The Trumpet that begins the judgement
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 trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
I have tried to make it clear that I believe the seals, trumpets and vials run parallel and not in a linear fashion. Meaning that seals, trumpets, and vials are occurring simultaneously. They are just describing the same events from a different advantage point. (See Introduction)
We have seen the tribulation from the human vantage point through the symbols of seals. Now we are now going to be lifted up by the six seal to the observation deck looking over the kingdom of Babylon. This may be hard to understand unless you see what I see. So let me try to explain this picture.
In Daniel , he prays to God and after twenty-one days, he receives that answer with a surprising twist to it. The messenger declares that he had been withstood by the prince of Persia. Between Daniel and the throne of God was a war zone. This is where the principalities and powers of darkness dwell (Ephesians 6:12), somewhere between Heaven and earth. This is the true Babylon. Babylon did not start with the city of Bable, nor is it Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon. All the nations from Egypt to Roman that persecuted the nation of Israel were under the power of this place between Heaven and earth called Babylon.The trumpets are the judgement of the devil and his angels as seen from their vantage point and the first trumpet sounds and it bring hail and fire on the trees and the grass. I want to be consistent in my in interpreting these events. we cannot at one moment take the words of one trumpet literal and the next symbolically. Consider that nobody believes that a white, red or black horse is actually running across the earth during the opening of the seals
The trumpets are the judgements of the devil and his angels as seen from their vantage point. The first trumpet sounds and it brings hail and fire on the trees and the grass. These are seen symbolically being done. So here we should, in my opinion, we follow the same line of thought. I am not dogmatically saying there will not be literal hail and fire on the earth, but that is not the point being made here. Consider the poetic words of David in Psalms 18.
12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed,
hail stones and coals of fire. 13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
Here David is speaking of God bring judgement upon his enemies with hail and fire. There is nothing literal about David’s psalm, but the words are symbolic of judgement. This is what I love about studying Revelation, if you take the time to look for these words in other places you start to see a pattern and it is like putting a puzzle together and the big picture is being seen. Look at these words of Isaiah in chapter thirty-three.
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; 19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
The prophet Isaiah is speaking of a time when Jerusalem with will governed by righteousness. In order for that to take place, a judgement must come upon the wicked, and this is depicted by hail. Notice the prophet say the hail comes down on the forest. Wow! that is the same as the first trumpet. Is there a forest in Jerusalem?
Another thing the hail and fire are mingled with blood, but it says it destroy the grass and the trees. Well, grass and trees don’t bleed. So maybe we need to look a little deeper. In Isaiah 33:19, he says the city shall be made low or humbled. The only way a city can be humbled is if the leaders are humbled and that is the trail we would follow.
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: Isaiah 40:6
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 1 Peter 1:24
We find grass is a symbol of man because he lives for such a short time. What I think is more important is the trees. Trees speak of prominent men. It can symbolise good men who have grounded themselves in God.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:3
When dealing with evil the tree can have a twofold meaning. One is of men of pride and the other is under the cover of trees men exalt themselves above God.
Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks? Isaiah 57:5
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 16:6
And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish:I the Lord have spoken and have done it. Ezekiel 17:22
Probably the greatest understanding of this first trumpet is found in Daniel chapter four verses ten through fifteen. Now we shall get just a little deeper. There is a hermeneutical law of double reference (Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, pg. 46) That states that two events separated by time are brought together in one prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of Satan (Just look at Isaiah chapter fourteen) and Satan is going to be cast down to the earth. He will be humbly made to dwell with men. You really should read Isaiah fourteen and Daniel four and compare what you see, it will be amazing!
So this first trumpet marks the beginning to the end of the demonic kingdom that since the fall of man has help them in captivity to sin. As we will see all the forces of evil will be unleased upon the earth and as a result it will be the worst place you could imagine.