The Three Woes

Dear Readers,

As we approach the end of what has been, by anyone’s estimation, an exceptional year, I can’t help but think about the way Scriptural truth has been unfolding. I can’t help but think about the ways God is touching the hearts and souls of His children as He leads us through these trying times. And I can’t help but marvel at the (often) unexpected ways He prepares us for the journey He has already planned, giving us just what we need when we need it.

Since the beginning of time, we have all been walking out—or defying—God’s plan—whether we acknowledge this truth or not. Yet even for the most fervent believers, there are times when we question God. Times when making sense of the world, well, doesn’t make sense. However, as followers of Jesus—Yeshua—one of the most powerful gifts He gives us is the opportunity to interpret our world through the wisdom contained in His Word. A way to navigate life choices through a biblical kaleidoscope of past, present, and future knowledge, inspiration, history, and prophecy.

We’ve been digging deep into Scripture over the past several months, as I’ve shared teachings with you that have significant relevance in end-time biblical prophecy. I started first with the prophetic words of Yeshua in Matthew 24 that describe His second coming, then reminded my readers of His warnings to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 as He pleads for believers to overcome doublemindedness and rebellion. I then explained that since the time of Yeshua’s triumph over the death, Hell, and the grave, He has been “unsealing” the end-time events that must take place. Over the millennia, we have seen an increase in wars, plagues, droughts, and religious intolerance. I shared that the soon opening of the last and 7th seal will bring even more distress and judgment on the Earth as seven trumpets will be allowed to sound.

 In last month’s Focus from the Founder letter, I completed the teaching on Opening the Seals while beginning a discussion of the Seventh Seal that causes seven angels to blow seven trumpets.

 The Seventh Seal is Broken, Resulting in The Seven Trumpets

When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them” (Revelation 8:1-2 NASB).

In The Sound of the Shofars, we looked at the first four trumpets (Revelations 8:6-13). These four trumpets appear to signify natural global disasters that will cause many to repent and turn to God for provision, healing, and protection. Many will learn through these distresses to seek and depend on Him completely.

In this month’s year-end Focus from the Founder letter, we’re going to look at the events surrounding the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets—known as the First Two Woes, as described in Revelations 9:1-20. These trumpet sounds are far more sinister, as they focus on supernatural disasters—brought on by fallen angelic entities.

But first, let’s talk about these “angels.”

The Fallen Angels in The Abyss

The rebellious angels that await the time of God’s judgment on the earth are clearly identified in Scripture.  They were the ones that were on the earth at the time of Noah, who took human wives and procreated with them. They were subsequently punished and thrown into the abyss (the lowest part of Hell), where they were destined to stay until the time of the Great Judgement (tribulation) that was to come upon the earth.

Now a population explosion took place upon the earth. It was at this time that beings from the spirit world looked upon the beautiful earth women and took any they desired to be their wives (Genesis 6:2 MSG).

And God has kept the rebellious heavenly messengers bound and chained in utter darkness—shadowy gloom—until the time when His judgment arrives because they failed to keep their rightful positions and abandoned their appointed realms (Jude 6 VOICE).

God did not have pity on the angels that sinned. He had them tied up and thrown into the dark pits of Hell until the time of judgment (2 Peter 2:4 CEV).

“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in those days before the flood, they (the fallen angels and daughters of men[1]) were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark (Matthew 24:37-38 TLB).

It appears these same rebellious angels will be released out of the abyss at the time of judgment on the earth, bringing with them the power of a horrible plague. Those who God will spiritually seal on their foreheads as His own will not be harmed, but those who do not know God’s Messiah will be afflicted and tormented – but not killed.

What Does it Mean to be Sealed by God?

Five verses in the Bible refer to a “seal of God” or an object or person sealed by God (John 6:27; 2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 6:9; 7:2; and 9:4). The word sealed in the New Testament comes from a Greek word that means “to stamp with a private mark” in the interest of keeping something secret or protecting or preserving the sealed object. Seals were used for official business: a Roman centurion, for instance, might have sealed a document that was meant only for the eyes of his superior. If the seal were broken, the one receiving the document would know that the letter had been tampered with or read by someone other than the sealer.
Revelation 7:3–4 and 9:4 refer to a group of people who have the seal of God, and thus His protection, during the tribulation. During the fifth trumpet judgment, locusts from the Abyss attack the earth’s people with “power like that of scorpions” (Revelation 9:3). However, these demonic locusts are limited in what they can harm: “They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4). The individuals who are marked by God are preserved. During the tribulation, God’s seal is the direct opposite of the mark of the beast, which identifies people as followers of Satan (Revelation 13:16–18).

Paul speaks of the seal of God in the context of foundational truth. He tells Timothy that false doctrines are circulating, and some people are trying to destroy the faith of believers. Then he offers this encouragement: “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness’” (2 Timothy 2:19). [2] (See the eighth and ninth chapters of Ezekiel for another instance where God sent an angel to seal His people, protecting them from His judgment.)

Without a doubt, God will seal those who are His. According to Revelation 7:2-8 and 9:3-5, there will be 144,000 people from the tribes of Israel, who will be sealed as His witnesses during a terrifying time. To break down just “who” will be sealed, the Bible is clear. There will be 12,000 Jews, 12,000 Levites, and 12,000 Benjamites; these three tribes are now known as the modern Jewish people. But in addition to the 36,000 who are Jewish, another 108,000 people of the lost tribes of Israel will also be sealed. These are the northern tribes who assimilated into the nations, became Gentiles, and lost their Hebrew identity. They would later be known as Christians.

It’s important to remember that many numbers identified in Scripture are not “literal” but are more spiritual in meaning. The use of 12,000 from 12 tribes double emphasizes the number “12,” which in the Hebrew lexicon stands for “perfect government.” In other words, God will create a perfect governing body of witnesses. The Apostle Paul further emphasizes this when he writes, “By the testimony of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1 TLV).

God uses two witnesses – His people, the Jews who have received Him as Messiah, and the those who trust Him from the nations (believing Gentiles).  Remember, God is the One who gathers His people to advance His Kingdom. After God seals His witnesses, the angel blows the Fifth Trumpet of judgment.

The Fifth Angel Trumpeted

The First Woe

Then the fifth angel trumpeted, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. The key to the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the pit, and smoke rose from the pit like the smoke of a gigantic furnace. The sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. Then from the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given to them like the scorpions have power over the earth. They were told to do no harm to the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were permitted not to kill them, but to torment them for five months—and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a person. In those days, people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them (Revelation 9:1-6 TLV).

 The purpose of God’s judgments is for man to learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:7). Many of those afflicted who desire an end to their misery will also be seeking God for comfort and healing. Many more will repent through this judgment and turn to the Lord as the witnesses explain God’s ways and share their testimonies.

 The Sixth Angel Trumpeted

The Second Woe

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men (Revelation 9:13-15 ESV).

We learn in Ephesians 6:12 that fallen angels were given authority over regions and nations on the earth. That said, it makes perfect sense that the “principalities” and “powers” of the region of Euphrates were the very angels that were bound in chains. We know with the population explosion of this area during Noah’s time, the sons of God noticed the daughters of man and took them as their wives. For this great sin, the angels were punished and bound for the day and time when God would judge the earth.

By the power of these principalities and spiritual authorities, leaders of nations and their armies are influenced to make war. Through the efforts and supernatural power of these rulers of darkness, one-third of humanity is killed.

Up until this time, these six trumpets of judgment have brought repentance to the hearts of many men and women who will earnestly seek God in trouble and tribulation. But there will come a time while the plague of the Sixth Trumpet is ravaging the Earth, that no more will repent of their evil ways. At this point, God’s Book of Life will be closed, as the Lord has determined all who are His and all who are not. His Word must be performed. It is time for the last trumpet when He removes His people and then pours out His wrath upon the unrighteous in what is called the Seven Bowls of Wrath.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts (Rev. 9:20-21 ESV).

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel—when he is about to trumpet—the mystery of God is completed, just as He declared to His servants the prophets (Revelations 10:7 TLV).

I pray you will join me next month when we ring in the New Year with the prophetic story of the Final Seventh Trumpet—the triumphant signal every Christian should be longing to hear!

Until then, let us prepare our hearts by repenting for being double-minded and disobedient to His commandments. Let us make ourselves ready mentally and spiritually to endure whatever God brings our way, all the while trusting Him to keep and protect us during His time of judgment.


Dr. Victoria

[1] (the fallen angels and daughters of men) – Emphasis mine.




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