Revelation : Chapter 8
Before you begin reading my breakdown of Revelation 8, please read the chapter in its entirety first. Here is a great website to use : BlueLetterBible
If you haven’t read my other posts on the book of Revelation you can head them here:
Revelation – Introduction
Revelation – Chapter 1
Revelation – Chapter 2
Revelation – Chapter 3
Revelation – Chapter 4
Revelation – Chapter 5
Revelation – Chapter 6
Revelation – Chapter 7
(More to Come!)
In this chapter we will be discussing the first 4 trumpet judgments. Some may wonder what the purpose of God’s judgment is. To gain some insight, lets take a look back at Acts chapter 3..
[Acts 3:20-21 KJV] “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began”.
Here we see the main point is “restitution”. In layman’s terms this means that the judgements are God’s payback time. This is God showing the world what he thinks of sin as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah.
Another interesting thing to point out about this verse is that it says that God prophesied about this through all of his prophets, Old Testament and New Testament. This is why we see such a cyclical nature when it comes to Bible prophecy. Let’s see what the Bible tells us here in chapter 8..
Chronology of the Chapters of Revelation
Chart Made by Pastor Stephen Anderson / FaithfulWordBaptistChurch
The chapter text will be red to make it easily distinguishable.
Revelation Chapter 8 (KJV)
“(1) And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (2) And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.”
Finally, the seventh seal has been opened. The First thing I would like to point out is that in the chronology we are given in Revelation it is clear that the 7 trumpets come after the 7 seals. It would also be correct to say that the 7 trumpets are unleashed by the 7th and final seal, because it is characterized by the angels being given the trumpets.
The very last verse of chapter 6 said, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17). This was proclaimed after the 6th seal (rapture) occurs because with the opening of the 7th seal Gods wrath is going to be poured. During chapter 7 no seals were opened, which meant John was still giving the events that were occurring during the 6th seal.
According to the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and Revelation 6, the rapture is characterized by the sun and moon being darkened. This is also characteristic of passages that refer to the “day of the Lord”. Matthew 24:29 says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light..”. So, if the rapture occurs “Immediately after the tribulation” (during the 6th seal – Revelation 6:12-13) and then after this in the end of Revelation 6 it says, “For the great day of his wrath is come” (verse 17), we know that everything before the 6th seal is tribulation (the 6th seal itself being the rapture) and everything after the 7th seal is God’s wrath. The Bible itself teaches a Post Tribulation – Pre Wrath rapture.
“(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. (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. (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. (6) And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”
Notice here in verses 3-6 that before the first trumpet sounds an angel is casting the “prayers of the saints” and fire into the earth, which is accompanied by “thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake”. This brings me back to a Revelation 5:8 which says, “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints“. Not only are our prayers pleasing to God (Proverbs 15:8), but it is quite interesting to think they are being stored up for this very occasion.
Doing a study of the term “saints” in the New Testament shows that it is defined as being saved by the blood of Christ. This term has been misconstrued over the years and used to teach and practice false doctrine such as the Catholic doctrine of praying to the “saints”, or asking them to intercede on our behalf. 1 Timothy 2:5 says,”For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
“(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.”
Finally the first of the 7 trumpets has sounded and the first judgement follows: “hail and fire mingled with blood” burning up a third of the trees and all of the green grass. The phrasing here does not imply that only a portion of the earth will receive this judgement, but that the entirety of it will. This trumpet reminds us of God’s judgement upon Sodom and Gomorrah..
[Gen 19:24-25 KJV] “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”
“(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; (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.”
The second trumpet sounds and a “mountain burning with fire” is cast into the sea. A third of the sea “became blood”, a third of the sea creatures died and a third of the ships are destroyed. The sea becoming as blood reminds us of Moses in Egypt..
[Exo 7:20-21 KJV] “And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that [were] in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that [were] in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that [was] in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.”
“(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; (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.”
The third trumpet judgement is quite interesting. It is characterized by a “great star” called “Wormwood” falling from heaven, making a third of the waters “bitter”, causing many people to die. The name given to this star fits well as the wormwood plant is unpalatably bitter and poisonous.
I have heard many theories of this being a nuclear event of some kind. I want to point out, however, that scripture characterizes these judgements as God’s wrath upon the earth, not as man inflicting judgement upon themselves. Also, I don’t like to speculate too much when it comes to scripture; I like to let the Word speak for itself. Thus, I tend to shy away from assuming that this would be a man made nuclear catastrophe as some have hypothesized. I prefer to rest on the knowledge that the wormwood plant, as the representation and name of this star, is poisonous. This is why many people die from the waters.
The nuclear theories stem from the Russian (or Ukrainian) word “Chernobyl” which translates as “wormwood”. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred in 1986 and the explosion sent radiated particles into the atmosphere radiating much of western Europe. Some have claimed that this event was the third trumpet judgement, however, this does not fit the chronology of events of Revelation. You would be hard pressed to convince anyone that the tribulation, rapture and first two trumpet judgements occurred before 1986.
“(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. (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!”
The fourth trumpet sounds and a third of the sun, moon and stars are smitten, causing day and night, as it has been since the beginning, to be thrown out of balance. This isn’t a single 8 hour period (24 hours divided by 3) because it says “the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise“. A third part of the day or night (roughly 12 hour periods) would be 4 hours.
In verse 13 we see an angel flying through heaven saying “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”. This is an ominous warning considering what has already happened. The final three trumpet judgments are usually referred to as the “three woes” as we will see in the next 3 chapters..
[Revelation 9:12 KJV] “One woe is past; [and], behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”
[Revelation 11:14 KJV] “The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”
Those who don’t teach that the last three trumpets are the “three woes” do not follow the same chronology that I believe Revelation clearly lays out for us.
This concludes my breakdown of Chapter 8. In Chapter 9 we will be reading about the 5th and 6th trumpet Judgements.
As always thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Your brother in Christ Jesus
Here is one more chart for further study. It is a more in depth layout of the chronology of events of the end times and shows how the timing of the prophecies given in the books of Daniel, Matthew, Mark, Luke and Revelation all line up. I don’t typically like charts because they tend to get very confusing and are often filled with error, however, I have been studying this one for a few years now and have found it to be Biblically sound. The chart itself is too large to post on here but you can view and save it by clicking the link below.
–> Daniels 70th Week Chart <–
Chart Made by Pastor Stephen Anderson / FaithfulWordBaptistChurch