In chapter 8, we are immediately whisked back into the midst of the seal judgments as the seventh and final seal is opened.
The final seal is what has held back the opening of the scroll that God the Father gave to Jesus, and as we see it opened, we will now hear trumpet blasts announce the judgments written within it.
- Silence in heaven for 30 minutes: what does that look like?
- Holy moment just like when Solomon dedicated the temple in 1 Kings 8: silence
- The saints’ prayers are mixed with incense from heaven that release the trumpet judgments
- I don’t know what hail and fire look like, and being mixed with blood is a complete mystery, but it will be terrifying.
- The world’s supply of firefighters will surely be put to the test and will be unable to stop the fires until 1/3 of all the trees and grass of earth burn.
- Great mountain thrown into the sea: sounds like a comet or meteor
- We will see a theme of thirds in the trumpet judgments
- 1/3 of the sea creatures die along with 1/3 of ocean-going vessels will be destroyed.
- Is this one large meteor/comet, or is it many that this happens to 1/3 of the entire earth, or just one large part of the earth?
- What exactly is meant by star is unknown, but it will surely be seen by all
- Wormwood means sulfur. 1/3 of the fresh water will become undrinkable.
- Like the sea, will this be 1/3 of the water worldwide, or a localized 1/3?
- In addition to who has already died and who will be killed in the future, this undrinkable water will result in death.
- How is a third of the sun struck? The moon? The stars?
- Are the days getting shorter? Is the earth moving faster? Is there something in the sky blocking the light?
- What kind of impact will this have on food, emotions, etc.?
Woe, Woe, Woe
If this all hasn’t been bad enough already, we are told that things are about to get much, much worse for the inhabitants of earth.
- John again calls this thing a star that crashes to the earth
- We quickly see that the angel wasn’t kidding about the “woe” – whatever the “abyss” is, it seems really horrible
- What on earth are these locusts? Machines? Demonic creatures? Created beings reserved until this very moment?
- We learned about a seal in chapter 7 – is this the same or something different? – We will soon understand
- If you’re not terrified by these creatures, you’re not reading Revelation
- Abaddon, Apollyon, Destroyer – these things are meant to destroy and torture, pure and simple
- Four angels have had no duties in eternity except for this moment
- They are captains over this vast army
- Is this army human, angelic or demonic?
- There were not 200 million people alive on earth in John’s day – unthinkable number, but John heard it specifically
- 1/3 of the earth will die by three plagues inflicted by these odd horses.
- If you’re doing the math, 1/4 + 1/3 = 1/2. 1/2 of the earth has died between the seals and the bowls
- We see clearly here that people know who is doing this, why He is doing it, and they still refuse to repent. Their rebellion is open and obvious—there is no confusion.
We will have another parenthetical section before the seventh trumpet, and we will see that this is a tremendous, holy moment for those watching from heaven. Whatever the last trumpet is, it is one of the greatest moments in human history. We will see that it is the culmination of the plans of God on earth—the greatness of His creation!