In this chapter, the Revelation summarizes the events that were shown to John through the sounding of the Seven Trumpets beginning with a description of the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel who will be sealed before the judgments of the Seven Trumpets begin. (The 144,000 are described in Chapter 7, and the events of the Seven Trumpets are described in Chapter 8.)
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. Rev. 14:1
Whenever we read about the Lord ruling from Mount Zion; we are reading about the Reign of Christ on Earth. Accordingly, when John sees the 144,000 standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, it tells us that the 144,000 From all the Tribes of Israel will live through the judgments of the Seven Trumpets and will rule with Christ on earth following these events. (We will read more about Reign of Christ on Earth in a later chapter.)
The First Three Trumpets
After being shown the 144,000 who will reign with Christ on Mount Zion, John was given an overview of the events of the Seven Trumpets beginning with an announcement concerning the judgments of the First Three Trumpets
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Rev 14: 6-7
The elements that are described in the above passages, namely, the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water, are the same elements that are described in the events of the First Three Trumpets as follows.
1.) When the First Trumpet is sounded the heavens will be shut up, causing a world-wide drought, and a third of the earth will be burned up.
The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on 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
2.) When the Second Trumpet is sounded, a third of the sea will turn to blood.
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
3.) When the Third Trumpet is sounded the springs of water will become bitter.
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 above verses, we see how the description of the Hour of God’s Judgment contains the same elements that were shown to John through the sounding of the First Three Trumpets. The mention of the gospel being carried to every nation, language, tribe, and people is also a reference to the First Three Trumpets, and the Two Witnesses who will announce these judgments, and whose words will be carried to everyone on earth.
And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Rev. 11:3 4-6
The Fourth Trumpet
Next, John was shown the events of the Fourth Trumpet through the description of the fall of Babylon the Great who will make the nations follow in her adulteries.
A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” Rev. 14:8
In the Scriptures, when a city is symbolically referred to as Babylon, it is a reference to the ancient city of Babylon where man first organized a collective rebellion against God. When the city of the Beast is called Babylon the Great, it tells us that the rebellious city will eclipse the sin of the first Babylon and will serve as the culmination of all other rebellions that have occurred against God. The actual identity of the city is made known to us when we read that the city will commit the sin of adultery with the nations. As the only nation that has been married to God, only the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem can commit the sin of adultery against Him, which would make Jerusalem the city known as Babylon the Great. The transformation of Jerusalem into Babylon the Great will take place after the Attack on Jerusalem, when the the Two Witnesses will be killed and the Beast (the antichrist) will occupy the city as described in the events of the Fourth Trumpet. During this attack, a Remnant will escape by fleeing into the wilderness where they will be kept safe for 3 1/2 years. Following the Attack on Jerusalem, the Beast will rule his kingdom from the fallen city known as Babylon the Great, and the Great Tribulation will begin. During the Great Tribulation, all those who refuse to worship the Beast will be killed. (The Beast and the Great Tribulation are described in Chapter 13.) The eventual destruction of the Beast and his kingdom will be announced by the angel who will call out “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great”.
The above description is followed by the warning concerning the Inhabitants of the Earth who will worship the Beast and receive his mark. Unlike the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel, who will reign with Christ on Mount Zion, those who take the Mark of the Beast will be tormented with burning sulfur for ever and ever.
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Rev. 14:9-12
In addition to the above warning, John heard a voice from heaven pronounce a special blessing over those who will be killed for refusing to worship the Beast or receive his mark.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” Rev. 14:13
In a later chapter, we will read how the blessing that will follow the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation will take place during the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ, when the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation will be resurrected to reign with Christ and the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel.
The Fifth and Sixth Trumpet
After the events of the Great Tribulation, the Wrath of God will be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth through the judgments of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets, which will announce the Plague of Locusts that will cause people to long to die, and the Plagues of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur that will kill a third of mankind. In the following verses these judgments are described as the Son of Man swinging of a sharp sickle through the harvest. We are told that the harvest will be ripe, meaning the escalating sin of mankind will reach its height before the Son of Man cuts down the wicked just as a sickle cuts through ripened grain.
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Rev. 14:14-16
(You can read about the judgments of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets in Chapter 9.)
In addition to the above judgments, the next verses describe how the armies’ of the nations will be gathered to Armageddon in a desperate attempt to destroy the Hidden Remnant who will have been kept safe from the Beast during the entire 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation. When the armies of the Beast surround the Hidden Remnant, a Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm will destroy the armies of the nations.
Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. Rev. 14:17-20
In the above passages, the Battle of Armageddon is compared to the the harvesting of grapes, when the wicked will be thrown into the winepress of His wrath and crushed until their blood flows as high as the horses’ bridles. These same events were described by the prophet Joel who also used the imagery of the trampling of grapes in a winepress to describe how the armies of the nation’s will be gathered together and then destroyed.
“Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!” Joel 3:12-13
NOTE: In a later chapter, we will read how the armies of the nations will be gathered at Armageddon but will advance to the Valley of Jehoshaphat where the actual “Battle of Armageddon” will take place.
The Seventh Trumpet
Following the trampling down of God’s enemies at the Battle of Armageddon, the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel will be gathered to Jerusalem and the Reign of Christ on Earth will begin as described in the events of the Seventh Trumpet.
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 Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15
Combining all of the above, we get the following summary of the events of the Seven Trumpets as listed below.
The Seven Trumpets and their Related Events
– Prior to the sounding of the Seven Trumpets, the 144,000 from all the Tribes will be sealed. This Faithful Remnant will live through the events of the Seven Trumpets and will reign with Christ on earth following the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet.
– Following the sealing of the 144,000, the plagues on the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water will be called down by the Two Witnesses as a warning to the Inhabitants of the Earth. These same events are described in the sounding of the First Three Trumpets.
– The Inhabitants of the Earth will respond to God’s testing by attacking Jerusalem and killing the Two Witnesses, as described in the events of the Fourth Trumpet, when the sun, moon, and stars will be struck. (The sun, moon, and stars represent Israel. See: Gen. 37:1-11, Rev. 12:1-6)
– When Jerusalem is attacked, a Remnant will escape into the wilderness where they will be kept hidden for 3 1/2 years.
– After attacking Jerusalem, the armies of the Gentiles will occupy Jerusalem for 42 months, and the Beast will establish his rule in the fallen city. During this period, Fallen Jerusalem will be given the name of Babylon the Great who will lead the nations astray in her adulteries.
– During the 42 months that the Beast occupies Jerusalem, the Great Tribulation will take place. Those who take the Mark of the Beast during this period will later be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the Lamb forever and ever, while those who are killed by the Beast, for refusing to take his mark, will be blessed and will, later, be resurrected to reign with Christ along with the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel.
– Following the Great Tribulation, the Wrath of God will be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth as described in the events of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets when the Plague of Locusts will cause people to long to die, and the Plagues of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur will kill a third of mankind.
– After the Plagues of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets, the Beast will lead the nations in an attempt to destroy the Hidden Remnant, who will have been kept safe in the wilderness throughout the 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation.
– When the armies of the Beast surround the Hidden Remnant of Israel, the Seventh Trumpet will be sounded and a Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm will destroy the surrounding armies of the Beast at the Battle of Armageddon, which is described as the Lord trampling His enemies like grapes in a great winepress. This same earthquake will destroy the city from which the Beast will rule known as Babylon the Great.
– The defeat of God’s enemies at the Battle of Armageddon will be followed by the loud voices that will announce the Reign of Christ on Earth after the events of the Seventh Trumpet have been completed.
The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
2. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal) – The 144,000 are sealed
– 1/3 of earth is burned up in world-wide drought (1st. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of sea turns to blood, Satan’s kingdom defeated (2nd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of waters are poisoned, Satan cast out (3rd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of Israel is struck, the Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
3. The Great Tribulation – The full number of God’s people are killed
– The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
– The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
4. The Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm – The Battle of Armageddon (6th. Seal, 7th. Trumpet)
5. Silence in Heaven – The defeat of God’s enemies (7th. Seal)
6. The Reign of Christ on Earth
 Gen. 11:1-9
 Is. 54:5; Ezek. 16:8; Jer. 2:1-2, 3:20