Revelation 8:6-7 The half hour of silence comes to an abrupt end when the angel who stood before the altar throws his censer to the earth. The results is a powerful earthquake and is the signal for the seven angels who have the seven trumpets, and they prepare to sound them. The trumpet judgments come just as those who have hid themselves from the fury of God’s wrath during the sixth seal are crawling out of the caves and rocks where they attempted to hide themselves (Revelation 6:15-17). They think that things are returning to normal, when they are hit with the terror unleashed by the angels trumpets.
This is the judgment of God on a world that has slaughtered the innocent and cursed God who reject, deny, and rebel against Jesus. This is the judgment of God against a world that will launch the worst holocaust in the history of the world; that will slaughter millions of believers who refuse to deny Jesus Christ and to accept the mark of the antichrist.
The judgments are supernatural catastrophes, both on the earth and on the heavens. Hail is often associated in Scripture with God’s judgment (Exodus 9:13-25 ; Job 38:22-23;Psalm 105:32; Isaiah 28:2; Haggai 2:17), as is fire (Genesis 19:24; Psalm 11:6; Ezekiel 38:22). The combination of fire mixed with blood is reminiscent of Joel 2:30, which also describes the Day of the Lord. The judgment of blood is reminiscent of the judgment that came upon Egypt (Exodus 7:19 ff).
The result was that a third of the earth is burned up, rendering the soil unusable. Then a third of the trees are burned up, destroying fruit all over the earth. Finally all the green grass is burned up. The fire falling from the sky kindled raging infernos that consumed one- third of the earth’s vegetation and forests.
There is an apparent problem posed by the destruction of all, rather than a third, of the green grass, because of the statement in Revelation 9:4. There are two possibilities to resolve this.
First there is a time lapse between the first and fifth trumpets which would allow time for grass to regrow after the burning, but before the assault of the fifth trumpet.
Second, in most parts of the earth grass is not green the year round, but is seasonal. Burning of all the grass that is green during a particular season would leave the remainder untouched until its season of dormancy is over. Either of these two explanations allows for taking ” all ” in its literal sense without contradicting Revelation 9:4.
The effects of such catastrophic fires would be widespread and devastating, including destruction of crops, death of animals on a massive scale, loss of wood for construction, and the destruction of watersheds. That is a fitting judgment for those who ” exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator ” (Romans 1:25).
Fallen man has failed to recognize and honor God as Creator, choosing instead to make a god out of the earth. However, the environmental, evolutionary pantheism that devalues man, elevates animals and plants, and ignores the Creator will be severely judged. We have already mentioned the plagues of Egypt as precedent for this kind of judgment but that’s not all. This judgment will be similar to the storm upon the enemies of Joshua and Israel (Joshua 10:11).
Revelation 8:8-9 The blast of the second trumpet judgment will bring will probably be some unparalleled volcanic explosion either from underneath the sea or else close to the sea. The explosion will apparently be as forceful as an atomic explosion, forceful enough to explode a mass of rock as large as a mountain into some ocean. The explosion will be so forceful that the mass of rock flying upward is so large that it looks like a great mountain.
Another scenario suggested by scholars is a giant meteorite or asteroid, surrounded by flaming gases set ablaze by the friction of the earth’s atmosphere. We regularly here doomsday scenarios about an asteroid hitting the earth and perhaps this will come true with a vengeance. Everyone will see it, either live or on television, and as the world’s telescopes see it coming, many predictions will no doubt be made about whether it will hit the earth or not. The explosive mass will still be on fire when it hits the earth and fall into one of the seas.
One third of that particular sea will turn blood red, it may be blood or minerals in the rock will turn the sea blood red. It will cause one third of the sea life in that sea as well as one third of the ships in that particular ocean to be destroyed. This will cause a shortage of sea life for food, and devastate the fishing industry and interrupt shipping commerce and trade. There will be great financial loss because of the destroyed ships and their cargo. Commerce and food supply will be crippled world-wide by the blast of the first and second trumpets. The destruction of fish will be similar to the plague upon Egypt (Exodus 7:20-21). Hosea and Isaiah and Zephaniah saw these events as well (Hosea 4:1-3; Isaiah 2:12, 16; Zephaniah 1:2-3).
Revelation 8:10-11 The blast of the third trumpet judgment precipitates what John called a star being thrown to heaven. This will be some huge meteor that explodes before it hits the earth and will scatter over one third of the world. The particles that fall into the rivers and springs of water will drastically affect the water systems in that part of the world. It will actually poison the water, and before men become aware of it, many will die from drinking the water.
Wormwood is a shrub whose leaves are used in the manufacture of absinthe, a liqueur so toxic that its manufacture is banned in many countries. Wormwood is mentioned eight times in the Old Testament, where it is associated with bitterness, poison, and death (Deuteronomy 29:18; Proverbs 5:4; Jeremiah 9:15; 23:15; Lamentations 3:15,19; Amos 5:7; 6:12). In three of those uses, wormwood is connected with poisoned water. Wormwood became a symbol of idolatry because of its bitterness.
Idolatry is a bitter taste for God to swallow; therefore, He will give the idolater the bitterness or wormwood of judgment. (Jeremiah 9:13-15). Wormwood is used to symbolize the bitterness that an immoral person brings into his life (Proverbs 5:3-5). Wormwood is used to symbolize the way people dismiss and treat God with disdain (Deuteronomy 29:18; Hebrews 12:15). This is the reverse of the miracle at Marah, where the Lord made bitter waters sweet (Exodus 15:25).
Revelation 8:12 The blast of the fourth trumpet judgment fulfills also what Joel and Amos spoke of as well (Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9). Just what Scripture is saying here is difficult to understand. It seems that one of three things is meant:
1) That one third of the sun, moon, and stars will be eclipsed or
2) that there will be an eclipse that will blacken out one third of the day; or that there will be one third less light.
3) That there will be no light whatsoever for a third of the night; that is, the moon will be eclipsed for one third of each night.
The loss of heat from the sun will cause temperatures to plunge significantly all over the world. This will disrupt the earth’s weather patterns and the seas’ tides, leading to all kinds of violent, unpredictable storms and tides, destruction of crops, and further loss of animal and human lives. Whatever is meant, the event will be a judgment of God’s. He will be behind the event, striking fear in the ungodly and will have two purposes: to lead men to repent and, if they refuse, to judge them for their sin against His will and His people.
The prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah spoke of these days as well (Isaiah 13:9-10; Ezekiel 32:7-8) God is ready to send Jesus back to the earth to rule and reign and to establish His righteousness and will on earth as it is in heaven but He still wants to reach as many as will respond. This judgment will be similar to the plague of darkness cast on Egypt by Moses (Exodus 10:21-23). Something like this has already happened when the sixth seal was opened (Revelation 6:12-14). Jesus also spoke of these events (Luke 21:25-28).
Revelation 8:13 The trumpet blast of the fifth judgment will be far more severe than the other judgments. The other four trumpet judgments were directed against the earth itself and involved natural catastrophes. Now the judgments are directed against individuals. Those who have not taken the mark of the beast will be spared (Revelation 9:4). God will seal those who have given their lives to the Lord. These judgments are for those who continue to rebel against God’s anointed. In every generation, believers have been martyred at the hands of ungodly men. But believers will not suffer the judgments of God.
They will be protected even as Israel was protected during the Egyptian plagues under Moses. Just prior to this judgment, an eagle will fly through the second heaven or mid heaven. (The Greek is “eagle” not angel as the Authorized Version has.) It will fly and cry out a threefold woe upon the ungodly of the earth so that all can see him and hear his voice. The eagle is a symbol of vengeance in Scripture (cp. Deuteronomy 28:49; Hosea 8:1; Habakkuk 1:8).
None of the ungodly will escape the judgment of God they are to reap exactly what they have sown. Woe is used throughout Scripture, an expression of judgment, destruction, and condemnation (cf. Numbers 21:29;1 Samuel 4:7–8; Job 10:15; Psalm 120:5; Ecclesiastes 10:16; Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 4:13; Lamentations 5:16; Ezekiel 13:3; Hosea 7:13; Amos 6:1; Micah 2:1; Nahum 3:1; Habakkuk 2:6; Zephaniah 2:5; Matthew 11:21; Jude 11).