Revelation 8:6-9:21 & 11:15-19 The 7 Trumpets of Judgment

Rev. 8:7 1st Trumpet

Hail, fire mixed with blood –

Weather is used by God to get attn of people

 Deut. 11:13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today — to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul —

Deut. 11:14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.

Deut. 11:15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

Deut. 11:16  Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.

Deut. 11:17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you.

 

God comes on the clouds (Ex 19:9)

Lighting is his weapon of Judgment

Psa. 144:6 Send forth lightning and scatter [the enemies]; shoot your arrows and rout them.

 

Hail – is another weather phenomena showing his judgment.  In Rev 16:21 – 100# hail balls after 7th Bowl.

 

Awful lot like Isa 30 where God speaking about final judgment, and says in Is. 30:30 The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.

 

This is the judgment of God coming under his sovereign rule. The Great Locust Hoard spoken of in the 5th trumpet is to be preceded by fire accd. to Joel 2:3 “before them fire devours and behind them a flame blazes.”

 

Rev. 8:8 2nd Trumpet

 

In fact, much of symbolism of the Trumpets is taken right out of Joel 2.

 

Joel 2:5 with a noise like that of chariots they (locust hoard) leap over mountains, like a crackling fire consuming stuble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle

Joel is speaking of mountains ablaze, we see that fiery mountain being tossed into the sea.  Judgment is coming from the sky upon man, and now it is coming upon the sea.  Death is everywhere.

 

Rev. 8:10 3rd Trumpet

 

waters turned bitter –

Though Joel doesn’t speak of bitter waters in his prophecy, Jeremiah does.  In Jer 9:15 God says that because his people have followed the Baals, and not obeyed his Law, they will be forced to eat bitter food and poisoned water.  He repeats this of the false prophets in Jer 23:15.

 

And it we turn a little further back, then we find that there is an interesting ritual in the Mosaic law that involves water that brings a curse (Num 5:27).  In this passage in numbers the wife suspected of adultery must drink water that has had the curses of the law washed into it.  If she is guilty then death will come her way, if not she will be innocent by the hand of God.

 

 

 

Rev. 8:11

All of this seems to be summed up in name of the star that falls.

 

Wormwood means bitterness and the waters it touches bring death to people, the very curse of God.

 

Rev. 8:12 4th Trumpet:

 

Again Joel provides us a background for what we are seeing in Revelation.

 

Joel 2:10 says that before this might army of locusts, the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

 

Why?  Because

 

Joel 2:11c The day of the Lord is great, it is dreadful.  Who can endure it?

 

4 Trumpets – hellacious judgments, nature gone awry, but all of them meant to bring an apostate world to repentance.  All of these events are under the power of God.  He is using the natural world in ever increasing ways to try to get the attention of those who refuse to bow their knee and worship.

 

Rev. 8:13

If last 4 Trumpets haven’t been enough to wake up the world, then the next three must be bad, for an angel is crying out,

 

Woe! Woe! Woe!

 

Rev. 9:1 5th Trumpet

 

Locusts of hell –

imagery is terrifying and mind-boggling

Locusts led by the angel of the Abyss whose name means Destroyer (Rv 9:11). This is none other than Satan and his locusts must be the fallen angels, the demons.

Joel 1-2 pictures this army of locusts as destroying all within their way, but even in Joel, there can be freedom from the locusts.  It comes by returning to me with all your heart…then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people…I [the Lord] will drive the northern army far from you (Joel 2:12, 18).

 

This same promise is pictured in Revelation 9:4 where those sealed on the forehead by God are safe from this demonic hoard.

 

As believers living at the end of the ages, this should bring us great hope.  Sure we live in a fallen world and we must live through the great birth pains of the end of time, but even as God is pouring out his wrath on the world using every thing from nature to evil spirits in order to bring men to repentance, he makes his church a promise – if you are sealed with the Spirit, the demonic cannot torment you.  Just as in the days of Moses when the plagues came upon Egypt but the people of Israel living in Goshen were spared (Exo 8:22, 9:26) so it will be for the sealed children of God when the demonic invades the earth.

 

Doesn’t mean they wont pester you, make life hard for you or difficult.

 

Does mean that because the Holy Spirit dwells in you, the demonic cannot dwell there as well.

 

Rev. 9:5

How long will this demonic invasion happen?

 

5 months –

first mention of a time period in revelation that isn’t eternal like the “day and night” worship in Rev 4-5

3-6 months is the life of a locust.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_locust)

so 5 months is a full life.

The demons will live their fully appointed time, but it wont be forever.  It is bounded and marked out. During their time, life will be torturous, dark and hopeless for the unbelieving.

 

Rev. 9:14 6th Trumpet

 

Euphrates –

Was a great boundary between Israel/Rome and the Northern barbarian hordes.  In Rev 16:12-14, 16 we see a similar activity occuring around the Euphrates, where the river is dried up and the kings from the East come forth and gather the nations for battle at Armageddon.

 

is the 6th Trumpet and the 6th Bowl the same?  Probably not.  But both are images of deadly war.  And given the sci-fi nature of these 200 million troops (v16) with lion heads with fire, smoke and sulfur coming from their mouths (v17) and tails like snakes (v19), I am assuming they are somehow related to the demonic hoard released in the 5th Trumpet.

 

Their presence should cause men to repent, but they dont, as vs. 20 declares

 

Rev. 9:20

The idolatry of the nations runs deep and people are hopelessly ensnared in the ways of evil and even when confronted with judgment, the human heart is incapable of properly responding to God.

 

Rev. 11:15 7th Trumpet

 

Given the stubborn heart of humanity and the refusal to repent, it is why God’s grace is so important.

 

It is his grace that allows the beleiver to declare that the kingdom is on earth and in heaven.

 

It is grace that brings us to confess that Christ will reign.

 

It is grace that allows us to fall on our faces and thankfully worship God for judging every act of insolence, and for rewarding every act of obedience

 

Rev. 11:19

Though 7th Trumpet doesn’t show us the final judgment, we get the sense that it is present.  Time has ended as the lightning, rumbles, thunder, earthquake and hail falls.

 

So how does the grace of God really free us from the wrath of God?

 

Jn 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

believe

live for Christ, don’t reject him by word or deed

 

Is 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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