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“The Trumpets of Judgment” – Revelation 8

Jun 27, 2021

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Introduction

There's a great storm coming!

Each phase will be heralded by a trumpet of God's judgment on the unrepentant sinners "who dwell on the earth." (Vs. 6:10)

Again, it bears repeating that those who are sealed in the "blood of the Lamb" (Vs. 7:3-4, 9-10) will not suffer God's wrath (1 Thess. 1:10), but can still be affected by Satan's tribulation.

Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

(Jn. 15:20)

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

(Jn. 16:33)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

(2 Tim. 3:12)

The book of Revelation is difficult to interpret, understand and teach.

There are many opinions on the meaning of its contents and the timing of its events. 

One of the most contentious doctrines is the timeline of the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments.

Some scholars believe the three sets of seven judgments are consecutive, in chronological order.

While others understand them as concurrent, interlocking, all happening at the same time and order, with a “heavenly” interlude between the sixth and seventh in each set. (Rev. 7, 10-11:14, 16:13-16).

Each set climaxes with the end of the age:

          * "Seals" - Vs. 7:9-17

          * "Trumpets" - Vs. 11:15-18

          * "Bowls" - Vs. 16:17, 19:1-6

And the return of Christ the King bringing final judgment, redemption and the establishment of His righteous kingdom.

For a variety of scriptural reasons, I subscribe to this doctrine.

Nonetheless, whichever of the many differently taught doctrines in the book of Revelation you believe, it's primary to understand that Christ Jesus will return as He promised, and as believers, we need to be found obedient at His coming.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.....

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

(Matt. 24:35, 42)

My desire, as was the Apostle John's, is for all of us to understand and be found by Christ in this truth:

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

(1 Jn. 2:28)

Let us now look into John's vision as the Lamb of God opens the seventh seal and the Father's plan continues.

Exposition

Calm before the Storm

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Revelation 8:1

"...silence in heaven for about half an hour."

          * After all the noise in heaven; singing, praising, praying and worshipping (4:5, 8, 11, 5:2, 9-14, 6:10, 7:10-12) there is now complete silence!

          * The hosts in heaven are silent in complete awe as the scroll is opened and all could see God's glorious plan unfolding.

Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, for the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.

(Zep. 1:7)

"Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!"

(Zec. 2:13)

 All God's creation has long hoped for this day and the coming "Judge," and it's about to happen!

"Therefore, be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord...behold the Judge is standing at the door."

(Jms. 5:7, 9)

"God...has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."

(Acts 17:30-31)

****

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

Revelation 8:2

"...the seven angels who stand before God..."

          * "The seven angels" in Jewish tradition are the arch-angels:

              Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Saraqael, Raguel, Remiel. (Enoch 20)

          * Two of which we know: Gabriel (Lk. 1:9) and Michael (Jude 9). 

"...trumpets..."

          * Trumpets are significant throughout Scripture (Num. 10:1-10):

               - They call people to gather.

               - They announce war/orders.

               - They announce special times.

The trumpet sounded at Mt. Sinai when God gave Moses the Law. (Ex. 19:16-19)

Trumpets were blown when kings were anointed and enthroned. (2 Kgs. 1:34, 39)

The walls of Jericho fell at the sound of the priest's trumpets. (Josh. 6:13-16)

The voice of the Lord Jesus was "like a trumpet" to John (Rev. 1:10), and a trumpet summoned John to heaven. (Rev. 4:1)

AND

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

(1 Thess. 4:16)

"Immediately after the tribulation...the Son of Man will appear heaven...coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send out His angels with the great sound of a trumpet. And they will gather His elect..."

(Matt. 24:29-31)

Cries Before the Throne

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.

Revelation 8:3

"...another angel..."

          * Not one of the seven arch-angels, a different angel.

"...a golden censer...the altar...the golden altar..."

          * “The golden censer” was an implement used in the temple to bring hot coals from the bronze “altar” of sacrifice to the “golden altar” before the veil of "the Most Holy Place." (Ex. 30:1-10)

"...incense...with the prayers of all the saints..."

          * Incense was also offered on the golden altar in front of the "Ark of the Covenant" as a "sweet sacrifice of praise" on the Day of Atonement.(Lev. 16:11-14)

          * "All" means all.  Every prayer of a believer that was ever made to God.

This was the ministry Zacharias was performing in the temple when Gabriel told him he and Elizabeth would have a son, John the Baptizer, herald of Messiah Jesus.

(Lk. 1:8-17)

****

And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

Revelation 8:4

"...the prayers of the saints."

          * Specifically:  The martyred saints under the altar. (Rev. 6:9-11)

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

(Rev. 6:10)

          * Generally:

Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

(Matt. 6:10)

These "cries" are not selfish, personal vengeance, but "cries" to God to uphold His holy law, and vindicate people.

GOD IS ABOUT TO ANSWER!

****

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.

Revelation 8:5

“…fire from the altar…”

          * The bronze altar of sacrifice, not the golden incense altar.

"...thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake."

          * Common in all three sets of judgments: seals, trumpets and bowls after the seventh judgment.

****

So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Revelation 8:6

"...prepared themselves..."

          * Preparation is always required before engaging in God's work for both angels and the church:

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

(Acts 2:42)

Chastening of the Trumpets

The first four trumpet judgments are "natural," that is, they affect the earth, sea and sky.

The next two are supernatural releasing demonic forces that first torment, then kill. (Rev. 9)

And the final trumpet judgment establishes God's kingdom over all worldly kingdoms with the return of the King! (Rev. 11:15)

Many of the trumpets, as well as the bowl judgments, evoke the plagues on Egypt that freed the Israelites from bondage.

But these judgments will ultimately free God's people from the bondage of sin, and tribulation created by Satan, and bring us into His eternal kingdom.

And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

(1 Jn. 3:5, 8)

****

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.

Revelation 8:7

"...hail and fire...mingled with blood..."

          * "Hail and fire" - When God judged the world the first time, He used water (Gen. 6:5-6, 11-12, 7:12, 19-24); the second time of judgment will be fire!

          *"...mingled with blood" - The blood of all the martyrs,

"Those who had been slain for the Word of God, and the testimony they held."

(Rev. 6:9)

I wonder how well we will hold "the testimony" of Christ when faced with martyrdom.  We have enough trouble living for Him today even without persecution.

"...a third of the trees...and all grass was burned up."

          * Can you imagine the ecological disaster this will bring?

            * O2 production diminished.

            * Smoke in the atmosphere.

            * Lack of building materials, food.

            * No grass for livestock.

            * Etc.

****

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.

Revelation 8:8

"...something like a great mountain burning with fire..."

           * A huge asteroid?

"...a third of the sea became blood."

          * Remember Moses and the Exodus:

Exodus 7:17-21

****

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

Revelation 8:9

"...a third of the living creatures in the sea died..."

          * From the blood.

          * Much of the world depends on fishing for livelihood and sustenance.

"...a third of the ships were destroyed."

          * At any time currently, there are about 30,000 merchant vessels at sea, not counting military and pleasure vessels.

          * The loss of wealth, commerce and transportation will be devastating.

Were the ships destroyed by the direct impact of "something like a great mountain burning with fire" or tsunamis from earthquakes that follow caused by the impact?

****

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.

Revelation 8:10

"...a great star fell...burning like a torch..."

          * A great comet (“shooting star”) falling through the atmosphere, giving off poisonous liquid and gas as it melts?

"...it fell on a third of the rivers and...springs of water."

          * Again, an almost unimaginable ecological disaster.

****

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.

Revelation 8:11

"...Wormwood..."

          * "Wormwood" simply translates as poison.

          * The Ukrainian word for wormwood, a bitter wild herb used as a tonic in Rural Russia, is Chernobyl.  The city where a Russian nuclear reactor “melted down” and poisoned thousands.

The earth worshippers are going to be mightily upset with God!

****

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.

Revelation 8:12

This again recalls God's judgment on Egypt, the next to last of the plagues (Ex. 10:21-22) and the sixth seal judgment (Rev. 6:12).  This will cause a "nuclear winter," another ice age with temperatures dropping approximately 50 degrees worldwide.

Luke 21:22-28

Conclusion

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!"

Revelation 8:13

As if the first four judgments on unbelieving mankind weren't bad enough, there are three more coming!

What will cause our righteous and holy God to bring such desolation upon the earth He created?

Romans 1:18-32

And the prayers of the saints:

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

(Rev. 6:10)

 Your kingdom come. Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

(Matt. 6:10)

Woe, woe, woe!

There's still three more to fall on mankind!

Is this God's desire?

NO, but He is holy, He must judge.

2 Peter 3

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