When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Revelation 8:1
Silence in heaven. Heavenly silence. While pondering this, the phone rang. It was Roxy’s dentist.
“Your wife is ready to be picked up.”
I wondered why the dental office called, instead of Roxy.
“She shouldn’t talk for about half an hour.”
I’ll just leave that right there, before I get in trouble.
Well, actually one more thing.
But please note, this is from somebody else, not me. I heard that somebody (not me) tried to use that verse to prove...there’d be no women in heaven.
Okay, let’s move on before I get buried in this hole I’m digging.
Silence in heaven, resembles what happen exactly one chapter earlier where the four angels from the four corners of the earth, held back the four winds.
There was a pause then, to protect and to praise. To protect the 144,000 Jewish Servants of God; and then, to witness the praise of a multitude so great no man could number.
Here, we see a moment of silence in heaven to prepare and for prayer. The Seven Angels prepare to sound their trumpets; and the prayers of all the saints are presented to God as incense.
This silence is the eye of a storm; between the chaos of the seals and the catastrophes of the trumpets. This solemn moment reflects the heart of God. He does not take this lightly. What’s about to happen on earth grieves Him, yet His righteous justice demands it. The Lord bares His heart regarding how He feels:
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Ezekiel 33:11
His plan and purpose, is for all to be saved. Alas, His will is not always fulfilled.
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Revelation 8:2.
Notice they were silent, not stagnant.
seven angels. Not just any angels, but the seven. The Seven Angels
Trumpet Band. Some scholars say one of the seven is Gabriel. It makes sense
because, Luke 1:19, says: I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God.
Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:3-4.
Because this angel is performing a priestly duty by offering the prayers of the saints, some claim this angel is Jesus. However, the word “another” in the original text is, allos; which means, of the same kind. Jesus is God, and never referred to as just another angel. This angel is just as it is written, another angel.
Notice, not just a pinch, but much incense was given to him. Which makes sense because it represents the prayers of all the saints.
All means, all.
If you are a born-again child of God; your prayers are heard. And not just heard, but taken seriously. Here we see heaven go silent, to have a ceremony, in honor of your prayers, and mine, and the prayers of all the saints.
HE. Hears. You.
Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Revelation 8:5-6
Prayers are powerful.
The same censer and altar used to offer prayers up, is used to throw fire down. Prayers go up, answers come down. In this case, the answers coming down, are in the form of judgement. Fire represents judgement.
During the tribulation there will be lots of prayers for judgement; for justice. Remember in chapter six, those under the altar cry out for justice. Today we find ourselves praying for justice, as we see injustice, not condemned, but condoned.
One day soon, these prayers
will be answered. Justice will be served. The tables will be turned,
like Jesus did in the temple, when they’d turned His House into a den of
First Trumpet: Vegetation Struck
The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. Revelation 8:7.
All the green grass and a third of the trees, all burned up. Just like that, the green new deal goes up in smoke. And the cows? What’ll they eat? Their stomachs will be full of what the green new deal is made of…a whole lotta gas.
Now, to be clear, we should be good stewards of what God has given, His creation. But, we must maintain a Biblical perspective. It’s all going to burn; no amount of tree hugging will stop it.
Take care of it, but don’t worship, or idolize it. Especially don't believe or be like, those who use it to control, manipulate, or make millions by fear mongering the masses.
Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck
Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Revelation 8:8-9.
Some say this great mountain burning is a volcano. Others say it’s an asteroid or comet; which seems to be most likely. It’s so large and hits so hard that it turns a third of the sea to blood, destroys a third of sea life, and destroys a third of the ships.
After the first two trumpets, it’ll be hard to breathe. Oxygen levels will be compromised due to the destruction of a third of the trees and seas. We get oxygen from trees, and plankton in the ocean.
It won’t just be hard to breathe, it’ll be putridly, nauseating. Imagine the stench of one out of every three fish, rotting, on every shore.
We really don’t
want to be here for this.
Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck
Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. Revelation 8:10-11.
This time there’s a falling star, burning like a torch. So, it’s a good deal smaller than the first trumpet’s great mountain; but because of where it lands, it does as much damage. Instead of salt water; it hits fresh, and poisons a third of the earth’s fresh water, causing many to die.
This star is named, wormwood; which means bitter. In Ukraine, the word for wormwood, is Chernobyl. The place of the nuclear disaster, April 26, 1986; where eight thousand died, two hundred thousand were affected. Scientists claim the land will be uninhabitable for twenty thousand years (they don’t know that God will fix all that, when He makes all things new).
Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck
Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. Revelation 8:12.
This trumpet seems like it could be a natural result of the first three. After the earth is pummeled with falling, burning hail, mountain, and star, it’s no wonder a plume of dust and smoke and soot and ash dims the light of the sun and moon and stars for a third of the day and night.
An ominous reminder of
when all went dark, the last three hours of Jesus life on the cross, from the
sixth hour to the ninth.
And I looked, and I heard an angel (eagle) flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” Revelation 8:13.
If you’re using a King James or New King James version, it will say, “angel” instead of “eagle.” The original text uses the word, aetos; which means eagle.
Do you think this eagle could be a member of the friendly creature quartet we met, in chapter four? I do.
and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:7b.
As we close out this chapter, look back at the first three trumpets. Notice, they're the result of cosmic catastrophes, (burning stuff falling from the sky); just as Jesus says will happen.
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations; Luke 21:25.
He also tells us, I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven; Hebrews 12:26.
We should view this shaking, as a pruning and preparing, for a new heaven and a new earth; Revelation 21:1.
As a gardener prunes, it may appear as if he’s killing his plants and trees; but in reality, he’s preparing them for bigger and better.
This tribulation process, is God’s way of shaking out the wood, hay and stubble. Pulling the weeds, separating the sheep, removing the dross; so only those things which cannot be shaken may remain, (Hebrews 12:27).
All the while, hoping, they turn from their ways and live.
Now with that being said, let’s look ahead. What fell from above with the first four trumpets was hard, but, just as the eagle says, what comes next, is worse. It comes from the pits of hell.
Oh, and one more thing. Aren't you curious about why everything was "a third."? A third of the trees, and seas, and waters and sun, moon, stars, day, night, a third of everything. Want to know why?
Remind me and we'll talk about that next.
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; Luke 21:25.
“Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Hebrews 12:26-27