The Relation of the “Interlude” to the Seven Trumpets (Trumpets 5)

The trumpets focus on the opponents of God and of those bearing witness for Him (Rev. 9:4, 20-21) but the “interlude” between the sixth and seventh trumpets (Rev. 10:1 – 11:13) focuses on God’s people. The big question is whether the “interlude” is truly a pause or an “interruption” within the seven trumpets or whether it is actually part of the sixth or seventh trumpets themselves. Related to this is whether the interlude should be seen in terms of the timing of one of these trumpets or is it timeless in some sense. We have already seen that the “interlude” of Revelation 7 is closely related to the sixth seal rather than truly independent. Chapter seven answers the question of who will stand in the day of God’s wrath against the persecutors of His people (Rev. 6:17).

The answer to the question is not difficult to find when it comes to the material between the sixth and seventh trumpets. The “interlude,” however, is not separate from the trumpets, it is clearly part of the sixth trumpet. This is found in the sequencing of the three woes. Revelation 8:13 describes three woes coming upon those who live on the earth. According to Revelation 9:12, the first of these woes is the fifth trumpet. The second woe is the sixth trumpet, but it does not end at the close of chapter nine, it is described as ending at Revelation 11:14. So the bulk of chapters 10 and 11 are part of the sixth trumpet. While the forces of evil are gathering for the final crisis during the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:16), the forces of the righteous are gathering to counter them (Rev. 7:4; Rev. 10:1 – 11:13). Since the sixth trumpet ends with the close of human probation (Rev. 10:7– the point where conversions no longer occur), the “interlude” within the sixth trumpet describes the final proclamation of the gospel to the world.

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