A Study in Revelation
The Seven Trumpets
In the previous chapter, seven seals were opened. and the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for one half hour. And then the seven angels were given trumpets. And another angel stood in the middle with a golden sensor. John’s vision continues with the sounding of the seven trumpets.
The first angel sounded the trumpet. And there was hail and fire mixed with blood. And the hail and fire was thrown down upon the earth. And they burned one-third of the trees and all the green grass.
The second angel sounded. And there was a huge object like a great mountain of fire which was thrown into the sea. And one-third of the sea became blood, one-third of the creatures in the sea died, one-third of the ships were destroyed.
The third angel sounded. And a great star fell from heaven. And this star was burning like a lamp and it fell upon one-third of the rivers, and upon the water fountains.
The star was named wormwood, and this star made one-third of the waters bitter. The Greek word for wormwood is apsinthos, which means undrinkable. Many men died from the waters because the they were undrinkable.
The fourth angel sounded. And one-third of the sun, one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars were struck and darkened. Which causes one-third of the day not to shine and one-third of the night not to give light.
And after the fourth trumpet sounds, an angel flying in the midst of heaven sounded with a loud voice to earth’s inhabitants. And the angel gave the inhabitants with a loud voice three woes because the remaining three trumpets were yet to sound by the remaining three angels.
The fifth angel sounded. And John saw a star from heaven fall on the earth. And the star was given a key to the bottomless pit, which is hell. This star refers to a demonic influence, Satan himself, and he opened the pit. And out of hell came smoke as smoke from a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened, and locusts came upon the earth. And they were given great power like the scorpions of the earth.
And the locusts were commanded not to hurt anything on the earth except those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And the locusts were not allowed to kill those without the seal of God, but to torment them for five months. And their power was like the torment of a scorpion, when they inflict men. These scorpions from the pit are not allowed to hurt those who have the seal of God on their foreheads. In the old testament, Satan requested to test Job. And God allowed him to do so. However He gave Satan this command:
In the same way God permitted and restricted Satan in Job, Satan will be restricted from doing harm on those with the seal of God on their foreheads during these five months. However, the ones without the seal will be tormented and will seek ways to die, but will be unable.
John gave a description of the locusts from the pit. They were like horses unto battle. They have heads like crowns of gold, with faces of men. Their head was like hair of a women. They had teeth like lions. They had breastplates as of iron, their wings were like chariots of many horses for battle. And they had tails like scorpions, which stings. And they were given power to hurt men for five months [except those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (verse 4)].
The scorpions had a king over them, who is the angel of the bottomless pit whose name in Hebrew is "Abaddon" and in Greek "Apollyon," meaning ruin, destruction, or perdition.
After these five months, the first woe is past, and two more woes occur during the last two trumpets.
When the sixth angel sounded the sixth trumpet, John heard a voice from the four horns from the alter commanding the the sixth angel to unbind the four angels which were bound in the Euphrates River. As these four angels were released they were prepared for a year, a month, a day and an hour to slay one-third of mankind. The angels used a army of 200 million horsemen to accomplish this assignment.
In John’s vision, John saw the ones who sat on the horses. The horsemen and the horses had powers to kill one-third of mankind by the fire, smoke and brimstone which came out of their mouths. Their powers were like the serpents' heads and tails.
The rest who were not killed by the army of horseman did not repent of their wicked ways. They did not repent from their worship of demons, and idols. None of the wicked repent. Pre-tribbers give a picture of a great multitude who will come to Christ Jesus during the tribulation. But Revelation gives an entirely different picture, especially after the sixth trumpet.
John saw another mighty angel come down from heaven. And he had a little open book. As the angel cried out with a loud voice, seven thunders spoke. John was about to write in his book. However a, voice from heaven told John do not write them in the book and seal up the things the seven angels said.
And John saw the angel who stood upon the sea and the earth and lifted his hand up to heaven and swore by God who lives forever that the time shall be no longer. But in the days the seventh angel sounds the trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished as he declared to His servants and prophets.
The angel who had the little book spoke again to John. And he went to the angel and asked him to give him the little book. And the angel commanded John to take the book and eat it. The book was sweet as honey in John’s mouth. But As soon as John ate the book, it became bitter. And the angel told John that he must prophesy again before many people from many nations and tongues and kings. This is the purpose for writing the book of Revelation. And earlier, John was instructed by Jesus to write this book and send it to the seven churches.2
John was given a device to measure the temple of God, the alter and those who worship therein. But he was commanded by the angel to not to measure the court, because it was given to the Gentiles. And Jerusalem, the holy city will be tread under foot for forty-two months.
On the Olivet instructions, before His death, Jesus gave these instructions to the Disciples Privately:
Therefore, the description given to John in Revelation, and the instructions Jesus gave to John and three other disciples on the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles during the time of great distress, and of great tribulation.
The voice in verse one told John He will grant authority to his two witnesses. and they will prophesy for 1260 days and they will be clothed in sackcloth. The two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands (candlesticks) who stand before God of the earth.
Who are these witnesses? Many believe one of these witnesses are Elijah. Others are divided between Moses and Enoch as the other witness. Elijah and Enoch did not die, they were sent up into heaven. Therefore, many believe they must be sent back to earth as witnesses. In Malachi, God says:
If Elijah is one of the two witness, He is sent before the day of the Lord. And pre-tribbers insist the day of the Lord is the tribulation.3 And these two witnesses are on earth during the great tribulation. Now this presents a dilemma for pre-tribbers. Because God said Elijah will be sent before the day of the Lord. Either one of the witnesses isn’t Elijah, or the Day of the Lord is not the Tribulation. I tend to believe the day of the Lord is after the tribulation. And there will be more comment regarding this later in this chapter.
These witness are the two olive trees as said by the one who spoke to John "who stand before God of the earth." In the old testament, angel revealed to Zechariah the two men with the lampstands and olive trees:
And these two witnesses are the two candlesticks. Earlier in Revelation, Jesus said the seven candlesticks are the seven churches: "the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."5
These two witness are given great power to protect themselves during the 1,260 days. Fire comes out of their mouths to devour their enemies. If anyone tries to hurt them, then they will be hurt in the same manner as they tried to hurt the witnesses. The witnesses have power to shut off heaven so that it may not rain, and they have power to turn the water into blood, and to smite the earth with plagues.
And after 1,260 days when they finished their testimony, the beast who comes out of the bottomless pit will war against them and will kill them.
And when these two witnesses are slain, their bodies will lie in the great city, which is called ‘Sodom and Egypt, where Jesus was Crucified. This great city is literally Jerusalem, and can not be any other city. Many people from many tongues and many nations will see their dead bodies for three and one-half days. And the dead bodies will not be put in graves. During these three and one-half days, The ones who dwell over the earth will rejoice and celebrate and send gifts to each other because the two witnesses that tormented them are now dead.
After the three and one-half days passed, the Spirit of life entered into their bodies, and the two witnesses stood on their feet. And the ones who beheld them became full of great fear. And the two witnesses heard a great voice from heaven that commanded them to "come up hither." And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud. And at the same hour, there was a great earthquake, and one-tenth of the city fell. The earthquake killed seven thousand men. The ones who remained gave glory to the God of heaven.
When does this great earthquake occur? It occurs the same time as the sixth seal in Revelation 6:12. And this will happen just before the seventh trumpet. And it happens at the seventh bowl. It’s at this time the remnant gave glory to God, after the tribulation.
As we look back at verses 2 and 3, the court which is outside of the temple has been given to the nations to tread under foot for 42 months, which is approximately 1260 days, and the two witnesses prophesy for 1260 days. And Jesus referred this time as the time of of great distress. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled which is 1260 days. Jesus further said:
It is after the time of the Gentiles and when the two witness finish their prophesying and their resurrection Jesus will come in a cloud with power and glory.
After the two witnesses are raptured into heaven, the second woe is past. And the third woe happens at the seventh trumpet.
The seventh angel sounded the seventh trumpet. And a voice from heaven said "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord..." At this trumpet, the kingdoms change to the kingdom of the Lord and His God. This is referring to none other than the millennial Kingdom. In First Corinthians, Paul said flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. And he continued further by saying that our bodies will be changed at the last trumpet.6 And as seen at the seventh trumpet in revelation, the kingdoms of the earth will become the Kingdom of God.
The twenty four elders7 that sat before God worshiped Him. And gave thanks to Him because of His great power and has reigned. They continue to say to God the nations were angry and His wrath is come, and the time has come to Judge the dead, and the time to give the saints and prophets and the ones who fear Him their reward and to destroy those who destroy the earth.
As we examine the past verses closely, the twenty-four elders say His wrath has come. When is the time of wrath? Referring back to the sixth seal, the multitudes who hid in caves shouted to the mountains of the rocks: "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"8 This happens on the day of the Lord, which is after the tribulation.
As we look further, the twenty-four elders say "and the time is come to Judge the dead..." When is the time for the dead to be judged? In one of His epistles, Paul wrote to Timothy:
Jesus comes to judge the quick and the dead at His appearing which happens after the tribulation.
And as we continue the twenty four elders said: "the ones who fear Him their reward..." Paul also wrote to Timothy:
This crown of righteousness the Lord will be Given to him on that day and to all of those who love His Appearing after the Tribulation. And Jesus said in the Last Chapter of Revelation:
The rewards that Jesus will give to every man will happen at His coming after the Tribulation.
Then the Temple of God in heaven will open. And the ark of His Testament will be seen. And then came lightning, thunder, hail and a great earthquake. This happens the same time as the seventh seal: "...and there were voices, and thundering, and lightning, and an earthquake."9
1-See also Daniel 12:5-7ff.
3-See Day of the Lord (http://tribulationcentral.com/day.html).
4-Please read the description of the sixth seal--Revelation 6-12-17.
6-1 Corinthians 15:50-55.
7-For further Discussion on the 24 elders, please read Come Up Hither (http:www.tribulationcentral.com/revelation/hither.html).