Revelation 8: The First 4 Trumpets

Posted on March 1, 2021

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By David Ettinger

What This Is
Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, I taught a Sunday school class verse by verse on the Book of Revelation. This series represents my notes for each class. (I have done some updating as some of my understandings have changed over the years.) I came across them recently and decided to post them. If you wish to use these notes as a study guide, the way to do it is as follows: Read the verse first in your Bible, then look at the corresponding notes here for commentary.

For some reason, I don’t have notes for Chapters 1-3, therefore this series begins with Chapters 4-5. Following the Chapter 4-5 study notes, each chapter will be presented individually.

Read Chapter 4-5 notes here.
Read Chapter 6 notes here.

Read Chapter 7 notes here.

Overview
* The sealing of the 144,000 is complete; the Rapture of the Church as occurred; and now God is ready to pour out His wrath on sinful Planet Earth.

* His wrath begins with the blowing of the trumpets, or the trumpet judgments.

Trumpets
* There were two kinds of trumpets in ancient Israel:

1) The ram’s horn (Hebrew, shofar).

2) A long, tubular object.

* The trumpet in ancient Israel was used for 2 primary reasons:

1) To summon the people to the Tabernacle or Temple (Numbers 10:1-7).

2) To go to war (Judges 6:34; Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Verse 1
*Silence in Heaven (Zechariah 2:13; Zephaniah 1:7).

* The Day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1:14-17).

* There is a solemn silence because what is about to come upon Earth is awesome. There is silence at the prospect of what is about to occur.

* There will be an outpouring of God’s wrath such as the world has never before known.

Verse 2
* Seven angels: Given authority to carry out God’s wrath.

* As each trumpet is blown, God’s wrath will be poured out.

Verse 3
* The next angel comes to make an offering before the Lord.

* The incense in this scene presents the prayers of the saints. The incense offers a pleasing aroma, which indicates how pleasing to God is the prayers of the saints.

* The prayers of the saints are directly before God.

Verse 4
* Perhaps the essence of the saints’ prayer is “Thy kingdom come, they will be done.”

* Again, we see the prayers “going up” before God.

Verse 5
* Once the censer is cleared of the prayers, it is filled with fire which is to be hurled onto Earth. God is ready to enter into judgment upon Earth as He will now begin to pur out His wrath on a rebellious world.

* An awesome display of God’s power precedes His wrath to come.

Verse 6
* Everything has been set in place as God is now ready to pour out judgment upon Earth.

Verse 7
The First Trumpet
* Note: These trumpet judgment are not natural phenomenon. The trumpet and bowl judgments are all initiated by God.

* It’s difficult to picture how hail and fire can be mixed with blood, but this is God’s doing.

* Destroying a third of trees and grass would destroy at least a third of the world’s crops. The effects will be devastating.

* Note: None of this will be the result of a nuclear war or ANYTHING that comes from humanity.

* God is the One who is going to war.

Verses 8-9
The Second Trumpet
* The seas are now targeted. With the cosmic disturbances of the sixth seal, it will not be unreasonable to see massive objects falling into the sea. Such an occurrence would cause mountainous tidal waves.

* The waters being changed to blood is a reminder of the first plague on Egypt.

* The effect of this plague would be total elimination of all life in that particular third of the seas.

Verses 10-11
The Third Trumpet
* Now it’s the rivers and springs which are targeted ­ – the remainder of the world’s bodies of water.

* “Wormwood” ­– something that grew, but was non-toxic. However, it was very bitter.

* The star that hit the rivers – as well as that which fell in the seas – could have had chemicals within it that caused the disasters depicted here.

Verse 12
The Fourth Trumpet
* This trumpet targets the sky as opposed to Earth, the seas, and waters.

* Again, remember that this is a period of unprecedented trouble and disaster.

Verse 13
* The first 4 trumpets target land, seas, rivers, and the heavens (the sky). Now, it’s as if the heat is being turned up again.

* The last 3 trumpets to come are referred to as “Woe! Woe! Woe!”

* As bad as what the first 4 trumpets will be like, the next 3 are going to be more severe.

* The first 4 trumpets is God punishing creation for the humanity’s sin.