Revelation Chapter Eight
Introduction to the Seven Trumpet Judgements
The seventh seal opens, causing a half an hour of silence, followed by seven trumpet judgements. Several conclusions could be made here, but keeping with the Biblical context of Revelation,
and what the Bible teaches concerning the tribulation, we can understand the cause and effect of this silence.
As we have learned thus far, the churches would eventually go completely apostate, and God would send judgement by allowing Satan to rule in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). This occurs at the beginning of the great tribulation, and not only will he rule in the churches, but he will be allowed to deceive the nations as well. This is represented by the two beasts in Revelation Chapter 13.
see also (Revelation 20:1-3) (Revelation 20:7-8)
Therefore, because Satan is ruling in the churches, and deceiving the nations,the effect is virtually nobody is being saved throughout the world. We know there is joy in the presence of the angels of God in heaven over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:7) (Luke 15:10), but now is a time of silence. We know this silence will last about half an hour. Earlier we learned that God uses the term "one hour" to refer to the duration of the whole tribulation period. see notes on Revelation 3:10
We also learn it is divided into two parts, and here we have a clear reference. This space of about half an hour is referring to the first part of the tribulation. The opening of this seventh seal starts the sounding of the seven trumpets which we will learn is the Judgement upon the churches (1 Peter 4:17).
note: The true Gospel will not be silenced completely during this period, but there will be a spiritual famine of "hearing the words of the Lord." see (Amos 8:11-12).
God's word shall fall upon deaf ears until this famine is over. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17), but God through His Holy Spirit must open the heart in order for them to hear (Acts 16:14) (Luke 24:45) (John 6:29), which He will do one last time in the last days after the famine (Joel 2:30-32). Praise the Lord!
To further help us understand the seven trumpet judgements, we need to look at some of the similitude's in Joshua Chapter 6, concerning the city of Jericho. We will briefly examine a few that are very prominent.
The Israelites were silent while they sounded their trumpets of warning (Joshua 6:10). We have silence in heaven in (Revelation 8:1). There were seven trumps in (Joshua 6:4), as well as there is in (Revelation 8:2). The people of Jericho remained in the city under a false sense of peace and safety, and did not take heed to the sounding of the trumpets, as those who put their trust in false doctrines in the apostate churches, rather than completely trusting in Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Jericho was accursed, along with all the people therein, except Rahab and those in her household (Joshua 6:17), who represent the remnant of believers God will save during the tribulation before the final judgement
(Matthew 24:21-22). At the last trump, there was a shout (Joshua 6:16), as there will be at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
(1 Corinthians 15:52). With the exception of Rahab and those in her household, who joined Israel and were saved (Joshua 6:25). Jericho and all who were in it were utterly destroyed (Joshua 6:21). Than the city was burned with fire (Joshua 6:24), and an additional curse was placed upon anyone who tries to rebuild Jericho (Joshua 6:26). There is to be no revival of the local congregations as Satan shall rule them to the end (Revelation 18:19).
note: Rahab who is referred to as a harlot, and who was a stranger
to the common wealth of Israel, is found in our Lord's genealogy (Matthew 1:5). God teaches us that there is neither Greek nor Jew,
Male nor Female (Galatians 3:28), and all those that were once strangers and foreigners are welcome to the citizenship of the saints
in Christ Jesus.
The seven trumpets represent God's sovereign perfect complete judgement. see Numbers in the Bible
The seventh trump is sounded in (Revelation 11:15-19)
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
silence in heaven spiritual famine, nobody is being saved throughout the world.
about/half an hour first part of the tribulation period
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
seven angels believers, which are the messengers of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20)
stood before God Believers stand before God as they are His servants (Revelation 1:1). They have access to the throne through Jesus
(Hebrews 4:14-16), and carry out the Lord's word.
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.
another angel This appears to represent Jesus, as He alone can make intercession on behalf of the saints to God (1 Timothy 2:5). Now the OldTestament types and foreshadows are fulfilled in Jesus our
High Priest (Hebrews 8:1-5), as He ever liveth to make intercession
(Hebrews 7:25), having entered into the Holiest by His own blood (Hebrews 9:12). To study the significance of the altar of incense in the Old Testament see (Exodus 30:1-10).
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
prayers of the saints Jesus intercedes and prays on behalf of the believers in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:26-27). Believers agree with the Lord's Judgements for He that is called Faithful and True, doth judge in righteousness (Revelation 19:11).
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.
censer filled with fire of the altar This seems to refer to the answered prayers in accordance with the will of God, being cast into the earth to fulfil His righteous judgements which came in the form of voices, thunderings, and an earthquake.
And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
trumpets We see the believers have the trumpets because they sound the warning of impending doom as they bring the word of God. The judgement of unbelievers is sealed not only by the content of what believers say, but also by the reaction of the unbelievers to what they hear (2 Corinthians 2:14-16) (Philippians 1:28).
Before we proceed, we must do a little research to understand the following trumpet judgements, which are written in Parabolic language. We will find many keys to unlock the spiritual implications from the Old Testament.
Many will come from Exodus when God sint the ten plaques upon Egypt. While God sent severe judgement, the Israelites were unaffected by the plagues. We will also see how God spiritually protects the true believers through
the trumpet judgements.
We find that there is an emphasis put upon the term "third part" throughout these judgements. To understand this, we need tl look to see how God uses thirds in other areas of scripture in a similar fashion. We first come across this in (2 Samuel 8:1-2). The third part were spared and became David's servants. Notice how David "measured" those who were to be saved, and those who were to be put to death. We find this in Revelation Chapters 11 and 21, which helps us understand when God measures the temple, and the Holy City. He is referring to believers.
Next we see the use of thirds in (2 Kings 1:9-15). After God had consumed two groups of "fifty with his fifty", He has mercy on the third group of "fifty with his fifty."
Lastly, we find in (Zechariah 13:8-9) that "two parts" shall be cut off and die, but the "third" shall be left therein. In all three of these examples, the two thirds were cursed, and the third part received mercy. Interestingly, the decimal fraction for two thirds is .666, which we find to be a cursed number (Revelation 13:16-18) (Revelation 14:11). The infamous Mark of the Beast.
So in conclusion, it seems when God refers to a third part, He is referring to those who have been given mercy and are not cursed. This is true in the case of believers, this is true in the case of His church. However we must keep in mind, that although God always had a corporate body which represented Himself upon the earth, such as the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, and the corporate body of the church in the New Testament, we must note that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel"
(Romans 9:6), nor does the church produce all wheat, but also tares (Matthew 13:24-30), and not all ten virgins had oil for their lamps, for five were foolish and five were wise (Matthew 25:1-13), which also seems to answer why God used "fifty with his fifty" in our previous example in (2 Kings 1:9-15).
Now keeping with our flow of logic, and what we have learned concerning the tribulation, we can now understand these trumpet judgements upon the third part, refer to the judgements upon the corporate churches. Now the three measures of meal have become completely leavened (Matthew 13:33).
A seemingly contradiction seems to appear here that I feel needs to be expounded upon before we examine the individual trumpet judgements. If the churches are completely apostate and therein dwells no true believers, who is sounding the trumpets?
We previously have made several references as to the local congregations, the corporate churches, the true believers, etc... As we just previously studied, that not all who are in the corporate body are truly saved. Only God knows who they are, and only God knows if they will be saved. Therefore we have the visible church, which is the corporate body, and the invisible church, which are those who are spiritually protected through the tribulation, and are not deceived by the signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9), or the false prophets, that are so very close to the truth, that Jesus warns us that "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). These true believers will come out of the churches when they recognize these abominations, or they will be forced out when they challenge the spiritual leaders concerning their doctrines, practices, etc... They will be sounding trumpets of judgement to a deaf and deceived church as they warn those who remain in them. Remember this will be a time when nobody is being saved, a true definition of tribulation, but after this famine, God will do one more great work bringing multitudes to salvation outside of the apostate churches. The true believers will be "saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (Revelation 14:7). These multitudes being saved will continue right up to the last trump, when Jesus comes. Many of these observations will iron themselves out and become clear as we continue in this awesome prophetic book. We must constantly study God's word as He is revealing more and more in these last days (Daniel 12:8-10), as the time is at hand. Many will be caught unaware and will be in the dark because they will have missed the spiritual message (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4). They will find themselves hopelessly lost for eternity (Matthew 7:21-23). Remember, things will be business as usual when Jesus returns, especially for those who are carnal minded (Matthew 24:37-39).
This study has had much repetition thus far, and it shall continue throughout. Everything that has been presented involves intensive study, with scriptural support, and is definitely for those who have been weaned from the milk (Isaiah 28:9-13).
It can be so hard for us to wrap our minds around such hard teachings. That God would put an end to the church age, and allow Satan to have so much authority and power through the tribulation. Not only in the nations, but in the churches as well, but this is what the Bible teaches us. It is not a new thing for God to send judgements upon this sinful world, especially to those who are the caretakers of His Gospel, who have made a jest of it, or have used it to glorify themselves in self righteousness. The gospel is all about Jesus, and privileged are those to whom God reveals His Son to. Those who truly know Jesus will only want to Glorify Him. This is an exciting time for us who love our Lord and Saviour Jesus, as we will get to see Him an all His Righteous Glory, when every eye shall see Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, after this world has blasphemed and mocked Him for 2000 years. The corporate church had its purpose, but the Ark of Noah had its purpose, and the beautiful temples in Jerusalem theirs, we now like Abraham desire a better country (Hebrews 11:10) (Hebrews 11:16). Amen
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.
hail and fire mingled with blood There is a literal occurrence of a similar event in (Exodus 9:24-26). note that the hail broke every tree, and that the hail did not fall in Goshen were the children of Israel were. This was the seventh plague that God sent upon Egypt. Interestingly, we learn later that God refers to the apostate church as Egypt (Revelation 11:8). Now lets see what the spiritual implications are for this first trumpet judgement.
third part we concluded refers to the churches
trees/burnt up trees refer to believers (Psalm 1:3) (Jeremiah 17:8) (Zechariah 4:3) (Romans 11:13-24)
green grass burnt up also refers to believers (Revelation 9:4)
The result of the first trumpet is that the church is spiritually dead. The true believers are no longer in the midst. Remember though, this does not mean they no longer are on earth, as we see them "protected" in the fifth trumpet, see (Revelation 9:4). Just like Israel in Goshen.
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;
great mountain Mountains in scripture often represent kingdoms which will be expounded upon in Revelation Chapter 17.
This great mountain was God's external kingdom upon earth, now in judgement as it is seen burning with fire, and cast into the sea.
cast into the sea cast into hell/judgement
blood judgement see(Exodus 7:14-25)
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.
creatures/in the sea Those who are physically alive, but are spiritually dead, have no hope of salvation in the apostate churches under judgement, resulting in the second death, which is the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).
ships were destroyed the churches
The idea of the second trump is that after the cross, the Kingdom of heaven grew into a great mountain upon the whole earth
(Daniel 2:31-45), bringing in many to be eternal citizens of the great city above (Galatians 4:26). As we have learned, God's external representation upon earth, would become apostate and fall under judgement. Here we see the great mountain burning with fire under the wrath of God, and cast into the sea "hell" (Jeremiah 51:25-27), which becomes blood, meaning those who have not been saved "pulled out of the depths of hell", now have no chance of salvation in these churches under judgement. This is indicated by the creatures which were in the sea and had life died, and ultimately the ships "churches" were destroyed (Revelation 18:16-24).
note: God refers to the Apostate Church also as Babylon in Revelation Chapters 17-18. see (Revelation 14:8-13)
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;
fell a great star appears to represent Satan (Isaiah 14:1-17)
burning as it were a lamp (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
rivers/fountains of waters represents the life giving Gospel (John 4:14) (Revelation 7:17) (Revelation 21:6)
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.
wormwood The star is named wormwood which means bitter, or cursed.
The idea of the third trump is that God sends judgement upon the apostate churches in the form of false prophets who bring gospels that are polluted with lies and deceit which cause death (Jeremiah 23:14-17).
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.
sun moon stars see study notes for Revelation Chapter 6 verses 12-13.
The idea of the fourth trump is that God removes all light from the churches. They are now filled with darkness (Revelation 2:5)
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!
woe woe woe Three woes mean three more trumps to come.
Woe to the idol shepherd (Zechariah 11:17),
woe to the spiritual leaders in the apostate churches.
See our Lord's language to the Spiritual leaders of His time, the seven woes of (Matthew 23:13-39), woe to those who betray the Lord Jesus (Matthew 26:24).