CHAPTER 8 | Verses 1-13

God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13v8) The God of the new covenant (like He was in the old) is still a God of wrath, judgment and vengeance. In this chapter, the rapture has taken place and God is now transitioning and working in a unique way with the children of Israel – in order for them to fulfill their purpose and calling of being a testimony and a light to the nations. (Genesis 12v3, Isaiah 60v1-3) 


Verse 1: “And when He opened up the 7 th seal, there was silence in the heavens for about half an hour.” 

What is the purpose of this silence? It is a pause that gathers/captures the attention of man for God’s judgement. 


Verse 2: “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God, and it was given to them seven trumpets.” 

For trumpets see 1v10 for an explanation. The trumpets, given to these angels, are probably the silver ones – those used to make an announcement. 


Verse 3: “Another angel came and approached the altar (of incense, not of sacrifice) with a golden firepan in his hand. And it was given to him much incense, to place it with the prayers of all the saints, upon the golden altar which is before the throne.” 

There is a connection between the incense offering and the prayers of the saints. The incense offerings were offered up to God as a pleasing aroma. In the same way, our prayers need to be pleasing to God. We need to pray in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Ephesians 6v18). Our prayers need to be prayed in a way that they adhere to the laws, statues and commands of God, and also that they reflect a Godly and righteous character. 

Mixing strange (unlicensed) fire, with the incense, incurs God’s judgement. (An example of this is the story of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10v1-3) We need to be careful with our prayers that we don’t mix them with impure or inappropriate words/behaviors. 


Verse 4: “And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints, by the hands of the angel, went up before God.” 

Everything is before God. All that is happening is happening with God’s approval. He is the One who is bringing all these things about. He is acting to bring people to repentance and, therefore, salvation. (2 Corinthians 7v10, Acts 17v30-31) 


Verse 5: “And the angel took the firepan and placed upon it fire from the altar and he cast it upon the earth; and there were sounds, thundering’s, lightening’s and an earthquake.” 

Sounds, thundering’s, lightening’s, and a violent trembling, were felt and heard by the children of Israel at Mt Sinai. (see Exodus 19 and 20). God wanted to bring about a great change in their lives. Similarly, this verse reminds us that God is wanting to bring a change to this world, a change with His people. 

The One who rules in heaven will also rule earth. God wants to fill this world with His holiness. He wants this world to reflect His character. 


Verse 6: “And the seven angels which had in their hand the seven trumpets were about to sound them.” 

One of the characteristics of these trumpet judgements is that the number 1/3rd keeps coming up. 1/3rd means that it is judgement that is partial – not God’s consuming wrath. 

These judgements are partial for the purpose of producing repentance. If there was another way that God could act, to bring about a greater number of people returning to Him, He would have done it. We have seen that when God judged Israel (exile) she was brought to repentance and to a spiritual change that was pleasing to Him. 

God does not show favoritism. (Romans 2v11). He will not treat the nations differently to the way He dealt with Israel. Israel was set apart to be an example to the nations. 


Verse 7: “The first angel sounded his trumpet and there came about hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was cast to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up and all the green vegetation was burned.” 

God is releasing these judgments and they are coming from heaven. They are supernatural and cannot be explained by science. These things have NEVER happened before. 


Verse 8: “And the second angel sounded his trumpet and, behold, as the appearance of a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the midst of the sea. And a third of the sea turned to blood.” 

This has NEVER happened in the history of the world before. It is yet future. 


Verse 9: “And a third of all the living creatures which were in the sea, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Catastrophic implications for the nations of the world.  


Verse 10: “The third angel sounded his trumpet and there fell from the heavens a large star, burning like a torch. And it fell upon a third of the rivers and upon the springs of water.” 

This star could also be a planet, a meteor, a comet. 


Verse 11: “And the name of the star was called ‘Wormwood’. 

And a third of the waters became wormwood and many of the sons of men died from the waters, for they had become bitter.” Wormwood is associated with death and it is very bitter to taste. 

Death is bitter to swallow. In each of these judgements the common denominator is death. 

Many people ask: ‘Is this God? The Holy and Loving God?’ YES! Because God loves righteousness. He is Holy and does not tolerate sin. He has atoned for it and redeemed for it, but these are people who are not responding to this atonement. They have ignored and neglected God’s provision. 


Verse 12: “And the fourth angel sounded his trumpet and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars so that a third became dark. And in the day, a third of it would not shine and also a third at night.” 

God is without limitations and cannot be put into a box. God is trying to convey to the people that He is above all and worthy of worship. 

The Jewish people will be going through this time – with the seal of God upon them. Just like they did in Egypt, when all the plagues were afflicting the Egyptians. 


Verse 13: “And I looked, and I heard a different angel that was flying in the highest heavens, calling in a loud voice: ‘Woe, Woe, Woe to those who dwell upon the earth. For the rest of the sounds of the trumpets of the last three angels are ready to sound.’” 

The word ‘woe’ demands a change. If the change is not made, it implies that what follows will be awful, disastrous. 

For those who missed out on the rapture/blessed hope there is no escaping these things. They have to go through them until the end. God is teaching the people that He is Holy. He does not approve of how they are living, and He wants change. Real change begins with repentance. Will they change or will they continue in the hardness of their hearts?


HOW can WE help you?