The 7th Trumpet

Important Guidelines

The Revelation is one of the most unique and fascinating books of the Bible. It is interwoven with mysterious symbols that intrigue every student and teacher of the scriptures. Given to the Apostle John while he was in exile on the Isle of Patmos, this book contains a series of prophetic visions most of which relate to the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus. Notable among the many visions are the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials. These are basically describing God’s judgments on an ungodly world and are the major trend of the book. The following article is a concise study focusing mainly on the judgment of the 7th TRUMPET, or as scripture describes it, “the last trump.”

In trying to understand this amazing book, it would be helpful to consider the following:

  • There were no chapter divisions in the original manuscripts.
  • The author can only describe what he sees utilizing the knowledge and vocabulary of his time.
  • John can only describe one vision at a time — whether the events are simultaneous or in sequence.
  • Unless specifically mentioned, his visions may not be describing the whole world but rather specific locations.

Parabolic language of scripture was never intended to be easily understood; and therefore we must rely on the Holy Ghost for interpretation.

The following views are not necessarily absolute and may be adjusted to harmonize with any additional enlightenment.

Institutional Concept

When mention is made of the ‘7th TRUMPET’ or the ‘last trump’ as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:52, the majority of the Christian world considers this event as being the time of the resurrection. Almost immediately, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 comes to mind with emphasis on the Lord Jesus descending from Heaven to resurrect the righteous dead, “with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God.” This concept is correct, but incomplete.

Our Traditional Concept

The Body of Christ has advanced further by showing that in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:52, the Apostle Paul is actually covering two phases of what is described in Scripture as the first resurrection. (Rev. 20:4-6). In the first phase, the Bride of Christ is resurrected and raptured. This takes place in the middle of the last seven years of Gentile time. Three and a half years later, the second phase resurrects another group of saints who would have gone through The GREAT Tribulation. Of course, this entire seven-year period before the Lord returns is called The Tribulation with only the last three and a half years described as The GREAT Tribulation.

Is it possible that scripture is actually showing one trumpet- the 7th — being responsible for resurrecting two different groups of saints over a period of three and a half years? The answer is yes. Revelation 10:7 states that in the days of the voice of the 7th angel, when he shall “begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished”. There are three factors to consider in this verse:

1.          “In the days”- note the plurality of days and consider the possibility of a day being a year.

2. “Begin to sound” — this angel, unlike the six before him, starts to sound in chapter 10:7 and completes his sounding in chapter 11:15.

3. “The mystery of God should be finished…” — the mystery of God, (which is the New Testament church age) comes to a conclusion.

As is traditionally believed in the Body of Christ, there are parallel scriptures using different symbols but describing the same events or timeframe. In this particular instance, we shall consider the resurrection of the Bride of Christ, or what we have already defined as the first phase of the first resurrection. The corresponding scriptures are Revelation chapters 10, 11 and 12. Chapter 10:7 says that “the mystery of God should be finished”. This is describing the same incident in chapter 11:7, when the two witnesses (the church) “have finished their testimony”. This further corresponds with the timeframe of chapter 12:5, which describes the woman (the church), as she “brings forth a man child…which was caught up to God and His throne.”

By comparing chapters 10:7, 11:3, and 12:5, we are better able to establish the fact that there is a period of three and a half years from the time of the first phase of the first resurrection when the Bride is raptured, to the second phase, when some of the tribulation saints are resurrected.

In Revelation 11:3, the two witnesses (the Church), are described as being dead, for there will be no public witness by the Church for three and a half years after the Bride is caught away. This period corresponds with chapter 12:6, which describes the church as the woman who flees into the wilderness for three and a half years after the man-child (the Bride) is caught up to heaven.  This period is described as The GREAT Tribulation: “a time of trouble such as never was”. (Daniel 12:1-2). Both Daniel and the prophet Isaiah associate this “time of trouble” and the resurrection as concurrent events. (Isaiah 26:19-21).

Careful notice should be given to the fact that it is during these three and a half years of The GREAT Tribulation that the seven vials of the wrath of God are poured out upon the Earth. Scripture describes this unleashing of judgment as the seven last plagues. The word “last” is used because they are the climax of God’s wrath.

To be “accounted worthy to escape” The GREAT Tribulation is to be in the Bride of Christ (Luke 21:36). This is seen in the type of Enoch, who was caught away to escape the flood disaster of the Antediluvians. Noah is a type of those going through The GREAT

Tribulation, and “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:14).

To summarize all that we have covered thus far, we can state that in the days of the 7th angel, when he begins to sound, the Bride is caught away in the first phase of the first resurrection. This angel sounds for three and a half years — the conclusion of which accomplishes the second phase of the first resurrection. Understanding this is wonderful, but still not complete.

The 7th TRUMPET Overlooked

For many years scholars of prophecy have only emphasized the resurrection that accompanies the 7th TRUMPET, but have failed to consider the major purpose of this trumpet.

The seven trumpets of Revelation are described as trumpet plagues, and as they are sounded, vast destruction hits the earth. Trumpets one through four target the earth, the sea, rivers and freshwater, and the sun. There is much disaster as is described in Revelation 8:7-12.

Verse 13 of Chapter 8 speaks of three woes against mankind. These are worse than the four trumpet plagues already unleashed, and describe trumpets five, six and seven. In chapter 9:1, the fifth trumpet sounds and concludes the first woe as verse 12 states.

The second woe commences in 9:13, and really concludes in verse 21. Mention is made of its conclusion in chapter 11:14. We should not forget that Chapters 10, 11 and 12 are parallel chapters describing the same time frame in different symbolism.

To locate the exact time setting of the third woe we must see parallel chapter 12:12. “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea…” This woe describes the period of The GREAT Tribulation when the woman (the church) is in the wilderness for three and a half years. Revelation 12, verse 6 and 14 support this time frame. This is the period of time when the Bride (the man-child) is caught up to the heavens, while Satan and his angels are cast down to the earth and there is great trouble. The 7th TRUMPET, also described as the third woe, brings about the commencement and conclusion of The GREAT Tribulation. During this time the seven vials of the last plagues are poured out and seem to re-target the identical areas that the six trumpets struck. This time it is with greater intensity and is directed mainly against mankind. (Compare Rev. Ch. 8:7 through Ch. 9:21 and Ch. 16:1-16).

Because the 7th TRUMPET plague falls in the same great tribulation period as the seven vials, it may very well be that the 7th TRUMPET releases the seven last plagues, even as the 7th seal in Revelation 8:1 releases the seven trumpets.

The 7th TRUMPET brings with it two distinct events: first, the resurrection of the righteous, and second, the judgment of the ungodly. This is described in Revelation 11:18, “…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.”

May God assist us in escaping His wrath.

Comparing Trumpet and Vial Judgments

Trumpets: Commences a judgment on the following:

1. EARTH- Hail and fire, mingled with blood, are cast upon the earth. One third of the trees and grass are burnt up. (Rev. 8:7).

2. SEA – A mountain of fire falls into the sea. (Meteorite?) One   third of life in the sea dies and one third of ships are destroyed. (Rev. 8:2-9).

3. RIVERS AND FOUNTAIN OF WATERS – Star falls on one third of the rivers and fountains. One third of the waters are polluted. (Rev. 8:10-11).

4. SUN – One third of the sun, the moon and the stars are affected.

(Rev. 8:12-13).

5. BOTTOMLESS PIT – or abyss, or seat of the beast is affected. Darkness prevails. (Rev. 9:1-12).

6. RIVER EUPHRATES – One third of mankind is killed through military engagements. (Rev. 9:13 – 21).

Revelation 10:7 and Revelation 11:7 – The Lord comes as a “thief” for the first phase saints.

Vials: Directed again on the same areas of six trumpets, but with main focus on man.

1.  EARTH – This judgment mainly focuses on those with the mark of the Beast. (Rev. 16:2).

2. SEA – All life in the sea dies. The sea becomes as a dead man’s blood. (Rev. 16:3).

3. RIVERS AND FOUNTAINS OF WATERS – All utilized water becomes “as blood” as judgment against the ungodly. (Rev. 16:4-7).

4. SUN – Men are scorched with excessive heat. (Rev. 16:8-9).

5. SEAT OF BEAST – Darkness is prevalent. Man blasphemes God instead of repenting. (Rev. 16:10-11).

6. RIVER EUPHRATES – Military engagements. Armageddon. (Rev.  16:12-14).  Revelation 16:15 – The Lord comes as a “thief” for second phase saints.