Sermons

Summary: Here we have one of the pauses in the narrative which the Revelation uses so effectively. Three fearful woes are to come upon the earth when the remaining three angels sound the last blasts on the trumpets; but for the moment there is a pause . . .

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

By: Tom Lowe Date: 4-27-2016

Series: Verse By Verse Through Revelation

Title: Three-Fold Woe Announced (8:13)

Revelation 8:13 (KJV)

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!

Introduction

Here we have one of the pauses in the narrative which the Revelation uses so effectively. Three fearful woes are to come upon the earth when the remaining three angels sound the last blasts on the trumpets; but for the moment there is a pause; a pause that provides a transition from the fourth trumpet blasts that caused havoc on nature to the three coming blasts that would let loose the Heavenly forces to attack people on the earth.

Commentary

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!

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven.” Notice: John says, “I beheld . . . I heard.” Both the eye and ear are engaged, signifying the careful attention and interest of the beloved disciple in the events which passed before him. The angel is flying through mid heaven . . . the firmament, and from there the whole world can hear his three-fold cry, and he can scan the entire earth, from its center to the most remote boundary of the universe. The triple cry of “Woe! woe! woe!,” announces the most horrible judgments ever announced . . . Judgments that are far beyond the imagination of man. The suffering caused by evil powers is answered by the coming of suffering upon those evil powers themselves.

“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!” A “woe” in Biblical tradition is a prophetic pronouncement of the coming judgment of God, a form also used by Jesus in the Gospels (Isaiah 3:9, 11; Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 24:6, 9; Matthew 11:21; 18:7; 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29; Matthew 11:21; 18:7; 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29; Luke 6:24-26). The fifth trumpet is the first woe (see 9:12); the sixth trumpet is the second woe (see 11:14); the third woe is not specified, but see 12:12. The “woes” are to fall especially upon those who have their settled place of abode on the earth. Those who refuse to hear the solemn warnings from Heaven and in spite of all the announcements of judgment cling but to this earth as their home and their dwelling place, as if they would abide here forever. Such people are alive today.

The term “inhabiters of the earth” is used twice before, in chapters 3:10 and 6:10, referring to the peoples upon whom the Tribulation will come, and having to do with the Philadelphia believers and the souls under the altar. The souls under the altar were comforted by being assured that the inhabiters of earth would be judged when their brethren had been killed (during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation).

This is a distinct and discernible class of people, spoken of in the term “dwellers on or inhabiters of” the earth. It will be against this perverse, unbelieving class that these terrible woes of God will be directed . . . first against the Jews, second against the inhabitants of the Roman earth and empire, and last, it will reach to every square inch of the universe and will have to do with every person who inhabits the earth. This will be the final, the omega, of God’s giant judgments of fury.

The vast majority of Bible scholars say that the picture we have in this verse is not to be taken literally but the symbolism behind it is that God uses nature to send His messages to men. Their interpretation of verse 13 is that John sees an “eagle” (the symbol of judgment; the insignia of Rome), swooping down on Israel’s enemies (Jeremiah 48:40-42),—not an angel as the King James Version has it. (The Greek word translated here as “eagle,” has a more accurate label—vulture—which is better because of its association with impending doom.) The eagle inspires both dread (for the unrepentant) and home (for God’s people). In the midst of judging a sinful world, God will strengthen his people through the trials to come. He will mount them up on eagle’s wings and sustain them with the winds of His Spirit (Exodus 19:4; Isaiah 40:31). The strangeness of an eagle speaking in this manner may have caused the substitution of “angel” (KJV), an incorrect reading even though in 14:6-7 it is an angel who utters a similar warning. It is quite possible that the Greek could mean “one solitary eagle.” Most manuscripts, and especially the oldest ones, have “eagle” here instead of “angel,” but either one would certainly get people’s attention! Could this be the eagle-like living creature that John saw worshipping before the throne? (Revelation 4:7-8). Will God send it on this special mission? We cannot say for sure but it is a possibility. The expression “midst of heaven” means the zenith of the sky, that part where the sun is at midday. Here we have a dramatic and eerie picture of an empty sky and a solitary eagle, the king of birds, descending fatally from on high, winging its way across its zenith, forewarning of the doom to come. Ample warning has been given again. So terrifying are the last three trumpet judgments that they have the added classification of “woe judgments.” Once more, it is announced that the judgments are intended for those who have settled down on the earth (a characterization of the ungodly). Man can never claim he has not been sufficiently warned of coming judgment.

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media


Angels Among Us
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Glory To God
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion