The Bible Study Revelation 8 and 9 is online now and can be watched here.
An outline is available for download here.
Vs. 1: Seventh seal opened!
silence: goes to climax!
During half hour: preparation for the seven trumpets.
Trumpets: to announce. The seven trumpets are going to announce the Judge.
They indicate: the time is near now and the great judgment is at hand!
Compare seven seals to seven trumpets: increased intensity.
Fourth seal: a quarter of mankind was killed (6:8) by sword, hunger, death (plague) and beasts.
Sixth trumpet: a third of mankind was killed (9:18) by three plagues: fire, smoke, brimstone.
Two groups of trumpets:
1-4 : the vegetation on the land, the seas, the waters and the heavens are struck.
Number four: entire creation.
5-7 : three woes (see 8:13): mankind itself is struck, not nature anymore.
Bowls with the prayers of the saints, see 5:8
Fire from the altar: holy fire! God’s wrath.
The censer filled with incense and prayers of the saints. Now together with God’s wrath: see 6:
Noises, thundering, lightnings and an earthquake. See 4:5. End of the series of seven seals and the beginning of the series of seven trumpets.
Reminder of Joel 2, and Exodus: plagues of Egypt.
Joel 2:1 : Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD is coming. For it is at hand.
First trumpet: see Exodus 9:23 : now mingled with blood.
Disasters with vegetation: bush fires, drought, crop failure, is a part of God’s warnings!
Second trumpet: Big mass of fire, as big as a mountain.
One third of the ships destroyed: God’s wrath in storms and disasters on the sea are also a warning!
Third trumpet: waters on the land: the source of life. è Wormwood. Bitter. Toxic.
Disasters with drinking water is also part of God’s warnings!
Fourth trumpet: The heavens struck.
Third of the sun: Joel 2:31 : The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
Darkened: by the smoke of fire, which destroys the earth. Bushfires, fires of war, volcanoes: all warnings from God.
Vs. 13: angel? ESV, NIV: EAGLE.
Eagle: foreboding, omen.
Inhabitants of the earth: used to indicate the unbelievers.
Star fallen from heaven: See Isaiah 14:12 : How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.’ And verse 15: Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.’
Terrifying, but keep in mind 1:18 : ‘I have the keys of Hades and of Death!’ Christ rules, even though He allows this fallen angel to unleash the powers of hell.
Bottomless pit: hell. Underworld. Separated from the earth. Demons from this world could not come on earth, until God allowed this fallen star to open the pit.
Smoke came out: With locusts.
See Exodus 10: eighth plague. See Joel 2:1-11 !
But here: not normal locusts: combination of locusts and scorpions.
But: do not destroy the vegetation. They are to torture the unbelievers.
Five months: one season, the usual life span of locusts.
Central verse: verse 6!
A: Fallen star/angel of the bottomless pit
B: Locusts/Scorpions torment mankind
C: Men will seek death
B: Locusts/Scorpions hurt mankind
A: king: angel of the bottomless pit.
Torture: spiritual, mental, physical: can be either or all. Torture drives them to madness.
Eph. 6: spiritual hosts of wickedness.
Angel of the bottomless pit: his name mentioned in Hebrew and in Greek! Meaning: Destroyer. Contrast with Jesus Christ: not the Redeemer but the Destroyer.
Sixth trumpet: Voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God: see 8:3: the prayers of the saints were offered to God. Also the altar in 6:9, the fifth seal: the souls under the altar praying.
Euphrates: Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 8:7; Jeremiah 46:10. Place from where God’s punishment comes.
Vs. 15: Hour and day and month and year: all at the right time: at God’s time.
Vs. 16: two hundred million horsemen: see ESV: The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.
Reference to Psalm 68:17 : The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands. Or ESV: The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands;
Vs. 17: the colours fiery red, hyacinth blue and sulfur yellow: the colours of their plagues: fire, smoke and brimstone.
Vs. 18: Fire, smoke, brimstone are the means with which God’s wrath comes in the OT (Gen. 19: Sodom, Isaiah 34:9-10). These three give a picture of hell!
Tails of the horses: like serpents, which can bite and wound. These creatures can attack from two sides: mouth and tail. See also the locusts/scorpions in the fifth seal.
Vs. 20-21: Despite urgent warnings the rest of mankind does not repent.
The seven trumpets, just like the seven seals, are describing in symbols what is happening on this earth before Christ returns. We see in it the warnings of His coming as judge. The Lord Jesus also speaks about the signs of His return in Matthew 24. These signs are given to us as encouragement to be prepared. Can you look at this world and what happened in the past years, and give examples of these warnings, which go unheeded by this world? And does that exhort us to be ready for Christ’s coming?