Up to now, you have seen the unsealing of six seals of the scroll (with writing on both sides). You also know that the one who sits on the throne in heaven is the author of the contents of this scroll. You know that no one in heaven and no one on earth was able to open the scroll or even look at its contents … except one.
It would be the sacrificial The Lamb of God – the ascended one, Christ himself – who was worthy to take the scroll from one who sits on the throne and open it and look at its contents.
This is important to understand because he is the only one who knows the contents and thus is able to dispense and announce its contents/messages to that world of the last days, which is far in the future.
Now, the Lamb of God opens the seventh seal.
“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”(Revelation 8:1)
The silence in heaven for about half an hour is not a literal 30 minutes. It is a span of time that transpires in heaven. The heavenly realm is not on an earthly clock.
There are no voices of the four living creatures who were speaking to John at the opening of the first four seals. (Revelation 6:1-7)
At the opening of the fifth seal, there are no cries heard from the souls under the altar who were slain because of the word of God and the testimony they maintained. Their loud voices are silent at the opening of the seventh seal. (Revelation 6:9-11)
At the opening of the sixth seal, the sounds of earthquakes, strong winds, stars falling from heaven, the heavens receding like a scroll being rolled up, and mountains and islands being removed from their places … halted.
There is no activity in heaven at the opening of the seventh seal for an undetermined span of time.
The opening of the seventh seal portends great activity and trouble on the earth. While there is silence in heaven for about half an hour, on earth in those future days, there will be no silence for a time span. There will great tribulation (a great test for Christ’s followers and worshipers of God); Armageddon; the declaration of the Goodnews of the Kingdom by a special angel (Revelation 14:6); the pouring out of God’s final judgment upon the kingdom of the beast; a gathering of his faithful ones, and great trouble for the inhabitants of the earth in those days.
“And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.”(Revelation 8:2)
The Apostle John sees seven angels. Each angel is given a trumpet. Trumpets are used to alert announcements or the beginning of an activity about to begin. Thus, each trumpet blast by each angel would be followed by a message or announcement. Seven announcements.
It is interesting that Jesus teaches that “he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)
“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:3-5)
The Apostle John sees an eighth angel standing at the golden altar of God in heaven. He was given incense to offer along with the prayers of all of God’s people. The smoke of the incense along with all of the prayers of God’s people went up before God from the angel’s hand.
Who are God’s people? These are all who will have proven themselves faithful through the Great Tribulation. No one today is “God’s people” as one MUST BE resurrected from the dead, pass through Christ’s 1000-year kingdom over the earth, and at its end suffer through the throne of Satan on earth in those future days which includes the “Great Testing.” The period of time of the Great Tribulation will not be easy for them. God will not forget their sacrifice, loyalty, steadfastness, and faithfulness to Him.
Thus, we see the angel take the censer and fill it with fire from the golden altar of God in heaven and hurl it to the earth.
What is this fire inside the censer that the angel hurls to earth?
Understand that at this time, the Dragon will have fulfilled part of his judgment: Imprisonment in the Abyss for 1000 years.
He must be released after the 1000 years. Then what lies in front of him is his complete destruction once and for all and forever. But he does not go down without a fight.
He has one-third of all of the angelic hosts on his side. For God to destroy him would lead to doubt in the other two-thirds that the Dragon’s judgment was unjust.
Thus, the Dragon for a short time (not on a human clock) is released to show that he is deserving of eternal destruction.
I cannot help but think of the power and influence of this angel that he will have one-third of all of the angels with him and on his side! That simply blows me away!
Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. (Revelation 12:4) (See Revelation 12:7-9)
The fire inside the censer that the angel hurls to earth is the key that opens the Abyss. It is also God’s fiery judgment upon the Dragon.
The Dragon is released to face his final judgment. After 1000 years he must be released and allowed to do what he will do before his destruction.
He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Revelation 20:3)
The symbolic fire will eventually consume and destroy this powerful angel who was imprisoned there.
As a result of the hurling down of the symbolic fire to the earth, there will be “peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.”
These things represent the shaking up of the society of people Jesus placed in an earthly paradise and restored to their Creator.
As the Dragon ascends out of the Abyss, he seeks to ruin and destroy that earthly society as he knows his time is short and he is not strong enough to hold on to it nor fight against what will assuredly come down out of heaven to the earth, God’s kingdom.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short.
The First Angel – The First Trumpet Blast
“Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”(Revelation 8:6-7)
Keep in mind that these events will be in a very distant time period that is much different than the one we are in now.
In those future days, all of the countries/kingdoms today will no longer be in existence. They will be destroyed at the establishment of Christ’s 1000-year kingdom over the earth.
Next, Christ’s kingdom of 1000 years must have its time (age/period) on the earth. Within that time period, all of the dead will have been resurrected and restored to their Creator.
Then Christ’s 1000-year kingdom ends. When it ends, Satan is released from the Abyss and he slowly and subtly establishes his throne on earth. Thus, the meaning of what Jesus said at Revelation 1:1: “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” In other words, what soon takes place after Christ’s 1000-year kingdom ends. I maintain that the Book of Revelation has no application in our time period today.
The pecking order starts from the top of something established on the earth in those future days and works itself down.
Also, recall that the censer hurled down to the earth will be filled with a symbolic consuming fire. The trumpet blast and accompanying announcement have an effect over the entire earth as if it is pounded with hail and fire mixed with blood! There is no literal fire mixed with blood. The fire mixed with blood mentioned here is the bleeding out or zapping the life out of something.
The earth here is “the world” that has been established on the earth. In other words, something established. What will have been established on the earth? Satan’s throne, the beast! This would include members of the false prophet class who will be the mouthpiece and propagators of the beast. (Revelation 2:13, Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:11)
As a result of the first trumpet blast, one-third of the earth – Satan’s throne, the beast – is consumed. It still functions but in a weakened state.
Some might ask, “Why does God not destroy the entire of throne of the beast at this time? Why only a third? This is a very good question and there is a good answer.
The reason is that if God destroyed the entire throne of Satan (the beast), the other trumpet blasts (announcements) would not be heard; especially the seventh one which will declare God’s victory over Satan, and the kingdom of the world becomes His kingdom and that of His Messiah forever. (Revelation 10:7; Revelation 11:15)
This declaration from the angel with the seventh trumpet must be made as a witness to all who reside in heaven and on earth in those future days per Jesus’ words at Matthew 24:14.
And then and only then will the end come. End of what? Satan’s kingdom (The Beast) that will have deeply embedded itself in the earth in those future days.
So, here is a teaching point that helps us understand what “the end” and what “the last days” are. The end is the end of Satan’s future beastly throne on earth in future days and the last days are the events that lead up to that end.
Due to Christianity’s false teachings, the masses have been led to believe that the end and that the last days have to do with our time period today. No!
Recall at Matthew 24:3 what Jesus’ disciples asked him, “… what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
They were interested in when his 1000-year kingdom would begin (The sign of his coming) and when it would end (The end of the age. The end of the 1000 years).
A third of the trees, not literal trees, but offshoots, branches, and appendages from Satan’s throne, were destroyed. Two-thirds of Satan’s throne will still function.
These trees would be organizations and the persons over them given authority within Satan’s throne. Thus, the beginning of the dismantling of Satan’s throne on earth. That Satan’s throne has trees shows that it will have been rooted and established strong on the earth for quite some time.
That all of the green grass is burned up exposes that Satan’s throne has no power to grant everlasting life. Also, that it is not invincible as people will believe it is. The waters (people) that flowed in it and gave it life are receding. It is whithering away.
The green grass – those worshiping, supporting, and reliant upon Satan’s throne (the beast) that sits on top (controls) the people – symbolically turns brown and whithers away. They are alive, but dead with regard to gaining everlasting life. They will have been rooted in the bad soil (figuratively) of Satan’s throne which never had life-giving water to nourish the roots of the grass.
If the roots of the trees are deprived of water, they die.
The Second Angel – The Second Trumpet Blast
“The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”(Revelation 8:8-9)
We saw in the first trumpet blast over the earth targets the established things of Satan’s throne ruling over and controlling the people. Now we see a trumpet blast targeted at the sea. What is this sea?
At Revelation 13:1 we see a beast ascending out of the sea. This beast had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
Thus the beginning of the establishment of Satan’s throne on earth. The beast out of the earth – deep-rooted organizations and human rulers over them -would come later. (Revelation 13:11)
Christ’s kingdom of 1000-years will have already ended and the inhabitants of the earth will be living happily and orderly even after it ends. Satan’s release from the Abyss of a thousand years will not be an immediate onslaught of invasion upon the society left behind by Christ.
Satan’s imposition and invasion into it will be slow and subtle. That is why we see the Dragon – at his un-Abyssing – standing on the shore of the sea. (Revelation 13:1)
What sea is this? A literal sea? No! It is a sea of mankind at peace with one another. The sea is calm and unagitated. This is the result of Christ’s 1000-year rulership over the earth.
The sea (of mankind) does not make ripples or waves until the Dragon (standing on the seashore) causes something to rise up out of the sea of mankind.
So, something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, thrown into the sea of mankind causes great agitation and confusion among the masses. Hating, betraying, and having their brethren put to death. (Remember Judas betrayed Jesus and it led to his death)
One-third of the people (sea) turn into blood. In other words, they are guilty of persecuting, betraying, and having their former brethren put to death because they refuse to worship the beast and his image or receive its mark.
A third of the living creatures in the sea died. This is not literal aquatic life. These living creatures (the first to be resurrected from the dead) are men who had inherited a kingdom from Christ when his kingdom of 1000 years ended. They were kings and priests with him for the 1000-year duration of his kingdom over the earth. One-third of them – approximately 48,000 – will give their inheritance as kings over in service to the beast for one hour and fight against the Lamb of God. (Matthew 5:5; Revelation 17:13; and Revelation 20:4)
They die in that they lose out on the prospect of everlasting life. They will enter into the Lake of Fire Which is the Second Death. I believe these 48,000 are the collective False Prophet.
We are told that a third of the ships were destroyed. Who or what are these ships? Ships are constructed to sit on top of the water. These living creatures – former kings with Christ – will occupy high office and station within Satan’s throne. They will become respected pillars in it. That these living creatures lost their faith in Christ, they ceased to be on a solid anchor and unsteady. Any support they had from God, they would lose. They would not be able to withstand any strong winds from God. Their ships – support structures – which will be magnificent – are decimated and destroyed.
The Third Angel – The Third Trumpet Blast
“The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”(Revelation 8:10-11)
This great star is not a literal star. This star falls from a great heavenly height as a result of a war that occurs in heaven. This star is the Beast out of the Earth or False Prophet seen in Revelation 13:11.
This Beast out of the Earth is a collective of 48.000 men from the 144,000 who served with Christ as kings and priests during his 1000-year kingdom over the earth. As mentioned previously, they will surrender their inheritance as kings of the earth to serve as kings within Satan’s throne on earth. They, collectively, form the False Prophet.
That they were former kings and priests with Christ for the 1000 years, they will be highly respected and trusted by the inhabitants of the earth whom they ruled over. The people listen to and obey them. The masses will not know – initially – that they sold their inheritance to serve under the Dragon.
Of this False Prophet, we are told at Revelation 13:13 that it “performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.”
This False Prophet becomes the mouthpiece, human spokesman, and word of the Dragon operating within Satan’s throne on earth, the Beast.
Thus, when they spread propaganda that appears to be godly, the people listen to them and obey. But the words they speak are Satanic and Wormwood.
Wormwood (artemisia herba-alba) is a woody plant having an intensely bitter taste and a strong aromatic odor found mostly in Palestine.
Thus Wormwood are utterances and teachings that “smell good” so as to attract, but are false or bitter when ingested. The ingesting lead to spiritual sickness. A sickness that would cause a Brother to betray his Brother.
Wormwood in this context also designates a bitter experience. (Read Proverbs 5:4)
So, the great star blazing like a torch that falls from the sky is the False Prophet (Beast From the Earth that has two horns that looks like a lamb but speaks as a Dragon) who serves up poisonous and lying propaganda to the waters of people. As a result of their propaganda, one-third of the rivers and springs of water are poisoned in a spiritual sense, and those who drink from the rivers and springs of water, die in a spiritual sense.
People are likened to waters. Read Revelation 17:15.
The Fourth Angel – The Fourth Trumpet Blast
“The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, 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 turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.”(Revelation 8:12)
This is no literal striking of the sun, moon, and stars. Think about it: How can a third of the night be without light? This has a greater meaning.
The sun, moon, and stars are great luminaries. They are sources of light. The vast propaganda machine of the Dragon via his throne on earth – The Beast – mouth-pieced by the False Prophet, will lose a lot of its light and influence with the people. Further weakening and erosion of Satan’s throne on earth.
Three More Trumpet Blasts To Come
“As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” (Revelation 8:13)
While four trumpet blasts will have sounded, three more trumpet blasts remain. They portend three woes (sorrowful and distressful times) for the inhabitants of the earth. The worse is yet to come.
No one of importance. A disciple (student) of Christ apart from the established religious systems who reasons, thinks and concludes matters for myself. Something is not right with the state of religion in the world. The real dichotomy is that we live in a world so full of religion, yet is an evil, immoral, and dangerous place to live. A mental and spiritual separation from this world that Jesus said his kingdom is no part of is the first step to a "break-through" to freedom and entry into a much larger spiritual world where God and Christ resides and the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God can be accessed.