Revelation 8:2-13 - Trumpets 1, 2, 3, 4

 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:2-5

In the tabernacle that Moses built according to God's command, there were specific pieces of furniture that served significant purposes.  One of them was the altar of incense that was in the holy place in front of the veil that separated the holy from the most holy place.  This would place the altar directly in front of the ark of the covenant which served as God's throne.  The mercy seat was the top covering for the ark of the covenant and it is on the mercy seat that God resides.

A special blend of frankincense and myrrh was burned upon the altar of incense giving a sweet savor in the presence of the Lord.  This scent gives a sweet savor to the prayers of the saints.  It represents the good that is in the Father that no one else has.  He is benevolent toward us while we are still odorous from the very presence of our sin.  His love toward us gives us a sweet smell even as we reek of death.  The Father has been forced to smell the sour stink upon us since the fall of Adam and Eve.  Newborn babies smell so sweet, after they have been washed and powdered!  The children of God have the smell of soiled diapers.  However, the father loves his smelly little ones and will tolerate our odor in the hopes that we will allow Him to provide us with a cleansing making us presentable to Heaven's hosts.  Your odorus, foul self will not be allowed to defile Heaven; therefore, if you desire to enter in, you must allow Christ to change you daily. 

Twice daily the incense on the altar of incense was refreshed; once in the morning and again in the evening.  In addition, there was a lamb offered on the altar in the courtyard every morning and evening.  This is called the daily.  It was a corporate sacrifice offered on behalf of the entire nation of Israel demonstrating God's benevolence to all in Israel, both the just and the unjust.  God loved everyone in Israel.  God also loves the whole world and is benevolent toward us all.  He sends the rain on the just and the unjust. 

In Heaven's temple there is an altar of incense and Christ is there ministering on our behalf and He is daily providing a sweet savor to our presence as we "boldly" enter into the Most Holy Place.  However, He makes this provision on behalf of all of us in the world on a corporate level.  This is the reason that so many things that could happen to our planet have not happened.  The hand of God shields our planet.  There will come a time when that protective hand is removed.  When God releases the forces that have been held back, great havoc will be heaped upon our planet.  We will not have any appreciation for the daily intervention by Christ on our behalf until it is removed. 

The angel that takes the coals from the fire and casts them to the earth is sending God's judgment upon our planet indicating to us that the daily has been removed.  The global community will not benefit any longer from corporate intervention.  However, we still have access to the sin offering.  We can bring a sacrifice of ourselves into the Most Holy Place with great confidence that during the day of salvation, the Father will joyously receive us.  Today is the day of salvation.  Sadly, many are disinclined to take the Father up on His gracious offer.  Therefore, because He loves us, He will establish motivation that will move many to reconsider His offer before it is too late.  Many will receive the offer even unto the last hour, many more will not.  What is your choice?

God's four sore judgments are sword, famine, plague and wild beasts.  Ezekiel 5:17  These judgments are not like the plagues which only fall upon the ungodly.  These judgments fall like the rain on both the just and the unjust.  They are designed to sound a warning to the planet that our universal King is coming soon.  We should use this as an opportunity to get right with our King before he arrives.  The trumpet in Israel has been used to sound an alarm.  The Feast of Trumpets is a fall festival that heralds the Day of Atonement when Israel's King was present with His people.  These ten days are also referred to as the Days of Awe and represent a longer period of time called the time of the end.  They will be full of awe.  They will also be awful.

The things that will occur during the seven trumpets will be readily recognized as God's judgments.  The result of his four sore judgments will manifest in hunger, disease, and violence in both mankind and the animal kingdom.  We learned about God's four sore judgments in the fourth seal; however, what could possibly occur that would cause so much death and disease on such a grand, global scale?  There will not be a geographical safe place because this is a judgment upon the whole world!

We have evidence that once before our planet was pummeled by asteroids and meteorites.  The language used to describe the trumpets indicate to me that this will occur again.  Our planet will be impacted by rogue meteorites and asteroids.  Of course, this will result in great devastation to our planet and will threaten our very survival.  However, we will not be completely destroyed by these impacts because it is not God's desire to destroy the planet with the trumpets.  His desire is to get our attention.  It is a harsh wake-up call delivered to those in rebellion and refusal to rise from our slumber with gentler, kinder methods

 6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.  

Revelation 8:6

The trumpet is a wind instrument.  The force of the breath from the trumpet player determines the sound delivered by the trumpet.  The angels that have the seven trumpets prepare to sound them, but do not blow upon them until commanded to do so.  They have put the trumpets up to their lips and wait to blow.  Why do they hesitate?

The wind that will blow through the trumpets is the Spirit of God that holds back until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.  Revelation 7:1  The trumpets can not sound until God has a people that has foreknowledge regarding His actions.  Amos 3:7  This is especially true when God commits His strange act of destruction.  Our God is a creator God, and it goes against His nature to destroy.  Therefore, He desires to prepare someone willing and able to explain His harsh actions to those that He loves.  Ezekiel 14:21-23.

 7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.  

Revelation 8:7

When the winds of strife begin to blow and the trumpets begin to sound, the land, sea and trees will be severely damaged.  Revelation 7:1, 3  Each element produces food for us in abundance.  Adam was punished for his disobedience by producing a harvest with the sweat of his brow.  The earth would no longer give up its fruit in abundance without great anxiety to Adam.  The judgments delivered by the trumpets indicate a severe chastisement to the last day generation because of our sins.  The land has produced grain, the sea has produced edible creatures and the trees have produced fruit for so long and in such abundance that we have a sense of entitlement without the expression of gratitude regarding our daily provision.  We believe this abundant harvest to be because of our efforts and fail to recognize the graciousness of the Father toward us.  Therefore, God will remind us of the source of all things good.  If the world would receive the message in another form, He would do it in another way.  We will not; therefore, He can not.

As the earth rotates on its axis, smaller meteorites ignite in our atmosphere and pummel a continent burning up a third of the trees and all the grass.  This includes not only lawns, but grain fields as well.  We are already suffering a global shortage of grain.  This one single event would cast the entire planet into a shortage of our basic food supply.  The daily bread of all will suddenly become questionable.  Many will die of hunger.

The fires from such an unimaginable event will destroy our crops, but it will also destroy our homes and industries.  Insurance carriers will not be able to address the great need of so many nor absorb the cost of the loss leaving a vast majority homeless, hungry and unemployed.  There is no way to estimate the deaths from the fires since this will be a fire of such magnitude that we have nothing to compare.

8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Revelation 8:8-9  

The language in these verses indicate that the second trumpet heralds a much larger asteroid that lands in a large body of water, probably an ocean.  This asteroid is described as being mountainous in size telling us that it is magnificent in scope.  Of course, it ignites when it hits our atmosphere.  Something this large and this hot has the potential to increase the temperature of any body of water including the Pacific Ocean.  This change will result in an imbalance within the body of water that would make life uninhabitable for the creatures that live there.  A third of the creatures will die. 

When temperature, salinity, and nutrients reach certain levels, a form of algae called red tide will form causing the ocean water to turn red in color.  High temperature of the water is believed by scientists to be the biggest contributing factor causing red tide.  Red tide produces a toxin that affects the central nervous system of fish so that they are paralyzed and cannot breathe.  As a result, red tide blooms often result in dead fish washing up on Gulf beaches. 

A molten, hot rock this size will upon impact cause the water to vaporize causing rains and storms.  In addition, the force of the impact will push the water causing massive tidal waves of indescribable size and force.  This will destroy coastal cities and cause havoc far, far inland as well.  Storms will be spawned that will cause additional damage both on the coast and to those living far from the shoreline.  Of course, the ships that have the misfortune to be on the water during this event will be cast aside like small toys.  Most rescue vehicles will not be available since they will also be destroyed.  Few will be left to respond and will recognize the futility of their efforts.  Again, lives, living places and livelihoods will be lost in the destruction.

10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood.  A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

Revelation 8:10-11

Rivers and springs of waters are found on continents; therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the asteroid of the third trumpet will hit a large land mass such as a continent.  We have many craters still visible to us today reminding us that asteroids have hit our planet in the past; however, this one will be large enough to sever the ground causing massive earthquakes that will rip apart waste containers placed in the belly of the earth.  We believe that we have safely disposed of our trash by hiding it out of sight, but our garbage will quickly pollute our water causing many people to die.

We have buried lots of waste products in the ground believing that we have dealt with our various types of garbage.  Hospitals all over the world have buried many types of waste including diseased blood and body parts.  Industries have also produced and buried many types of chemicals and other pollutants.  Any and all can cause great harm to our underground water reservoirs.  However, nuclear waste has the greatest potential to pollute our water supply and the ground making it impossible to grow and harvest crops. 

In 1994 comet Levy-Shoemaker impacted Jupiter.  The comet fragmented and it took seven days until the last fragment hit the planet.  We were blessed to capture images of the event with the Galileo spacecraft.  Upon impact, up to 1.2 mile wide fragments hit Jupiter leaving great, dark scars that were visible for months.  As Jupiter rotated, each fragment hit a different spot.  Our planet rotates on its axis which will cause each of the first three  trumpets to impact one third of the planet.  This is devastating news because there will not be a spot on our planet that will be untouched by the destruction of these three trumpets.  If it is possible to be in a safe place, the effects of the fourth trumpet will cover the globe causing every single person living on earth to recognize the hand of God.

12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. 

Revelation 8:12

On May 18, 1980 Mount Saint Helens erupted and an enormous column of ash thrust 15 miles into the sky. It continued to eject ash for about nine hours. The ash was blown eastward by the wind at about 60 miles per hour. Some of the ash reached the eastern United States within 3 days. Small particles entered the jet stream and circled the Earth within two weeks  This is Th

Volcanic eruptions commonly darken the sky in the vicinity of the volcano.  It is also common for the ash and soot that comes from the belly of the earth to enter our atmosphere and quickly travel the globe through the jet streams.  It is always problematic and causes changes in the local and global weather patterns, available sunlight, and even flight problems within aviation travel.

Through human ingenuity we have always been fortunate enough to overcome these issues from a single eruption.  Compound them exponentially by the effects of the first three trumpets.  The atmosphere will quickly fill with dark soot and ash which will eventually get in the jet stream and travel the globe.  This will result in a darkness that permeates our planet to a degree that will hinder the visibility of sunlight, star light and the light of the moon.  It will also result in a cooling of the atmosphere resulting in a drop of temperature.  Global warming will no longer be the primary threat to the planet. (Finally, some good news!)  Instead, growing seasons will be shorter and in some places, nonexistent because of the dark, cold climate. 

It is hard to imagine or envision the condition of our planet after the first four trumpets sound.  When Mount Saint Helens erupted, soot and ash covered the area for miles turning a lush, green living space into a gray, lifeless specter.  This area is coming back to life, but it has taken a long time.  There is no way to know how long it will take before it returns to its pre-eruption state.  Also, there is no way to describe the appearance of the earth when our eyes have never witnessed any events like these described in the first four trumpets. 

We will all be confused by the events surrounding us.  Perhaps petrified is a better word.  The survivors will not be the lucky ones.  However, those that survive will have many questions.  Suddenly, like the proverbial fox-holer, we will believe in God, wonder why He is angry, and try to discover ways to appease Him.  This will become our new global agenda.  God has brought this upon us and for the first time in awhile, we will seek His opinion and determine to hear His voice.  The voice of the prophets will be heard and welcomed by many.  Yet, their voices will not be the only ones heard around the world.  Many will not hear the voice of God because it does not tickle their ears the way a falsehood will.   There will be many pseudo prophets that will tell lies and confuse the people.  Christians have always known that a false messiah would come to deceive the people of the final generation.  The people of our planet have never been more vulnerable to this deception than they will be after the first four trumpets sound.

13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”  

Revelation 8:13

After the first four trumpets sound and we take a moment to catch our breath, something worse happens.  How can anything be worse than the threat to the planet's very existence?  As we continue the study of the remaining trumpets, God will reveal to us the reason the angel calls the 5th, 6th and 7th trumpets all woes.  Together we will discover the woeful things that will occur when earth's inhabitants and its leadership recognizes and admits their inadequacies.  It appears to me that after the first four trumpets sound, we would be in a state of woe.  According to this passage, "We ain't seen nothing, yet."   Af   

As the survivors are standing in utter disbelief and despair, God sends a grand delusion.  Why?  To separate the lovers of the truth from those that love and believe a lie.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-12  The death and devastation that will rock our planet will cause the nations to lay aside their nationalism to become more cohesive as we try to discover the answers to our common dilemma.  As a result, we will form a global committee to try to establish order from the chaos.  This committee will establish a platform for the new world order that will quickly evolve into a one world government.  Once a worthy leader is revealed, this one world government can be established and will flourish.

The one declared worthy by Heaven's inhabitants will be rejected by the majority of the inhabitants of earth as unworthy.  Revelation 5:2, 9  Since our eyes can not behold this Messiah, He will not exist to most.  We will not wait for this Messiah to appear, and will instead embrace an imposter.  The false messiah will be breathtaking in his appearance making all others we have witnessed pale in comparison.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15   We will recognize by his strength and stature that he is not of this world.  His appearance will appeal to all and would deceive even the very elect if it were possible; therefore, we are told to not even go out to see him.  Matthew 24:23-28  While most of the planet will fall prostrate at his feet and worship him as our savior, there will be a few voices that will warn those with ears to hear regarding this deception.  Much effort will be exerted to silence those few courageous enough to sound the alarm.  Many from all the nations will replace their belief systems with the newly discovered hopes and dreams to be fulfilled through this Messiah.  They will not tolerate any dissension.  The result will be a bloodbath with each party believing they are the sword of God.

Perhaps this story is more frightening to you than any horror movie you have ever seen.  I wish I could say things get better, but for awhile they do not.  Just remember that nurturing mothers endure the pain of childbirth for the joy of the newly born male child.  God will not bring to birth and not deliver us.  Isaiah 66:9  Put aside your fears and place your trust in God as He reveals all truth to us while we learn more. . . 

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