- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Rapture
- 3. The Tribulation Opens
- 4. Stage 1 - The Seven Seals
- 5. Stage 2 - The Seven Trumpets
- 6. Stage 3 - The Seven Bowls
- 7. The Tribulation Closes
- 8. The Thread - traced in The Rapture and The Tribulation
Stage 2 - The Seven Trumpets
The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
Revelation 8 v 1 – 9 v 21 also 11 v 15
1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.
4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
TRUMPET – 1 sounded:
Storm of Hail and Fire
7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth.
A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
Global storm of fire and hail
TRUMPET – 1 explained:
This second stage of judgement highlights the fact that God is acting in judgement as opposed to the occurrence of natural events.
We have previously highlighted an interesting parallel on the ‘Exodus’ page, when from the third plague onward - the plague of gnats – God made a distinction between his divine power and the limited power of the Egyptian magicians.
Here too, God is now demonstrating that the judgements of the seven trumpets are divine judgements. Also, in the seventh plague in Egypt there was hail and fire mixed with hail.
The seventh plague storm was limited to Egypt whereas this terrifying storm is on a global scale. One third of the earth’s trees are destroyed and all the grass is destroyed. This dreadful storm is earth shattering.
Whether this storm is the result of multiple volcanic eruptions across the continents or an unprecedented storm of hail and fire sent from God; its scale is unprecedented and comes without warning or remedy.
Consider the destruction and death toll caused by the Grenfell Tower disaster, which was one single high-rise block; or consider the horrific Californian and SW Australian bush fires. By contrast; the devastation caused in this first trumpet blast is unimaginable as one third of the earth is affected!
The aftermath of such a horrific storm will include disease, famine and death on an unimaginable and unmanageable scale. The helplessness of human government will be evident to all mankind. Humanitarian crisis will have a whole new meaning!
The above image shows the devastation of the forest fires that swept across California in 2017. Man was powerless against the forces of nature. Think of the devastation and carnage that will happen as one third of the earth is on fire!
TRUMPET – 2 sounded:
8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
This will actually happen during the Tribulation
TRUMPET – 2 explained:
The earth has not yet recovered from the first trumpet judgement and here we have the second trumpet judgement following in its wake.
In this next divine judgement a massive extra-terrestrial body enters the earth’s atmosphere and plunges into the sea. There can be little doubt that this will be a meteorite or an asteroid.
The devastation is immense as a third of the sea turns red, a third of the creatures in the sea die and a third of ships are destroyed.
Areas of the sea have been known to turn reddish in colour when, for example, mass destruction of marine micro-organisms discolour the water when plankton is starved of sunlight and oxygen.
This has been witnessed before. When an inland lake freezes over, the sunlight still penetrates the clear ice. Life under water continues for many creatures.
However, if there is heavy snowfall on top of the frozen ice, the sunlight is blocked out and the above phenomenon has been known to occur.
Whatever the cause, a third of the sea turns red and the sea creatures in the affected area die.
Whether by the effects of a giant tsunami or by other unknown causes; shipping in the affected area is destroyed at the loss of many thousands of lives.
Once again, mankind is utterly helpless and cannot prevent or mitigate this judgement.
TRUMPET – 3 sounded:
Great Star – Wormwood
10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—11 the name of the star is Wormwood.
A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
Asteroid or Comet - fantasy will become fact
TRUMPET – 3 explained:
Luke 21 v 11
10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
The Lord Jesus warned of fearful events and great signs from heaven. This is the fulfilment of his warning.
Now in this third trumpet judgement, something like a comet collides with the earth and its point of impact is land based rather than the sea as in the previous meteorite or asteroid.
This comet could well fracture into several pieces as it enters earth’s atmosphere and so the result is that a third of the earth’s fresh water supply is polluted with a deadly poison. Once again, death is rampant across the affected areas of earth.
Now, as a result of the second and third trumpet judgments, there can be no doubt whatsoever that these judgments are coming from the God of heaven whom men have forsaken.
The death toll from these first three trumpet judgments is incalculable and renders human government utterly ineffective on earth.
TRUMPET – 4 sounded:
The Sun, Moon & Stars darkened
12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, 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 turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
Mysterious black body will visit our Solar System
TRUMPET – 4 explained:
The Plague of Darkness
Exodus 10 v 21-22
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.
Once again we see a parallel with God’s judgments in the Egyptian plagues. In this fourth trumpet judgement God will cause a supernatural darkness to affect a third of the sun, moon and stars. Surely men will now recognise the hand of God as the heavenly bodies are affected in this judgement.
We have pointed out on the ‘Creation’ page on Day 4 – God created time and he appointed two great lights; the greater light (the Sun) and the lesser light (the Moon) to govern the day and the night.
Now God revisits his creation covenant with mankind and he uses these same two great lights to illustrate his omnipotence in divine intervention and judgement.
This darkness can only be explained in terms of God’s supernatural intervention in our Solar System.
J Allen - Revelation
J Allen suggests the following explanation - page 246
"It is much more in keeping with the plain statements of Scripture to see described here an astronomical happening. A black body of some kind, a body that absorbs light instead of reflecting it, is allowed of God to penetrate the solar system. Some of these bodies have already been identified within our galaxy."
"The hand of God overrules the proportions of the body and its orbit so that, instead of total destruction, it produces one of the most dramatic signs in the heavens ever witnessed. In its passage this body causes a partial eclipse of the sun in the day, and a partial eclipse of the moon at night."
"As men watch in terror it darkens one third of the stars normally visible. This intruder would have the double effect of shortening the day by four hours, as if the sun had set, and extending the night by the same period."
TRUMPET – 5 sounded:
The Fallen Star
1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.
2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.
6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. 7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.
8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.
10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). 12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
Hebrew Abaddon or Greek Apollyon will wreak havoc on earth
TRUMPET – 5 explained:
Falling stars have already been witnessed in the sixth seal (Revelation 6 v 13), in the second trumpet (Revelation 8 v 8), and in the third trumpet (Revelation 8 v 10).
These have been described as literal astronomical events in the form of meteorites, asteroids or comets.
Individuals who have survived the judgments of the seven seals and the first four trumpets will now face terror and horror on a different level. This - one on one – style of attack on mankind will not be explained in terms of astrological activity.
This ‘star fallen from the sky’ is not a literal star or meteorite but is rather symbolic. We deduce this from the statement that ‘he’ was given the key to the abyss and when ‘he’ opened the abyss, smoke rose from it.
This person is not human; I would suggest that this is none other than Satan who is described elsewhere in Scripture as a fallen star.
Luke 10 v 18
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Isaiah 14 v 12
12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
During the Tribulation the church is absent and the Holy Spirit is operating in a different way than he did in the age of grace. All the believers whom He indwelt were taken in the Rapture.
Satan is now free to muster his demonic forces to torment mankind on earth. He unlocks the abyss – the bottomless pit – and releases demonic beings that almost defy rational description. These demons have been locked up by God since their fall from heaven.
Now they are released and unrestrained in their vile attack on mankind.
The description of the - demon locusts:
Horses prepared for battle – no fear of men.
Crowns of gold – distinguishing mark of authority.
Human faces – tangible personal beings with piercing eye contact.
Woman’s hair – allurement and deceptive in appearance.
Lion’s teeth – intimidating and vicious.
Iron breastplates – impregnable and unstoppable.
Noisy wings – frightening and disturbing.
Scorpion tails – unimaginable and prolonged agony.
During past ages, men have repeatedly dabbled in the occult. Most of us have heard of the Séance or the Ouija board and have heard about demon possession. There is no doubt about the darkness of demonic activity associated with these practices.
These demon locusts are released from the abyss and descend on the earth and will make dabbling in the occult look like a kindergarten.
The untold horror of this army of demon locusts that descends on earth to inflict gruesome injury on mankind has never been seen before and will never be seen again. The effects of the injury will last for five months and even death is not possible as a means of escape even though it is sought.
Satan who was previously described as masquerading as an angel of light will now be seen in his fallen and unrepentant state as he unleashes this demonic army to torment the inhabitants of earth.
In short, these demon locusts will strike unprecedented fear and terror into the hearts of men; these demonic creatures will make 'Darth Maul' from Star Wars look like an innocent toddler’s cuddly toy!
They will not be flying around aimlessly; these mysterious demon locusts will be led by their appointed king to wreak havoc in a systematic pattern orchestrated in such a way as to maximise the impact of their dreadful mission.
Demon locusts released from their prison
2 Peter 2 v 4
"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgement..."
Revelation 20 v 1 3
"1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
When we compare these two scriptures it is not difficult to imagine an element of intense spite and malice being unleashed in their vile demonic attack on mankind.
These demon locusts were fallen angels, they were originally a part of God's wonderful creation, but they had sided with Satan in his rebellion and fall.
In contrast, man was made in the image and likeness of God. This is key to understanding the difference between fallen man and fallen angels. Mankind could and would be redeemed. This is where the mystery of Godliness is expressed in Christ the eternal Son becoming a man!
Redemption is for mankind not fallen angels; there was no redemption for these fallen creatures, hence the venomous nature of their attack on mankind.
He came to seek and to save that which was lost. These demon locusts would never experience saving grace. They were lost forever and they were now venting their frustration and evil on mankind. We can only imagine the horror of this judgement being executed.
Their king is named Abaddon (Hebrew - destruction) or Apollyon (Greek - destroyer). The very mention of this dreadful name strikes horror into the mind.
As we have already pointed out; this fallen star or fallen angel is probably Satan.
First; he is given a name - Abaddon or Apollyon.
Satan is personalised in this way; he is referred to as Satan, Lucifer, the dragon, that ancient serpent, and the devil.
Second; he is described as king over these demon locusts. He led them astray when he fell from heaven and now he leads them in their dreadful mission against mankind.
There are only a few references in scripture of demon beings being personalised with a name.
Daniel 10 v 13 refers to "the Price of Persia".
Mark 5 v 9 refers to "my name is Legion".
Note: Only seven verses describe the first four trumpet judgments whereas nineteen verses describe the terror of trumpets five and six; such is the terror of these two awful trumpet judgments!
Death will elude them
The effects of the torturous sting from these demon locusts will cause people to pursue death by any means but death will elude them.
Think of it like this, death is the separation of the spirit from the body, and yet this will be made impossible during the five months of the side effects of the sting.
When people are tempted to commit suicide by poisoning or jumping from a cliff or crashing their car for example; they may well increase their physical and mental suffering but death will not be possible. 'Gruesome' is inadequate to depict this.
Sadly, even if death were possible, the suffering in hell will be even more torturous as the consciousness of eternity is final.
When these demon locusts have finished their awful mission they will once again be locked up in the abyss until the end of the 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth. Their final destiny will most certainly be the eternal lake of fire.
TRUMPET – 6 sounded:
200 Million Troops
13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulphur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulphur.
18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulphur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Earth will be devastated
TRUMPET – 6 explained:
The demon locusts – fallen angels from the abyss - have now fulfilled their dreadful mission of trumpet five. Now it is time for four other angels - who were bound at the great river Euphrates – to engage in merciless acts of judgement.
These angels were kept bound for the express purpose of action on a specific hour on a specific day and month and year. The fact that these angels are ‘bound’ confirms that these are also fallen angels and their mission is to kill one third of the remaining population of earth. Their method is to execute three plagues resembling fire, smoke and sulphur.
In Revelation 12 v 4 - the third parenthesis - we deduce that when Satan fell from heaven, a third of the host of heaven fell with him.
We know from other passages of Scripture that there are many demons and fallen angels. Countless, as far as mankind is concerned.
It is reckoned that China has the largest army in the world; it is estimated at 2,000,000 foot soldiers. Therefore, this army numbering 200 million is a demonic army - not a human army. The description of the horses is 'other worldly' - much like the 'demon locusts'.
The preceding judgment carried out by the 'demon locusts' was terrifying enough; this is worse again as these three plagues are unleashed against mankind. The 'demon locusts' whilst terrible in their description and form, inflicted terrible pain but not death. This 'other worldly' army of horses and riders have the power to kill one third of mankind - 1,750,000,000 based on current world population of 7 billion.
The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions - ferocious!
Their tails were like snakes - venomous!
This mobilised army of 200 million (demonic - not human) will have ample scope to cover the entire earth in a short period of time. It will be sufficiently equipped with demonic power to inflict a staggering death toll. The power of these 'horses' is in their mouths and in their tails - 9 v 19. Human defenses will prove futile.
The image is chilling and the result is the death of a third of mankind - or circa 1,750 million people will be killed as the result of Trumpet 6. See details on the actual death toll on 'the Tribulation closes' page.
It is worth noting at this point that there is a link between this sixth trumpet judgement - 200 million troops, and the sixth bowl judgement - the armies of the East and of the Western World.
In the former we have a 'demonic army' inflicting a massive death toll on mankind - one third of the population. In the latter we witness the armies of earth being mustered for war - the battle of the great day of God Almighty – often referred to as the battle of Armageddon.
2 Corinthians 6 v 1-2
1 As Godʼs co-workers we urge you not to receive Godʼs grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of Godʼs favor, now is the day of salvation.
Dear reader, if you are thinking of becoming a Christian - do it now before it is too late!
TRUMPET – 7 sounded:
INTRODUCTION to the Seven Bowls – third stage of judgment
The Seventh Trumpet
Revelation 11 v 15-19
15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.
A glimpse of heaven
TRUMPET – 7 explained:
We have already pointed out that the three stages of judgment can be described as 'telescopic'. Now we see the seventh trumpet linking to the final stage of judgment - the seven bowls of God's wrath.
The end is near! The scene is now being set for the final acts of judgment of the Tribulation – the Seven Bowls of God’s wrath, these will be poured out with speed and finality.
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