Notes on Revelation 8:1-9:12

The 7th seal is quite interesting. We know the Lamb opens all of them. He is in control of the good stuff and the bad stuff. The 7th seal opens up the next 7 judgments, which are the 7 trumpets. These, in turn, lead to the bowls of the wrath of God.

Anyway, when this 7th seal is opened, there is silence in heaven for 30 minutes. The people shut their mouths in stunned silence at the judgment that is about to be opened up. The judgments get progressively worse and more frequent. In that half-an-hour, they even stop praising God because of their silence.

There are 7 angels who line up at the altar in heaven. One of them brings a censer with incense and offering all the prayers of the saints. When we cry out to God it shows how big He is and how much we need Him. If you don’t think you need God, He will put you in a situation where you need Him, because He wants to be needed by us, just like a Father.

We are told that the angel cast the censer into the earth, and there were voices, thunder, lightning & an earthquake.

(Remember, the first 4 seals are an attack from God upon nature. These next three are an attack on humanity.)

There followed hail and fire mingled with blood. One-third of the trees were burned up along with all the green grass. (This does something catastrophic to the atmosphere.) It is a graphic picture.

This judgment is described as a great mountain burning with fire and cast into the sea. Indeed, one-third of the sea became blood. It could have been put there by God or been a direct result of the cataclysm.

We are told of Wormwood as something personal. It is a star with a proper name. It falls and causes one-third of the water to become bitter and non-drinkable.

We cannot divorce the supernatural aspects of this revelation from the Bible. We don’t know exactly what these things are going to look like. We don’t necessarily get it, but we must believe it because it is God’s word.

The fourth angel sounds and one-third of the sun is smitten and a third of the moon and also a third of the stars. So it got dark quicker and stayed dark longer. There will be a thick darkness and it will come with drastically falling temperatures.

While all this is going on another angel shows up who proclaims with a loud voice — heaven is no longer silence — “Woe! Woe! Woe!” He is shouting to the inhabitants of the earth, one “woe” for each of the three angels who haven’t shown up yet.

The fifth angel sounded and a star fell from heaven to the earth. The star is given the key to the bottomless pit. This is a different star, an angelic messenger. We know later on the antichrist will be thrown into this pit. We don’t know exactly where this is, but we do know it is somewhere in the earth. (Some things we won’t be able to figure out, no matter how much we study the Bible.)

Smoke rises out of the pit, so much, in fact, that it puts out the sun. And once again, locusts are used in one of God’s judgments. But these aren’t ordinary locusts. The have power as scorpions have. They are commanded not to harm whatever grass or vegetation remains. The only ones the locusts can harm are those without the seal of God. They don’t kill anyone, but cause great pain for a period of 5 months.

In 9:6, we are told that men will seek death, but shall not find it. They will want to die, but death will flee from them. No matter how people attempt to kill themselves, they will not be allowed to die. God shows what happens when people spit in His face and tell Him “no.”

The locusts appear like man & beast, bear armor and are able to receive commands. They have tails like scorpions and are able to sting. They even have a king over them. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek this king is known as Apollyon.

There are still two “woes” remaining.

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