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 Revelation Chapter 8 (Part 48 ) (Verses 1 - 13)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 8 (Part 48 ) (Verses 1 - 13)   Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:41 pm

Revelation Chapter 8 (Part 48 ) (Verses 1 - 13)

Today we come to Revelation 8. Verse 1 says, “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.” All activity in Heaven pauses, including praise, worship, and singing, when Jesus opens the seventh seal. Everyone in Heaven knows that when God gets to number 7, that means that God has arrived at the climatic seal. This is one of the greatest miracles: can you imagine getting a bunch of church folks to be silent for half an hour?—Just joking. Ecclesiastes 3:7 says “[There is a time…] to be silent…”; this is certainly such a time. The occupants of Heaven exhibit a foreboding awe. This is a solemn moment where everyone anticipates that the worst judgment is about to come. The 7th seal is made up of 7 trumpet judgments and 7 bowl judgments; where, the 7 bowl judgments come from the 7th trumpet judgment. Aside from the fact that Satan will possess the Anti-Christ; in chapter 6, we saw that God uses man and beast to judge man; but the 7 trumpets will consist of God using demons to judge man.

Verse 2 says, “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.” It says that there are 7 angels who stand before God. The way it is stated, apparently, these 7 angels always have a post stationed near the throne of God. Of all of our major English translations, only the King James states the tense a different way. It reads, “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God.” In that sense, the 7 angels standing before God does not indicate an “all of the time” occurrence. But the King James is often not precise in translating the tenses of words from the manuscripts, but I’m not getting into that here. These 7 angels who stand before God, will be the ones who sound the 7 trumpets. God gives them each a trumpet.

Verse 3: “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.” This is an eighth angel. Interestingly, this angel performs a priestly duty. Only priests in the Old Testament were allowed to offer incense to the Lord. Although this angel is performing a priestly duty of offering incense, the angel’s act is not intersessional. Angels cannot make prayers acceptable to God. Priests in the Old Testament did act as intersessional mediators, and they did make prayers and offerings acceptable to God. This incense is made up of the prayers of all the saints. That should be comforting for us—to know that our prayers are not prayed in vain. God does hear our prayers. Not only does He hear them, but, we see here that He even collects them and stores ones that have gone unanswered to be answered at a later time. It may seem like God is not answering your prayer, but He always does, even if the answer is a “no”, or if His answer is delayed to be answered at a much later time. There is a great example in Daniel that we should always keep in mind regarding prayer. We looked at this passage before, but not on this topic. An angel comes to Daniel and says in Daniel 10:12, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” After Daniel prayed, God sent an angel in response to answering his prayer. But a demon (a demon in charge of Persia) intercepted the angel and detained him until the Arch angel Michael came to rescue him so that he could continue his journey to Daniel to bring him the answer to his prayer. This angel was detained for 3 weeks. You and I don’t see the spiritual conflict. We have no idea what is happening in the Heavenlies and we don’t know why our prayers are delayed. There are invisible battles going on when pray that we don’t know about. God wants us to have faith in the unseen, knowing that He has everything under His control and that He hears us when we pray and He cares for us.

Since prayer is so important, we need to learn how to pray. Many of us often pray nothing prayers. If we pray nothing prayers, then we should expect nothing answers. “Now I lay me down to sleep…” Such a prayer is a waste of prayer time. Then there is the “bless me” prayer: “Lord, bless my family; bless my job; bless my career…bless, bless, bless…in Jesus’ name, Amen.” Ephesians 1:3 says that God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Please note the word “every” means you have them all. God has already blessed you with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Many of us are constantly praying for what God said He has already blessed us with. The issue is learning how to access what we already have through faith in Christ. The issue is learning how to withdraw from the spiritual bank that God has already fully supplied and filled. God does not want us to pray general prayers either. He wants us to be specific. Please note the qualification for God responding to our prayers: the angel said to Daniel, “Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard…” God responds only to the prayers of those who have humbled themselves before Him. He does not answer the prayers of the proud. There are many things regarding prayer that I would like to share, but that is a different topic and deserves its own post sometime in the future.

We looked at a similar verse before. Revelation 5:8 says, “And when He had taken it [the scroll], the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Remember, saints are praying from both the Earth and in Heaven. We saw the great multitude pray from Heaven in Revelation 6:10, which says, “They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the Earth and avenge our blood?’” They were given white robes and told to wait a little longer for the rest of their numbers to be completed. Now, in chapter 8, their wait is over. God starts responding to their accumulated prayers. And by the angel’s response, it can be inferred that the prayers addressed in Revelation 8:4 are on the same topic as Revelation 6:10. These are imprecatory prayers, specifically concerning saints calling for vengeance on their enemies who oppressed and murdered them. Revelation 8:5 says, “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the Earth: and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” As far as the 144,000 are concerned, it does not matter how great the tribulation on Earth escalates because they are sealed for protection until the end. God will soon rapture away all Christians from Earth for the last time, and then the greatest tribulation will take place.

So the angel hurls down the prayers of the saints, along with fire, and upon impact, it created peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Those forces of nature often accompanies God’s judgment throughout the bible. An almost identical example is found in Revelation 16:18, which reads, “Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on Earth, so tremendous was the quake.” For similar verses, please refer to Revelation 4:5, 10:3, 11:13,19, and Exodus 20:18-20. God has already set a Day of Judgment for the wicked. God wants us to turn our vengeance over to Him. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” As long as we don’t avenge ourselves, we are turning the vengeance over to God for Him to execute. He will avenge because He is just and not only hates sin, but really hates when His own are being sinned against. Paul goes on to say in Romans 12:20, “On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’” Paul quotes Proverbs 25:21-22 to say that if we completely step out of God’s way, then He will avenge to a much greater degree than we ever could if we simply cussed back, or tried to fight our enemies ourselves. What does cussing at our enemy accomplish? The moment we cuss back at our enemy, God will not take vengeance on them because we just did. Striking our enemy never accomplishes anything either. The person who strikes is often struck back. But by doing good to our enemy, we ensure that God will take vengeance on them. God will only respond to your enemies on your behalf when you properly turn over their sin to Him. Moreover, when we don’t turn over vengeance to God and act on our own, then we sin and God will then let them off the hook and judge us.

We come to our first trumpet sound in Revelation 8:6, which reads, “Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.” In the Old Testament, trumpets prepared the people for war and judgment. Note Zephaniah 1:16, but I’ll start quoting from verse 14: “The great day of the LORD is near—near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the Day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.” Verse 16 mentions that this will be a day of “trumpet and battle cry.” It is amazing to me how much of the Tribulation is recorded throughout the bible and often just glossed over by most readers. Zephaniah is speaking of the tribulation and he calls it “the great day of the LORD.” In the last verse of this chapter in Zephaniah, it says, “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD’s wrath. In the fire of His jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for He will make a sudden end of all who live in the Earth.” This is definitely an eschatological passage, referring to the same time period we are studying in Revelation. Recall that it was the trumpet sound, not swords, that collapsed the walls of Jericho.

We read in Revelation 8:7, “The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the Earth. A third of the Earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” This angel hurls down to Earth two of Egypt’s 10 plagues at once. Perhaps the blood got mixed in once the hail and fire hit the Earth, indicating that the hail and fire causes many deaths, but taken as written, the hail, fire, and blood, all come down from heaven—blood from the sky. That is a strange mix. Firstly, it is strange to have blood rain from the sky, of course. And it is also strange to have hail and fire come down at the same time. It would seem that fire would cancel the hail, being that hail is made of ice—but, as we all know, God can do all things, even make hail, fire, and blood rain down from the sky. It does not just hit the Earth, but it burns up a third of the Earth. It says that a third of the trees (that includes fruits) and a third of green grass (that includes vegetation) get burned up. Food acquired from land will suddenly be scarce after this event.

Verses 8-9 say, “The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Sounds like some kind of blood asteroid from God. Not only does it destroy a third of the sea life, but it is some kind of physical, destructive event that destroys a third of the ships on Earth. This too is reminiscent of one of the plagues of Egypt. God will again turn the sea into blood, making it undrinkable. But that’s okay, right?—since most sea water is undrinkable anyway, since it is mostly salt water. This trumpet judgment destroys a huge supply of sea food. Jesus adds some details to this sea event. He says in Luke 21:25, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the Earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” I wish I could tell you what Jesus means by the “roaring and tossing of the sea,” but, Jesus said that we will be perplexed by the anomaly when the time comes. Scientists will not be able to figure out what is going on with the sea. Jesus also said that it will be an anguishing event.

Verses 10-11 say, “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky, on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” Well, there goes the drinking water. The previous trumpet destroyed a third of the sea, but that didn’t affect the drinking water because that is mostly salt water. Here, this trumpet does affect the drinking water, again, with a strange asteroid. A google search says that the Great Lakes contains 21 percent of the world’s fresh water supply. The Great Lakes of America could be spared all together in the fulfilling of this passage. There is not that much fresh water (drinking water) in the world. Another google search, rather Bing, says that only 2.5 percent of all water is fresh water, and it adds: only 1 percent is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. Amazingly, this asteroid is named. Note, this is God’s name for this asteroid, not man’s. Also, note that it was named for its intended purpose. When God first created this asteroid eons ago, He named it Wormwood. Wormwood means “bitterness”. He named it beforehand for its intended purpose. Throughout the bible, God often either names a person, or changes the name of a person that their parents gave them. God naming the person (or renaming) serves two purposes: 1. Naming was a sign of ownership. 2. The one named is under the authority of the one who named them; and often, the name itself indicates the will of the one who named them. This Wormwood asteroid will poison a third of the drinking water.

Between the last 3 angel trumpet sound judgments, the food supply and drinking water of the Earth has been drastically reduced. What happens when a commodity becomes scarce? The price goes way up! Also, the rich folk try to hoard it. The Anti-Christ will soon have a monopoly and hold over the goods of the Earth. He will have an exclusive credit card company, where the only currency available is his 666 implant scanning chip. Many who refuse the mark of the beast will starve. Food will not be so readily available during this time.

Revelation 8:12 says, “The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, 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 turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” This is chapter 8. Recall in Revelation 6:12-13, it says, “The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to Earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.” At that point, the entire sun was turned black, and the moon blood red. So evidently, that occurrence in Revelation 6:12-13 was not an ongoing affect, because when we get to chapter 8, a third of the sun is turned dark, along with a third of the moon and stars. So at some point in between, the sun became normal again. This event in Revelation 8 affects the day and night cycle. Instead of the normal 12 hour of daylight from the sun (for most around the world—except the poles) there are only 8 hours. And instead of the normal 12 hours of moonlight, there are only 8 hours. At this time, there will be 4 extra hours of darkness during the day, and 4 extra hours of no light from the moon at night. I have no idea what type of event would cause this. I can just point out that our daytime and night time cycle of sunlight and moonlight are not dependent on the sun or moon, but rather on the rotation of the Earth in relation to the sun and moon. But this verse does not say that the Earth was struck, and therefore, the daytime and nighttime light cycles were altered; rather, it says that the sun, moon and stars were struck.

The event here is almost the opposite of what happened in Joshua 10:12-14, where the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down for about a full day. And also, recall that in Isaiah, God granted Hezekiah’s request to make the sunlight travel in reverse direction. There is one more event that is similar to what we are studying, but not the same event. In fact, this event that I am going to mention is yet in the future of what we are studying in Revelation 8. It will occur during the end of the Tribulation when Jesus returns and steps foot on the Earth, specifically, during the War of Armageddon. Zechariah 14 speaks of that day, and in verse 6, it says, “On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.” We will revisit this verse when we come to the Armageddon battle, but this is a strange day indeed. It will be a confusing day, where no one can tell what the sun and moon are doing. It will be a dark day—one without sunlight and without moonlight.

Finally, Revelation 8:13 says, “As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: ‘Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” According to this eagle, the worst is yet to come. This eagle offers 3 woes. We didn’t get there yet, but Revelation 9:12 says, “The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.” I don’t believe that this eagle is a metaphor, but rather, a real talking eagle. It is not beyond God to make an animal talk. The serpent in the garden talked, though, granted, it was Satan that inhabited it. God opened the mouth of a donkey in Numbers chapter 22, and it had a full conversation with Balaam. We also saw every creature on Earth sing glory and doxology to God in Revelation 5:13. So it is not beyond God at all to make an eagle speak a woe to the inhabitants of the Earth. Eagles are considered the greatest bird, even in the bible. They have an overhead view of what we don’t see. God gave this bird a prophesy and warning, and opened its mouth to say to the people on Earth, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

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Revelation Chapter 8 (Part 48 ) (Verses 1 - 13)
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