Revelation 8


I.    In this chapter, the entire tone of the book of Revelation changes. 

A.     Heretofore, Revelation has related events surrounding believers and their work; the good and the bad. 

1.       The scene in Revelation chapter 1 concerned Jesus Christ, who gave this blessed book to his churches. 

2.       Revelation chapter 2 and 3 concern the seven churches of Asia and how Christ watches over them, blesses them, and continually monitors their eternal progress. 

3.       Chapters 4-7 gives a heavenly vision of worship, except for Revelation 7:1-8 which relates the salvation of 144,000 Jews, the firstfruits of the eternal restoration of the nation of Israel. 

B.     All these chapters are filled with glory, honor and worship to our Almighty God. 

1.       These chapters are filled with hope, enjoyment and a certain “looking forward” to being in the presence of Christ for all eternity. 

2.       The scenes surrounding the throne of God is more than our minds can comprehend, being so excellent, so filled with the fulfillment of desire to be with Christ, and to see him face to face. 


II.    Chapter 8 begins a horrible and terrible time on this earth, as the very beginning of the wrath of God is poured out on this earth. 

A.     Chapter 8 and 9 is a “wake-up call” to this earth as the trumpets of God are sounded, one after another. 

B.     There is misery on this earth as these sad events consistently unfold themselves, but the misery presented in these two chapters is nothing when compared to the misery when the vials of God’s justified wrath is poured out on the inhabitants of this wicked earth. 


III.    In chapters 8 and 9, God removes the “infrastructure” of this earth, taking away any earthly comfort from unbelievers, or anything unbelievers could hold to instead of turning to Christ. 

A.     God removed the infrastructure of Egypt before he finally completely destroyed them by drowning them in the Red Sea, as they continued to pursue the nation of Israel. 

1.       The plagues upon Egypt were against all the gods of Egypt, and removed any hope of the Egyptians in their gods. 

2.       When God finally destroyed Egypt in the Red Sea, there was nothing left of the nation except the people. 

B.     Unbelievers are no different in the end of the world as they were in the days of Moses. 

1.       They still attempt to destroy the people of God. 

2.       History means nothing to unbelievers, as history means nothing to Satan. 

3.       Unbelievers live in the present, learning no lessons from the past, and certainly not looking to the destruction prophesied in the Word of God, and evidenced by history. 

C.     Comparing the seven trumpets and the seven vials.  The seven trumpets occur during the first 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation, while the vials are poured upon the earth during the terrible last 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation


Trumpet #


Vial #



first trumpet

Revelation 8:6

first vial

Revelation 16:2


second trumpet

Revelation 8:8

second vial

Revelation 16:3


third trumpet

Revelation 8:9

third vial

Revelation 16:4

rivers of the world

fourth trumpet

Revelation 8:12

fourth vial

Revelation 16:8

The heavens

fifth trumpet

Revelation 9:1-6

fifth vial

Revelation 16:10


sixth trumpet

Revelation 9:13-15

sixth vial

Revelation 16:12

River Euphrates

Seventh trumpet

Revelation 11:15-19

seventh vial

Revelation 16:17

nations receiving the final wrath of God


Verse 1-2 – 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.  

I.    The seventh seal is opened. 

A.     “He” opens this seventh seal. 

1.       “He” is Jesus Christ, the only one who is worthy to open the seven sealed book, or to bring to pass righteous judgments. 

2.       Revelation 6 reveals that Jesus Christ opens all the seals, thus putting into motion the blessings upon believers and the judgments upon unbelievers. 

B.     The “time frame” is very easily seen. 

1.       Before any of the book of Revelation is revealed to John (and us), the first seal must be opened, then the second seal, and so forth until all the first six seals are opened. 

2.       The opening of the seventh seal allows the progress of the wrath of God to continue in the sounding of the seven trumpets. 

3.       The seven trumpets are not sounded until the seventh seal is opened. 

C.     There are many who do not see the progression of the book of Revelation. 

1.       Many take the sequence of events as given in Daniel 9, then completely rearrange the events of Revelation to suit themselves. 

2.       God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. 

3.       The order of events in the book of Revelation is the order we should be following. 


II.    Silence in heaven for about ½ hour. 

A.     The silence lasts approximately ½ hour, not exactly ½ hour. 

1.       The time here is not meant to be an exact measurement, but to relate the anticipation in heaven, as the long-awaited judgment of God arrives. 

2.       All eyes are fixed on God and Christ as final preparations are made for the coming judgments. 

B.     This silence is in heaven, not on the earth. 

1.       The inhabitants of heaven understand the coming judgments of God and silently await their coming. 

2.       It is no small thing for all the inhabitants of heaven to be silent – there are so many of them, as described in the previous chapters of Revelation. 

3.       All praise and worship of God and Jesus Christ stops (I suppose, every eye is upon Christ) as each individual awaits the next event – the final judgment against this wicked world – prophecies will finally be fulfilled. 

4.       All of heaven awaits the terrible judgment of God in silence, but it is doubtful anybody on the earth stops long enough to realize what is about to happen next. 

a.       Habakkuk 2:20 – But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. 

b.       When God reveals himself, ready to bring his righteous judgment upon this wicked earth, it is a good time for all to be silent. 

C.     There is a time for silence, and a time to speak. 

1.       Ecclesiastes 3:7 - A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 

2.       Amos 5:13  Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. 

a.       Heaven has just been filled with loud, joyful praises to God and Christ because of all the marvelous works of God toward sinful men. 

b.       But now, heaven is completely silent as all eyes are fixed on Christ, waiting for whatever he will do, or instruct to do, next. 

c.       The silence in heaven is as wonderful a worship as the loud, joyful praises were. 

D.     Silence in the Bible is evidence that something is about to happen.  [1]

1.       The context of the following passages relates that before personal victories, God is often silent, apparently waiting on us to call on him for the true victory. 

a.       Psalms 35:22 – David is personally attacked – This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. 

1.)    Verse 1-8 – David prays for the destruction of his enemies. 

2.)    Verse 9-10 – David speaks of his comfort in God. 

3.)    Verse 11-16 – David rehearses the evil that men have done to him. 

4.)    Verse 17-28 – David prays for God to act on his behalf, for the wicked to be judged, and the righteous to know the righteousness of God. 

b.       Psalms 83:1 – The nation of Israel is attacked – (A Song or Psalm of Asaph.) Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 

1.)    David prays for the destruction of the enemies of God, naming the various nations involved. 

2.)    The entire purpose of their destruction is described in verse 18 – that the entire world may know that God is the most high over all the earth.

2.       In the fulfillment of prophecy. 

a.       There was 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments. 

1.)    Heaven was silent, even the prophets receiving no prophecy, for 400 years before John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. 

a.)    The silence of heaven made the appearance of John the Baptist and Christ even more noteworthy. 

b.)    During this 400 year period, there were many self-proclaimed messiahs, but none of them was the true messiah. 

2.)    Matthew 24:5 – Christ explained to his disciples that before the end of the world many self-proclaimed messiahs would appear. 

a.)    Acts 5:36-37 speaks of two self-proclaimed messiahs who lead many Israelites astray. 

1)      Little is known of Theudas, who boasted himself to be somebody spiritually, but he and many of his followers were killed, thus he came to nought. 

2)      It is supposed that Judas of Galilee rebelled against Rome in the paying of taxes, and many followed him in this rebellion, but it was also defeated. 

b.)    Acts 8:9 speaks of Simon, a sorcerer, who claimed to have power over others through the assistance of spirits. 

c.)    There are many Anti-Christ before the final deceiver. 

1)      2 Peter 2:18 – For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 

2)      Jude 1:16 – These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. 

3)      I Thessalonians 2:3-7 – The final deceiver will sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.   

b.       Psalms 50:3 – Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 

1.)    Even though there were many self-proclaimed messiahs, it is important that we look only for the right one – the one that comes from heaven, with a Bible based message, for there are many deceivers, as there have always been many deceivers. 

2.)    Verse 7-15 – God tells Israel he will take nothing from them, because all the world is his. 

3.)    Verse 21 relates that Israel began to think God was like them, but he will set things in order when he speaks of his righteousness and his judgment. 

c.       Isaiah 41:1 – Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment. 

1.)    The context of this chapter indicates that silence is a time when Godly people draw near to God and God judges the wicked. 

2.)    When it comes to judgment, all should be silent and look to the only righteous judge, Jesus Christ. 

3.)    Those that continually clamour for “their cause” and “their rights” reveal their false pride and lack of worship and recognition of Almighty God and his sovereign right of reigning over all. 

d.       Isaiah 65:6 – Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, 

1.)    As God remained silent when Israel continually transgressed against him, so he has remained silent when this entire world continually transgresses against him and his holy, eternal word. 

2.)    As God was not always silent against Israel, but arose in righteous judgment against them, he will soon rise in righteous judgment against the wicked of this world. 

3.       Psalms 31:18  Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. 

a.       The context of this Psalm reveals that David knows God is well able to put to silence those that speak against him and/or God. 

b.       All believers should trust God to put lying lips to silence, and not try to silence those lying lips ourselves. 


III.    The seven angels. 

A.     The only place in the entire Bible that seven angels appear as a group is in the book of Revelation. 

1.       These seven angels seem to appear “out of nowhere”, yet the wording of Revelation 8:2 indicates the angels are continually before the throne of God, ready to do his biding. 

a.       Seven angels are not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible, as far as I can find. 

b.       I Kings 22:21 mentions a spirit, which stood before the Lord, who would persuade Ahab into the battle of his death. 

c.       Esther 1:14 gives the names of seven men which saw the king’s face and which sat the first in the kingdom. 

d.       There could be a relationship between the seven angels that are before the throne of God and pagan kings who mock the throne of God. 

2.       Concerning the operation of the local churches.  

a.       Revelation 1:20 – The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. 

b.       As described in 02-03.doc the angels of these seven churches are messengers from God. 

c.       If, as some believe, the pastor is the angel of the church, the seven angels of Revelation 8 have nothing to do with the churches of Asia. 

d.       If, as some believe, the angels are “guardian angels” of the churches, these seven angels could be the “guardian angels” of the churches, who no longer need to “guard” the churches, because they are not in the world, having been raptured out of the world. 

3.       Revelation 8 – Concerning the seven trumpets. 

a.       There are seven angels, each with a trumpet, as each of the seven angels has one vial to pour upon the earth. 

b.       Only one of the seven angels came to John, giving an explanation of the Great Whore (Revelation 7:1) and the Lamb’s Wife (Revelation 21:9). 

4.       Concerning the seven last plagues. 

a.       Revelation 15:1 – And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 

b.       Revelation 15:6-8 –The seven angels are mentioned three times in these verses – And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. 

c.       Revelation 16:1 – And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. 

5.       Revelation 17:1 – Concerning the description of the Great Whore -  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 

6.       Revelation 21:9 – Concerning the description of the Lamb’s wife – And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 

B.     The seven angels were given seven trumpets. 

1.       The Bible does not record who gave the seven trumpets to the seven angels. 

2.       It seems safe to assume Christ gave the trumpets, as he is the one judging the world. 

C.     Seven trumpets. 

1.       Of all the strivings of men, God gives the victory in the most unexpected ways. 

2.       Seven trumpets appears only one time in the entire Bible: when God gave the victory of Jericho – the first victory in the Promised Land – to the nation of Israel.   

a.       Joshua chapter 6 is the only place in the Bible that speaks of seven trumpets. 

b.       Joshua 6:4, 6, 8, 13, and 16 relate the seven trumpets, and the seven trips around Jericho, then God gives the victory. 

3.       It is fitting to note the only time the Bible mentions seven trumpets is when God begins to give the victory over this world to his followers. 

a.       The victory over Jericho was the first victory in receiving the Promised Land. 

b.       The victory related by the seven trumpets of Revelation 8 and 9 is the beginning of final victory over this sin cursed world.  [2]

D.     Comparing Joshua 6 with Revelation 8. 

1.       Israel was given specific instructions, which they fulfilled. 

a.       It might not have made much sense to the Israelites, but if they did as they were commanded, God would give the victory. 

b.       Sometimes God’s commands make no sense to us, but when we follow those commands instead of following our own devices, God will give the victory. 

c.       As the Israelites traveled around the city of Jericho, they would continually pray for God’s promise to be fulfilled. 

2.       The inhabitants of Jericho might have not believed they were under the condemnation of God when Israel traveled around their city seven days in a roll. 

a.       Ecclesiastes 8:11 – Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 

1.)    Exodus 8:15 – But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. 

2.)    Job 21:1-15 speaks of the wicked who will continue in their wickedness because they do not face the immediate judgment of God. 

b.       The inhabitants of Jericho and the inhabitants of this world might not believe God will judge them, but they are wrong. 

3.       The judgment of Jericho came swiftly (right on time as far as God is concerned), and the judgment of this world will come swiftly (right on time as far as God is concerned). 

a.       It might not make any sense to us why God waited seven days to destroy Jericho, but it is right in the eyes of God. 

b.       It might not make any sense to us why God waits to destroy a people he knows he will destroy, but it makes perfect sense to God. 

c.       Consider Rahab, who was faithfully watching the scene, anticipating God’s soon deliverance. 


Verse 3-5 - 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. 

I.    Verse 3 – Points. 

A.     Another angel. 

1.       This is another angel, not one of the seven angels. 

2.       There is no record as to where this other angel came from, but the Bible does tell us what this angel does. 

3.       The angel stands at the altar, which reflects he is not ruling, but awaiting the next command of God. 

B.     The altar. 

1.       Gold refers to the glory of God. 

2.       There is an altar of whole burnt offerings which stood in the court of the priests in the temple of Jerusalem. 

3.       It appears this altar is the altar of incense which stood in the sanctuary of the Holy Place.

4.       Both of these altars represent the offering of Christ on the cross, but this altar retains fire to burn the incense, which fire is cast to the earth in verse 5. 

5.       Therefore this angel stands before the altar of incense, offering the appropriate incense combined with the prayers of the saints because Christ is worthy to judge all unrighteousness. 

C.     The golden censer. 

1.       Gold refers to the glory of God. 

2.       In the Old Testament the censer is made of gold and is a container. 

a.       The golden censer of Revelation is not a container at all, but “the gum exuding from a frankincense tree”. 

b.       In the Old Testament, all the tabernacle and its furniture and pots and pans are symbols of the heavenly tabernacle, which is like nothing we have ever seen. 

D.     Much incense. 

1.       The ingredients of incense. 

a.       Exodus 30:34-37 – And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: 35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: 36 And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy. 37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD. 

1.)    Stacte is the gum resin of the storax shrub. 

2.)    Onycha is from the shell-fish, common to the Red Sea.  The shell of these shell-fish produced a sweet smell. 

3.)    Galbanum is the resinous gum of a plant, commonly thought to grow near Syria.  It is difficult to determine exactly which plant is described. 

4.)    Pure frankincense is the modern kind, but extracted from a tree common to Palestine. 

b.       There is a curse placed on all who try to duplicate the incense for personal or public use. 

2.       There is much incense used, typifying the dedicated prayers of the saints and holy communion with God, which is a sweet smell to God. 

a.       The prayers of the saints stand in need of “translation” before they come before the throne of God. 

b.       The “translation” is in the form of incense, and is the Holy Spirit of God, which translates the prayers of the saints into groanings which cannot be uttered, but are understood by God. 

c.       Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 

d.       It might seem (to us) that our prayers avail little with heaven, but that is not the case: God doesn’t think as we think, and doesn’t answer as we think he should answer. 

3.       Incense and the prayers of the saints are used both to bring judgment on this earth and to make intercession for the saints of God. 

a.       Numbers 16:46 – And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. 

b.       There was no blood offered, only prayer (verse 45 – Moses and Aaron fell on their faces) and incense. 

c.       It is always good to saturate our days with prayers to God – for protection from our enemies and for (undeserved) blessings from God. 

E.      The prayers of the saints. 

1.       It must be emphasized that all saints are praying for God’s eternal judgment, not just Baptist saints. 

2.       The importance of the prayers of the saints cannot be overstated. 

a.       The judgment of God upon this earth is accompanied with the prayers of the saints. 

b.       Saints should not pray for their vengeance, but for God’s justice. 

1.)    Saints should pray equally for God’s judgments upon them, as upon the enemies of God. 

2.)    All saints should realize they are guilty before God, and it is only the grace and mercy of God that restrains his fierce wrath. 

c.       Praying is difficult. 

1.)    Satan fights us when we know we should pray. 

2.)    Our sinful nature continues to fight us when we know we should pray. 

3.       God retains the precious prayers of the saints. 

a.       Before God sends his judgments upon the inhabitants of this earth, he considers the prayers of his saints. 

b.       James 5:4 – Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 

c.       Consider: If God will hear the prayers of those that have been cheated out of their just wages, he will certainly hear the prayers of those just persons who have been cheated out of their lives by the wickedness of evil men.  [3]


II.    Verse 4 – The result of the prayers of the saints. 

A.     God received the incense and prayers of the saints. 

1.       The smoke of the incense and the prayers of the saints are combined and ascended up before God. 

2.       The word “up” indicates the throne of God is above all. 

B.     It is not that the prayers of the saints appear before God only during the Great Tribulation. 

1.       It is very obvious that God continually answers the prayers of the saints. 

2.       It is also very obvious that God does not answer some of the prayers of the saints, because the time to answer their prayers had not come. 

3.       When the time is right to answer prayers, God will always answer. 


III.    Verse 5 – The prayers of the saints, with the judgment of God, is the “igniter” or the “ignition” of the judgment of God upon this earth. 

A.     The angel that holds the censer fills it with fire from the altar and casts it to the earth. 

1.       There is still a fire in the altar of incense, even during the Great Tribulation, because God’s people are still praying with desire for the fulfillment of the promises of God. 

2.       The fire of the altar represents the acceptance by Christ of the prayers of the saints that he judge the wickedness of this world. 

B.     The censer is cast to the earth. 

1.       The angel of God performs this work. 

a.       Some might believe the angel is judging this world, but that is error. 

b.       The angel, as all angels, is a messenger of God, doing only what God instructs them. 

2.       The censer, which typifies the sweet prayers of the saints, is filled with fire from the altar, which typifies the judgment of God (that which consumes the offering). 

3.       This reveals God remembers the sweet prayers of the saints, and he judges the world in righteousness. 

C.     The troubles on the earth begin. 

1.       The world will not be destroyed by an atomic bomb – the destruction will be worse than that! 

2.       The angel casting the fire-filled censer to the earth. 

a.       There doesn’t seem to be any command from God to cast the fire-filled censer to the earth. 

b.       Even though there is no command, there is no rebuke by God, therefore, we can understand this is the will of God. 

3.       The destruction that begins. 

a.       Voices – probably by earthly inhabitants – through the idea of disclosure, or a revealing of the coming judgment of God. 

b.       Thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake – all natural occurrences, yet forerunners of that which is to come. 

c.       The destruction of the Great Tribulation begins with natural occurrences, just as the destruction of Egypt began with natural occurrences, and continues to unnatural and most terrible occurrences. 

d.       Matthew 24:8 – All these are the beginning of sorrows.  (WWR emphasis) 

4.       All these things that occur on the earth will not be especially noticeable to the inhabitants of the earth, as these occurrences take place often. 

a.       Men are lulled to sleep by the “naturalness” of the coming judgment of God. 

1.)    Unbelieving men expect some “supernatural” calamity, but God uses natural means, at the beginning, to bring his judgments. 

2.)    God used natural means to judge the rebellion of Egypt and Israel: floods, drought, insects, sickness, etc. 

3.)    Men expect the coming judgment of God to be “supernatural” without being “natural”. 

b.       God often works in the natural realm to reveal his pleasure or displeasure. 

1.)    When the Titanic was sunk, the world was shocked and men began to speak of God and his judgments upon those that build a ship even God could not sink. 

2.)    WWI and WWII were fought with great loss of life and thoughts of God’s judgment upon wickedness. 

3.)    The Korean War and the Vietnam War were fought only with the notion of a quick victory and political expediency. 

4.)    The current war against world terrorism would not be fought at all because men are not thinking of the coming judgment of God against wickedness. 

5.)    80,000 people have died in the China earthquake, 1.3 million evacuated, yet this great destruction means almost nothing, as there is no mention of God’s judgment or of repentance. 

6.)    The great cry today is that global warming causes hurricanes, not that God is judging wickedness. 

7.)    Men have become so used to wickedness, it doesn’t upset us as it should, as long as it doesn’t affect us. 

c.       God blessed Israel with rain and no pestilence to show his pleasure, but withheld rain and increased pestilence to show his displeasure. 

1.)    Jeremiah 3:3 – Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. 

2.)    Amos 4:7 – And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 

d.       God blesses saints today for obedience, and fails to bless for disobedience.  [4]


Verse 6 - And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

I.        The angels sound only after God has received the incense and the prayers of the saints. 

A.     Angels obediently wait on the proper time to sound their trumpets. 

B.     Nothing is done ahead of time, and nothing is done behind time. 


II.     The angels prepare themselves to sound, perhaps by aligning themselves in the order of their sounding, or by bring the trumpets to their lips in anticipation of sounding. 

A.     I Corinthians 14:40 – Everything is done decently and in order. 

B.     The beginning of woes seems small compared to the ending of woes. 

1.       The beginning of woes destroys the infrastructure of the earth, just as the plagues on Egypt destroyed the infrastructure of that nation. 

2.       Destroying the infrastructure destroyed the normalcy of the people, forcing them into confusion and despair, but not to repentance and faith in Christ. 


Verse 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. 

I.        The sounding of the first trumpet. 

A.     This is literal hail and fire mingled with blood. 

1.       We know it is literal because there is no indication in this scripture it is not literal. 

2.       The second trumpet is not literal, because the Bible declares, as it were a great mountain burning with fire…  (WWR emphasis) 

3.       This literal hail and fire mingled with blood is a warning to the inhabitants of the earth that there are worse judgments coming. 

a.       These people are spiritually discerned, and cannot see, yet God continues to deal with them. 

b.       God dealt with Egypt in physical judgments even though they were spiritually discerned. 

B.     The wording indicates the hail and fire, mingled with blood originated in heaven or in the skies, and was cast into the earth. 

1.       Revelation 8:5 reveals the beginning of things …cast upon the earth… from heaven. 

a.       Revelation 8:7 – When the first trumpet sounds, hail and fire mingled with blood were cast to the earth. 

b.       Revelation 8:8 – When the second trumpet sounds, …as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea… 

c.       Revelation 8:10 – When the third trumpet sounds, a great star fell from heaven upon the third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters. 

d.       Revelation 8:12 – When the fourth trumpet sounds, heavenly events change the structure of time on the earth. 

e.       Revelation 9:1 – When the fifth trumpet sounds, a star falls to the earth and the bottomless pit is opened. 

f.        Revelation 9:13 – When the sixth trumpet sounds, a command from heaven prepares the way for the death of 1/3 of the earth’s inhabitants. 

g.       Revelation 11:15 – When the seventh trumpet sounds, there is rejoicing in heaven and confusion on earth because the kingdoms of this world now belong to Christ. 

2.       It would have been very possible for God to cause the hail and fire to be in the heavens, yet not reach the earth, if that served his purposes. 

3.       Men have become so hardened against God and will not take his warnings seriously, therefore God causes the fire and hail to come to the earth. 

C.     The hail and fire mingled with blood is a warning of more and greater judgments to come. 

1.       Exodus 9:18-26 describes the hail, thunder, and fire on Egypt, the seventh plague. 

2.       Verse 14 declares these plagues upon Egypt was upon their heart, not just upon their nation. 

3.       Verse 16 reveals the reason for the wickedness God has allowed. 

4.       Verse 18-21 relates the warning God gave to Egypt, just as the sounding of the first trumpet is a warning to those in the Great Tribulation. 

a.       Those Egyptians who believed the promises of God had time to protect themselves and their possessions. 

b.       Those Egyptians who did not believe the promises of God would perish or suffer great loss. 

c.       Notice there was no hail in the land of Goshen, just as God’s saints will not endure this first judgment, when the first trumpet is sounded. 

5.       The plague on Egypt was very grievous, yet some did not repent, just as some do not repent during the judgments of the Great Tribulation, but some do repent during the earlier parts of the Great Tribulation. 


II.     The result of the sounding of the first trumpet. 

A.     The third part of trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 

1.       This is the beginning of the destruction of the infrastructure of this world. 

2.       It is normal to think the infrastructure of the world is made up of those things invented by men: telephones, Wall Street, pipelines, transportation facilities. 

3.       Men forget that all these things are nothing if there is no green grass, and no trees. 

4.       Ecclesiastes 5:9 – Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 

5.       When God began to destroy Egypt, he destroyed plant life, because without plant life, there can be no infrastructure for human life. 

B.     All the things this world depends on for their natural existence will be destroyed, leaving them with no foundation on which to build their lives.  [5]


Verse 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.

I.        This is not a great mountain burning with fire. 

A.     This is not a meteorite, a meteoroid, or an asteroid hitting the earth, causing great damage to the structure of the earth. 

1.       The world is worried about a meteoroid destroying the earth, but they should be concerned about the coming judgment of God. 

2.       Men are concerned about developing some sort of system that will destroy any incoming meteoroid, therefore saving the earth from destruction. 

3.       They are not repenting of their great continuing wickedness, nor or they even thinking about the coming judgment of God. 

B.     This is a symbol of the coming destruction of the revived Roman Empire, with its Babylonian religion. 

1.       Note the phrase “…as it were…” 

2.       This phrase indicates this is not a literal burning mountain. 

3.       A mountain is very large, unmovable and permanent, seemingly stable beyond human comprehension, as a great kingdom of this earth appears very large, unmovable, and permanent. 

C.     Because the mountain is figurative, it is valid to assume the sea becoming blood, and the death of the creatures in the sea, and the ships in the sea being destroyed are also figurative. 

1.       When symbolic language is used in the Bible, the symbol should be as true as what the symbol represents.

2.       When Christ illustrated with a parable, the illustration was as true as what the parable represented. 


II.     Kingdoms are often referred to as a mountain. 

A.     The kingdom of God referred to as a mountain. 

1.       Isaiah 2:2 – And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 

2.       This passage explains that the kingdom of the Lord (during the millennium) will be established in Jerusalem (the top of the mountains) and all nations shall recognize Israel as the chief nation. 

B.     Satan’s kingdom referred to as a mountain. 

1.       Jeremiah 51:25 – Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. 

a.       Verse 1 relates this passage is speaking against Babylon, who tried to destroy Israel, God’s chosen nation. 

b.       God will destroy all those nations that are against his people. 

2.       Pagan Babylon, which is nothing more than the revived Roman Empire, with its Babylonian religion will be a burnt mountain when they are destroyed. 

C.     Satan’s kingdom is referred to as a burnt mountain because God will destroy that nation he has used to chasten his people, Israel. 

1.       Jeremiah 25:12-14 - 12 – And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. 13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations. 14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands. 

a.       God punished the nation of Babylon for chastening Israel for 70 years, and he will chasten the revived Roman Empire, and all other nations of this world, because they chastened Israel for 2,000 years. 

b.       Genesis 12:1-3 – God’s promise to Abraham will surely come to pass.  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 

2.       God often uses fire as his judgments upon wickedness, sometimes referring to invading armies as seen in the following quotes from the book of Amos:

a.       In the verse preceding the quote below, the LORD declares his judgments upon the various nations is only after his longsuffering patience toward them. 

1)      Amos 1:4  But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.

2)      Amos 1:7  But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:

3)      Amos 1:10  But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.

4)      Amos 1:12  But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.

5)      Amos 1:14  But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind: 

b.       In Amos 7, the LORD reveals his judgments against Israel is only after his longsuffering patience with their open and continued rebellion. 

1)      Amos 7:1-3 – The LORD repented of this judgment against Israel. 

2)      Amos 7:4-6 – The LORD also repented of this judgment against Israel. 

3)      Amos 7:9 – The LORD did not repent of this judgment against Israel. 

c.       When God destroys this present world during the Great Tribulation, it will be only after his longsuffering patience with the wicked sinners of this world.  [6]

3.       Fire showing the judgment of God: 

a.       Genesis 19:24 - There is also the fire of God that is like unto that which fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah: literal fire, which destroyed a literal people filled with literal sins, and also symbolic of the fire that shall one day destroy all sins and unrepentant sinners. 

b.       Exodus 9:22 - There is the fire of God that came with the plague of hail upon Egypt.

c.       Leviticus 10:1 - There is the fire of God that devoured the two sons of Aaron (Nadab and Abihu) when they offered strange fire upon the altar of God. 

d.       The lost go into hell, a place of fire, but they will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. 

D.     The sea becoming blood speaks of the death of the wicked, who have followed Satan and helped establish his kingdom, and have worked against the people of God. 

1.       The death the wicked endure is a permanent death, not the temporary physical death endured by the believer. 

a.       There is a “sea of unbelievers”, which continues throughout all eternity. 

b.       It is this “sea of unbelievers” (most physically dead) into which the burning kingdom of Satan falls, destroying 1/3 of that “sea of unbelievers” who remain alive when Satan’s kingdom falls. 

2.       One third of the sea becomes blood and brings death at the sounding of the second trumpet but the entire sea becomes blood when the second and third vial is poured out. 

a.       Revelation 16:3-4 – And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. 4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 

b.       Water becoming blood is a symbol of the death and destruction that will occur on the earth, as the life giving foundations of the earth are transformed from giving life to giving death. 

c.       One third of the creatures in the sea die when the second trumpet is sounded, and all the remaining creatures die when the second and third vial is poured out. 

1)      There is no more food from the sea. 

2)      The sea no longer purifies and cleanses the earth, but contributes to the pollution on the earth. 

3.       The general principle of “those that live by the sword shall die by the sword” is taught by God and believed by the lost. 

a.       Genesis 9:5 – And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. 

b.       II Samuel 16:8 reveals that Shimei (a Benjamite) believed David was being judged by God because of his (supposed) sins against the house of Saul. 

4.       Those that have shed innocent blood will pay with their own blood. 


III.   The sea refers to the multitude of unbelievers who have contributed to Satan’s kingdom, even if they did not know they were contributing, and even if they are already physically dead. 

A.     The sea refers to people. 

1.       Revelation 13:1 reveals the Anti-Christ will come from the tumult of the earth’s population.  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 

2.       Revelation 17:1 states, And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 

3.       Revelation 17:15 interprets the water as people.  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 

B.     Many believe the creatures in the sea are fish, but if the burnt mountain is figurative of the destruction of Satan’s kingdom, then the result of the burnt mountain being cast into the sea is not the destruction of fish, but the destruction of the people who are represented by the sea. 

1.       It is very important to make the correct interpretation (the burning mountain is figurative and not literal) therefore the creatures that die in the sea are figurative and not literal. 

2.       It is wrong to interpret one part of this trumpet plague as figurative and the rest of the trumpet plague as literal. 

C.     Creatures in the sea that do not have life. 

1.       Job 26:5 – Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. 

a.       In Job 25, Bildad describes the power of God, which operates in the visible, physical world. 

b.       In Job 26:1-4, Job answers by declaring Bildad’s ignorance of how much God controls and watches over. 

1)      In Job 26:5-6, Job describes the power of God, which operates in the realm of the physically dead (the unseen), having control over those without physical life, that remain as a part of the sea of humanity. 

2)      Job is stating that dead things (humans) are the inhabitants of hell, which is under the waters, in the center of the world. 

c.       The importance of Job’s statement is reflected in Revelation 8:9, which reflects what Job knew a long time before its fulfillment. 

1)      Job understood that life is not ended at physical death, but the lost continue to exist under the waters of the earth, in hell, while believers continue to exist above the waters, in heaven. 

2)      It is often thought that Old Testament saints knew little of holy things, earthly principles, or prophetic events; being little more than “cave men”, which concept is encouraged by evolutionists and “long-agers”. 

2.       Revelation 5:13 states, And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 

a.       No sane person would disagree with the statement that believers, even though they are without physical life, remain a part of the kingdom of God. 

b.       It is equally true that unbelievers, even though they are without physical life, remain a part of Satan’s kingdom forever. 

3.       The Bible often refers to humans as “creatures”. 

a.       The “living creature” of Ezekiel and Revelation, describes the Son of God. 

b.       Unbelievers are referred to as if they were wild animals. 

1)      Jude 10 refers to unbelievers as “brute beasts”.

2)      Jude 13 calls unbelievers “raging waves of the sea”, and “wandering stars”. 

3)      II Peter 2:11 declare unbelievers are “natural brute beasts”. 

c.       Believers are referred to as creatures. 

1)      Genesis 9:16 – And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. 

a)      It is apparent from Genesis 9:8-10, 12 , and 15 that the rainbow represents the covenant God made with humans and every living creature that he would not again destroy the world by water. 

b)      Genesis 9:16 combines humans with animals in this covenant. 

2)      Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

a)      It goes without saying that we are not to preach the gospel to dogs, horses, cows or any other animal. 

b)      Animals do not have an eternal soul. 

c)      We are to preach the gospel to humans, who have an eternal soul. 

3)      Romans 1:25 – Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

a)      It is apparent from the context of this passage that men are referred to as creatures, who worship other men, not necessarily excluding the worship of the physical creation. 

b)      Men must worship something, even if they say they worship nothing. 

4)      II Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

5)      Galatians 6:15 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 

6)      Colossians 1:15 – Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 

7)      Colossians 1:23 – If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 

8)      James 1:18 – Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  [7]

4.       Revelation 8:8 is to be interpreted as the casting of the burning mountain to the earth (the beginning of the destruction of Satan’s kingdom), which will destroy 1/3 of the creatures in the sea (unbelievers), and which are alive at the time the burnt mountain is cast into the sea. 

a.       Many unbelievers have worked to bring in the kingdom of Satan, yet died before they realized their dream, just as many believers died before they realized their dream of seeing the kingdom of God established. 

b.       All will receive the reward of their work and their dreams, and in their own time and place. 

c.       God looks on Satan’s kingdom and all the people that have worked to bring in that kingdom, just as he looks on his kingdom and all the people that have worked to bring in his kingdom. 

5.       Revelation 14:13 – And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. 

a.       The principles of righteous works follow the righteous also applies to the wicked – their wicked works follow them. 

b.       There are severe repercussions to pay for all labor – righteous or wicked. 


IV.  The burning mountain being cast into the sea indicates Satan’s kingdom will destroy itself, as represented by the blood. 

A.     Satan’s kingdom comes into power by the continual uproar of the people, and will collapse into itself, completely destroying those that brought the wicked kingdom into power. 

1.       I Corinthians 10:10 – Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 

2.       The destroyers own wickedness causes his destruction. 

a.       This passage refers to Numbers 21 where Israel complained because of the way and God sent fiery serpents among the people whose bite was deadly. 

b.       The destroyer (Satan) caused them to murmur, then was allowed to destroy them! 

c.       Satan’s kingdom is full of rebellion and destruction while God’s kingdom is full of obedience and peaceful existence. 

d.       Satan’s kingdom will not stand because it is founded on rebellion. 

e.       God’s kingdom is be eternal because it is founded on truth, peace and harmony. 

B.     God has destroyed the enemies of Israel by turning them on themselves. 

1.       Judges 7:21,22 – Gideon and his men only stood in their places, letting their little light shine (after they had blown the trumpets, broken the pitchers and shouted victory), while the Midianites began to kill each other. 

2.       I Samuel 14:20 – Saul and the Israelites did not even go to battle against the Philistines, who began to kill each other.  Verse 21 relates that the Hebrews that were with the Philistines also joined in killing the Philistines, and verse 22 reveals that all the Israelites who were afraid joined in destroying the Philistines as well. 

3.       God has given his people great victories in the past, therefore we know it is very possible God can give his people great victories in the present and in the future. 


V.     One third of the ships are destroyed. 

A.     The sea refers to unbelievers of the earth who are aiding the establishments of the Anti-Christ kingdom. 

1.       Many of these unbelievers have died without seeing Satan’s kingdom established. 

2.       The unbelievers who live in the end of the last days see Satan’s kingdom established, but they also see the destruction of all they have worked for. 

B.     Ships in the Bible represents many things:

1.       The means of bringing Israel back into Egypt:  Deuteronomy 28:68 – And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you. 

2.       A means of escape from personal, family, or national duties.  Judges 5:17 – Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches. 

3.       A means of defense and gaining of prosperity. 

a.       Solomon - 1 Kings 9:26 – And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. 

b.       II Chronicles 8:18 – And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon. 

c.       II Chronicles 9:21 – For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 

d.       Proverbs 31:14 – She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 

4.       Jehoshaphat – the means of God revealing his displeasure for disobedience –

a.       I Kings 22:48 – Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.  49 Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not. 

b.       II Chronicles 20:37 – Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish. 

C.     The meaning is that 1/3 of Satan’s kingdom will be destroyed and he can do nothing about it. 

1.       Revelation 18 speaks of the coming destruction of pagan Babylon and the world economic, religious, and social system that has been created. 

a.       Revelation 18:17 – For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 

b.       Revelation 18:19 – And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 

2.       Jeremiah 51:7 (and context) reveals the actions of the world when Babylon is destroyed: Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. 

D.     One third of the commerce of the world is destroyed, yet none call on the Lord to forgive them of their sins, nor do they turn from their wickedness, but continue in that and worse wickedness. 

1.       We see this very thing in the world today. 

a.       The price of oil has caused much economic disruption in this present world (2008), yet few (even “believers”) are repenting and calling on God to bless. 

b.       There is “wicked weather”, yet few (even “believers”) are repenting and calling on God to bless. 

2.       The present destructive forces in the world should reveal to all believers the Satanic hazards on the doorstep. 

a.       Men try to “prop up” the economic system by increasing or decreasing interest rates and trying to boost Wall Street. 

b.       Men fail to realize the Biblical truth that even the king is fed from the field. 

c.       Ecclesiastes 5:9 states, Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 


Verse 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; 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.

I.        The star is the representative of the messenger and the message of God. 

A.     In the physical universe. 

1.       Genesis 1:16 – And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 

a.       The lights of heaven are not the source light, as light was present before God created the sun or the moon. 

b.       Genesis 1:3 states, And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 

2.       Genesis 15:5 – The stars are not the multitude of Jews, but a symbol of how many there will be. 

a.       Genesis 15:5 – And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 

b.       Genesis 22:17 – That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;  God repeated his blessing to Abraham when he offered Isaac on the altar, as God commanded. 

c.       Genesis 26:4 – And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;  God repeated the blessing to Isaac when he considered going into Egypt during a famine. 

d.       Genesis 37:9 – And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.  The dream of Joseph reveals the promise of God to him. 

e.       Exodus 32:13 – Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.  Moses reminds God of his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when Israel sinned in building the golden calf. 

f.        Deuteronomy 1:10 – The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.  The promise to Israel is fulfilled. 

B.     Various Biblical definitions of the star. 

1.       The true, eternal star is Jesus Christ. 

a.       Numbers 24:17 – I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. 

b.       Satan always imitates Christ (because everything about Christ is good), but never initiates anything good (because everything about Satan is bad). 

c.       Jesus is the true light of the world, and all believers are simply reflections of that true light, just as the sun and moon are not the true physical light of this world, but are simply reflections of the true light – Jesus Christ. 

1)      John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 

2)      1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 

3)      Matthew 5:14 reveals Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 

4)      Believers are not the light, but should be a light as Jesus is the light. 

2.       Revelation 1:20 – The pastor is the star or light or messenger of the church God has placed him over. 

a.       Each of the seven churches of Asia have an angel, which receives a special message from God for that particular church. 

b.       A careful reading of Revelation 2 and 3 reveals that Jesus gave John the message to write to each individual pastor of each individual church. 

c.       God did not tell denominational headquarters or any church member to give his message to the church, rather he tells his pastor to give God’s message. 

3.       The star of Revelation 8:10-11 is a false prophet; a false light. 

a.       This is a star, but it is not a light. 

b.       II Corinthians 11:13-15 states, For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  [8]


II.     Wormwood is a plant with a bitter, nauseous taste, but it is used as a medicine to strengthen the stomach in particular and the body in general. 

A.     The definition of wormwood instructs us of the “good” caused by sin. 

1.       When God reveals our wickedness to us, he causes us to hate the sin and the results of our wicked ways, and seek his face, and his way of living, thus we can avoid the results of our wickedness, and reap everlasting life. 

2.       Sinners will always either blame themselves for the own personal wickedness (and turn from that wickedness to God), or blame God (and remain in their wickedness and curse God and die). 

3.       It is great bitterness and regret to look back over a sin filled life. 

B.     GOD INSTRUCTS THE NATION OF ISRAEL: Deuteronomy 29:18 – Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; 

1.       Moses has gathered all Israel together to agree to a covenant with God to be faithful to him and his precepts, and to forsake false gods. 

2.       Moses urges Israel to compare the blessings they have received from God during the 40 year wilderness wanderings to the destruction of Egypt. 

3.       Making this comparison will cause the people to understand the righteousness of God and his hatred of sin, therefore they will understand the correct way of living and avoid the root that produces gall and wormwood. 

C.     INDIVIDUALS AND BITTERNESS: Proverbs 5:4 – But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 

1.       The principle here is the beginning of wickedness is often very pleasant, but the end is more misery than can be described. 

2.       There is no way any person can discern how the end will be, except it will be hell and lasting destruction. 

3.       The best thing is to avoid wickedness, which at first appears to be very pleasant, but the end is extremely bitter and filled with intense remorse; and cling to the holiness of God. 

D.     ISRAEL AND BITTERNESS: Jeremiah 9:15 – Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 

1.       In the beginning of this chapter, Jeremiah speaks of the rebellion of Israel against the precepts of God. 

2.       Israel has been dishonest among themselves and with God, and will pay the consequences by being fed the food of bitterness and the water of gall (a poisonous venom). 

E.      PROPHETS AND BITTERNESS: Jeremiah 23:15 – Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. 

1.       This chapter describes the wickedness of the prophets of God (to whom God will feed bitterness and poisonous venom), who have failed to teach God’s holy laws to the people of Israel. 

2.       The result of this lack of teaching is that Israel, in their ignorance, have failed to obey the precepts of God. 

3.       Likely, the prophets thought it too hard to teach the truth of God, because of the hard looks of the listeners, therefore softened God’s message; to the determent of the entire nation of Israel. 

4.       Balaam is only one example of a prophet of God who decided to prophesy against Israel for money. 

F.      JEREMIAH BECAUSE OF THE WICKEDNESS OF ISRAEL: Lamentations 3:15 – He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.  Lamentations 3:19 – Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 

1.       Jeremiah describes his drunkenness of bitterness because of his righteous burdens of preaching God’s truth to a rebellious people. 

2.       Jeremiah knows the end of their rebellion, and is frustrated because the people will not listen. 

3.       Beginning in verse 21, Jeremiah finds encouragement in the mercies and long-suffering of God, even though it might seem the goodness of God is in the far distant future. 

G.     ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO SEEK GOD: Amos 5:7 – Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, 

1.       Amos speaks to the false prophets, who deceive the people by perverting the clear judgment of God. 

a.       The judgment of God is not bitterness, because when we sin, it is never bad to recognize our sins and confess our sins and turn from our wickedness. 

b.       God is always merciful to those who confess their wickedness, but who refuse to confess their wickedness will always face the vengeance of God. 

c.       Amos urges Israel to seek the Lord, nothing and nobody else. 

2.       Amos 5:4-6 – Amos urges the people to seek God, not the things of God, or the cities of God. 

a.       God wants us to seek him, not the church, or fellowship in the church. 

b.       We believe in the local church, established by Christ during his personal ministry, but we must seek the face of the Lord before we seek anything concerning the local church. 


III.   The result of the star named wormwood falling to the earth. 

A.     A third part of the waters become wormwood. 

1.       The waters refer to the people of the earth who have followed Satan. 

a.       Rebellious people become bitter as the star, whom they emulate. 

b.       There is a marked difference in the contentment/happiness or bitterness/hatred of individuals, according to the principles of live they follow. 

2.       The waters refer to the literal water of the earth.

a.       The waters become bitter as the star, yet men continue to use the water even as it kills them. 

b.       Many people continue in the sin that slowly destroys them. 

c.       Many continue to smoke, drink, or use drugs, even as they realize the destroying affect this sinful habits have on their lives, their families, and their friends. 

B.     Many men died because of the bitter waters. 

1.       The bitter waters not only destroyed the people involved in the bitterness, but others were also destroyed. 

2.       The influence of wickedness and rebellion against God affects more than just the people immediately involved in that wickedness.  [9]


Verse 12-13 - 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!

I.        The terrible judgments upon the earth are increasing in intensity. 

A.     The judgments when the seals were opened is bad, but the scene before us is much worse. 

1.       When all the judgments of God (so far) are considered, it is easy to see God is consistently removing everything unbelievers have relied on, yet they do not turn to God, nor repent of all their wickedness. 

2.       The plagues of God are calculated: God is removing people, governments, businesses, finances, false religion, and all the emotional support unbelievers to which have clung. 

B.     The judgments of God are not really begun – as they will soon be exhibited. 


II.     It seems evident these are literal, physical afflictions upon the universe, as there is nothing in these verses indicating this plague is figurative. 

A.     It should be noted the universe is affected, not Jesus, who is the light of the world. 


Physical darkness is symbolic of spiritual darkness

Genesis 1:3 – God created light on the first day, but Genesis 1:14-19, God created the sun, the moon and the stars on the fourth day. 

2.       Even though this physical universe is adversely affected, God’s eternal salvation is not in the least affected. 

3.       Revelation 8:13 – The phrase “midst of heaven” refers to “mid-heaven”, the highest point in the heavens, which the sun occupies at noon, where what is done can be seen and heard by all, not to the place where the throne of God is located. 

B.     These physical judgments upon the earth are for the purpose of revealing to all on the earth that God is finally judging their wickedness. 

1.       Men have feared if the universe changes, and their fear is founded upon knowing that God will judge their wickedness in a way they cannot stop. 

2.       Even today, men have introduced scenarios of how their wisdom avoids cosmic cataclysms, which is really men’s wisdom outsmarting God in his final judgments. 

C.     There seems to be either one of two things happening here. 

1.       A day remains 24 hours long, but 1/3 of that 24 hours is darkness. 

a.       There would be 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of light. 

b.       It would also seem reasonable to assume the 1/3 darkness would be a different kind of darkness than nighttime. 

c.       Exodus 10:21-23 relates a darkness that could be felt, a thick darkness where the Egyptians could not see each other for three days. 

2.       A day is no longer 24 hours, but 16 hours, with 8 hours of daylight and 8 hours of darkness. 

D.     John 3:19,20 states, And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 

1.       Because men reject Jesus who is the light of the world, and love darkness, Christ will give them what they want – literal, physical darkness, which accompanies the spiritual darkness they long to be enveloped with. 

2.       Accompanying the absence of the presence of God, will be terror because of wicked men and the change to the physical structure of the universe. 

3.       It is very likely crime and other wickedness will increase because men do most of their wickedness during darkness, thinking their evil deeds are hidden. 

E.      Many might proclaim that changing the length of an earth’s day is impossible. 

1.       The length of an earth day has changed before. 

a.       Joshua 10:12-13 confirms, Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. 

b.       II Kings 20:9-11 states, And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. 11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz. 

2.       It is a confirmed myth that NASA proved the events of Joshua and II Kings. 

a.       Mr. Harold Hill, the supposed president of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland and a consultant in the space program, is not a person, and the events related by him never happened. 

b.       The 1936 book (Harmony of Science and Scripture) by Harry Rimmer, which refers to a 1890 book as proof of the calculations behind Rimmer’s tale have been dismissed as baseless. 

1)      It is told that when a satellite is placed in orbit, the positions of the sun, moon and other objects must be projected so the satellite won’t bump into it. 

2)      It makes sense that a computer program can project where the planets should be in a hundred years, but how can a computer program be written to check past events? 

3.       Believers should believe the Bible without physical evidence. 

a.       People should believe Jesus Christ came to save sinners (even them) without any evidence, other than the Bible. 

b.       People should believe God created this earth is 6 literal 24-hour days without any evidence, other than the Bible. 

c.       People should believe the world wide flood in Noah’s day without any evidence, other than the Bible. 


III.   Prophecies of this darkness. 

A.     By Jesus Christ. 

1.       Luke 21:25,26 - And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 

a.       The signs in the sun, the moon and the stars are evidences of the judgment of God that rebellious men cannot reject, even though they have rejected the plain preaching of the prophets of God. 

b.       The distress of nations is caused by a general uproar of all the people of the earth as “democracy” (people rule) takes over. 

c.       Many men will die because everything they possess is centered in this wicked earth and all their foundation and possessions are being taken away from them. 

1)      This was glimpsed during the Great depression when many people killed themselves because all their fortunes were lost. 

2)      I remember the story of a farmer who got his very expensive combine stuck in the mud, then ruined it and the two tractors he used to pull it out, then committed suicide, because there seemed to be no way out. 

3)      A man’s heart can only stand so much strain. 

2.       Mark 13:24-27. 

a.       Jesus authenticates the prophets by repeating their prophecies. 

b.       After the wicked see the physical changes in the universe they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 

B.     Isaiah 13:6-13 prophesies of this time of terrible judgment. 

1.       Verse 1 – Isaiah is prophesying concerning the destruction of Babylon. 

2.       There are two fulfillments in these verses. 

a.       A figurative fulfillment that happened when Babylon was overtaken by the Medes and Persians. 

b.       A literal fulfillment that will happen when pagan Babylon is overtaken and destroyed during the Great Tribulation. 

3.       Verse 12 – speaks of the preciousness of a man because so many people have died, and there are few people to look to for help or aid of any sort. 

a.       Revelation 8:9 reveals that 1/3 of the people alive at that point have died. 

b.       If the earth contained 5 billion people at that point, then 1,666,666 people have died. 

4.       Verse 13 relates the earth will move out of its place, referring to physical changes in the earth, not the universe. 

a.       “The earth shall remove out of her place” seems to speak of a great change in the rotation of the earth around the sun, or some other great change in the earth. 

b.       God is very able to keep the universe stable while physically changing the earth. 

c.       The judgment of God is upon the earth, not upon the entire universe, because sin came from the earth, not from the entire universe. 

d.       There are not “extraterrestrial creatures” that sinned, it is all us. 

C.     Joel 2:31 states, The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 

1.       Many have declared this impossible, but when the time is right, this passage will be fulfilled. 

2.       The context of this passage reveals a timeline. 

a.       Verse 28-29 – The day of Pentecost and the times of the Gentiles, coupled with the development and expansion of the Lord’s local churches throughout this entire world. 

b.       Verse 30-31 – Literal changes to the structure of the earth, which men cannot ignore. 

c.       Verse 32 – God still gives sinners opportunity to repent and believe in him. 

D.     Amos 8:9,10 - And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 

1.       The nation of Israel will be in the world during the time of the Great Tribulation, and will not undergo the judgments of God, but they will see the judgments of God upon this world. 

2.       The result of their seeing the judgments of God on the world will cause Israel to mourn and weep, just as other nations weep, but Israel will turn to the Lord in their mourning and weeping.  [10]


IV.  Verse 13 – The angels pronounce the judgments of God will continue. 

A.     An angel of God announces the continuation of the plagues of God. 

1.       The church has been taken from the earth, therefore no church members are present to sound the warning. 

2.       Many of the Great Tribulation saints have been martyred, therefore are not present to sound the warning. 

a.       Revelation 9:4 – Some believers are still alive when the 5th trumpet sounds, as the locust are restricted to hurting only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 

b.       These believers would willingly speak of Christ and his eternal redemption, but the unbelievers would willingly kill them. 

3.       Unbelievers are wild with tension and will not listen to any believer, therefore God in his mercy sends an angel, flying through the midst of heaven, to sound the warning. 

a.       Unbelievers will see the angel and hear God’s warning, but they will continue to reject this physical evidence. 

b.       Unbelievers have already rejected the terror of the earth moving out of its orbit. 

4.       Those that will not believe the word of God will not believe the miracles (or plagues) of God. 

a.       Luke 16:27-31, The rich man asked Father Abraham to send Lazarus from Paradise to preach the precious gospel to his five brothers on the earth, but Abraham refused, declaring if they do not hear the preachers on the earth, they will not hear, even if one rose from the dead. 

b.       Pharaoh and the Egyptians did not believe the miracles Moses performed. 

c.       Israel did not believe Elijah, even after three years of drought and the wonderful rain that God send after fire from heaven devoured the sacrifice. 

d.       Israel did not believe Jesus Christ, even though he did many great miracles in their sight. 

5.       Unbelievers will continue to reject God’s truth, as the tribulation continues. 

a.       As the three woes continue, men continue to reject the plain truth before them. 

b.       Revelation 18:9,10 – the kings of the earth stand afar off from burning Babylon and mourn for her, as they watch her burn, but none repent. 

c.       Revelation 18:16-19 – Merchants weep and wail, casting dust on their heads, but do not repent. 

d.       When the seven vials of God’s wrath are poured upon unbelievers, they will continue to reject God, even though they are filled with physical misery (and no doubt spiritual misery). 

1)      Revelation 16:9 – When men are scorched with great heat, they refuse to give God proper glory. 

2)      Revelation 16:10 – When the fifth vial is poured out, men will gnaw their tongues for pain, and blasphemy God instead of repenting. 

3)      Revelation 16:16 – God will cause unbelievers to gather at Armageddon for the final battle of the Great Tribulation. 

4)      Zechariah 14:12 speaks of the Battle of Armageddon, where rebellious unbelievers will die, their flesh consuming away while they stand on their feet, their eye and tongue consuming away. 

5)      Revelation 16:21 – Another part of the seventh and final plague is hailstones weighing a talent apiece, yet men do not repent, but continue to blaspheme God. 

B.     There are three more woes. 

1.       The woes are:

a.       Woe # 1 – Revelation 9:1-12 –The sounding of the fifth trumpet. 

b.       Woe # 2 – Revelation 9:13-11:14 – The sounding of the sixth trumpet. 

1)      The seven thunders utter their voices. 

2)      John is informed he must prophesy again. 

3)      An explanation of the two witnesses, who prophesy during the 1st half of the Great Tribulation.

c.       Woe # 3 – Revelation 11:15-19:21 – the sounding of the seventh trumpet. 

2.       The angel flying through heaven declares three woes upon the inhabitants of the earth because what is coming is much worse than what has been. 

a.       There are few believers on the earth during this time, those remaining have probably gone into hiding. 

b.       It is important to remember no child of God will ever undergo the wrath of God, but they might undergo sufferings caused when God pours out his wrath on the wicked. 

1)      Consider Abraham, who suffered sorrow because of the wrath of God poured out on the inhabitants of Sodom, and for his nephew Lot and his family, who lived in that wicked city. 

2)      The chastening of God is very different from his wrath. 

[1] Preached to here 05-07-2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[2] Preached to here 05/14/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[3] Preached to here 05/28/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[4] Preached to here 06/04/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[5] Preached to here 06/11/2008

[6] Preached to here 06/18/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[7] Preached to here 06/25/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[8] Preached to here 06/02/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[9] Preached to here 07/09/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening

[10] Preached to here 07/16/2008 IBC Wednesday Evening