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Revelation Chapter 8
Rev. 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
The Seventh Seal
When this seal is broken, the scroll will be completely open. Nothing will remain to restrain the carryiing out of the remaining judgments. Before they can begin, though, there will be silence in heaven for about half-an-hour.
The flashes of lightning, rumbling, and peals of thunder coming from the throne of God will cease. The four living creatures will cease their talk about the holiness of God. The twenty-four elders will suspend their declarations about the worthiness of the Lamb. The heavenly hosts will stop their singing, and the Tribulation Saints will cease their praise. An eerie silence will move across heaven.
Everyone will wait in anticipation of what is to come next. Will people be given time to repent? Will God destroy the earth? Something will be on the horizon - something of tremendous importance.
Rev. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
The Tribulation Period carries many names: the Time of Jacob's Trouble, the Seventieth-Week of Daniel, and the Day of the Lord's Vengeance. The prophet Zephaniah gives it seven different names, and it is significant to notice that the last one is a day of trumpet and battle cry (Zephaniah 1:14-16).
Rev. 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
An Eighth Angel
Even though this eighth angel is not identified, some experts believe he is Jesus. He could be Jesus, but he is probalbly just another powerful angel. We do know this angle holds a special position of service before the golden altar of God.
The golden censer is similar to the one used in the Old Testament Jewish Temple. It contained charcoal that was burned under a layer of incense. When thhe hot charcoal warmed the layer of incense, a sweet fragrance was produced. This fragrance or aroma may be that of the spice frankincense, one of the gifts the wise men gave to the baby Jesus. Frankincense was also one of the spices burned in the censer at the Jewish temple. Its fragrance reminds God of his Son who came and died for the sins of the world.
The eighth angel will come with a golden censer and stand before the altar of God. He will be given a great quantity of incense to mix with the prayers of the saints. Then he will place the censer on the golden altar before the throne of God.
Rev. 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
No Other Choice
Revelation 8:3 told us that the eighth angel will be given the prayers of all the saints. We may never know what all those request may be, but Revelation 6:10 identifies one of them as a prayer of the Tribulation Saints: How long, Sovern Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood? Judgment is not God's first choice, but patience is. He is patient and will hold off his judgment longer than any man. Nevertheless, when all options fail, his judgment will fall.
The angel will take the censer containing the hot incense and the prayers of the saints, and wave it around causing the smoke to drift toward the throne of God. The Almighty God will smell the incense, heat the prayers, and prepare an answer.
Rev. 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
When the incense and all the prayers of the saints have been consumed in the censer, the angel will take the empty censer, go back to the altar, fill it with fire, and hurl it down on the earth. The prayers will go up to God and the answers will come down to earth. God will avenge the death of the Tribulation Saints with fiery trials on earth.
Try to visualize this great scene. The Antichrist and False Prophet will rise to power leading the inhabitants of the earth to worship Satan, while at the same time, God's people will be hunted down, persecuted, and killed. These martyred saints will arrive in heaven praying to be avenged. At first, they will be told to wait until the number of saved is increased, but then after a brief time, God will hear their prayers and respond by having his angel hurl the burning censer (possibly in the form of a meteor) to earth. This will be a clear statement of God's wrath. It will be followed by loud thunderclaps, flashes of lightening, and an earthquake. The earnest prayers of God's hurting people will finally reach into his wrath and cause a response that will be felt by the whole earth.
Rev. 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Thus It Begins
Once the burning censer has hit the earth the archangels will prepare to sound their trumpets. The prayers of the saints will be heard, and the whole world will be ripe for judgment. God's wrath will be kindled to unleash the next set of judgments, and the archangels will prepare to sound the alarm.
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.
Destruction Of The Earth
Prophecy experts have little difficulty believing this will happen. The seventh plague on Egypt in the days of Moses was a rain of grievous hail mixed with fire that smote the cattle, herbs, and trees. It was a plague directed against Egypt's false goddess, Isis. God also rained hail, fire, and brimstone on Sodom and Gamorrah. There is no reason to believe he will not do it again.
The result of hail, fire, and blood being hurled down upon one-third of the earth in a furious storm is almost unimaginable. Not only will it cause immediate and indescribable destruction, it will also bring many other terrible consequences. Much of the lumber needed to build houses will be gone, along with much of the grain used for food. The entire balance of nature will be upset and the loss of life will he horrendous.
Rev. 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
Rev. 8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
Destruction Of The Sea
The first trumpet will signal judgment upon the earth. This trumpet will signal judgment upon the sea. It reminds us of the first plague of Egypt in the days of Moses that turned the waters into blood. It was a plague directed against Egypt's false goddess Hika that killed the fish and frogs, and made the water unfit for consumption.
Pay close attention to the wording in this verse. It does not say a burning mountain will be thrown into the sea. It says, something like a huge burning mountain will be thrown into the sea. Some think is will be a nuclear missle. Others think it will be a burning meteor. Whatever it is, it will be big, blazing, and cause the sea to turn into blood. It will kill one-third of sea life anddestroy one-third of the ships. Those who depend upon the sea for jobs, food, defense, or cargo transport will suffer. As a result of this "mountain" hitting the sea, it is likely that everything close to the sea will probably be damaged or destroyed by a great tidal wave.
Rev. 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
Rev. 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
Some believe this star blazing like a torch will be a meteror. Others suggest a nuclear missile. While they hold different oppinions about what it is, they usually agree about what it will do.
A great blazing object containing some type of pollutant or poisonous substance will fall out of the sky. It will be named after a bitter herb called Wormwood in the Bible. It will contaminate one-third of earth's fresh water supply, causing many people to die from drinking the tainted water. Although the Bible does not say, it is resonable to assume that many others will die from thirst. With one-third of the fresh water tainted, most people will be unable to obtain drinkable water before extreme thirst sets in adults will survive without water for about three days while the sick and infants will have fewer.
Rev. 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
The fourth trumpet judgment will affect the heavenly bodies: the sun, moon, and stars. Pagan religions worship these objects. Asrologers, fortune tellers, and witches rely on them to predict the future. A few bizarre interpretaitons of this judgment exist, but the generally accepted meaning is that the light of the sun, moon, and stars will be diminished by one-third. We can be sure that smoke from the burning of one-third of the earth will block out a lot of the light from the sun, moon, and stars. Nuclear winter brought on by smoke, dirt, and debris being hurled into atmosphere is also possibliity.
How long this will continue is not said, but there is no question that a reduction of the earth's sunlight will affect the weather, crops, and all of life in general. Major winter storms will sweep the earth causing multitudes to freeze to death.
Rev. 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
Who or what is thes eagle? Some say it will be the Raptured Church. Others say it will be an angel, while still others say it will be a literal eagle. One thing is for sure: If God could make Balaam's donkey talk, he can make an eagle talk.
This eagle will fly through the air pronouncing three woes upon the inhabitants of the earth. These three woes correspond to the last three trumpets. Some even call them the trumpet woes. It is hard to imagine, but these woes will be worse than any judgment previously mentioned.