The Seven Trumpets: Revelation 8:2-11:19

Revelation 8:2-6 “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them was given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”
 
Here John is told of the preparation of the seven trumpets. The prayers of the saints are mentioned later when they ask God for vengeance on those who shed the blood of the saints. The noises, thunderings, lightnings and earthquake are signs of God's will being done on earth.
 
Revelation 8:7 “The first angel sounded, and hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”
 
In Isaiah 61:3, the trees are the righteous. Isaiah 40:6-8, the grass represents people. The hail and fire, mingled with blood are thrown to the earth which indicates bloodshed and war. This trumpet can only represent the persecutions against the disciples and followers of Christ until the toleration of Christianity initiated by Constantine in 313 AD.1 Thousands of Christians were persecuted by various Roman Emperors starting with Nero in 64 AD.2 It wasn't until Galerius' edict 311 AD and Constantine's edict 313 AD that Christianity became tolerated in the Roman Empire.3 But this wasn't the end of true Christian persecution. Rome's toleration was a political move designed to modify the true church to fit with Roman pagan traditions and the Romn armies worship of Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun").4 Their day of worship was Sunday, the day of the sun.
Time period: c.31-330 AD.
 
Revelation 8:8-9 “Then the second angel sounded, And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
 
The great mountain represents the Western Roman Empire which was defeated in battle by the Goths in the Battle of Adrianople (9 August 378 AD)5 and in the Battle of Allia (390 or 387AD)6 which opened the way for the Goths to sack Rome. This period in history was dominated by Barbarian tribes who ravaged Europe in the fourth and fifth centuries. First were the Gothic wars, then the Huns who ravaged Europe, and finally the Vandals who sacked Rome.7
Time period, c.378-455 AD.
 
Revelation 8:10-11 “Then the third angel sounded, And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”
 
1Kings 18:5 “And Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go into the land to all the springs of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, so that we will not have to kill any livestock.””
 
The waters and springs of water are the people living in the holy land; this was where Abraham and Moses brought the desert to life by digging for water. This is also where the great River Euphrates is situated, one of the rivers mentioned in Genesis which came from the Garden of Eden, where life all began. So this prophecy is directed at people living in the Middle East. The Middle East was controlled by the Byzantine Empire, but a new religion was just starting to form led by the self-proclaimed prophet Muhammad. By the time of his death in 632 AD Muhammad and his followers had taken almost the whole Arabian Peninsula. By 661 AD Muslim armies had conquered almost the entire Middle East.After the Muslims had taken and destroyed Carthage for the second time in its history they tried to enter Europe, but they were stopped by the Franks at the battle of tours in 733 AD.9
Time period, c.613-733 AD.
 
Revelation 8:12 “Then the fourth angel sounded, 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 were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.”
 
These celestial objects are symbolically struck with darkness which enables Satan and evil to flourish. This period is reflected in history as the dark ages. During this period only high ranking officials and clergy had access to the true light of the gospel hence the entire world was in darkness and in desperate need of spiritual light.
Time period: c.600-1000 AD.
 
Revelation 8:13 “And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!””
 
The angel flying through the midst of heaven has a message to declare to the inhabitants of the earth. The earth represents the kingdom of the beast so this trumpet should only affect those who live in the kingdom of the beast, the Roman Byzantine Empire. This is confirmed in the next few verses as the locusts are commanded not to harm the grass of the earth or any green thing, or any tree which represent true Christians and the righteous Jews.
 
Revelation 9:1-12 “Then the fifth angel sounded, And I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it, they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like faces of men. They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lion's teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and their were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after this”
 
The star fallen from heaven is none other than Satan. Apollyon in Greek means Destroyer. The Destroyer is the angel who wiped out the Assyrian army and the angel of the final tenth plague in the Exodus. Here we are led to believe that Satan actually controls what the locusts do.
 
David identifies Satan as the Destroyer.
 
Psalm 17:4-5 “....I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer. Uphold my steps in Your paths that my footsteps may not slip.”
 
This trumpet represents the Mongol hordes led by Genghis Khan when they invaded Northern Europe and the Middle East. The Mongols all rode on horses, they all wore breastplates of iron, they favored long hair and they were all formidable archers on horseback. The Mongols often rode passed their enemy and struck with an arrow as they were facing backwards, the scorpion's sting.10Their faces were covered with a thick main of hair including thick beards which made their faces look like a lion’s face. The Mongols aided the Crusaders in their conquests into the holy land. Israel was impoverished and many people died in the conflicts.11 The Mongols were the first to use gunpowder in Europe which they had acquired from the Chinese after invading and settling in Northern China.12 The Mongols also appear to favor the colours red, blue and yellow the flag of Mongolia today is a mixture of these three colours.13 The locusts are commanded to hurt people for 5 months which convert to 150 years. Officially the Mongol kingdom tormented Europe for approximately 152 years.
Time period: c.1206 - 1353 AD.
 
Revelation 9:13-21 “Then the sixth angel sounded, And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.' So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million, I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in vision, those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulphur yellow, and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents, having heads and with them they do harm. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
 
Uriah Smith identifies the sixth trumpet as being the Turks from the Ottoman Empire and their conquests against the remainder of the Byzantine Empire. The Turkish uniform was composed largely of red or scarlet, blue and yellow. The Turks used gunpowder which had recently been introduced into warfare by the Mongols. The gunpowder used in their cannons was made of a mixture of saltpeter, charcoal and Sulphur. The Hebrew word for Sulphur is brimstone. The Turkish tribes in Anatolia were unified by Osman I and the Ottoman Empire officially began c.1299 AD.14
Time period: c.1299 AD onwards
 
This seems to be a good identification, however, because the four angels who are bound at the River Euphrates are released to kill a third of mankind I can't go past the Crusades initiated by the Roman Catholic Church against the Turks. The first crusade was started by Pope Urban in 1095 AD and there were a series of crusades for 200 years until the last Christian province of Acre was taken in 1291 AD.15 
 OR Time period: c.1095-1291 AD.
 
  
The Mighty Angel and the Little Book
 
Revelation 10:1-4 “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.””
 
The mighty angel is Michael. The little book is usually associated with the book of Daniel which was to be sealed until the time of the end. In Daniel 12:1-13, Daniel is told what would happen to his people. Daniel was also told that he would, ".... rest, and will rise to your inheritance at the end of the days." This is the end of the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days mentioned in Daniel 12:12 (see my blog page on Daniel 12).
Time period: c.1360 AD
 
Revelation 10:5-6 “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hands to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer.”
 
Here we have Michael declaring that there should be delay no longer. The Israelites have been sealed and the first resurrection can now commence.  Michael raises his hands to swear by God who created everything. This is one of the mysteries of God that He did indeed create everything and it identifies God as our Creator and the rest of us His creation.
 
Revelation 10:7 “but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”
 
When the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet the mystery of God will be finished.
 
Revelation 10:8-11 “Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
 
The little book is open because it is being read to see what is written inside it. Seth J. Pierce identifies the bitter taste with the 1844 bitter disappointment after which the Adventists were to prophesy again.16
 
  
The little book is open because it is being read to see what is written in it. Honey is well represented in scripture and in Jewish tradition honey is linked with God’s word and His judgment, (Psalm 19:9-10). During the holiday of Shavout there is a Jewish custom which involves honey. A slate is presented which has written on it “Moses commanded us the Torah”(Deut. 33:4), “may the Torah be my occupation”, and “The Lord called to Moses”(Lev. 1:1). The rabbi then puts a little honey on the slate and the child licks the honey from the letters with his tongue. And then they bring the honey cake upon which is inscribed “The Lord God gave me a skilled tongue to know,” (Isaiah 50: 4-5), and the rabbi reads every word of these verses and the child repeats after him. And then they bring a peeled hard-boiled egg upon which is written “Mortal, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll” and I ate it and it tasted as sweet as honey to me (Ezekiel 3:3). And the rabbi reads every word and the child repeats after him. And they feed the child the cake and the egg, for they open the mind.14 In Ezekiel the honey that Ezekiel ate also represented the word of God.
 
The little book is generally identified as the book of Daniel amongst SDA’s, but most fail to identify the bitter after taste. Seth J. Pierce identifies the bitter taste with the 1844 bitter disappointment after which the Adventists were to prophesy again.17 The bitter after taste is actually a result of what Daniel’s little book contains. The little book was as sweet as honey in John's mouth because it contained the many names of those who would be saved in the first resurrection. But it left a bitter after taste because of the many names that were not written in it. In Daniel 12:2 we are told that some of Daniel's people would receive, ".... everlasting shame and contempt." John is then told that he must prophesy about the rest of us and kings. In other words this is not the final resurrection and John must prophesy about the rest of the people on the earth and their kingdoms.
  
 
Revelation 11:1-3 “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
 
Seth J. Pierce says in his book “What We Believe,” that the measuring of the temple is the start of the investigative judgment, but the Bible doesn’t mention any investigative judgment at this time.
 
John is given a measuring rod and the angel tells John to measure the temple, the altar and those who worship there. "those," being; the 24 elders, the four cherubim, the angels and the spiritual souls of the saints under the altar. The temple area is measured because the number of the one hundred and forty-four thousand Israelites is now complete and it is being prepared for them. The court outside the temple is not measured because it is reserved for the Gentiles and it will be measured and prepared on the last day.
 
31 + 1260 = 1291
 
The Gentiles, the Romans, would tread Jerusalem underfoot for 1260 years. Yehoshuah/Jesus was received up to heaven c.31 AD. In 1291 AD the last Roman Province of Acre was captured and this prophecy was fulfilled.
 
Revelation 11:4-6 “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.”
 
The dark ages for the church began when the church started by Jesus and the Apostles became influenced by pagan Rome, c.100 AD.
 
100 + 1260 = 1360 AD
 
This is the same date that Michael stood up to protect Israel, (see Daniel 12:1 and 12:11 ).
 
The two witnesses are generally held to be the Old Testament and the New Testament both being a witness to the Messiah, His foretold coming and His actual arrival and testimony. The two witnesses' prophecy are the various prophecies in the Bible; the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven thunders and finally the seven bowls of wrath. These plagues have been effecting people on earth from c.31 AD until today and they will continue until their testimony is finished.
 
Revelation 11:7-10 “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”
 
This prophecy foretells the future eradication of the Bible. During the dark ages of the church the Bible was only read by those who could afford to have a copy made and by those in prominent positions within the Roman Catholic Church. The beast in the first instance is the Roman Empire. The prophecy predicts that the Bible will be eradicated from daily life when Satan is released. By then most Christians will be fed up with the atrocities of the Roman Catholic Church and all churches will suffer as a consequence of their abominations, their doctrinal fraud and their blasphemies.
 
Revelation 11:11-14 “Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.”
 
SDA Commentators like Uriah Smith argue that this prophecy was fulfilled by the French, but that theology is based on Christ returning in 1844. As with all SDA theology it is geared towards the 1840 arrival of Christ. Which we all know didn’t happen. This is why this must be a future event when everyone, not just one nation, will burn their Bibles and they will be outlawed. Then after three and half days/years the Bible will be brought back to life, possibly by Christ Himself.
 
 
The Seventh Trumpet Sounds
 
Revelation 11:15-19 “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”
 
At the sounding of the seventh trumpet the one hundred and forty-four thousand children of Israel were raised and God revealed Himself to them. It does not signal the end of humanity or His second coming, because after the sounding of the trumpet and after the twenty-four elders declare that God and His Christ will reign forever, they still say, “.... and who is to come ....”  Therefore the seventh trumpet signals the start of the thousand year reign at which God and His Christ began their reign which lasts forever and ever. Notice that this is the time that the people on earth are judged, not before the sounding of the seventh trumpet as supposed by SDA theology.
 
The people on earth have been judged, by the one hundred and forty-four thousand Israelites, since the start of the thousand year reign. The one hundred and forty-four thousand Israelites received their reward by being able to reign in heaven with Christ during the thousand year reign, ( Revelation 20:6). The Investigative judgment is reserved for only the 144,000 Israelites who judge our everyday activities which we are accountable for at the final judgment.
 
God and His Christ have been destroying those who destroy the earth with the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven thunders and the seven bowls of wrath, from c.31 AD onwards. Most countries are destroying the earth by extracting timber, oil, ore, uranium, coal, and other resources. These were put there by God for a reason. The more resources we remove the more unstable the earth will be become.
 
 
References
1. Constantine the Great, Wikipedia, 2015.
2. http://www.unrv.com/culture/christian-persecution.php
3. http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/source/edict-milan.asp
4. http://www.mindserpent.com/American_History/introduction/footnotes/ft_sol_invictus_001.html
5. The Battle of Adrianople (Hadrianopolis), http://www.roman-empire.net/army/adrianople.html, 2015.
6. Battle of the Allia, http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/romebattles/p/battleallia.htm, 2015
7. History of the Vandals by Brian Adam ('Gaiseric'), http://www.roman-empire.net/articles/article-016.html, 2015
8. Muhammad in Islam, Wikipedia, 2015.
9. BATTLE OF TOURS (732 A.D.), http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/notes/tours.html, 2015.
10. Genghis Khan and the Great Mongol Empire, http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/h11mon.htm, 2015.
11. Mongol raids into Palestine, Wikipedia, 2015.
12. The Nomadic Influence on the Transmission of Gunpowder, http://www.monkeytree.org/silkroad/gunpowder/mongol.html, 2015.
13. Flag of Mongolia, Wikpedia, 2015.
14. Osman I, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Osman_I.aspx, 2015.
15. Crusades, Wikipedia, 2015.