Revelation 8-9 – The Trumpet Judgments

by | Updated August 16th, 2022

In chapter six we saw the Seal Judgments and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse unleashed on the earth. In the first six verses of chapter eight we see the opening of the seventh seal, which opens up the trumpet judgments. At this time the angels who have the trumpets prepare to sound. The seventh trumpet doesn’t sound until Revelation 11:14-19.

At the sounding of the seventh trumpet it’s announced, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). And the twenty-four elders fall on their faces and begin to worship and foretell of His coming judgment on the dead and of His reward for the saints. As in the Seal Judgments so it is with the Trumpet Judgments. The seventh trumpet opens up the Vial or Bowl Judgments. These are the final judgments but aren’t poured out on the earth until chapters fifteen and sixteen.

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Revelation 8

“And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 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. 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; 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. 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; 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. 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. 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!”

Revelation 9

“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. 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. 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. 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. 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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 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. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 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. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 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. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

The Seventh Seal and the Seven Trumpets Prepare to Sound

Revelation 8:1-6 – “And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”

Silence in heaven for about an half an hour. I personally love to see the church praise the Lord radically as is seen in Revelation 5, 7, and 19. We also see this in 2 Chronicles 20 and Acts 16. He’s worthy of our heart felt praise and worship. His people must praise and worship with all that’s within us and with all our might.

However, there are times when being still before Him is just as powerful. There’s something about being silent before God in His presence. You can sense an awe of Him that you can’t when your involved in audible worship and praise. Both types of worship are powerful. This too must be practiced in the church. The problem is in many churches that it’s not silent worship but simply dead silence. This silence is so intense you can feel it.

Here, however, is the calm before the storm. These angels are preparing themselves to sound the trumpet judgments which will release even greater havoc and destruction than that of the seal judgments. More severe judgments are about to be released upon the earth and the inhabitants thereof. The almighty God of heaven is about to be exalted in the earth through these trumpet judgments forthwith.

Psalms 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Again, the opening of the seventh seal opens up the trumpet judgments. John sees seven angels which stood before God and there was given to the seven trumpets. In verse four he sees these angels prepare themselves to sound unleashing the trumpet judgments. He then sees another angel that came and stood before the altar in heaven having a golden censer. There was given to him much incense with the prayers of the saints.

We see something similar in chapter five verse eight. In the Old Testament tabernacle, which was a shadow of the heavenly, the high priest would burn incense before the golden altar. This angel could very possibly be the Lord Jesus Himself fulfilling His High Priestly office at the heavenly altar. Incense represented the prayers of the saints. When we pray, our prayers ascend before the throne of God as a sweet smelling aroma. God is pleased with the prayers of His people. Let’s commit ourselves to seeking Him in prayer daily.

Revelation 5:8 – “The four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”

Psalms 146:1-2 – “Lord, I cry unto Thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto Thee. Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

Then “the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”

The voices, and thunderings, and lightnings were indicative of and a foretaste of what was to come at the sounding of the trumpets. All hell is about to be unleashed on the earth and the inhabitants thereof. The second phase of God’s judgments are forthcoming. They are preempted by an earthquake.

The Trumpet Judgments

1. The First Trumpet Sounds

Revelation 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.”

The primary burden of this judgment is on the vegetation of the earth. There’s absolutely no reason to think this is figurative but literal. The first four trumpet judgments give possible indication of the effects of nuclear war and holocaust. However, they come directly from the hand of God. This judgment seems to parallel with the judgment on Egypt in Exodus 9:18-26. There the cattle, livestock, and men alike were affected by the hail and fire mingled with blood.

God does protect His own in times of judgment as He did the Israelites. “And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail” (Exodus 9:25-26).

1 Peter 1:5 – “Who are kept (protected) by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

John 17:15 – “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3 – “But the Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.”

2. The Second Trumpet Sounds

Revelation 8:8-9 – “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; 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.”

In this judgment John sees something “like” or “as it were” a mountain fall from the sky into the sea. It destroys a third of the life and ships that were in the sea nearest its impact. “As it were” are the operative words here. John was attempting to convey in words of his day something futuristic. Mountain is symbolic of what he was trying to describe. It could be a meteorite falling to the earth catching fire as it comes through the atmosphere. It could also be a nuclear bomb. Only God knows for sure what it is but it is nonetheless destructive.

A third part of the sea turning to blood is very probably the result of a third of what is in the sea dying. This, likewise, resembles what took place in Egypt when Aaron stretched out his rod over the waters and they turned to blood. “The LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt” (Exodus 7:19).

3. The Third Trumpet Sounds

Revelation 8:10-11 – “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; 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.”

Some have alluded this to be symbolic of some personage and the waters being the peoples of the earth. It is more probably literal. He sees an heavenly body or mass from outer space that’s burning fall to the earth. It’s likely a meteorite or meteorite shower or it could possible be a nuclear bomb.

This affects the fresh water supplies of the earth. They become bitter or poisoned and many die as a result. We should by all means take precautions by storing up water in case of some catastrophe as this or something similar. This is only wise and prudent. This, however, will doubtlessly affect the earth’s water supply for sometime. Even if we have drinking water saved up it will not likely last.

It’s interesting that when “Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet” (Exodus 15:22-25).

The tree he cast into the bitter waters is a type of the cross. Jesus’ finished work on the cross makes the bitter waters of life sweet. He turns the bitterness of sin into the sweetness of His righteousness. At His first coming Christ makes those who trust Him as Savior and Lord to be refreshed with the waters of life. Sin and the devil make life bitter whereas Jesus makes life sweet. However, here when Jesus comes in judgment, He’ll make life bitter for all those who have rejected Him. Those who trust Him can drink of the water of life freely.

John 10:10 – “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John 4:14 – “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

John 7:37-38 – ” In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.”

Isaiah 12:1-3 – “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

Isaiah 44:3 – “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.”

Isaiah 55:1 – “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

Revelation 22:1 – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

Revelation 22:17 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

4. The Fourth Trumpet Sounds

Revelation 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.”

During this judgment both night and day are at a third of its strength. Later, during the fourth vial or bowl of God’s wrath the sun scorches men on the earth. “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire” (Revelation 16:8). Here we have an eclipse which extends to a third part of the day and night. This is literally a disruption of the lights of the heavens which serves as a solemn warning of the judgments to comes.

This could very well be the result of the first trumpet judgment. During the Gulf War, between February to November 1991, Iraqi armed forces ignited oil well fires, producing dense clouds of soot, liquid, aerosols and gases. Plumes of billowing smoke remained low to the ground making it difficult to see. It was said that even during the daytime vehicles had to drive with their lights on. It’s easy to see how if a third part of the trees, grass, and vegetation were burnt up it could very well produce this kind of an effect.

This could also very well be a meteorite shower. Meteorites entering the atmosphere and the dust that’s left behind could essentially produce such an effect. It could also possibly be the effects of a nuclear bomb. Whether it is caused by the first trumpet judgment and the burning of the vegetation of the earth, a meteorite shower, or nuclear bomb(s), the effects, nonetheless will cause an disruption of the heavenly lights.

Revelation 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!”

This verse actually fits better with chapter nine. The best manuscripts show this as not an angel but rather an eagle 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!”

This is a warning of the next three judgments to follow. They will be much more severe in character than the four previous judgments. As we progress through Revelation God’s wrath progressively worsens. The first four are nothing in comparison to what’s to come. Basically the message is, “You haven’t seen anything yet!”

5. The Fifth Trumpet Sounds

Revelation 9:1-6 – “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. 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. 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. 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. 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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

  1. A star fall from heaven to earth. This isn’t a literal star because a key is given it. This is, without a doubt, Satan or Lucifer. We see this in both the Old and New Testament. When the disciples had returned from preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and casting out demons, Jesus said He saw Satan as lighting fall from heaven. Isaiah gives a vivid account of Lucifer’s fall and later in Revelation Satan, the accuser of the brethren, is cast out of heaven to earth.

    Luke 10:18-19 – “And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

    Revelation 12:7-9 – “There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

    Isaiah 14:12-15 – “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

  2. The key to the bottomless pit. “To him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 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.”

    This shows the utter horror of what resides in the bottomless pit, the sun and air being darkened at its opening. Satan and his demonic horde not only reside in darkness but are themselves filled with darkness and permeate with darkness all that’s around them. These locusts are a physical representation of hordes of demons being released on the earth to torment men who have not the seal of God.

    In the New Testament there are various words used to describe hell:

    1. Hades which we see used in Luke 16:19-31 (In the Old Testament Sheol was used to refer to the place of the dead and hell or Hades). There were two compartments in Hades, paradise and a place of torment. All the righteous prior to Christ went to paradise (Hades). They couldn’t go into the presence of God yet because their sins were just covered looking forward to Jesus’ sacrifice and not taken away. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).

      When Jesus died on the cross He went down to Hades (paradise) and preached to those held captive there that their sins were now cleansed and He set the captives free (Ephesians 4:8-10, 1 Peter 3:19, Revelation 1:18). After this, paradise was taken up to the third heaven, the very presence of God (2 Corinthians 12:1-9). Now “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). So the compartment of Hades (paradise) has been emptied and those who were there were taken up into heaven, the very presence of God. All who die in the Lord now immediately go into the presence of the Lord.

    2. Gehenna (originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., “the valley of the sons of Hinnom”), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to Molech (2 Chronicles 28:3 ; 33:6 ; Jeremiah 7:31 ; 19:2-6). This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning.

      It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by our Lord in Matthew 5:22 Matthew 5:29 Matthew 5:30 ; 10:28 ; 18:9 ; Matthew 23:15 Matthew 23:33 ; Mark 9:43 Mark 9:45 Mark 9:47 ; Luke 12:5. This is the lake of fire in Revelation 20:14. This is where all who reject Jesus will be cast at the White Throne Judgment.

    3. Tartarus In ancient Greek mythology, Tartarus was a horrible pit of torment in the afterlife. It was lower than even Hades, the place of the dead. According to the Greeks, Tartarus was populated by ferocious monsters and the worst of criminals.

      Tartarus appears only once in the New Testament. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). Most English versions translate tartarus as “hell” or the “lowest hell.” Some have defined Tartarus as “the deepest abyss of Hades.”

      Another place in Scripture that mentions sinning angels is Genesis 6:1–4 where “the sons of God” took control of human women and their progeny. According to Jude 1:6, some angels “abandoned their proper dwelling” in the heavens. For this crime, God cast them into Tartarus where they are held “in pits of gloom” (AMP) awaiting a later judgment.

    4. Abyss or abussos is what is used here describing the bottomless pit or the shaft that leads to the bottomless pit. Apparently there’s a shaft leading to the center of the earth where hell is. This is a shaft where there are all sorts of demonic spirits of varying types are held captive. Satan is given the key to this pit where he releases and unleashes these horrific demonic spirits upon the earth to torment men. This is where, at the return of Christ, Satan is bound and cast there for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).

      They were commanded 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. 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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

  3. Power to torment but not kill. The sting of a scorpion is a painful. They say that those in the Middle East are even worse. Their sting is one of the most painful things you could ever experience. However, the sting of a scorpion is rarely fatal but just hurts. “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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” The torment of these hordes of demons will be so intense that men will actually seek to die and yet will not be able to.

    Seeking death will really increase their torment. Can you imagine being in so much pain and torment that you try to kill yourself? Surely some have committed suicide for this reason. But, during this judgment, when you make an attempt on your life, perhaps more than once, it’s unsuccessful. Try to imagine a person shooting themselves in the head with a gun and surviving. They are not only left with the torment of the stings of the scorpions but also the aftermath of their suicide attempt.

  4. Their description.

    Revelation 9:7-12 – “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. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 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. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 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. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”

    We must remember, John was trying to explain the best he could what he saw in terms of his day. This was what their appearance was to him. Locust’s primary function is to devour the earth’s vegetation, the grass, trees, and crops, etc. These, however, were commanded not to follow the usual occupation of the locust and were not to harm the grass or trees but only mankind. Pastor Chuck Smith said that during World War II some attempted to equate these to the B-17 and B-24 planes used in the war. Others in more modern times have suggested these could be some type of sophisticated helicopter or something like it.

    However, they have a king over them which is the king of the bottomless pit. Which says, they are, without a doubt, a demonic horde and not any type of machinery. This demonic host has the power to hurt men who don’t have the seal of God for five months. Their focus is on men’s destruction but without them being able to die. Hence, for five months they are tormented relentlessly.

    The name of their king is “in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Abaddon means destruction and Apollyon destroyer.” The devil is destructive and a destroyer. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10a). Destruction is always in his path. It’s interesting here that his power and authority is limited. He’s allowed to torment men but is not allowed to kill them. His power is limited and under the control of the Almighty.

    “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” As bad as this has been thus far, it’s going to get increasingly worse. The following two trumpet judgments and the seven vial or bowl judgments will be much more intense than what we’ve seen to this point. The judgment of God is nothing to wink at. He is a God of love but He’s also holy and must judge sin. “The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). There’s no deliverance outside of Jesus Christ. If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus NOW is the time to do so.

6. The Sixth Trumpet Sounds

Revelation 9:13-16 – “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.”

  1. Four horns of the golden altar. “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet.” Similar to the altar in the Old Testament. Horns represent power and authority and refers to the sovereignty and judicial government of God. These ministers of judgment can’t act without the express command of God.
  2. Judgment in answer to prayer. This judgment is the result of and in response to the prayers of persecuted saints because they had maintained their faith and testimony of Jesus. When we submit vengeance to God to whom it belongs we can trust it to Him. He will settle the books at the proper time.

    Revelation 6:10 – “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

    Revelation 8:3 – “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”

    Romans 12:19 – “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

  3. Four angels are loosed. These four angels are very likely those who have been held captive in Tartarus which Peter spoke of. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). These angels are so fierce they are being held back until the time of God’s judgment upon the earth at this sixth trumpet.
  4. Prepared for a specific time. They “were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year.” This is not to be taken to imply that such was the duration of the plague; it implies that the loosing of the angels and their judgment would take place at a certain time for which they were prepared of by God. The year, month, day and hour corresponds somewhat with our Lord’s words, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36). They were simply prepared for this specific time. It seems to indicate they will accomplish their devastation in one hour. It comes at God’s appointed time!
  5. Kill a third of mankind. They were loosed “for to slay the third part of men.” At the opening of the fourth seal power is given over this rider to kill a fourth of the world’s population. The current population of the earth is approximately eight billion people. If a fourth is wiped out that would be two billion with a remaining population being six billion. If a third more are slain in this judgment that would mean two billion more will die. This would leave a population of approximately four billion living on the earth afterwards. These two wipe out half the world’s population.
  6. Two hundred million mounted troops. “The number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” The two hundred thousand thousand would actually be an army of two hundred million. This is going to be a really massive army! Some have suggested this to be an army from the orient or the east, however, that army is seen in the sixth vial or bowl judgment in Revelation 16:12. Is this a literal army or is it a demonic host waging war against man? This is, without a doubt, a literal army. It could very well be the army of the Anti-Christ bringing destruction on and against mankind and subduing the nations into subjection to him and his reign over the world. Most, however, believe this to be China, as they’re the one most likely to have an army of this size.
  7. The description of this army.

    Revelation 9:17-19 – “And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.”

    This is very probably a description of modern mechanical warfare. When I was in the Army in the early seventies, I was a tank crewman. We supported the Armour School and trained men from West Point and other lieutenants how to operate the tanks and the proper use of them. The tanks we used in training exercises was the M60A1. When out on the range at night, when firing the main 105 gun, we used tracer rounds. It was light a big ball of fire flying through the air, hence, “out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.” Whatever this is, it’s a picture of an irresistible military force destroying all opposing it. The world longs for peace and seeks it through the worship of the beast but there will be no lasting peace until the Prince of Peace comes.

  8. Mankind’s hardened and unrepentant state.

    Revelation 9:20-21 – “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

    This reveals the utter depravity of man (Jeremiah 17:9). In the face of judgment they still refuse to repent. When I started Bible College in 1976, I recall a professor asking how many gave their life to Christ because they feared hell. It was amazing how many said they had. As we pass through time to our current day, we can see people’s hearts have become hardened. Few fear the wrath of God in our day. Here we see they refuse to repent when faced with the judgment of God.

    Even though knowing Jesus paid the penalty for their sins they still refuse to accept Him. At the cross Jesus made provision for their salvation, yet they refuse to turn from their rebellion and turn to Christ. Man literally has to trample underfoot the the Son of God, reject His shed blood on their behalf, and despise the grace of God to come to this place. God is even now stretching out His goodness to you if you’ll accept it. Those who reject it will face God’s wrath.

    Hebrews 10:29 – “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

    Hebrews 3:12 – “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

    Hebrews 10:31 – “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

    Romans 2:4-5 – “Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”

    Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

    Romans 10:21 – “All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying (obstinate) people.”

    Will you accept Jesus and God’s goodness NOW before it’s too late? God is even now stretching out His hands to receive you and bestow His love and grace on you. Jesus paid the penalty for your sins on the cross so you wouldn’t have to face God’s wrath. He faced His wrath and the judgment for sin in your stead so you wouldn’t have to. If you reject His kindness He’s holding out to you you’ll one day face His wrath and judgment. Accept Jesus NOW before it’s too late.

    Romans 5:9-10 – “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

    2 Corinthians 6:2 – “For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.”

Salvation Prayer: Pray with me right now to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Mouthing these words are meaningless but if you’ll truly believe them you will be saved. “Lord, I believe Jesus died for my sins and that He rose from the dead. I confess Him to be my Lord and ask Him into my heart right now. Cleanse me of my sins and help me to live for You from this day forth. In Jesus name, Amen!”

7. The Seventh Trumpet Sounds

The seventh trumpet doesn’t sound until Revelation 11:14-19. At its sounding it’s announced, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). And the twenty-four elders fall on their faces and begin to worship and foretell of His coming judgment on the dead and of His reward for the saints. As in the Seal Judgments so it is with the Trumpet Judgments. The seventh trumpet opens up the Vials or Bowls God’s wrath. These are the final judgments but aren’t poured out on the earth until chapters fifteen and sixteen.


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