Notes on the Book of Revelation
The Last Seal and Trumpets Begin
The seventh seal aligns with the seventh church in Laodicea during the time of the lukewarm church (1844 AD - To the end).1
Revelation 8:1, And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
8V1: Immediately after Revelation 6:17 (chapter 7 is an interlude). Zechariah 2:10-13, partially explains Revelation 8:1. The silence is broken by Jesus, saying My grace is sufficient for thee, 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Zechariah 2:10-13, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”
8V1: Silence in heaven about the space of half an hour = This is because immediately after the seventh seal is opened, Jesus returns to earth at the second coming. There is silence in heaven because all the angels in heaven are with Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 1:7 (the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels). Once the sixth seal is opened and the signs occur to give the warning of His soon coming, Jesus stands up to indicate that the investigative judgment is done.
Daniel 12:1-2 says, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Revelation 22:11-12 says, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Revelation 8:2, And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
8V2-5: These verses are an introduction to the seven trumpets.
8V2: Trumpets = Preparation or warning of destruction (Jericho); Joel 2:1; 2:12-13, Symbolic of an alarm; 1 Corinthians 14:8, Preparing for battle; trumpets on day of atonement (call to repentance); the call of Christ, Revelation 1:10; Gideon, trumpets caused the enemies of God to turn on themselves; Numbers 10, sign to advance or to move forward; good to understand the use of trumpets in the OT and it will help to understand these uses within the 7 trumpets, Leviticus 23 & 24; Ezekiel 33:1-5, Trumpet = Warning.
Three purposes of the trumpets in prophecy:
1. A warning.
2. Allow God’s people to move forward.
3. Cause God’s enemies to turn on themselves.
Remember that the seven churches covered the spiritual history of the church, the seven seals covered the political history of the church, and the seven trumpets covers the military history of the church.
Churches = Christ’s incarnation (at Isle of Patmos - represents Christ with us; He was with all the churches); Seals = Points to Christ crucified (Revelation 5:6); Trumpets = Christ’s work in the Holy Place (His ministration in the heavenly temple; His intercession for us by mingling His righteousness with our prayers, Revelation 8:4).
Revelation 8:3, And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
8V3-5: This is the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary; Jesus moving from one altar in the courtyard (the cross) to the other altar in the Holy Place and bringing with Him incense which represents the sacrifice of Jesus (His righteousness). Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
8V3-5: Depict the beginning and the ending of Jesus’ ministry in the sanctuary (the ending described in verse 5).
8V3-5: Angel = Jesus in the Holy Place of the sanctuary.
8V3: Golden censer and incense = The Holy Place (altar of incense); so this is pre-1844; first alter in verse 3 is the altar of sacrifice in the courtyard, the second golden altar is the altar of incense; there are two altars in this verse because it is a transition from the sacrifice of Jesus to His ministration in the Holy Place.
8V3: The seven churches were represented by the candlestick, Revelation 2:1; the seven seals were represented by the table of shewbread, Revelation 4-5 (there is a transition from the churches to the throne, which refers to the table of shewbread, see the overview on location in chapter 4 for an explanation); the seven trumpets are represented by the altar of incense, Revelation 8:3-4; because we understand that in the sanctuary service the priests would minister to all of these simultaneously in the Holy Place, then we apply this to the first church, first seal and first trumpet which means they cover the same time periods because they are also simultaneous (for instance, the first church, seal and trumpet all occur in the apostolic age or early church age).
8V3: Incense = Righteousness of Christ. Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” and Hebrews 13:10-12 says, “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.” The focus is the sacrifice of Christ (the cross).
8V3: Offer it with the prayers of all the saints = The prayers of all saints (those that are saved) are mixed with the incense which then waft over the dividing curtain (wall) separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle where the ark was located and the presence of God. The image here is that Jesus as our Mediator takes our prayers, covers them with His righteousness and makes them pure and holy and then they are given to the Father. “The incense, ascending with the prayers of Israel, represents the merits and intercession of Christ, His perfect righteousness, which through faith is imputed to His people, and which can alone make the worship of sinful beings acceptable to God.”2
Revelation 8:4, And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
8V4: Prayers of saints = See verse 3.
Revelation 8:5, And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
8V5: This signifies the closing of probation and the soon destruction of the earth at the second coming of Jesus. In Revelation 16:17-21 God pours out the plagues culminating with the earthquake, lightning and thunder. The phenomena that occur in the seventh plague are very similar to the phenomena in the introduction to the trumpets (verses 2-5).
There is a long time interval in between verses 4 and 5. Verses 3-4 describe the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in the Holy Place and verse 5 shows the closing of probation and the close of His work in the Holy Place.
This Ellen White quote seems to support Pastor Bohr’s interpretation:
“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer's inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the Ten Commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a loud voice said, ‘It is done.’ Then, all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” [Revelation 22:11] EW, pp. 279, 280 [in this quotation Ellen White alludes to Ezekiel 9:2, 3; Revelation 16:17; 8:5; 22:11. All these verses are thus describing what will happen when probation closes].
8V5: How can Jesus’ ministry end in the Holy Place when the investigative judgment took place in the Most Holy Place? It is because Jesus ministered in both compartments simultaneously. When the investigative judgment was completed in the Most Holy, Jesus stood up and His ministry ended in both the Most Holy and the Holy Place, then the second coming occurs.
In 1844, Jesus moved from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place to begin the judgment phase of His ministry work in the sanctuary. But, during the judgment He is also still interceding for us, so His work is in both the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
“I was taken off in vision to the most holy place, where I saw Jesus still interceding for Israel.” (Ellen White, EW 36.1)
8V5: Fire = Judgment. Matthew 7:19 (Jesus speaking of false prophets represented as trees being cast into the fire); 1 Corinthians 3:13 (our works shall be tried by fire); Revelation 14:10 (the wicked shall be tormented with fire and brimstone); Revelation 16:8 (men scorched with fire during the fourth plague); Revelation 20:10 (the devil cast into the lake of fire and brimstone).
8V5: Fire of the altar = Altar of incense. Leviticus 16:12 says, “And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil…” This is describing the altar of incense in the Holy Place of the sanctuary and the actions taken by the High Priest once a year during the day of atonement. The altar of incense was one of three pieces of furniture in the Holy Place of the sanctuary. The other two being the table of shewbread and the seven branched candlestick.
8V5: Cast it into the earth = Signifies that the judgment is on earth.
8V5: Voices = Voice of God. Ezekiel 43:2 (His voice was like a noise of many waters); Daniel 10:6 (voice of a multitude - waters represent multitudes or the sound of many voices speaking at once, Revelation 17:15). This can also represent a soothing voice as rushing waters is sometimes considered soothing, Jesus is attractive to those that seek Him. See Revelation 4:5 for a similar usage of the word ‘voices’.
8V5: Thunderings = Voice of God. John 12:28-29 (God speaking sounded like thunder); Exodus 20:18 (after God spake from the mountain, Exodus 20:1); Revelation 19:6 (God the Father speaking about Jesus which is described as thunderings); Revelation 14:2 (voice of a great thunder); Job 40:9 (voice of thunder); Psalm 104:7 (voice of thunder); Acts 9:4 (God’s voice manifested in the apostolic age).
8V5: Lightnings = Angels. Matthew 28:3 (countenance was like lightning); Ezekiel 1:14 (appearance of lightning). Since Revelation 8:5 is describing the sending forth of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it also describes the work of angels during that time period (the apostolic age immediately following Pentecost).
Angels played a significant role during this time period as can be seen by the following verses in Acts which is the book that describes the work of the disciples following Pentecost.
Acts 5:19-20 says, “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”
Acts 6:15 says, “And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.”
Acts 8:26 says, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.”
Acts 10:3 says, “He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.”
Acts 12:7, 23 says, “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands."
Acts 12:23 says, “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
Acts 27:23-24 says, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”
8V5: Earthquakes = Presence of God brings a shaking. Acts 4:31 (the place was shaken…and they were filled with the Holy Ghost); Acts 16:26 (great earthquake after the power of God frees them from prison); and Psalms 68:8 (The earth shook….at the presence of God).
8V5: Lightnings and thunderings and voices = A variation of this phrase is used four times in the book of Revelation; here, but also in Revelation 4:5, Revelation 11:19, and Revelation 16:18. In Revelation 4:5 and 8:5, it is describing the throne in the Holy Place of the sanctuary and the Holy Spirit is specifically mentioned in both verses. In Revelation 11:19 and 16:18, it is describing the throne in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary and mentions hail (God’s judgment) in both verses. In Revelation 4:5, it is describing the throne without the presence of Jesus because He is still on earth (this is prior to His ascension). In Revelation 8:5, it is describing the throne room after Jesus has ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit is being sent back to earth for Pentecost during the apostolic age. In both Revelation 11:19 and 16:18, it is describing the throne of God in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary after the completion of the investigative judgment and right before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 8:6, And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Overview of Trumpets.
Although trumpets in the Bible are connected with worship, with the sanctuary and with judgments, it is clear that in Revelation the trumpets announce a coming judgment on those that oppress God’s people.
Numbers 10:8-9, “And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.”
Exodus 2:23-25, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them (acknowledged them).”
Then God sent plagues onto Egypt (judgments on those oppressing His people).
Hebrew Poetry (Chiastic Writing):
The portions in the first half of the book of Revelation correspond to a portion in the second half of Revelation. The 7 trumpets (Revelation 8:2 to 11:18) parallels the events for the 7 last plagues (Revelation 15:1 to 16:21). (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 2:60-61) They both afflict or speak to the same things.
7 Trumpets 7 Last Plagues
Afflicts the Earth, 8:7. Afflicts the Earth, 16:2.
Afflicts the Sea, 8:8-9. Afflicts the Sea, 16:3.
Afflicts the Rivers and fountains, 8:10-11. Afflicts the Rivers and fountains, 16:4.
Afflicts the heavenly bodies. Sun, moon, stars, 8:12. Afflicts the heavenly bodies. Sun, 16:8-9.
Darkness, bottomless pit, locusts, 9:1-11. Darkness on throne of the beast, 16:12, 16.
River Euphrates, 9:13-21. River Euphrates, 16:12, 16.
Loud voices: The kingdom is Christ’s!, 11:15-18. A loud voice: It is done!, 16:17-21.
The trumpets are a foreshadow of the final plagues against God’s enemies (those that oppress His people).
Because of the similarities between the trumpets and the plagues, it appears that the trumpets represent preliminary and partial judgments that fell upon the oppressors of God’s people starting with the destruction of Jerusalem.
An evidence of this preliminary and partial judgment is that the trumpets only fall on thirds and not on the totality of people.
A significant difference between the trumpets and the plagues is that during the trumpets repentance is still possible. But during the plagues the door of probation has already closed and repentance is not available to anyone else on the earth.
The trumpets are preliminary and partial judgments and the plagues are total and final judgments of God on end time Babylon after the close of probation.
In other words, the trumpets are the type and the plagues are the anti-type of a broader judgment. The trumpets describe local judgments and the plagues describe global judgments.
“The battle of Armageddon will be fought. And that day must find none of us sleeping. Wide awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil in our vessels with our lamps. The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us and the Captain of the Lord's host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle. Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded; vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth.” (Ellen White, 3SM 426.1)
The sixth item in each series deals with the beginning of the investigative judgment in 1844.
The sixth church = The door to the Most Holy Place opens before Philadelphia.
The sixth seal = Signs in the heavens announce the beginning of the investigative judgment.
The sixth trumpet = The little book episode and the measuring of the temple.
Sanctuary Symmetry of book of Revelation.
Seven churches = Jesus walking among the candlesticks (Holy Place).
Seven seals = Jesus moves to the table of shewbread (Holy Place).
Seven trumpets = Jesus ministers at the altar of incense (Holy Place).
Revelation 11:19 = Jesus moves into the Most Holy Place.
Revelation 15:5-8 = Jesus closes His sanctuary ministration.
Revelation 16-19 = Then the plagues fall.
Revelation 20 = Scapegoat ceremony and destruction of the wicked.
Revelation 21-22 = New heavens and new earth.
First six trumpets occur during probationary time (there is still time for repentance). Probation closes when the seventh trumpet is about to sound (Revelation 10:7). When the trumpet blows, Jesus will take over the kingdoms of the world (Revelation 11:15).
First Trumpet (31-100 AD) = Fall of Jerusalem.
Second Trumpet (100-323 AD) = Fall of the Roman Empire.
Third Trumpet (323-538 AD) = Fall of Satan (Great Apostasy).
Fourth Trumpet (538-1517 AD) = Warning of the age of spiritual darkness.
Fifth Trumpet (1517-1798 AD) = First woe.
Sixth Trumpet (1798-1844 AD) = Second woe.
Seventh Trumpet (1844-Close of Probation) = Third woe.
See how the trumpets generally line up with the churches.
First Church, Ephesus (31-100 AD) = The loveless church.
Second Church, Smyrna (100-323 AD) = The persecuted church (by pagans - Roman Empire).
Third Church, Pergamos (323-538 AD) = The compromising church.
Fourth Church, Thyatira (538-1517 AD) = The corrupt church (by Papal Rome).
Fifth Church, Sardis (1517-1798 AD) = The dead church.
Sixth Church, Philadelphia (1798-1844 AD) = The faithful church.
Seventh Church, Laodicea (1844 AD-Close of Probation) = The lukewarm church.
This first trumpet occurs during the apostolic age and lines up with the first church and the first seal which also occur during the apostolic age. Remember that the churches, seals and trumpets generally cover the same time periods, the same story but from different angles. They tell the same story from a different perspective.
The first trumpet describes and was a warning of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Trumpet = Warning of judgment (see Revelation 8:2).
The seven trumpets are the judgments of God upon the powers that oppressed His people (specifically pagan and papal Rome).
But 1 Peter 4:17 says that judgment must begin at the house of God, so the judgment must begin with the Jewish nation.
Revelation 8:7, The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8V7: This first trumpet is a sound of warning of the coming destruction of Jerusalem.
“The first trumpet must refer to a judgment that falls upon those who first oppressed God’s people. What judgment fell upon oppressor’s of God’s people in apostolic times? There is only one possibility — the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.” (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 26)
This is shown in Ezekiel 10:1-2, “Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.”
This was a divine judgment on the city.
This was a sign of divine judgment similar to Revelation 14:17-19, “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
This is another example of fire representing judgment on those that oppressed God’s people.
Matthew 22:7, “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.”
The Jewish nation rejected the invitation to Christ’s wedding, the Father sent the Roman armies to burn the city of Jerusalem.
8V7: Fire = Judgment. Matthew 7:19, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
1 Corinthians 3:13, “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.”
Revelation 14:10 (the wicked shall be tormented with fire and brimstone);
Revelation 16:8 (men scorched with fire during the fourth plague);
Revelation 20:10 (the devil cast into the lake of fire and brimstone).
8V7: Hail = God’s judgment and time of trouble (Rome destroying Jerusalem).
Job 38:22-23, “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?”
Isaiah 28:2, “Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.”
Exodus 9:22-26, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.”
Psalm 18:12-13, “At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.”
8V7: Mingled with blood = When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. There was much blood shed (lots of blood shed in war). As many as one million people (both civilians and soldiers) were killed during the siege of Jerusalem.3
The Jewish nation was also guilty of shedding the blood of innocent Christians. Jesus mentions this future persecution in Matthew.
Matthew 23:34-39, “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
“The long-suffering of God toward Jerusalem only confirmed the Jews in their stubborn impenitence. In their hatred and cruelty toward the disciples of Jesus they rejected the last offer of mercy.” (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 28.1)
“The leaders of the opposing factions at times united to plunder and torture their wretched victims, and again they fell upon each other's forces and slaughtered without mercy. Even the sanctity of the temple could not restrain their horrible ferocity. The worshipers were stricken down before the altar, and the sanctuary was polluted with the bodies of the slain.” (Ellen White, Great Controversy, page 29)
“The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners, who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the Valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them. So terribly was visited that awful imprecation uttered before the judgment seat of Pilate: "His blood be on us, and on our children." Matthew 27:25.” (Ellen White, Great Controversy, page 32)
“In the struggle [of the Jews against Titus], a firebrand was flung by a soldier through an opening in the porch, and immediately the cedar-lined chambers about the holy house were in a blaze. Titus rushed to the place, followed by his generals and legionaries, and commanded the soldiers to quench the flames. His words were unheeded. In their fury the soldiers hurled blazing brands into the chambers adjoining the temple, and then with their swords they slaughtered in great numbers those who had found shelter there. Blood flowed down the temple steps like water. Thousands upon thousands of Jews perished. Above the sound of battle, voices were heard shouting: "Ichabod!"--the glory is departed.” (Ellen White, Great Controversy, page 33)
“In the siege and the slaughter that followed, more than a million of the people perished; the survivors were carried away as captives, sold as slaves, dragged to Rome to grace the conqueror's triumph, thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters, or scattered as homeless wanderers throughout the earth.” (Ellen White, Great Controversy, page 35)
8V7: Trees = Leaders/People.
Matthew 7:19-20, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Luke 3:8-9, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
“Terribly was it realized in the destruction of Jerusalem. Terribly has it been manifested in the condition of the Jewish nation for eighteen hundred years—a branch severed from the vine, a dead, fruitless branch, to be gathered up and burned. From land to land throughout the world, from century to century, dead, dead in trespasses and sins!” (Ellen White, DA page 739)
Psalm 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Psalm 92:12, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”
Luke 23:31, “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”
Green tree = Jesus/Himself and Dry tree = People without the Holy Spirit.
Daniel 4:20-22, “The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.”
Ezekiel 20:46-47, “Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.”
Forest = People; Green tree = Leaders; Dry tree = Those without the Holy Spirit.
Luke 13:6-9, “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”
8V7: Grass = People.
Isaiah 40:6-8, “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Psalms 37:1-2, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”
Psalms 90:5-7, “Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.”
Psalms 92:6-7, “A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:”
8V7: Third part = Revelation 12:4 (tail drew a third part of the stars = fallen angels, see verse 9); Tail = Deceived, Isaiah 9:15, third part of leaders were deceived (third part meant an actual third of the angels, but now is a symbol for those that are deceived - those in Jerusalem were deceived and did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah). Those that were not deceived escaped the siege of Jerusalem because they were warned by Jesus about the coming destruction, Matthew 24:2, 4, 15-18. According to early historians, the Christians in Jerusalem fled the city prior to the fall in AD 70.4
Another interpretation of third = Is that this trumpet (and the other six) are partial and preliminary judgments that point forward to greater judgments in the future (the seven last plagues). (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 27)
A third doesn’t mean a literal third, it is symbolic = “Then Satan exultingly pointed to his sympathizers, comprising nearly one half of all the angels, and exclaimed, “These are with me! Will you expel these also, and make such a void in heaven?” He then declared that he was prepared to resist the authority of Christ and to defend his place in heaven by force of might, strength against strength.” (Ellen White, SR 18.1)
First trumpet (fig tree) = Israel being judged (destroyed by Rome); second trumpet (mountain) = Rome being judged (fall of Roman Empire). Although the Roman Empire is judged in the second trumpet, Rome doesn’t actually collapse until a few centuries later. The judgment is proclaimed with the second trumpet to give a warning, but executed at a later date.
“The power that ruled in the days when John wrote the book of Revelation was Rome. Literal Babylon had already fallen when John saw his vision of the trumpets therefore the mountain of the second trumpet cannot refer to the fall of literal Old Testament Babylon.
The critical question is this: Which kingdom destroyed Jerusalem, desolated God’s people and then in turn suffered the punishment of God? The only answer is Rome.” (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 44)
The Roman Empire persecuted the Jews, and Christians such as Ignatius and Polycarp as well as well as heretical Christians such as the Arians. Therefore, when the second trumpet blew, God came in judgment against Rome. (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 64)
Again, the trumpets were localized judgments on those that oppressed God’s people.
At the sounding of the second trumpet, instead of temporal prosperity, the barbarians invaded the Empire, destroyed the routes of commerce, and decimated the prosperity of Rome. The judgment of the second trumpet brought the collapse of the entire social and economic order of the Roman Empire. The barbarians invaded the Empire between 378 and 476 AD. (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 63)
So pagan Rome is spiritual Babylon in the sounding of the second trumpet.
Four cycles = Seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials (plagues). First 3 cycles occur in the Holy Place (churches, seals, trumpets), but the last cycle occurs in the Most Holy (vials) because it deals with judgment; the ministration in the Most Holy was the Day of Atonement which was a day of judgment.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-7, These verses provide a summary of what is happening in the 2nd trumpet and onward. As Pagan Rome fell, Papal Rome started to rise and the dark ages followed.
Revelation 8:8, And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
8V8: Mountain burning with fire = A kingdom under judgment (see Revelation 8:7). This refers to judgment on pagan Rome (the Roman Empire).
Mountains in Bible prophecy represent kingdoms:
Daniel 2:35, “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
Isaiah 14:13, “or thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:”
Psalm 48:1-2, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”
Isaiah 2:1-4, “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Babylon was described as a mountain which became a burning mountain by the judgment of God:
Jeremiah 51:25, “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.”
This same principle will apply to pagan Rome which is a mountain that will become a burning mountain due to the judgment of God and will be cast into the sea (conquered by multitudes of people from the north).
Rome described as Babylon in the Bible:
1 Peter 5:13, “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.”
This epistle was written by Peter while in Rome.
8V8: Cast into sea = This is referring to the judgment on spiritual Babylon, which is pagan Rome. The Roman empire was swallowed up by the people (invading barbarians from the north). Rome wasn’t conquered it was divided up amongst many nations, peoples, and tongues. Remember, this judgment is announced during the second trumpet but Rome doesn’t collapse for a few more centuries.
Revelation 17:15, “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
An example of the sea as people:
Isaiah 60:5, “Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles [‘nations’ NIV] shall come unto thee.”
Example of the fall of Babylon and the use of sea which applies to spiritual Babylon:
Jeremiah 51:42, “The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.”
Note: The waves of the sea destroyed Babylon and made her desolate. In this case, the sea represents the multitude of nations that arose against Babylon and destroyed her. (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 43)
Revelation 18:21, “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”
Jeremiah 51:63-64, “And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”
8V8: Third part = This trumpet (and the other six) are partial and preliminary judgments that point forward to greater judgments in the future (the seven last plagues). (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 27)
So this is just saying that this judgment is localized on spiritual Babylon and not a world-wide judgment (not until the seven last plagues).
A third doesn’t mean a literal third, it is symbolic = “Then Satan exultingly pointed to his sympathizers, comprising nearly one half of all the angels, and exclaimed, “These are with me! Will you expel these also, and make such a void in heaven?” He then declared that he was prepared to resist the authority of Christ and to defend his place in heaven by force of might, strength against strength.” (Ellen White, SR 18.1)
Revelation 8:9, And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
8V9: Third = See explanation in verse 8.
8V9: Creatures = People who have heard the gospel. Colossians 1:23 says, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister…” This verse describes the gospel being preached to “every creature”.
8V9: Sea = All nations (Revelation 17:15); the gospel went into all nations.
8V9: Had life = Christians or believers, but something happens (persecution) and they fall away because they ‘died’. The second trumpet aligns with the second church and the second seal which is a time of persecution for the early church, around 100 to 313 AD.
8V9: Ships = Trading and commercial prosperity.
Ezekiel 27:9, 25, 29, “The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise. The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land;”
Revelation 18:17-19, “For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.”
8V9: Another interpretation: Ships = Faith. 1 Timothy 1:19, Shipwreck; Hebrews 6:19, An anchor to the soul; Revelation 18:17, Shipmaster, ships, trade by sea = Carrying goods = Proverbs 31:14, 18, Like a merchants ships (food, nourishment, bread) = Compromise of the Word of God.
Revelation 8:10, And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
8V10: Star falling from heaven = Satan. This cannot refer to the original fall of Satan from heaven because that happened before creation week. It also cannot refer to him falling from heaven at the cross because the events of the third trumpet occur well after the events of the cross.
The falling of this star (Satan) portrays the great apostasy that defiled the church from within when papal Rome rose to power after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Just as Satan (the fallen angel) defiled and poisoned Adam and Eve with his specious teachings and through them, the entire human race.
The fallen star represents Satan working through the papal system to accomplish his goals.
Revelation 12:4, “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”
This was Satan working through Herod (Roman Empire) to have all the children killed in Bethlehem.
“Thus while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome.” (Ellen White, GC, page 438)
The dragon (Satan) gives power to the papacy.
Revelation 13:2, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
“In the sixth century the papacy had become firmly established. Its seat of power was fixed in the imperial city, and the bishop of Rome was declared the head over the entire church. Paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast “his power, and his seat, and
great authority.” (Ellen White, GC, page 54)
In Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, it tells us that the little horn (papacy) will persecute the saints for 3 1/2 years.
But in Revelation 12:6, 13-14, it tells us that Satan ruled during the 3 1/2 years, through his emissary the Bishop of Rome.
Revelation 12:6, 13-14, “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
For everything God has, Satan has a counterfeit. Just as Jesus works through His seed, the church, to accomplish His purposes on earth, so Satan works through his seed, the papacy.
Verses about Satan falling:
Revelation 12:4, 9 says, “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Luke 10:18 says, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
Isaiah 14:12 says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”
John 12:31-33, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”
8V10: Burning as it were a lamp = This is referring to Satan who was called the light bearer before his fall from heaven.
Lucifer means ‘light-bearer’ or ‘shining one’ or ‘morning star’.
“Satan had been Lucifer, the light-bearer, the sharer of God's glory in heaven.” Bible Echo, November 1, 1892.
Satan represented as a burning lamp fell from heaven which is what also happened to the early church.
“Originally, it reflected the purity of the gospel of Jesus. However, in the course of time it fell into apostasy, poisoned the pure waters of the gospel, and brought in spiritual death.” (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 79)
Proverbs 13:9, “The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.”
8V10: As it were a lamp = This also represents the Word of God.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
The phrase ‘As it were’ = False light and compromise of the Word of God.
In Matthew 4, Satan uses the Word to try and compromise Jesus.
Isaiah 62:1 says, “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”
The third trumpet aligns with the third church and third seal which was a time of compromise in the early church, around 313 to 538 AD.
8V10: Rivers, fountains of waters = The gospel, the water of life, and the refreshing of the gospel = Poisoning of the gospel. During the time of the third trumpet, the gospel was compromised.
Exodus 15:22-26, Waters were bitter, tree is cast into the water and it’s made sweet again. Bitter = A Christless religion.
Proverbs 25:26, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”
Spiritual bread and water related to the Word of God.
Amos 8:11-12, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”
Since the star here represents Satan, this is he corrupting the church and making the waters (gospel) bitter (compromised or corrupt). This third trumpet aligns with the third church (Pergamos) which is referred to as the compromised church. Since trumpets are a sign of war and strife, this is Satan making “war” against God’s true church and corrupting it from the inside.
Pastor Bohr basically says the same thing:
“The waters represent the Holy Spirit flowing from Jesus through His church to the world. However, when a false gospel defiled the living waters preached by the fallen teachers of the papal church, people began to die spiritually.” (Pastor Bohr, Revelation’s Seven Trumpets: A Contextual Study, page 87)
So does Edwin Thiele:
“Here a remarkable, revolutionary transformation is depicted. The once pure, life-giving fountains become contaminated and corrupt as the death-star Wormwood falls upon them, and henceforth men die rather than live as they partake of the polluted waters. The pure church is a clear stream and a life- giving fountain. When the enemy enters the church, it becomes corrupt. Henceforth it is a scourge rather than a blessing to men. Satan rather than Christ is in control, and the church is to take complete control, a savor of death unto death instead of life unto life.” (Edwin Thiele, Outline Studies in Revelation, pp. 293, 294)
And Ellen White:
“In unfolding the sins of his life to a priest—an erring, sinful mortal, and too often corrupted with wine and licentiousness—his standard of character is lowered, and he is defiled in consequence. His thought of God is degraded to the likeness of fallen humanity, for the priest stands as a representative of God. This degrading confession of man to man is the secret spring from which has flowed much of the evil that is defiling the world and fitting it for the final destruction.” (The Great Controversy, page 567)
“A succession of showers from the living waters has come to you at Battle Creek. Each shower was a consecrated inflowing of divine influence; but you did not recognize it as such. Instead of drinking copiously of the streams of salvation so freely offered through the influence of the Holy Spirit, you turned to satisfy your soul thirst with the polluted waters of human science.” (Counsels To Teachers, Parents, and Students, pages 358, 359)
“There are really three objects of judgment in the third trumpet: the star, the springs and rivers, and the people who drink the water. In a sense, each phrase of this three-fold judgment is the catalyst for the next. It is because the star falls that the rivers and springs are turned into wormwood. The bitterness of these waters leads, in turn, to the death of those who drink the water.” (Jon Paulien, Allusions, Exegetical Method, and the Intepretation of Revelation 8:7-12, Doctoral Dissertation available in the James white Library Andrews University, p. 401)
Revelation 8:11, And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
8V11: Bitter = A Christless religion (compromised and corrupted).
8V11: Wormwood = Satan and turning away from God.
Deuteronomy 29:17-18, “And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:) Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;”
Deuteronomy 29:12, context of the covenant; during the third trumpet the church is compromising the Word of God, forsaking the covenant of God, and turning to idols which produces wormwood.
Idols are mentioned in the third church so it parallels, Revelation 2:14.
Christ on the cross asked the church to marry Him, but it’s not a marriage without the exchange of vows; example: will you have no other Gods besides Me…I do, will you not worship idols…I do; the church that doesn’t accept the Ten Commandments is turning away from their vows and the covenant with God.
When righteousness in the earth is forsaken, the result is wormwood.
Amos 5:7, “Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,”.
When justice and righteousness are forsaken, the result is wormwood and gall.
Amos 6:12-13, “Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock [same as wormwood]: Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?
False prophets speaking in the name of God results in wormwood and gall.
Jeremiah 23:15-16, “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.”
Leaving righteousness is turning away from Christ.
Jeremiah 23:6, “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
The water without the tree.
Exodus 15:22-26, “So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
When Israel forsook the law of God, disobeyed God, and walked after their own hearts the Lord fed them with wormwood and gave them gall to drink.
Jeremiah 9:13-15, “And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall [poison] to drink.”
8V11: Name = Character (see Revelation 14:1). Wormwood is turning people away from God.
8V11: Waters = Gospel. A false gospel is spiritually killing people because of a Christless religion.
Trumpets 3 and 4 dealt with doctrinal or religious matters; trumpets 5 and 6 deal with military-political aspects; Papacy is the combination of church and state (religio-political power).
Principle: let prophecy show us what history to look for; we don’t look at history and try to find it in prophecy.
This trumpet describes the military aspects of the Catholic Church in persecuting God’s people and the Word of God.
Revelation 8:12, And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
8V12: Sun, moon, stars = The church. Revelation 12:1 (a description of a woman as the Old Testament church); Genesis 37:9-10 (description of a dream that Joseph had of a sun, moon and stars representing his family which became the 12 tribes of Israel); and Matthew 5:15 (Christ’s followers are a light to the world).
8V12: Smitten = God’s people are being persecuted. Daniel 8:10 says, “And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.” and 1 Samuel 4:2 says, “And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.”
8V12: Third = Apostasy and rebellion, see Revelation 8:9.
8V12: Sun, moon and stars darkened = Heavenly bodies (light), during this time the light (or knowledge) of the sanctuary was darkened. Instead of looking up to Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, men were taught to look down to another man to confess their sins, Daniel 8:11-14; this was spiritual darkness. Sun = Jesus is being obscured (Sun of Righteousness), Malachi 4:2; John 1:1, 4-5, 9 (light & the Word); Jesus and the Bible was being attacked at this time. During this time period it was referred to as the dark ages. Night = Depend on prophecy until the light shines, 2 Peter 1:19; the apostate church modifies prophecy to keep people in the dark (development of futurism and preterism); Proverbs 31:18, light of prophecy doesn’t go out at night (in times of darkness or lack of Bible knowledge); Daniel 7:2, 7, 13 (prophetic visions at night from God); Matthew 2:12-14.
Revelation 8:13, And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
8V13: Loud voice = See Revelation 6:10 (Loud voice = All the dead around the world from the beginning of time); see Revelation 14:7, 9, the three angel’s messages are a loud voice because they are a world-wide message. Here it is a world-wide message going to the inhabitants of the earth.
8V13: Woe, woe, woe = Last three trumpets. Revelation 9:12 says, “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”, and Revelation 11:14 says, “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” The last three trumpets are the three woes (5th, 6th and 7th trumpets).
8V13: Inhabiters of the earth = Lost people of earth, we don’t want to be amongst this group.
Chapter 8 Resources and Notes
1. The majority of this chapter, except where noted, is from Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i42C2tZ5yuI&list=PLZE9r6f37K0AJPuImVU9DX-Y1Ntikqv0R.
2. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (ISBN: 10: 0-8163-1921-9, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2005), page 353.
3. William Mclaughlin, 2015, Great Sieges: Jerusalem (70 CE) - One Million Lives Lost In 8 Months Of Combat, War History Online, can be accessed here: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/augusta-chiwy-the-hero-nurse-from-band-of-brothers-dies-aged94.html.
4. J. Julius Scott, Jr., 2012, Did Jerusalem Christians Flee To Pella? Evidence from Biblical, Historical, Archaeological and Critical Studies, can be accessed here: https://godawa.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Scott-Did-Jerusalem-Christians-Flee-to-Pella.pdf.
Ellen White references can be found here: https://beta.egwwritings.org.