The Seven Trumpets

The Seven Trumpets

Study No. 14

 

THE SEVEN TRUMPETS 
 

Introduction: The trumpets, being seven in number (completeness) like the seven seals, they cover the entire history of the world beginning with those who first lived upon the earth (GC 483). They bring destruction upon the wicked who reject the truth after each sealing period. Though described separately, in reality each trumpet follows its corresponding seal as they pass in review before the great Judicial Tribunal. 

 

Prayer Thought: TM 116 “We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God's people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. . . .  {TM 116.2}

   “Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated. . . . We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know.”  {TM 116.3}

 

  1. The nature and purpose of the seven trumpets

 

Comparing the seven trumpets with the seven last plagues one by one, reveals that their nature and purpose are one. That is, they bring destruction upon the wicked after their probation has closed. Also, their target for each number is identical.

 

  • 8: 7; 16: 2 – earth
  • 8: 8; 16: 3 – sea
  • 8: 10; 16: 4 – upon the rivers and fountains of waters
  • 8: 12; 16: 8 – the sun is affected
  • 9: 2; 16: 10 – darkness ensues in common
  • 9: 14; 16: 12 – the ‘river Euphrates’ is the focal point
  • 11: 15; 16: 17-21 – they exhibit identical components: the temple in heaven; the voices and thunderings and lightenings there from; the earthquake and the hail

 

  1. The first trumpet Rev. 8: 7

 

This trumpet must be sought as far back in history as the first destruction of a wicked multitude - the Flood. 

 

  • Fire - most common of the three elements represents the Holy Spirit - Ex. 3:2; 19:18; Jer. 23:29; Acts 2:3. 
  • Casting - descending of the Holy Ghost with words of truth - John 14:19; 1Peter 3:18.
  • Blood - the life of the flesh, mortal life - Lev. 17:11. 
  • Hail – destruction - Job 38:22, 23. 
  • Trees show stature, sturdiness, stability, long life. The inmates of the ark were progenitors of the post-diluvian world. 
  • Grass - common people – Isa. 40: 6, 7; Dan. 4: 15

 

      Third part  irrespective of number represents the wicked. Rev 12:4

 

“All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father, to have each case determined. Satan unblushingly made known his dissatisfaction that Christ should be preferred before Him. He stood up proudly and urged that he should be equal with God and should be taken into conference with the Father and understand His purposes. God informed Satan, that to His Son alone He would reveal His secret purposes, and He required all the family in heaven, even Satan, to yield Him implicit, unquestioned obedience; but that he (Satan) had proved himself unworthy of a place in heaven. Then Satan exultingly pointed to his sympathizers, comprising nearly one half of all the angels, and exclaimed, "These are with me! Will you expel these also, and make such a void in heaven?" He then declared that he was prepared to resist the authority of Christ and to defend his place in heaven by force of might, strength against strength”. {SR 18.1}  

 

 

  1. The second trumpet Rev. 8: 8, 9

 

The Israelite Movement, the first post-flood church with a message, the Ceremonial System, preceded this post-flood destruction.

 

  • Mountain - the Old Testament church - Zech. 8:3; Isa. 2:3. 
  • Burning with fire - God's presence in the midst and round about - Ex. 3:2  
  • Sea (third part) - the storehouse of the waters (original abode) - Isa. 42:10.

 

The Israelite movement reached only a part of the world (the "third part" of the "sea"),  those heathen with whom the movement came into close contact, especially in the  promised land. 

 

  • Became blood - Those with whom Israel came in contact; Israel was a life-saving agent or an agent of destruction. 
  • "Creatures...had life and died" - The third part in the sea which died are those newly converted heathen who had eternal life, but who sinned it away (died). 
  • Ships - heathen religion and their temples (shelter and convey people). God commanded that they (ships) be destroyed by the Israelites. (Deut. 12:2, 3). 

 

  1. The third trumpet Rev. 8: 10, 11

 

 

 

This brings the period of the Bible. Those who do not accept the Old Testament in this period are destroyed. 

 

  • Star - the Word of God; the Old Testament. The only light bearing object from heaven is the Word. (Ps. 119:105). Since it falls only on the "third part" (a portion) it is the Old  Testament, which was accessible only to a portion of the nations. 
  • Rivers - the nations. (Rev. 17:15; Isa. 8:7). The "third part" (wicked) are the heathen nations which came into close contact with the Bible. 
  • Fountains - His chosen people (the twelve tribes of Israel), in whom His Word was the waters of life, making them living fountains. (John 7: 38; Deut. 33: 28). 
  • Wormwood - an herb which, when used medicinally, has purging and cleansing qualities.  The Word of God has the power to purge away the cause and effects of spiritual debility and to restore healthy functions and tone to the sin-sick soul. 

 

  1. The fourth trumpet Rev. 8: 12  

 

The church of God is subjugated by Babylon. The church of God in three parts. Joseph's dream of the sun,  moon, and stars bowing to him, as interpreted by his father Jacob, signified that the  church at that time was comprised of his father (the sun - the repository of the unwritten Word of God), his mother (the moon - the holy temple) and his brothers (the stars - the congregation of the saints) - Gen. 37:9, 10. This relationship is used to identify the location of the church and its condition. 

 

  • Sun - the Word of God in the church; the service. 
  • Moon - the tabernacle and the temple by which the light of the message the sacrificial system was reflected. 
  • Stars - church membership. 
  • "A third part" - one of the three periods of the nation's history - from the occupation of the Promised Land to the captivity in Babylon. The three periods are: (1) From Exodus from Egypt to the possession of the promised land; (2) From the occupation of the promised land to the captivity in Babylon; and (3) From the deliverance from Babylon to the Advent of Christ. 
  • "Smitten," "darkened" - The smiting of the sun, moon and stars symbolically reveals a punishment upon ancient Israel. The nation (stars) was taken into Babylonian captivity, the temple (moon) destroyed, and the service (sun) abolished. (2 Chron. 36: 16, 17, 19- 21).  Thus resulted spiritual darkness in the earth for over 70 years until the temple was rebuilt and the sacrificial services restored. 
  • "Day" - That portion of the earth where the light of the sun directly shines--the promised  land." 
  • "Night" - That portion of the earth where the sun is reflected by the moon and the stars - the heathen. 

Since the religious system of ancient Israel was the only spiritual light in all the ancient world, then the extinguishing of that light (the "day") meant that the heathen (the "night") also did not receive light. 

 

  1. The woes Rev. 8: 13

 

The woes signify a change between the first four and the last three trumpets. Following the crucifixion of Christ and the ushering in of the New Testament era, the woes point to (1) Satan persecuting the faithful and (2) Satan persecuting the heathen in his effort to get them in the church.

 

  1. The fifth trumpet Rev. 9: 1-12

 

This period is signified by the appearance of Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection, and  the going forth of the early Christians to preach the gospel. 

 

  • Star – Jesus, first advent - John 1:1-14; Rev. 22:16. 
  • Key - deliverance from sin and death - the Gospel - Rev. 20:1, 2; 1:18; Luke 4:18, 19 
  • Bottomless Pit - earth in its state as a prison house for sinners. (Rev. 20:3). 
  • Smoke - Christ's crucifixion. The sacrifice of the ceremonial system prefigured Christ's sacrifice. (AA 14; DA 632). 
  • Darkened sun and air - darkness over the land from the 6th hour to the 9th hour. (Mark 15:33). 
  • Locusts – Christians, told not kill (Matt. 5:38, 39). Swarm as locusts (Acts 2:41, 47). 
  • Crowns like gold - the authority of Christ. (Matt. 16:19). 
  • Hair of women – church (woman) their glory - 1 Cor. 11:15; Jer. 6:2; 2Thess. 1:4. 
  • Teeth of Lions - power to kill. (Acts 5:1-11).
  • Breastplates of Iron - Faith and love. 1Thess. 5:8; Acts 5:42. 
  • Sound of wings ... to battle - Fearlessness. Acts 20:20-22 
  • Their King - Jesus. (1 Cor. 10:1-4) 
  • Abaddon - destroyer of His enemies. Luke 19:14; Deut. 12:2, 3.
  • Apollyon - exterminator of wicked. Rev. 19:15-18. 
  • Tails - Laity. Romans 12:5 
  • Stings - torment to the wicked. Acts 4:16-18; John 12:19. 
  • Five months - crucifixion to Ezekiel 9. 
  • Glad to die but cannot - ready to die Acts 20:18, 19, 23-27; 21:12, 13; cannot - Dan. 12:1; EW 34; Luke 17:31, 33. 

 

  1. The sixth trumpet Rev. 9:13- 11:14

 

This period brings to view the liberation of the church from her long bondage to the tyranny of church-state rule; God’s Spirit filled last day messengers; their message and followers; and the time of harvest.

 

The time of the sixth trumpet is located by the command from the ‘golden altar’ to “loose the four angels,” showing that it sounded sometime before the veil to the Most Holy apartment of the heavenly Sanctuary was lifted (1844). Also, the future tense ‘shall’ is used to describe the prophesying of the ‘two witnesses’ for 1260 days (Rev. 11:3), showing that at the time the trumpet began sounding, this period was yet future.

 

The angels prepare themselves on four successive occasions for the eventual execution of death upon the wicked. By the threefold message (fire, smoke and brimstone) are the wicked killed. 

 

  • The river Euphrates - typifies Babylon; waters where whore sitteth. (Rev. 17:15). Capital city of ancient Babylon built on both sides of the Euphrates. (Jer. 46:10, 13; PK 523, 531). 
  • Angels loosed - set church free from Babylonian captivity (Jer. 29:10) after 1798. 
  • Four-fold message: (1) "An hour" - "fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." - Rev. 14:7; (2) "a day" - "the great and dreadful day of the Lord." - Mal. 4:5; TM 475; Isa. 63:4; (3) "a month" - "the latter rain in the first month" - Joel 2:23; Rev. 18:1; EW 277; 5T:254; (4) "a year" - the year of the redeemed (sealing and deliverance of 144,000) - Isa.63:4. 
  • Horses - gospel workers under different circumstances. (Zechariah 14:20). 
  • Horsemen - angels who do the killing. 
  • Breastplate of fire - protection of the spirit.
  • Heads of lions – fearless in their efforts to spread the truth 
  • Fire, smoke, brimstone - threefold message 
  • Fire - power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Smoke - sacrifices of Christ.
  • Brimstone - destructive judgments of God. 
  • By these three (fire, smoke and brimstone) was the third part of men killed – slain before probation closes – Isa. 60:12 
  • Serpent-like tails - converts with which they do hurt - active part in work. 

 

  1. Events of Rev. 10 and 11 to take place before the seventh trumpet sounds

 

  • The mighty angel - the message of William Miller. (GC 331; 7ABC 971). 
  • Measure the temple - the temple being measured is a symbol of investigating and judging the worshipers fidelity to truth. (Ephesians 2:20-22).
  • The temple - dead saints from Adam to 1844.
  • The altar - dead saints from 1844 on, to come up in special resurrection of Dan. 12:2.  (EW:285; Dan. 12:2) 
  • Those who worship therein - the living saints; 144,000. (EW 15) 
  • The court...measure it not - the great multitude, no man can number. (Rev. 7:9) 

 

Rev. 11:13 - Symbolical 

 

  • The remnant - the righteous 
  • The seven thousand – all the unrighteous  
  • The tenth part - the church which is purified. Since God's part is 1/10, representing the tithe, then 1/10 of the city would represent God's church (SDA) among all the churches. 
  • The city - The Christian world 
  • The earthquake - the shaking in the SDA church (EW:270). 

 

10  The seventh trumpet Rev. 11: 15 -

 

The sounding of this trumpet brings the Judgment to an end and announces that the "kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord." The mystery of God is now finished (Rev. 10:7). He which is holy and just must remain so, and likewise, he which is filthy (Rev. 22:11). It is also a time for saints to receive their reward. The opening of the temple now indicates the end of the judgment; the close of probation. Then no man will be able to enter the sanctuary "till the seven last plagues are fulfilled." 

 

That the 7th trumpet will not sound until after the gospel closes also proves that the trumpets bring destruction upon the wicked that reject the truth. 

 

Conclusion: This study revealed that in every age, after each sealing period the rejecters of God's truth and mercy bring destruction upon themselves. It also revealed how we may be sealed in our time and thus escape the terrors of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the judgment of the living. 

 

 

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