My husband is a dream teller. He loves to tell me about his crazy dreams. He remembers these with vivid and striking details. As he is rambling about his dreams, he admits it makes zero sense to him. It makes less than zero sense to me and sadly, I start to zone-out.
That is what I am feeling right now in Revelation reading about the Seven Trumpets.
All I know is this sounds really awful. Let’s dig in and I will try my best to explain the Seven Trumpets meaning.
Scripture: Like the previous reading of the seven scrolls, there is much symbolism. Don’t get caught up in that, focus instead on color-coding and marking the number symbols, names, and each trumpet.
I am using the study guide “Revelation: A 12-week study” by Stephen Witmer as well as online sources to fully understand Revelation. Bible I use is The Jesus Bible and my Bible Study Journal. I encourage you to look up anything that you don’t understand, as I did. Reseaerch is the key to true understanding.
Observation: The Seven Trumpets perfectly sums up human being’s stubbornness. Seriously, if we all just lived and loved like Jesus, this world would be a much better place. I don’t dream of “world peace”, I dream of this. Many will deny Christ until the very end, and we will see that here.
Trumpet One (Rev. 8:7). The first trumpet brings “hail and fire mixed with blood.” Anyone else picturing “Carrie” right now? A third of the earth, a third of the trees, all green grass will be burned. This is similar to the 7th plaque of Egypt in Exodus 9:13-35. Feel free to turn to Exodus and cross-reference these verses.
Don’t get caught up in the number 1/3, as we will read it throughout this study. It simply means a lot, or “myriad of myriads” and “thousands of thousands”. It will be numbers we cannot comprehend.
Trumpet Two (Rev. 8:8-9). The second trumpet brings “a great mountain burning with fire throw into the sea.” A third of the sea will become blood, a third of living creatures and ships will be destroyed. This trumpet is similar to the 1st plague of Egypt in Exodus 7:14-25.
Trumpet Three (Rev. 8:10-11): The third trumpet brings a great star names, Wormwood. Wormwood falls from the sky to pollute a third of the rivers and springs. I looked up to see if NASA was dumb enough to name a star “Wormwood”; they were not. So, where is this star? Remember, this was written a long time ago and sometimes we need to dig into the Bible to find the answer to words we no longer use. Wormwood is an Old Testament reference. In Proverbs 5:3-5, Lam. 3:15, and Amos 5:7-15, Wormwood is associated with bitterness and death. The polluting of the waters will become bitter and those who drink from it will die.
Trumpet Four (Rev. 8:12-13): This trumpet brings darkness. One third of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened. The earth is plunged into darkness. I believe this symbolizes the darkness of those not repenting and accepting Christ. There is darkness before He (the light) comes back to earth.
Trumpets 5-7 are the “three woes” of the eagle. He is warning the people of the pain and suffering to come.
Trumpet Five (Rev. 9:-11). Trumpet five explains the fallen angel (star) who is given a key to open the Abyss. From the Abyss come terrifying locust to torment the earth for five months, except those with the mark on their forehead. These unbelievers will seek and beg for death but it will not come to them.
At the bottom on the Abyss is a king named Abaddon (in Hebrew) or Apollyon (in Greek) which means destruction or destroyer, respectively.
Some believe this vision of locust could be symbolic of helicopters and barbaric people who enjoy torture, and others believe it to be literally torturing locust. This is for you to choose but I tend to lean toward the barbaric people. Haven’t we already seen a good deal of barbaric torture throughout history, and not that long ago with videos of beheadings and other horrific things?
The first woe has passed.
Trumpet Six (Rev. 9:13-21). Four fallen angels fall to the river of Euphrates and kill a third of mankind. They ride horses with breastplates symbolizing the three plaques they inflict upon the earth. Fire (red), Smoke (blue), and Sulfur (yellow).
This is reminiscent of the Egyptians and the plagues Moses brought to them. The Egyptians still refused to listen to the warning and repent. Read again Rev. 9:20-21. Note those “not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshipping demons and idols of gold and silver…”
The Angel and Little Scroll (Rev. 10:1-11). “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a rainbow over his head…” This angel represents the power of God with clear symbolism of a rainbow, a cloud, face like the sun, and pillars of fire. He is standing in 3 geographic zones, right foot in the sea, left foot on land, and right hand to heaven. The scroll was last seen in Chapter 5 in the hands of the Lamb. It is reasonable to believe this angel is acting on behave of Christ.
Sometimes ‘less is more’ to get your point across, and the little scroll is not read, in fact, John is told to eat it. Eating the scroll references back to Ezekiel 2:9-3:3. Eating a scroll is symbolic of being ready when the prophesy comes. Notice both describe the scroll as honey. Psalm 19:10 says:
“They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.”
However, when John eats the little scroll, it does taste like honey, then it becomes bitter to the stomach because judgment is yet to come.
The Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:1-14). Just like the Egyptians who refused to accept God, so too will those remaining on earth. God’s unending grace upon us is displayed here. He will send Two Witnesses to preach and preforms miracles to try to convince those remaining to repent. No surprise here, humans are stubborn and the beast kills the Two Witnesses. Their bodies lay in the street for 3.5 days. Believers “rejoice over them” until, glory to God, He raised them from the death. The Two Witnesses ascend into heaven.
The second woe has passed. The third is still to come.
Trumpet Seven(Rev. 10:15-19). “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” Amen.
The heavens and the twenty-four elders worship God and sing.
“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.” ~Rev. 11:19
Application: Revelation is an example of God keeping his promises through the Bible. Moses, the Apostle Paul, and many others spoke of the world’s doom. And He continues to give second changes to those to repent and accept Him as God. The Honey reminds us that God’s word is sweet to taste. There is nothing sweeter than walking with God and seeing his goodness everyday of our life. We don’t know the day of Christ’s return and the earth’s death, but soaking up the honey will insure we will be ready when that day comes.
Side note: Did you know honey is actually made of regurgitated nectar, or bee vomit. Although I wouldn’t start calling it that. I love me some good Colorado bee vomit!
Prayer: Dear Lord, your wrath will be greater than anything we will ever know. Nobody knows when that time will be. Guide me to remember to always taste your honey and keep it with me when times are uncertain and death pays us a visit. In God’s name, I pray, amen.
This is where I will leave off until next week. Let me know what you think. Have you discovered surprises in Revelation you didn’t expect?