Revelation

Chapter 8


    We are about to see what happens when the seventh seal was broken. The seven seals represent the perfect wrath of God, which heralds the beginning of the time of the end. We are about to be introduced to seven angels with seven trumpets, which are really a recap of the seven seals, but with much greater detail added as to what they mean. When Christ broke the seventh seal a thunderous quiet followed...


Rev 8:1

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (NIV)

    The seventh seal opens with Jehovah dictating a very short time of silence.  We have stated this as a thunderous quiet and contrary to this sounding as though it where a contradiction in terms, it is anything but. This thirty minutes of silence represents a final, last minute, chance for all humanity.  A time when men will yell peace, peace... but there is no peace.

    Just as the symbolic number {144,000} represents all the Christians who attain this highest of high achievements; the space of a half-hour does not mean thirty minutes in mans time.  Rather it is signifying a very short period as God sees time.  It might be well to explain here that what these Christians, {The 144,000} attained with their efforts, was not what gave them life. Life itself is and always has been a free gift from our God Jehovah.  However, to be granted this free gift of life one has to truly seek Christ to find the knowledge of Jehovah and his purpose.  If one honestly sets his heart on this course Jehovah, through the Holy Spirit, will supply the knowledge one needs to make such a choice.  After that it is up to the free will of the individual to decide how much effort he or she will make to attain a position of standing as a Christian.  In other words, what we do with the knowledge given to us, by the Holy Spirit, is what we are judged on.

1 Cor 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (KJV)

Rev 22:12

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (KJV)

    Now after this space of half an hour, or relatively short period of time that the actions concerning the wrath of God were held back, John continues to tell us what he sees.  And much of what he sees is, for us, just as it was for him, a future event.   However, these events, as we shall see, began in our time.

REV 8:2

And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

    Notice this verse opens with " And I saw "THE" seven angels that stand before God. " They are spoken of by John as though we already knew who these seven angels were; and the truth is we do. They were introduced to us in:

Rev 1: 20

The mystery of the seven stars which though sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (NIV)

    We know that the seven golden candlesticks are representative of God's power or Holy Spirit. The power of God, or Holy Spirit is used by God to guide his, people or church. Since God is the source of the power of His Church, the symbolism now changes to angels because angels carry messages from God to his people, and Christians are empowered to carry that message to others. And that is what this silence is all about and for. This may be a time for silence as far as the actions of God are concerned, but it is also a time for Christians to bellow forth this last minute warning to the world.

    As we have learned previously a trumpet signifies a clearly defined voice or message that cannot be miss-understood. Therefore, angels sounding these trumpets are informing his people to tell the world that Jehovah is about to cause major changes, changes that will effect all the earth and its inhabitants, which is very clearly stated in the final verse of this chapter. However, before these angels begin to sound there trumpets another or different angel appears:

Rev 8:3

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. (NIV)

    A golden censor was used in the temple to burn the incense offered to God in the temple built by Solomon.

Heb 9:4

Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; (KJV)

    The next verse is telling us what was happening with this censer. The censer’s purpose was used to carry hot coals of burning incense. From this smoldering incense is portrayed a visible sign to John that God sees and hears the prayers of these saints.

Rev 8: 4

The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. (NIV)

    Since it is the saints that are sending their prayers to Jehovah, (the same saints we learned earlier who were crying out for vengeance, which we now know was not vengeance for themselves but vengeance for God's name and word) additional incense is added to the censor. These verses are telling us that even though the people on earth, allied to God, may through no fault of their own suffer from the wrath about to descend on the world, for them, the prayers of the saints comes with it.

    With Bible commentators there is much discussion, as to which angel this was. Some claim it was Michael, some claim it was Jesus. Others claim it was someone else. These commentators are missing the point. It is not at all important who this angel was. If that were so than this angel would have been identified. It is important to remember that, this angel, like all other angels, are messengers from the creator. This angel is not doing something he himself feels should be done, but following instructions which originates directly from God. God is therefore telling us, he will NOT ignore the prayers of these saints. In fact we are being told that Jehovah is answering their prayers. For their sake, the elect or body of Christ, He is tempering his wrath with mercy, justice and love. Which is completely consistent with what Christ Himself said about this time.

Matt 24: 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved, but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (KJV)

    "For the elects sake" those days are shortened. Without those prayers being honored by God there would be no flesh saved.

    There is another point here that must be mentioned. In the above scripture Christ is twice referring to "THOSE DAYS" plural, more than one, in other words a period of time. Just as the creative days do not mean 24 hours neither will judgment day be a single 24 hours. How do those days effect the earth? They start with:

Rev 8:5

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. (NIV)

    The same censer that was used to offer up the prayers of the saints is now used to collect the fire of Gods wrath. These flames are then thrown down on the earth, which symbolizes the start of the wrath. Since 1914 brought to a close the time of the gentiles the time of the end began with this wrath of God focused on the world in general. The fact that the incense representing the prayers of the saints is spoken of first, just before Gods wrath begins, has special meaning. It means that all Christians are assured that no matter what earthly disasters might befall them during the tribulation, the resurrection and promise of eternal life is sure and guaranteed along with a heavenly hope to all those that overcome.

Rev 14:7

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (KJV)

Rev 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (KJV)

    At this point in the narrative of John, we see the trumpets raised to the lips of all seven angels in unison.

Rev 8: 6

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

    We know that 1914 was the beginning of the world war that Christ was predicting in Matt 24 and Luke 21,

Matt 24:7

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilence’s, and earthquakes, in divers places.

(KJV)

    This world war begins on earth with the first note of the first angel’s trumpet.

Rev 8: 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.

    "...Hail and fire mixed with blood..." represents the world war but the wrath of God does not end with just that. The very vegetation of the earth is also effected and you and I, alive today, have already witnessed the beginning of this. As you read this acres of rain forests are literally ablaze. Unfortunately for man, rain forests do not reproduce themselves once they are destroyed. Over time they become deserts just as the deforestation of Ethiopia has proven, bringing hard times and starvation. Vegetation all over the world is slowly being drenched in acid rain, which burns just as pragmatically as fire. The Second World War, which is really just a continuance of the First World War, brought at its close the introduction of atomic weapons. With these weapons, and the tests of these weapons after the war was concluded, the sky has been soaked with radioactive elements, which are contributing to the acid rain spoken of above. This is mentioned to show why the two events, the war and the effect on vegetation, are locked together in verse 7.

    In earlier chapters we were told of the four horsemen sent by God to carry out his wrath, now we are being given some of the details concerning the ways in which these symbolic riders are causing this wrath to happen.

Something else should be noted here.

    Revelations is relating the trumpet blasts from each of these angels individually. However, that does not mean one angel waits till the other is finished before sounding his. As anyone who has watched and orchestra play can plainly hear, it is the blending of instruments and notes that produces the finished tune. What is being said here is... much of what is being told to us is happening simultaneously? Even though each angel is being individually described so that the results or effects of his trumpet are made clear.

Rev 8:8

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,

    Now we know that mountains symbolize governments. Nazi Germany in the early forties manufactured a huge government indeed covering most of Europe, with its ultimate goal being stated as conquering the world. That this mountainous government was unstable and destroyed in the five years of the war is why verse 8 describes it as "...Something like a huge mountain..."

    We also know that the word "Sea" in verse 8 is symbolic of mankind in general. That a third of the population on earth was killed by all this seems to conflict with the 25 % specified to be taken by the wrath of God, as a direct result of the actions of the four horsemen.

Rev 6:8

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (KJV)

Note: "...And power was given unto them" all four horsemen, "...over the fourth part of the earth..."

    This conflict of numbers would be true, if it were not for the joker in the deck. For while the sea was busy slaughtering each other in the war, Satan, was not basking in the sun somewhere on vacation. He was in there pitching just as he has been doing from the very beginning, which is confirmed in verse 10 of this chapter. Therefore the difference in death of one quarter of and one third, of the sea, can be laid directly at the doorstep of this fallen angel.

    Nonetheless, let us listen as this dirge from the trumpeting angels of God plays on.

Rev 8:9

a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

    Verse nine above is not talking about fish in the oceans it is speaking of men in the sea of mankind. Ships on the other hand represent or symbolize commerce or the wealth of the nations of the world. Look up the word ships in a concordance and you will see they are usually tied to wealth through commerce. The fact that Hitler’s navy was made up of wolf packs of submarines, and that war at sea was a major factor in both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, does not hide or outweigh the financial disaster this world wide conflict had on the wealth of the whole world.

Rev 8:10

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--

    We have already mentioned the atomic bomb, which fits precisely the visible effect described above. Nonetheless, this weapon did more than just blow up cities in Japan. Its radioactivity killed for years, long after the smoke had cleared. It also instilled a fear in man that lives with the whole world of rational men to this very day. The fallout from these explosions deposited itself on everything, but it is being specifically pointed out to us that it pollutes the very water we drink. This not only effects the water we drink, but the food we eat. So much so that God gave it a name.

Rev 8:11

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.

Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words defines wormwood as:

894 apsinthos (ap'-sin-thos);

of uncertain derivation; wormwood (as a type of bitterness, i.e. [figuratively] calamity): KJV-- wormwood.

    Couple the definition with drinking water from rivers and springs with the symbolism that water in the Bible represents life and one should have no trouble relating this to a calamity for mankind indeed. Now along with all these obvious physical effects the fourth angel notes blasts out a spiritual calamity as well.

Rev 8:12

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.

    If you read the verse above carefully, it becomes obvious that it is portraying a spiritual calamity! Why is this being said? Because it cannot possibly be a physical event or something we could see with our eyes.

    In the first place in order for the moon to become dark over one third of its surface for a prolonged period it would have to stop moving through space and become stationary at a given point in space relative to the earth. If this were possible it would mean the moon would immediately fall onto the surface of the earth because of this planets gravity. The result of this would be the destruction of all life on this globe, which we know, is not going to happen.

Matt 24:22

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (KJV)

    And this is without even thinking about one third of our sun suddenly going out which would bring about a supernova or of the stars in the sky doing the same thing. If a third of the stars in heaven suddenly stopped their rotation... the whole universe would collapse.

    Well, people often say, God can do anything. But this is not true. (1.) God cannot lie. (2.) God cannot do anything unrighteous. (3.) God cannot make a one sided coin in a three dimensional world, for to do so he would have to break the very laws He Himself set up to govern this universe, which would make him unrighteous. God is not a genie that pops out of a bottle with a pouch full of magic dust. Everything God does, the creation of this universe, His purpose for doing so, His plans concerning man, all have logic and reason behind them.

    Finally, the reason we know that verse 12 of this chapter represents a spiritual darkness for the world is "A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night." All night is without light folks; that’s what the word night means

Gen 1:4-5

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (KJV)

Therefore verse 12 is not speaking of physical light but spiritual light.

    It should be apparent by now that in all the history of man there has never been such a disastrous war. No war in history has ever inflicted the death and destruction that issued forth from that one, or one that had such far-reaching consequences. Consequences that reach even to us today, which is exactly what Christ predicted when He said

Matt 24:21

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-- and never to be equaled again. (NIV

    Just the same the wrath of God is not over yet even though the reigns of the kingdom have been firmly placed in the hands of Christ. In fact the worst is yet to come.

Rev 8:13

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!" (NIV)

    Why is an eagle crying out this warning?   Because even the beast of the field knows something calamitous is afoot, for their minds are not cluttered with self-opinioned thoughts and lofty theories that are not based on wisdom. We are told by the word that Christ will come as a thief in the night. Meaning that the great majority of mankind will not be aware of His return. And just as the word predicts...they are not. In spite of the disasters spoken of above, men are so wrapped up in their own doings that they cannot see the enormity of it all. However, as we will learn later there will come a day when all will not be able to ignore God or his actions.

WOE! WOE! WOE!

And as we shall see, the last woe is not only yet to come, but by far the worst.



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