Revelation Chapter 8

October 18, 2014

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Revelation. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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The seal judgments take place during the first 21 month period of the tribulation. Revelation chapter 8 records the beginning of the trumpet judgments which will take place over the next 21 month period of the tribulation. As you read you will see that John is trying to find words that express what he is seeing. Remember, he is seeing and writing 2000 years ago about events that have not happened yet. He does not have the vocabulary to be able to clearly talk about the cataclysmic events he is seeing. “Something like a huge mountain all ablaze was thrown into the sea”.

Revelation 8:1-13 (NIV)
1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. 6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. 7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. 8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water– 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. 12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. 13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

Verses 1-2:

There is silence in heaven for about half an hour. When you consider all of the activity that was going on around the throne in Chapters 4 and 5 this silence must have seemed to last for a very long time. The opening of the seventh seal begins the seven trumpet judgments.

The trumpets are given to the angels who are always standing at the throne waiting for the assignments that God has for them.

These trumpets announce destruction for one third of the people who are on the earth. These trumpets are also a call to repentance for the inhabitants of the earth.

Verses 3-5:

The censor or incense burner was used in the worship at the temple. The censor was filled with hot coals and then incense would be poured on them which resulted in a fragrant smelling smoke that drifted heavenward. Here this is used as a symbol of the prayers of the saints who are crying out to God for justice against those who had oppressed and killed them.

Exodus 30:7-8 (NIV)
7 “Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. 8 He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for the generations to come.

When the angel threw the censor on the earth it is a picture of God’s judgment being released on the earth in response to the prayers of the saints. We are always to pray for the justice of God when we are wronged by people, never to take vengeance into our hands.

Verses 6-7:

The first trumpet is sounded and 1/3 of the trees and all the green grass were burnt up.

Verses 8-9:

The second trumpet is sounded and 1/3 of the seas are turned to blood. 1/3 of the sea creatures are destroyed and 1/3 of the ships are destroyed. Perhaps the object that is like a mountain on fire is a meteorite of some type?

Verses 10-11:

The third trumpet is sounded. This trumpet is similar to the second, except that it affects the lakes and rivers instead of the oceans. 1/3 of all the fresh water is contaminated and turned bitter and causes many people to die from drinking it.

Some believe that this is a star named “wormwood”, but it is more likely that this meteorite is being referred to by the impact it will have. The word “wormwood” is used eight times in the Old Testament in reference to a bitter herb.

Verse 12:

The fourth trumpet is sounded and darkness falls. Darkness is often times associated with the judgment of God.

Matthew 24:29 (NIV)
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

Matthew 27:45 (NIV)
45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.

Verse 13:

An ominous warning of three woes is given by an eagle. The first four trumpets impacted physical things on the earth, the next three have more of a spiritual impact.


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