The 7 Trumpets (Rev. 8:2 - 11:19)
Bible Passage:Read the prophecy in Revelation 8:2 to 11:19.
Theme:Judgments afflicting those rejecting truth and the powers ruling over them.
Overview:In even a brief perusal of the 7 Trumpets, one quickly recognizes that they involve calamity, affliction and suffering on massive scales. The descriptions are full of unpleasant conditions and destructive forces like fire, violence, darkness and torment. These types of descriptions are not new in Revelation, but are found throughout the Bible, portraying the disasters that result when nations turn away from God's ways. This prophecy focuses on what occurs when nations and entities persistently reject God's laws. They outline the judgments that afflict God's rebelling people & those ruling over them. See more about Judgment & the Sound of the Trumpet.
Nations/entities receive God's judgments after a moral fall (Jer. 48:21-47, 49:12-16, 8:7-13, Is. 47:6, Ez. 5:10-11), resulting from persistent rejection of God and His law. God endures long, but eventually withdraws protection to respect the entity's wishes, sending judgments that allow disasters to ensue. Their own actions bring about their afflictions. During each time of judgment, the Trumpet sound includes the warning to God's true followers, so they can escape (Ez. 33:4, Lk. 21:20-22, Rev. 18:4). Judgments affect ruling powers and inhabitants of the land, who all participated in rejecting God (2 Kings 21:10-18). After God does all He can to save, and the nation has descended into even worse crimes, the nation's fall is complete. This results in culminating catastrophes and power being taken from the ruling entity. God is in control of these events, and takes responsibility for placing and removing rulers (Dan. 2:36-38, Is. 14:24-25, Gen. 15:16, Hag. 2:22).
Revelation 8:2-6 "2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 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 upon the golden altar which was before the throne.1 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 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. 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 Trumpets = 7 successive time periods of warning and judgment. That the Trumpets cover consecutive periods, without gaps in between them, follows the same pattern established in other prophecies and as indicated by use of the number 7 (see more about "seven" in the 7 Churches). Also, the 5th and 6th Trumpets provide specific time frames, indicating each Trumpet describes large time periods and not just singular or short-term events.
Time Period #1 (34 AD to 217 AD): Trumpet #1
Revelation 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."
Time Period #2 (217 to 486 AD): Trumpet #2
Revelation 8:8-9 "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; 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."
Time Period #3 (486 to 752 AD): Trumpet #3
Revelation 8:10-11 "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; 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."
Time Period #4 (752 to 1299 AD): Trumpet #4
Revelation 8:12-13 "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. 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!"
Time Period #5 (1299 to 1449 AD): Trumpet #5
Revelation 9:1-12 "1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 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. 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. 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. 5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 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. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter."
Time Period #6 (1449 to 1840 AD): Trumpet #6
Revelation 9:13-20 "13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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.2 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the 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. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 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: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
Time Period #7 (1840 to Second Coming): Trumpet #7
Revelation 11:15-19 "15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."
Interlude Prophecies Inbetween the descriptions of the 6th and 7th trumpets are two prophecies (Rev. 10-11), one describing a little book being eaten (Revelation 10); and one describing the beast that would arise from the bottomless pit (Revelation 11). Both prophecies emphasize the increased understanding and elevation of God's word during the first half of the 1800s and help pinpoint the timeframe of the transition from the 6th to 7th Trumpet. They revolve around events occurring between 1789 and 1844 that introduce the prominent players during the 7th Period, which are:
- (A) God's end-time church, identified as those who "prophesy again" after experiencing the sweet book turned bitter (Rev. 10), and
- (B) Satan's end-time political power, identified as the power behind the French Revolution (Rev. 11).
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Additional Resources:Judgment & the Sound of the Trumpet
Fire and Incense
Mystery of God
The Little Book (Rev. 10)
The Bottomless Pit
The Beast that Ascends from the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 11)
Freemasonry and the French Revolution (Rev. 11)
The 7th Trumpet Start Date
Seal of God
Continue to the next study: Red Dragon (Rev. 12)