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Book of Revelation
The Seventh Seal
and the Golden Censor . . . Revelation 8:1-5
Rev. 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh
seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
(KJV) When Jesus (the Lamb) had broken the seventh seal, there
was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour.
Chapter 7 was a parenthetical chapter, giving us additional information
and showing us the never ending grace of God. We saw the “sealing”
of the 144,000 Israelites, and we saw the great multitude, also
having the seal of God upon their foreheads. This chapter returns
to the opening of the remaining seal. The opening of the 7th seal
introduces the seven Trumpet judgments. The Book of Revelation
is a series of sevens. John gives us the first 6 of the particular
‘series’ and then gives us parenthetical material
to help us better understand. He then returns to the 7th of that
series. All the series (judgments) are related and tied together.
When the 7th seal is opened, the seven Trumpet Judgments are
revealed. Likewise, the 7th Trumpet will open the seven Bowl Judgments
in Rev.11:15 and 16:1-21. The Trumpet Judgments, like the Seal
Judgments, are only a portion of God’s righteous wrath.
God’s final and complete judgments are yet to come.
When the 7th seal is opened, there was profound silence in Heaven
for about half an hour. Let us remember who is opening these seals.
It is Jesus, the Lamb of God (Rev.5:2-13). The silence is awesome!
It is a very solemn scene. This deafening silence is just a lull
before the storm! Before this silence, there was the tumultuous
noise of all the many heavenly angels’ praise, the elders’
songs and the living creatures’ words. Now, it all ceases!
WHY the silence?? When God moves from mercy to judgment, He will
not hurry things. He gives people every opportunity to repent
and turn to Him through His Son. God’s judgment is strange
indeed! Isaiah 28:21 For the Lord shall rise
up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of
Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to
pass his act, his strange act. (KJV)
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in
the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn
yourselves, and live ye. (KJV) God does NOT want to give
the verdict of “Eternity in Hell” to anyone! The silence
is God’s waiting for people to change their minds about
their lives. The silence marks the time period that will now change,
from God’s glorious grace to God’s righteous judgment.
Oh! what a horrendous time this Great Tribulation period shall be.
Rev. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which
stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
(KJV) John now sees seven angels who stand before God, and they
were given seven trumpets.
Trumpets have special meaning to Israel. Moses fashioned two
silver trumpets that were used to sound assembly and to start
the people moving from camp to camp (Num.10:2) when the nation
wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Then when Israel entered
the land, trumpets were used in the siege of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27),
to sound an alarm when the enemy appeared (Eze.33:3), when offering
sacrifices to God (Num.10:9-10), etc., etc.
These seven angels in this verse are a particular group, to do
a particular job. Each angel is given a trumpet, that they each,
in turn, will sound to open a particular judgment. The Trumpet
Judgments are divided into two groups by John. The first four
are in a group by themselves, the last 3 are called the “three
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 saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (KJV) Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood
at the altar. Much incense was given to him to offer with the
prayers of God's people, to be offered on the gold altar before
A censor filled with live coals was used in Temple worship. Incense
was poured over the hot coals, which produced a sweet-smelling
smoke. This smoke, as it drifted upwards, symbolized believers’
prayers ascending to God (Ex.30:7-9). No prayers, offered in the
Name of our precious Saviour and Intercessor, Jesus the Christ,
will ever be denied hearing and acceptance by God the Father.
And we must consider, that these prayers, when accepted in Heaven,
produce great changes upon Earth.
Some commentators say that the “angel” in this verse
is Jesus Christ. I disagree. This angel is not one of the seven
angels with the trumpets, nor is it Christ. True, our Lord Jesus
did appear as the “Angel of the Lord” in
the Old Testament, but if this were Jesus in this verse, John
would tell us as he did in Rev.5:2,13; 6:1. This is yet “another
angel” of the many angels of God.
Rev. 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which
came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out
of the angel's hand. (KJV) The smoke of the incense, mixed
with the prayers of the saints, rose up to God from the altar
where the angel had poured them out.
If you are a child of God (John 1:12-13; 3:3; 1 John 5:10-12),
your prayers will most certainly be answered . . . because of
Christ Jesus. God will hear and answer. But, remember, God answers
prayers in 3 ways: 1-yes, 2-no and 3-wait a while. His answer
is not always yes, or immediate.
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 thunderings, and lightnings, and an
earthquake. (KJV) The angel filled the incense burner with
fire from the altar and threw it down upon the Earth; and thunder
crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a massive earthquake.
Christian worship should be pure in its nature and origin; yet
it conflicts with the passions and worldly projects of sinful
people. Unbelievers on Earth, reject the work, sacrifice and death
of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Any and all who do
so, shall bear the penalty for their every sin (the wrath of God and Hell). . . . http://www.hisservants.org/god%27s_holy_wrath_h_s.htm . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_real.htm
Voices may indicate that all is under the direction of Almighty
God. Thunder symbolizes the approach of a coming storm. Here it
is the coming judgment of God! Lightning follows thunder. We see
the lightning before we hear the thunder. The two go hand in hand
here to announce this horrible approaching storm of judgments.
Earthquake will be the Earth’s response to the traumatic
pressure upon it, which is to come. This shall be a most horrendous
The First Four Trumpets
- Revelation 8:6-13
Rev. 8:6 And the seven angels which had
the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (KJV) The
seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow their trumpets.
This is a very somber moment. The silence (Rev.8:1) is over.
I am perfectly sure that God hates to give orders to the angels
to sound their trumpets! The devastation will be unlike anything
ever before experienced. Please keep in mind that the
plagues to follow are real; they are literal, actual! God means
what He says! People today are drifting further and further
away from God; they do not think He will do the things in this
awesome Book. If Jesus were to come today at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18)
to take the church home to Heaven, these people would soon find
out just how sincere God really is, because they would go through
this horrendous Great Tribulation.
These plagues will be similar to the plagues in the Book of Exodus. . . . http://www.hisservants.org/tribulation_what_h_s.htm . . . http://www.hisservants.org/tribulation_why_h_s.htm
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 trees was burnt up, and
all green grass was burnt up. (KJV) The first angel blew
his trumpet. Hail and fire mixed with blood were thrown down upon
the Earth, and one-third of the earth was set on fire. One-third
of the trees were burned, and all the grass was burned.
This is a direct judgment from Almighty God! When the first
angel sounds his trumpet, every form of grass and trees will be
affected. Consider: if 1/3 of ALL grass and trees were destroyed
worldwide, what would it be like? Have you ever been in a bad
HAIL storm? Or even seen the devastation of one from the inside?
FIRE is a great enemy to us all. God will use fire to burn up
1/3 of ALL plant life. This is a literal plague,
as was the 7th plague in Egypt (Ex.9:18-26). The plague in Egypt
was 100%; this one will be 33 1/3%. Not a fourth, not a half .
. . but a third of ALL plant life destroyed worldwide. Since only
one-third is destroyed, there shall be more to come! God’s
wrath is yet to be unleashed.
Rev. 8:8-9 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;  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. (KJV)
Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of
fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the water in the sea
became blood, and one-third of all living things in the sea died.
One-third of all the ships on the sea were destroyed.
The seas occupy most of the Earth’s surface. The second
angel sounded, and it was as if a great mountain burning with
fire was cast into the sea; causing a third part of the sea became
as blood. I do not think this is a literal mountain, but I do
think it is a literal (real) mass of some sort. Only God Himself
knows what this is, but it turns 1/3 of ALL seas (oceans) into
blood! In thus so doing, it kills 1/3 of all living creatures
in those waters. One third of all the ships on those waters shall
also be destroyed. This plague is similar to the first plague
in Egypt (Ex.7:14-21).
Rev. 8:10-11 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;  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. (KJV) When the third angel blew his trumpet, a great flaming star
fell out of the sky, burning like a torch. It fell on the rivers
and springs of water, poisoning one-third of the waters. The name
of the star was Bitterness. It made one-third of the water bitter,
and many people died because this.
The third angel sounds his trumpet. A great, flaming star fell
from Heaven. This star has a name: “Wormwood.”
Wormwood is a plant with a very bitter taste, symbolizing the
bitterness of God’s judgment. Wormwood is symbolically used
in the Old Testament as: (1) Idolatry of Israel (Deut.29:18).
(2) Calamity and sorrow (Jer.9:15; 23:15; Lam.3:15,19). (3) False
judgment (Amos 5:7). When this star fell on fresh, usable waters,
one third of all those waters became extremely bitter from the
poisons discharged from the star. Many people died. We must have
water to live physically. We must also have Water (Christ Jesus,
John 4:14) to live spiritually.
Here in Revelation, the waters were sweet, then made bitter.
The Israelites had just the opposite situation. In the wilderness
they had no water. At Marah they had water, but it was bitter
and they could not drink it. Moses cried out to the Lord and God
graciously provided for them. God directed Moses to cast a certain
tree into the water (Ex.15:23-25), and when he did, immediately
the water was made sweet. Some say this tree is typical of the
Cross of Christ, which will sweeten the bitter waters of affliction
to all the faithful, and gives them joy in their tribulation.
Do not be tempted to worry, distrust and murmur. In every trial,
be it large or small, we should cast our care upon the Lord, and
pour out our hearts to Him. We should pray for a submissive will,
a peaceful conscience and comforts of the Holy Spirit. This makes
the most bitter trial tolerable, perhaps even pleasant.
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 the day shone not for a third part
of it, and the night likewise. (KJV) The fourth angel blew
his trumpet. One-third of the sun was affected, and one-third
of the moon, and one-third of the stars, and they became dark.
One-third of the day was dark and one-third of the night also.
The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and darkness fell upon
the great lights of the heavens; the sun, moon and stars. We depend
on plant life to exist. We depend on water to exist. We depend
on the sun, moon and stars to give us light. One third of all
plant life and water has been affected! Now, God darkens one third
of the sun, moon and stars. Jesus spoke about this. Matthew
24:29 Immediately after
the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the
moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven,
and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
(KJV) Nature has been radically changed by these first four Trumpet
Judgments. And we need to remember, that God has only applied partial judgment so far! There is more to come.
Where the Gospel comes to people, and it does not have the proper
effects on their hearts and lives, it most certainly shall be
followed by dreadful judgments. God sounds the alarm by His written
Word, by pastors and teachers, by believers’ testimony,
by men’s own consciences, and by the signs of the times.
If people are too stiff necked to accept it, woe be unto them!
It is their own fault! The burden of certain judgment lies with
them. The wrath of God (because of unbelief,
John 16:9), makes comforts bitter, happiness turns to sorrow,
and life becomes very burdensome. God is sovereign! He can do
as He wishes! He can do His good pleasure! God loves you. If you
are not His child, He wants you to be! Turn to His Son this very
day! Condemnation will be gone (John 3:18).
Rev. 8:13 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! (KJV) Then John looked up, and heard an angel/eagle
crying loudly as it flew through the air, "Woe, woe, woe
to all who live in this world because of what will happen when
the last three angels blow their trumpets."
Some versions say “angel” and some say “eagle.”
The picture here is of a strong, powerful, flying creature flying
over all the Earth, warning of the terrors that are yet to come.
Again, we see God’s marvelous grace! Again, He sends a messenger
and warns of coming judgments; the 3 “woe judgments.”
Both believers and unbelievers will experience the terrors described
in Rev.8:7-12. The inhabitants of the Earth are the unbelievers
who shall meet spiritual harm through the next three Trumpet (woe)
judgments. God has guaranteed believers protection from spiritual
In Rev.6:10, the martyrs cry out to God, “How long
. . . until you judge the inhabitants of the Earth and avenge
our blood?” As we see the world getting more and more
wicked by the day, we too may cry our to God “How long?”
In the following chapters, judgment finally comes. We may be distressed
and impatient, but God has His perfect plan and perfect timing.
We must learn to trust Him, for He knows best! Judgment
is coming! Be assured of that! If you are an unbeliever,
thank and praise God for the time He has given you to turn from
your sin, and turn to Jesus now (2 Cor.6:2). If you are a believer,
use the valuable time you have left striving to help others to
turn to Him. GOD IS GOOD! Do you give Him His rightful place in your heart and life?
Book of Revelation
Ch.1. . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5. . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.`17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Special Comments