The book of Revelation speaks of what are called “trumpets” and “bowls”. They are specific events of God’s judgments that will take place at the end of the age. We aren’t told how long the trumpets and bowls will last, but we do know it will be a brief period of time just before Christ’s Second Coming.
Trumpets and Bowls Comparison
The trumpets (Revelation 8:6-9:21; Revelation 11:14-19) and the bowls (Revelation 16:1-21) are not in close proximity to one another in the book. Yet it would seem they are very much linked to one another. The trumpets, occurring before the bowls, will refer to ⅓ of something being destroyed, while the bowls indicate more complete destruction. This is seen in the following chart.
Please note: The seventh bowl corresponds with the sixth seal, which we have included in the chart. You can also see where the “three woes” fit in and what “the days of the voice of the seventh angel” are.
So, there are a number of similarities between the trumpets and the bowls. The bowls are intensifications of the trumpets. While the trumpets are judgments in and of themselves, they are also warnings of greater disaster to come. The full wrath of God comes in the bowls.
Did you notice that the first and second woes are trumpets (Revelation 8:13), but the third woe is not a trumpet? The first two woes are trumpets 5 & 6 and are in Revelation 9. Then we read in Revelation 11:14 that the third woe is coming quickly. But when?
Where and What is the Third Woe?
We are given a hint as to what the third woe is in Revelation 10:5-7:
Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will no longer be a delay, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He announced to His servants the prophets.
When the seventh angel blows the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God is finished. Everything is done. But before the seventh trumpet is blown, comes “the days of the voice of the seventh angel” – which is where we find the third woe.
What are the Days of the Voice of the Seventh Angel?
Revelation 11:14-18 tells us that God’s wrath (the bowls) come before the seventh angel sounds the trumpet. It is during the “days of the voice of the seventh angel” that the bowls of God’s wrath occur (Rev. 16). So, we can say three things:
- Before everything is finished, including the third woe, the days of the voice of the seventh angel occur.
- During the days of the voice of the seventh angel, the bowls of wrath occur.
- We could therefore surmise that the bowls of wrath = the third woe.
And these are the days when the mystery of God is finished. This “mystery” is the reality that there is no longer any delay as to the fulfillment of the things spoken by the prophets of old concerning the end of the age! And when the final disasters are finished, the seventh trumpet announces that Christ begins His reign upon the earth!
For further study see: What is the Day of the Lord? By Got Questions