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The seven trumpets

Query for the Month

of

August 2013

Next up-date: September 1st 2013 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query: 

When do the seven angels of Revelation 8-9 blow their trumpets, and what do they warn about?  What is so significant about the last three?

Answer:  

Let’s read them shall we?

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Revelation 8:

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

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 trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were [something like] a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9 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.

10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11 and the name of the star is called “Wormwood”: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound [for they will be much worse]!” 

Chapter 9:

1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke [beings who looked like] locusts upon the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power . . . 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is “Abaddon” [“destruction”, or “king of the dead”], but in the Greek tongue has his name “Apollyon” [that is to say, “a destroyer”; margin]

12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.  

13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, “Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates [on which Babylon sits]. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men . . . 18 By these . . . was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths . .

Chapter 10:

1 And I saw another mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire: 2 and He had in his hand a little book open: and He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth,

3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars . . . 5 And the Angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven,

6 and swore by Him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

7 but in the days of the voice [the trumpet] of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God [the teaching of the gospel] should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets.  

Chapter 11:

. . . 13 and the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly.

15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever . . . 18 And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth”.

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In the Old Testament trumpets were devices used to call the people together, or to warn of impending disaster, such as war.  They were employed to call the people to Mount Sinai for the giving of the Law.  Moses was told “. . . when the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mount . . . And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled”. Exodus 19:13-16.

Later he was told, “Make you two trumpets of silver [not rams’ horns]; of a whole piece shall you make them: that you may use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to you at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. When you blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward . . . they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.  But when the congregation is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm”. Numbers 10:2-7.  Different notes and tunes had different meanings, just as military bugles do today, such as the early morning “reveille” (you got to get up!)

And in the New Testament we are told the purpose of the last trumpet – the reveille call, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”.  1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

It’s a long query this month regarding the seven trumpets, so I don’t intend to go into a major discussion regarding the details of all of them, but will just give their general pattern.  (Two of them are only covered by one verse each! You can read about them in detail elsewhere.) 

                          http://ancient-sda.com/ancient/seven_trumpets/book_seven_trumpets.pdf

In the past most of us have accepted that the first four angels with their trumpets were giving advance notice to the Christians that the worldwide government of Rome which had lasted for so long (over five hundred years) was going to collapse over a short period of time in four distinct movements.  But first the kingdom would be broken up into three portions, the western, middle and eastern territories.  This began to come about when the capital was shifted from Rome in Italy to Constantinople in Turkey about 330AD and three emperors and their courts were set up.  This system would later be called “the Tetrarchy”.   

The “sun” equals the emperor, the “moon” the senate, and the “stars” the leading men of the government, and those in the western section soon fell under the influence of the apostate bishops of Rome who eventually came to the top as the “saviours” of the west. 

The first angel (Revelation 8:7) was warning of the internal struggles of the people as their democracy-become-empire fell apart and great riots and bloodshed followed.  The second warning (Revelation 8:8-9) was that the sea lanes which kept the Roman Empire functioning would be subjected to great acts of piracy and war by the Vandals, and that consequently there would be great shortages throughout the civilised world.  The third trumpeter (Revelation 8:10-11) drew attention to the north whence came the fresh waters from the Alps and warned of the great Barbarian hordes under Attila the Hun etc. which would attack the weakened Empire. 

After the Barbarians sacked Rome the middle portion was eventually absorbed by the other two and the world settled down to a two-pronged civilisation (east and west), with the popes as leaders in Rome and Europe (the Holy Roman Empire), and an emperor in Asia Minor (Turkey), in the Byzantium section.  Thus in the prophecy the “third part” refers to the European section.

This took about 500 years to accomplish and must have cause great anguish to the Christians who were caught in the middle as being neither “fish nor fowl” of the civilised world.  They were IN it, but not OF it! 

Those “warnings” were very necessary for the people of God to ensure that they never forgot that God was in control of their lives and that He had made ample provision for the inevitable breakdown of Satan’s empire.  Those who stayed close to His word had the assurance that He would lead them on to the end.  See Revelation 9:4.

In the same way, Christians today need assurances that as we see the world of our time breaking up into factions and apparently random acts of terrorism causing havoc, that the great God of heaven is still in control!  We have our 1st, 2nd and 3rd world distinctions in the West and East and the others!  So as we read on we need to see another future fulfilment of these verses and their peoples, for this prophecy has a two-fold meaning.

But it is the events AFTER those first four which are called the three “woes”, or critical times for the followers of God, so let’s look at the past to learn of the future.     

The first “woe” is covered by verses 1-11 of chapter 9, and describes a new group of people who emerged in the Middle East with their own brand of religion, which they called “Islam” or “Muslim” (meaning “submission”), killing or enslaving opponents if they would not convert to the new belief.  This highly successful invasion is likened to the antics of “locusts” for they relatively soon covered all of the Middle East, Egypt, and North Africa and up across the Mediterranean into Spain and part of France! They even went into the east towards China, but the Great Wall kept them out of there.

We should note that God was NOT behind this group (their leader was the king of the dead, Satan; verse 11), but the living God did limit their power by protecting His own as much as possible. Verse 4.  Over the centuries they were called Arabs, Mohammedans, Moors, Saracens, Ottomans, and Turks, but all were united by their religion. This initial period was from about 600AD to about 1299 when the Crusades of the West came to an end.

***************(Begin Quote)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

Crusades were religious conflicts in the High Middle Ages through to the end of the Late Middle Ages conducted by Catholic Europe against Muslims, pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication. The geographic spread included the Near East, Al-Andalus, Ifriqiya, Egypt and Eastern Europe. They are most popularly associated with campaigns in the Holy Land to establish control of religious sites . . .

***************(End Quote)

After that the Muslim people became great thorns in the sides of the Europeans at Constantinople, and later some of the religious leaders of that continent (such as Martin Luther) thought of them as heathen weapons sent FROM God to chastise the erring Roman Catholic System of their time.  But their efforts, which lasted for about 5 months of 30 days which is the equivalent of 150 years in prophetic time, were being directed by the angel of death, the devil, who loves to play one of his “kings” against the other and break down God’s efforts in building peace on earth. (Satan’s armies are the kings of the north and south.  Daniel 11:11 etc.) 

That takes us to 1449 when a great battle on July 27th defeated the European influence once and for all and set the “locusts” “loose” to enter into the second “woe”.  The text tells us that they were in control of much of the eastern civilised world for the next “hour, and a day, and a month, and a year”.  Verse  15.  In prophetic terms that is 391 years and 15 days, and this ended on August 11th 1840 when the internally warring Muslim states accepted the intervention of the professed Christian allies of Europe which allowed the Christians control of the Middle East from that time on.

During that period, the United States of America had come into being and offered a haven for those who were suffering under religious persecutions, and from then on the prophecy took on a literal world-wide influence.  This “quiet time” gave the Christians of the world a chance to better understand the “open book” of Daniel (Revelation 10:8-9), although they missed the main point completely and ended up with “bitter bellies” (one of the seven thunders)!   That’s why their Leader had to tell them that they would have to repeat their experiences and prophesy to the world-wide audience of our time.  Verses 10-11.

So now we have completed the circle and stand ready to watch our western civilisation fall apart mostly from internal problems, while the hordes of the Muslim nations “push at” the professed Christianity of the world.  Daniel 11:40.  But the “king of the north” (the professed Christians), will come back “like a whirlwind” and completely take over once again.  Daniel 11:40-43.  This will not necessarily follow the time length shown in the first application of the prophecy.

While this is happening we may, under God’s guidance, “measure” the temple, the altar and the worshippers of it.  “And there was given me a reed like to a rod [a straight edge]: and the angel stood, saying, “Rise, and measure the temple of God [the organisations], and the altar [their gospels], and them that worship therein [and the character of their clergy]. But the court which is without [outside] the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty-two months”. Revelation 11:1-2.

This simply means that we need to apply some very specific Bible directions to sort out who is who in the professed Christian world of today.  We may leave out those who make no profession of Christianity although we have been told that they will cause us some strife for three and a half years!  It seems that it is those systems which profess Christianity are the ones we need to seriously consider!

We will NOT judge regarding the salvation of individuals (that’s God’s prerogative alone) but we will of necessity judge the integrity of systems and organisations while we are under a great deal of duress, and our eternal lives will depend on our decisions.  This will continue until the “woe” is over.  Revelation 11:1-14 and Daniel 11:44. 

All we need to know of that period is given to us in the eleventh chapter of Revelation in the form of the history of the three and a half years of the French Revolution (1793-97) when atheism (the king of the south, which is often VERY religious, but not Christian, as was Egypt) came against professed Christianity (the king of the north) in France, the home of the Roman Catholic system.  But “north” will eventually win out and control the world in religious terms as well as geographic.  Daniel 11:40-45.

That time, known as the “Reign of Terror” in the history books, is our guideline for the future! 

Fortunately for us, we will not have to endure three and a half years, for the prophetic interpretation of a day for a year ceased when the Angel said “. . . that there should be time no longer”.  Revelation 10:6.  That “time” was not literal history, or the future, because we have moved on many years since 1840-44, but simply means that time prophecies which are to occur after 1844 should be accepted with a literal meaning. 

This leads us to the last trumpet (the last trump) when the call is made to the sleeping saints.  “Behold, I show you a mystery [a newly expanded truth]; we shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”.  1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

In our query we are told, “And the seventh angel sounded [his trumpet]”; AND

[“when he shall BEGIN to sound, the mystery of God should be finished” for all will then be revealed.  Revelation 10:7]

and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become  [at that time] the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever [the time of probation is over] . . . And the nations were angry [in the immediate past], and Your wrath is come [the seven last plagues now], and the time of the dead [future], that they should be judged [resurrected], and that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth”. Revelation 11:15-18.

 

Conclusion:

The seven angels with the seven trumpets are first of all symbols of the seven periods of earth’s secular or political history from soon after Calvary through to the Second Advent.  As well, all of them are warnings of the events which will take place during the lead-up from the loud cry to the Coming.  Thus, if we have an ear to hear, and an eye to see, we will be able to know what the future holds for the world of today.

 


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,

but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

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Luke 21:27-28:

        What does the word “redemption” mean here?  

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