The 7 *trumpets – Revelation 8:2-11:19
Preparation for the *trumpets – Revelation 8:2-5
v2 Then I saw the 7 *angels who stand in front of God. They each received one of the 7 *trumpets.
v3 And another *angel came and he stood at the *altar. He had a gold bowl in which to burn *incense. He received a lot of *incense. He had to offer this on the gold *altar with the prayers of all God’s people. The *altar was in front of the *throne. v4 As the *angel burned the *incense, it caused smoke to rise from the bowl in his hand. That smoke rose up to God with the prayers of his people. v5 Then the *angel took the gold bowl. He filled it with fire from the *altar. Then he threw it onto the earth. There were *thunder, loud noises, and much lightning. And the earth shook.
Verse 2 There was a silence in heaven when the *Lord broke the seventh *seal. In the seventh *seal were the events called ‘the 7 *trumpets’. In the seventh *trumpet, there were the events called ‘the 7 bowls’.
After that silence, John looked. He saw the 7 *angels. These *angels were a special group. They stood in the holy place, ready to serve God. Each of these received a *trumpet. These *trumpets bring the anger of God to the earth.
Verse 3 An *angel came and he stood at the *altar. He was not one of the 7. He had much *incense, which he added to the prayers of God’s people.
The prayers of his people are important to God. He hears them and he answers them.
Verse 4 The sweet smell of the *incense and the prayers rose up to God. God received the prayers of his people. He would answer their cry.
Verse 5 The prayers had risen to God. Then the *angel took the empty bowl. He filled it with fire. Then he threw it to the earth. There were powerful effects in the sky. And the earth shook. The fire and the effects showed that God was angry. He was angry about people’s evil deeds. He was angry that they refused to obey him. He was angry that they would not accept his love. So, he would now act against the earth.
The first four *trumpets – Revelation 8:6-12
v6 Then the 7 *angels who had the 7 *trumpets prepared to sound them.
v7 The first *angel’s *trumpet sounded. Then *hail and fire mixed with blood poured down on the earth. It burned up a third of the earth. It also burned up a third of the trees. And it burned up all the green grass.
v8 The second *angel’s *trumpet sounded. I saw something like a great mountain. It was on fire, and it fell down into the sea. And a third of the sea became blood. v9 A third of all that was living in the sea died. And this event destroyed a third of all the ships on the sea.
v10 The third *angel’s *trumpet sounded. A great star fell from heaven. It was burning like a torch in flames. It fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water. v11 The name of the star is *Wormwood. A third of the water became bitter. And many people died from the waters, because they were bitter.
v12 The fourth (4th) *angel’s *trumpet sounded. Something struck a third of the sun, of the moon and of the stars. A third of each of them became dark. There was no light for a third of the day and a third of the night.
Verse 6 All was ready for the *angels to sound the *trumpets.
The first four *trumpets affect a third of nature.
Verse 7 The first *trumpet.
When the first *angel sounded his *trumpet, there was a great storm. The storm appeared in heaven. The skies were as red as blood. Then the storm poured down on the earth. There was *hail, fire and blood.
The effects of the *hail and fire were terrible. The fire burned a third of the land. All the trees and other plants on that land died.
Verses 8-9 The second *trumpet.
The second *angel sounded his *trumpet. John saw what looked like a huge mountain. It burned with fire. As it burned, it fell into the sea. The effect of this was to make the sea red. A third of the sea became blood.
Then all that lived in that third of the sea died. All the ships on that part of the sea sank.
Verses 10-11 The third *trumpet.
Then the third *angel sounded his *trumpet. A third of the fresh water on the earth became bitter. The cause was a huge star, which fell to earth. Its name was *Wormwood. Many people who drank this bitter water died.
Verse 12 The fourth (4th) *trumpet.
At the sound of the fourth *trumpet, something struck the sun. The result was darkness for a third of the day. The same happened to the moon and the stars. Their light did not shine for a third of the night.
The cry of the *eagle – Revelation 8:13
v13 Then I saw and I heard an *eagle. It was flying across the sky. It cried with a loud voice, ‘Trouble, trouble, trouble to those who live on the earth! Trouble will come at the sounds of the *trumpets of the last three *angels.’
Verse 13 The effects of the first four *trumpets were terrible. But the effects of the last three would be even worse. The *eagle warned that the last three *trumpets would bring awful trouble. The first four affected only part of the world. The last three would affect all the people on earth.
The fifth (5th) *trumpet – Revelation 9:1-12
v1 The fifth (5th) *angel’s *trumpet sounded. And I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. This star had received a key. And that key opens the entrance of the hole whose depth has no end. v2 Then this star opened the entrance to the deep hole. Smoke came up from the hole, like the smoke that comes from a great fire. The sun and the air became dark because of the smoke that came from the hole. v3 *Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth. They received the same kind of power that *scorpions have upon the earth. v4 But these *locusts must not damage the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree. They must hurt only those people who did not have God’s mark on their heads. v5 They did not have the power to kill people. But they could cause them pain for 5 months. And the pain that people suffered was like the pain of a *scorpion sting. v6 In those days, people will want to die, but they will not be able to die. They will hope for death to come, but it will not.
v7 The *locusts seemed like horses that were ready for war. They wore something like crowns of gold on their heads. Their faces were like human faces. v8 Their hair was like the hair of women. Their teeth were like the teeth of lions. v9 On their bodies, they had what seemed to be iron shirts to protect them. Their wings made a great noise as they flew. This sound was like the sound of many horses and carts in a battle. v10 They had tails that sting like *scorpions. And their power to hurt people for 5 months was in their tails. v11 They have a king who rules them. He is the *angel in command of the hole whose depth has no end. His name in the *Hebrew language is Abaddon. In the *Greek language, he is Apollyon.
v12 The first trouble has happened. After this, there are two other troubles yet to come.
Verse 1 The fifth (5th) trumpet.
John saw a star. It had just fallen from the sky. The star came to the earth.
The star had fallen. This fact shows us that something terrible had happened. Stars belong in the sky. They should not fall. Isaiah uses a similar description in Isaiah 14:12-15. Isaiah seems to be referring to the events when the devil decided to oppose God.
This ‘star’ was really a person or an evil *angel. (In fact, John explains who the ‘star’ was in verse 11.) The ‘star’ had received a key. This key shows that the ‘star’ had authority. The key could open the hole, whose depth has no end. This is a description of hell.
Verse 2 This person (called the ‘star’) opened the door to the hole. Great clouds of smoke came out of the hole. As the smoke rose, it made the sky black. The light of the sun could not shine through the cloud.
The hole was the place where evil devils lived. They were in prison. The *angels who fell went there. It was a terrible place. The *Lord will send *Satan there when Jesus comes back again.
Verse 3 Out of the smoke, there came strange animals that seemed like *locusts. There was a great mass of them. *Locusts are insects. They fly together like great clouds. They destroy all the crops that they can find.
These *locusts were like *scorpions in the way that they sting. *Scorpions are insects that have poison in their tails. It is painful when they sting with their tails.
Verse 4 Unlike natural *locusts, these *locusts did not eat the grass or the trees. They must not damage any plants. But they had power to hurt people. However, these *locusts could not kill anyone. But the *locusts had to sting all those who did not have God’s mark on them.
These *locusts were evil. They came from the place of evil devils. But God would not allow them to hurt his people. God is in control. He sets limits on the power of evil things. Evil things cannot do anything that God does not permit them to do.
Verse 5 The *locusts came to hurt people. For a period of five months, they stung the people. The stings caused terrible pain. The pain was like a *scorpion sting. There was no way to ease the pain. But the *locusts could not kill.
Verse 6 The pain was so bad that people wanted to die. Death would be a freedom from the pain. They wished for death but it did not happen.
Verse 7 John tried to describe these *locusts. He says that they were like horses. They were as horses that were ready for battle. They were like a fierce army that was ready for war.
On the head of each *locust was something that seemed like a crown of gold. These were not the crowns of kings. Rather they showed that the *locusts were strong. They were able to overcome people.
The faces of the *locusts were like human faces. They were as clever as people are. They were not like insects or animals. They were from the devil and they were cruel.
Verse 8 They had long hair, which covered their heads. Their hair was like that of women. Women had long hair in the time when John wrote.
Their teeth were like lion’s teeth. They were strong and fierce. When a lion shows its teeth, people are afraid. The sight of these *locusts frightened the people.
Verse 9 There was no way to kill these *locusts. What seemed to be iron shirts protected them. No sword or arrow could cut the shirts.
As they flew, they made a terrible noise. The sound was like the sound of a great army. The sound was like many horses and carts during a battle. The sound frightened people.
Verse 10 They did not bite with their teeth. They had tails that sting. They were like the tails of *scorpions. The effect of a *scorpion sting is painful. So, these *locusts were able to hurt people. But the *Lord allowed them to do this for only 5 months.
Verse 11 The army of *locusts had a king. He was the *angel of the great hole. This *angel was not a servant of God. In fact, this *angel was a servant of the devil. Or perhaps, he was the devil himself. This evil *angel was the leader of the *locusts. He led them as a king leads his army.
His name in the *Hebrew language was Abaddon. He was the ruler of the world of the wicked devils. In the *Greek language, his name is Apollyon. His name means ‘the destroyer’.
Verse 12 This was only the first of the three troubles. There were two more *trumpets still to come.
The sixth (6th) *trumpet – Revelation 9:13-21
v13 Then the sixth (6th) *angel’s *trumpet sounded. I heard a voice speak. It came from the four (4) corners of the gold *altar that stands in front of God. v14 The voice spoke to the sixth *angel who had the *trumpet. The voice said, ‘There are four *angels at the great river called the Euphrates. Someone has bound them. Undo them and free them.’ v15 And he freed the four *angels. These *angels had been ready for this hour, this day, this month and this year. Now they were free so that they could kill a third of all people. v16 I heard how many soldiers on horses there were. The number was 200 million.
v17 As I looked, I saw the horses and their riders. Each rider had an iron shirt to protect him. These were red as fire, dark blue and pale yellow. The heads of the horses were like the heads of lions. Fire, smoke and *sulphur came out of their mouths. v18 The fire, smoke and *sulphur killed a third of the people on earth. v19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails. Their tails were like poisonous snakes. Their tails could bite and they could hurt.
v20 The people, who did not die in these troubles, did not *repent. They did not turn away from the *idols that they had made. They *worshipped *demons and *idols. They made the *idols from gold, silver, metal, stone and wood. These *idols cannot see. They cannot hear or walk. v21 The people did not *repent of their murders or of their magic. They did not *repent of wrong sex or the fact that they stole from other people.
Verse 13 The sixth (6th) *trumpet.
When the sixth (6th) *angel sounded his *trumpet, John heard a voice. It came from the gold *altar.
Verse 14 There were four (4) *angels at the river Euphrates. They had control over a vast army from the east. Until now, that army could not cross the river. The voice told the *angel with the sixth *trumpet to free the four *angels.
We think that these four *angels were evil *angels. They wanted to send the army across the river. But God would not let them do it. They could not do their evil work until the time had come.
Verse 15 The four *angels were ready for the task that God would give them. They had to wait until the exact moment that God had chosen. They could not do anything until the exact time in God’s plan. Then they would lead their army to kill a third of the people.
Verse 16 At the time that John was writing, an army of this size was not possible. Since that time, there has been an increase in the number of people on earth. There could now be an army of this size east of the river Euphrates.
Such an army would spread out as far as the eye could see.
Verse 17 John describes what he saw. This vast army was of riders on horses. Each soldier wore an iron shirt. The colour of these shirts was red, dark blue and yellow. These matched the fire, the smoke and the *sulphur. (*Sulphur is yellow. When it burns, the smoke is blue. But the flames are red.)
The horses were not normal horses. Their heads were like lion’s heads. They were fierce and cruel. Fire, smoke and *sulphur came from their mouths.
Verse 18 The riders did not kill people. The horses killed a third of the people. They breathed out fire with smoke and *sulphur.
Verse 19 The power of the horses to kill was in their mouths. But like the *locusts, they had power to hurt in their tails. The tails were like snakes and they had heads. The horses could bite with their tails. When they did, it was like the bite of poisonous snakes. These bites were painful but they did not kill.
Verse 20 God’s purpose in these troubles was that people should *repent. The awful things that happened should have caused them to turn to God. But the people still did not *repent. They still trusted in the things that they had made rather than in God.
The people chose things that they made from gold, silver, metal and wood to be their gods. These gods have no life in them. They cannot hear or do anything. They cannot help and they are not useful. But people turn to these and not toward God.
Verse 21 The people did not *repent of all the evil things that they had done.
The strong *angel and the little book – Revelation 10:1-11
v1 And I saw another strong *angel come down from heaven. His clothes were like a cloud. There was a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun. And his legs were like columns of fire. v2 He held in his hand a little book that was open. He put his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. v3 Then he shouted with a loud voice. His voice was like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, 7 *thunders sounded. The sound was like voices that spoke. v4 When the 7 *thunders spoke, I started to write. But I heard a voice speak from heaven. ‘Keep secret what the 7 *thunders have said. Do not write it.’
v5 The *angel that stood on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. v6 He made a promise in front of God who lives now and always. God created the heavens and all that is in them. He created the earth and the sea and all that is in them. The *angel said, ‘There will be no more delay. v7 When the seventh (7th) *angel sounds his *trumpet, God will act. He will complete his secret plan. He has announced this plan to his servants the *prophets.’
v8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again. The voice said, ‘Go and take the open book from the hand of the *angel. He is standing on the sea and on the land.’
v9 So, I went to the *angel. I asked him to give me the little book. He said to me, ‘Take it. Eat it and it will be bitter in your stomach. But in your mouth, it will taste as sweet as honey.’ v10 I took the little book from the hand of the *angel and I ate it. It did taste as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, it was bitter to my stomach. v11 The voice said to me, ‘You must *prophesy again. This will be about the people from many nations and languages, and about many kings.’
Verse 1 John saw a great *angel come down from heaven. It seemed that a cloud covered him like a coat. There was a rainbow above his head. But his face shone with a bright light like the sun. The impression of his legs was like fire.
Verse 2 There was a little book in the left hand of the *angel. This book was open so that people could read it.
The *angel came down to earth. He was a very large *angel. He put one foot on the land and the other foot on the sea. By this, he showed that he had great authority.
Verse 3 When the *angel spoke, his voice was like the loud roar of a lion. At his call, the 7 *thunders answered. The 7 *thunders seemed to speak words. John heard the *thunders. And he understood what they said.
Verse 4 John kept a record of all that he saw. He wrote what he heard. He listened to the *thunders. Then he started to write down their words. But a voice from heaven stopped him. What the *thunders said must remain a secret. The message that they gave was for John alone.
Verses 5-6 The *angel raised his right hand to heaven. By this, he shows that his promise is sure. God in heaven is witness to it. The *angel makes the promise in front of God.
He describes God. God is the God who always exists. He will always be alive. God alone has life and he alone can give life. He made the heavens, the earth and the sea. God is greater than all and he is the ruler of all. He has the power to do all that he has said. The future will be as God has said. The *prophecies that are in this book will happen.
Here is the *angel’s promise. There will be no further delay. The final phase of history has come.
Verse 7 The seventh (7th) *trumpet will sound. In those days, God will finish his hidden plan. This will be the last struggle of evil things against goodness. It will be the last efforts of *Satan to defeat the purposes of God. But *Satan will not succeed. And this time will also be the last chance for people to turn from their *sins.
God has shown some of his plan to the *prophets. His plan for the end times is in the *scroll (Revelation 1:19 and chapter 5). This book of the Revelation tells what is in that *scroll. Some of it remains secret, for example what the *thunders said. And we do not yet understand many things that God has said.
Verse 8 The voice that John heard in verse 4 spoke to him again. He told John to go to the *angel and to take the little book from him. The *angel was still standing with one foot on the sea and the other one on the land.
Verses 9-10 John went to the *angel and asked for the book. The *angel told him to take it and to eat it. John took the little book and ate it. As the *angel had said, the book tasted as sweet as honey. But in his stomach, it tasted bitter.
It was as if John was feeling the effect of the word of God. Afterwards, he would be able to *prophesy. So, he ate the little book. The book contained the message that John had to tell.
We do not know what was in the little book. It was most likely a message to God’s people on the earth. It was like something sweet because the words came from God. But it was like something bitter because it told about troubles to come. God’s people would overcome in the end. But before that, people would suffer and there would be much pain.
The message that there would be no more delay was a pleasant (or sweet) message. The end for God’s people will be pleasant. But the time before that end would be unpleasant (bitter) for God’s people.
Verse 11 Once more, John must *prophesy. He must show what is yet to happen. The end was not yet but it would come soon. The days of the seventh (7th) *trumpet were ready to begin. This was a message to all the people in the world.