Revelation Chapter Eight Part II



Continued from Revelation Chapter 8 Part I

(Rev 8:6) And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Let us consider a brief introduction to the trumpets. The first six trumpets are associated with the earth with its tribulations and woes, while the seventh is associated with heaven for believers (Rev 11:16) and God’s wrath for unbelievers (Rev 11:18; 15:1). Additionally, the first four trumpets are a picture of the catastrophes that will occur against the earth. The fifth trumpet, which is the first woe, is a picture of darkness and the torment of evil people for five months by the locust army released from the abyss.

The sixth trump, which is the second woe, is sounded and the four angels bound at the Euphrates are released. At the release of the angels, we read that there is an army two hundred million horsemen that kill one third of mankind with the fire, smoke, and brimstone that proceeds out of their mouths. The third woe happens after the seventh trumpet sounds (Rev 11:18) and the seven bowls of wrath are poured out on the earth. Here the trumpet and vial judgments against the earth begin (Rev 15:1). The trumpets are sounded in sequence but do not all sound concurrently.

Beginning with the first trumpet and through the Revelation, we will see the ten plagues against Pharaoh and Egypt played out again. They culminate in Rev 19:11-15, when Jesus, the Rider on the White Horse returns with the armies of Heaven and defeats His enemies with the sword of His mouth.

In Rev 19:20, we are told that these enemies had the mark of the beast and worshipped his image. Conversely, like in Egypt, God’s people who are covered by the blood of the Lamb are protected. They are saints of God clothed in clean, white linen, (Rev 19:8) who follow Jesus riding on white horses when He returns to destroy His enemies.

(Rev 8:7) The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

We see a parallel incident in history in Genesis 9:13-26. Hail mingled with fire was the seventh plague God sent against Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. Those not under strong shelter, but out in the fields, farming, walking down roads, etc., were killed by the heavy hailstones (Ex 9:18; 19). Fire, likely in the form of lightning, was mixed with the hail. We can infer lightning from Ex 9:23, 29, & 34 where thunder is mentioned; in Ex 9:23 it states that the fire “ran along upon the ground.” Several translations render it “lightning struck the earth” or something similar.

The hail killed people who were out in the open, destroyed all exposed livestock, destroyed all the herbs of the field (Ex 9:25) that were approaching harvest. It destroyed all the crops (Ex 9: 31) except the wheat and the spelt (a type of wheat) because they were late crops (Ex 9: 32). The blood of people and or animals that did not heed God’s warning to take cover was spilled (Ex 9:25).

We are told that the hail destroyed every herb of the field. Herbs of the field include grass so we must infer that the grass was also destroyed. Therefore, we see the same elements in the plague in Egypt that we see in this passage. We see hail and fire, mingled with blood as well as herbs (grass), and trees destroyed. The plague of hail in the Old Testament is reflected here in the Revelation (Ecc 1:9-11).

This is the sounding of the first trumpet. Hail, fire, and blood are all associated with the judgment of God. Hail is used as a divine punishment and reminder of who God is. Fire, as we see from the previous verses can represent the glory and awesome power of God, is also used for judgment against enemies of God. When spilled, blood can be the way to atonement and to salvation.

The blood of bulls and goats was spilled for the temporary relief of sins, but the blood of Christ was spilled once for all as permanent atonement for all sins and provides for our salvation and eternal life. But the spilling of blood also represents the judgment of God. For example, when God sends an army against His people or His enemies in judgment, blood is often spilled (see 1 Sam 13:1,2,3; Isa 34:1,2,3, and surrounding verses).

Trees are used figuratively as men in Judges 9:8-15; Eze 31:16-17; Dan 4:20, and others, but here, these judgments are catastrophes against the earth. The plague of hail in Egypt was directed at the crops in the fields, the trees, and herbs, and not at the people. God allowed Moses to warn the people to bring their animals in from the fields to take cover so they would not be hurt (Exo 9:19).

Why was all the green grass burned? Grass is used figuratively of humans in Psa 103:15, Isa 404:6-8, and 1 Pet 2:4. Again, the plague of hail in Egypt destroyed the crops and the grass but was not directed at the people. Though the hail did not damage all the trees, grass is much less firm than trees and all of it was destroyed. As in Egypt, some will be killed by the storm because they did need the warning. Yet the Scripture here does not say that people will necessarily die because of this plague.

We understand from the Law that One third and one fourth are portions of foods and other items that become sacrificial offerings (e.g., Exo 29:40; Lev 23:13; Num 15:5; 28:5). These plagues each take something from earth. Unbelievers suffer these plagues and thus give up or sacrifice many things, such as loved ones, houses, possessions, lands, cattle, food, clean water, comfort, safety, lifestyle, etc. Hence this sacrifice for their sins is not to forgive their sins but is a penalty assessed against them because of their sinfulness and unbelief. Unbelief is the sin the leads unto death (Mat 12:31; Heb 3:19; 1 Joh 5:16).

Ezekiel shows us the significance of the third part, which can also be expressed as one-third.

Instructed by Yehovah, Ezekiel shaves off his hair and divides it into three parts, which represent the Israelites before they were captured and taken to Babylon. Then:

Eze 5:2 “One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.

God explains this:

Eze 5:12 ‘One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.

God scattered his people to the winds, meaning he scattered them into other nations, but He protected those faithful to Him (the faithful remnant) even in their exile:

Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Eze 11:16  Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Some examples of those protected by Yehovah in their exile are Nehemiah (Neh 2:5-6), Jeremiah (Jer 39:11-12), the Remnant (Eze 9:4-6), Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan 1:19), and others.

Two thirds are killed by plague or famine, and by sword: ⅓ by plague or famine, and ⅓ by sword. The remaining third will be scattered to the wind and God will protect them with the unsheathed sword behind them. The faithful, that is, those loyal to Yehovah were among those carried into exile. These were His remnant as we see in Zechariah:

Zec 13:7-8 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones. (8) “It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.

Zec 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’

Zechariah 13:7-9 tells us that two thirds of mankind will die, one third by plague or famine, and the other third by sword. The remaining third will be tried and refined by fire and Yehovah will call them “My People” and they will say “Yehovah is my God.” This is precisely what occurs in Revelation.

One third of the people who are believers will be spared when Jesus returns (Rev 14:14,15). One third of mankind is killed by the plagues from in Revelation chapters eight and nine (Rev 9:18). One third will remain (Rev 9:20) and be killed later by the sharp sword proceeding for the mouth of The Word of God, that is the returning Jesus the Messiah (Rev19:15).

In Chapter eight, the first four trumpets reveal that the earth is stuck by plagues, but the people are not intended targets of these plagues. In Chapter nine, in the fifth and sixth trumpets we find that people are the target of the plagues. In the sixth trumpet one third of the people are killed. After the sixth trumpet, we are shown many more details before the seventh trumpet sounds. When the seventh trumpet sounds the Scripture tells us that there are great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” The seventh trumpet ultimately ushers in the seven bowls or vials of the wrath of God. We will discuss those things in depth when we get to those Scriptures.

The wrath of God against unbelievers does not occur until after the seventh trumpet sounds. We are only given scant details about the seven trumpets in chapters nine and ten. There are many details John fills in about the times of the trumpets in the next chapters before God’s wrath occurs against unbelievers.

Recapitulation is a device used in the Scriptures where a concept is introduced in a one Scripture passage and is given some attention there. Yet in a later passage the concept is reexamined in more detail. That is what is happening here. We have a few details about the trumpets and later are given many more details.

The seven bowls or vials of the wrath of God that occur in are only for unbelievers. Believers will not be included when the seventh trumpet is sounded. After the seventh trumpet is sounded, the angels pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God against the unbelievers remaining on earth in Rev 9:20, and in chapters 15 and 16.

Therefore, believers suffer the same plagues unbelievers suffer when the trumpets sound. Christ told us, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Mat 24:21). These occurrences happen when the first five trumpets are sounded. They are the days of that great tribulation and we believers will be on earth during those days. Jesus will remove us from the four winds (the earth) after that tribulation (see Mat 24:29-31; Mar 13:24-26; Luk 21:27-28). Before God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth, the rapture will occur. During the tribulation, believers and unbelievers will suffer. The suffering is the fire the refines the believers (Zec 13:9).

Remember what Christ also said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Mat 24:29). That occurs at the sixth trumpet, which we will discuss when we arrive there.

Rev 8:8 “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;”

Several elements come together to bring us this scene John saw while in the spirit in Heaven. What John saw was a massive burning object that had the appearance of a mountain. Note that John did not write that it was a literal mountain; he used the term “as it were.” The Greek word is ως, hos, meaning “as,” “like,” “similar to,” “comparable with,” etc. Other translations use “something like.” For example, the NASB renders the phrase, “something like a great mountain burning with fire…”

Robertson tells us it was “not a great mountain, but a blazing mass as large as a mountain.”

Thus, John was describing a thing that appeared like a great mountain burning with fire. He wrote that it was something like a mountain, but not an actual mountain. What was it then? Let us do some research. Jeremiah, quoting Yehovah, described Babylon as a burnt mountain:

Jer 51:25-26  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.  (26)  And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.

The context of those verses is God’s pending judgment of Babylon, We learn the context in Jer 51:1,  “Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;” and verse 24, “And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.

The burning mountain imagery also occurs in Deu 4:11-12, where Moses reminded the people about God speaking from Mount Sinai, “the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.” We read of the mountain itself in Exo 19:18, “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

We read about it again in Exo 20:18, “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.” The results of that burning mountain were good—the Ten Commandments were the result. The casting of Babylon into the sea will bring about good as well— the end of Satan’s plans.

We cannot forget that Moses turned the water into blood in Egypt. That was the first plague:

Exo 7:17-18  Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.  (18)  And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.

Exo 7:20  And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

Psa 78:44  And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.

Psa 105:29  He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.

The burning mountain in the Old Testament was a mountain upon which the Almighty God descended and from which He spoke. During that occurrence, the whole mountain trembled and frightened the people. Moses ascended that mountain and saw God face to face. There God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets and gave the Law to Moses.

In Jer 51:24-25, Babylon is called a mountain. “And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD. {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.” Additionally, the wrath of God caused the water to turn to blood in the Nile and all the waters of Egypt because of Pharaoh’s hard heart.

In Revelation, Babylon is symbolic of the end time world’s religion and government (Rev 14:8; 17:5; 18:2 & 10). So here we have a picture of Babylon being tossed into the sea. Jesus said that if we have enough faith we can move a mountain into the sea (Mat 21:21). He did not mean a mountain in the literal sense; he meant it figuratively. He said a man with faith could do to the mountain as Jesus did to the fig tree in Mat 24:32 and Luke 21:29-31. In that context the fig tree symbolizes recognizing the signs of the times about the coming of the Kingdom of God, and the coming judgment of God.

The mountain was symbolic of Israel’s archenemy, Babylon just as Egypt and Pharaoh were the enemies of Israel. Israel represents God’s people, which includes both saved Jew and saved Gentile (Rom 10:12; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11), and Babylon represents those who belong to the prince of this world.

Jesus spoke to the fig tree in Mat 21:19, and it withered symbolizing and the coming judgment against His enemies. God’s people are not included in this judgment but will be delivered from His judgment. God’s people have the faith to move Babylon, or God’s enemies, into the sea, that is, to overcome their influence.

Which brings us to the sea. In Rev 17:1-3, Babylon is depicted as a great prostitute sitting on a red beast with heads and ten horns, ruling over many waters. Rev 17:15 specifically tells us that “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language.”

The sea is often symbolic of the nations and armies of the earth (See Eze 26:3): “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.” The wrath of God causes the nations to raise up armies against God’s enemies, just as the sea rises and floods the land in a storm.

In Isaiah chapter 5, God is speaking of a woe or a calamity that will happen to the people in His vineyard (Israel) because of the wicked among them. He compares the nations He will raise up against them to the sea: “Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (Isa 5:25). The armies called from the nations (Isa 5:26,27) “will roar against them [Israel] Like the roaring of the sea (Isa 5:30).

The casting of the mountain into the sea represents the prophecy against Babylon given in Jer 51:41-43: ” How is Sheshach1 taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!  (42)  The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.  (43)  Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.” Sheshach is a code name for Babylon. The waters turn to blood, exhibiting the wrath of God, just as the waters of Egypt did in Exodus. This fulfillment will come in the time of the end (compare Dan 12:4).

Jesus will return to earth (Rev 19:11) with the armies of heaven made up of the raptured believers from the nations (Rev 19:14), and will defeat Babylon, the wicked final kingdom of this world with the sword of His mouth.

There is certainly a literal possibility as well. With enough faith could say to the mountain, “Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (Mat 21:21). How? One way would be with explosives, bulldozers, and dump trucks. That has certainly been done when constructing railroads and highways. Someone had a vision that a mountain, or at least part of it, could be moved, and had faith that he or she could do it, and then accomplished it. But that is not what the context here indicates.

Rev 8:9 “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.”

In the first plague, all the fish in the Nile died. A third of all life in the nations will eventually die from the plagues in Revelation (Rev 9:18; compare Exo 7:21; Rev 5:13). A third of the ships are destroyed thus commerce between the nations will cease. Commerce or merchandise is how Satan spreads his lies (Eze 28:16).

In the epic novel, The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan, Christian and Faithful come to this city in which there is a fair called Vanity Fair. The Fair is ancient, and vanities are sold there. It was started by Satan. Here is what Bunyan writes about Vanity Fair:

“…at this fair are all such merchandises sold, as houses, lands, trades, places, honours, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures; and delights of all sorts, as whores, bawds, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not? .” The Pilgrim’s Progress, © 1985 by Barbour and Company, Inc, Ohio

Mr. Bunyan says that the merchandise of Satan is all of these things. This is very astute, and true. See Ezekiel chapter 28 and especially verse 16.

Rev 8:10-11 “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; {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.”

Trumpet number three. Wormwood is the common name of an aromatic herb yielding a bitter extract used in making absinthe, which is a strong bitter liqueur. The extract, terpene thujone, is a toxic substance, which explains why absinthe is no longer manufactured. The scientific classification is artemisia absinthium. The wormwood plant produces a bitter and toxic substance. Toxic means deadly. So, a deadly poison enters the waters and kills men. That would be the literal interpretation. However, let us dig deeper.

Let us examine some bitter waters in the Bible. Of course, we know the story of the waters of Marah. The Israelites came to Marah to drink water but it was bitter. Moses cast a tree into the waters, and they became sweet (Ex 15:25). This was a blessing even though the Israelites murmured against God. But the bitter waters caused by this falling star called Wormwood are for a curse.

Immediately after this, God spoke to the Israelites: “And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exo 15:26). God used the bitter waters to teach us the lesson that we should always walk after and depend on Yehovah God.

The Law of Jealousies (Num 5:29) is concerned with bitter waters. If a man suspected his wife had been unfaithful to him but was not a witness to the act and could not produce witnesses to the act, the woman was taken to the priest who arranged an ordeal to determine the woman’s innocence or guilt. When the man brought the woman to the priest, he brought an offering of jealousy or remembrance (an offering of barley). The priest seated the woman before the sanctuary facing the altar. The woman’s hair was unbound as a sign of her shame. The woman held the offering, and the priest held the vessel containing the bitter water. The bitter water was a combination of blessed water and dust from the sanctuary floor. At this point the woman took an oath: if she was innocent, the water would not harm her; if she was guilty, then her “thigh would rot” and her “body swell.” The woman affirmed the oath with a double, “amen.” The priest wrote the curse, “The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot:” on a parchment and washed the ink off the page into the water. The priest then took the offering and burned it upon the altar, after which the woman drank the bitter water. If she was innocent, she would not be harmed and would conceive children as a blessing. If she was guilty, the curse would take effect.

This law was actually used for the purpose stated. But now to find the figurative sense of this law, let us look at the act of spiritual adultery. God considered Israel to be as his wife (Isa 54:6, Jer 3:20, Eze 16:31-32, Hos 1:1). When Israel departed from the true worship of God and worshipped idols and other Gods, she was in idolatry. But God called it adultery. It was the adultery of forsaking the worship of God to worship other gods. Spiritual adultery is actually idolatry.

The Scriptures tell us that the church the bride of Christ. It is now betrothed to Christ. That means that all aspects of marriage are in force. To be separated from Christ, the church would have to be given a bill of divorcement. In ancient Israel, for the betrothed of a man to be separated from that man, a bill of divorcement had to be issued. That is because betrothed was the same as married except for the consummation of the marriage. A six-year-old child may have been engaged to be married and even though she was a child; in order for her not to become the wife of her betrothed, she would have had to get a divorce. But because she was a child the wedding could not take place until she and the betrothed future spouse were of age because, as children, they would be too young for the consummation of that marriage. As the betrothed of Christ, the church could be accused of adultery for worshipping someone other than God.

Could that happen? Do we ever get in a backslidden position because we put something before God? A good example of this is spending so much time at work that we forsake the worship of God, the study of His word, and the fellowship of other Christians. That is putting work before God. That is idolizing work. That is spiritual adultery.

It could also happen if you do not understand who the false Christ is and who comes to Earth first. Many Christians today falsely believe that the church will be taken off the earth before the antichrist comes. That is just not true as Paul tells us in 2 Th 2:1-4: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, {2} That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. {3} Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

So, the antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition who claims to be God will come to Earth BEFORE the True Christ comes and gathers His elect unto Him. When the false Christ comes first, many Christians who have believed the pre-tribulation rapture may think he is the real thing and worship him. This is idolatry or spiritual adultery.

The reason that Wormwood made the waters bitter is because of the Idolatry of men. Just as the wife suspected of adultery was to take of bitter waters, so are those who reject God falling into idolatry. Who do they worship? Well take your pick.

People worship self, unlimited free sex, money, power, notoriety, fame, etc. Some worship the religions of evolution, climate change, unlimited abortion, the new age movement, wiccan, nature worship and earth worship, etc. Paganism is making a big return as we move closer to the end of the age.

The really big things people follow today are the rejection of God and His precepts, and globalism. The two work together. Globalism envisions the utopia of a ruling elite that will make all governmental decisions who will take the place of God. The ultimate result of this vison is the Antichrist, who opposes and exalts himself above God and claims to be God.

Globalism began at the Tower of Babel. There men came together to try to reach heaven, make a name and be like God (Gen 11:4). In the beginning, Lucifer committed that same sin of trying to be like God. Both were acts of pride. Lucifer wanted his name to above the name of God. He was cast out of heaven because of his pride.

In the day of the Tower of Babel, men may not have know how far heaven was above them and they decided to build a tower that would reach into heaven so they could become like God. In other words, their pride caused them to build a tower that would reach all the way to heaven and to God.

This is the same method the serpent used to tempt Eve. If she ate the fruit it would make her and Adam like gods. Her pride made her do it. That same reason and same pride caused the men to want to make a name for themselves, a name that would make them as gods (Gen 3:5) and make their tower famous. It could be said that they wanted their name to be great so that people would worship them. They desired to be one world against their creator; they wanted to be equal with God. The same can be said of today’s globalists.

And now, men are returning to that mistake through one-worldism and that ultimately leads to worship of the beast—the Antichrist. This is idolatry or spiritual adultery against God. Men who participate in that idolatry are destined to drink of the bitter waters just like the woman who is tested for adultery. The ultimate result of this spiritual adultery or idolatry is death.

Rev 8:12 “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.”

The fourth trumpet. Here we must return to the Old Testament. You will find allusion to this event in these prophecies: Isa 13:10, 24:23, Jer 4:23, Eze 32:7,8, Joe 2:10,31, and Am 8:9. Jesus discusses this in Mt 24:29, 27:45, Mk 13:24, 15:33, Lu 21:2,5 23:44,45, and Peter quotes Joel in Acts 2:20. Darkness in Egypt was the ninth plague.

Why were the sun, moon, and stars created? “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Gen 1:14.

They were created to distinguish between night and day and to show seasons, days, and years, but here we are interested in signs. How are they used for signs? Some say the stars of the Zodiac tell the story of the earth, the divine story of the earth, that is. This is the story from creation to the crucifixion, from the resurrection of Christ until his return. Modern astrology is not in view here, nor is the worship of the stars. We are only interested in them as signs.

What kinds of signs? Those signaling the Day of the Lord. We see the darkening of these lights in prophecies against Babylon, Tyre, Jerusalem, Egypt, Zion, and the people of Israel. The darkening of the lights in the firmament represents the wrath of God. When God created the lights, he saw that they were good. When evil, which is darkness, pervades the earth, the light that God created will go away. In the days of the trumpet judgments, evil will have overshadowed a third of God’s good lights that He placed in the heavens for our benefit. For the reason for the use of thirds, see the notes on RSev 8:6.

Rev 8:13 “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”

The explanation for this is simple. In fact, the verse interprets itself. The last three trumpets, which follow this occurrence, are harbingers of three woes2. The first four trumpets did not usher in woes, but tribulation. The three woes are more extreme. The first four trumpets were considerably milder than the last three.

Notice that these last three trumpets that bring in three woes are destined for those that inhabit the earth, that is, for humans. In the first four trumpets we see tribulation against the earth which also means tribulation for the earth’s inhabitants. But the next three woes will be against the people inhabiting the earth.

Two thirds of the earth’s people will perish in these woes and one third be protected (Rev 12:6; 14:15,16). One third will die by the plagues and famine when the fifth and sixth trumpets are sounded (Rev 9:18). The one third who are believers in Christ and will be with Him when He returns for the final battle (Rev 19:14). After the seventh trumpet is sounded the remaining one third will be killed by Jesus Christ with the sword of his mouth (Rev 19:21).

However, there are many more things for us to learn in the next chapters before the seventh trumpet is sounded in Rev 11:15 and afterward. The three woes will be fully expounded upon between here and chapter 19, when the Marriage Supper of the Lamb occurs. Recapitulation is used several times in this Apocalypse. Remember that recapitulation occurs thus: The Apostle John begins a subject and gives some information about it, then moves to another subject. Later he returns to the original subject in greater detail.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior? He is going to return to the world soon. Are you ready? When He does if you do not know Him as your Savior, you will join all those who do not know Him in “Outer Darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat 22:13-14).

Click for More Information.

Mark Oaks, Updated August 2, 2020

  1. According to many Biblical scholars, Sheshach שׁשׁך, is a code name for Babylon בבל, and the code is called Atbash. This code calls for the substitution of letters of the alphabet in their normal order (a,b,c, etc.) with letters in reverse order. For example, in English ‘a’ becomes ‘z’, ‘b’ becomes ‘y’, ‘c’ becomes ‘x’, (abc = zyx) etc. Thus, in the Hebrew alphabet, Babylon uses beit (ב) and lamed (ל), letters 2 and 12 in normal order. The reverse order results in substituting shin (שּׁ) and kaph (ך), the second and twelfth letters from the end of the Hebrew alphabet. (Note: ‘beit’ is also spelled ‘beth’ by some but they make the same sound—like fish bait).
  2. The three woes occur in Rev 9:12; 11:14; 12:12
Series Navigation

<< Revelation Chapter Eight Part IRevelation Chapter Nine Part II >>

This entry was posted in Bible Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *