Our prayers ascend before Him
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and much incense was given to him to offer with the prayers of all saints on the golden altar that 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 from the altar, and cast it to the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
- Our prayers ascend like incense before God on His throne.
- God had Israel use trumpets in ancient times to call people to assembly and to order and direct battles (Numbers 10:2).
- God also uses them.
- Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
God makes bitter for those who choose bitter
6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first angel sounded, and hail and fire mingled with blood came and was cast on the earth: and the third part of the trees burnt up, and all green grass burnt up. 8 And the second angel sounded, and great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third of the sea became blood; 9 And the third of the living creatures that were in the sea died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a lamp, and it fell on a third of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters; 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from the waters because they were made bitter.
- God sent bitter waters because those who refuse God and his love make life bitter for those around them.
- Their ways lead to eternal death.
- Revelation 16:7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.
He makes darkness for those who choose darkness
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars; so that a third of them was darkened, and the day did not shine for a third of it, and the night the same way. 13 And I saw and 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 other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are still to sound!
- God sent darkness because man had chosen darkness.
- At any time these people can call out to God for deliverance.
- God wanted them to have everything.
- But they refused Him at every turn for their entire lives.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and smoke rose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke from the pit. 3 And locusts came out of the smoke on the earth: and power was given to them, like the scorpions of the earth have power.
- This parallels the vision of Joel 1:4, devouring locusts.
- These are unlike anything earth has seen.
- Notice the star that fell from heaven is an angel.
- The key of the bottomless pit is given to him.
- There is a bottomless pit, a shaft that leads to the center of the earth.
- Satan will be held in this pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3).
- It is bottomless because as Satan is falling, the earth revolves so that he never reaches the bottom.
The Lord protects His people in the midst of judgment
4 And they were commanded not to hurt the grass of the earth or any green thing, nor any tree; but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And to them it was given that they could not kill them, but that they could be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. 6 And in those days men will men seek death, and not find it; and will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 And they had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like scorpions, and their stings were in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, who is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue his name is Apollyon/destroyer. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, two more woes come after this.
- Locusts usually strip the land bare of anything green.
- This parallels Joel 2:4.
- Apollyon means destroyer.
- Joel 2:4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so they run.
- Psalm 91:7 A thousand will fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Release the four angels who are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were released, who were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to kill one third of men. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen was 200,000,000: and I heard their number. 17 And I saw the horses in the vision, and those that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire and smoke and brimstone.
- Brimstone means God’s fires. All people will either be judged by fire or redeemed by Christ’s blood.
God is still trying to get mankind to turn back to Him and be saved
18 By these three one third of men were killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone that came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 20 And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither did they repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
- God is still trying to get mankind to turn back to Him and be saved. But they refuse.
- Proud men will not bow before their Maker.
- Sorceries is the word pharmakeia meaning drugs. These people use drugs to solve their problems and drug related occult activities.
- Psalm 96:5-6 all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
The Lord withholds some information
1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: with a rainbow on his head, and his face like the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: 2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth, 3 And cried with a loud voice, like a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.
- The rainbow represents the glory of God (Ezekiel 1:26-28).
- Jesus’ face shines like the sun in Revelation 1:16. But this one is said to be ‘another mighty angel.’
- I John 3:2 Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we will be: but we know that, when he appears, we will be like him; for we will see him as he is.
Our Creator lives forever
He created everything
5 And the angel that I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 And swore by him that lives forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that are in it, and the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea, and the things that are in it, that there would be no more delay: 7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he begins to sound, the mystery of God is ended, as he announced to his servants the prophets. 8 And the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, Go and take the little book that is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth. 9 And I went to the angel and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it, and eat it up; and it will make your belly bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth. 10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 11 And he said to me, You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
- Just like in the Garden of Eden, life is a choice.
- Obedience leads to the sweetness of God’s love and blessing, disobedience leads to the bitterness of discipline and judgment.
- Prophesying was speaking the words of God to the people.
- God’s words build faith.
- Psalm 81:16 He would have fed them with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock I would have satisfied you.
- Amos 3:8 The lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken, who can but prophesy?
The Lord gives power to His witnesses
1 And a reed was given to me like a rod: and the angel stood saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those that worship in it. 2 But leave out the court that is outside the temple, and do not measure it; for it is given to the Gentiles: they will trample under foot the holy city 42 months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.
- Many say Moses is one of the witnesses, but Moses died and God buried him (Deuteronomy 34:5, 6).
- Enoch and Elijah were both taken to heaven without physical death.
- Hebrews 9:27 it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man tries to harm them, fire comes out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man would hurt them, he must be killed in this way.
- Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit.
- The candlesticks are giving God’s light into the darkness of evil (Zechariah 4:2-6).
- The Lord protects these two witnesses so that they can finish what He gave them to do.
- II Kings 1:10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume you and your fifty. And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
6 These have power to shut heaven so that it not rain in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, and will overcome them and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified.
- The Lord’s crucifixion is mentioned here to show that all the sins these people have done and are doing at this time have all been paid for—heaven is still free even at this time of judgment that the world has brought on itself.
- Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
God raises the dead
He brings them to heaven in a cloud
9 And those of the people and tribes and tongues and nations will see their dead bodies three and an half days, and will not allow their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And those that dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and celebrate, and send gifts to one another because these two prophets tormented those that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three and a half days the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and exceeding terror fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies watched them. 13 And the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake 7,000 men were killed: and the remaining ones were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past, and behold, the third woe comes quickly.
The eternal Father gives Jesus the kingdoms of this world forever
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever.
- This is the seventh trumpet, not the last trumpet.
- It is also an angel sounding the trumpet, not the trumpet of God.
He takes His great power and reigns
16 And the 24 elders who sat before God on their seats fell on their faces and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who is, and was, and is to come; because you have taken to you your great power and have reigned.
- God the Father delegates ruling power to men on earth (Daniel 5:21).
- At this point He takes back that power and gives it to Jesus.
- This is the fulfillment of Psalm 2.
He judges the dead
He rewards His servants
18 And the nations were angry and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead to be judged, and to give reward to your servants the prophets and to the saints, and those that fear your name, small and great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and ark of his testament was seen in his temple: and there were lightnings and voices and thunderings and an earthquake and great hail.
SUMMARY: Revelation 8-11
- Our prayers ascend before Him
- God made bitter for those who chose bitter
- He makes darkness for those who choose darkness
- The Lord protects His people in the midst of judgment
- God is still trying to get mankind to turn back to Him and be saved
- The Lord withholds some information
- Our Creator lives forever
- He created everything
- The Lord gives power to His witnesses
- God raises the dead
- He brings them to heaven in a cloud
- The eternal Father gives Jesus the kingdoms of this world
- He takes His great power and reigns
- He judges the dead
- He rewards His servants