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 – 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 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 where 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; 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. 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 angels 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 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?
God’s words are powerful and when uttered, do not return without results. If He says, “Let there be light,” there will be light. It was by God’s word that the heavens and the earth and all of the things in them came into existence.
God’s words can be a source of living water or a consuming fire. Fire consumes or destroys.
The fire seen inside censer which is hurled to the earth represents God’s destructive forces unleashed upon a world in future days. This fire will consume and destroy anyone or anything it targets. This fire is not a literal fire, but a symbolic and destructive one. Its effects upon the earth will be as if the earth is consumed by a literal fire.
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.”
The peals of thunder are the seven trumpet blasts. The rumblings are the agitation, fear, and confusion experienced by the inhabitants of the earth as a result of the thunderous trumpet blasts. The flashes of lightning represent something heavenly. In this case, it will be evident to the inhabitants of the earth that the source of the thunder and earth-shaking rumblings are from the one who sits on the throne in heaven.
And, there was an earthquake. Not earthquakes. What is this? During the trumpet blast of one of the angels – the seventh one – an earthquake occurs. This is no literal earthquake. This earthquake will shake the foundations of Satan’s throne on earth in those future days (which comes after Christ’s 1000-year kingdom over the earth ends) once and for all and bring its destruction as if consumed by fire. This earthquake is by God’s powerful word: It is the declaration of the Good News About God’s Kingdom that will be declared by an angel, not man. (Revelation 14:6)
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 very distant time-period that is much different than the one we are in now. In those future days, all of the countries 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 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 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. (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.
A third of the trees, not literal trees, but offshoots, branches, and appendages from Satan’s throne, destroyed. 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 established 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 green grass – those worshiping, supporting, and reliant upon Satan’s throne (the beast) that sits on top (controls) the people – symbolically turns brown and withers 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.
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 the earth target 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 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.
This 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 just 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 or 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. The sea (of mankind) does not make ripples or waves until the Dragon (standing on the sea shore) 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. One-third of the people (sea) turn into blood. In other words, they are guilty of persecuting, betraying, and killing God’s people. They are blood guilty.
A third of the living creatures in the sea died. This 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.
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 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 at Revelation 13:11.
This Beast out of the Earth is a collective of men from the 144,000 who served with Christ as kings and priest 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 priest 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 plants having an intensely bitter taste and a strong aromatic odor found mostly in Palestine.
Wormwood in this context 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 die – not a literal death – but lose out on the prospect of everlasting life because they will be misled into believing nothing is above the Beast and can do battle with it. The False Prophet will be a very effect propaganda machine for the Dragon.
That 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 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 their 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 blast remain. They portend woe to 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.