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Revelation 8:7-12 “Trumpet Judgments 1-4”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:                            

 

Now, trumpet judgments 1-4 are revealed…

 

Rev 8:7-13 KJV

(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.
(8)  And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
(9)  And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
(10)  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
(11)  And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
(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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Please remember that the final judgment of God is described in many Scriptures as consisting of literal fire that falls from heaven. (2 Thess 1:7-10, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Psa 102:26, Isa 51:6, Zeph 3:8).  This is what will literally take place during the final wrath of God.  At Christ’s second coming, fire will precede Him punishing the lost and renovating the world for His arrival.

Keeping in mind that the final wrath of God only consists of fire falling from heaven, we can see that trumpet and the vial judgments are describing this wrath in purely symbolic terms.  In other words, the events that take place in the trumpets and vials are not literal events that will take place, but are symbolic descriptions of the final wrath of God that manifests itself by fire falling from heaven.

In chapter 8 and 9, John sees the opening of seal 7, which will symbolizes the beginning of God’s wrath coming upon the fallen earth and sinful mankind.  His wrath affecting the earth is emphasized in trumpets 1-4. Trumpets 5-6 (the first two woes) are judgments that directly affect lost mankind.

Trumpet 7 (the 3rd woe) is the completion of God’s wrath falling upon the earth and mankind.  This last trumpet brings to completion what was begun in trumpets 1-6.  Trumpet 7 is made up of the seven vials.  Each vial corresponds to a specific trumpet. Each vial simply expands, intensifies and brings to completion the wrath that was begun in its corresponding trumpet.

 

Trumpet Vial Area Of Earth Affected By Trumpets (Area of Earth Affected By Vials) Areas Of Mankind Affected By Trumpets (Areas of Mankind Affected By Vials)
1 1 1/3 Trees. Green Grass(All the Earth)
2 2 1/3 Sea(All the Sea)
3 3 1/3 Rivers, Springs(All the Rivers, Springs)
4 4 1/3 Sun, Moon, Stars(Entire Sun)
5 (Woe 1) 5 Men Not Sealed By God(Entire Kingdom and All Worshippers Of Beast)
6 (Woe 2) 6 1/3 Mankind(Whole World)
7 (Woe 3) 7 God’s Wrath Intensified and Completed Against Earth and Mankind Described By The 7 Vials(The Final Destruction Of Babylon and Lost Mankind {The Battle Of Armageddon})
 

 

As we continue our study all of the above will, hopefully, become more clear.

For now, let us just understand that the falling of God’s wrath during the second coming appears to be progressive; growing in intensity, severity and devastation as He descends and His presence draws nearer to the earth.  This is much like the tribulation in today’s time (first six seals) that will gradually increase in intensity and frequency as His coming draws near.

As we have said seal seven is divided into seven parts, symbolized by trumpets that are blown.  Here is a short outline of the upcoming lessons on seal 7 …

  1. Sounding Of First Four Trumpets – 8:7-8:13
    1. 1st Trumpet – vs 7
      1. Judgment – Hail, fire, blood
      2. Affected – Trees, grass
    2. 2nd Trumpet – vs 8
      1. Judgment – Great burning mountain, sea to blood
      2. Affected – Sea, sea creatures, ships
    3. 3rd Trumpet – vs 9-11
      1. Judgment – Burning Star (Wormwood)
      2. Affected – rivers, springs, men
    4. 4th Trumpet – vs 12
      1. Judgment – Striking
      2. Affected – Sun, moon, stars
    5. 3 Woes Announced – vs 13
  2. Sounding Of Trumpets 5 & 6 – 9:1-21
    1. 5th Trumpet (1st Woe) – 9:1-12
      1. Falling Star given Key To Bottomless Pit
      2. Locusts From Pit with King Of Locusts – Abaddon, Apollyon
    2. 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) – 9:13-21
      1. Release of The 4 Angels & 200,000,000 Army From Euphrates killing Mankind
      2. Mankind does not repent
  1. Please note 7th Trumpet will be revealed in Rev 11:15 & Rev 16: which will reveal the completion of God’s wrath against the earth and sinful mankind.

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

In this text we find trumpets 1-4 revealed.  All four of these trumpets affect nature directly and only affect mankind indirectly.

Also please note: Many, if not all, of these trumpet judgments are variations of the plagues of God sent against Egypt (during the enslavement of the Jews) and the unbelieving Jews (during the wilderness wanderings).  This helps us to understand that all of these trumpet judgments are being sent against the willfully rebellious who have abused God’s people.

 

Rev 8:7-12 KJV

(7)  The first angel sounded,

The first angel sounds his trumpet revealing the first truth concerning God’s final judgment of fire upon the fallen earth and lost mankind.

 

and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth:

John sees hail, fire and blood cast upon the earth.  All of these are used throughout the Old Testament as tools of judgment against sin and rebellion throughout the Old Testament.

Especially, we see these active in the 10 plagues that the Lord sent against Egypt…

  1. Hail and Fire (Exo 9:23-26) – These emphasize God’s presence in this time of judgment (Psa 18:12-13)
  2. Blood (Exo 7:17-21) – This emphasizes loss of life during this time of judgment (Gen 4:10)

 

and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Trees and grass are very important symbols in this trumpet.  They are describing those who will feel the wrath of God upon them:

  1. Trees – represent the proud, physically mighty, and rebellious (Isaiah 2:10-22, Zech 11:1-2)
  2. Grass – represents those who are evildoers and enemies against the Lord (Psa 37:1-2, 92:7, Psa 129:4-7)

Note on “the third part” : The first six trumpet judgments are said to affect a portion, but not all the earth and men upon the earth.  This helps to emphasize that God’s wrath will be progressive and gradually increasing as time passes.  This time of God’s wrath is symbolized as becoming complete with the seven bowls of wrath (Revelation 16:). These bowls of wrath is symbolize the completion of this fallen world and lost mankind in it.

Summary:  In this first trumpet judgment we learn that the final wrath of God against mankind will involve Him, personally, sending His wrath against His enemies.  They consist of the sinfully proud ones who are reliant upon their physical abilities, status, and works to secure their salvation.  Their lifestyle is characterized by a willful attitude of rebellion against the Lord.

 

(8)  And the second angel sounded,

John now hears the second angel sound his trumpet which reveals the second trumpet judgment that continues to symbolize the wrath of fire that falls at Christ’s second coming.

 

and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:

The great mountain burning is used to describe the defeat of the wicked spiritual Kingdom of Babylon including the worship of false Gods, organized rebellion against God, and the many false religions of this world. (Jeremiah 51:25-26).

 

 and the third part of the sea became blood;

This is very similar to the first plague against Egypt, turning the water to blood. (Exo 7:12-24)  This emphasizes the abuse and mistreatment of the children of God by the false religious systems of this world.

 

(9)  And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

The result of this judgment is death and destruction of both nature and mankind.

Summary of this trumpet: In this second trumpet judgment, we learn that God’s wrath will not only be directed against individual sinners, but especially the spiritual sinful kingdoms of this world.  In a special way, God’s wrath will judge the false religions for their organized efforts to abuse and martyr the people of God.

 

 

(10)  And the third angel sounded,

As John hears the third trumpet, he sees great heavenly wonders take place…

 

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;

A huge star falling to the earth.  John sees it put off a bright light, much like the light of a lamp.  This star affects the sources of drinkable water.

In God’s Word a star can represent Satan (Rev 9:1-11. 2 Cor 11:13-15). A star is a dimly shining sun.  This provides the perfect picture of Satan, the one who was cast out of heaven onto the earth trying to masquerade as the One True Light, Christ.  The drinkable water sources give life to men on earth.  They are a picture for us of life-giving gospel message that is proclaimed by the Lord and His followers but defiled through the deceptive work of Satan and His false prophets. 

 

(11)  And the name of the star is called Wormwood:

The name of this star is “Wormwood”.  This word simply means “to place a curse”, “to make bitter”, or “to cause a calamity”.  Satan has done all  of these.  He has brought the curse of sin upon the earth; through his perverting lies he has made bitter the true life-giving gospel message; and through his work, he has brought great calamity and confusion upon this world.

 

and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

When this star falls from heaven and strikes the drinkable water, it makes a portion of the waters “bitter” (undrinkable and poisonous).  In other words, the entrance of Satan in this world perverted the truths of God.  This false teaching then became the water of death for those who are deceived.   This symbolism points back to the OT event at Marah that embittered waters were healed by God teaching the Jews the great importance of following the teachings and leaders that God has set before them. (Exo 15:23-27).  In Jeremiah 23:15, we read that this is a judgment that will fall upon false prophets and false teachers of the Word.

In summary: This trumpet reminds us that it will only be when God’s wrath falls in the last days that the true harmfulness of Satan’s teachings will be understood in its entirety by those who are misled followers of Satan’s message.  God’s wrath will display that they were following the wrong teachers and teachings and now, although deceived, will face God’s wrath for their sinful condition and rebellion against the truth of God. 

 

(12)  And the fourth angel sounded,

John now hears the fourth trumpet sound.

 

and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars;

Once again, he sees great heavenly events.  He sees the sun, moon, and stars “smitten”.  The word for “smitten” means to flatten out by pounding.  This word expresses the use of great force to work great changes.  This seems to refer to the plague of darkness in Exo 10:21-23.

In the Bible, the sun, moon and stars can all represent positions of political and social authority (Psalm 138:8-9).

 

so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

This pounding by the Lord causes them to give off less light to the earth.  In other words, their influence will be gradually taken away as His wrath continues to fall.

In summary: This trumpet reminds us that, as God’s wrath falls, one by one the political kingdoms of the world will fall to defeat which will lead to all the kingdoms will be under the Lord’s manifest authority and rule.  No political power will be able to standup against the Lord and His falling wrath. 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we have seen that the Lord’s wrath will touch the four main areas of rebellion found in our world today:

  1. Trumpet 1 – judgment of the willfully rebellious individuals
  2. Trumpet 2 – judgment of the spiritual kingdoms of this world
  3. Trumpet 3 – judgment of Satan and the followers of His teaching
  4. Trumpet 4 – judgment of the rebellious political kingdoms of the world

Christ as the Just Judge that punishes the appropriate people, governments and false religions that stand in opposition to Himself and His people.   None will escape His hand of judgment, nor will anyone gain the victory over Him.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all remember the great wrath that will fall against rebellious individuals, spiritual kingdoms, political kingdoms and those who are followers of Satan and his false teachings.  May we allow this remembrance to be constant reminder of the need be on guard against each of these, making sure we do not become followers of their wicked teachings or sinful lifestyles.. 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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3 Comments

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this study!

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