Temple Baptist Church - 12-27-2020
A. The reprieve found in chapter 7 is over! God has given men on earth a space of repentance.
Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
B. God has given men on earth a chance to be saved. 144,000 witnesses have been called and sealed to preach the gospel. Multitudes accepted God’s salvation but, more than likely, the majority rejoiced in the reprieve but rejected salvation.
C. In verses 3-4, the angel offers incense along with the prayers of the saints before the throne of God. I believe that these are not prayers for mercy but prayers for the judgement of God on the wickedness of both past and present rebellion, persecution of the saints, and rejection of all that is holy and good. The altar is a place of judgement and the coals of fire are the execution thereof. The Lord has always used fire to try works. The fire and incense are cast into the earth to show that God
D. Verse 5. When the Seven Trumpets get ready to sound, there is silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. It reminds me of this scenario: a child facing punishment for something done and the child’s father chooses to give the child another chance. The child says emphatically “NO” to the father, showing both rejection and disrespect. All becomes silent as the other children, in disbelief, look at the face of the father and see his reaction along with impending judgement!
E. As the Lamb of God prepares to open the seventh seal, there is a solemn silence in heaven. The saint’s prayers, along with the incense have been and the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepare themselves to sound. There is a similarity between the judgments found here and the physical, literal judgments which God poured out upon Egypt. In these seven trumpets, we will find
F. Verse 7. The first trumpet sounds and we find the beginning of God’s destruction of nature. This judgement is three-fold:
1. Hail – the destruction of vegetation: trees, crops, flowers, and grass.
Hail makes one run for cover. Over the years, I have seen golf ball sized hail that left great destruction in its wake. The hail in verse 7 is not a “killing hail” for the bible is specific in that it is a vegetation killing one.
First Mention: Exodus 9:18 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
2. Fire – the burning of wild-fires everywhere.
Likened to the wildfires out west that destroy everything in their path. These fires are around the world. They burn one third of the trees. This means that people will be surrounded with fire because the one third will be consistent everywhere. Imagine every third tree around you one fire.
It will also kill all grass. A world on fire with no place to escape it. Fire is a fearful thing!
3. Mingled with blood – a repayment for the death of God’s people in the Tribulation Period and in the past from the blood of righteous Abel forward.
Blood everywhere and on everything. Not as blood but blood. I will speculate at this point but it is actual blood, that blood had to be found in either man or animal life. I wonder if God has not gathered the blood of every sacrifice made and the blood of every martyred saint through out the ages?
G. The Ecology of the earth destroyed. The Ecosystem of this earth is delicately balanced.
This is an ecological disaster without parallel to this point in the history of mankind; its results are incalculable.
The destruction of plant life, one third of the trees and all grass, will affect the air quality. Plant life is our source of breathable air as they, through photosynthesis, take in sunshine, water, nutrients from the soil, and carbon dioxide (CO2) —which we exhale—and release oxygen (O2) into the air. Our atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 20.9% oxygen. The canary in the cage that was taken into the coal mines was to show oxygen levels. The death of the canary was a sign for miners to evacuate because of low oxygen levels.
The destruction of plant life will affect our main food source. I have been told that America keeps approximately 45 days of food supply in many areas. I know that we have canned goods but the Tribulation Period is SEVEN YEARS long and it takes a while for new growth to come back and produce.
H. Verse 8-9 – the second trumpet sounded and “as it were” a great mountain burning, or a gigantic ball of fire, was cast into the sea. One third of the sea became as blood, possibly coagulated and sticky. One third of the creatures in the sea die along with the destruction of a third of all ships.
How we love the Atlantic Ocean! I love to go to the coast and could sit and watch the waves come in and scan the waters for “fins” or ships all day. They are a part of our recreation and just “getting away” from it all.
The seas of earth are all important in sustaining life. I call the oceans and seas the “septic tanks” of the world as they are used, through agitation and salt, to cleanse our waters. They are important in the earth’s water cycle as they produce fresh water through cleansing and the evaporation. If the seas cannot operate right, what water that we get from them will not be right. A catastrophe of great proportion.
J. Verse 10-11 – the third trumpet sounded, and a star called Wormwood, burning as it were a lamp, fell upon a third of rivers and springs or fountains of waters. The word “Wormwood” means bitterness and calamity.
Wormwood has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Long considered a cause of hallucinations and potentially poisonous, wormwood was banned in the United States for nearly a century, from 1912 until 2007. It is now legally available in the United States as are so many once illegal “drugs.”
Witchcraft – the Greek word is φαρμακεία or pharmakeia - far-mak-i'-ah- medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): - sorcery, witchcraft.
The drinking water of earth became undrinkable because the waters were bitter, and many men died. With the earth burning, the oceans bitter, and the fresh drinking water contaminated, this earth becomes uninhabitable to the who are doomed to inhabit it.
K. Verses 12-13 – the fourth trumpet sounded the universe was stricken. A third part of the sun, moon, and stars were darkened. It was darkened for both day and night. “Where were you when the lights went out?”
How we love our universe! We are all “star gazers” of one sort or another. So many times (as we live in the country with no streetlights) my wife will look up as we get out of the car and say, “Look at those stars.” What a comfort; what a joy; what an overwhelming sight!
People all over the world are spellbound by eclipses of both sun and moon, meteor showers, the “Bethlehem Star,” and such.
With the darkening of much of the universe, there would be a fright like this world has never known. Darkness is depressing to those who are in it. It is not like the short, self-induced darkness of night when sleep. It is a darkness amid the destruction mentioned previously. Fear will grip the hearts of those left on earth. Another angel pronounces the impending three “Woes” that are to follow.
Joel 2:30-32 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. (31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. (32) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
L. During the destruction of God’s judgement, there will also be a standing offer of salvation to all who will call upon the name of the LORD! I am glad that God never gives up on mankind!