The First Four Trumpets

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Now that we have had a brief overview and justification for what God is about to do, we need to back up and examine the first four trumpets of Revelation in greater detail. During the Great Tribulation, believers will be able to see the fulfillment of prophecy right before their eyes. People who are led by the Holy Spirit will be able to see a distinct correlation between current events and God’s Word. Unfortunately, many of the survivors will refuse to understand God’s actions because they have hearts like Pharaoh. (Remember the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart? Even after God sent ten plagues upon Egypt, Pharaoh refused to submit to God’s authority.)

The cause and purposes of the Great Tribulation can be understood by anyone who sincerely wants to know God’s ways. If the books of Daniel and Revelation remained obscure and mysterious forever, the final generation would not have confidence in the Bible. Nothing is more powerful than a truth whose time has come. This fact will soon stand in direct opposition to the claims of the world’s greatest skeptics. Indeed, you can be sure of this development: Many scientists will deny that the first four trumpet events are “Acts of God.” Instead, they will say that these calamities are nature’s random curse that they have been foretelling for years. On the other hand, leaders of the worldwide religious coalition (Babylon) will claim that these events are judgments sent by an angry God. What a debate! Who will win in the court of public opinion – science or religion? Revelation reveals that religion will once again overpower science and politics! The last time this happened, the age that followed was called “The Dark Ages.”

A Great Earthquake

“And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the alter [of incense]. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden alter before the throne….Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the alter, and hurled it on the Earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightening and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8: 2,3,5, insertion mine)

These verses describe the end of Jesus’ intercessory service on behalf of Earth. In other words, when God’s patience with Earth as a corporate body reaches its limit because Earth’s cup of iniquity is full, His wrath toward Earth begins. When the angel casts the censer down, four physical phenomena will occur on Earth: thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightening and an earthquake. Notice also that when God’s patience with individuals on Earth reaches its limit at the end of the seventh trumpet (at that time every person will have received or rejected the gospel), these same phenomena occur again. Then again, when the seventh bowl is poured out on the wicked during the seven last plagues, these four phenomena occur a third time. These global events, described three times in Revelation (Revelation 8:5,7; 11:19; 16:17-21), are magnificent signs marking specific milestones in this sequence of 14 events.

The physical signs that mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation will be awesome and they are carefully designed and implemented to arrest the attention of billions of people. They will be so powerful that everyone on Earth will shudder. The global earthquake that marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation will be distinguished from previous earthquakes on earth in two ways:

  1. This earthquake will be accompanied by manifestations in the Heavens and within the Earth. There will be rumblings or noises that come from deep within the Earth (sounding like groaning and voices), deafening peals of thunder and a scary display of lightening – these episodes will be simultaneously heard and observed around the world.
  1. This earthquake will cause overwhelming damage throughout the world. Skyscrapers will topple. Vital bridges will vanish. Highways will be broken up. Power grids will be ripped apart. Water lines and septic systems will be broken. The oceans will churn violently. The Richter scale cannot measure the power of the global earthquake and analysts will not be able to calculate the resulting damage. This is too much for man to measure!

Showers of Fiery Meteors Fall

“Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. The first angel sounded his trumpet, there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” (Revelation 8:6,7)

A few days after the global earthquake and physical display of God’s powers, Revelation predicts much of Earth will be set on fire by a giant firestorm of burning hail (small meteorites). The fiery hail will ignite unquenchable fires all over the world, burning up a third of the trees and all the green grass! The possibility of this happening is not far fetched as it may sound. Our planet routinely experiences meteoric hailstorms every year. The Leonids, the Perseids, the Lyrids, and the Geminid meteoric showers are annual events that happen when Earth and the orbit of the debris gives the appearance of “shooting stars.” However, the shooting stars are white-hot chucks of space debris. As the debris enters our atmosphere at speeds that may exceed 60,000 miles per hour, atmospheric friction causes the debris to become white hot. So far, these annual displays have not been a serious threat. The white-hot debris usually does not reach earth, but the story will be quite different when the first trumpet judgment occurs.

Think of the consequences when millions of white-hot rocks rain down on Earth. We may have a good example of the consequences. Some scientist now believe that the great Chicago fire (October, 1871) was not caused by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern, but by a shower of fiery meteors. Historical evidence indicates that a string of fires ignited along a straight line stretching about 200 miles across the north central part of the United States that same night. Survivors of the Peshtigo fire reported seeing streaks of fire falling out of the sky. What caused all of these enormous fires to start during the same hour that evening? Scientists believe a shower of white-hot hail falling to Earth resolves the question and satisfies the details.

Great Ball of Fire #1

The judgment that follows the firestorm of burning meteors is an asteroid impact. John writes, “The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:8,9)

This scene describes a large asteroid, the size of a mountain, hitting the sea. The term, “mountain” is an accurate term for a large asteroid. If an asteroid, one mile in diameter, were sitting on the surface of the Earth, it would be called a mountain 5,280 feet high! Even more, John’s description of an asteroid impacting the sea is identical to scientific models created at several universities during the past ten years. For example, the tidal wave was caused by a great asteroid impact would destroy ships for hundreds of miles in every direction – even those docked in remote seaports. Think about the commotion of the ocean after such an impact! (See Luke 21:25.) According to studies conducted at the University of California, an asteroid of this magnitude would be so hot by the time it hit an ocean that it would make a large part of the ocean water anoxic (oxygen deficient) by simple boiling the oxygen out of a large area of the sea. Sea temperatures would rise dramatically and hot water would kill billions of sea creatures in a very large radius. The warmed, anoxic water resulting from the impact would also provide a perfect environment for the growth of red algae or what is known as red tide. When John said the sea turned to blood, he may have been describing the appearance of red algae, which thrives in oxygen deficient water!


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