(It is a long post but I do not apologise for it because you can't fit big matters into small posts. This thread is not for the "spiritual grazer" but those who are getting stuck into the meat and veggies of their faith. ) Thought the "Bible Study" forum was more appropriate for the Prophecy Versus Expectation threads given the way they have gone. It took me a long time to understand the significance of the 7 trumpets in Revelation. Probably because the key to their significance actually appears to lay in Numbers 10:1-2. Numbers 10:1-2 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps." These silver trumpets by various soundings signalled many things for the Israelites whose camps covered a vast area. But significantly, apart from the call to assembly and the call to battle they also signalled the call to break camp and move out. To follow the Lord's Angel to the NEW place He was taking them to. However the really interesting thing is that the Israelite nation were to always move out in SEVEN specific groupings in a specific order. Therefore the LEAVING of the Lord's People was likely marked by seven distinctive trumpet blasts in succession indicating which group were to start their journey and when. After you had heard the seven trumpet blasts you would know that the Holy People of the Lord have LEFT that place for a NEW Place elsewhere. We discover these seven distinctive groups in Numbers 2, 4 and 10. Briefly they are:- 1st Rank: Judah, Issachar, Zebulun. (Eastern Camp) 2nd Rank: Reuben, Simeon, Gad (Southern Camp) Levites Group 1: Kohathites (Sanctuary equipment and Ark of The Covenant) Levites Group 2: Gershon (Tabernacle curtains, hangings, cords, etc.) Levites Group 3: Merari (Tabernacle boards, bars, poles, frames, metal fittings, etc.) 3rd Rank: Ephraim, Mannaseh, Benjamin (Western Camp) 4th Rank: Dan, Asher, Naphtali (Northern Camp) What we see in Revelation appears to be a call to look out for the seven trumpet blasts that signal the DEPARTURE of the Lord's people from the EARTH. We will not hear them with our ears but we will see them with our eyes. For Revelation tells us that each sounding of the trumpet in Heaven will be accompanied by certain events that will happen upon the Earth. That as we see these things occurring around us we will know which trumpet has sounded in Heaven and so spur us on not only to prepare ourselves but also to greater urgency in our commission to help Jesus save as many as possible from the coming destruction. The same thing applies to the opening of the seven seals. We will know when they have been opened by the real world events that accompany them. Now there is some uncertainty as to whether the seven seals and the seven trumpets occur simultaneously or in succession but when we look at the events of history and of today it would seem BOTH, at least, have begun for we see in history and today some of the things that accompany the opening of the seals and the sounding of the trumpets. But this we DO know, we are HERE till the seventh trumpet sounds. We know this because 1 Cor 15:52 says:- "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. This tells us that the "rapture" (which occurs at the coming of Christ) does not happen until the sounding of the LAST trumpet which is the seventh trumpet. These things that accompany the successive seals and the trumpet soundings are things we are able to see and witness with our own eyes and ears for they are real world events. John does not EXPLAIN what they are, he merely DESCRIBES what he sees and hears. However while John could only describe them by the words and concepts available in his day we should not let that prevent us from understanding that what John is describing is a real event even if we might describe it differently today or when we see it come to pass. What I am putting forward here is what I see and what the Bible says (ie is written), but everybody must make up their own minds about these things. For instance when I see history I see in the early 300's AD the first ever Christian emperor riding out on a white horse conquering in the name and sign of Christ and actually having the name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords emblazoned on his vesture and thigh and on those of his entire army (Constantine the Great founder of the 1,000 Byzantine Christian Empire). I see peace has for centuries been taken from the Earth and men forever killing men. I see the rise and rise of rampant commercialism and merchants, taking over the world and reducing everything to a dollar (penny?) value, carefully weighed out and measured. I have seen the same divinely inflicted plague that befell the Philistines when they took the Ark of the Covenant also wipe out at least ONE FOURTH of the population of Europe but which actually extended throughout the whole of the known world. (You will note that the plague that befell the Philistines involved both rapidly growing tumours and rats. These tumours are now called Buboes and the plague, the "Bubonic Plague", known to be carried by the fleas of the black rat). I have also seen that many still die of disease, pestilence, famine, violence, etc. I have not yet seen a mountain sized asteroid strike in the ocean or the wide scale toxic "Red Tide" algae bloom likely to follow it, killing much marine life in the process. BUT I am expecting it. I have not seen a super volcanic eruption that would rain down a hail of rock, ash and RED hot lava and burn up large areas of grassland and forests. That would induce a world wide "nuclear winter" darkening the sun and moon and turning them blood red. BUT I am expecting it. Indeed science does NOW know of several dormant super volcanoes capable of doing this and are currently closely monitoring the one at Yellowstone National Park, in America. The point is JESUS took the effort to ensure we were made aware of the things that were going to happen AFTER 96AD (when Revelation was written). He did not do this so that we could just ignore it because it is too "controversial" or "too hard" but because it is INVALUABLE foreknowledge that will help us to understand the times and the things happening in the world about us and not be afraid or worried. To know for a CERTAINTY, that nothing is happening that the Lord does not already know about and taken care of. A map of the future by which we can be guided, encouraged, strengthened, and comforted. But it is also why Satan makes a similar effort to blind us to it, discourage us from it, and spread much false teaching about it. BUT it is a future that BEGAN IN 96AD, not tomorrow. Over 1,900 years of the times of Revelation have already PASSED into history. There is nothing in Revelation about a period of 2,000 years in which absolutely nothing at all happens. The "hereafter" John was shown in Revelation is the "hereafter" of 96AD, not the hereafter of today. Offered as things for people to think about, ask about and generally discuss in accordance with what is WRITTEN in the word of God. Many things are likely to be claimed or said that may or may not be in accordance with the written word of the Bible. People are urged to test for themselves ALL things from ALL persons against what is actually written in the Bible itself to see if they are actually true or not.