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The video of this post presents an overview of the entire book of Revelation. There is good counsel on how we should study the book. We have already discussed the seal judgments in Revelation Chapter 6. Beginning with Chapter 8, we will see the opening of the seventh of the seals, which will also open the trumpet judgments In Chapter 8, we will find the first four of the seven trumpet judgments.
In Chapter 8 verse 1, the Lamb opens the seventh seal, which is composed of seven trumpet judgments. Each of the trumpet judgments will follow, with an angel blowing a trumpet preceding each judgment. We will study Chapter 8 in the New King James Version, with comments coming from the MacArthur Study Bible notes, as shown in BibleGateway.org. Chapter 9, with trumpet judgments 5-6, will be shown in the next post. We will have a closing summary by Dr. John F. Walvoord (deceased).
Consider the horrible things that will happen during the time of the judgments. It is important to remember that those who will suffer from those judgments are the ones which Revelation calls “earth dwellers.” Such people are those who had never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They were left behind when the rapture took place. Instead, they chose the things of this world over the things of heaven. Consider the verses that discuss those who are “earth dwellers,” also known as “those who dwell on the earth.” Notice that “all who live on the earth” will be subject to the judgments of God. Notice, also, that even in the face of the judgments of God, the “earth dwellers” will not change their attitudes toward Christ.
Revelation 3:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
10 Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
Revelation 6:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
10 They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?”
Revelation 8:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
13 I looked again and heard an eagle flying high overhead, crying out in a loud voice, “Woe!Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts that the three angels are about to sound!”
Revelation 11:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
10 Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets brought judgment to those who live on the earth.
Revelation 13:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
8 All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.
Revelation 13:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
14 He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived.
Revelation 17:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again.
Revelation 8 New King James Version (NKJV)
Seventh Seal: Prelude to the Seven Trumpets
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 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
First Trumpet: Vegetation Struck
7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck
8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck
10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell 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 became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck
12 Then the fourth angel sounded: 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 were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
8:1 the seventh seal. This seal includes not only an earthquake, but the 7 trumpet judgments (8:1—9:21; 11:15ff.) and the 7 bowl judgments (16:1–21), with the bowl judgments flowing out of the seventh trumpet and coming in rapid succession just before Christ’s return (see note on 6:1). silence in heaven. The silence of awe and anticipation at the grim reality of the judgments God is about to unleash
8:2 seven trumpets. In Revelation, trumpets primarily announce impending judgment. The trumpets are of greater intensity than the seals, but not as destructive as the final bowl judgments will be (cf. 16:1–21). They occur during the final 3½ years, but the time of each is indefinite, except the effects of the fifth trumpet judgment, which will last 5 months (9:10). The first 4 announce the divine destruction of earth’s ecology (vv. 6–12), while the final 3 involve demonic devastation of earth’s inhabitants (9:1–21;11:15ff.).
8:3 censer. A golden pan, suspended on a rope or chain, that was used to transport fiery coals from the brazen altar to the altar of incense, in order to ignite the incense, symbolizing the prayers of the people (5:8; Ex. 27:3; cf. Luke 1:8, 9). This occurred twice daily at the time of the morning and evening sacrifices.
8:5 thunderings, lightnings. See note on 4:5. an earthquake.Surely of equal or greater intensity than the one described in the sixth seal (see note on 6:12).
8:7 hail and fire followed, mingled with blood. This may describe volcanic eruptions that could certainly result from the earthquake in v. 5. The steam and water thrown into the sky by such eruptions could easily condense into hail and fall to earth along with the fiery lava (cf. Ex. 9:13–25). Dust and gases may so contaminate falling liquid water that it appears blood red. a third of the trees were burned up. The lava storm will create a blazing fire that devastates one-third of the earth’s forests.
8:8 like a great mountain. Probably a huge meteor or asteroid surrounded by gases that will ignite as it enters earth’s atmosphere. Its impact will create a tidal wave, destroying one-third of the world’s ships. sea became blood. This may refer to an event known as red tides, caused by billions of dead micro-organisms poisoning the water—in this case the result of the meteor’s collision. Or it may be actual blood, a clear act of eschatological judgment.
8:10 great star fell. Another celestial body, perhaps a comet in this case since it leaves a fiery trail (see notes on v. 8; 6:13). It will disintegrate as it nears the earth, scattering over the globe.
8:11 Wormwood. A bitter, poisonous substance, derived from a root, that causes drunkenness and eventually death (Deut. 29:18; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; Lam. 3:15).
8:12 a third of the sun was struck. God will supernaturally reduce the intensity of the celestial bodies by one-third. The loss of solar heat will cause a radical drop in temperature, producing severe changes in meteorological, botanical, and biological cycles (Luke 21:25; cf. Ex. 10:21–23). But this is temporary (cf.16:8, 9).
8:13 Woe, woe, woe. One for each remaining trumpet blast. Although the first 4 trumpets are unimaginable, they will be nothing like the 3 to come (9:1–21; 11:15ff.).
Summary. John F. Walvoord (Deceased)
The first four trumpets deal with aspects of the physical world which are taken more or less for granted. The beauty and benefit of the trees, the luxury and growth of green grass are seldom occasions for thanksgiving to the living God. In a similar way, men are prone to take for granted the blessings of water, whether it be the beauty of the sea, the majestic flow of great rivers, or the pure fountains and springs which abound in the natural world. These too are gifts from a loving God to an undeserving world, and they come under the blight and judgment described in the second and third trumpets.
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