The seven trumpets are a series of events that the apostle John described beginning in Revelation 8. Students of Bible prophecy have differing viewpoints regarding the timing of the trumpets and whether they should be viewed as symbolic or literal. The four generally held views are preterist, idealist, historicist, and futurist. The preterist view is that the trumpets occurred about the time John wrote the prophecy. In this view, the trumpets must have been symbolic because no global disasters as described in Revelation occurred during the rise of the Christian church. The idealist view recognizes the prophecy as symbolic and is an allegory of the continuing battle between good and evil. Timing of the prophecy is considered irrelevant. The historicist view considers the trumpet prophecies to be symbols which identify historical events. While there are varying positions within the futurist view, most futurists believe that the seven trumpets are literal future events.
One rule of interpretation used throughout this website is that for an apocalyptic prophecy to be considered symbolic, a relevant text must exist that defines the symbol of a prophetic element. Since no applicable text defines the symbols used, the seven trumpets must be literal. Consider the following listing of the trumpets:
Before the trumpets begin, there will be a great earthquake. (Revelation 8:5)
- First Trumpet – Meteoric firestorms hit and burn one third of the earth. (Revelation 8:6)
- Second Trumpet – An asteroid hits an ocean and one third of the ships and coastal cities are destroyed. (Revelation 8:8,9)
- Third Trumpet – An asteroid hits a land mass and turn one third of the waters bitter. Many people die. (Revelation 8:10,11)
- Fourth Trumpet – Volcanic eruptions darken one third of the planet causing drought and darkness. (Revelation 8:12)
- Fifth Trumpet – The devil will appear and claim to be God. He and his angels will torment people for five months. (Revelation 9:1-11)
- Sixth Trumpet – The devil and his angels will kill one third of mankind and implement the mark of the beast. (Revelation 9:13-20; Revelation 13:17)
- Seventh Trumpet – When every person has chosen to accept or reject Christ, probation will be closed. (Revelation 11:15-18)
At the end of the seventh trumpet, there will be a second global earthquake. (Revelation 11:19)
For an overview of the seven trumpets, visit this LINK.
For a detailed analysis of the seven trumpets, visit this LINK.