Revelation 8:1-7

Seven Trumpets Begin

The first of the trumpets and bowls of wrath are sores on those who worship the image of the beast (the Trinity) and receive his mark (Sunday rest). This began as early as the 1800’s.

While a significant number of people have questioned the Trinity doctrine over the years, until recently, the true Apostolic doctrine remained clouded by changes made to the biblical text. Alternatives to the Trinity, including modalism, and unitarianism, were no more sensible than the Trinity itself. Those who had ideas that embraced the Apostolic concepts, were unable to explain themselves, because of the false translation of the biblical text.

Today, the true Apostolic doctrine of Christ and God is evident, and undeniable. Anybody who continues to worship the Trinity, after hearing the truth, will fall under the judgment of God. They will receive the “sores” of this first trumpet.

The trumpets and bowls of wrath resemble the ten plagues that God sent upon Egypt. These trumpets remove the lawlessness out of the kingdom of heaven, whereas the bowls of wrath are simply the attack against “the kingdom of the beast.” But the meaning and result is the same. The last plague, which is the spiritual death of man at the judgment seat of Christ, reminds us of the death of the Egyptians by the Angel of Lord (Christ), the last plague on Egypt. But, all those who had the blood over the door, were spared. This represented the blood of Christ over the house of God, His Church.

The first four trumpets attack the one “third” of the kingdom of heaven which is lawless. The fifth trumpet makes no distinction of “a third,” because by this time, the Angels have separated the wheat and the chaff (Matt 13:40;49).

The first four trumpets span a considerable time period, about 600 years. This should not be too surprising as the fifth trumpet is directly said to last 5 months (150 prophetic years).

Trumpet Bowl of Wrath
1. hail and fire sores on those who worship the image and receive the mark of the beast
2. sea sea (baptisms/salvation of death in false churches)
3. rivers and springs rivers and springs (the lawless drink the spirit of a demon called Wormwood)
4. sun, moon, and stars are darkened (matches the fifth Bowl of Wrath) scorched by the sun; “then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun” 
5. release from the bottomless pit the kingdom of the beast is darkened
6. Armageddon Armageddon
7. flaming fire and judgment flaming fire and judgment

1 When he opened the seventh seal, there followed a silence in heaven for about half an hour. 

Rev 8:1
there was silence in heaven for about half an hour – there is a period of quietness, that follows the deaths of the Reformation wars, that ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, until the outpouring of the holy spirit in 1917. This is approximately 250 years, or 1/2 hour of the clock of human history of 6,000 years. From the end of the cry of the Martyrs, “how long?” in Revelation 6:10, until this next major event is a “half an hour.”

2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, 

Rev 8:2-5
that He might add to the prayers of the saints – as on the Day of Pentecost, before the former rain of the holy spirit could be poured out, the prayers of the saints ascended to God.

The Angel that intercedes for the saints is always Christ, the Angel who appears in different forms throughout the Book of Revelation.

By the beginning of the twentieth Century, the saints were earnestly praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the former rain.

In 1896, more than one hundred prayed earnestly at the Shearer Schoolhouse Revival, where Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians joined together to form the “Christian Union.”

After much prayer, “a number were speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”1

And on the last day of the year 1900, Charles Parham asked the students of his Bible College to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The next day, hands were laid on Agnes Ozman, and she began to speak in other languages. The other students said that a halo surrounded her face and head, and she began to speak in Chinese. For the next three days, she was only able to write in Chinese characters.

By 1906, the Pentecostal experience had reached the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles, where 13,000 spoke in tongues. In 1907, Bernt Berntsen received this experience at Azusa Street, and organized the Apostolic Faith Mission. This Mission sailed to China in 1908, where Bernt Berntsen met Zhang Lingsheng and Paul Wei.

In 1917, Paul Wei prayed and fasted for 39 days, and he received the promised Holy Spirit.

then the Angel took the censer and filled it with fire…and threw it to the earth – the Angel was Christ, and the fire that He poured out was the same Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, with “tongues of fire.” 

In 1917, after Paul Wei obeyed the instruction of God to baptize face down, he received the comfort of the holy spirit as evidenced by the tongue emitting sound, laleo glossa. This experience was much different than the “speaking in tongues” of Pentecostal denominations from the West. Those in the West prayed in a kind of language, that followed the moving of their mouth. But for Paul Wei, and the Church in China, the tongue emit sound. There was also a strong comforting movement of the holy spirit that could be seen by all. As on the Day of Pentecost, the evidence of the holy spirit was both seen and heard (Acts 2:33).

On his deathbed, Paul Wei pleaded with the Western missionary Bernt Berntsen saying, “if you are able to believe that Jesus gave me a face down baptism and that He personally appeared and gave me commands then you will indeed enter that holiest place.”2 But Berntsen refused, saying that he would wait until the Holy Spirit revealed it to him.

As Ezekiel prophesied, the Church of the end days would come from the East.

The Church of the East rejected the image and mark of the beast, and obeyed five doctrines:

  1. The rest of the Sabbath Day
  2. Baptism in the name of Jesus, in like manner 
  3. The washing of feet after baptism
  4. Holy Communion, and
  5. The laying on of hands for gift of the Holy Spirit

there followed peals of thunder…lightning and an earthquake – “peals of thunder and sounds, and flashes of lightning,” are also found in Revelation 4:5; 11:19; and 16:17-18. They described the dramatic encounter with God on Mount Sinai, in Exodus 19:16 and 20:18.

Here, they describe the outpouring of the Spirit of God.

John said that these peals of thunder and sounds, and flashes of lightning were followed by an earthquake. 

“An earthquake” in the Book of Revelation represents war. The “earth” refers to the people, and a “quake” describes their war. 

The earthquakes in Revelation 6:12, 11:13, and 16:18 are called “great earthquakes.” Revelation 6:12, and 16:18 describe the Battle of Armageddon, the battle that ends man’s existence. The great earthquake in Revelation 11:13 described the Reformation wars that killed 1/10 of Europe, and one third of Germany.

In 1917, the Holy Spirit was poured out in China. In the same year, China joined World War I. John did not call this a “great earthquake,” but it was called “the Great War,” because it was compared to the Battle of Armageddon.  

The outpouring of the holy spirit in China was accompanied by signs and miracles. By 1923, more than 100 churches were established in the south. And all received the same Spirit, the same evidence of the tongue emitting sound, that was first experienced by Paul Wei in 1917.

On Mount Sinai, after the peals of thunder and flashes of lightning, the Israelites heard the sound of a trumpet blast. Here, the peals of thunder and flashes of lightning introduce the sounding of the seven trumpets.

6 The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown on the earth. One third of the earth was burnt up, and one third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 

Rev 8:7
the first trumpet, hail and fire, and blood – this is the plague of hail and fire poured out on Egypt (Exod 9:24).  From here, we begin to suspect that these plagues are metaphorical. The meaning of the metaphor in the “Seven Trumpets” is simple. These plagues are like those on Egypt, that have no affect on the “righteous,” just as they passed over the sons of Israel, and only struck the Egyptians.

This is only one of two trumpets that do not seem to directly match the corresponding bowl of wrath. The first bowl of wrath is “sores on those who worship the image of the beast and receive his mark.” Of course, the hail and fire cause the “sores on those who had the mark of the beast and worship his image.” The fulfillment of this prophecy, which followed the outpouring of the holy spirit, was dramatic. Prior to the 20th Century, few people questioned Sunday rest, or the Trinity doctrine. But by the end of the 20th Century, there was scarcely a Christian who would try to defend either. Before the year 1950, businesses would not operate on a Sunday, but by the end of the 20th Century, both Sunday and Saturday had become acceptable days of business in the Western World: “they have no rest day or night,” Revelation 14:11.

The other bowl of wrath that does not match is the fourth, because the focus of the Bowls of wrath are the attack on the kingdom of the Beast, whereas the focus of the trumpets is to show God’s deliverance of His people.

a third – the meaning of “a third” is clear in the fourth trumpet, where we see “a third of the sun, moon, and stars” darkened. The sun, moon and stars represents the kingdom of heaven, before its corruption, as described in Revelation 12:1. A “third of the Angels fell” in Rev 12:4, representing the part of heaven that was lawless, and sided with Satan. In each of the first four plagues, “a third” represents the “lawless” part of the kingdom of heaven affected by the plague. These plagues are the work of Angels sent out to remove the lawlessness from Christ’s kingdom (see Matt 13:40-41; which was also explained in Revelation 14).

Before we comfort ourselves with the idea that God only considers 1/3 to be lawless, we must ask ourselves the question, do we know who the 1/3 is? Only those who receive the promised Holy Spirit have the assurance of salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).

of the earth – you may notice that the first three trumpets follow the judgment order of Revelation 14:7, “the hour of His judgment has come…who made…the earth, and the sea and springs of water.” Here, in the first three trumpets, are the effect of these plagues against the earth (the people), the sea (their salvation), and springs of water (the spirit they drink).

one third of the trees – Jesus said we would know those who are true, in the kingdom of heaven, by their fruit: “a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.” (Matt 7:18) The trees, especially by the water, are the righteous, see Psalms 1:3, Jeremiah 17:8. The trees of the end time Church are fed by the water of the Holy Spirit, as we read in Ezekiel 47:12; they grow much fruit.

all of the grass was burned – grass represents all men; “all flesh is grass,” see Isaiah 40:6,  1 Peter 1:24, and other verses. In Rev 13:16, we learn that the beast caused “all men” to receive a mark, as all men forsook the commandment of God. More specifically, from 1 Peter 1:23-24, the grass represents those who have not been born of the Spirit, “for you have been born again, not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, for ‘all flesh is as grass.”

If anyone doubts the figurative meaning of this verse, they should consider the trees and the grass in Revelation 9:4. The Greek text literally reads: “And it was said that they should not harm the grass, nor any green thing, nor any tree; if not the men not having the seal of God on their foreheads.” The Greek grammar, in this verse, directly identifies the trees and grass as men.

  1. A.J. Tomlinson, The Last Great Conflict
  2. True Jesus Church Thirtieth Anniversary Commemorative Volume, Nanking: True Jesus Church, 1948, M9