The Sound Of Silence
1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
3Then 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.
4And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.
5Then 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.
6So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7The 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.
8Then 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.
9And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10Then 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. 11The 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.
12Then 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.
13And I looked, and I heard an angel 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 chapter 8 begins where chapter 6 left off.
Remember that chapter 7 was like a “Time Out” in a ball game.
In chapter 6, Jesus told John about the judgments to come
when the seals of the scroll were broken.
Before Jesus continued telling John what was going to happen next
He wanted to explain a few things to John.
Verse 1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
The 7th seal contained the seven trumpets judgment of chapter 6.
The silence that followed indicated
the beginning of a further series of judgments
which will now come from the Throne of God.
That silence doesn't sound too bad does it?
However, that silence in heaven is very important!
It is entirely opposite the usual sound pattern of heaven.
Usually, the sound of praise and worship is going on.
Also the result of what Jesus tells the angelic hosts
will bring about severe judgments to fall on the earth.
The opening of the 7th seal introduces the 7 trumpet judgments
God will send next on the earth.
These judgments are so terrible that the angels stand in wonder.
In the previous verses of Revelation
heaven is seen as a joyful and worshipful place.
Choruses of those in heaven are singing,
but suddenly there comes this ominous silence.
As horrible as the seal judgments were,
the trumpet judgments will be much worse.
Do you think those who reject Jesus so easily today
would remain "silent" if they knew the horrible judgment
that is coming upon this earth and upon them
because they are rejecting Jesus?
The problem is, most people don’t know that.
Why? It’s because most church people today
don’t know what’s in the Book of Revelation.
Those who do know it are remaining silent.
Friends, I’m preaching these sermons so you won’t be silent!
Verse 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
These "angels" are prepared to carry out God's orders.
They will blow those "seven trumpets" were to sound the alarm.
Trumpets are loud and catch people’s attention.
The blast of the trumpets is to alarm the people.
The Wrath of God is coming on the earth.
As the 7th seal is broken, the 7 angels receive trumpets.
Now, remember all of this is happening after the Rapture
and during the 7 years of Tribulation.
The opening of the 7 seals that we saw in chapter 6
take place in the first quarter of Tribulation or 21 months.
The 7th seal begins the 7 trumpet judgments
which begin the next 21 months or 2nd quarter of the Tribulation.
The opening of the 7th seal results in each angel
being given a trumpet that will be blown in proper sequence,
and each one introduces a future form of judgment.
Verse 3 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.
This angel stands before the heavenly golden altar of incense,
which is before the Throne of the Almighty God.
The prayers of all the Christians are mixed with heavenly incense
and offered up to God.
These prayers contain the cries of martyrs' and the suffering saints'.
They have been praying for relief and justice.
Remember what we read back in Revelation 7:9-10?
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
The answer to these prayers is the 7 Trumpets and 7 Golden Vials.
The Old Testament tells about the tabernacle in the wilderness
Which contained its Holy place and the most Holy Place.
God told Moses to build that tabernacle.
It was a miniature of the arrangement in heaven.
The altar constructed by Moses for Israel's Tabernacle
was a copy from this one we see here in heaven.
This vessel we read about in verse 3 was made of gold,
just like everything in the most Holy place in the Tabernacle,
it had to be pure gold or pure overlaid with gold.
Notice that the prayers of the saints with their offering
is placed upon the golden altar at the throne of God.
Sometimes we feel our prayers go nowhere,
but here we see them at the throne of God.
We were not praying to the angel.
We were not praying to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
We must never pray to an angel or Mary.
In fact, we do not even pray to Jesus.
We pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus.
The important thing to see here
is that our prayers go to the throne of God
and to the most Holy place.
Verse 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.
The burning of incense creates smoke.
As the smoke from the incense rises
it is a symbol of our prayers rising to God in heaven.
The "angel" was the messenger who carried the prayers.
Verse 5 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.
The thunder, lightnings, and earthquake
are the result of the fire from the altar in heaven.
The action in heaven starts a responsive action on earth.
As the prayers for the saints for vengeance are taken from the altar,
there are things that happen on earth.
It causes frightening sounds, thunder & lightning,
and an earthquake on the earth.
The seven angels are about to sound their trumpets.
This fire taken from the altar and thrown to the earth
is the fury of God.
God is angry!
He has decided it is time to punish those on the earth
who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah when they would not repent.
Likewise, there is a time when the fire of God
will descend upon this earth in punishment.
All of these thunderings, lightnings, and earthquake
are God dealing with mankind.
This is not symbolic.
A terrible worldwide storm takes place
and a terrible earthquake takes place.
The Wrath of God has begun!
This will cause panic all over the world.
Verses 6 and 7 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 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.
The blowing of the First Trumpet produces
hail and fire mixed with blood from the sky.
The fire from coming down out of heaven
burns up 33% of all the earth's trees and all of its grass.
This is an ecological disaster.
Nothing like it has ever happen before.
We can only imagine what effect this will have on the people.
The prophet Joel had predicted this would happen.
Joel 2:30 "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
Remember this is only the first trumpet!
Some people will tell you that God is a loving God
and He never punishes, but that is not true.
This is punishment from God.
It is done on orders from God.
Those who think God wouldn’t do something like this
need to read Exodus chapter 9.
So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
That as well as what we see here in Revelation chapter 8
were punishments from God.
The difference is the one in Exodus was localized.
The one in Revelation is over all the earth.
The wrath of God falls on those who refuse to believe.
Ezekiel 38:22 says, And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
It is the same God in Ezekiel that we see in Revelation.
The first trumpet is so bad that it kills 1/3 of all vegetation.
Try to imagine what that will be like.
Verse 8-9 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.
When the second trumpet is blown,
John sees "something like a great mountain burning with fire".
In my opinion, this mountain will be an erupting volcano
sending hot lava, smoke, and ashes into the atmosphere
and all that falling into the sea.
As a result, a third of the sea becomes blood.
Has anything like this ever happened before?
It did back in Moses’ day.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.' " 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck 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.
If it happened back then, it can happen again!
As a result of that trumpet blast,
33% of all the oceans turn to blood.
Everything living in those sea dies.
Imagine the stench of all those rotting dead sea creatures!
The ships on those seas will be destroyed.
Now with 1/3 of all vegetation gone
The world’s level of oxygen will be affected.
All the green grain fields are burned up.
With famine already raging in many parts of the world
there will be a scarcity of food everywhere else.
This will seal the doom of millions.
Verses 10-11 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.
The blast from the third trumpet
sends forth a star called Wormwood.
In my opinion, this will be an enormous meteorite
that crashes to earth that is "burning like a torch."
However, it does not fall on the sea.
It falls on a third of the earth's rivers and springs
turning them "bitter" and poisonous.
As a result of this plague, "many men" die.
The World Health Organization states "nearly half of the world's people are affected by diseases related to insufficient and contaminated water,"
This plague that will be spread even more disease
when the fresh drinking water supply turns to bitter!
Now, before I go any further, let me say this.
Some Bible scholars claim these terrible things
will be the result of a nuclear bomb set off by some nation.
I don’t believe that.
These judgments come directly from God.
They are not caused by anything man might do!
Verse 12 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.
The blast from the 4th trumpet
causes darkness on 33% of the earth.
In some way, God strikes the sun, moon, and stars.
This reduces by a third the amount of light and radiant energy
reaching earth from the sun and all other celestial bodies.
Genesis 1:1-3 says,
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
So God created light in the first place
and He is able to diminish it to one third.
All over the earth,
there will be 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of daylight.
Has God ever done anything like this before?
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt." 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
Jesus said things like this will happen in end times.
"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; 26men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
God did it before and He can do it again!
Verse 13 And I looked, and I heard an angel 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!"
The last 3 trumpets will be especially severe.
Notice the angel cries out, “Woe, woe, woe”.
These judgments will be directed toward the inhibitors of the earth.
The unbelievers still alive on earth will suffer these judgments.
Christians will be spared the Wrath.
The problems we have already heard about are terrible,
but they get even worse.
Four angels have sounded and three more are about to sound.
We are given all kinds of warnings in our lives.
We have heard that too much red meat will clog your arteries
and too much sun will cause skin cancer.
Most people ignore most warnings!
There is one warning that would be disastrous to ignore.
That is the warning of what will happen to us
if we ignore Jesus as our Christ.
This warning is prevalent throughout the Bible,
and especially in the book of REVELATION.
It describes the exact details of what will happen
to people who reject Jesus.
Revelation is NOT “just a story” that we read about.
These are precise details of things that are getting ready to happen!
We are on the brink of it happening any day!
There is only one way to prevent this from happening to you.
That one way is your making a decision to follow Jesus.
Man cannot say he has not been sufficiently warned
of coming judgment.
God is infinitely patient and compassionate
toward those deserving of His wrath.
This reminds us of God’s calling on our lives
to proclaim that salvation is available through Jesus.