Rev 8:6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
When studying these seven trumpets, one must study them in relation to the previous verses in Rev 8:2-6. These verses refer to the Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary. In Rev 1:12-18 Christ is our high priest (Heb 4:14) in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb 8:1.2.), and in the midst of the seven lampstands in the Holy Place. This reveals that the Hoy Place was open and not closed.
Rev 8:3 refers to an angel who stood at the altar of incense, and he was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne of God. The saints refer to the Christians living after the Christs ascension to the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest. This is after the crucifixion and therefore does not refer to the Jewish nation as some theologians indicate.
The seven trumpets in Rev 8 to 11 refer to warnings of coming catastrophes to the saints in the Church and that is why prayers in this case was offered at the altar of incense. These catastrophes took place at certain times during the Churches history from the first century down to Christ Second Coming in Rev 11:15-18.
There are some theologians who say the seven trumpets are similar to the last seven plagues or are the same period as the last seven plagues in Rev 16. The greatest problem with this theory is, the sanctuary before and during the seven trumpets was open in the Holy Place in Rev 8:2-6, whereas the sanctuary before and during the last seven plagues was closed in Rev 15:7.8.
In addition, the seven trumpets are warnings to the church from the first century to the Second Coming of Christ. The seven last plagues are God´s judgments on an unbelieving generation who refuse to accept the Bible as God´s word for teachings and doctrines, and who refuse to obey the Ten Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. Rev 12:17. Rev 14:12.
A short word study on trumpets in relation to the sanctuary.
Num 10:8. The sons of Aaron the priests shall blow the trumpets. (This was the case in the Israelite wanderings in the wilderness).
Num 10:9. When you go to war in your land against the enemy who opposes you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets.
Hos 5:8-10. Blow the rams horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah! Cry aloud at Beth Aven, Look behind you O Benjamin! Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure. The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out my wrath on them like water.
Hos 8:1. Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My law. Verse 3. The enemy will pursue Israel.
Joel 2:1. Blow the trumpet in Zion. Sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble. For the day of the Lord is coming.
Jos 6:4.5. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram´s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall flat. (Refers to Joshua and the fall of the city Jericho).
Ezek 33:2-4. Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: “When I bring the sword upon the land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.”
Math 24:30.31. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect form the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The sons of Aaron blew the trumpets in the wilderness wanderings. When the Israelites went to war, they blew the trumpets. Blowing trumpets is a symbol of God´s warnings of the approaching enemy. Blowing trumpets is a symbol of God´s warning that the enemy are approaching Israel because they have rejected God´s covenant and rebelled against his laws. Blowing trumpets announces the Day of the Lord´s coming.