:16.1 & Athenaeus Deipn. 6.272c for the food ration of slaves (= 1 choinix of barley and 0.5 of wheat).
[20] Rev 6:6's Factor-Label Calculations: 
[21] Indeed notice that Jesus, as He dichotomizingly stated in Matt 26:29, did again ‘drink of the fruit of the vine’ after His resurrection, He is repeatedly mentioned as taking part in a bread meal (Luke 24:30, 35; John 21:9, 13-14), probably also eating it when He partook of meals (see Acts 10:41; cf. Luke 24:41b-43). The symbolic difference here between the bread (Doctrines|Practices) and the wine (Theology and Sin Pardoning), is because as Jesus had told his disciples, they would still be learning new things/truths about this newly established new covenant (John 16:12-15), however in regards to the atonement for sins and the new life in Jesus by His shed blood, there would be nothing new to add in this life/era. Only in the kingdom, when then the effects of sin will be completely eradicated and the redeemed will then be granted the Tree of Life fuelled opportunity for eternal life, while this pointed “new life” topic again be “taken up” and furthered.
[22] Even in the Old Covenant context which involved the offering of a sacrifice for sins, while a person who would frequently, knowingly, sin was supposed to correspondingly bring frequent sacrifices to be offered for each of those sins, which has its parallel in the New Covenant believer confessing his sins to our ministering High Priest Jesus in Heaven (1 John 1:9-2:2; Heb 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:24), in regards to the antitypical, Paschal Sin Offering, it not only had to be offered once (albeit one a year), and was one kind of offering, it also was only an offering of one unit, and not, as in penances, ‘a matching number/cost depending on the severity/frequency of the sins’. See Heb 7:26-27; 9:25-28.
[23] That “foreplanned” overturning and restoring, which was also repeatedly mentioned in greater details ca. 140 years later in the prophecies Ezekiel (e.g, Ezek 20:33-49; 34:23-31; 36; 37:15-28), came to only be partially, Spiritually, be fulfilled in the spreading of the Gospel message to Samaria and the rest of the Gentile world. And in our day, with the splitting up of that restored Israel during Church History, these prophecies do indeed have an Eschatological Application in th Glorious reunification of righteous ones, and that now, to also a temporal extent, prior to the end.
[24] Which means that these were not three common people who were refusing to bow down to the image of Dan 3, but 3, and high placed, members of Nebuchadnezzar own royal administration!
[25] To a certain extent music in the Church also is adjudged in this category however it is most ‘Matt 23:23-24 hypocritical’ for the Church and preachers to get all irate over certain styles of music in the Church, as if it was the unpardonable sin, but most indifferently say absolutely nothing about the things done in the Church and its members (e.g., Capitalism adherence and Elective Abortions, etc) which directly or indirectly cause death and oppression.
[26] Even Judas was “well-meaning” when he sought to force the hand of Jesus (see DA ), as also was Peter (Matt 16:21-23). The key to avoid this subtle but precipitous pitfall is to always endeavor to do God’s Full will, and that by not only/merely choosing to isolatively (thus eisegetically) follow pet, or fancifully “favoring”, Biblical statements, indeed as both Judas and Peter erroneously did. The full counsel of God is to be sought out and obeyed.
[27] Still, as it will be expounded on later, it can be inferentially seen that the other two gods of the moon and stars are also affectedly directly and indirectly involved in the next two final judgements upon the this False System as a “Star” is (directly) involved in the Fifth Trumpet (Rev 9:1); which distinctly further affects the sun, now completely darken it, (Rev 9:2), and which, in the ensuingly corresponding Fifth Plague, ends up in damaging the throne and kingdom of the Beast (Rev 16:10); and the Sixth Plague can naturistically indirectly involve the moon as the moon is the chief contributor to tide shifts on the Earth Oceans, which in turn affects the Seas, which in turn come to cause quite significant shifts in heights of adjoined Rivers. As the lowest tides occur when the moon is furthest away from the Earth, then it can interpretationally be seen that an increasing distancing/withdrawing/removal of whatever remained of Biblical Religion from the Beast power, which before did indeed have many sincere Christian Believers, and also quite significantly in how it relates to the economic realm (=Sun), just as the Sun itself also contributes to tides, comprehensively is what comes to cause this ‘tidal diversion” in the supply of water to the (Euphrates) River, thus drying it up. Similarly in the Historical Background for this Euphrates drying event, Cyrus had not “scooped” out the water of the Euphrates, a task that would be practically impossible given the quasi-unending supply from the adjoined Seas, but instead had dug canals at an earlier point in the River in order to divert its waters.
[28] So, if this ‘Mot- drought & scorching heat -god’ belief also existed in Israel, it was most astute for Elijah to pit Baal directly against the Creator God on mount Carmel, so as to not leave an opportunity to claim that it was yet another false god here, namely Mot, who had relented on his overpowering of Baal.
[29] Not surprisingly that same attitude is manifested by staunch Capitalists today who do not mind at all that people needlessly suffer and die, nor that ecological harm be done to the Earth, if that ensures that their ruthlessly profiteering economic system can unswervingly go “forward”. Indeed just watch their indifferent denials of Global Warming Science and its chief, and actually dispensable Green House Emissions causes.
[30] As discussed in this post, hence also the underlying, controlling spirit of the United States of America and most other Western powers, especially when democratically under the governance of the political parties which have such ruthless Capitalistic mentalities, to not hesitate to attack and invade any other country which they believe will cause them economical harm (i.e., in regards to oil), killing a mass of innocent civilians in the process, and all under a guise of “freedom”, (-yeah your “freedom” to ensure the exploitation of the natural resources of other countries).
[31] E.g., Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation (Southern Publishing Association, 1944), 493ff. In ongoing times, Stephen Dickie has again sought to make prominent this understanding through his presentation on Muslim Relations/Evangelism during Faith Camp meetings (see e.g., his Faith Camp 2011 Indonesia presentations here and here, (cf. in here); his OT811 & OT832 Better Life TV presentations here; and these (ST372-ST383) Signs of the Times shows). The shallow argument that “older (interpretation) is better is certainly not valid here as Uriah Smith was not infallible, nor inerrant, as weren’t any other SDA Pioneer. Only proper exegesis will determine what the accurate understanding is here.
            As a general statement in regards to Stephen Dickie’s ministry, which, as seen here, I more than less agree with in certain, pointedly historical/prophetic (vs. more theological) parts. [See also here and here]; however/nonetheless in from a general/fundamental view, his presentations are quite emblematic of what is wrong in SDA circles, teaching ministry-wise. In regards to proper Biblical knowledge, education and exegesis, is an “all or nothing”, (or more accurately a: “more than less or partial”) dichotomy, in the sense that you often have on one hand, presenters running out and preaching many things that are crucially exegetically deficient/wanting, if not outrightly atrocious, and on the other hand, capable scholars who do not bother to properly, fully do the work which would avoid such mistakes/misstatements. (Cf. 1SM 180.4-181.1).
[32] Cf. an extensive discussion of this SOP passage starting here in a discussion forum thread which brought out the exegetically sound/balanced conclusion summarized in this blog post.
[33] SDA Evangelist like to use this occurrence of “abussos” to make the connect-the-dots claim that since Jer 4:23 says the earth was “formless and void”, and Gen 1:2 uses that same description to speak of the state of the earth before God started creating, then because the LXX of Gen 1:2 then uses “abussos” to supposedly speak of that state itself, then the “abyss” of Rev 20:1 must be the world in a broken down and chaotic state. The actual lexical fact is that “abussos” in Gen 1:2 is comprehensively speaking of the face of the waters that then covered up the entire world with any dry land being submerged to manifestly an abysmal depth under this mass and height of water. And as there was no light at all over those waters before the first day, then ‘darkness was over the surface of this abyss’, and it was the land masses that were submerged under all of this water that was (accurately) ‘waste/barren place (cf. Isa 45:18) and empty’; -just as the bottom of the oceans are today. It was not until God split that height of waters in two, sending one part upwards, gaseously transforming it into the atmosphere on the second day of creation (Gen 1:6-9), and then on the third day, gathering the waters in one place to allow a then manifestly single large land mass to appear, that that previously completely covered land area was brought to view. (Gen 1:10) And then God made that land mass fruitful causing it to no longer be a ‘waste/barren place and empty’. So the abyss of Rev 20:1 is indeed still speaking of a deep place where the Devil will be imprisoned, and really, it is only in the, as defined more fully later, the “fast track” envisioning of Final Event in the SOP, that this is being spiritualized to mean ‘the broken down surface of the Earth.’ (=GC 660.1-3) Just as Jesus had sent the demons in Luke 8:30-33 into the depth of the ocean, through a drowning herd of swine when they had ask to be sent to the abyss, in an also possible, Bible-wise, more literalistic, temporal fulfilment of Rev 20:1-3ff, that God will literally bind up Satan, the prince and power of the air, and imprison him into the abyss, i.e., literally to the ocean floor, so that he will not directly tempt the world for a while, all the while God’s temporally established, Church Triumphant, Little Lamb Kingdom then, will be free testifying to the world of God’s ways, and the world will then, of entirely their own self-influencing, would be making a decision against God’s kingdom. And thus it will be confirmed that they, of their own uninfluenced free will do not want to live according to God’s ways. It may even be that they will live under a form of godliness for a while, but then when Satan is let loose from his imprisoning abyss, to end that “1000 years” (which may be shorter than that allotted time for Rev 20:7 literally say: “And whenever the 1000 years may have been finished...”), he will then succeed in causing these actually non-believers in God, to also openly reject their godly living.
            So all this to say that the SOP’s fast tracked view of Revelation’s unfolding is probably not what will actually take place in now this Eschatological application of these prophecies, as God initially, fully intended for them.
[34] This Volcano Ash Cloud phenomena had been pivotally included in the here spoken of 19th vision of mine on November 4, 2000, and I didn’t actually know that it was naturally quite normative/possible until 10 years later in the 2010 Icelandic Volcano Ash Cloud event
[35] See here, sermon: FP1672 [video] [31:05-32:46] (repost).
[36] What should have been done was to seek to establish a society/country on objective Truth, and when honestly considered and weighed, the Bible has the best track record as being a source of Truth, with most notably, the proof of its fulfilled prophecies (e.g., Isa 45:6-8; 46:9-11).
[37] By the way, in this immediate context of having (exegetically-derivedly) said (based on Rev 9:1ff, 11) that ‘the religion of Islam was directly inspired by Satan,’ (as were also, for that matter, the doctrinal and practice corruptions of Christianity by the Catholic Church, which are still followed in many key areas by Protestants, -indeed as is any false teaching and practice), and which is indeed unequivocally indicated by Islam’s fundamental denial of the Divinity and Salvation of Jesus Christ (cf. this proof-aiding post); as with any other religion and/or people group in the world which does not (fully) believe in Jesus Christ, (indeed as similar for the secularist who indifferently claims/believe that they only need to be a “good/nice individual” in order to go to heaven), the only Salvation of such a group is only in “surrendering/submitting” to that Saving Truth (Rom 10:1-9-11). And like the Jews of old, there is absolutely no salvific, nor favoring, advantage in being a descendant of Abraham (Rom 2:9-13), beyond what is justly due (Acts 13:46; Rom 1:16; Deut 21:15-17; cf. Gen 29:31-33ff)! God may make use of any nation on earth, however pagan, to accomplish his ultimate purposes (cf. Isa 13:17; 46:11), especially in scenarios where He has to punish His once Chosen People/Church (Jer 20:4; Matt 22:7|Luke 21:20). (Cf. the January 2011 Faith Camp presentations of Stephen Dickie who, though calculatingly utilizing a ‘religiously-“correct”/cautious’ relational/gradual approach in reaching Muslim with the Gospel Truth, does not deny this ultimate Christological requirement.)

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