The mercy of God or the justice of God
We have arrived at Revelation chapter eight. To give you a very brief review of the last few articles the first seal shows the antichrist confirming the seven year peace treaty which starts the seven year tribulation period. The second seal shows worldwide war. As to the where, who and what I really do not know but this is not a regional war. This is worldwide peace taken from the earth. The third seal describes an economic collapse and the forth seal is an outbreak of death because of famines, disease which no doubt will produce violence. The fifth seal is when the new believers in Christ are martyred. The sixth seal is when every mountain and island is removed from the original place of where it once was but the earthly reason is still unclear to me. All I know is God is very angry at this future point. Revelation chapter seven tells us that 144,000 Jews from the twelve tribes of Israel will be chosen by God Himself.
(1) "AND when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (2) And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. (3) And another angel came and stood at the alter, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (4) And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. (5) And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the alter, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. (6) And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound." Revelation 8:1 - 6.
Verse one describes a silence in heaven before the seventh seal is opened and obviously before the judgment is released upon the earth. Do you remember the joyous praises in Revelation chapters four and five? The apostle John did weep but the tone really changes in Revelation chapter eight. The angels standing in the presence of God are very serious because the judgment of God is getting very intense. They are about to announce with trumpet blasts the next set of judgments for planet earth. The seven trumpets in verse one are part of the seventh seal.
They are not allowed to blow the trumpets because another angel appears on the scene. He is at the altar with a golden censer filled with incense which is the prayers of the saints so he offers this to God. Some even believe this is Jesus Christ Himself because this function is given to the High Priest. This is pictured in the Old Testament regarding the altar of incense.
Saints in this context are referring to the redeemed in heaven and believers on earth praying to God so as a result a golden censer is filled with incense. They are praying for the suffering believers in Christ on earth. After the prayers are given to God the Father He fills the golden censer with fire from the altar and throws it to the earth. At this point this world will erupt with thunder, lightings and an earthquake. A warning as opposed to destruction seems to be the case regarding the additional judgments to come on the earth. He is giving people time to think about the six judgments that already happened with so many people that just died. God always proceeds reluctantly to judgment but He desires repentance of their sins by giving their hearts over to Jesus Christ. There does not seem to be the sorrow over sin God is looking for because the trumpet and bowl judgments are delivered to earth because of the prayers of the martyred believers in Christ which is the justice of God. We are either under the mercy of God or the justice of God.
When the apostle John was taken up to heaven he wrote what he saw and heard but still was not familiar with technology. It still would have been difficult for him to write the book of Revelation one hundred years ago. At this point worldwide nuclear warfare is very possible. We are about to read about ecological disasters but the warfare will probably be due to human causes. People seem to be inflicting these judgments on themselves and this should not in any way surprise us but it is God who removes His restraining power from man at this point because of exceeding sin.
"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 the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up." Revelation 8:7. Once again this is conjecture but this might be warfare and the players could be found in Revelation chapter sixteen. The trumpet judgments has a redundant theme of one third of something being destroyed. This verse talks about the grass being burnt up which implies food. This will be a massage loss of vegetation but God stills shows mercy by leaving two thirds of the grass untouched around the world.
(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; (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." Revelation 8: 8 - 9. The apostle John was a very simple man but well taught with the Scriptures; however, he could only write what he saw so was this a meteor or some sort of a bomb? The sea will turn red because of all the death. Marine life will be destroyed. Remember there are many weapons around the world. The Bible says one day this destruction will come to pass on this earth. First grass is destroyed which means a famine but then then one third of the ships are destroyed which is probably plan B to get the food to populated centers.
(10) "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." Revelation 8: 10 - 11. The Old Testament makes reference to this by saying, "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Is'ra - el; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink." Jeremiah 9:15. Some sort of disaster takes place in the form of the judgment of God but this particular star called Wormwood contaminates a third of freshwater around the world. Eventually drinkable water runs out so if people drink they will die.
"And the forth 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." Revelation 8:12. The Old Testament has something to say about this, (8) "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. (9) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God." Zechariah 13: 8 - 9. One third of sunlight will be reduced by one third of the night. It will be a dark day on planet earth literally. War produces pollution which causes darkness. These judgments will produce starvation, dehydration and suffocation. If I had to go through this I would fall on my face before God.
"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!" Revelation 8:13. At this juncture God pauses and He gives a warning. The purpose of this is so people will turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. If you can believe this most will not heed the warning so because of this they will have to face the final three trumpet judgments. There are three Woes in this verse which always means judgment is about to come. The judgments of God will be intensified and of course suffering will be the end result. People are actually inflicting these sufferings on other people but it is under the general catagory of the judgment of God. We can choose a fallen nature or we can choose Jesus Christ.
If you do not know the true Messiah you may want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Lord into your life. I think Revelation chapter eight proves that the heart of man can become very hard. "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. " Romans 11:22. It should be so obvious that the goodness of God is far better than the severity of God. We do not have to be a straight A student to make the right decision to accept and abide in Jesus Christ. God bless you Bob D.