Trumpet and Bowl Judgments: The End-Time Exodus Drama

THE TEN PLAGUES OF EGYPT: A FORESHADOWING OF THE TRUMPETS AND BOWLS

The trumpet and bowl judgments intentionally parallel the ten plagues of Egypt (Ex. 7-12). The ten plagues are prototypes of the trumpets and bowls, providing a framework to understand them.

The ten plagues occurred just before Israel’s exodus from Egypt, prophetically foreshadowing the end-time judgment before the final exodus of God’s people from the kingdom of darkness.

We gain much insight into the end-time drama by studying what God did through Moses. By studying the ten plagues and the trumpet and bowl judgments together, we gain insight into the major trends of activity seen in the Tribulation. These global judgments will have regional expressions in varying measures. What happens in fullness then will happen in part even now.

Forerunners must study Exodus and Revelation together with prayer and fasting to gain insight into the regional application of Jesus’ end-time plan. The Church will be prepared by knowing what is coming next and why, instead of being filled with fear and confusion.

In the latter days you will understand it [God’s judgment] perfectly. (Jer. 23:20)

Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things. (Lk. 21:26)

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE 10 PLAGUES AND THE TRUMPET-BOWL JUDGMENTS

They are similar in the purpose and nature of the judgments. As the ten plagues revealed God’s power and destroyed Pharaoh’s resources, so the trumpet and bowl judgments do the same.

They are similar in the response of Pharaoh and Egypt hardening their heart to God’s miracles. The Antichrist and his empire will harden their hearts against the Lord (Rev. 9:20-21). The overall message in both is to announce to the authorities, “Let My people go.” The confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh gives insight into how the Antichrist will treat God’s people.

They are similar in being released by prophecy and prayer. As Moses released the plagues on Egypt through prayer, so the trumpet and bowl judgments will be released by prayer.

They are similar in the quality of miracles. The miracles seen in Egypt will occur in the end times (Mic. 7:15; Isa. 10:22-25; 11:12-16; 30:30; Jer. 16:14-15; 23:7-8; Ezek. 38:22; Joel 2:30).

The works I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do. (Jn. 14:12) As in the days when you came out of … Egypt, I will show them wonders. (Mic. 7:15)

They are similar in the way God supernaturally provides direction, food and water, etc. God will manifest His provision to His people in the end times like He did in Exodus (Mic. 7:15).

They are similar in the way God protects His people from judgment. The Goshen principle speaks of God’s judgments not touching His people who lived in the land of Goshen (Ex. 8:22-23; 9:4-6, 26; 10:23; 11:7). This will be seen in God sealing the end-time saints (Rev. 7:2-3; 9:4).

22 I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there … 23 I will make a difference between My people and your people. (Ex. 8:22-23)

In Goshen, Israel’s livestock did not die (Ex. 9:4-6), the hail did not fall (Ex. 9:26), there were no swarms of flies (Ex. 8:22), and Israel had light when darkness fell on Egypt (Ex. 10:23).

22 Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days … 23 But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. (Ex. 10:22-23)

THE PURPOSES OF THE TRUMPET-BOWL JUDGMENTS PARALLEL THE PLAGUES

To glorify God: God will release His power to show His superiority over Satan’s power. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to demonstrate His power before the nations (Ex. 4:21; 7:3, 5, 17; 8:6, 18; 9:16, 29; 10:1-2). Pharaoh’s lack of power and depth of hardness of heart was manifest.
1For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” (Rom. 9:17)

Each plague revealed Pharaoh’s stubbornness. God foreknew Pharaoh’s own hardness (Ex. 3:19; 4:21; 7:3) and God added to it (Ex. 4:21; 7:3). The end-time judgments will display the Antichrist’s power as inferior while demonstrating the hardness of his followers (Rev. 9:20-21).

To judge the Antichrist: destroying the Antichrist’s resources (Rev. 9:4; 14:9-10; 16:2) and discrediting his leadership, delivering the oppressed and thus, showing his inadequacy to solve the worldwide crisis. The plagues were a judgment against Egypt’s idolatry and oppression of God’s people. Each plague was designed to make a statement against one of the Egyptian gods.

A foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the Beast. (Rev. 16:2)

If anyone worships the Beast … 10  he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. (Rev. 14:9-10)

To win the lost: Some unbelievers will cry out for salvation as they observe believers accurately prophesying the nature and timing of the end-time judgments. God’s judgments will create a global crisis that will destroy the false props that many lean on, so they look to God for salvation.

A great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes … and tongues, standing before the Throne … 14 These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation. (Rev. 7:9, 14)

They will cry out for salvation as they face eternity and their mortality by witnessing the death of so many. Some Egyptians were converted after facing the plagues (Ex 12:38).
When Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants … learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9)

A remnant of unbelievers will repent in the face of the plagues, as the trumpet and bowl judgments manifest God’s powerful yet just judgments (Rev. 11:13-16; 15:4; 19:1-7).

To allow man’s sin to be fully manifest: so that God’s judgments will be seen as just and true.

You are righteous … because You have judged these. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets…for it is their just due … 7 True and righteous are Your judgments. (Rev. 16:5-7)

To deliver and vindicate the saints: judgment on the Antichrist’s empire will deliver the saints from oppressors, prove that they are right in God’s eyes and show them to be victorious. Israel was vindicated before the nations who saw God’s favor on them in great triumph. Israel’s end-time restoration is connected to Exodus themes (Isa. 43:2, 16-21; 51:9-16).
For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot … and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her. (Rev. 19:2)

To cleanse the earth: God’s judgments help cleanse the earth as He destroyed the gods of Egypt.

It shall be in that day … that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land … I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land. (Zech. 13:2)

To partner with His Bride: Jesus shows forth His love by doing His great work with His people. The events of Revelation contribute to prepare the Bride for full bridal partnership with Jesus.

For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7)

The Spirit and the Bride will be in full unity together calling Jesus to come to the earth. Jesus will also rule the age to come with His people in deep partnership.
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17)

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne. (Rev. 3:21)

God brought Israel to Mt. Sinai to betroth them to Himself in covenant (Jer. 2:2).

THE SEVEN TRUMPETS IN REVELATION AND THE FALL OF JERICHO

Trumpets were blown at the battle of Jericho under Joshua just before Israel took possession of the land (Josh. 6). Seven priests blew seven trumpets, leading to the fall of the walls of Jericho. They marched seven times around Jericho. At the seventh trumpet, they shouted for victory. This is a prophetic picture of the fall of the Antichrist’s empire after the seven trumpets sound.

The seven trumpets in Revelation will prophetically announce Jesus’ victory over His enemies and the full possession of the whole earth for the people of God.

In both places, seven trumpets are blown by seven priests after a period of silence. At Jericho and Egypt, the saints did not fight with military weapons, but by calling on God to intervene.

In the OT, God fought Israel’s wars from heaven by using nature (weather) to rout the enemy. He used the sun, moon, and hail in Israel’s battle against the Amorites (Josh. 10:10-15). The stars and a flood fought against Canaanites (Judg. 5:19-21). Also see Psalm 18:4-19.

THE PURPOSE OF THE TRUMPETS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

To summon God’s people to war (Num. 10; Judg. 3:27, 6:34, 7:8-22; Jer. 4:5-21; 42:14; 51:27; Ezek. 7:14; Hos. 8:1; Joel 2:1; Zeph. 1:16) and to celebrate victory afterwards (2 Sam. 2:28).

When you go to war in your land against the enemy … sound an alarm with the trumpets and you will be remembered before the Lord … and saved from your enemies. (Num. 10:9)

To summon God’s people to gather before the Lord in the tabernacle (prayer, worship, etc.). Trumpets rallied Israel to worship the Lord as their King at Sinai (Ex. 19:16-19).

To warn of coming danger, such as an enemy attack, epidemic, locust plague, etc.

To summon the people to their journeys through the wilderness (Num. 10:2-5).

To celebrate the Feast of Trumpets by blowing trumpets during the feast (Num. 10:10). Israel blew trumpets to celebrate other feasts, the Sabbaths, and when offering sacrifices (Num. 29:1).

To celebrate David bringing the ark to Jerusalem. David had seven priests blow trumpets before the ark (1 Chr. 15:24). The ark represented God’s throne (Rev. 8:3-5; 11:19).

To announce the enthronement of the king (2 Sam. 15:10; 1 Kgs. 1:34-41; 2 Kgs. 9:13). The trumpets in Revelation 8-9 will announce the arrival of Jesus as King of kings over the earth.

To announce the defeat of a revolt. When a revolt against the kingdom was crushed it was announced by the blowing of the trumpet (2 Sam. 20:1, 22; 2 Kgs. 11:14; 2 Chron. 23:13).

APPLICATION OF THE END-TIME SEVEN TRUMPETS

The trumpets will be blown to announce Jesus’ enthronement as the King and to announce the defeat of His enemies who revolt against Him. The great trumpet will be blown when He appears in the sky (Mt. 24:31, 1 Thes. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15:52; Rev. 10:7; 11:15; Zech. 9:14).

In that day, the great trumpet will be blown; they will come … and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem. (Isa. 27:13)

The seven trumpets will celebrate Jesus restoring the “ark of His throne” to Jerusalem.

When the Son of Man comes … He will sit on the throne of His glory. (Mt. 25:31)

The seven trumpets will announce the fall of the Antichrist’s empire (end-time Jericho). The trumpet judgments are used to destroy the natural resources of his evil kingdom.

So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Rev. 8:6)

The seven trumpets warn the unrighteous that more judgment is coming in the seven bowls.

The seven trumpets rally the righteous to the most mature prayer movement in history. They will rally the saints to an ever-increasing urgency as the judgment sequence unfolds. This will also signal the certain victory of God’s people.

Jesus will summon the children of Israel to journey through the wilderness to Israel (Isa. 11:11-16) to enjoy the fullness of the Feast of Tabernacles connected with the Feast of Trumpets (Feast of the New Moon). In the feast of trumpets, trumpets were blown at Jerusalem from morning to evening as God’s people presented themselves before God to call on Him to fulfill the covenants (Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Lev. 23:24-43; Num. 29:1-32; Deut. 16:13-16; Ezra 3:4; Zech. 14:16-19).

UNDERSTANDING THE TRUMPETS

The trumpet judgments are “limited” to one-third, as highlighted fourteen times in Revelation 8:2-9:21 (Rev. 8:7 [2x], 9 [3x], 10, 11, 12 [5x]; 9:15, 18). They warn the nations that a more severe judgment will quickly come in the bowls (Rev. 16).

The limitation of the trumpets to a partial judgment warns and gives opportunities to repent. The seals alert us of something important to come. The trumpets warn us of something more severe to follow. The bowls pour out in fullness without any delay or hindrance.

The trumpet and bowl judgments are literal (not merely symbolic), future (they have not yet occurred), numbered (released in a sequential order), and progressive (increasing in intensity). They are supernatural acts of God through nature (first four trumpets) and demons (fifth and sixth trumpets released against the Antichrist’s empire).

COMPARISONS OF THE TRUMPETS AND BOWLS TO THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT

The five trumpets (Rev. 8:7-12) are patterned after five plagues. The first (8:7) parallels the seventh plague of hail (Ex. 9:22-26). The second and third (8:8-11) have similarities to the first plague, when the Nile became blood (Ex. 7:17-25). The fourth (8:12) parallels the ninth plague of darkness (Ex. 10:21-23); the fifth (9:1-11), the eighth plague of locusts (Ex. 10:12-20).

First trumpet (destruction/food supply): destroys the food supply in burning one-third of the earth’s vegetation by hail and fire (Rev. 8:7-8). A meteor storm-like event with hail and fire will burn the earth’s trees and grass. This parallels the seventh plague (Ex. 9:22-26) and the 100-pound hailstones released in the seventh bowl (Rev. 16:21).

Second trumpet (food supply): destroys the food supply and sea trade by turning the sea to blood (Rev. 8:8-9). An object like a burning mountain will fall from heaven, turning one-third of the sea into blood and destroying one-third of the sea and ships. This parallels the second bowl that will destroy the sea and its fish (Rev. 16:3), like the first plague that turned rivers to blood and caused the fish to die (Ex. 7:17-25; Ps. 105:2 9; 78:43-44); the fifth plague (pestilence) that killed the livestock (Ex. 9:1-7); and the eighth plague of locusts that destroyed the food (Ex. 10:4-20). Does “the sea” refer to the Mediterranean Sea or to all seas (Rev. 18:18; Isa. 2:12-16)?

Third trumpet (water supply): poisons one-third of the earth’s fresh water supply (Rev. 8:10-11). A great burning star will fall from heaven. This meteoric mass will poison the fresh water (rivers and springs) causing the inland fresh water supply to be contaminated. This parallels the third bowl, which will poison the fresh water by turning it to blood (Rev. 16:4-7), and the first plague, which destroyed the water supply in the lakes and springs when the Nile turned to blood (Ex. 7:17-25).

Fourth trumpet (light/energy): darkens one-third of the light of the sun, moon, and stars (Rev. 8:12). This supernatural work of God will affect heat, health, agriculture, navigation, etc. This parallels the fifth bowl judgment which will cause darkness to fall on the Antichrist’s empire (Rev. 16:10-11) and the ninth plague of darkness on Pharaoh’s kingdom for three days (Ex. 10:21-23).

Over the land of Egypt … 22 there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days … 23 the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. (Ex. 10:21-23)

Fifth trumpet (torment and pain): releases an army of demonic locusts from the bottomless pit (Rev. 9:1-11) to inflict torment for five months by stinging men. This parallels the painful sores of the first bowl (Rev. 16:2), the scorching heat in the fourth bowl (Rev. 16:8-9), and the fifth bowl pain of darkness on the Antichrist’s empire (Rev. 16:10-11).

The boils caused suffering on the people and animals in the sixth plague (Ex. 9:8-12). There is some reference to the eighth plague of natural locusts, which destroyed the food supply rather than inflicting pain (Ex. 10:12). The third plague of lice that emerged from the earth (Ex. 8:16-19) parallels the demonic locusts that will emerge from the bottomless pit.

Sixth trumpet (death): releases the four angels bound at the Euphrates to lead a large demonic cavalry to kill one-third of the population (Rev. 9:13-19). This parallels the tenth plague: death of the firstborn of Egypt (Ex. 12:29-32).

The mention of the Euphrates links it somewhat to the sixth bowl, in which the Euphrates River is dried up so that the kings of the east can join the battle against Jesus at Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16). The four demonic beings released to lead a large demonic cavalry to kill one-third of the human race parallel the tenth plague (Ex. 12:29-32).

Sixth bowl (global guilt): demons will lure the evil kings to Armageddon to be killed (Rev. 16:12-16). This parallels the armies of Egypt being lured to the Red Sea to be killed.

Seventh bowl (annihilation): an earthquake destroys the cities of the earth with 100 pound hail (Rev. 16:17-21). This is a partial parallel to the seventh plague of hail and thunderstorms (Ex. 9:18-35). The Armageddon campaign ending immediately after the seventh bowl (Rev. 19:11-21) parallels the defeat of Pharaoh’s armies in the Red Sea following the ten plagues (Ex. 14).




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