Revelation 8-11: The Seven Trumpets, The Little Book and the Two Witnesses

Laying Out Revelation – Part 5

Seal Seven is broken, the Scroll opens and the miraculous begins – the Seven Trumpets. This means that we will have more questions than answers.

Again, those who claim to have the answers are either deluded or trying to sell you something. Never pay attention to such people. It is time to stop playing games with the Word of God.

Today, we’ll talk about each of the Seven Trumpets, the Little Book that John eats, and the Two Witnesses. AND the three creatures that have seven heads and ten horns.

So, let’s talk about all that.


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Revelation 8-11: The Seven Trumpets, The Little Book and the Two Witnesses

Laying Out Revelation – Part 5

Chapter 8 starts out with the breaking of Seal Seven, and I’m not sure that Stephen Langton – the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1227 – was right to put that in Chapter 8. It actually belongs in Chapter 7.


You didn’t know that the chapter divisions were an invention by a Roman Catholic Priest?

Well, now you know.

However, chapter divisions are more useful than not, so we accept them even though we try to remember that some of them shouldn’t be where they are. And, we’ll try to give Stephen as much benefit of the doubt as we can, even though I’d love the chance to yell at him for some of his more egregious errors.

Now, where were we? Oh yes… Chapter Eight.

Chapter Eight – Seal Seven Broken

Two Important Assumptions

When Jesus breaks the final Seal, it is reasonable to assume that the book opens. However, as reasonable as that is, it’s still an assumption. It’s also an assumption that the sealed Book of Truth described in Daniel 10-12 is also this scroll. My operating hypothesis is that this is where the Scroll opens and that the name of this scroll is the Book of Truth. The events in Daniel 10-12 faithfully coincide with key events in Revelation, and it is a book that has also been sealed until the time of the end. However, an ‘operating hypothesis’ can be very wrong.

Always be careful to understand the difference between the Word of God and our assumptions about the Word of God. Too few of us get this.

Silence in heaven

So, now that the Book of Truth has opened, there is silence in heaven for half an hour. And yes, it’s just a half of a time segment of our day. It might be a bit longer than 30 minutes, but it is not days, months, years, centuries or millennia.

Then, Seven Angels appear, and they are given Seven Trumpets. They wait patiently for something else to happen before they can begin:

The offering of our prayers

Every prayer that you have made will be offered up before God. Everything that you spoke to God about… all of your requests, your repentance, your cries for help …they will be remembered before God, on the altar in heaven. And then, the censor that had the incense that was offered with our prayers is then filled with fire from the altar and cast to Earth. All that we will see of this will be noises, thunderings, lightnings and an earthquake. But, those of us who survive to this point in time will probably understand. Probably.

Trumpet One – Vegetation

When the First Trumpet sounds, hail and fire and blood rain down upon Earth. That blood isn’t something the color of blood – like iron oxide. No, it’s blood.

This is an absolute indication that we’ve left behind any and all ‘mundane’ explanations for the physical events of the previous two chapters. We are firmly in the miraculous, and it will burn up a third of the trees and all of the grass.

Trumpet Two – Seas

Then, when the Second Trumpet sounds, a great burning mountain is thrown into the sea. A third of the sea becomes blood. A third of the creatures in the sea die. And, a third of the ships in the sea are destroyed.

This mountain sounds like a volcano. But, that’s where we stop with any idea of a natural explanation. The word for blood there is literally the same word that we use for the study of blood diseases. Haima – αἷμα – is at the root for that class of medicine that deals with blood disease – hematology.

That’s real blood. That’s not an ‘algae bloom’. It’s not iron oxide. It’s blood. And, it gums up everything so badly that even the ships of the sea can’t pass through it, and are destroyed if they try.

Trumpet Three – Waters

When Trumpet Three is sounded, a star falls from the sky and poisons a third of the earth’s fresh water supply causing more people to die. Almost all of your bible translations will call the star ‘Wormwood’. A couple translations say ‘bitterness’. Neither of those is correct.

The name of the star is Ἄψινθος – Apsinthos. And, we don’t know where that word comes from. Some think that it isn’t exactly Greek. However, there is a plant that is connected with this word – Artemisia absinthium, or wormwood. It has medicinal properties, but you can be sure that nothing ‘medicinal’ is happening here.

Instead of calling it Wormwood, we should probably stick to the original Greek: Apsinthos. But, that would confuse people, so we’re stuck with this tradition of giving it an Old English name.

Trumpet Four – Heavens

Then, when Trumpet Four is sounded, we have something that seems like a partial repeat of what happens in Seal Seven. Only this time, a third of the sun is obscured, a third of the stars and a third of the moon.

Is that a dust cloud that orbits Earth?

No idea.

And the word for smiting the sun, moon and stars is a strange one – ἐπλήγη. The only time that word – or any derivation – is used, is here in Revelation 8:12. It is nowhere else in the Bible, which I find interesting.

The Angel That Cries Woe!

The last verse of Chapter 8, verse 13, shows us something strange and ominous. An angel flies through the air, proclaiming woe to those left on the earth. When the last three trumpets sound, things will be far worse than we have seen so far.

By the way, ask yourself when we see evidence that the Great Tribulation has begun. I’ll talk about that, at the end.

Chapter Nine

Chapter 9 gives us the next two trumpets, and they are deeply miraculous. We had elements of the physical in the previous four trumpets, but locusts from the Bottomless Pit and four angels bound in the Euphrates are truly mind-blowing.

Trumpet Five – Locusts from Bottomless Pit

When Trumpet Five is sounded, a star falls to earth and is given a key that opens the Bottomless Pit.

Did this ‘star’ fall to earth voluntarily?

Or, are we reading too much into this?

(Back to this Bottomless Pit)

This means that this pit has an entrance somewhere on Earth. And, that Bottomless Pit has an angel that rules over it, called אבדון (ah-va-dohn). Avadon is a Hebrew word that is used five times in Job, Psalms and Proverbs, and it means destruction. This bottomless pit releases enough smoke to obscure the sun and a huge mass of locusts with the power to torment mankind.

The curious thing is that these locusts are not allowed to torment anyone who had been sealed by God in their forehead. That would seem to refer to the 144 thousand sealed in Revelation 7. And, I think that this is a safe assumption to make. (Just remember that it’s an assumption!)

What about the other Christians who were not sealed?

I don’t know, but I can speculate.

Later, we will get to the evidence of other Christians who are defying the Antichrist, some of whom flee into the wilderness. I assume that there are far more than 144 thousand of such people, so I am also assuming that God protects them from these locusts.


Maybe the job of the 12 thousand from each tribe of Israel is to protect their fellow Christians from these locusts. Since the Bible does not say what these men do, I would think that the protection of fellow believers from these scorpions would be one of those tasks.

Oh, and one more thing. Men will want to die, but can’t. They will attempt to commit suicide, but they won’t die. All of which, is beyond my comprehension.

Trumpet Six – Four Angels Bound in River Euphrates Released

Then comes the second Woe. When Trumpet Six sounds, four angels bound in the Euphrates River will be released, and their job is to kill a third of mankind. They do this by sending out an army of 200 million horsemen who kill with fire, smoke and brimstone.

Then, after seeing the terrible locusts, the inability to die, and a third of mankind killed by these fantastic horsemen…

…the world still refuses to repent.

20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

 – Revelation 9:20-21 (NKJV)

One of the most amazing – yet predictable – things about humanity, is that they will reject God, even when they cannot avoid seeing Him. This is exactly like the Children of Israel, during the exodus from Egypt, who saw all that utterly fantastic miracles that God performed – and still refused to follow God.

What a commentary about how vile and stupid we are. Amazing.

Chapter 10 – Mighty Angel With Little Book

Then, there’s something of an ‘intermission’. A huge angel comes down to earth, with a little book that is open, in his hand. He cries out something, and seven thunders say something in response. And, whatever those seven thunders said, John was not allowed to write down.

What is it that these Seven Thunders said that God does not want us to know?

And yes, there are many things that God does NOT want you to know. The Bible isn’t just a book of knowledge and instruction. It’s also a book of mysteries, mysteries that many have used to destroy themselves.

One of those mysteries is called the ‘mystery of God’, and that mystery will be finished as the great angel proclaims in verse 7.

When is this ‘mystery of God’ finished?

When Trumpet Seven sounds.

The other thing that this great angel proclaims is that there would be ‘delay no longer’, which means that there HAS been a delay. For two thousand years, we have been waiting for the fulfillment of the Book of Revelation, the prophecies proclaimed by Jesus and the prophecies proclaimed by the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. That is quite a delay, but it was necessary to make sure that every element is fulfilled in its time and place. And if you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been saying over the years, there are quite a few of those left.

Then a voice tells John to take the little book that is open in the hand of the great angel. When John asks the angel for the book, the angel tells him to eat it. When John complies, the angel then says:

“You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” (verse 10)

Why would this angel say that after John consumes that little book?

Is the rest of the Book of Revelation in that book?

Is this the same scroll that Jesus unsealed in Revelation 6, 7 and 8?

Is this the Book of Truth described in Daniel 10-12?

We only have speculations here. If anyone says otherwise, they are either a fool or trying to sell you something. But, I will point out that the events of Revelation 12 and afterwards do dovetail with Daniel 10-12. So, it’s possible to answer ‘yes’ to all those questions.

Chapter 11 – Two Witnesses And Trumpet Seven

Chapter 11 then dumps a huge amount of imagery on us, and each word picture needs to be tweezed apart and examined. So, let’s do that.

The Temple

John is given a measuring stick to measure the temple of God, the altar and those who worship there. But, he is told to not measure the court area outside of the temple that is reserved for the Gentiles.


Which temple?

The one that is described in heaven?

Later in this chapter, after Trumpet Seven sounds, the temple of God in heaven opens, and I believe that this is the temple being referred to. But, the idea that there would be a ‘court of the gentiles’ is confusing.

And, why is the temple closed until Chapter 11?

The Holy City

John is told the reason why the ‘court of the gentiles’ is left unmeasured – because the gentiles will tread the holy city ‘underfoot’ for 42 months. Since forty two months is three and a half years, that sounds exactly like the takeover of Jerusalem by the Antichrist in Daniel 11.

(We’ll see Israel flee Jerusalem in the next chapter.)

Now, why is it called ‘holy’?

It’s certainly not holy now, and it hasn’t been so for 2000 years – maybe longer. So, there is something that happens to make that city ‘holy’. And, there’s only one thing that I can think of, that would make Jerusalem holy again:

The Return of Jacob to God.

I talk about the timing of that event here:

When Gog Comes

And, the circumstances surrounding it, here:

Ezekiel’s Fire

Jerusalem cannot be ‘holy’ without the Redemption of Israel. And no, it won’t have a temple that sacrifices animals. But, it will have a center of worship that will operate around the clock, seven days a week. I talk about that, here:

The Antichrist In Daniel

The Two Witnesses

Two Witnesses will stand in Jerusalem, wearing sackcloth and prophesying for 1260 days (42 months – 3.5 years). They are also the Two Olive Trees and the Two Lampstands that are in the throne room of heaven and stand before God. They breathe fire that kills anyone who tries to harm them. They cause drought, turn water into blood and strike the earth with as many plagues as they wish.

When their job is finished, the beast that ascends out of the Bottomless Pit will fight against them and kill them. Revelation 17 talks about a beast that appears to match the description of this one.


However, this raises a question that we will also come back to later:

Are there three seven-headed creatures with ten horns?

  • There’s the beast that rises out of the sea that has seven heads and ten horns – Chapter 13. Each head has a blasphemous name. It’s body is like a leopard with feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. It’s not a dragon. And because of the animal attributes, it would not appear to be either red or scarlet.
  • Satan is described as a fiery red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns – Chapter 12. But, Satan is thrown out of heaven and does not rise from the bottomless pit.
  • Then there’s a scarlet beast being ridden by the Great Whore, that has seven heads and ten horns – Chapter 17. This beast doesn’t rise out of the sea or fall from heaven. It ascends out of the Bottomless Pit. And, the Greek word for the ‘red’ of the red dragon is not the same Greek word as the scarlet of this beast. Scarlet and red are different.

I must assume that the scarlet beast ridden by the Great Whore is the one that kills these two witnesses, because it is the only one that rises out of the Bottomless Pit.


How can the Scarlet Beast rise out of the Bottomless Pit without an angel opening it with that special key from Revelation 9:1. This raises a point about what Paul said here:

6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

 – 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (NKJV)

I don’t think that we can claim a connection here. Many have assumed that the ‘restrainer’ is the Holy Spirit. And, that might be true.

Does the Holy Spirit hold this key to the Bottomless Pit?

Is this restrainer that door to the Bottomless Pit?

Or, is it more likely that we are trying to make connections that God did not intend for us to make?

(I vote for that last one.)

(Now, back to the Two Witnesses)

The Beast from the Bottomless Pit – that I assume is the scarlet one ridden by the Roman Catholic Church… (aka, The Great Whore) …kills the Two Witnesses. Now, I cannot say without absolute 100% certainty that the rider of this beast is the RCC, but I think that I can be 99.999999% sure. And, it makes me think that the Catholics are behind – in some way – the killing of these Two Witnesses.

It won’t be their first time.

Anyway, their bodies are just left to lie in the street for three and a half days. Everyone will see them dead – either by video or photograph. And that indicates a return of technology that is global. And, if you think that it’s strange that I would mention this, allow me to refer you again to my book that describes how our high tech infrastructure will be crushed by the events of Seal Six:

Ezekiel’s Fire

When Gog And Magog attack Israel, it will be decades before enough technology returns to allow people around our globe to see the dead bodies of these Two Witnesses.

Oh, and why is Jerusalem called ‘Sodom and Egypt’ at this time?

If you read the account of how the Antichrist takes over Jerusalem, Daniel 11, you’ll understand that as holy as Jerusalem will be after the Redemption of Israel, there will always be Satanic wolves who will rise up and try to take over the church. Just look at what has happened to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Then, after the Two Witnesses have been dead for three and a half days, the Two Witnesses return to life, and they are called back up to heaven. Then an earthquake happens, destroying a tenth of Jerusalem – killing seven thousand people.

More than a million people live in Jerusalem today. I would think that more than 7000 would die if a tenth of Jerusalem was destroyed today. So, Jerusalem will be dramatically smaller than it is now, but we expected this. Zechariah 13:8 said that two thirds of everyone living in Israel would die when the time of Israel’s Redemption comes, and it’s clear from Revelation 11:13 that this has happened. (Later, in the next chapter, we’ll talk about how half the city had been depopulated already.)

Oh, and those who survive this earthquake…

What do they do?

“…the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (verse 13)

Not the rest of the world.

The rest of Jerusalem.

This means that there are still Israeli Christians in Jerusalem, that worship God and do not take the Mark of the Beast – but were not able to flee in time to escape the takeover of the Antichrist. No one who takes the Mark of the Beast will give glory to the God of heaven.

Finally, The Seventh Trumpet Sounds

Then, Trumpet Seven sounds, but the verse previous to that says this:

“The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.” (verse 14)

For us, it will not be a ‘woe’. It will be a joyous occasion. But, for the world, their power is taken. There will be lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. The bowl judgments will come, and also Armageddon. All of that will happen AFTER the Trumpet Seven sounds.

TRANSLATION NOTE: The NKJV uses the word ‘bowl’ for each container that holds the seven last plagues. The Greek word is φιάλη (pronounced fee-ah-leh). That Greek word is the origin for our modern word, vial. Having said that, the phiale is described as… “flat vessel, dish, flat bowl for drinking or sacrificing” (from here). I was going to yell at the NKJV for getting it wrong, until I saw that a φιάλη really is a bowl. (oops)


NOT fancy glass bottles with elegant little stoppers.

When the KJV was published 400 years ago, vial might have meant ‘bowl’. But, it certainly doesn’t mean that now.

Even though Armageddon hasn’t happened yet, and even though there are seven more bowls that will be poured out, the last five verses provide a note of finality:

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

 – Revelation 11:15-19 (NKJV)

Basically, when the Trumpet Seven sounds, it’s all over. Done. Finished. Only a few details are left, such as the First Resurrection, The Rapture, Armageddon, the killing of everyone who has the Mark of the Beast. The Millennium. The New Heaven and New Earth. Those details.

WAIT: When does the Great Tribulation Begin?

Without a shadow of a doubt, it must at least begin by Trumpet Six. But, it might also begin in Trumpet Five, because that is when the Bottomless Pit is opened. And yes, the first four trumpets could have sounded BEFORE the Great Tribulation starts. Unless someone can point to a chapter and verse that says otherwise, we cannot claim that the First Trumpet marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Yes, I know about all the commentators that say otherwise, but they’re either the same people who gave us the fake pretrib rapture, or they the guys who say that we’re in the millennium or that it doesn’t matter. Don’t listen to people like that.

By the way…

How can the Great Whore ride the Scarlet Beast that rises out of the Bottomless Pit, if it hasn’t opened yet?

Am I making this too complicated?

That might be why the Great Tribulation begins with Trumpet Five. However, feel free to make a case for Trumpets One, Two, Three or Four.

The Chronology Breaks In The Next Chapter…

Now, up to this point, everything has been completely chronological. The next chapter breaks this chronological progression and turns us back to the flight of Israel into the wilderness for three and a half years. But, we’ll talk about that next time.


I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3


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