THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
In the eighth and ninth chapters of Revelation are full of teaching of the coming days and the judgments of God for the coming days. It contains the events leading up to the mark of the beast the two witnesses and the final battle. Therefore, there is no doubt of the reality of God’s severe judgments for the coming days on those who are not sealed with the Holy Word of God. It is also important for everyone who studies the book of Revelation that all of God’s judgments only falls after repentance goes unheeded. For you can go back to the book of Genesis and the one hundred and twenty years that Noah preached the warning of the flood and it went unheeded. The logic for pointing out repentance is on the day of the final judgment individuals will not be able to say they did not have time to repent or offer up any kind of excuses Romans 1:20.
As we begin by saying that the use of trumpets in the Holy Scriptures you can find a considerable background as well as the use of the trumpets. For example, they were sounded when there was a need for a public assembly, they were used in battle, and other important events.
During my research what I have found is that there are many different interpretations of the book of Revelation meaning many individuals have written about the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the coming days or the end times. In addition, the more I research through the word of the Holy Scriptures the more I find that the prophets of the Old Testament relates more of the end times or the last days in regards to the seven trumpets for even the prophet Zephaniah makes it clear that God will destroy all of mankind Zephaniah 1:3.
“The first angel sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the grass was burned up.” (Revelation 8:7 NASB)
THE FIRST TRUMPET
In this first trumpet the revelation of this first trumpet regarding the coming days must not be taken as symbolism that it is the development of God’s judgment unfolding upon the earth. The problem which is going on throughout the world today is so many are saying that these trumpets have nothing to do with the church, however, in all truth any part of God’s judgment does have something to do with the church. Now this judgment begins back in the prophetic word of the prophet Ezekiel where the Lord God tells Ezekiel these words of prophecy: “And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgment with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (Ezekiel 38:22 NASB) The word pestilence could also be a parallel reference to the plagues that happen during the time God brought Israel out of the land of Egypt. One might also interpret it as the things God said He would do to save His people.
To begin with this first trumpet is what God will pour out upon a third part of the earth that will fall upon third part of the trees and all of the grass will be destroyed at this time. The text of scripture states hail mixed with fire and the prophet Isaiah states this prophetic word to them in his day states that the Lord God will cast down a storm of hail by His hand Isaiah 28:2. As the Lord God Almighty brought the plagues upon the land of Egypt Exodus 9:22-25 these were plagues that God sent to save Israel God will in like manner send the plagues of the seven trumpets to disrupt the beast and antichrist. Let us be clear when we speak of what John speaks about a vast widespread devastation these trumpets mean and God’s purpose for sounding these trumpets upon the earth which is showing His Divine vengeance upon His enemies. No matter how you want to interpret these seven trumpets the apostle John is describing the coming days and the events that will fall upon this earth.
THE SECOND TRUMPET
“And the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood; 9 and a third of the creatures, which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:8-9 NASB)
To begin the prophetic word of these two texts of scriptures here in Revelation 8, we need to look at the prophetic word of the prophet Jeremiah which I believe to be the foundation of prophecy about the coming days Jeremiah 51:25. Furthermore, you will find here in this chapter of Jeremiah where the Lord God makes it clear that we need to sound the trumpet or shofar to warn the nations of the war that is coming against her. Consider these words from the Holy Scriptures: “See, I will deal with you, O mountain of the destroyer declares the Lord destroyer of the whole earth! I will stretch out My hand against you And roll you down from the crags, And make you a burnt-out mountain.” (Jeremiah 51:25 Hebrew English Tanakh)
What I see from this Hebrew text of this scripture regarding the mountain of the destroyer could be interpreted as the evil man of Satan the beast that is destroying the word of God in the Body of Christ today with his evil prophets. Therefore, God makes it clear that He will stretch forth His hand against Satan as well as against us if we are not obedient unto His Holy Word that the events of the book of Revelation will come to pass by His Mighty Hand. One might interpret the hand of God being stretch forth could mean terror unto the wicked; however, I believe that the true Christian has nothing to fear from the Lord.
In verse nine here in Revelation eight we are dealing with the third part of the living creatures that die in the sea and a third part of the ships upon the sea will be destroyed. The major problem that can be interpreted is what happens to the moisture that the sea provides for the rain upon this earth, there is a great reduction of fresh water that is provided by the sea. That can also mean a reduction in food that will that will create a great problem for humanity.
THE THIRD TRUMPET
“And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters; 11 and the name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.” (Revelation 8:10-11 NASB)
In studying for this third trumpet you find the many of the scholars and theologians have field day with interpreting a symbolic meaning of this trumpet. I find in the Old Testament where the prophet Jeremiah speaks this word of prophecy about those who walk according to their own heart and the Lord God said He would feed them with wormwood and give them water of gall to drink Jeremiah 9:14-15. In addition, you will find in Jeremiah 23:15 this prophetic word of the Lord concerning the prophets that He the Lord of host would feed them with wormwood and give them water of gall to drink for their profaneness has went out into the land. The Lord God of hosts states that we are not to listen to these kinds of prophets Jeremiah 23:16. The truth of this trumpet about the wormwood is the water will be unfit for humans to drink.
THE FOURTH TRUMPET
“And the fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were smitten, so that a third of them might be darkened and the day might not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way. 13 And I looked, and heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” (Revelation 8:12-13 NASB)
From the Old Testament and the prophet Isaiah in chapter 13 I find that not only the sun and moon will be darkened but also the whole world will be punish for their iniquity Isaiah 13:10-11. Not only are three judgments of God they are also warnings and in this trumpet we find the forth judgment with the eagle flying in the midheaven with yet another warning of the next three trumpets to be sounded. One might interpret that eagle is another way of stating angel. From this point in the heaven the eagle proclaims its message of woe to all of the inhabitants of the earth.
The apostle John writes here that a third of the sun is smitten or darken, as well as a third of the moon and of the stars, along with the day and night. You can see similarities between the fourth trumpet and the sixth seal in Revelation 6:12-14. When you study from many different commentaries you will find that some interpret literally, some figuratively, and some symbolically. Regardless of which way you interpret the meaning in the Holy Scriptures the use of the word darkness refers to sin or the Lord God’s judgments. For one of God’s judgments in the day that He led Israel out of the land of Egypt He brought darkness upon Egypt for three days. Now we must also remember that the sun moon and stars are also use by many to tell them the time for planting seasons.
(“ouai oo-ah’ee A primary excamation of grief; “woe”:—alas, woe.”) (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries)
Now the eagle proclaims three times “woe” which I understand to be directed at the three coming trumpets. The first woe is in Revelation 9:12 referring to the past and the second woe in Revelation 11:14 and the third woe is found in Revelation 12:12.
THE FIFTH TRUMPET
“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given him. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and smoke went up out of the pit, like smoke from a great furnace; the sun and air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3 And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And they were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who had not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months, and their torment was like the torment of the scorpion when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; and they will long to die and death flees from them. 7 And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads, as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the face of men. 8 And they had hair like the hair of a woman, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. 10 And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; and his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.” (Revelation 9:1-12 NASB)
Remember that in the first four trumpets was about the destruction that fell upon the earth. Now the apostle John turns to described what will fall upon mankind in the coming days in the seven trumpets in this fifth trumpet. In addition, the apostle John goes into greater detail than he did in the first four trumpets. Furthermore, John makes it clear about those who have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as well as those who have not responded to the call of God and therefore set themselves in opposition to God’s Divine purpose. This trumpet will take place in the coming days and many will have to face the results of their choice. On a personal note after reading in more detail of this trumpet there is no way that I want any part of this trumpet or any of the rest.
This trumpet opens with a star that has fallen from heaven, however, one must also consider what John writes that this star has fallen from heaven to earth and therefore we should consider that this refers to Satan while some say an unknown personally. For when we look at the gospel of Luke where Jesus addresses the seventy disciples when they had returned, “Jesus states” “And He said to them, I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lighting.” (Luke 10:18 NASB) I can only assume that are Lord was referring to Lucifer and his fall from heaven found in the book of Isaiah 14:12-15. Therefore, if any of us is interpreting the scriptures correctly the star can only mean Satan, the enemy of mankind, and the great enemy of God.
If one looks close or pays attention to what is being stated in the second verse by the apostle John about the key to the bottomless pit and to whom the key has been given to you will find it has been given to Satan. For the most part the teachings on the abyss, bottomless pit, or hell of where it is considered to be located are in the center of the earth Ephesians 4:9. As we begin to get further into this trumpet we find that in the coming days of this trumpet that the locusts or demons will be released out of the bottomless pit to inflict torment upon those who have not accepted Christ and the Word of God.
In this second verse it states the smoke that comes out of the pit is like a great furnace which darkens the air in addition one might also interpret that it is polluting the air. In addition, one could interpret this text of scripture that John is referring to the spiritual corruption which will cause the locust’s demons to sting and torment that come out of the smoke. However, they are given instruction by God that they cannot touch the men who have the seal of God in their forehead nor any green grass or trees. Now the plague of the locust in the Old Testament was greatly feared because they could strip the land from everything that was green leaf Exodus 10:12-20.
The apostle John gives a very detailed description of the locusts and they are not the shape of a normal locust; therefore, they are larger than the normal locust. Furthermore, John goes on to say that they have a king who is the angel of the bottomless pit or the abyss described in the Hebrew and Greek name Revelation 9:11. It is well to note the Hebrew and Greek name both mean “destroyer.” In the Body of Christ in today’s modern world when we refer to Satan is from the epistles of Paul when he writes to the church at Corinth stating Satan has the power to be an angel of light.
Here in verse 12 of Revelation 9 I find that the torment of the first woe is past and there are two woes yet to come. To my understanding John states now that the trumpet is the first woe is over with and there are two more to come. Let me address to you this fact that there is now way to escape the events for the coming days nor can we escape form what Satan will do in this short period of time without the seal of God and His salvation.
THE SIXTH TRUMPET
“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying of the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. 16 And the number of armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and smoke and brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads; and with them they do harm. 20 And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of theirs.” (Revelation 9:13-21
In interpreting or trying to interpret the sounding of the sixth trumpet starting with the voice from the four horns from the golden altar before God. Remember that in Revelation 8:3 the altar was stated as where the incense was burning and the prayers of the saints were being offer up. In addition, it was the time that the seventh seal was being opened and there was silence in heaven for the space of a half an hour Revelation 8:1.
The voice of the four horns instructed the sixth angel to release the four angels who are bound at the Euphrates River. Yes, there will be those with questions for example why should these angels be bound? My answer is that they were bound in this vision of what John, I personally cannot find a good answer only that they are prepared to go forth and kill a third of mankind.
Now it should come as no surprise at the increase of this woe being poured out by the sixth angel. Now the voice from the four horns of the altar that this sixth angel was to loose, four angels from the river of great Euphrates and these four angels have been bound and now they are being released Jude 6. What is the significance of the great river Euphrates it was one of four rivers that flowed out from the Garden of Eden Genesis 2:10-14. It was in the garden where Satan brought fourth his diabolical plan to cause God’s creation to fall. In the book of Genesis is recorded the very first murder. There is also something else that is significance about the Euphrates River for it is where God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham, in addition it is the boundary of the land given to Israel.
In addition, I believe that these four angels are fallen angels who followed Lucifer during the war in heaven when Lucifer was cast out of heaven to the earth. Furthermore, there is no place in the Holy Scriptures where it states about the angels of God being bound.
Moreover, these angels have been prepared for their evil activity like the locusts in the fifth trumpet. You find in verse 15 that it is clear by the statement an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, it is well to note that this does not designates a specific time of duration of these four angels, activity, however, about the fact that this trumpet comes at God’s appointed time. What I am saying is that God can appoint an hour; a day, a month, or a year to accomplishes or execute His judgment.
Again, these angels have been are too killed a third of mankind, I can only say that this is one of the most devastating thoughts found in the book of Revelation before the Second Coming of Christ. In addition, it is well to note that God only permits one third of the earth to be killed in this woe. God spares two third of mankind not because they deserve to be spared, however, from my own understanding I cannot help but believe that in wrath God also remembers mercy. Chapter Eight