Many people think that the seven trumpets must sound during the final seven years, but there is absolutely no proof of that in the bible. I believe we are on the brink of the first two of the “three woes”, the 5th and 6th Trumpets, and I’ll explain why in this chapter.
Before I begin, please remember that fulfilled prophecy cannot be stated as a fact until it has come to pass. I've studied a lot of theories on prophecy and what I've written here is what rings true in my mind after countless hours of study, but I will never say this is absolute fact until we see it happen. However, the symbols used in the Bible will be known at the time of the end (Dan 12:9) and when you finish this book I believe you will agree with me that there is little doubt that the time is now.
What are the seven trumpets?
I encourage you to read Revelation 8 through 11 at this point. Each of the seven trumpets is an event or series of events that will take place.
One thing we have to remember; John was shown these in visions and he wrote what he saw, but he had never in his life seen a mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb, a helicopter, high caliber guns firing from tanks or attack vehicles or ships, scorch earth weapons dropped from airplanes, or anything remotely like the weapons and technology we have today. He’d never even heard of these things. He knew oxen and fishing and chariots pulled with armored horses, swords, etc. So we’ll try to follow what he saw with an eye for what we know today. Have you ever been in an art class where they had you try to explain a picture or an object in words only, and then someone else tried to draw what you wrote or said? If you have, you know what I’m saying. If not, let’s just say that it’s very, very difficult to get the real picture painted using only words. There’s some strange language used in Revelation and it’s difficult to get a true picture, but I think you’ll agree that there’s just too much coincidence for it to be coincidence. Take a look…
The first trumpet
Rev 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 trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
There’s not a lot to go on with this short picture. There’s a high likelihood that this is either World War 1 or another war or something that happened that we don’t know about. What does make sense about WW1 is that they had a “scorched earth” policy where they would drop napalm and burn everything up. 8.3 million people were killed in this war. More than any war ever, in the previous history of man. A significant event I would say.
The second trumpet
Rev 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were 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.
Have you ever seen a mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb? Kind of looks like a burning mountain? Hiroshima, Japan was nuked by the US at the end of WW2. Japan is an island out in the sea, so the mountain would appear to be burning out in the middle of the ocean. Nobody has any idea how many sea creatures were killed from that explosion and the resulting radiation, but the really interesting part about this trumpet is, “the third part of the ships were destroyed.” In World War 2, there was a total of 105,127 ships used in the war. 36,387 were destroyed. That is incredibly close to exactly one third. Also, if you research what oil really is, it's the liquified remains of biological life, animals and plants, and could be defined as “blood”. Within the rapidly deteriorating shipwrecks lurk tens of millions of gallons of thick black oil which scientists say will be released in the next few years. This could kill much of the marine life in the oceans, and along with the many spills from tankers in recent decades, this could be what the Lord is referring to in this prophecy. 52 million people were killed in this war.
The third trumpet
Rev 8:10 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.
If you research the name Wormwood in the Russian or Ukraine language, you’ll find that Wormwood actually means Chernobyl, and if you read verse 11 in Ukrainian, you’d read, “And the name of the star is called Chernobyl.” There was a nuclear reactor in Russia called Chernobyl that blew up in 1986. I would bet that most of us remember either hearing or reading about it. The first explosion blew the 2 million pound lid off the reactor, and the second explosion sent nuclear radiation up one mile into the atmosphere. It burned in a full nuclear fire for the next three weeks. If you were looking at that fire from a couple miles away, would it look a little like a big lamp? 10 times as much radiation was released as the Hiroshima bombing. It rained incessantly for 5 days. The radiation cloud moved across Sweden, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and even in a very diluted form all the way to the east coast of America. It’s estimated that 125,000 people have died due to that accident, but the most deadly thing about this was that it rained so hard that the water flowed into the rivers and the water was contaminated all the way into Europe. They estimate that 2 million are infected by the radiation but they don’t even really know how many were affected by this and how many diseases and deaths occurred because of it, much less how it’s affecting the next generation. The main theme in this prophecy is the waters. Many men died of the waters because they were made bitter.
The fourth trumpet
Rev 8:12 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.
This trumpet could have a literal meaning and we just haven't seen it yet, or it could be symbolic in that it's referring to time. Jesus talks about the days being shortened in Matthew 24.
Matt 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
“There should no flesh be saved” may mean that we would destroy ourselves if God didn't step in when He does. But is it the number of days or the length of the days that is shortened?
Unless He's referring to the entirety of this age (since the time of Jesus until the end), it can’t mean that the number of days is shortened in the end times because there are very specific timetables (number of days, number of months) about the end times, specifically in the final seven years. But, since He says, “for the elect's sake”, it seems likely that He's referring to the time of trouble where it shall be great tribulation for the saints of God during the final three and half years. So, God can’t change the number of days since He already told us the numbers of days, and unless this is referring to the number of days planned from the very beginning and means that this age we're living in will not last as long as it could have, it must mean something else.
Since a third part of the sun and moon and stars were darkened and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise, it must mean that somehow the whole day is shorter, including the night. There's a possibility that this means that somehow time itself is shortened. God has somehow speeded everything up. One possible explanation for this is Einstein’s theory of relativity. But that may be reaching. There is no real explanation for this prophecy except conjecture, and I haven’t heard any good ideas beyond what I’ve already written.
The three woe’s
Rev 8:13 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!
The fifth, sixth and seventh trumpets are known in prophecy as the three woe’s.
The fifth trumpet
Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto 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 locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
This trumpet is questionable. If we leave certain parts we don't understand out it sounds a lot like the Gulf War.
Saddam set 700 oil wells in Kuwait on fire during the Gulf war. Because of the smoke from those fires the sky was dark for 3 months. Even at noon the sun was not visible.
The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle, they had breastplates of iron and they sounded like many chariots running to battle, and there were stings in their tails. Sounds just like a military helicopter to me.
Abaddon and Apollyon both mean, “destroyer” or “destroying angel”. Saddam’s mother had difficulties with her pregnancy and her doctors recommended an abortion. She suffered the whole pregnancy and named her baby Saddam, which means, “the destroyer”.
The picture he drew for us fits the events of the Gulf if we leave out some of the depictions we can't understand about the locust. However, when we look at the whole thing with the gulf war in mind, there is a lot about the “locust” that doesn't fit. For prophecy to be realized, there can't be anything that doesn't fit or it is not prophecy being fulfilled. There is a possibility that this could be the Gulf War, but I think it is mostly coincidence and there is too much that doesn't make sense.
And, the angel who is given the key doesn't appear to be the same as the beast who comes out of the pit. The bottomless pit is opened and the sun and air are darkened because of the smoke from the pit, the locusts are told not to hurt those with the seal of God in their foreheads, and the angel who opens the pit is called the “destroying angel”, which is the meaning of the names “Abaddon” and “Apollyon”. The angel is mentioned again in Revelation 20:1-3. Notice that the angel is given the key to the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:1, opens the pit in 9:2, is named as the “king” over the locusts in 9:11, then comes down from heaven again to bind Satan in the bottomless pit for 1000 years in Revelation 20:1-3.
In Revelation 11:7 we see that the beast comes out of the bottomless pit, becomes or possesses a man to become the Antichrist shown in Revelation 17:8-11, kills the two witnesses at the end of the final 3.5 years (Rev 11:7), and then in Revelation 20:1-3 we see that the “angel” who was given the key locks up the devil in the bottomless pit for 1000 years.
For this reason, I do not think the 5th trumpet was the Gulf War.
Joel 2:1-11 also gives us some information on what appears to be the same events.
Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. 3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. 4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. 5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. 7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: 8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. 9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: 11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
As I said above, it’s likely that the trumpets are “eras”. Each era precedes the other and each will lead into the other. In the days… when he shall begin to sound…
Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound...
And the final three woes lead into each other.
Rev 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
As of mid 2011, we are still waiting to see if the fifth trumpet has sounded or if it will be another event. With the war in Iraq, and the mounting troubles with China, Iran, Syria and Palestinians, we are likely seeing the next trumpet era beginning now.
The sixth trumpet
Rev 9:13 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. 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. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
The Euphrates river runs through Turkey, Syria, and mostly Iraq. The US happens to have many thousands of troops stationed along the Euphrates river right now in Iraq and the situation in the Middle East is going red hot, with Israel and the Palestinians, and Iran enriching uranium which everyone knows is to build a bomb to make their wish of blowing Israel off the map come true. China boasts the ability to field an army of over 200 million. This is the first time in the history of man that this has even been a possibility. China buys millions and millions of barrels of oil from Iran, and both Russia and China are sympathetic with Iran. Today things look quite like a war could start very soon that could kill one third of mankind. The world currently holds about 6 billion people. To kill 2 billion people most likely means nuclear war and will likely involve the United States. I say this because the US has the firepower for that magnitude of destruction, and because there are only about 300 million in the US so it’s likely China and other countries will take the brunt of the destruction. China has a population of 1.3 billion, and India (just south of China) has another billion. China is also a little touchy about the Taiwan issue. If you’ve been reading the news, you might remember Chinese officials saying that, “American leaders care more about Los Angeles than they do about Taiwan”, and “China would sacrifice millions of men and entire cities to ensure unity”, and said that the US would not make comparable sacrifices. Chinese officials have also said that they would not hesitate to use nuclear technology against the US if necessary. No one can say for sure how the war will start or what will happen, but it sure looks like we’re right on the brink of this trumpet.
What better way for the Antichrist to come to power than when the world wakes up to 2 billion dead? The world will be clamoring for disarmament, world unity and peace. The Antichrist will use peace as a weapon to gain his power. This is discussed later in this book.
The seventh trumpet
Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh 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. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
This is the second coming of Jesus Christ! This trumpet brings the battle of Armageddon where Israel is saved by God, the rapture, the destruction of the Antichrist and the false prophet, and the binding of Satan for 1000 years. This Trumpet, the sixth Seal and all of the Vials bring the Wrath of God down on the earth. Jesus will wipe out the armies coming down against Israel at Armageddon and there will be an earthquake that is felt around the world, plagues and many terrible things because of mankind’s denial of God. Fortunately God’s people will not have to endure this wrath as we will be taken up at the sound of the Trumpet before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth. And then it ushers in the millennium reign of Christ and the end of worldly governments. Imagine a world ruled by a loving King such as Jesus Christ for 1000 years, with no wars or strife at all. Wow.