THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
In Revelation 8:1 we see the Seventh Seal being opened: When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
There is then a silence for half an hour. Just how long is this half an hour? We are not sure. In the Psalms, from time to time, we see a word in the margins: “Selah.” This word means to take time to consider what you just read or to drink it in and let it mean something to you. This pause between the Sixth Seal and the Seventh Seal may be a Selah moment for the world. The world needs to realize God, Jesus Christ the Lamb, is in control of everything that is happening. If they don’t already, they will soon.
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 altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
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. (Revelation 8:2-11)
Just before the First Trumpet is sounded we are reminded just how valuable our prayers are to God in Revelation 8:3-5. This is the second time our prayers are mentioned as being kept continually before God. (Revelation 5:8) This should be giving you great sense of relief and anticipation, as you pray. Relief, knowing God always hears and recognizes Your Prayers, and anticipation, knowing Your Prayers are constantly before God, waiting for the perfect moment to be answered.
Now the First Trumpet sounds. With the sounding of the First Trumpet, one-third of all vegetation will be burned up. One-third of the trees and all the grass are burned, destroyed. How will that affect all the grazing animals? How about farmers collecting hay? The smoke from the wildfires this summer on the west coast has been detected on the east coast. What might it be like with one-third of vegetation in the world, and all the grass burning? We are way beyond a natural explanation for what is happening now. All we will see from now on will obviously be Supernatural in nature, meaning, everything we see will be orchestrated by God.
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. (Revelation 8:8-9)
When the Second Trumpet sounds one-third of the saltwater seas are turned to blood. Everything in them dies, all fish, mammals and reptiles. And one-third of all ships sailing on those seas are destroyed. With something huge “like a mountain” hitting the oceans there would probably be a number of tsunamis around the world. This would destroy ships, oil platforms and a lot of shoreline. And if you live near a seaport or have a nice ocean-side home, think of the smell as all the dead creatures float to the top of the oceans of blood and begin to rot. One-third of the ships at sea will be destroyed and all the crews with them. Large ships use a lot of sea water for cooling systems onboard. The thick blood will disable them all. Not to mention the clotting of blood as it stays around.
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 on 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 had become bitter. (Revelation 8:10-11)
At the Third Trumpet one-third of all fresh waters turn bitter and many more people die because of this. Everything in these waters dies. With the death of all living creatures in the salt waters that turn to blood and the fresh waters that turn bitter can you imagine the smell that must be emanating from the waters around the world? Something like this has happened before, in Exodus 19:7. Remember? When Moses was talking to the Pharaoh and trying to get God’s people released from slavery, he touched the Nile River and turned it to blood. In the United States, what if the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are hit? Think about all the people who live in the drainage basins of those two great rivers. This “great star” that poisons the fresh waters is called Wormwood. Wormwood is found in the Old Testament eight times. Wormwood is a shrub whose leaves are used to manufacture absinthe, a drug so toxic that its manufacture is banned in most countries. There is an interesting detail that may well just be a coincidence. The Greek word for Wormwood as translated into Russian is Chernobyl, yes, the same as the city where Russian nuclear reactors melted down.
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.
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!” (Revelation 8:12-13)
When the Fourth Trumpet sounds all heavenly bodies are struck and one-third of all light is blocked. The sun will be one third dimmer, the moon and stars will give one-third less light at night. Living in this dimly lit world, with all the horror that is going on all around, already has to be a scary thing. Again, this harkens back to Egypt as Moses was negotiating with Pharaoh. In Exodus 10:21-22 Egypt was subjected to darkness for three days. No one could see anything, except for God’s people. Also included in the sounding of the Fourth Trumpet is the appearance of an Eagle flying around in the sky crying 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!” He is warning all the inhabitants of earth because the dreadful nature of what is to come.
With all that is already going on, remember back to the Second Seal, the Second Rider of the Apocalypse, the one who takes Peace from earth. So far with the Seven Seals and Four Trumpets, there is a great deal to worry about, but there will be no way for anyone to find Peace. No Peace, in the midst of all the horror.
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 were 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 to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the 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 lions’ 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 as 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. (Revelation 9:1-12)
The Fifth Trumpet introduces a “fallen star,” a fallen angel, this star is given the keys to an Abyss. This Abyss, as we will see in following chapters, will play several different roles. As the fallen angel opens the Abyss smoke pours out of it. This smoke probably has an acrid, sulfuric smell, which is offensive to anyone in the area. Then out of the smoke a plague of locusts hits the earth. A plague of locust happened before in Exodus 10:18-20. But these locusts are nothing like those they saw in Egypt. You may have seen the results of when locust hit the farmlands and crops. The difference in this plague of locust is that they don’t have any effect on the crops, they only attack people. Let’s look at what they look like before we look at what they do.
In Revelation 9:7-10, John’s description struggles for words to tell us what he sees. They looked like horses prepared for battle, they wore something like crowns, their faces resembled human faces, their hair was like women’s hair, breastplates like breastplates of iron, John continues the description using words like “resembling” and “like.” Again, he is seeing things he can’t quiet figure out, of describe to us. And how big must these locusts be? They are big enough for John to easily see the details he is trying to give us.
Unlike any locusts we have seen before, even the ones in Egypt, these locusts do not attack the earth. They are instructed to attack just those people who do not have the Seal of God that had been given to everyone on earth who had come to believe in Jesus Christ by now. (Revelation 7:1-3) There will be many who come to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, but not near as many who don’t.
These Locusts will roam the world for five months, and everyone will seek death because of the pain and torment delivered by the stings of the locust. But, there will be no relief, no peace. You would think that people would soon start bowing to God and praying for deliverance, but that doesn’t happen. This is the first “Woe” spoken of by the Eagle that flew over the earth. (8:13)
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. 1It 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 were 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 lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three 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 with 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. (Revelation 9:13-21)
When the Sixth Trumpet sounds the second “Woe” is delivered and the Four Angels who had been held back are released from an area near the River Euphrates. These angels are given power to kill one third of the population of the earth. Remember, when the Fourth Seal was opened one fourth of the population was killed. Now one third of those left is killed. When the Word speaks of the population of earth it is not referring to anyone who is, by now, a believer in Christ. God is bringing a great judgment upon the earth. For all those who rejected the sacrifice of His Son hanging on the cross, there is a harsh penalty to pay. They live in a world going mad and there is no relief in sight. Why were these angels being held in this particular area of the world? Why near the Euphrates River? Is it purely coincidental that the Euphrates is involved, considering the things that have happened in that area in the past 20 years? I’m like Gibbs, I don’t believe in coincidences. Here are a few of the reasons the Euphrates River area is involved, considering its long-term history:
o The Garden of Eden was in this area
o The first sin occurred in this area – Adam and Eve
o The first murder was committed in this area – Cain killed Abel
o The first war was fought here
o Noah built his ark in this area
o The Tower of Babel was in this area
o The Israelites were in captivity in Babylon for 400 years in this area
o Babylon was the fountainhead of idolatry and has long been a center and source for ungodly worship
o Sodom and Gomorrah were in this area
o The final wars will be fought in this area, including Armageddon
o Satan launched his first assault here and he will launch his last gasp attempts from here
Then 9:15 fascinates me. And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. These angels were held in this place until the exact moment God wanted them released. God knew the exact year, month, day and the very hour they would be released. All of this was planned from before the creation of the world. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)
Then coming from the area of the Euphrates is a 200,000,000-man army that helps with the elimination of 1/3 of the population. Some of those people who had been seeking death because of the supernatural locusts now get what they wanted. The horses and riders in this Trumpet, again defy John’s ability to describe what he is seeing.
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom 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 worshiped God, saying:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have 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 lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. (Revelation 11:15-19)
With the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet great worship breaks out in heaven because God is judging the earth. This answers one of our lingering questions. How could worship break out in heaven because of what is going on on earth, if heaven doesn’t know what is going on on earth? All true believers will be in that number.
Will you be there?
Will you be watching from above, knowing what is going on?
Or will you be watching from earth wondering what will happen next?
It’s up to you.
Bostwick UMC 10/17/21