The Seven Trumpets

manna“He wakens me morning by morning.” Isa. 50:4.

Have you ever considered the ambiguity of an alarm clock? I guess for most of us it is a love-hate relationship. We have to get up, we NEED to get up; but when the alarm clock rings – whether it is in the form of soft music, or a buzzer loud enough to wake the proverbial dead, it is a jarring experience for most of us. As interruptive as sleep is to the constant demands of modern life, it is necessary to our health and well being, and we almost reluctantly succumb to it, because our bodies and minds crave the blissful rest of a “time out” from the pressures of the day.

clockBut once the decision has been made and we cuddle up in the soothing mounds of blankets and pillows, the die is cast, and we fiercely defy anything or anyone who might rob us of the delicious feeling of a good night’s sleep. Ah, but the alarm clock, the vicious thing, knows no sympathy for our longings for rest, and insists on being on time to awaken the household to the rigors of another day.

But then – we wouldn’t want it any other way, would we? The dire results of NOT getting up at the proper time would bring disaster. After all, it is WE who chose the time for its insistent call back to the realities of another busy day. We can choose to turn it off and ignore the reason for its presence in our lives, but to do so would not be wise. It would be somewhat like the example of the foolish virgins in Matthew 25, wouldn’t you say?

Being rudely awakened might not be our most pleasant moment, but it pales in significance when compared to the enormity of being left behind unready, whether it is the school bus, an airline flight, or – worst of all, the second advent of our Lord when He comes to claim His own.

In case you are wondering why I am talking so much about alarm clocks, consider this admonition of Paul to those who live in the last days of earth’s history:

“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

“But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.” 1 Thes. 5:1-6.

“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Rom. 13:11, 12.

So there is a special time in history that Paul says we should be especially alert and awake spiritually. It is also the time when Satan is working hardest to keep everyone asleep. The parable of the ten virgins shows how easy it is to fall asleep just before the Bridegroom comes. At the darkest hour of night just before dawn, the body just seems to demand sleep. That is the time you don’t want to be at the wheel of an automobile if you have been awake all night!

sleepEven if there is a vital reason for staying awake, sleep can still overcome us. For example, when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, pleading for his disciples to give Him encouragement, they could not stay awake. Sadly, they not only missed the opportunity to be a blessing to their Lord, but they passed up the time when they could prepare themselves to be ready for the ordeal of the crucifixion.

That should say something to us, too, don’t you think? What more vital time in history can there be than that of the second coming of Jesus? And yet, He looked down in time and showed His disciple John that the last church would be nonchalant and basically asleep on the verge of eternity. (Rev. 3:14-22.)

But God has a solution for the somnambulant condition of the Laodicean church. He is not satisfied to allow His people to sleep on until there is no more hope of preparing for the final events of this earth’s history. In ancient times when there was approaching danger to a city or nation, watchmen sounded trumpets to alert the people to put on their armor, grab their weapons, and face the foe with readiness. So God has prepared “alarm clocks” to warn the world of His approach. They are found written in code language in Revelation, under the countdown messages of the seven trumpets.

Adventist Bible scholars have seen these warning messages from a historical point of reference. In the ebb and flow of world events during the dark ages, and extending into the mid 1800’s, these trumpets were effective in setting the stage for the important moment of time when Jesus began the final work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary, and preparing His people for His coming.

But equally important in the clock of time is the second coming itself, and the momentous events preceding and surrounding that climactic moment. Words can hardly portray the urgency of being prepared for the culmination of all human history. And since the Scriptures emphasize that urgency, and Jesus Himself warns our generation with the following counsel, we need to be aware of the dangers of not heeding the signs of His approaching kingdom.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken…. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near….

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Lu. 21:25-36.

trumpetSince the trumpets have played such an important part in history, why should we consider their possible relevance to our generation? For me, a clue is found in the resurgence of the little horn power of Daniel 7 during the last vestige of time before the end.

“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns…. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound was healed…. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” Rev. 13:1-8.

In Daniel 7, the great beast with the 10 horns wages war against God and His people until the time comes for them to receive the kingdom and possess it forever (See vs 18, 22, and 27). He is then destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire (v.11) spoken of in Revelation 20:10: “And the devil…was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.”

Obviously, the destruction of the devil and his followers ends the great controversy between good and evil. But what about the countdown leading up to that destruction? Will there be no warning signs along the way to alert us that the time is drawing near, no attempt on God’s part to save the wicked or to arouse the sleeping saints to action? This would be inconsistent with the character of God, who “is patient.., not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Pet. 2:9.

Amos comments on this in Amos 3:6, 7: “When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it? Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” From the days of Noah until the present day, God is not silent about His eternal purposes. He will not take the world by surprise, unless they are not listening to His “alarm clocks” – His trumpet calls to arouse and be ready for the battle, with armor on and faith in our Commander.

trumpetSo take a second look with me at the seven trumpets of Revelation. We might just learn some things that will give us guidelines about our present day standing in the stream of time. After all, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He has said in the past could give us some clues about His working in our present generation, as well. With the resurgence of the little horn power as a certain sign of the soon coming of Jesus, there might also be a resurgence of other powers and nations of earth as Satan marshals his forces in preparation for the final battle against God and His people.

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First, let’s start at the end of the trumpets and go backwards in time. The 7th trumpet is obviously sounded at the second coming of Christ:
“In the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.” Rev. 10:7.

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Matt. 24:30, 31.

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51, 52.

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.’” Rev. 11:15.

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Now, if we back up from this climactic event, we will notice a countdown beginning to emerge. Let’s take trumpet #6 as our next consideration.

“The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.” Rev. 9:13-16.

If we take this as a literal description of something that is to happen just before Jesus comes, we would have to agree that it looks like global war among the nations of earth. (See also Zeph. 1:14-18; Joel 2:1-11; 3:9-16). No one wants to think about this, but war is one of those signs mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24 as a sign of His coming. As we get closer to the end, Satan is allowed to unleash more of His power to stir the passions of evil and to motivate the people of earth to engage in massive destruction.

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But wait! Before you become discouraged by this prediction, let’s go back to trumpet #5. The release of Satan to stir the spirit of war seems to have begun under this trumpet.

“The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace…. And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads…. The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle….They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon (meaning, ‘Destroyer’ - margin).” Rev. 9:1-11.

Without getting involved in all the Biblical symbolism in this passage, I want to zero in on the encouraging part in verse 4. Did you notice it? The hoards of evil are not allowed by God to touch His children who have the seal of God in their foreheads! That is good news, don’t you think? This flashes us back to Revelation seven, where the four angels are commanded to hold the winds of strife until His servants are sealed in their foreheads. That seal of God is pretty important, then, isn’t it?

Do you suppose that we might be in this holding time right now? But we must be careful not to presume upon the mercy of God to hold the winds forever while we play around with the baubles of earth and miss the time of preparation. NOW is the time to focus upon Jesus and ask Him to show us anything in our lives that would keep us from being ready for the winds to blow. NOW is the time to pray for our selves, our loved ones, and our friends, and to invite all to come into the ark of safety and protection.

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In fact, it seems that we are already beginning to see the release of the angels’ hold upon those four winds. But that brings us back to the trumpets. What do we see happening in the 4th trumpet?

“The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” Rev. 8:12.

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It seems the major emphasis here is darkness. This could, of course, have reference to literal darkness. Perhaps it will, in some way be fulfilled literally, as God sometimes emphasizes spiritual things in a literal way. But for our purposes here, I want to connect this with something that is going on in the 3rd trumpet, which I believe to precipitate the darkness of the fourth trumpet.

“The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water – the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” Rev. 8:10, 11.

In the Scriptures, a star indicates leadership, both good or evil (Rev. 1:20; Jude 13), waters symbolize life from God and His Word (Eze. 47:1-12; Jno. 7:38, 39). Waters that have turned bitter refer to truth that has become mixed with lies and falsehood by teachers and leaders who change the truth of God into a lie, and cause the spiritual death of those who believe in their teachings and follow them.

“Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross? The Lord said, ‘It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. Instead, they have followed…. the Baals, as their fathers taught them.’ Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water.’” Jer. 9:12-15.

“The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly…. Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished, declares the LORD…. I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” Jer. 23:10-15. (See rest of chapter.)

“Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not answer them. At that time He will hide His face from them because of the evil they have done. This is what the LORD says: ‘As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim “peace”; if he does not, they prepare to wage war against him. Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them. The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will cover their faces because there is no answer from God.’” Micah 3:4-7. See also Amos 5:18-24; 8:11, 12.

What an awful position in which these spiritual leaders find themselves! It reminds me of the prophets of Baal when challenged by Elijah on Mt. Carmel. God answered the simple prayer of Elijah, but He completely ignored the loud cries and antics of the false prophets who had led the people astray. So it will be in the time of the final challenge of Satan against the truths of God.

Their defiance of the God of heaven will cause Him to withdraw His protection from them, and the armies of destruction which will be turned loose during the last three trumpets, or woes (Rev. 8:13), will be allowed to wreak havoc among those who have devised and/or followed cunningly devised theories, but have not kept the way of the Lord and His Word.

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Considering these things, I’m so glad God has outlined His heavenly alarm clocks for us. Isn’t He good, kind and gracious to this last generation to send us things both personal and worldwide which will wake us up in time to prepare? But back to trumpets #1 and #2. Notice the second trumpet:

“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.” Rev. 8:8, 9.

Physically speaking, this looks like massive death, especially by the medium of water. When God allows the elements of earth to bring destruction, it is a terrifying thing to be in the path of danger, unable to escape or save yourselves or your family. Perhaps that is why Jesus mentions “the sea and the waves roaring” and “men’s hearts failing them for fear,” as one of the signs of His coming. (Lu. 21:25, 26 - KJV.)

It reminds us of the days of Noah, when “every inclination of the thoughts of his (mankind’s) heart was only evil all the time.” Gen. 6:5. Then, everyone but Noah and his family had to be destroyed. I’m thankful that in the trumpets, only a “third” of the people of earth will be affected. Perhaps that refers to the symbolic number of those who have come under the influence and/or control of the evil one and his kingdom, since he caused “a third” of the angels in heaven to fall with him (Rev. 12:4).

Another place in Scripture that speaks of the destructiveness of water is found in Amos 5:7-9: “You who turn justice into bitterness (wormwood - KJV) and cast righteousness to the ground (He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land – the LORD is His name – He flashes destruction on the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin).” (See also Amos 9:5, 6.)

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But let’s hurry on to trumpet #1. This important trumpet precipitates all the others, as in a domino effect:

“The first angel sounded his trumpet, and 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.” Rev. 8:7.

The major components of this trumpet are hail, fire, and blood which are cast down upon the earth. These are often symbolic of war in Scripture. (See Jer. 4:11-21; Isa. 10:16-19; 42:24, 25; 28:2, 17.)

It is rather interesting that our country has been at war since September 11, 2001, attacked for the first time in modern history on the soil of our own mainland. And how well we remember the horrendous shock and grief of that fateful morning, as the world watched on TV the fiery demise of our stately towers. As the President stated that morning to us all, the world will never be the same again. And truly, it has not!

Strangely enough, the fact that we are in a “holy war” was plainly announced that morning. This takes us right back to the sounding of the trumpets in the dark ages, when the same “three great religions” – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – were, and now are again involved. Because of their interest in the holy places of the middle east, and most specifically, the temple mount in Jerusalem, all three religions are vying for rights to their spiritual roots. This factor may not be well known by everyone, but it was announced and discussed plainly that bright September morning when our towers came down.

Speaking of towers, are there any Scriptures that speak of these being attacked, or coming down? Yes, there are some that speak of the attack on the towers of Babylon.

Also, Jesus spoke of a tower coming down in His day, and stated: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?… Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Lu. 13:2-5.

But the most fascinating reference to towers in my estimation is found in Isa. 30:25, 26:

“In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of His people and heals the wounds He inflicted.”

While this has obvious reference to the experience of God’s people when Jesus comes to take us home, it can also be seen as a promise of our experience during the latter rain in preparation for His coming. As we noticed earlier in this article, water is often used to represent the Holy Spirit, such as in the example of the outpouring of the early and latter rain. Notice this interesting parallel: “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has had no rain or showers in the day of wrath.’” Eze. 22:24. My margin (NIV) says:”Septuagint; Hebrew has not been cleansed or rained on”.

And where does the water flow? “On every high mountain and every lofty hill.” Mountains and hills in the Scriptures represent places of worship. Consider the following promise:

“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples…. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Isa. 2:2-5.

So, when the first trumpet begins to blow, there should be a recognition among God’s people that the time has come for them to move into line with His word, His truth and His law. The time has come for cleansing from false doctrines and errors of thinking, as well as personal defects of character that are not in harmony with the beautiful character and life of Jesus, our precious Savior and Friend.

I don’t want to get mad at people anymore, do you? I don’t want to feel mean, or harbor grudges anymore, because the Bible teaches me that this is not like Jesus. I don’t want to be in any more disputes and fights about anything.

“Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” Ps. 119:165.

And when we allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us of all the defilement of our sinful thoughts and feelings, and heal up our bruises and wounds, we can “walk in the light of the LORD,” for the “sun of righteousness” will have risen “with healing in His wings,” (Mal. 4:2) and we will be prepared to receive the seal of God’s approval that we bear the likeness of His Son.

Friend, do you hear the trumpets blowing to alert us to the steady tread of events that lead up to the coming of our Lord? Surely we have had enough of the sinfulness of our world with its sin and sickness and death; its filth and garbage morally, and the wretchedness of teeming millions of inhabitants on planet earth that do not have our advantages.

Of course, we do have a measure of happiness here with our families, friends, and the blessings God has given us, but does it measure up to the happiness we will have in heaven with Jesus AND our loved ones and friends who have chosen to serve Him?

Then let’s let the towers of our lives come down that have kept us from a full surrender to Jesus and His loving ministry to each of us. When the alarm clock rings, let’s not just grab a pillow and push the delay button. There is work to be done – a world to warn, a crown to win. Let’s get our feet out on the floor and redeem the time.

This is our day in the sun; our chance to grab the torch and run to the finish line; our turn to hold our flag high. And if we do it together, our labors will be effective and successful. As history proves, there is nothing more powerful than a message whose time has come.

“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa. 60:1, 2.

So let’s grab a trumpet and sound the joyful message of the soon coming of our Lord!

Additional Ellen White and Scriptural comments:

“In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work for the same end, as in all preceding ages. That which has been will be, except that the coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed. GC 11.

“Each of the ancient prophets spoke less of their own time than for ours so that their prophesying is in force for us. The Bible has accumulated and bound up its treasures for the last generation. All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in these last days.” Ltr. 74-A, 1897.

“We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession…. Past history will be repeated, old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated.” TM 116.

“The seven angels stood before God to receive their commission. To them was given seven trumpets. The Lord was going forth to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth was to disclose her blood and no more cover her slain.” 15 MR 219. Also Maranatha 284. See Isa. 26:20,21.

“Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us.” 7 BC 982.

“On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in the night season called upon to behold buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to glorify their owners and builders. Higher and still higher these buildings rose, and in them the most costly material was used…. The scene that next passed before me was an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and supposedly fireproof buildings and said: ‘They are perfectly safe.’ But these buildings were consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction. The firemen were unable to operate the engines.” 9T 12, 13.

“Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls…. He will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves and earthquakes…. Satan is exercising his power…. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous…. And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils.” GC 589, 590.

“We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another, – fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.” PK 278.

“The days of punishment are coming, the days of reconing are at hand. Let Israel know this.” Hos. 9:7.

“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in the holy mountain. Gather the host of the Lord…to hear what the Lord will say unto His people; for He has increased light for all who will hear. Let them be armed and equipped, and come up to the battle – to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” TM 410.

“While all the world is plunged in darkness, There will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing.” AA 720.

“Those who commune with God walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness…. As they near the close of earth’s history, their knowledge of Christ, and of the prophecies relating to Him greatly increases. They are of infinite worth in God’s sight, for they are in unity with His Son…. Truth is unfolded to them.” Southern Watchman, 4/11/05.

“As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: ‘Woe! Woe! Woe! to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!’” Rev. 8:13.

“Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the LORD because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law.” Hos. 8:1.

“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you …. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant––the Ten Commandments.” Ex. 34:27, 28.

“Know therefore that the LORD your God …is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.” Deut. 7:9.

“The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever….” Ex. 31:16, 17.

“I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.” Eze. 20:12.

“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed…and prepared for the shaking, it will come…. The judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming.” 4 BC 1161.

“He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction.” Isa. 30:28.

“The covenant that God made with His people at Sinai is to be our refuge and defense.” 1 BC 1103.

“The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character.” 7 BC 970.

“On Him, God the Father has placed His seal of approval.” John 6:27.

“Four mighty angels hold back the powers of this earth till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The nations of the world are eager for conflict; but they are held in check by the angels. When this restraining power is removed, there will come a time of trouble and anguish. Deadly instruments of warfare will be invented…. All who have not the spirit of truth will be united under the leadership of Satanic agencies. But they are to be kept under control until the time shall come for the great battle of Armageddon. Angels are belting the world, refusing Satan his claims to supremacy,.. keeping the armies of Satan at bay till the sealing of God’s people shall be accomplished…. The Lord is a refuge for all who put their trust in Him. He bids them hide in Him for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. He is soon to come out of His place to punish the world for its iniquity.” 7 BC 967.

“A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land…. When our nation…shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges,..and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will…be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin.” 7 BC 977.

“A terrible contest is before us. We are nearing the battle of the great day of God Almighty. That which has been held in control is to be let loose. The angel of mercy is folding its wings, preparing to step down from the golden throne and leave the world to the control of Satan, the king it has chosen, a murderer and destroyer from the beginning.” TD 308.

“Already kingdom is rising against kingdom. There is not now a determined engagement. As yet, the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. The powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle. How carefully we should improve the little remaining period of our probation.” RH Nov. 27, 1900.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cries of fear are heard – terror, not peace. Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it….

“’I am with you and will save you, declares the LORD…. I will restore you to health and heal your wounds’, declares the LORD….

“’I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD. ‘So you will be my people, and I will be your God.’” Jer. 30:5-22.

A Synopsis of the 7 trumpets:

Trumpet #1: Rev. 8:7.

Towers fall, war begins.
“I am pained at my very heart;… I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet – the alarm of war.” Jer. 4:19 (Quoted in 9 T. p. 15).
Raging forest fires destroy large sections of land in U. S. and Canada.

Trumpet #2: Rev. 8:8, 9.

Major disasters in seacoasts, having to do with water destruction, earthquakes and severe storms.

“You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off…. I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain…. Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations!” Jer. 51:13, 25, 27.

Trumpet #3: Rev. 8:10,11.

Because of rising economic and political tensions, and the obvious escalation of natural disasters, world powers, influenced by religious leaders – especially in the U. S. – begin to make restrictive laws designed to bring us back to God and unite the world under one rule. During this trumpet, the Sunday-Sabbath issue will become prominent. People will begin to take sides for or against His law, and especially His Sabbath.

“Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the LORD because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law.” Hos. 8:1.

Trumpet #4: Rev. 8:12.

The Sunday law is evidently enacted at the beginning of or during this trumpet. This is clear, because the seal of God has already been placed upon the foreheads of God’s people by the 5th trumpet (Rev. 9:4).

Complete spiritual darkness is now in all the churches who have rejected the laws of Jehovah. There is light only among God’s people at this time. God’s people now preach with great power, and all who are honest in heart leave the fallen churches and join with the remnant. During this time, the latter rain will be poured out in its greatest measure. (See Isa. 60:1-3, Mic. 3:4-8, Joel 2:15-32, and EW 271, 278.)

Trumpet #5: Rev. 9:1-12.

This is the beginning of the three woes which are announced by an eagle (see Hos. 8:1, and Deut. 28:49-50), warning the world of the final disasters that will befall the wicked during this time. It is apparently a time of unprecedented war and carnage, led by Satan, the angel of the abyss (v. 11), from which only those who have the seal of God on their foreheads are protected (Rev. 9:4).

“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming…. A large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come.” Joel 2:1, 2.

Trumpet #6: Rev. 9:13-21.

At this time, the four angels who are bound at the river Euphrates are loosed. This must mean that the grand finale of the ages is at last allowed to reach a culmination. The great controversy began in the Garden of Eden, where the river Euphrates originated. The drama in the middle east has continued through the ages, and by the final actions of the evil one and his followers, it will be demonstrated to all what the great deceiver is like, and where his principles of government lead. It is also demonstrated that his followers are unchanged by these events, thus allowing God to close their probation without a question from the watching universe.

Trumpet #7: Rev. 11:15-19.

As was mentioned in the body of this paper, “the last trump” is sounded at the coming of Christ (1 Cor. 15:51). But borrowing from the historic view of the trumpets, Christ has been officiating in the heavenly sanctuary since 1844. During that time, He has been judging first the dead, and then the living. In that sense, He has already begun to reign, as He cleanses the hearts and lives of His followers, and prepares them for His imminent return. Soon “the kingdom of the world” will have “become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15.

May that day come soon, and may we with our families and loved ones all be ready!

Note: I have prayerfully made the details of each trumpet obscure enough to allow for personal study and conclusions. My major objective is to stimulate thought and interest in seeking to be alert to the current signs that Jesus’ coming is near, and to find gems of thought in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy which will motivate us to continue to study.

To all our friends who receive this paper, we hope you will find it to be of value in helping you to be ready for the soon coming of our Lord. We have each of you in our prayers!