Bible Symbolism is a big topic. The book of Revelation is specifically written by John and we are told it is "Signified", meaning symbolism. This article is based on its symbolism as a parallel to the physical events. There will be a physical, seven-year Tribulation, with the focus on Israel's final "week of years" written by Daniel the prophet in chapter 9. What will happen in the physical is not directly the purpose of this study. Exodus was a historical event but it had many underlying purposes like judging the gods of Egypt. Sodom and Gomorrah is another historical event with deeper truths about God's Judgment.
The Seven Trumpets
A few last thoughts
Jesus said my kingdom is not of this earth, but He did not say He would not Reign on earth, and in fact in Revelation Jesus will come to earth a second time, this time Jesus will be bringing vengeance upon the powers of Satan. Then Jesus will reign on this earth for one thousand years.
Two lines of revelation
.Throughout the Bible there at least two types of focus, the literal and the spiritual. The literal is easier to understand, the spiritual although it must agree with the other, they work together. It's interesting that in Jesus's first coming He was fulfilling one line of Prophesy, that being the "Suffering Servant". Nobody could reconcile the two Messiahs. Jesus also told of His Death and Resurrection, but the disciples were clueless, And on Sunday morning, they were in distress that their Jesus was dead. So much so that when the two Marys went to anoint the dead body they were shocked that the tomb was empty. After they were told, that Jesus had risen they were confused, but they ran to tell the apostles, and when they told the apostles, the apostles told them "it could not be". Finally, they ran to the tomb to see for themselves. I would say that their "box" was burst. Interestingly the priests remembered what Jesus said, and they had the tomb sealed and guarded, like that would stop Jesus. That didn't work so well. The point is that there were two Messiahs, who are actually One. There always are deeper levels of revelation in any passage of Scripture. One theme that runs throughout the Scriptures is a Gospel Message, just put Jesus in the middle of it and you can find it.
As noted in Revelation Symbolism Pt. 1. The Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls, are not strictly sequential. There is a flow but this "triad" is actually three layers of "End Time Events" The Trumpets come out of or from within the Seals and the Bowls flow out from the Trumpets. Understanding this will make things fit together better.
The Creation / Days of a Tree Pattern
The Creation Pattern sometimes called "The days of a tree", can be used in different ways but the basis is one "week" equals a cycle, just as a tree has a yearly cycle, then starts over. It's interesting that in Daniel 9, where he gives us his 70 "week" prophesy he uses weeks as years. He also broke them up with a break after the 69th "week" which stops at the Cross. The gap before the last "week" is the Church Age, when the Church is taken away, there will be an unmentioned delay to set the stage for a peace agreement with the antichrist. Once that happens the last "week" starts.
The Hebrew Betrothal Pattern
In Bible times the Hebrew Betrothal Pattern had seven parts; 1. the father finds a bride, 2. the man pays the "Bride price" (the mohar), then 3. the man goes to the bride, proposes, she accepts by drinking from his cup (the Kiddushin}, 4. the marriage is sealed (under the Chuppah), but not consummated, 5. he leaves her with a gift (a Mattan) and goes to prepare a place for her, she does not know when he is coming back, 6. when he comes back it is with a shout then 7.they go away for a bridal week. The Bride of Christ (the Church) is waiting.
A Word about Death
What is death? In its fundamental sense, it is a broken connection. Electricians say a circuit is dead when it has lost its connection to a power source. If I give a cut rose to someone, it may look good but is cut from its source of life, and it may still bloom, but if not grafted back into a living rose bush, it will wither away. In the Bible Adam died spiritually when he sinned, he could walk and talk but his "life" was dead. The Bible also teaches that until he "reconnected to the "life" source he was then under the power of Sin. Chained, and unable to release himself, he needed a redeemer. But when we become "born-again" or born from above if you prefer. We become "dead" to sin Sin has lost its hold on us. What this is saying is that "we are "killed" to Sin, we have died to death.
The First Trumpet
Revelation 8.7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
I am not saying many terrible events will be not occurring. What I am saying God Is giving a mirror revelation from a Gospel perspective, and not at all unbiblical. The trumpets are declaring God's way of purifying. God never pulls punches, to root out the blindness caused by sin. Isiah 28.17 "the hail will sweep away lies and Malachi 3.2-3 God is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap - - he shall purify the believers that they may offer unto the LORD an offering of righteousness. Then in Zechariah 13.9, God will bring "them" the 1/3 through the fire. I will refine them and they shall call upon my "Name" and I will call them my people. Trees and grass in scripture are often symbols for people, the burning is the purifying of the believers, not for the destroying of believers.
The Second Trumpet
Revelation 8.8 - 9, the Second Trumpet sounded, as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood. and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died: and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
This "great mountain" would be the whole Torah Law embraced in the Gospel. In the book of Exodus, the mountain "was altogether smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire and smoke, and the whole mountain quaked". One of the ways God pictures the "sea" is as people. Isiah 57.20 "the wicked are as a troubled sea. In Isiah 60.5 "the sea shall be converted" - "and flow unto thee" and we the 1/3 part, shall become covered by His blood. The 1/3 part of the creatures are by definition in the Strong's Concordance #g2938 " transformed by divine power - speaking of true Christians created anew by regeneration". Bible book of James 1.18 "a kind of first-fruits of his creatures", who died into Christ, through the spiritual water baptism. The 1/3 of the ships are picturing people groups, of the sea yet above the sea as saved groups, destroyed to this fallen life to be a place of refuge through the storms of life.
The Third Trumpet
Revelation 8.10 - 11 The third trumpet sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon it the fountains of water. In Revelation 8.11 and the name of the star is called Wormwood, and many men died of the waters because the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters because they were made bitter.
This "great star" is Jesus. This picture seems to be speaking of Jesus's first coming, because "wormwood" is mostly a curse, and Jesus came the first time to be a curse for us. A person cursed is not a pretty thing, but God in his Love gave His Son for us. Great in its primary sense is referring to God. Genesis 15.1 "I am thy shield and thy "great reward". In Numbers 24.17 "there shall come a Star out of Jacob, a scepter out of Israel".
Speaking of falling stars, In Isiah 14.12 Satan is pictured as the "fallen star" from heaven. This a good time to repeat, this study is not focused on the physical aspects, it's more of a contrasting interpretation of the Revelation Scriptures. This third Trumpet is definitely contrasting, black and white. The black is a picture of Satan falling from Heaven and his continuing rebellion on Earth, He not only is the father of lies, and his intent is to be worshiped as a god, unfortunately for him, it is a general Custer, last stand, but unfortunately for those on earth, all hell is about to break forth. In the earthly, it's a dark time, but God always has the answer.
The Cross of Christ is the white side, So when you see these things happening know that your redemption, Christ Jesus is near. Sin is wormwood but God has taken upon Himself the "sting of death" and it is our sin that is so severe, that only the Cross can heal us. When Satan falls it is a real fall, but when Christ is falling it means a swift return. In the book of Acts chapters, 2 and 10 you see the Holy Spirit falling upon believers.
Light meets the Light
In Genesis 15.17 there is a sealing of a covenant with Abram by God passing through two halves of a slain animal as a smoking fire pot and as a flaming torch. God not only cares for all the sea of humanity but even the little streams and tiny fountains. Isiah 41.18 "I will open rivers -- and turn the parched ground into springs. When Christ came down, the start of His ministry as prescribed in the Levitical law he needed to do the Jewish rite of purification know as a water purification, called Mikvah or baptism as we know it. This immersing in freshwater was when Jesus "the Light" came to John Baptist "a light". In John 5.35 John the Baptist was called a "burning and shining light". What a thrill and honor for "a light to meet the Light". Although the message of John was "hope" his words about sin were "bitter".
The Fourth Trumpet
Revelation 8.12 - 13 The Fourth Trumpet sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them were darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. Verse 13 I beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe woe woe to the people of the earth because of the other voices of the trumpet of the last three angels, which are yet to sound.
Challenge Time - Sun, Moon, and Stars
This Fourth Trumpet is a challenging symbolic picture that is linked to the Third Trumpet, which had Jesus at His first coming. In Revelation 8.11 the sun is "struck" and also where it uses, an "a" in Greek it says "the third the sun was struck". 'The sun is Christ, a part of a triad of God, Psalms 84.11 "the LORD is my sun and shield" Psalms 89.36 "GOD'S throne is as the sun". In Genesis 37.9 Joseph had a dream "I saw the sun, the moon and the stars bowing before me. In a symbolic way, The Sun pictures God, the moon has no light of its own but reflects God's light and the stars represent God's light reaching all of creation. At the Cross when Jesus "gave up His Spirit" all His light went out of Him. Causing the third darkened, because is the believer's "light" was covered by darkness, all of the creation cried that day. The "third part of it" refers to the "three days" of His death. The triad of woes is saying you don't want to be on earth when God brings judgment upon this earth at His second coming. But it is coming, and soon!