Revelation: The Seven Trumpets

Peter Barnes: Revelation 8 & 9

(18 February 2018)


Derek Thomas: ‘In some ways, it is the most difficult section of the book of Revelation.’

1. God hears the prayers of His people.

– 8:1. This works something like a drum roll, and raises our expectations for something great – Hab.2:20; Zech.2:13.

What immediately follows is all about prayer – Rev. 8:2-5. It is all done in picture form – 5:8; 6:10.

– Ex.30:7; Lev.16:11-14; it does not work like magic – Isa.1:13. David uses this as a picture of prayer – Ps.141:1-2. What happens when God’s people pray ‘Thy kingdom come’? – Luke 18:7-8. God hears us.

2. God repeatedly warns us about His judgment.

– 8:6-7. Trumpets can signify victory (Josh.6) or the beginning of the Year of Jubilee (Lev.25:8-9). But this surely is a warning – Amos 3:6.

– the expression ‘a third of’ is found fourteen times, and signifies that there will be great destruction, but not total destruction.

– 8:7 tells us that the creation is cursed; 8:8-9 is probably a reference to all disasters associated with the sea down through the ages; 8:10-11 is water contamination; 8:12 of darkness (note Isa.13:9-11; 24:19-23; Ezek.32:7-8, 11-12; Joel 2:10, 28-32; Acts 2:16-21). Leon Morris: ‘John is painting pictures, not writing scientific prose’. The fifth trumpet tells of demons – 8:13-9:11; then war – 9:12-19. The events are literal but the descriptions are symbolic.
3. Hardened people refuse to repent.

– 9:20-21; the sins continue: idolatry; murders; sorceries; sexual immorality; and thefts. The trumpets are still sounding