Revelation 8   

Revelation 8 Part 2 

Revelation 9 

 Revelation 8: 


            This chapter reveals the seventh seal (completes that section of the Revelation) and in doing so, introduces the second section of Revelation with the first four of seven trumpets. The student will note the continuation of SEVEN in each series. Seven is a number of “completeness,” and three is a number indicating “divinity,” it is interesting to note Revelation is comprised of three (divine) sets of seven (complete). Thus, we see the Lord’s desire to show in every conceivable fashion the validity of this apocalyptic volume.          


            We saw in chapter seven an “interlude” between the sixth and seventh seals. We noted within this interlude the scene of those who washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb and serve Him day and night in His temple. We explained these are LIVING members of the Lord’s church, continuing onward in their faithful service to the Master. They accept of Him the supply of their every need. Now, we see the revealing of yet another “section” of this Revelation as the seventh seal is broken to reveal the first of seven TRUMPETS.


  1. Also remember the cry of the martyrs in chapter six, verses 9 – 11. The Lord told them they would need to wait a little while. God is not unrighteous to forget our labors of love (faithful service to Him – Heb. 6:10 – 12). However, everything, including His vengeance on them that know Him not, or obey Him not (2 Thess. 1: 7 – 9) comes in HIS time and not ours! (Eccl. 3:11; 2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, the space of “silence in heaven for about a half an hour” is simply a time of patience on the part of those who faithfully wait on the Lord (Ps. 27:14; 37:34; Prov. 22:22).
  2. When this time passes, seven angels stand for God with seven trumpets.
  • – 5. Another angel (additional to these seven) held a golden censer in which additional incense was placed for adding to the prayers of all the saints. The only communication between God and Man is PRAYER. That Jesus is our Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) and advocate (1 John 2: 1- 3) assures the faithful of their communication being heard by the Father. We can ask of Him what we will and our duty to accept His will in that supply! Note here, (vs. 4) God’s attention to the prayers in that ADDITIONAL INCENSE (the sweet smell of prayers – see the reason for incense within the holy place of the tabernacle and the temple) is given WITH THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS. See also the statement “I know” within chapters 2 – 3 and Hebrews 4:13). See also Revelation 5:8 as proof of the INCENSE being the PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS!

The angel took the censer, having filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth. This caused voices, thunderings, lightenings, and an earthquake. We saw in previous passages that “earthquake” symbolizes a change in governments, whether political or religious. The voices, thunderings, and lightenings symbolize the cause of the change in government as the voices, thunderings, and lightenings all express the power and majesty of God to avenge His people. Remember “Vengeance is mine, I will repay sayeth the Lord.” (Rom. 12:19).


  1. – 7. Now we see the preparation of these seven angels about to sound their trumpets. In the Old Testament, trumpets warned of oppression (Read Ezek. 33 – whole chapter!) The first angel sounded resulting in hail, fire mingled with blood and a third of the earth was burned up as was a third of the trees and all the green grass was consumed. In this sounding, God’s wrath affects the production of crops, and comfort (shade trees – Jonah 4: 4- 11) thus ill affecting the peace of mind for mankind. Peace that matters comes from serving God, not ourselves (Phil. 4:4 – 13) and so this trumpet sound shows the removal of temporal comforts to bring souls to a recognition of need for God and His provisions. See Haggai 1:5 – 7 for an explanation of these temporal comforts and their effectiveness in turning man’s soul to God.


  1. – 9. The second angel sounds his trumpet. Here, something like a great mountain was thrown into the sea, resulting in a third of life dying and a third of the ships being destroyed. Since the prophets of Old used the term “mountain” for “strong powers” (including but not limited to Mount Zion for good and “destroying mountain” referring to Babylon – Jer. 51:55) we know this “something like a great mountain” is an unidentified power that God destroyed! The casting of this great power into the sea shows both earth and sea suffer the loss, and the third part of the sea creatures “which had life” died (thus the emphasis is on the word LIFE) and a third part of the ships (commerce) are destroyed – showing God’s control to which man had not heretofore heeded. It is another attempt of God to have all men come to repentance, and simultaneously avenge the blood of those who died in His cause!


  1. – 11. The third angel sounds his trumpet. Here a great star from heaven falls. We showed in chapter 6:12 – 17, the symbolic language of stars, moon, sun, and heaven. Be reminded stars can symbolize the “lesser light” of truth, thus Christians. “Heaven” in the book of Revelation always refers to the church of Christ. Thus, this symbol is very sad but very real. Just as Paul predicted of the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20: 29 – 30), this “star” falls from the grace of God (Gal. 5:4). The name of this “star” is Wormwood, which means, “bitterness, calamity.” (See Strong) Thus, as did Alexander and Hymenaeus (1 Tim. 1:18 – 20) the bitter departure from the faith leads to the destruction of other souls who “drink of their waters” and absorb their false teachings rather than “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21) See also 2 Tim. 4: 1- 8; 2 Thess. 2; 2 Pet. 2; et al).


  1. – 13. The fourth angel sounds his trumpet. Now, a third of the sun (true light - Christ), a third of the moon (reflected light – the church), and a third of the stars (individual light, but lesser than Sun or moon – thus Christians) were smitten so that both day and night are ill-affected. While one-third of the potential light does not shine, note TWO-THIRDS OF THE LIGHT DOES SHINE. This symbol simply teaches souls were not as energetic regarding obedience to the truth as they needed to be. They grew apathetic regarding service to God. Since God and His Word is the sole source of spiritual light, when it does not shine, the world goes from bad to worse. (2 Tim. 3:13). The souls of men and women destroy themselves by their lack of interest and knowledge of the truth (Hosea 4:6).


                        Then John looks and hears an eagle flying in the midst of heaven announcing the following: “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining three angels which are about to sound.” That God’s means of bringing the souls of mankind to repentance are often severe should not surprise us. He is NOT willing that any should perish, and therefore uses all of His creation and His power to influence man’s obedience. Yet NEVER DOES GOD FORCE THE SOUL TO OBEY!!! Man is left of his “free will” to choose obedience or self-destruction of the soul. We can see through these first four trumpets God’s influence of WARNING souls to flee from the wrath to come … and yet we see the destruction as well of those who do not repent! (See Hosea 8:1)




Intro:               The first four trumpets were effected upon the world as a whole. Now, the woe (curses) will be of a more “individual” sort – more “personal” if you will.


  1. – 3. While “stars” are symbolic of Christians, when we see one “fall from heaven” it does not always indicate a “lost soul.” In this case, the “star” is obeying a mission commanded by God. Given the key (ability to open) to the bottomless pit (a cistern unable to hold water, thus cannot retain its useful purpose), opens the pit, from which comes smoke that darkens the sun (true light) and the air. Compare this to 2 Thessalonians 2 and God’s “send strong delusion that they might believe a lie.” Then locusts (destructive creatures) exit the pit with power as given to scorpions to hurt and poison. (See also Prov. 4:19) The locusts are the consequences of sin – the darkness being sin itself overshadowing the truth and the ability of man to understand the truth.


  1. – 6. The locust was told to not hurt the grass (young) of the earth, nor any green (growing) thing, nor any tree (strong), but only the men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. Return to chapter 7:3. Neither could these locusts kill but could torment for a period of time. The torment would be severe. See Prov. 1: 29 – 31.


  1. – 12. The symbolism here is great. Locust appearing as horses prepared for battle; their heads wearing crowns; their faces like men; their hair like women; their teeth like lions; their breastplates like iron; the sound of their wings like the sound of chariots; in their tails the stings like scorpions; and the power to inflict hurt upon man for a period of time. They had a king: the angel (messenger) of the abyss (bottomless pit) whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon – both names meaning DESTROYER. As to “who” this might be is immaterial to the text and understanding of Revelation. It is totally symbolic and simply means a great leader intent on the destruction of souls leads an army of rebellious, vicious, hypocritical, and shameful (faces of men, with hair as women --- 1 Cor. 11:14-15), strong folk intent on doing as their king demanded! It is proof of the decay of moral fiber in mankind, and the departure from God’s word that remains able to save their souls. Remember, they can NOT harm those in whom the SEAL OF GOD is found!

                        This is the first woe (curse), yet two more follow!


  1. – 21. This is the sixth angel sounding his trumpet. As with the sixth seal, the student must NOT suggest this is the “end of time.” First, there are SEVEN parts to this section of Revelation, just as there were seven seals. Second, we will again note an “interlude” between the sixth and seventh trumpets (see chapters 10 – 11.).


                        As this sixth angel sounds, John heard the four horns (the totality of God’s Authority) come from the golden altar before God. This Authority said, “Release the four angels (winds) that are bound at the great river Euphrates.” Remember the “four angels” at 7:1. In God’s timing, it is now meet to kill those who refuse obedience to Him. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). We cannot question God’s judgment – we can only be ready to serve Him or suffer the consequences of our actions! These angels had been ready for this time (note the wording, “which WERE prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year.”) This is SPECIFIC and agrees with “A judgment” of the Lord, just as we read in the Minor Prophets, “A Day of the Lord.” That God’s judgments come upon mankind in various ways at various times should not surprise us. Still, it is NOT THE day of judgment (Acts 17:31).


                        Though John heard the specific number (200 million) it is, nonetheless, symbolic of a huge number that cannot meet with defeat! It is mentioned that he heard the number, so we understand the definite fashion of this army. His attention is drawn to the horses and their riders. The riders had breastplates of fire, jacinth, and brimstone. The heads of the horses were like lions and out of their mouths came fire and brimstone. In these three elements (fire, smoke, and brimstone) a third of mankind died. (Remember how God destroyed the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.) The tails of the horses also had power – like serpents with heads (which would indicate their ability to bite with death in their bites.) This all symbolizes a great conflict as in war. The heated argumentation that leads to fierce embattlement, resulting in continued hunger and hurt is the natural consequence of war. Yet, this is SPIRITUAL and not temporal. God wages “war” on sin (Ephesians 6:10 – 17) expecting His servants to fight with His directive! Souls will be destroyed (Jesus said, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.”) Remember as well, that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. However, there can be no peace until there is first a separation of wickedness and peace: thus, a war between good and evil. This woe is a severe one in that one-third of mankind perishes … yet two-thirds survive and ALL that have the seal of God in their foreheads!


                        Nonetheless, the rest of mankind that did NOT die as a result of this war still refused to repent of their evil: the worship of demons, the retention of idols; the continuation of murders, sorceries, immoralities, and thefts. It is a sad commentary on man! God’s mercy continues to afford them an opportunity of repentance, and yet they refuse.


                        Note also we are NOT to the end of the trumpets. An “interlude” comes in chapter 10 and continues into chapter 11 before the seventh trumpet sounds and seven “last plagues” are poured out to convince mankind of their need to repent and obey God.