Case II: The Seven Trumpets
Revelation 8:2-6,"And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the alter. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayer of the saints, on the golden alter before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the alter, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightening and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them."
The First Trumpet
Revelation 8:7,"The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." It's very interesting that our Solar System is visited by comets, asteroids and other objects. This verse could relate to th e Earth passing through the tail of a comet, which can be filled with car size chunks of rocks. Hence, the expression, hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon earth can relate to such phenomenom. Moreover, another possibility is the Earth passing through an asteroid belt, and that can lead to an overwhelming disaster.
The Second Trumpet
Revelation 8:8,"The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed."Can this be an asteroid entering earth's atmosphere and striking the sea. Everyday the Earth gets hit by debree ranging from a size of a baseball to a size of car. This debree enters Earth's atmosphere and burns up, and doesn't cause any catastrophic damage. However, noticed how John intereprets this Revelation, he sees a huge mountain in fire, falling or thrown into the sea. In other words, this can depict an asteroid the size of a mountain. This can inflict damage on a catastrophic scale. Not until recently has NASA and other leading scientist have taken the venture into cataloging potential hazaradous space rocks, but will it be enough? The Earth's history is full of craters and impacts, one can only wonder, if not if, but when will the next doomsday rock hit.
The Third Trumpet
Revelation 8:10-11,"The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that became bitter."John sees a star fall from heaven. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but stars don't fall, they explode. Moreover, this vision can depict a comet striking the Earth. A comet is a celestial body, observed only in that part of its orbit that is relatively close to the sun, having a head consisting of a solid nucleus surrounded by a nebulous coma up to 2.4 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) in diameter and an elongated curved vapor tail arising from the coma when sufficiently close to the sun. Comets are thought to consist chiefly of ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and water. The curved vapor tail can depict the characteristic John foresaw regarding a torch. Furthermore, a name is given to this star, Wormwood.Perhaps the first three trumpets are caused by our earth’s orbit passing through an asteroid belt. The presence of these dangerous belts in our galaxy has been known for many years. In fact, the rings about the planet Saturn are rings of cosmic debris that can range in size from a golf ball to several miles in diameter. Furthermore, in March of 1989, a half-mile wide asteroid came within 500,000 miles of Earth.If it had hit the earth, astronomers said, "It would have crashed with enough violence to destroy a good-sized country."
The Fourth Trumpet
Revelation 8:12,"The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night."This trumpet obviously marks a phenomenal change in the heavens. Just how this is done, John doesn’t say. However, this can be the result of the previous 3 trumpets(meteors,comet), or the aftermath of such mayhem. Furthermore, with the sun darkened, vegetation becomes stunted. Food crops that were wiped out as a result of the fires of the first trumpet, will not recover. The prospects of life on Earth after the first four trumpets sound will not be heartening. As the people of earth witness these terribly awesome things, they will be desperate about survival. In their suffering, they will seek the meaning of these events. Clearly, these calamities are “acts of God.” Regardless of the religious belief or cultural background, each person will be alarmed and interested. As people begin to compare the first four trumpets with the story of Revelation, the truthfulness and meaning of Revelation’s story will blossom. Thus the minds of people in every nation, kindred, tongue and people will be opened to hear a prophetic explanation of what these events are all about. In short, people everywhere will be anxious to hear the everlasting gospel! As if the asteroids weren’t bad enough, the next three trumpets are even more powerful. John says, Revelation 8:13,"As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: Woe! Woe! Woe! To the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!."This eagle is one of the four living creatures (senior angels) that John saw earlier. See Revelation 4:7The message of this living creature is that the next three trumpets are curses. That is, they directly fall upon certain people and not the physical elements of earth.
The Fifth Trumpet
Revelation 9:1-12,"The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 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. They were not given power to kill them, but only torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of a sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lion’s teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had a king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come." John best describes the things he saw with analogies or the allusions to Old Testament references. Actually, the meaning of this trumpet is better understood when it is compared to Joel 2, for Joel saw a very similar scene. The difference between Joel and John is that John saw the coming of Satan (the angel king from the Abyss) while Joel saw the coming of the Lord! Notice Joel's remarks:Joel 2:1-11,"Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand – a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army (of locusts) comes, such as never was of old or ever will be in ages to come. Before them a flame blazes…nothing escapes them.They have the appearance of horses they gallop along like cavalry. With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops…At the sight of them, nations are in anguish, every face turns pale…Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, and the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord thunders at the head of his army; and his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful.Who can endure it?
Furthermore, in comparing both views, one can see that:
- Joel saw a great army of locusts that looked like horses. John saw the same.
- Joel saw the sun and moon darkened. John saw the same.
- Joel marveled at the power of the army. John marveled at the same.
- Joel saw the Lord at the head of His army. John saw the angel king of the Abyss at the head of his army.
- Satan is let out of the Abyss(spirit world)in Revelation 9 and is returned to the Abyss in Revelation 20:1-3,"And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss and locked and sealed it over him…
- From the fifth trumpet we learn that Satan is allowed to come out of the Abyss and physically appear upon the earth during the fifth trumpet. What will he do after he appears? 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. They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months…”Revelation 9:4,5 It is interesting to note from these verses that Satan and his angels cannot harm the physical things on earth that have been already hurt during the first trumpet.
Who is the angel king, the beast from the Abyss? Only once in Revelation’s story does an “angel king” come out of the Abyss. Twice in Revelation, a “beast” ascends out of the Abyss. Since Revelation 12:9 clearly tells us that the dragon-like beast is a fallen angel called Satan, we can safely say the “angel king” that ascends from the Abyss in chapter 9 is the devil. When we compare Joel’s account of the second coming with the appearing of the angel king from the Abyss, we can be safe in concluding that Satan is the angel king. When Satan appears on earth claiming to be God, the world will be astonished. He will deceive the entire world with his miracles and great supernatural powers. Satan will eventually “kill the effectiveness of God’s representatives by appearing to be so powerful and so much greater than those representing God’s cause. Each person will have to make a very hard decision: follow the teachings of the Bible and receive the wrath of Satan or follow the teachings of Satan (claiming to be God) and receive the wrath of God. Revelation 17:8 clearly say that those whose names are not written in the book of life will be astonished at the appearing of Satan. But the saints will be expecting him. After all, the fifth trumpet clearly explains when he appears.
The Sixth Trumpet
The second woe is a great war. John says, in Revelation 9:13-21; 11:14,"The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden alter that is before God. It said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number. The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of loins, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads which they inflict injury. The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood; idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon."This verse could be a description of a nuclear exchange between countries. Noticed it says 200 Million, now, which country in the whole world can supply an Army of 200 Million footsoldiers? The answer is China. This Eastern king will play a major role in the end-times, especially with a booming economy and the thirst for oil.
The Seventh Trumpet
Revelation 11:15-19,"The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdoms of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great; and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’ Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.” This trumpet announces the close of probation. Mercy has been extended as long as possible. Every person has made the decision for, or against gospel. Those who sided with Satan carry the mark of the Beast – a mark necessary to conduct business, a permit to buy and sell! Those who sided with the gospel appear frail, weak and helpless against the dragon. They can’t buy or sell. All forms of life-support are cut off. Satan has eliminated every means of earthly survival for them. In fact, the devil will lead the world in a united effort to exterminate these people as quickly as possible. But the victory that comes in following our Lord Jesus Christ, is an eternal one.
Jesus distracts the consolidated powers of Satan by sending the seven last plagues. This is the third woe or curse mentioned by the living creature. The awful and terrible plagues containing the fury of God’s wrath fall upon all who received the mark of the beast. Trumpets parallel 7 last plagues There are some obvious comparisons between the trumpets and the plagues. Notice:
Seven Trumpets Summary
- Hail, fire, and blood upon 1/3 of earth
- One third of the sea turns to blood
- One third of the drinking water becomes bitter
- Sun, moon and stars affected (1/3 of heaven struck)
- Satan appears bringing affliction on the wicked
- Great war – millions killed
- Hailstorm, earthquake
Seven last plagues
- Terrible sores upon all rebelling against God
- Sea turns into blood – everything in it dies
- Drinking water and river turn to blood
- Sun scorches people with intense heat
- Great affliction on the government of Antichrist
- Final war upon saints – Armageddon
- Great hailstorm, earthquake and final destruction of earth
The point is made that the trumpets (seven first plagues) are samples in many respects of the seven last plagues. The main difference between these two groups of plagues is God’s mercy. Those that keep the commandments of God and remain faithful (faithful means faith-full) to Jesus will live by this precious promise: Psalms 91:1-10,"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent."
The seven trumpets will soon come as horrible and devastating judgments upon earth. Yet, it is the very nature of these things that arrests the world’s attention to hear the everlasting gospel. Outside the context of such dramatic events, what credibility does the gospel have today among earth 6+ billion people? If one thinks about it, none, people are more preoccuppied with everyday life, than just taking a breath and reading the word of God. The purpose of the trumpets is salvation, for the door to salvation remains open until the seventh trumpet sounds. Finally, the trumpets are only “samples” of the wrath of God. The seven last plagues are even worse. If the trumpets are terrible, what will the effect of the seven last plagues? The severity of these things should cause us to carefully consider reading the word of God and accepting Jesus Christ into your life, cause nobody knows what tommorrow will bring.