Revelation (12 of 24) Opening The Seventh Seal Of The Book

8:1-9:21 Opening The Seventh Seal Of The Book

Memory Verse: Revelation 8:3–4

8:1-6 The Seventh Seal Is Opened

  • 6:1-17, 7:1-8 Jesus has already opened six of the seven seals of the book he took out of the right hand of God (as the only one worthy to do so). These seals represent judgements that will be carried out upon the Earth during the tribulation period. As we studied each seal and its accompanying judgement, the future looked bleak. Then in chapter seven we saw the good news before the final and seventh seal was opened, that God is going to save a countless number of people during the tribulation period. From every nation people will be saved and live in eternal joy with God. Now, we must move on to the seventh seal, as God continues to pour out His wrath upon the Earth during the time period.
  • 8:1-2 Jesus opens the seventh and final seal. All of heaven is silent for a time. Then there were seven angels standing before God who were given seven trumpets. Before they prepared to blow the trumpets, which blowing a trumpet symbolizes the start of a judgement on earth, another angel comes on to the scene.
  • 8:3-5 An angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar (similar to the Old Testament) before the throne of God. He was given much incense to offer which symbolizes the prayers of all saints asking God to judge and avenge. These prayers came before God and in response to them the angel took the censer, filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth. This symbolized God’s judgement and vengeance upon the Earth in answer to their prayers. It caused a storm with voices, thunderings, lightnings and an earthquake.
    Exodus 30:3-8; Isaiah 6:6; Ezekiel 10:2; Revelation 6:9-11

8:6-12 The First Four Trumpets: The Earth’s Ecology Destroyed

  • 8:6-7 The First Trumpet (Land): When the first trumpet was blown, hail and fire mingled with blood was cast upon the earth. It caused (1) one-third of the earth to be burnt up, (2)  one-third of the trees to be burnt up, and (3) all the green grass to be burnt up. Possible results: grass for the animals to eat would be gone meaning a decreasing animal-food supply, fruit and lumber would be in low supply and parts of the soil would be unusable.
    Joel 2:30
  • 8:8-9 The Second Trumpet (Sea): When the second trumpet was blown, something “as it were a great mountain burning with fire” (which could be a giant meteorite or asteroid) was cast into the sea. This caused (1) one-third of the sea to become blood, (2) one-third of marine life to die, and (3) one-third of the ships to be destroyed (possibly from giant waves). Possible results: the marine-food supply is lowered and ports and ships will be able to do less trade/business causing economic problems worldwide.
  • 8:10-11 The Third Trumpet (Water): When the third trumpet was blown, a great star burning “as it were a lamp” (probably meteors or comets) called “Wormwood” fell from heaven down upon one-third of the rivers of the Earth, and upon the fountains of waters. This caused (1) one-third of the waters to become poisonous (wormwood), and (2) many men to die because of the bitter water. Possible results: the fresh-water supply will be poisoned, meaning it will be undrinkable and unusable, thus killing many who drink it.
  • 8:12 The Fourth Trumpet (Space): When the fourth trumpet was blown, one-third of the sun, moon and stars were smitten. This caused (1) one-third of them to be darkened, and (2) one-third of the day shone not, and the night likewise. Possible results: the lack of sunlight will cause more confusion and the lack of heat will cause weather patterns to change and cause more problems upon the earth i.e. storms, vegetation growth.
    Ezekiel 32:7–8

8:13, 9:1-21 Two More Trumpets: Destruction By Demonic Activity

  • 8:13 Then John sees and hears an angel flying through the midst of heaven warning there was still three trumpet judgements left and they will be more devastating.
  • 9:1-11 The Fifth Trumpet (The First Woe): When the fifth trumpet was blown, John saw  Satan (a star) fall from heaven down to the earth. To him was given the key of the bottomless pit. He opened the bottomless pit. This caused (1) smoke to come out of the pit, (2) the sun and the air to be darkened, and (3) powerful demons (locusts) to come upon the earth. The demons are described as locusts to represent their large numbers and the destruction they will cause. Enough time had passed from the first trumpet judgement for the grass to grow back, but they couldn’t hurt it. They were only given power (like a scorpion) to hurt/torment unbelievers (don’t have the seal of God) for five months. These men will desire to die as a way of escaping the pain, but they won’t be able to. John then describes these demons using familiar analogies to help us understand the fierceness, seductiveness and power of these supernatural demons. These symbols are: they were like horses prepared for battle; wearing gold crowns, human faces, women’s hair, lions teeth, breastplates of iron, wings that make sound like chariots of many horses running to battle and stinging scorpion tails. The demons have a king who is the angel of the bottomless pit and his name means destroyer.
    Isaiah 14:12–15; Luke 10:18
  • 9:12 The demons are the first woe and after their five months is up, there are two more.
  • 9:13-19 The Sixth Trumpet (The Second Woe): When the sixth trumpet was blown, four demons (angels which are bound) were loosed to slay one-third of mankind. These four demons would become the executioners of God’s judgement upon the unrepentant. They  had an army of horsemen that numbered two hundred million (200,000,000). John then describes these horsemen using familiar analogies to help us understand the danger and death they bring. The riders of the horses had breastplates the color of fire, jacinth, and brimstone or the colors of hell. The horses had heads like lions and tails like serpents with heads, meaning they were powerful and deadly. They used three plagues: fire, smoke and brimstone, or the violence of hell, to kill one-third of mankind.
  • 9:20-21 After all of these judgements, including the death of one-third of the human population, mankind will still refuse to repent. They will refuse to turn from their idols, murders, sorceries, fornication and thefts unto the living God.
    Acts 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10

Review Questions

  • What is the first thing that happened when Jesus opened the seventh seal?
  • What happened in each of the first four trumpets?
  • What happened in the fifth trumpet?
  • What happened in the sixth trumpet?
  • After these judgements will mankind choose to repent?

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