Revealing Revelation - Part 7
The Trumpet Judgments
We now enter the time of the trumpet judgments. Again, there are seven judgments. These judgments prepare to sound after the silence in Heaven is over (the calm before the storm). Remember, too, that this is Christ, the Judge judging the world for its rebellion toward the God of Heaven. 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 the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” This first trumpet calls forth judgment against plant life.
In Genesis 1:11 God creates plants. In Genesis 3:17 we read of the plants being cursed. Romans 8:22 says, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” This judgment affects the purification of the air. One third of the earth’s air purification system has been destroyed. That is an incredible amount of vegetation that has been destroyed. Not only has it been destroyed, but it has been replaced with the smoke of fire. This plague would seem to parallel the seventh plague that Moses brought upon Egypt in Exodus 9:25 relates, “And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast, and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.”
This miracle of hail and fire has been from a natural viewpoint. Great lightning would accompany this storm of hail and begin to burn whatever it struck. That may or may not be the case, but what we do know is that Christ, the Righteous Judge is pouring out His wrath upon the earth.
Trumpet two sounds and judgment is poured out on the seas. We are told, “…as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 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” (Revelation 8:8, 9). Jeremiah 51:25 gives us this account. “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyeth all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.”
It is very clear from this passage that 1/3 of all sea creatures will be judged. 1/3 of all ships will be destroyed. 1/3 of the sea will be turned to blood. All this is to be taken literally. John does make use of a simile here -“as it were”. This apparently was not a literal, burning mountain, but something that resembled a burning mountain, perhaps an asteroid?
Trumpet 3 rings out in verses 10, 11. Here we have a star falling from Heaven. It fell upon 1/3 of the rivers and 1/3 of the fresh water fountains. The second trumpet signaled judgment on the salt water. The third trumpet sounds forth its judgment upon the fresh waters. We see the name of the star is Wormwood or bitterness. The waters become bitter and poisoned killing many men. It becomes the judgment for idolatry. “Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood (Deuteronomy 29:18).Jeremiah 9:15 tells us, “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. The people of the earth now have gall to drink, and it kills many. Remember by this time 1.5 billion people have been taken by the seal judgments at one time. The trumpet judgments bring even more death. Those onboard 1/3 of the earth’s ships (no doubt thousands upon thousands), and now the plague of wormwood—bitter, poisonous water will see the end of life.
The fourth angel sounds in verse 12. Realize that in a purely physical way that our life is dependent on the sun. Without the sun crops would not grow. Without the sun the plants could not exist. Without the sun, temperatures would be so extreme that man could not live.
The fourth angel pronounces judgment on the objects created on the fourth day. 1/3 of the sun, moon and stars will be affected. For 1/3 of the day there will be no sunlight. No doubt, temperatures will be affected. Growing seasons will be affected causing even more plant life to deteriorate.
Genesis 1:14 tells us that the sun, moon, and stars were given for signs. Certainly the message of the stars is clear here. No man can mistake the wrath of God. Jesus discusses the same judgment in Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
NASA already is involved in tracking stars and asteroids that may be on a collision course with planet earth. They can plan all they want, but when the Judge is ready to judge, nothing will stop the movement in the heavens. Nothing will stop the barrage of meteors that may pound the earth.
Verse 13 leads to an angel flying through heaven saying, “…Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound.” What this angel is saying is that the worst is yet to come. As bad as things are; as many deaths that have taken place; as much as destruction has happened, this is only the beginning. There are three more trumpet judgments coming and the destruction is not over.
Trumpet number five blows in chapter 9:1. Here another star falls from Heaven, but this star is not in the form of a meteor. We read in Luke 10:18, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Isaiah 14:12 asks the question, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer?…” Revelation 12:7-9 mentions that satan was cast out into the earth. This star is a person for the keys of the bottomless pit were given to him. This can be none other than satan. The keys would seem to represent some sort of authority.
As he opens the pit a great smoke rises up and darkens the sun and the air just like a volcanic eruption—only worse. Again light is taken away. Jesus said “I am the Light of the world”. Without Him it is perfectly reasonable to think of the world as being in darkness. A tremendous band of locusts accompanies this smoke making things even darker.
These locusts are given power to hurt men for five months. These demonic locusts will not eat the regular diet of vegetation, but will feast on human flesh. They will have power to torment, but not to kill. These hideous looking beasts (verses 7-9) have a king. Verse 11 calls his name Abaddon in the Hebrew and Apollyon in the Greek. Both names mean “destroyer”. Proverbs 30:27 tells us, “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.” These demonic locusts will be led by one of their very own.
Trumpet number six looses the angels bound in the Euphrates. These demons have been kept for the very year, month, day, and hour. They shall kill 1/3 of the population that is left. It is possible that means another round of mass destruction of more than a billion people. Remember that in Revelation 6:8 the earth had already lost 1.5 billion people due to the fourth seal judgment.
Much activity has taken place around the area of the Euphrates River. The Garden of Eden was located there. Sin began in this region. This is where the first war was fought, the first murder committed, the Tower of Babel. This is where the flood began and this is where Israel went into captivity—a fitting place for the destruction of mankind to take place.
The condition of the world has never been like it will be during the Tribulation. Death will abound everywhere. The environment will be severely tampered with. Temperatures will be out of control. The smell of rotten corpses will be everywhere. God has entered the affairs of man in judgment. There is no turning back.
Trumpet seven takes place in Heaven. You can read about it in chapter 11:15-19. This is a time of praise for the justice of God and is yet another parenthetical judgment. God is receiving His rightful praise for righteous judgment. Here is another calm before the storm.
Seven more judgments await rebellious planet earth. These are the“vial” or “bowl” judgments as God pours out his wrath upon the earth. We will look at them next time.