Revelation 8 – 9: The Seven Trumpets

Revelation 8

The First Trumpet

The seventh seal is the seven trumpet plagues.

Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints [who are fervently praying “Your Will be done, your Kingdom come”] upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God [These prayers, just like the smoke of the burnt offering, picture wholehearted faithfulness and zeal to follow God and to learn and keep the whole Word and Will of God; which is a very pleasant smell like the perfume of incense to God the Father]  out of the angel’s hand.

8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

A great hail storm with extensive lightening will fall on much of the earth, causing many fires which burn up most of the earth’s forests and grass lands. 

The lightening will be accompanied by enormous awesome fear generating thundering around much of the earth, and the lightening generated fires would be expedited by the long drought and holding back of rainfall.  The fires would not be limited to growing things but would also undoubtedly consume many buildings as well.

The hail and lightening would be mingled on the ground with the blood of the many people being struck by great hail and lightening, and being burned in the fires.

8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

This is the beginning of the wrath of a furious Jesus Christ, pouring out His anger upon a rebellious mankind; which has persecuted and tormented the godly faithful and defied the Word of God.

This means EXACTLY what it says. The hail will not be just the small pea to prune sized hail that is common; it will be a very large killer size, of many pounds in weight. The fire is doubtless lightning (Strong’s 4442 pur) and the blood, is the blood of those injured, dead and dying.

 

The Second Trumpet

8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

This is likely a huge meteor burning brightly as it passes through the atmosphere. 

While not specifically mentioned here, it should be self-evident that such a massive and forceful displacement of water would result in a huge tsunami or tidal surge, which would be very damaging to large areas of land as well as to the sea.

The size of such a massive object, its effect multiplied by its great speed at impact, would easily create a unprecedented sloshing series of tidal waves sweeping across many coastal land masses and would certainly destroy all shipping in the affected area. 

With much shipping destroyed and quite likely many oil tankers crushed, this might be the Exon Valdez disaster multiplied a thousand or more times. A vast; heavy coat of oily sludge and pollution over the sea, glinting in the sun, might just be described as looking like a sea of blood and would kill of all sea life in that area.

Whether this means just the Mediterranean Sea or all the oceans is unclear. In either case, this will still be an awesome disaster.

 

The Third Trumpet

8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood [bitter]: and the third part of the waters became wormwood [bitter, poisoned]; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

This appears to be in the nature of a comet which is made of dust and frozen gasses which would glow like a lamp on entry into the atmosphere, as opposed to the more solid nature of a meteor. This dust falling over a wide area of fresh waters, would pollute those waters and make them bitter and poisonous. A glowing comet is also much brighter over a larger area than a meteor, passing over a much longer distance in the atmosphere.

 

The Fourth Trumpet

8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

There is to be an eight hour period, half during the day and half during the night, when the natural light from the skies will be obscured on the surface of the earth. 

The exact cause of this is not revealed but this darkness is to be regarded as an ominous warning of the three trumpet woes to come; the last [the seventh trumpet] is the resurrection of the chosen and includes the seven last plagues falling on the earth during the marriage of the Lamb in Heaven.  See The Marriage of the Lamb.

8:13 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!

 

The Fifth Trumpet 

The First Woe  

Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star [an angel] fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Evil spirits are released from their place of restraint to torment mankind.

9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

The seal of God is the Holy Spirit. 

Ephesians 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The 144,000 were sealed with the Holy Spirit just before the first trumpet plague began to be sounded, but there have been untold multitudes of other people sealed with God’s Spirit through history,

These evil spirits will have no power over the 144,000 who were sealed with God’s Spirit after the tribulation, or over the many others who will also be  living during that time having received the seal of God’s promise [the Holy Spirit] before and during the tribulation.

Revelation 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them [the wicked], but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.  9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Keep the timeline in mind; there will be five months of torment for the wicked, from which all those sealed [not just the 144,000] with God’s Spirit are protected.

9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses [since their appearance is like war horses the term locusts must refer to a swarm; a great mass of these beings who also had wings and flew like locusts] prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women and their teeth were as the teeth of lions [very powerful jaws].

9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron [armoured bodies and wings to fly with]; and [there was such a vast number of them that their wings sounded like a great army of horsemen] the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

In the past some have speculated that this was John’s way of describing armies of men. That is not possible since these creatures cannot kill.  No, these are not Apache or Cobra helicopters!  They are a vast army of a specific type of demon who follows the Adversary of God, Satan the devil; and are permitted by God to torment the wicked on the earth for five months precisely.

9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [The Destroyer, utter destruction, perdition, damnation; in the sense that he leads to destruction by causing people to rebel against God.], but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon [the same meaning as the Hebrew; Destroyer].

Greek apollýōn (present participle of apollýnai to utterly destroy), equivalent to ap- ap-2 + olly- destroy + -ōn present participle suffix.   

9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

Some have speculated that these creatures are symbols of modern war machines. There is a serious problem with that idea. War machines kill, these creatures do not (Rev 9:6).

 

The Sixth Trumpet 

The Second Woe

9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Now comes the third year of the 3 1/2 years, when God begins to deliver his people. 

Revelation 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

By adding five months to the day, month and year of the Asian war, we see that the release of demons at the sounding of the fifth trumpet takes place approximately 18 months before the coming of Christ or about 24 months after the initial occupation of Jerusalem.

The term “two hundred thousand thousand” is not an accurate translation.  The literal Greek is Revelation 9:16 and the number of the forces of the horsemen [is] two myriads of myriads, and I heard the number of themSee Young’s literal translation.  The actual meaning is simply “a vast unspecified number.”

This is the time when Europe will become fearful at rumors from Asia and shall launch a first strike attack; after which Asia will respond with a huge attack overwhelming Europe and the Middle East, and then gather for the final battle against the false prophet and beast taking refuge in Jerusalem. 

Daniel 11:44  But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain [when Europe is devastated he shall go to Jerusalem (Dan 11:40) along with the false prophet]; yet he shall come to his end [Jesus Christ will then come to destroy them, along with the attacking armies of Asia; and he will deliver Jerusalem, all Israel and all humanity and establish the Kingdom of God over all the earth.], and none shall help him.

All of these seven trumpets will take about 18 months to sound: They are NOT all sounded on the same day!

Revelation 9:17 And thus I saw the [armies of Asia, and this time the reference is to physical armies] horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone [this is a clear reference to modern military machines and the burnt cordite of gun and rocket fire].

One third of humanity will be killed in this massive thirteen month European / Asian war which will also overwhelm the Middle East.

9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone [gun and rocket fire and aerial bombs], which issued out of their mouths [out of the muzzles of their weapons].  9:19 For their power is in their mouth [Firing like modern weaponry, which can fire both to the front and to the rear.], and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

At this point in time neither the Gentiles nor Israel are truly repentant of their wickedness; and while Israel begins to seek deliverance from God, for the most part they are still not repentant of their wickedness just yet.

9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication [yes physically, but also their spiritual disloyalty to God], nor of their thefts.

Five months after the restrained fallen angels are released, the New Europe attack Asia and Asia will respond to the European attack on them in the third year after the occupation of Jerusalem begins. 

One third of mankind will be killed over a year, a month and a day (Rev 9:15) during this conflict; at the end of which an Asian army will mass at Har Megiddo for the final battle against the European power (Babylon Zec 14) occupying Jerusalem  (Rev 11:2).

The resurrection to spirit of the dead in Christ will take place when the seventh angel begins to sound his trumpet (Rev 10). Then Christ will come to gather up his elect and take them to the Marriage of the Lamb in heaven (Rev 15, 19, Rev 7:9) 

Then a few days later after the seven last plagues have been poured out, Christ will come WITH his saints to destroy the massed armies and to gather up and arrest Satan and his demons from around the earth, finally establishing God the Father’s Kingdom over all the earth on the Feast of Pentecost!

Therefore the resurrection will come first and then be followed by a short time period when the armies mass at Megiddo for the final battle and the seven last plagues are poured out; while the Marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven.

After this very short period of the heavenly marriage feast,  Jesus Christ will return WITH his saints to intervene and take control; and then establish the Kingdom of God over all the earth as per Zechariah 14 and Joel 2:28; on the Feast of Pentecost!

The Kingdom will be established on Pentecost; the actual battle of Zechariah 14 may begin some days before Pentecost.

It is AFTER the resurrection [at end of the sixth day of Unleavened Bread] and during the short period up until Pentecost, that the seven last plagues will be poured out on the earth.

Since Jerusalem will be occupied for 42 months and the New Europe will have power to make war for 42 months, this “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” will end when these armies are defeated, the demons gathered up to prison and the political and religious leaders are thrown into the lake of fire.  

Revelation 19:20 And the beast [political ruler] was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Subtracting the 1260 days from the total 1335 days, during which the final great false prophet will deceive (Dan 12) people, means that the tribulation will begin about 75 days after the abomination is set up doing miracles.

However, Christ could easily come to defeat the armies, Satan and his demons, a few days before Pentecost; followed by a few days of waiting for Pentecost when God’s Spirit will be poured out.  

Then when the nations have repented and the Feast of Pentecost is fully come, God will pour out his Holy Spirit on all flesh, changing the natures of man and beast (Joel 2:28).

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