Red - The angel sounds their Trumpet.
The following are used on the 1st through the 6th Seal, at the bottom of this commentary page.
Orange - God will now reign for ever and ever. There is rejoicing in Heaven.
Since the seventh seal starts the process of the seven Trumpets, then the Trumpets and the Seals and the Trumpets are of the same character.
Some think that the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets are like the Seven Plaques, and some have made parallel texts that compared these different sets. It is true that there are some similarities.
However, it seems that there is a difference. The plaques are the wrath of God on the wicked. The Trumpets, while some are suffered only by the wicked, it seems that the Trumpets are like the Seals in that God is taking away His protection of our world.
Presently, our world is kept in relatively safety, it is preserved. However, in the time of the end, God will start allowing Satan to do some of the things that he has always wanted to do. Presently, God has been holding back the satanic attack that would have destroyed us long ago. But God has protected us, even the wicked along with the righteous. But at the end, while the righteous will be protected, the wicked will experience an accelerated series of disasters that will seem to be so severe that the wicked may start to realize that their time has come for their destruction.
What are the trumpets? Are they really plaques like the 7 plaques of wrath described in Revelation 16 or is there a difference. Also we need to ask what the difference is between the seals and the trumpets.
A difference between the trumpets and the plaques might be seen upon close comparison.
The plaques are literally described as bowls of wrath of God and the bowls are to be poured on the earth. The different plaques are poured directly on the object that is to have the plaque. That has the connotation that God is directly producing the plaques.
The trumpets on the other hand do not have the same connection with what happens on earth. A trumpet sounds and things happen. The trumpet does not directly connect with the object. It is not described in the same way as the plaques are described, where wrath is poured directly on the object.
Its true that the sound of the trumpet is heard by something but what is it or who is it that responds to the trumpets?
Looking at the actual results of the trumpets indicates a series of natural disasters. A trumpet blows then hail mingles with fire are thrown to the earth; Or, a great mountain is thrown into the sea. A great star fell from heaven. A third of the sun, moon, and stars are struck.
The fifth and sixth angels give a different kind of result. The fifth results in opening the bottomless pit.
The sixth angel's trumpet produces an interesting result. Four angels held at the Euphrates are let loose so they can kill one third of the people on earth.
Are these the four spirits involved with the first four opening of the seals of the scroll? Its a possibility. If true than the trumpets are describing with even more clarity the circumstances of the seals.
However there are some differences between the four spirits (horsemen and the four angels held at the Euphrates. The two groups could be just that, two separate situations. So what is the difference between the plaques and the trumpets. The plaques are the direct result of God's wrath. The trumpets could be the result of letting go of protecting the earth.
We know that God has kept Satan at bay, limiting his power. If God did not limit Satan, there would be no one alive today. Satan hates us with more passion than we can know.
It could be that God is finally letting loose of the reigns that have held and limited Satan all these years.
The first four trumpets could either be the result of Satan inflicting harm on the earth be cause God is now letting Him do so, or the they could be a natural result of God no longer protecting the earth.
It may be that this world is constantly protected by God. But now, as His Spirit leaves the earth, the world will start to feel the result of God not protecting the earth. So the earth could be pelted with comets, meteorites, etc.
How might the seals be different from the trumpets. The seals may be the releasing of the God's protection of the people of the world. As a result, total unrest gets established since God no-longer restrains people.
The trumpets then would represent the time when God no longer protects our world (the physical planet) from natural disasters and from Satan's anger.
When is the close of probation in relation to the trumpets?
1) If the censer is indeed thrown down to the ground, then the close of probation could be before the first trumpet.
2) On the other hand, many have determined that the trumpets are all before the close of probation. This position seems to ignore all what John has introduced thus far. The context of the seals and trumpets is that the righteous have been sealed on their foreheads. This would indicate the close of probation.
The conditions concerning the fifth and sixth trumpets enhance this position that the close of probation has already occurred.
In Revelation 9:4 we see that the locusts were commanded not to harm what? They could only harm those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
In the sixth seal we see even more evidence: Those who were not killed would not repent of their works; Instead, They chose to worship demons and idols. Also they decided to continue to murder, rob, steal and to commit sexual acts.
We can see that the people are fully decided in their sins. They will not change. On the other hand God's people are protected. It really looks like all the decisions have been made, that the close of probation is passed. 3) A third position is that the close of probation is between trumpet four and five. It is true that the first four trumpets are of a different nature than the last three trumpets.
It is also true that people can only be seen to have fully made their decisions from the fifth trumpet and on. The first four trumpets give no indication on how people respond.
Since the fifth and sixth trumpets have to happen after the close of probation, the only choices are to have the close of probation before the first trumpet or between the fourth and fifth trumpet.
The question revolves around the throwing of the censer and fire or only the fire. The other text that is in question is Revelation 8:13. The angel saying with a loud voice "Woe, Woe, Woe to those who live on the earth for the next three angels are about to sound!"
One of those two places is indicating the close of probation. The author of this harmony favors the close of probation before the first trumpet because of the way John introduces the different elements of prophecy. The sealing of God's people has already become a reality.
What are the trumpets? Are they really A point by point blow.
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.
8 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;
9 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.
10 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;
11 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.
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.
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!
1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
7 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.
8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9 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.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
11 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.
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 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.
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
17 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.
18 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.
19 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.
20 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:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 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.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
17 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.
18 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.
19 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.