INDUCTIVE STUDIES ON REVELATION
The Three Cycles of God's Wrath
The Seven Trumpets
THE SCRIPTURES (8:1-9:21)
1 And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
7 And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown down to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 And the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were smitten, so that a third of them might be darkened and the day might not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way. 13 And I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3 And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And they were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; and they will long to die, and death flees from them. 7 And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 And they had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. 16 And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm. 20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
TRANSITION: BREAKING THE SEVENTH SEAL (8:1-6)
Although the cycle of the seals and the cycle of trumpets has 7 different parts, the 7th seal and the 7th trumpet actually serve as transitions to the next cycle of wrath. In other words, the 7th seal ushers in the 7 trumpets, and the 7th trumpet ushers in the 7 bowls of wrath.
When the Lamb breaks the 7th seal, how does heaven respond (8:1)?
It is very likely that heaven responds this way out of a deep sense of awe at what God is about to unleash upon the followers of the Antichrist. It is like a shudder is shooting down the spine of heaven because of the horror that God is about to inflict upon the enemies of His Son's people.
After the 7 angels who stand before God are given 7 trumpets, another angel, holding a censer, comes to the altar and incense to what (8:3)?
In addition to the incense, what else goes up before God out of the angel's hand (8:4)?
Earlier when we read about the 5th seal, the martyrs had been asking God how long it would be before He brought vengeance upon the Antichrist and his followers who had killed them. God told them to wait a little while longer. The wait is now over. Their prayers have been answer. The time has come for God to execute vengeance.
What happens after the angel throws the incense with fire down to the earth (8:5-6)?
THE FIRST TRUMPET (8:7)
What happens when the first angel sounds his trumpet?
How much of the earth and trees is burned up by the fire?
How much of the grass is affected?
Sounds preposterous? My goodness, look at what California alone has been experiencing lately--and God's wrath has not even begun to be poured out upon the earth!
THE SECOND TRUMPET (8:8-9)
What happens when the second angel sounds his trumpet?
Meteor? Sounds preposterous? Watch the History Channel. They repeatedly tell us that this event is not a matter of "if" but only a matter of "when." I don't know; I'm just saying that Revelation is not as preposterous as some would make it out to be. (In fact, the apostle John would win the Nobel Peace Prize if he were living today and predicting all these natural disasters. Don't believe me? Ask Al Gore.
How much of the sea and how many of the sea creatures and ships are affected by this trumpet?
THE THIRD TRUMPET (8:10-11)
What happens when the third angel sounds his trumpet?
How many of the fresh water lakes are affected by this trumpet?
What happens to many of the people who drink these bitter waters?
THE FOURTH TRUMPET (8:12-13)
What happens when the fourth angel sounds his trumpet?
How does the fourth trumpet affect the heavenly bodies?
At this point, an angel flies in mid heaven crying out what?
The next three trumpet blasts make up the 3 woes which are about to come upon the earth. In other words, the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets are the 3 woes announced by the angel.
THE FIFTH TRUMPET (9:1-12)
When the fifth angel sounds his trumpet, a star (angel from the 6th seal) which has fallen to the earth opens up the bottomless pit [for more information about the abyss, check out this interesting link The Fifth Trumpet -- The Depthless Abyss (Revelation 9.1)]. Out of the smoke spews smoke as from a great furnace. What comes out of the smoke and what is it (are they) able to do (9:3)?
Although this plague cannot affect nature, whom can it torment (9:4)?
Just exactly what do these locusts represent? Although we cannot say conclusively what they represent, it is safe to say that in some form or other they represent demonic oppression because they come out of the abyss, the place of evil and torment. In fact,
If these locusts can only torment those people, can they torment people who have the name of God on their foreheads?
This shows you the purpose God seals His people on their foreheads with His brand/seal: to protect them from the plagues He sends upon the Antichrist and his followers.
According to verse 6 how severe is this plague of locusts?
Briefly, give a description of the locusts which the followers of the Antichrist (9:7-10)?
According to verse 11, who rules over the "locusts"?
From Wikpedia we read: "The exact nature of Abaddon is debated, but the Hebrew word is related to the triliteral root рсу (ABD), which in verb form means "to perish."
(Apollyon fighting against Christian
in The Pilgrim's Progress.)
THE SIXTH TRUMPET (9:13-21)
A request will go up to God from the 4 horns which are at the 4 corners of the altar before God. Go back to the 5th seal. Who lives beneath the altar?
In other words, God is responding postively to the prayers of those who dwell beneath the altar. God is NOT insensitive to the cries of His people, even when He may seem slow in responding.
In response to the voice of the 4 horns on the altar what happens to the 4 angels who have been prepared for a specific time in history?
Once these 4 angels have been unleashed, what do they in turn unleash upon mankind?
Note that this army is being used by God to bring wrath upon the enemies of His people, the Antichrist and his followers. Too often we relate EVERYTHING to Israel; for example, this army is believed by many conservatives to be used by Satan against the Jews in Israel. Instead, this army is being used against the Antichrist and his followers. Israel will be dealt with; just not in this passage.
What kind of effect does this army (and all the other plagues) have upon the followers of the Antichrist (9:20-21)?
It is at this time in chapters 10 and 11 that we read about John being recommissioned and God's dealings with the Jews in Jerusalem through the ministry of the 2 witnesses. It is at this time that we read about the salvation of the Jews in Revelation (Rev. 11).