The Trumpets (Revelation 8–11)
The seven angels with the seven trumpets were ready to blast away, and when they did all hell breaks loose upon the earth. After the first angel blew his trumpet, a mixture of hail and fire and blood showered the earth, setting a third of its surface on fire (Revelation 8:7).
The second trumpet blast brought with it a mountain of fire, which was thrown into the sea, turning a third of the water the color of blood and killing a third of all things in the sea and destroying a third of the ships.
The third trumpet blast brought a huge star, which burned “like a torch,” falling from the sky, turning a third of the water on earth so “bitter” that it killed people who drank it (Revelation 8:10–11). When the fourth angel blew his trumpet, a third of the sun';s light and a third of the moon';s light was struck, and a third of the stars became dark. “Then I looked,” John writes in Revelation 8:13, “and I heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, ‘Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.';”
The time described in this section of Revelation is one of incredible suffering, destruction, and pain. It is a time when the devil, knowing his days are numbered, will attempt to spread as much hate and fury as he can on the whole world but especially on God';s own people.
That is exactly what happens, too. Hell is loosed on earth as the fifth and sixth angels blow their trumpets. There are visions of horrible locust-like creatures up from hell, creatures with stings like scorpions who were told to injure only people who did not have God';s seal on their foreheads. Those they stung wouldn';t die — as much as they wanted to — but would be tortured for five months.
The sixth trumpet blast brought four angels who would kill one-third of the people on earth through three plagues — fire, smoke, and burning sulfur coming out of the mouths of horrible horselike creatures (Revelation 9:13– 19). Still, those who didn';t die from these horrible plagues refused to repent and turn to God.
Between describing the seventh trumpet, John describes two witnesses for God — men who will have powers much like Moses and Elijah — but who would be killed after they were done testifying by “the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 11:7). The wicked people of the world will celebrate their deaths, but three and a half days later, they would rise from the dead.
The name or word Antichrist doesn';t appear in the book of Revelation, but it does appear in one of the apostle John';s own epistles where he writes, “Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming … ” (1 John 2:18).
After that, the seventh trumpet would be blown, and there would be loud voices from heaven praising God: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Also, the twenty-four elders would fall on their faces and worship God and acknowledge that the time of judgment and wrath had come (Revelation 11:16–19).
What sorts of natural events do you think will bring to pass all the things written of in the book of Revelation?
How do you reconcile the fact of a loving God with what is happening in the world described in Revelation?