We are in the period in which grace is still available.
The trumpets cover the same time period as the churches and seals. Only the 7 plagues is different, separated by the intermission.
Individual Views of each 7s.
7 Churches: shows us a different view in history: apostles to the coming of Christ. Only presents us an x-ray view, shows us the “what is” of the church.
7 Seals: shows us historical view from apostles to high middle ages, the last 3 will throw us in the future.
The seals says, “this is your present reality, and this is your reaction”.
7 Trumpets: will take us from apostles time to high middle ages; the final 3 will take us to the future.
“Here’s your reality and your reaction. Now either make a difference, or suffer the consequences”.
Like the churches and the seals, the messages of the trumpets
also maintain a similar parallel with the churches and seals.
The content covers the same period, starting with the early
church and culminating with the coming of the Lord. Particular
attention is given to all the demonic activity that will happen at
the end of time (Rev. 9), and how Jesus’ return will finish it.
Parallels of the 3 apocalyptic 7s
The first few talk about the past, historical times, and consequences. 6 churches, 5 seals, 4 trumpets.
These below are talking about the future.
John used 1 church to talk about the future.
John used 2 seals to talk about the future
John used 3 trumpets to talk about the future.
Like the previous 2 visions, the trumpets are also introduced with a sanctuary scene. The focus is placed on the alter of incense and the mediation conducted on it. The language utilized in the vision resembles the one on the Day of Atonement. This celebration:
Was preceded by the blowing of trumpets (Lev. 23:24)
Included prayers, intercession, and silence (Lev 16:11-12, 30-31; 23:27-29)
Trumpet Usage in the Bible
Trumpets were utilized for different purposes:
Religious (Lev 23:24-25)
Battle (Jos 6:4-6, 8-9)
Warning (Eze 33:3-6)
Coronation (2 Sam 15:10)
Theophany (Exo 19:16-19; 1 Thes. 4:15-17)
They would use ram’s horns as trumpets.
Theophany is when God appears in person, much like at Mount Sinai, etc. A visible manifestation of God.
What type of trumpet was used in Revelation? Was it for religious or battle purposes?
Num 10:8-10 provides the most important theological statement about trumpet blowing in the Old Testament.
“The Sons of Aaron … shall blow the trumpets … When you go to war against the enemy …, then you shall sound the alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies…
Thus, trumpets are covenant prayers uplifted to God by the righteous, asking His intervention, mediation, or blessing.
During the Intertestamental period, judgment took prominence as a theme for trumpet blowing. It presents the transition from the old to the new age and introduces judgment (4 Ezra 6:18-23).
In the New Testament, trumpet blasting is more connected to the coming of Jesus (Matt 24:31; 1 Thes. 4:13-17).
What is John using the trumpets for?
In Revelation, the trumpets also focus on theophany (Rev 10:7) and through the divine passive: it was given (Rev 9:1, 3, 5)
In John’s Apocalypse, the trumpets have an emphasis on the cultic and judgement aspects. Not of war or warning. The warning came from before: in the 7 seals. The trumpets are now the consequences.
Nature of the Trumpets
They are successive periods of history.
People usually do not see the trumpets as successive periods of time.
Transition between the first 4 and the next 3 woes
7 is associated with blowing of trumpets in real events: Feast of Trumpets, Jubilee, and fall of Jericho.
Judgements against enemies: destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, fall of Babylon, and destruction of Jerusalem
They are a theology of God’s actions throughout the Christian era.
The trumpets present a sequence and explanation of events from the cross to the second coming (Rev 11: 17). To do this, they employ the language of the 7 last plagues, confirming that they are judgements on the wicked for attacking God’s people.
Some examples of the language borrowed from the plagues.
Hail and fire mixed with blood
Waters turned into blood
Sun affected and darkness
Judgement on those who don’t have seal of God
They are reminiscent of 2 major historical events.
Noah and the flood (Gen 7) There is an undoing of God’s creation.
⅓ of trees and grass are burned.
⅓ of waters are turned into blood and bitter.
⅓ of marine life perished.
⅓ of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened.
New exodus for the end-time spiritual Israel. They use images and terminology from Egypt and Babylon.
Waters turned into blood
Fish in water died
Destruction is partial
⅓ of creation components are affected
The locust that comes up from the abyss is not allowed to kill humans, but only to torment them
Later, only ⅓ of men are killed
Despite their language of judgment and destruction, the trumpets contain messages of hope for the righteous and show the consequences to the unrighteous. Hope can be seen in 2 ways:
The language of partial destruction.
God answers the prayers of his righteous and intervenes on their behalf.