REVELATION CHAPTER 8


                                   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."

 

              Now, if you remember back in Revelation chapter 6 the first SIX seals were opened one right after the other and one would EXCEPT the SEVENTH seal to be opened right after the sixth seal, but instead, we see the entire chapter seven before the seventh seal is opened. Please keep in mind that the WRATH of God was being announced as being come and who SHALL BE able to stand, so again one would EXPECT that chapter 7 would be the WRATH of God. However, chapter 7 is NOT the wrath of God as we have just seen, but rather in chapter 7, we saw the RAPTURE of the church and the 144,000 Jews being sealed.

              So then, here in the very first verse of chapter 8, we see the SEVENTH seal being opened right AFTER the rapture of the church has taken place and the 144,000 children of Israel are sealed. Keep in mind that the church is NOT appointer to the WRATH of God. Thus the WRATH of God is poured out in the seventh seal, which is IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of great tribulation just like Jesus teaches us in Matthew 24:29-31. The WRATH of God is so terrible that it produces SILENCE in all of heaven for the space of about half an hour. Now this 1/2 hour may not seem that long, but when there is a burst of anger and the room grows silent even for a few seconds, even 30 seconds seems like an eternity. Now, personally, I do not believe that the wrath of God lasts for only a LITERAL half an hour or even a literal hour, but rather I believe that this is a figure of speech that represents a relatively short space of time and then God will show his mercy on his creation and his people Israel. Also, I am seeing that the wrath of God is divided into two parts. The first HALF of the wrath of God will be poured out right BEFORE the 1000 year reign of Jesus and the final HALF of God's wrath will be poured out AFTER the 1000 year reign of Jesus when Satan is let loose to tempt the nations one final time. Please be patient. We will cover all the verses that teach what I just said as we get to them.

 

             Rev. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

 

             Now, others have taught that ALL of these seven trumpets are the wrath of God, but if you are patient you will see otherwise as we continue reading. You will clearly see that ONLY the SEVENTH trumpet is the WRATH of God. And if we follow the PATTERN that Jesus himself taught us in Matthew 24:29-31, then you will clearly see that the one and only second coming of Jesus takes place immediately after the 3 1/2 years of great tribulation and right before the WRATH of God is poured out. 

             So then, the RAPTURE of the church occurs AT the SECOND coming of Jesus just like Jesus teaches us in Matthew 24:29-31. Thus ONLY the SEVENTH is the wrath of God. Some may being asking SEVENTH what? The seventh SEAL? Yes! but ALSO the seventh TRUMPET as well as the SEVENTH vial as you will see when we get there in this verse by verse study of the book of Revelation one chapter at a time.

 

                          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 the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne."

                           Rev. 8:4 "And the smoke of the incense, which came up with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand."

 

              We all know that the saints are the children of God or those who are IN Jesus Christ and are therefore NOT appointed to the WRATH of God, so again the FIRST SIX trumpets of the seven trumpets cannot possibly be the wrath of God, because we see here in this verse that the prayers of the saints are still coming up before God, meaning that the saints of God are still on the earth during the FIRST SIX trumpets. When you read the book of Revelation that describes the SAME end time events three different times giving more detail each time, then you will clearly see that the saints are still on the earth during the time of great tribulation during the sounding of the first six trumpets as well as the first six vials, or bowls just as they are found during the first SIX seals which we have already covered. But for now, let us continue with verse 5 of chapter 8.

 

             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 thundering, and lightning, and an earthquake."

 

             To me, this verse is saying that our prayers or more precisely our prophecies go forth and ascend up to God and then judgment is released or cast into the earth. These prayers could also be interpreted as the cry of the saints saying, even so, COME Lord Jesus. We all want Jesus to come but we also desire the people we know and love who are not yet saved to be saved before Jesus comes. And for some there will come a time that they will have to say, even so, COME Lord Jesus, knowing that the time is running out for their loved ones to be saved. The hard truth to accept is that some people will not turn to God until they cannot bear any more pain and suffering. But at the same time, other people will blame God for their pain and suffering and turn away from God. So it will be hard to prophesy these judgments upon the earth.

             We will learn more about the POWER given to the two witnesses to call the judgments of God down upon the world in the eleventh chapter of Revelation.

 

             Rev. 8:6 "And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared to sound."

 

             I believe that each one of these seven angels is the seven angels of the seven churches. So, in essence, we the church are blowing the trumpets through our prayers and prophecies. Every time we share or preach these judgments to the world we are prophesying these judgments. Notice also that they PREPARED to sound. I believe that God is restoring the power and authority that the church once had in the beginning in the early church of the first century.

            The disciples once asked Jesus, shall we call lightning down from heaven and destroy them. These early disciples knew that they had the power to call down lightning from heaven and Jesus knew it also, which is why he rebuked them for not having the right spirit. To me Jesus was saying to them, NO, NO, NO, you must not do this, because using your authority in this way is a WRONG spirit. To execute judgment without a CAUSE is unjust. But God sees it a RIGHTEOUS thing to execute HIS vengeance upon the wicked who are persecuting and killing his people the Christians and the Jews. And if you pay attention you will see that many of these judgments are poured out upon only those people who HAVE the MARK of the beast.

             Many believers today, have been misled to believe that the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit have ceased and are no longer present in the church today, but they are sadly mistaken. We as Christians have been given all authority in the earth in the NAME of Jesus, but again sadly many Christian have NOT this knowledge of the TRUTH. If you would like to learn more on this subject of our AUTHORITY in the earth please read the studies "THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER" and "JESUS THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES" and the "POWER OF OUR WORDS"

 

             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 the trees was burned up, and all the grass was burned up."

 

             This could be a meteor shower. This could be a war with bombs falling from the sky. This could be volcanic eruptions. All of this is speculation. As the day draws closer it may be made clearer. Personally, I believe it will be a combination of all these things, and perhaps something quite unexpected, which I will share at a later time. It is like what Paul told the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 and 3 about them not being able to bare at that particular time what the Lord had shown Paul by the Holy Spirit. Moving on to verse 8. 

 

             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."

 

             This could be a volcano. This could be a meteor or comet, something from space. This could be a nuclear war. Some have speculated that the OIL CRISIS of British Petroleum oil platform that exploded and BURNED in the SEA or the ocean looked like a MOUNTAIN BURNING and then the ocean waters TURNED a BLOOD RED in color as a result of the vast amount of OIL that spilt. And certainly, over time I believe we will see a great part of the creatures in the ocean die from this oil spill. Now the ships were not actually destroyed, but many ocean-going vessels were disabled and NOT able to conduct their usual jobs for quite awhile. Again this is just speculation of me repeating what others are interpreting the events of the world to be. I myself have no idea what this verse is meaning. But I do know that the word mountain is sometimes symbolic of a kingdom. And that the ten united kings in the last days will be a great kingdom for one hour. See Revelation 17:12 while keeping in mind that the HOUR of God's wrath is divided into two parts. The first half before the Millennium and the second half when Satan is loosed after the 1000 years to deceive the nations to make WAR with God's people. Keep in mind that the word sea is also symbolic for the wicked people. So again, both a literal and a symbolic meaning can be seen in many parts of the book of Revelation. We do not have to dogmatically demand that all verses are literal. Nor should we demand that all verses are symbolic. In some cases, I believe that BOTH interpretations should be used.

 

             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."

 

             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;

 

             This great star could be a meteor or comet, some space debris. Some speculate that it may be a satellite having nuclear power that will poison the waters when it crashes to the earth. Or this could be symbolism for Satan falling from heaven because the angels are sometimes symbolized as STARS. So you can see how BOTH a literal interpretation and a symbolic interpretation can be used for the same verse. Keep in mind that in Revelation chapter 12 we are told of a war in heaven between Michael the archangel with his angels fighting against Satan and his angels. And during this war Satan and his angels will be cast out of the heaven onto the earth. The heaven in Revelation 12 is speaking of the principalities and powers of the AIR or the earth's atmosphere, or in earth's orbit is the second heaven called outer space, rather than the third heaven wherein is God's throne. I will share more on this later on in this study but for now, please know that there will ALSO be a LITERAL war between humans being fought at the same time that this spiritual war in heaven between the angelic beings is being fought.

 

              Rev. 8:11 "And the name of the star is called wormword: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."

 

             I too have often thought of something radioactive or chemical pollution making the waters bitter. I have heard that the nuclear reactor in Russia called Chernobyl means WORMWOOD, so it is possible that some kind nuclear pollution may fit this prophecy. But again this is all speculation. Another possibility is that this is symbolism and that the WATERS are symbolic for many people who are made BITTER and full of HATE by this FALLEN angel that is cast out of heaven, and basically this multitude of people that are made bitter kill off the population as in a genocide like the holocaust of the Jews. I personally do not think this is the case for this particular verse because in chapter 9 we will see another STAR fall from heaven, which I believe better fits the description of Satan. But again, chapter 9 may just be giving us MORE detail of what is being spoken of here in chapter 8 so it could be the same event or same star falling from heaven. The important thing is that we remain open to different possibilities or interpretations.

 

             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 they shone not for a third part of it, and the  night likewise.

 

            Some have speculated that this is the shortening of days spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:22 which says,

 

         "And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened."


             However, I personally believe that the days have already been shortened Almighty God by John be told NOT to write down the seven thunders in Revelation chapter 10, which we will discuss more when we get there. For had John WROTE DOWN the seven thunders then they would have been PROPHESIED and once God says it will happen then it will happen. Again, we will go into more detail of what being shortened means further on in the study of God's word.

             And as for this verse 12 of Revelation 8 being the signs in the SUN, MOON, and STARS it does not line up time-wise with the sixth seal in Revelation 6 and Matthew 24:29-31 being right before the WRATH of God. This verse is announcing the sounding of the FOURTH trumpet and the signs in the sun, moon, and stars are not until the sounding of the SIXTH trumpet which corresponds to the SIXTH SEAL.

 

              Rev. 8:13 "And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst, saying with a loud voice WOE, WOE, WOE, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels yet to sound!

 

             In other words, things are going to get worse. The fifth trumpet will be the first woe, the sixth trumpet will be the second woe, and the seventh trumpet will be the third and final woe. I myself am seeing that the WRATH of God is the THIRD WOE being the SEVENTH trumpet.

 

             This brings us to CHAPTER 9 of the book of Revelation.