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A. The opening video tells about the seven trumpets, which are judgments that commence after the casting of the censer in Revelation 8:5. Video information relates to all seven of the trumpet judgments, but in this article we will discuss only the first four trumpet judgments. It will be when Christ opens the seventh seal in Rev 8:1, that all seven trumpet judgments are opened by seven angels. Likewise, it will be when the seventh trumpet angel is sounded in Rev 11:15, that the seven bowl judgments are poured out by seven angels, which is described in Rev 15:1-21. In this study, we find three woes (Rev 8:13, 9:12, 11:14, 12:12). Each woe warns of coming judgment (BKC, [8:13] see below, IV). It is important to know that the events that are shown in this video do not relate to born again believers in Christ, whom will not be on earth at the time of the Tribulation, but will be present in Heaven with God.
B. Just as the flood of Noah’s time was not identified as being the wrath of God, it is clear that God’s wrath was upon those who dwelt upon the earth [Gen 6:13; 7:17-23), “Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth]. It is also clear that God’s judgment on “those who dwell on the earth,” (Rev 3:10), will also be “God’s wrath,” (Rev 6:1-19-21). Through the flood, God’s covenant with Abraham was made, who was the descendant of Noah’s son, Shem. (Gen 12:1-3). The covenant blood line of Abraham flows through the blood line of the Jews, through “Israel’s/Jacob’s” son, Judah [Gen 29:35]. It was through Judah’s bloodline that Christ came to be Israel’s Messiah, and the Savior of the World (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 3:30). Through the judgments of the Tribulation, God will draw Israel (Jews) to faith in Christ for salvation (Matthew 23:39; Zechariah 12:9-10) but, they must believe in Christ as Messiah (John 3:16), or face the consequences of their unbelief (John 3:3; John 3:18; Rev 20:15).
C. The severity of God’s judgments is shown in the Seal Judgments where one-fourth of mankind will be killed (Rev 7:8). One-third more of remaining mankind will be killed in the Trumpet Judgments (Rev 9:18). It is important to know that only those who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior will be left behind from the rapture of the church (John 14:2,3,6), and will come under God’s Tribulation judgments . The church is the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2), whose spirit is as righteous as the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor 5:21), and dwells within the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor 5:17). The Spirit of Christ dwells within the spirit of each born again believer in Christ (Col 1:27); and will be given eternal rewards by Christ (2 Cor 5:10). The risen Christ will escort His raptured bride to the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-8), and to the Presence of God in Heaven where the bride will remain until Christ and His bride return to earth at the end of the Tribulation for the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:14; 19:11-21). No groom, especially Christ, will beat up His bride on the way to the wedding altar. The born again believers in Christ will be removed from the earth at the time of the rapture, so that God can deal with unbelieving Jews, to draw them to saving faith in Christ. There is nothing about the Judgments of the Tribulation than can make any believer of the bride of Christ more holy. But, Jews who call on Christ in belief during the Tribulation will be as spiritually righteous as are the raptured believers in Christ.
II. Translation Considerations. “The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this, and other studies, because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that relate to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation.”
III. Text: Revelation 8:1-13.
The Seventh Seal—the Trumpets
1 When the Lamb broke 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 seven trumpets were given to them.
3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
7 The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 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 creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 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 waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
IV. Comments of Theologians. BKC=The Bible Knowledge Commentary. MSB=MacArthur Study Bible; NAC = New American Commentary; NKJV= New King James Study Bible; RRC=Ryrie Commentary; RSB=Ryrie Study Bible; SRN=Scofield Reference Notes; WRC= Walvoord Commentary);
1. 8:1 “broke the seventh seal.” With the breaking of the 7th seal comes the 2nd series of judgments-the 7 trumpets. Apparently the judgments announced by the trumpets follow chronologically those of the other seals.
2. 8:4 The “prayers” likely petition God to judge evil and to inaugurate His kingdom quickly. A token judgment follows (v 5).
3. 8:7 Though the implications are staggering, there is no reason not to understand this and the other judgments plainly.
4. 8:8-9 The impact of this judgment on the world economy is beyond imagination.
5. 8:11 “Wormwood.” Many species of wormwood (a woody herb) grow in Palestine, and all have a strong, bitter (but not poisonous) taste, which causes the plant to be used as a symbol of bitterness, sorrow, and calamity. This plague will make a third part of the fresh water supply of the earth unfit for human consumption.
6. 8:12 This could mean that the 24-hour cycle of day and night will be shortened to 16 hours or that the power of the sun, moon, and stars will be reduced by one third.
1. 8:1 The seventh seal on the scroll (5:1) is opened, finally allowing it to be unrolled. Silence in heaven for about half an hour seems to mark a brief but significant break between the unsealing of the scroll (6:1–8:1) and the trumpet judgments (8:6–11:19). This silence is broken only by a heavenly offering and “the prayers of all the saints” (vv. 3, 4). It is, however, the eerie silence before the storm as all of heaven awaits the coming judgment.
2. 8:2 The judgments of the seven trumpets unfold in a pattern parallel to the unsealing of the seven-sealed scroll (6:1-8:1). This has led some to conclude that both describe the same time period from different angles, but greatly increased severity of the trumpet judgments makes this unlikely. The sounding of a trumpet had more than one significance in the OT. It was used to gather the Lord’s people (see Num. 10:7, 8), to assemble the Lord’s army (see Num. 10:9), to announce a new king (see 1 Kin. 1:34–39), and to proclaim the Year of Jubilee (see Lev. 25:9). In this context, the sounding of trumpets indicates a declaration of war.
3. 8:7 When the first angel sounds the trumpet, a storm of hail, fire, and blood breaks forth. This incredible blend of destruction and horror sounds like a combination of the imagery of the first (see Ex. 7:19, 20) and seventh (see Ex. 9:22–25) plagues of God upon Egypt. A third here could be figurative for widespread, but not yet complete, destruction.
4. 8:8, 9 A great mountain burning suggests a massive island volcano erupting explosively over a far-flung section of ocean waters. The description of the effects on the sea, however, indicates that this is much more than windblown pollution from volcanic ash. The sea becoming blood and the creatures in the sea dying are like an extension of the first plague on the Egyptians, the turning of the waters of the Nile River into blood (see Ex. 7:17–21).
5. 8:10 “Star” here translates the same term used for the angelic star in 9:1 and for Christ as “the Bright and Morning Star” in 22:16. But the precise meaning of each word must be carefully interpreted in its context. Here the star seems to be a huge asteroid that falls from heaven to earth, burning like a torch as it enters the atmosphere. The star could fall on a third of the rivers and … springs by disintegrating as it passes through the earth’s atmosphere. It is also possible that the pollution of the headwaters of a number of the world’s major rivers and underground water sources could rapidly spread to a third of the planet’s waters.
6. 8:11 Wormwood is a plant found in the Middle East, known for its bitter taste. Here and elsewhere (see Lam. 3:19) the term is figurative for bitterness. Normally wormwood is not poisonous, but the plague of the third trumpet involves effects far more potent than the taste of this bitter plant: many men die from the water. Rapid pollution of a third of the world’s drinking water would set off a chaotic crisis.
7. 8:12 Reference to darkening the sun, moon, and stars is reminiscent of the ninth plague upon Egypt (see Ex. 10:21, 22), and of the heavenly disturbances involved in Christ’s description of His second coming (see Matt. 24:29, 30). It is also similar to the phenomena of the sixth seal (6:12). A third of the day did not shine could mean that the sun, moon, and stars will not be seen for several hours of the normal cycle of day and night. But probably what is meant is that the intensity of light during the day and night is reduced by a third because of cosmic and atmospheric disturbances (vv. 7, 8, 10).
8. 8:13 Woe, woe, woe refers to the impact of the three remaining … trumpet judgments on the unbelieving inhabitants of the earth. The first woe is the fifth trumpet (9:12); the second woe is the sixth trumpet (11:14). The third woe is said to be “coming quickly” and may be the same as the seventh trumpet (11:15–19), although that is not stated. If not, the final woe may be focused on Babylon, the great harlot, because of the climactic use of “woe” (translated alas in 18:10, 16, 19).
A. There is a teaching that concludes that the events of the Book of Revelation took place at the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. But, no such records show that one-fourth of the world’s population have been killed, as is stated in Rev 7:8. Neither has there been another world killing of one-third of the world’s population, as is stated in Rev 9:18. The events of the Book of Revelation’s judgments, and the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:17-21), have not yet happened. The events of Revelation, Chapters 6-22, are yet to happen. All of the nations of the world have not been gathered against Jerusalem (Zech 12:3;14:2-3). All of the nations of the world have not been destroyed by Christ (Zech 12:9). Christ has not yet ascended from Heaven and stood on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4), with the result of Him being King over all the earth (Zech 14:9). All of the nations of the Earth have not gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech 14:16). No great armies from the orient have attacked Israel while crossing over a dried up Euphrates River. But, consider China of today, who has a military of 2,035,000 active duty personnel and 510,000 reserve personnel.
B. The events of the judgments of God in the Tribulation show that God will be in control of every seal, trumpet and bowl judgment. It is not by happenstance, or by Satan’s actions, that any judgment will take place. In this 8th chapter of Revelation, we see the preciseness of God’s hand in the judgments. There are four angels sounding four trumpets, which release four trumpet judgments. 8:7: 1/3 of the earth will be burned up, and 1/3 of the trees burned, and all of the green grass burned up. 8:8: 1/3 of the sea will become blood. 8:19: 1/3 of the creatures in the sea will die; and 1/3 of the ships will be destroyed. 8:10: a great star from heaven will fall on 1/3 of the rivers and on the springs and waters. 8:11: 1/3 of the waters will become bitter, and many will die. 8:12: 1/3 of the sun and moon and stars will become darkened (This could mean that the 24-hour cycle of day and night will be shortened to 16 or that the power of the sun, moon, and stars will be reduced by 1/3…RSB).
C. At this time in world history, there are many people who teach that we (the world) are in the Tribulation, due to current world conditions. But, as we can see from the statistics of the Russian Revolution, of a hundred years ago, our present world conditions are minuscule in relation to those which were present in Russia. Undoubtedly, there were those in the Russian Orthodox Church who may have thought that they were in the Tribulation. In today’s world, the difficulties that we are facing are nowhere near the level of atrocities that the Russian people had during their five years of revolution.
1. The Russian Civil War was a multi-party civil war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians (November 7, 1917 – June 16, 1923). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War
2. The Russian Orthodox Church (Russian: Русская Православная Церковь) is traditionally said to have been founded by Andrew the Apostle, who is thought to have visited Scythia and Greek colonies along the northern coast of the Black Sea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Russian_Orthodox_Church
D. It is because of such lack of proper Biblical teaching that believers in Christ must study eschatology, in context, and realize that the tribulation relates to unbelieving Israel and has no bearing on born again believers in Christ. A study of Matthew 24, out of context, will not provide an understanding of the “yet to come” judgments of God on “those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 3:10). The Old Testament scriptures can not be omitted from a teaching of the end times, which is yet to come. Consider Joel 2:2.
1. “A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it, To the years of many generations” (Joel 2:2).
2. RSB note: Re: Joel 2:1-11. The locust army is regarded as a foretaste of an invading army in the “day of the Lord,” i.e., in the tribulation period.
3. The invading army of Joel 2:1-11 relates to an attack on Israel, as we have discussed in V.A., above. The books of Old Testament prophecy relate to God’s Word that was given to Jewish prophets, which were given to Jews, about Jewish things. Gentiles will be blessed through Jews (Gen 12:1-3).
4. Based on prophetic scripture, we are not in the Tribulation. Those in the Tribulation will have a fearful view of Christ, “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,” (Matt 24:29). Believers in Christ are not told to look for, or prepare for the antichrist, or anything of the Tribulation. Believers in Christ are told to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13), “who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thes 1:10).
VI. Additional information on Rev 8:1-13 can be found in a sermon of Dr. Andy Woods (Th.M., J.D., Ph.D.).
A. See YouTube: Revelation Episode 27. Creator and Judge. Revelation 8:1-13
B. Dr. Andy Woods has a law degree from Whittier College and a PhD in Bible Exposition from Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a Full-Professor of Bible and Theology at the College Biblical Studies in Houston, TX (2009-2016). He is currently the President of Chafer Theological Seminary and Pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church. Andy also speaks on a variety of topics at Christian Conferences worldwide. Credentials of Dr. Woods can be found on my Equipping Site Page, “About Sources.” I encourage everyone to purchase Andy’s book, “The Coming Kingdom (Andrew M. Woods). Andy’s teachings provide provide a great deal of understanding of the Bible.
VII. Video Details Of This Article.
A. The Seven Trumpets of Revelation 8-11
B. REVELATION ONE THREE PUBLISHING
VIII. Please check my sources of information. https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/about-sources/
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