Satan Takes One Third Of The Angels With Him
One of the things that I have noticed in my studies is that commentators almost refuse to believe that angels are literally involved in the tribulation. H. A. Ironside, J. Dwight Pentecost both consider this to be symbology being that of religious leaders1. John F. Walvoord mentions that it could be religious leaders, but takes the position of the literal heavenly bodies being darkened.2
It is really hard for me to understand this resistance to Satan and the fallen angels being present on the earth. Angels are seen on the earth all throughout the old testament. So staying consistent with our interpretation this trumpet like the rest is symbolic in nature. How do we understand it then? Let the Bible interpret it for us. If we are correct then the third trumpet is the fall of a great star who is Satan, then we can read the commentary on this in chapter twelve.
3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 7And there was war in heaven:Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him
My logic is that if the third trumpet is Satan being cast down and the next trumpet is the heavenly bodies being darkened, I see the details here. With Satan, a third of the angels or stars are cast down with him.
If I am right we can see why we have the three woes of verse thirteen. The whole spiritual kingdom of Babylon has collapsed and its occupants have been cast to the earth. Remember that one angel killed over four hundred thousand men in one night.3 With the angels occupying the earth the inhabitants are going to be in great woe, especially when we hear the fifth trumpet.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound
1H.A. Ironside, Revelation (Loizeaux Brother, 1987), pg. 151; J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come (Zondervan, 1964), pg. 362
2John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Moody Press 1966), pg. 165
3 Bible, 2 Kings 19:35