The trumpets give us events that all will happen in the time after Jesus entered the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary. This is the beginning of the eschatological judgment. It is during this period that God’s people are sealed with God’s seal. Some of the trumpets will sound while Christ is in the sanctuary, and some will sound after He has left the sanctuary. How long after Jesus entered the Most Holy before the first trumpet sounds, we know nothing about, but we know that the sealing will take place at the same time as Jesus leaves the sanctuary, and before the fifth trumpet sounds. At this time we have moved into the last days of the earth’s history, and the last seven plagues that will tell God’s people that redemption is imminent are beginning to fall upon a ravaged and afflicted human race.
It will be impossible to time these events, but as we have previously seen it is the sum of a number of actions that will be the triggering factor. These events will happen on the hour and the day and the month and the year or in the day when all things that God in His wisdom has predetermined have happened. Once again, we are faced with a prophecy divided into seven, which basically has great similarities with both the letters to the seven churches and the seven seals. When the seventh seal is opened, it shows us, among other things, the seven trumpets, which is one of the elements the seventh seal contains.
If we look at the trumpets with a historical look, there is no doubt that the trumpets were used in certain contexts in Old Testament times, among other things to advertise anniversaries, when new kings were appointed, and they were used in connection with Yom Kippur – the great Day of Atonement. They will also be used to announce that the judgement is about to be implemented in the end time, better known as doomsday. Most known, however, is the use of trumpets in connection with war (see Jeremiah 4,19), and they were used when the children of Israel took possession of the Promised Land. The first thing Israel had to do was to fight the battle of Jericho, and in connection with this we know that the trumpets were used diligently. The trumpets can also symbolize the fall of the enemy.
Since the seven trumpets are a consequence of the opening of the seventh seal, the starting time for the trumpets falls to a time after the transition to prophetic time in the year 1844 and extends down to the return of Jesus. Timing these events will be difficult, but we know that they will take place in turn and order after 1844. Now two rounds of plagues follow one another that seem to be similar. The plagues under the seals hit a quarter of the earth, now a third of the earth will be hit under the trumpets, and the whole earth will be hit under the vials. It appears from the text that God’s faithful people, here called the 144,000, will be sealed, and this will happen before the fifth trumpet.
I think there is a significant difference between the consequences of the first four trumpets and the last three trumpets. While the first four trumpets mainly hit the earth, the sea, the rivers and water sources, sun, moon and stars, it is still mentioned that many people died of the waters because they were made bitter (poisoned) (3rd trumpet), it is only from the fifth trumpet that it begins to seriously affect humanity, and this only happens after God’s faithful remnant is sealed (cf. Revelation 9,4). The last seven plagues do not fall until after Jesus has left the sanctuary in heaven, and the sealing will take place between the fourth and fifth trumpets. When we get as far as the fifth trumpet, the door of mercy is closed, the remnant of God is sealed, and our Lord and King Jesus Christ is on his way to finally deliver his faithful remnant who have been waiting for Him with longing in their hearts.
As the text in the first verses of chapter 8 is structured, there is reason to look at verses 2 to 6 as a kind of interlude after the opening of the seventh seal and before we begin on the trumpets themselves. We get an insight into what is happening in heaven and what preparations are being made with a view to the final events that follow during the trumpets and bowls.
Once after Jesus entered the Most Holy Place in the heavenly temple in 1844, to begin what we call the investigative judgment, the seventh seal will be opened. Whether the seventh seal is open or not today is impossible to say for sure. We know that the sixth seal has been opened, for this gave us signs that said we were going from prophetic time to end time. Whether the seventh seal is opened or not, this is one of the preparations for the end of the world as we know it, and the seventh seal tells us that God is preparing the last plagues. It is worth noting that it will be silent in heaven when the seventh seal is opened. The seventh seal contains, as I said, the seven trumpets, which are an escalation of the afflictions to which a suffering earth is exposed. Because of human fall, the earth is under the devil’s regime, and suffers from it. I believe that God will more or less pull His protective hand away from the earth when the first afflictions begin to fall so that the devil’s purpose will become clear. This is probably the reason why the torments and trials only get worse and worse.
When God created the world, the angels and living beings sang their praises to God. Man was the crown of God’s creation, and God saw everything … … was very good (Genesis 1,31).
As I said during the seventh seal, it all starts with a dramatic break before the seven trumpets are released. Why this silence? Could the silence be due to what is about to happen? Could it be that the whole heaven is waiting in awe for the fulfilment of God’s will? The fact that there is silence in the heaven before the seventh seal is opened is also in sharp contrast to the first six seals.
It will be a hopeless task to try to time the different trumpets and vials when we go through them. It is also impossible to give a detailed description of what will happen, but we have some indications of what will happen given in the text of each individual trumpet and vial. As I said, this begins after the transition from prophetic time to end time. Here again, history is not linear all the time we are taken back to the fall of Lucifer, (9,1). The seven trumpets can be divided into three groups as the seals were divided into three groups, but here it is respectively four trumpets, two trumpets and one trumpet.
I mean we need to read both the trumpets and the vials in light of the events that happened in Egypt when Moses led Israel out of Egypt and on the way to the Promised Land, Canaan. This is the type of the end time events as we are to be liberated from our Egypt and taken to our Canaan, the heavenly Canaan.
The first trumpet, 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 contents of the first trumpet were cast upon the earth so that it hits a third part of the earth’s trees and green grass and is a clear parallel to the 7th plague that struck Egypt, (Exodus 9,13-35). Hail and fire hit all herbs in Egypt. Trees and green plants are often used as an image of God’s people.
Based on the fact that the seventh seal is opened at some point after the year 1844, it should be the case that the seven trumpets also take place after this time. Even though John saw Lucifer’s fall during the fifth trumpet, it does not mean that we are at that point on the timeline. John saw what happened to the most prominent angel Lucifer, and this is probably given as additional information that can help us understand this chapter, and who is behind all the misery we will see. It is thus at one time or another during this period when the seven trumpets sound that God’s people will be sealed, which is again confirmed in Revelation 9,4. That the seal is included in this sequence shows that it is not nature in the literal sense that is affected during the seven trumpets, but humanity through the spiritual struggle that is constantly going on and intensifying. And the third of the trees were burnt up must not be understood so that it is the final judgement in question. That the plagues intensify, we can read from the fact that it was a fourth part that was affected under the seven seals, now it is a third part that is affected. In the end, everything and everyone will be affected. Thrown down, see verse 5.
What is first affected under the trumpets is what is on the earth and reflects the seventh plague in Egypt. Hail and fire affected all trees and all green herbs in Egypt. If this is interpreted literally, it points to a possible famine in the world, where a third of the world’s population will suffer from food shortages. That hail and fire are mixed with blood is also reminds of the souls under the altar who had been killed for God’s word. (See also Matthew 23,34-36.)
The first three trumpets affects the nature, and if we still interpret this literally, we can see around us today that nature is out of balance. There are droughts in many places so that they cannot cultivate, and there are floods in many places which also mean that it cannot be cultivated there either. More and more often the news tells us that there are hundreds of thousands of dead fish that suddenly appear in a harbour or on a beach, or about thousands of birds that fall dead to the ground, and no one has a natural explanation for these phenomena. In 2020, East Africa was plagued by a swarm of billions of locusts that ate up the crops that had not been destroyed by drought or floods. In 1947, when Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Callao in Peru with Kon-Tiki, the Pacific Ocean was almost free of pollution. By 2020, less than 75 years later, the world’s oceans are so polluted that one can see entire islands of rubbish drifting around. Furthermore, we also know that water quality is deteriorating. Even in Norway, where we always have had clean water, this is about to change. We learn that lakes and watercourses are no longer so clean.
The second trumpet, 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.
The contents of the second trumpet were thrown into the sea, with the result that much of the life in the sea died. This is the same thing that happened in Egypt during the first plague, (Exodus 7,14-25). Here, what is in the sea is affected, and a third part of the sea became blood, which can be interpreted as meaning that it is a great war that takes the lives of a large part of the earth’s population. If we choose to interpret this in a spiritual context, then we can see the results of the spiritual war that has been going on in all times since Adam and Eve fell into sin. Seas and rivers are used in the prophecy as images of men. Blood is used for death and war. Verse 9 indicates that there will be an economic collapse. Ships are used in the Bible as a picture of the economy. This is still not about the final justice. Neither is it a question of a natural pollution from volcanoes or the like. Jeremiah 51,25 uses the expression burnt mountain about Babylon: Behold, I [am] against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
Burning mountains appear in Hebrew literature outside the biblical canon as well, and in 1 Enoch 18,13 it says: I saw there seven stars like great burning mountains.
The third trumpet, 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.
We must take into account that the time this happens is the end time in the broadest sense, and what is written applies to a great extent to us. In my opinion, the sealing will take place after the fourth trumpet, so what the third trumpet worries about is to give humanity enough information about the cosmic conflict so that they can understand what is about to happen, and on the basis of this and the preaching of the three angels’ message may repent.
When the third trumpet sounds, a big star falls upon a third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of water. Now it is what is upon the rivers and the fountains of water that is affected, and it is still the first plague in Egypt that is copied (Exodus 7,14-25). Or is it not? I think we must distinguish between the sea in verse 8, and the rivers and fountains of water in verse 11. When the star called Wormwood mixes with the water, this probably means that the water that is in rivers and fountains of water, here is the water of life or the word of God, and it gets contaminated by Wormwood. In the Bible, the name gives characteristics of the bearer of the name. So when the star here is called Wormwood, it probably has an impact on how we are to understand it all. In Revelation 1 verse 20, a star is explained as the leader of the church or congregation, but it is every reason to assume that we are dealing with a different size here. We must probably go to Revelation 9,1 to find the answer to this. See also Isaiah 14,12: How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! (NIV 1984).
When this star is called Wormwood, it gives reason to stop thinking about what lies in the meaning of this word. We primarily associate wormwood with something bitter, and the plant has been used for many things over time. Excessive intake of wormwood, or thujone which is a substance that occurs naturally in oil from wormwood, can cause difficulty sleeping, intestinal cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tension, brain damage, and eventually death. The parallel to false doctrines is so absolutely present in that false doctrine, in small doses, is not mortal in itself, but false doctrine over time leads to death as wormwood does. I believe these two verses tell us that it is Satan who is behind all the paganism and all unbiblical traditions that the church has absorbed over the years. Unfortunately, many people, yes most, will not care about this message
The fourth trumpet, Revelation 8,12-13.
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!
The fourth trumpet affects the sun, moon and the stars as the third part of them was darkened. There are many who equate the fourth trumpet with the sixth seal. I believe these are two very different events, and that is because the sixth seal in a way ends prophetic time and heralds the beginning of the end time, while under the seventh seal we have moved into the end time. When the ninth plague fell on Egypt, darkness covered Egypt for three days (Exodus 10,21-23). The references to the Egyptian plagues suggest that God is aiming for the final liberation of his people, who in many ways are slaves in a world ruled by hostile forces. However, I think we should stay on the spiritual plane, and then we can understand the darkness in verse 12 as a spiritual darkness that descends upon the wicked. We are now right in front of the sealing of the 144,000, who will forever and ever distinguish between God’s faithful remnant and the wicked. God will also now in the end times, as He said to Pharaoh, set a division, literally ransom between his people and the people of Pharaoh, (Exodus 8,23).
As a reference to Revelation 8,12-13: In Matthew 24,29, Jesus gives a clear description of what kind of signs we should be able to see in heaven just before he returns. This prophecy is strongly linked to the previous one, in that Jesus says immediately after the tribulation of these days, pointing back to verses 21-28. This verse, Matthew 24,29, is a clear parallel to Revelation 6,12-13 which says so: … … there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Since these signs come between the great tribulation in verses 21-28 and the return of Jesus in verses 30-31, it is reasonable to believe that this verse is also fulfilled through:
– a great earthquake: the earthquake in Lisbon on November 1, 1755, probably the strongest earthquake recorded by humans – the sun turned black like a sackcloth of hair: the day when the sun was darkened, May 19, 1780 – the moon became as blood: the night when the full moon turned red like blood, the night of May 20, 1780 – the stars of heaven fell unto the earth: the meteor shower over North America on November 13, 1833.
I believe we have the same prophecy in Matthew 24,29 and Revelation 6,12-13. Although there are small differences in the text of Matthew 24,29 in relation to Revelation 6,12-13, it can be argued that the same prophecy is mentioned in both places, despite the fact that Jesus in Matt does not mention earthquakes (in verse 29) something Revelation 6,12 does, and Matthew 24,29 mentions that the powers of heaven will be shaken, something Revelation 6,12-13 does not. Jesus already mentions earthquakes in verse 7 in Matthew 24, and earthquakes can be seen both as an end-time sign and as a general sign. Jesus himself says that earthquakes are only the beginning of the woe. Earthquakes should then be considered as a general sign along with war, disease and false christs. In verse 29, Jesus continues with more special end-time signs that are unique and that will follow the events mentioned above. We can therefore not equate Matthew 24,29 and Revelation 6,12-13 on the one hand, and Revelation 8,12-13 on the other, because there are greater differences between these verses than there are similarities, which should tell us that it is two different events
Although the plagues that have already fallen have had great consequences, we see in verse 13 that there must remain great tribulations for men. It is worth noting this ending with three woe. I understand this so that we have come to a distinction, and it is now the 144,000 are sealed.
When it comes to the translation here, they have chosen to use angel. In the Greek text, however, the word aetû is used which means eagle (and/or vulture). The eagle was seen as a sign of judgment, (Deuteronomy 28,49; Hosea 8,1; Habakkuk 1,8 and Matthew 24,28). That this angel/eagle flies in the middle of the heaven means that everyone should hear this message. This concludes the first part of the trumpets.
In Egypt, God made a distinction between His people and the people of Pharaoh after the third plague. We find the same in the last ten plagues of the end times. Exodus 8,22-23 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms [of flies] shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I [am] the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be.
The fifth trumpet, Revelation 9,1-12.
As we see above, John uses one verse on the first trumpet, and two verses on the second, the third and the fourth trumpet, a total of 7 verses on these four trumpets. When we get to the fifth trumpet, this trumpet John uses 12 verses on this trumpet alone, and for the sixth trumpet he uses nine verses. I think this tells something important about these two trumpets. The seventh trumpet gets 5 verses.
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key to 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.
The fifth trumpet affects the people in particular, and then it is important to notice what is said to those who have the power to torment the people. They must not harm anyone other than those who have taken the mark of the beast.
When John sees this vision, the star he saw has already fallen. What John sees here can therefore be nothing more than a repetition of what he saw during the third trumpet in 8,10, just to emphasize who we are dealing with. The star in verse 1 is probably the same power called the angel of the abyss in verse 11, the destroyer or Satan. God’s people are now sealed, so they will not be affected by the plagues that the locusts from the abyss causes. These will have the power to harm those who do not have the seal of God, but they will not have the power to touch those who are sealed with the seal of God. Although we see Satan’s fall in 8,10-11, we are also witnessing his fall here, and this supports the claim that the sum of the events in the letters, seals and trumpets not only shows us the present and the future, but they give us also a little refreshment of the past. Smoke is usually a symbol of seduction. It is difficult to see clearly when there is a blanket of smoke around us, and when the truth is hidden we can say that there is a veil over the truth, a veil of smoke. But when we come to verse 2, it is clear from the context that we have come so far in history that people have been put to the final choice. Everyone has chosen whom to follow, God’s faithful remnant has chosen to follow God and keep His commandments which include God’s day of rest, the seventh day of the week – the Sabbath. The wicked have chosen to follow the son of perdition and keep his commandments and his day of rest, the Sunday – which is also called the family day. Those who without reservation have chosen to keep God’s commandments and keep His Sabbath have been marked with the seal of God, while those who have chosen to keep to Sunday, have through their actions chosen to take the mark of the beast.
The abyss is translated from the Greek phrear tés abussou, which actually means the bottomless or debthless depth/abbys. Strong´s Concordance adds that there is also another understanding of the expression in the Jewish conception of the concept: the place where the dead and the evil spirits reside.
In Genesis 1,2, abussou represents the primeval sea, in Job 41,31, abussou represents the sea in a general sense, while abussou represents the depths of the earth in Psalm 71,20.
That this star has keys implies that he has the power, (to close and open). He did not have this power in the first place, as it is said that the star was given the key. In other words, it is a higher power that allows the fallen star to use this power. But he does not get this power until God has sealed his people so that they are out of Satan’s reach. The devil and his locusts can no longer harm God’s people precisely because they are beyond their reach at this time.
That the star now opened the abyss to release the locusts we can read in this way. We have now come so far into the end times that God’s people have been sealed. This is expressed in verse 4 where it says: They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
When God’s people are out of reach of Satan’s devastation, he will have free hands to unleash his demons on the people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads through the fact that God has withdrawn his holy spirit from the earth. The door of grace is closed. The same thing happened in Egypt that night when God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt. God’s people were told to strike the blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death could pass by. God’s people opened their doors to those who lived in Egypt, and many sought refuge with them before it was too late, and the door of grace was closed to the wicked.
The smoke we see in verse 2 cannot be a symbol of seduction all the time we are after the sealing on the timeline, and in that way the destinies of all have been settled forever and ever. Revelation 22,11 says about the people who live in this period between the sealing and the return of Jesus: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. The smoke in question here is rather a spiritual darkness that envelops all those who chose the mark of the beast
In the early eighth century, a Spanish monk said that he had identified the locusts as a symbol of the Arab Muslims who had just conquered North Africa. Many others have also seen this in the fact that the Arab Muslims did not destroy the assets of the conquered, and allowed those who converted, and who agreed to pay taxes to the Muslims, to live. Only those who did not convert to Islam and those who did not pay taxes were killed. However, this is a sought-after explanation and is not in harmony with neither Revelation nor the book of Daniel.
I would rather see the locusts as something completely different, and the Bible gives us, as always, help to find an explanation for the problems we encounter. As mentioned earlier, the book of Joel explains that this swarm of locusts is a kind of messenger of the destruction caused by the events of the day of the Lord (Joel 1,4; 2,25). We are not dealing with literal locusts here, but with demonic forces, or the devil’s angels, who will torment all who are not sealed with the seal of God. God’s people are now out of the devil’s reach, but they will still suffer the worst persecution ever. Since the plagues only afflict the wicked, they believe that it is the fault of the people of God that they are exposed to these plagues because God’s people do not keep Sunday, the family day, as the day of rest. They will then turn against the remnant of God to exterminate them, without success.
Paul writes that those who endure to the end will receive their crown of victory from their King, Jesus Christ, as a sign that victory has been won. This is more than interesting when we look at what is said about Apollyon. The Greek word Apollyon literally means the destroyer and is just another name for Satan, and to who is it Satan as a king, if not the fallen angels, who have become evil demons? Verse 7 tells us that these locusts had something on their heads that looked like crowns of gold, and that they had faces like human faces. We know that Satan will always imitate God and what he does, and here he gives his fallen angels crowns of something resembling gold.
This is the first wo.
Wo in scripture can express several things such as a person’s grief and complaint about themselves or others. A wo from the Lord Himself, or from His prophets or other servants, proclaims the Lord’s judgment on nations, groups and individuals who oppose Him and His holy will, such as: Korasin and Bethsaida: Matthew 11,21; Luke 10,13. The scribes and Pharisees: Matthew 23,13f. People who seduce others: Matthew 18,7. The one who betrayed Jesus: Matthew 26,24. A wo also warns that it is difficult for people to find the truth. When we have reached this point on the timeline, as I said, the door of grace is closed, and then it is impossible for people to turn to God.
The sixth trumpet, Revelation 9,13-21.
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.
Now the four angels (see Revelation 7,1) who have held back the earth’s four winds are unleashed, and a great war is coming up. There are many explanations for who these angels during the 6th trumpet are, and what this is really about. It is probably not a war in the literal sense we are dealing with, (see also the sixth bowl in Revelation 16,12-16). It appears under the sixth bowl that three unclean spirits came out of the mouth of the dragon, and these three unclean spirits, manage to incite the wicked to a final attack on God and God’s people. Now it is probably not a physical war we are witnessing here, but rather the beginning to the end of the spiritual war that has been going on for a long time.
This trumpet is covered by as many as 9 verses and provides detailed information about what is to happen. That the voice in verse 13 comes from the altar before the throne of God, where the prayers of the saints ascend, indicates that the judgment that now follows truly is the Day of the Lord, great and very terrible (Joel 2,11), (see also Psalm 65,6; 66,2). Many interpret the time in verse 15, an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, as prophetic time, which will be 391 years and 15 days if this is prophetic time. There is greater reason to believe that this is about the concept of fixed time, a specific point on the timeline, which is often used in the Bible and which here describes the exact time when God will intervene in history. The number of riders is not a literal number, but a large unknown number, limited upwards.
The rivers Euphrates and Tigris have played an important role in relation to God’s people in ancient times. Here by these rivers grew the kingdoms of Assyria, Babylon and Medo-Persia forth. The survivors of Israel, also called the Ten-tribe Kingdom or the Northern Kingdom, were taken captive beyond the Euphrates River by the Assyrians, and to the Euphrates Judea (the Jews) was taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The Euphrates became a symbol of the power that dominated the lands by the two rivers, and the Euphrates was traditionally considered the eastern border of both God’s people and the Roman Empire. The Euphrates was also seen as a symbolic bond of the evil forces.
When the angels unleash the destructive forces, this describes the end of the spiritual battle that is the same as Armageddon, and the persecutions that God’s people will be subjected to in the end times. The struggle has been going on for a long time already but will intensify when we get to this point in history.
As I said, many interpret the time in verse 15 as prophetic time and claim that this amounts to 391 years and 15 days. There is greater reason to believe that this is the term an appointed time (Habakkuk 2,3) which is often used in the Bible and which here describes the time when God will intervene in history. It says truly that they were prepared to the time that God had predetermined, at the appointed time of God, expressed as an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year. I mean this points to a specific time. I do not mean a specific date, but until the time when the conditions God has set are fulfilled so that God can intervene and complete his plan, and this does not happen until everything that God in his perfect plan has decided to happen has happened before the angels are released.
The four angels in verse 15 are released when the fifth angel has blown his trumpet, and it does not happen until God has sealed his people. It is only when God allows the locusts, the devil’s angels, to torment those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads, and the first woe has been heard. Then, neither before nor after, the time for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year has come. The expression an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year is in other words a specific point on the timeline, not a prophetic time period.
Despite the fact that our focus is involuntarily drawn towards demonic forces such as the locusts under the fifth trumpet, and the cavalry army of 200 million here under the sixth trumpet, we must remember that God is sovereign and controls the course of history according to His perfect plan.
There are different interpretations of what this huge army is, and not least who it consists of. And once again, the kingdoms of the East, China, Russia, Turkey, or a coalition of these are mentioned. Since we are now after the sealing in time, there is reason to look at another explanation that is more plausible and that harmonizes with the battle called Armageddon. It is a spiritual battle we are fighting, and then there is every reason to believe that this is the same demonic army that we see under the fifth trumpet. Although many seem to be programmed to believe that this is today’s Turkey, I will hold on to the spiritual interpretation of the scripture, adding what Isaiah 9,15 says about the tail: The ancient and honourable, he [is] the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he [is] the tail.
The fact that the judgment acts are called plagues are due to that many claim that there is a clear parallel between the seven trumpets and the seven vials. This is despite the fact that there is more that separates the trumpets and the bowls than unites them. In relation to the text in verses 18 and 19, I will once again refer to Joel 1,4; 2,4 despite the fact that many have chosen to read the cannons of the Turks and the tanks of our time into 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.
Verse 19 points directly to the tails of locusts and tells us that the tails are like snakes that have heads. We connect snakes first and foremost with two things. From the Bible, where the serpent seduced Eve, and the fact that many serpents are poisonous. As elsewhere in Revelation, I believe John uses such allusions here to give us clues so we can find out who is the origin of evil, which with its poison = poisonous and seductive speech, leads the whole world to fall.
And they repent not we must read in the light of Deuteronomy 4,28; Psalm 135,15 and Jeremiah 1,16. In Old Testament times, people made physical idols, which is not so common nowadays. We must rather look at what we consider important for us, and what we spend a lot of time, effort and money on in daily life. The way of life we choose will determine whether we worship the works of our hands in the form of excessive pleasure and luxury. Those who choose such a way of life will then create their own idols that are equivalent to the old idols of gold, silver, stone or wood. John ends his 1st letter with the following: [My] little children, guard yourselves from idols.
The seventh trumpet, Revelation 11,15-19.
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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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. 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. 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.
The seventh angel marks the beginning of the third woe and ends the interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets. We find the second woe at the end of the interludes between the sixth and seventh trumpets. The seventh trumpet is one of the last things to happen in this world. The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ, it says in verse 15.
The seventh trumpet cannot be considered a plague! The 7th trumpet belongs to the absolute end time, and we get a new glimpse into God’s heaven. God the Father has regained control of the earth, and the kingdoms of this world now belong to our Lord, who here is God the Father, and his Christ. John sees that the temple of God is opened in heaven and there he sees the ark of God testament which contains God’s ten commandments, which is the standard by which all people are to be judged. The seventh and final trumpet heralds the final settlement of history, something we can see from what follows the seventh trumpet; lightning, and thunder and rumble. The thunder that follows the lightning is a symbol of God’s presence, which is followed by earthquakes and huge hail. This implies that Jesus has gone out of the Most Holy (hagia hagion). This means that Yom Kippur, or the investigative judgment, has been completed, and now it is just before our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
It was thus the task of the trumpets to reveal the political and religious conflict in the world, and God’s judgment, or to foretell various events. Here, in the seventh trumpet, it is to tell that Jesus Christ is the King of the universe – the King of kings. It is one of the highlights of Revelation when the seventh trumpet proclaims that the kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ, and that the Lamb shall be King forever. Before the seven trumpets sound, attention is directed to an altar in the heavenly temple, and it ends with the same panorama where the ark of the testimony appears. Why? Simply to remind us that God’s ten commandments will be used as God’s standard in the judgment that will soon be pronounced on all people on earth, on the living as well as the dead. And the judgment first comes upon the people of God. When the seventh trumpet sounds, God’s secret is complete. The plan of salvation has been carried out to the letter, and Jesus will forever be the rightful King of the universe.