Revelation: the trumpets

Prophecy has always followed certain trends, especially the more visual and symbolic ones. Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s 2 dreams to be describing the same event and the dual nature to shown how quickly it would happen. In Daniel, he receives multiple visions that are equivalent but each show a different aspect of the same events. So, the seals and the trumpets are parallels with similar structures, notice the intermission between 6&7 and the earthquake at the beginning of 7 in each. The visions are parallel to the same period of time, with different aspects of the same events. It may be said that what was revealed to be horsemen riding in the seals is now portrayed as more earthly results of the same. That is to say the horsemen are the spiritual side, the trumpets the physical. The number seven once again is not to be taken as some exact number, but as a complete number. That is to say they are counted before God and their will be an end to the chaos. The paradox is that trumpets were used in war as a warning sign to the city that was to be invaded and a call to keep the army invading together. All the chaos in our world is a reminder that God is going to destroy evil. In the first trumpet hail mixed with fire and blood is tossed to the earth. John here is talking about war in a way that is veiled to us. The Romans would mix wood with heavy white stones in a catapult and light it on fire when invading a city. Notice how a third of the grass is burned up, where in the fourth seal only a quarter is said to have been effected. This will happen all through the trumpets, it’s important to note the intensification for that is what God is revealing to us. It’s no wonder the world seems to be getting darker and people more evil. With the sound of the second trumpet something like a mountain on fire is tossed in the ocean and a third of the water turns to blood killing all the living creatures. This is pointing to human evil messing up the ocean and polluting the water. Whether it be through war, oil spills, or general pollution, it is a marker to show this world is not what it is supposed to be yet. a star called “wormwood” or poison falls to a third of the earth’s rivers. This is, no doubt, referring to the destruction of our water supply rather it be from our own doing or as a consequence of war. With the fourth trumpet a third of the day is turned to darkness. The Romans would often burn cities down after destroying them if they would not submit. Amidst this burning the sky would turn black because of the thickness of the smoke. An eagle shouts a woe to the earth because of the next 3 trumpets. With the 5 trumpet the abyss is opened and demons allowed to come out. This is the influx of evil and demonic influence that tends to consume cultures when they forsake God. Our culture is headed that way now, the increase in mental illness is only a symptom. The sixth trumpet is the violence that begins to erupt when God is forgotten and sin is embraced. It also shows a progression of the evil, first they are allowed to torment and not kill, then permission is granted to kill. Germany and Russia in the 20th century are perfect examples. The rise of Hitler and Stalin stemmed primarily from the greater economic stress and sorrow surrounding the people. This will be an ultimate paradigm throughout time, but will grow in intensity. There is an intermission, but I will talk about that in the next post. With the seventh trumpet is a great earthquake and it is announced that God has taken His full Kingship. How beautiful that day will be. The seals and trumpets both serve to tell us that the atrocities caused by sin are numbered and God will one day defeat evil. We should not look at the evils in the world as the world does, but rather through the lens that Jesus is already King, His Kingship will not be thwarted. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess “Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father”

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