The Seven Trumpets by James White (1875)

The Seven Trumpets by James White, 1875

This book is an attempt by James White to show how the 7 Trumpets of Revelation 8-11 were all fulfilled in the physical history of the world, with the first 4 dealing with the fall of Rome, and the last three dealing with, or timed with, the rise and fall of Islam.

The content is very similar to what William Miller used in his discourses on the imminent return of Christ in 1843/4. And therein lies the big problem with this book — William Miller was a man led of God to get people ready for the move made by Jesus into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844. But naturally, he had to have ALL the prophecies of events before Christ’s Second Coming already completed by 1843. He even proclaimed that the Catholic Church died in 1798, and would not rise again! James White makes a similar error when he favorably quotes someone stating: “The power of Islamism is broken forever.” If he could only see the rise of its power today!

What makes me put the time and energy into putting this book on the internet in 2010, is that us Seventh-day Adventists are still just repeating the same old prophetic interpretations of our forefathers, without studying for ourselves to see if these things are so. And in this book, it can be shown in several places where these things are definitely not so.

Download Seven Trumpets book by James White

Historians Gibbon and Keith are quoted profusely throughout the book, to bolster the correctness of the Biblical interpretation. For me, that has an opposite effect, as neither of these men belonged to God’s remnant church, and thus, did not understand the Bible as we do. Now James White should have, as he is one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist church, laboring tirelessly, even to the point of an early grave, to raise up this church. But strangely, he ignored some of the inspired counsel in the Bible and from his own wife, which would have made him rethink the publication of this book.

Do you, as a SDA member, know what the 7 Trumpets represent? We are all told that they represent something in history, and, having been born and raised in a SDA environment, i have about as much information regarding this as anyone else. And — i cannot tell you anything more about our church’s teaching on the 7 Trumpets other than they occured sometime in the past, mostly in the fall of the Roman Empire, and don’t have much instruction for us today. Yes, that is the standard SDA teaching today, i’m very sorry to say, and this book, following on the shoulders of William Miller’s work, and leading to the “Bible” of prophetic interpretation in SDA circles ” – Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation” by Uriah Smith, played a big part in creating this problem.

Back to my question – What do the 7 Trumpets represent? According to this book:
1. Alaric
2. Genseric
3. Attila
4. The dissolution of the Roman emperor, consul, and senate
5. The rise of Islam
6. The Ottoman Empire
7. Began in 1844.

If you are saying to yourself “How can this be?” you are not alone. No wonder that our preaching of Daniel and Revelation has so little power to convict people’s hearts today. This historical fulfillment method of interpreting the 7 Trumpets just falls flat on its face. Yes, it may have been useful in the past to confirm where the people were in the stream of time, but today, we can see much more clearly that none, yes NONE of the Seven Trumpets has been sounded yet.

How can i make such a bold claim? Easily, by just reading the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.

Rev 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

So we see that the trumpets cannot even BEGIN to sound until AFTER the 144,000 are sealed! Then what does the first angel do? – He hurts the earth and trees, just what he was told not to do, until AFTER the 144,000 are sealed: “Rev 8:7 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.”

Returning to the book review, James White writes: “‘The four angels’ are the four principal sultanies of which the Ottoman Empire is composed, located in the country of the Euphrates. These sultanies were situated at Aleppo, Iconium, Damascus, and Bagdad. Previously they had been restrained; but God commanded, and they were loosed.” How can he ignore his wife’s own writing, in 1849: “I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus work was done in the Sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues.”???

Everything in referring to the 5th Trumpet, or First Woe, as Islam falls flat too. Why? Because the locusts only hurt: “the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” Again, i wish to ask Brother James White why he could believe such a thing, when his own wife wrote: “The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land.” and in 1873, just two years before he published this book: “Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand,”, showing that the sealing is yet future to 1873.

On one more point, that of considering the “day-for-year” principle, the idea of taking only 360 days to make one year does not seem compelling. We know the year has 365 1/4 or so days. If we really, really wish to follow the Jewish calendar in making our calculations, then, to be honest with ourselves, we shoud do as they do, and ADD an extra month every few years. But to my knowledge, none of my fellow SDA Brethren are doing this….. How to resolve the 2300 day prophecy, for example? By showing that it refers to one Atonement day a year, thus 2300 “evening mornings”. Perfect. And it makes the whole Sanctuary service richer. But i disgress a bit from my book review.

To sum it up, James White followed the historical method of interpreting the 7 Trumpets, considering them all to have been completed, and the 7th to have already started in his day, in 1875. In 1888 tho, Ellen White wrote emphatically that: “Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded,” showing that at least TWO of the trumpets, and probably all 7 of them, are yet to sound.

Let’s study to show ourselves approved unto God, and to know the prophecies, including the Seven Trumpets, so we can lead others to the cross of Jesus Christ, and receive the Seal of God in our foreheads.

74 thoughts on “The Seven Trumpets by James White (1875)”

  1. Hi Daniel i emailed amazing facts about doug batchalors view on the 7 trumpets and i got the company line about the historical view point.

    click on -> J.Reynolds Hoffman

    Go to sermon 56 about 7 trumpets.

    Excellent sermon about future application.

  2. I never read all the comments but if no one mentioned this than I guess I will be the first…we live in the anti typical day of atonement…in October 22 1844 Jesus went from the Holy place to the Most Holy place…as Adventists we know this quite clear…concerning the trumpets. Revelation 8:3-5 mentions the altar of incense. This was an article in the Holy place…John is looking at scenes within the time frame of the Holy place(31-1844) based on this…i would say that the historical account is quite accurate. Especially since Josiah Litch rightfully predicted the fall of the Ottoman empire…and if the 7 trumpets are in the future that means the 7 seals and churches are in the future. which is not the case at all. They are all complimentary to e achother. May God bless our studies…remember our foundations…do not be received by false new reaching. God bless.

  3. Thank you for your observations Colten.
    Yes, this has been pointed out before. It is also clear from the Bible that the 7 Trumpets cannot have possibly started sounding yet, as none of the 144,000 have been sealed.
    The historical position was God’s plan to bring the people up to the point of time of October 22, 1844. If we stop there, we are in danger of not advancing in the light.
    Please read my former comment about Josiah Litch also – he recanted his position later, and now many scholars are showing that nothing of importance happened on that day that he predicted.
    Your advice to remember our foundations is very well taken. May we continue up the narrow way 🙂

  4. I do not see how the 144000 are sealed before the seven trumpets…are you reffering to Revelation 7. If that is so do you not believe that the book of revelation is not in chronological order? If that’s what you believe then, that means Rev12 has not happened yet which is not the case. Please clarify…I’m sort of glad that there is an Adventist site to talk about the Bible.

  5. I just remembered…Futurism and Preterism were introduced during the reformation to try and disprove the teaching that the antichrist is the Papacy. To believe in futurism or preterism is following Catholic teaching. Treading on dangerous ground.

  6. Hello Colten,
    Rev. 7 1-3 “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”
    The angels are commanded not to hurt the sea, earth, or any tree until the sealing of the 144,000 is past. When do they start hurting the sea, earth, and trees? Read carefully starting in chapter 7 and going all the way thru chapter 8.

  7. Two weeks ago my cousin went to a talk given by Pastor John Lomacang. After the talk, she quietly asked him privately about his views on the 7 Trumpets.
    Quoting her email:
    “Then since there weren’t any other people around for the moment I asked
    him if his presentation of several years ago on the trumpets could be
    obtained. He hesitated a moment and then let loose. I wish my short
    term memory was better to remember all he said, but he still holds to
    his view that the 7 trumpets are in the future – possibly the very near
    future – but still the future. He stated that Uriah Smith’s
    interpretation, which he got from a Scottish minister, was wrong. He is
    frustrated (he didn’t use that word, but that is what it boils down to)
    with the ‘brethren’ because they don’t want to admit their mistake.
    And the age old excuse that they are afraid of confusing people. He
    said he has studied this subject for 20 years. He said after the
    symposium Kennith Cox spoke with him and is frustrated (again my word)
    too. Lomacang has gone so far in his studies as to contact the Turkish
    government to obtain dates of when significant things happened in
    Turkish history which prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Smith’s
    interpretation is wrong. I told him I had been surprised when I read
    the 3ABN article on the symposium last year which indicated that all in
    attendance came away with a full endorsement of the age old Uriah Smith
    interpretation. He indicated that really the article had done a play on
    words indicating the church still takes a historicist view of prophecy
    vs futurist but something to the effect that many of our theologians
    look at historical and current events in light of prophecy. I know,
    what I wrote sounds the same but he did make a distinction. I wish I
    still had the article. I think I threw it away.”

  8. According to you, at least what I got out of it, is that when the angel says to hurt not the sea and the earth…u r saying that it is referring to the trumpets when it mentions the sea and mountains and trees, correct? And also what I gather is that you are saying the trumpets happen after the seven seals? When u answer this I might have a few more questions.

  9. Well, Colten, it is a bit different. The sealing angel says not to hurt the sea or the earth, then in continue to read the Bible, we find soon after where the sea and earth ARE hurt. So i believe the connection is very clear.
    The consecutive order of the seals and trumpets looks to be very clear also, but i admit that the 6th seal looks on the surface to be the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
    I’m still studying these things out too 🙂

  10. Yes, however, we must remember that many prophecies have dual or more fulfillments. William Miller understood this and wrote up 13 Rules of Interpretation. While probably not inspired, they look to be very useful.
    Especially notice #13:
    To know whether we have the true historical event for the fulfilment of a prophecy. If you find every word of the prophecy (after the figures are understood) is literally fulfilled, then you may know that your history is the true event. But if one word lacks a fulfilment, then you must look for another event, or wait its future development. For God takes care that history and prophecy doth agree, so that the true believing children of God may never be ashamed.
    So this is one big weight of evidence in favor of the 7 Trumpets being yet future, because no one has ever heard of fire with hail burning up 1/3 of all the trees etc.
    How does this relate to the 6th Seal? I don’t know.

  11. But is Revelation a very symbolical book…no literal beast is going to arise out of the sea with seven heads and ten horns…it is clear that it is talking about the papacy…and so why would the seven trumpets not be symbolical…in the Bible trumpets are symbolic of war, trees and grass represent people…so why take a literal approach to a symbolic thing?

  12. My brothers and sisters,
    If I could add a thought for your consideration… I have watched this tug-o-war for the trumpets for many years and wondered if both sides could not be right. Sometimes the spirit of the world that teaches us that one must only be right will blind us to a third possibility.
    While studying Messianic prophesies in the minor prophets I was struck by the prophesies of The Day of the Lord, and these prophets were mainly thinking it was the first coming of the messiah, yet didn’t sometimes realize that these same prophesies will repeat for his second coming. Type and antitype.
    Look also at the 7 churches of revelation: 7 churches in Asia at the time of John, and also 7 periods of church history. But if you leave it there, you rob it of any significance for our time. Remember what Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:11, that the things that happenned to the people of old, happenned as ensamples (types) for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Imagine how much we’d loose if we thought the travail of Israel was just history. The 7 church are still seven types of people today, and unless we come out of the Laodicean state and become Smyrna (willing to be a Martyr) or Phyladelphia (willing to die and yet perseverant to the end, even to translation), we cannot be saved.
    So here is my proposition: The 7 trumpets being a warning of times in history has much research. But why not allow that they will sound again? That at the end of time, as God is giving a last warning to his people He will sound his trumpet (as He said several times that He would do in the OT). A repeated, maybe even more literal, fast pace repeat crescendo…
    I had not heard much from our church on this, and I understand our penchant to be cautious on future events. We learned from Miller not to get egg on our faces. But was very surprised to see this month an announcement on the flyer for a Pacific Press book called Trumpet after Trumpet by Erwin R. Gane. Has a lot of research for this dual interpretation.
    And if your visual, I leave you with this picture: Jesus, we know has entered the sanctuary in history, after the cross… ministering first in the Holy, then after 1844 in the Most Holy Place. If you plot the events in History into the sanctuary, you’ll see the trumpets plotted into the Holy Place. But when He leaves, on His
    way out, He will be passing all those things again. Could it be that all those, seals, trumpets and bowls might once again coincide to create a time of trouble for the earth that no one can imagine? Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may open our understanding as well as prepare us to stand fast ‘under the shadow of the Almighty.’ Maranatha!

  13. I am in South Africa, please Daniel sent me information on email about Rev 8 to Rev 11

  14. The Whites, U. Smith and the other Pioneers was in error. EGW TM p. 105 said not to hold on to what at one time they thought was true and to found it to be in error. Daniel and Revelation was dealing with what would take place for those (144,000), to preach the Gospel so the end would come. The Ottoman or the Islamic religion was not the scene in the Seven Trumpets this incorrect. The Sixth seal Rev 6:12 started to be exact the scene of the Second coming of the LAMB as indicated in verses 16 and 17. But Chapter 7 and angel is swiftly send from the east to stop the four angels for letting the scene previously to happen because two more group of people had to be sealed. The 144,000 before the great Time of Trouble and those, the great multitude during the Time of Trouble.
    Rev Chapter Eleven shows clearly those who will receive power and use the Two Witnesses, which is the Bible. Yes, it is true during the 6th seal many died over the centuries after the 1844 Judgment had taken place. But people of all nations, tongues, religions, non-religion had to be witness too. However, this great tribulation is nothing like the earth have ever seen before. This time the tribulations would be dictated by THE MOST HIGH! The 144,000 will have power like Moses to call down four events by THE WRATH of THE MOST HIGH and THE LAMB! 1-a comet; 2- a asteroid will hit the sea; 3- meteorites hit the wicked drinking water; 4-for the first time the sun and the moon will be hit and moved from there axis. The warning is giving that the last three woes are even more serious! Chapter nine, the angel has a key and is actually not falling, but flying with great speed to unlock the bottomless pit. Why we do not get this is, we do not pray and study as we should!!! EGW in SP tell actually that Satan was kicked out of Heaven before this earth was created. THE FATHER and SON, she said agreed to go ahead and create the earth. Read the third Chapter. Satan is the only one who came roam, the majority of the fallen angels are confine in prison. Jude 1:6 also in Luke 8:31 if you look up the word it also means bottomless pit. Only an evil angel is release for the birth of each individual to assist human to disobey. When that person dies, that angel returns to prison. It a place where they were kick out to and that is Satan only seat of authority. The earth the Bible says belong to THE MOST HIGH!!!!! It is only Satan that you constantly read about!

    Going back the angel has a key and release all these evil angels and they swiftly, like smoke head to one planet-earth! However, they are told not to hurt the earth, nor any green grass to all our sealed. They also cannot killed the wicked only torture them. Here the 144,000 will finish the work and many will be heal, dead raise and they will have help. Dan 12:2, 3 tells that many will awake for everlasting and others for everlasting contempt! I believe men like Noah, Daniel and women included will arise who have worked down throughout the centuries including in our day to assist in finishing the work. Here are the woes: 1-the wicked angels release; 2-the work of the remnants and those who awaken dealing with one evil power the whore. The papacy sees that he is powerless over the 144,000 as Pharaoh was powerless over Aaron and Moses! The great river Euphrates have dried up! (This is a past event and now this and Rev 16:12 are Islam falling for all of the kingdoms beyond to join with the beast. The remnant finishes their work; the great multitude are sealed. Then comes the beast who is not the papacy from the bottomless pit. He now takes over. No religion is to be worship but him. All religions are gone except one, the papacy. This is the second woe and the third one come swiftly or in one hour. This prophet time is 60 days. Read Dan 12! Probation has ended and the beast has a short time! The kings that he appointed hate the whore! Read all of Rev 17 and the false prophet is USA! Who are those on the papacy side- the Catholic, Protestants, false people who call themselves Jews-the Ashkenazi’s and last the SDA. They have become delusional and under the papacy’s thumb. Example is Trump and Ben Carson, THE HEAVENLY FATHER always gives an example! But the false prophet will do two important things. One, he will build an image, but wait, the Bible said the image comes to life. The Serpent did not talk to the woman in the Garden of Eden, it was Satan and this too is Satan. The image and not the beast must be worship now or all will be put to death. The beast follows Satan-hello! USA-the false prophet works with the beast as the seven last plagues are falling and the battle of Armageddon has begun. The papacy must fight they have no food! Only those tattooed with the beast mark can buy and sell! YAHWEH’S people have scattered and are safe. Their bread and water is sure. They heard THE FATHER tell the time of HIS SON’S coming and within fifteen days or 1,335 days spoken by Daniel will be blessed. The war ends with USA destroying Jerusalem with fire or a nuke. Jerusalem has become Babylon and the seat of the Catholic and her followers! They are destroyed and an angel sent from Heaven will cast this city into the sea! Rev Chapter 18 Now the third and final woe has come and the completion of sin is about to come! Chapter 19 shows the returning of YAHSHUA with HIS NEW NAME and both the beast and USA, the false prophet burned in the Lake of Fire! The rest of people flesh are ate by the birds. Chapter 20 now Satan, for the first time is place in the prison along with angels. The saints go to Heaven judge the wicked and return with HIM and the New Jerusalem. HE touches Mt. Olivet and it becomes a plain over the destroyed old Jerusalem who become Babylon and totally wiped out for good! The Saints are in the city, the wicked are about to receive their executive judgment along with Satan and his angels. The wicked are awaken, Satan and his angels are release after the thousand years. He again have the wicked delusional to believe that because they are more in number; they can take the city! As they prepare for short time they try to take the city, but they are stop to see a video of their lives and how it has come to their destruction. Even Satan bows realizing his sin and destruction he has cause! Yet, he shakes it off and with determination inspire his angels and the wicked they cannot turn back now! Fire comes down and destroys all of them! The New Earth now will begin!!!!!

  15. M Stins, You have have some interesting views, some of which I believe can be supported from inspired words from the Bible and Ellen White’s writings.

    Some of the things you write, tho, are weird, to say the least.

    May we be good Bereans, and study to show ourselves approved unto God.

  16. Hi Daniel,

    I just started a deeper study into the 7 trumpets few weeks ago. Your blog caught my attention because of the title “The Seven Trumpets by James White.” However, you were just talking about your own views -it seem to be a deception for me. Anyway, just a honest inquiry, How do you prove that 4 angels holding the 4 winds in the Revelation 7 are related to the Seven angels holding 7 trumpets of Revelation 8?

    The differences are evident:
    4 vs 7
    Wind vs Trumpet

    I’m a bit confused.

  17. Kevin, In case you missed it, I put the entire book up on the internet for you to read. Then I wrote my review of it.
    Please clarify what part of that is “deception” to you.

    The 4 angels holding the 4 winds are NOT any part of the 7 angels holding the 7 trumpets, according to my understanding. Why do you believe that they are?

  18. You still need to study the book of revelation further for better understanding . your understanding seems to be kindergarten .

    If you claim that the book of revelation is in the chronological order , how comes the second coming appears before Christ finishes his ministry in revelation 8?

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