We concluded our previous message on the Book of Revelation
which was titled, "Looking Down from Heaven," at verse
17 of Ch. 7. Our study ended with a panoramic view of the destiny
of the saints which will be martyred during the time known as
the Tribulation Period.
Starting at Ch. 8:1 we read of an awesome period of time in
heaven when Jesus Christ opens the seventh seal. We are told
that, "there was silence in heaven for about half an hour."
The continual worship heard previously around the Almighty's
throne has suddenly ceased and the majesty of the silence of
God permeates the majestic realm of heaven.
As we continue our study of the Book of Revelation in Chapter
8, we must understand the style of writing which will be presented
from this particular point on as we are shown details of the
events which surround two distinct groupings of occurrences.
These events are sent forth upon the earth from the angelic
sounding of seven trumpets and the pouring out of seven bowls
in heaven. It must be kept in mind these harbingers are not administering
their duties in a sequential straight line as is often pictured,
but instead we might consider these angels positioned in a circular
In order to grasp the presentation of the information being
revealed we need to keep in mind a historical style of story
telling that continues to be utilized in various fashions during
our present day. Whenever some great tragedy or event is being
reported, modern newspapers will occasionally devote whole sections
of their paper to thoroughly cover the same story from different
angles and perspectives. As we turn the pages of one of these
special editions we will often find that some articles start
their report from some point at the beginning or within the story
while another may describe things which led up to the drama.
Related stories may report on some individual's personal experience
while another may present new facts or else a follow up containing
final conclusions. The reports are all about the same story,
but each report is unique and of added interest because of the
newly added information and details which more thoroughly develops
the picture of what had transpired.
Verses 2-6 of Rev. Ch. 8 detail that which took place in heaven
when the second part of the Tribulation Period was initiated
at approximately Rev. 6:12 when the sixth seal was opened.
A little recollection aid in recognizing this division in
the Book of Revelation is that eight is the number for new beginnings
in the Bible. Thus in Ch. 8 we are presented with a new beginning
Likewise number seven represents completion in the Bible and
Ch. 7 brought us by summation to the completion of our first
overview of the Tribulation Period with the rewarding of the
We now return to our study in Ch. 8 of the Book of Revelation.
Seven angels are seen being given seven trumpets in verse 2 while
verses 3 & 4 reveal that another angel is given the ministry
of offering the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar before
These prayers will include those being made upon the earth
by persecuted believers as well as the prayer for vengeance engendered
by the souls of the previously martyred tribulation saints who
were seen located under the altar in Rev. 6:9.
In Rev. 6:10 they cried out to God to judge and avenge their
blood upon those who dwell upon the earth and God honors their
petition of Him. It is the solemn implications for the earth
when the seven trumpets are to be sounded, and God unleashes
His fury in response to these prayers, that evidently causes
the dramatic time of silence in heaven John witnessed in Rev.
Verses 7-12 reveal what will transpire upon the earth when
the first four of the seven trumpets sound.
The first trumpet brings hail and fire that is mixed with
blood and a third of the vegetation is burned up. This will bring
great famine to both man and beast.
The second trumpet sends something which has the appearance
of a burning mountain into the sea. This burning mountain causes
a third of the sea to become blood and destroys a third of the
creatures in the sea along with a third of the ships. This flaming
mountain could very possible be an asteroid. Please see our Rapture
Watch Message, "The Burning Mountain" for further information.
At the sounding of the third trumpet a great star burning
like a torch falls from heaven and poisons a third of the fresh
water. A comet could qualify as this falling star. Please see
our Rapture Watch Message, "Comet Dust and Fiery Mountains."
When the fourth trumpet sounds a third of the light from the
sun, moon and stars will be darkened. Consider what effect this
judgment will have on navigation, the discerning of the passing
of time, plant growth and animal migrations.
As terrible as these first four trumpet judgment will have
been, verse 12 of Ch. 8 heightens the level of threat by introducing
the remaining three trumpets as three woes.
Chapter 9:1-11 describe the judgment of the woeful fifth trumpet
released from the bottomless pit. Demonic locusts are unleashed
upon the world by an angel fallen from heaven to torment men
with unbearable stings for five months. The unnatural nature
of these locust is further emphasized by the fact that they do
not eat vegetation like their earthly counterparts. Either the
same, or another fallen angel named Abaddon or Apollyon (which
means destroyer) rules over them. Men will desperately seek death
to escape the torment of these vile creatures, but we are told
in verse 6 that death will flee from them.
We are told that the first mentioned fallen angel was given
the key to open the pit of hell while Apollyon is revealed to
be "the angel of the bottomless pit."
We are told in verse 4 that all who do not have the seal of
God on their foreh4eads are hapless targets of these stinging
locusts. This would mean that only the 144,000 sealed Jews of
Rev. Ch. 7 will be safe from these spawn of Hell. For further
information see our Rapture Watch Message, "To Die is Gain."
Revelation 9:12-19 reveal the judgment of the woeful sixth
trumpet. Four fallen angels which are bound at the Euphrates
River will be released to mobilize an army numbering 200 million
Without being dogmatic, the description John gives of these
horsemen's appearance could very well be the description one
might expect from a first century man attempting to explain a
modern-day mechanized military. They apparently begin their killing
enroute to their own destruction. By the time they finish their
march, an additional third of those who were still left alive
at that time join the growing host of the dead.
Advancing for a moment to Rev. 16:12 & 16, we find what
we believe is the end results of this sixth trumpet lining up
with the close of the Tribulation Period at the final great battle
of this age called Armageddon. Our linking Rev. 16:12 & 16
with Rev. 9:12-19 has sound merit.
It needs to be kept in mind that the releasing of each judgment
just sets events in motion. The after effects and final outcomes
of one judgment often runs concurrent with other judgments.
Only those living through the Tribulation will be able to recognize
the precise divisions and timetables, but a general picture is
available for us to consider.
With this in mind we can consider the possible identity of
this great army from Rev. 9 & 16 by the following facts:
1). This army is to be overseen by a number of kings found
east of the Euphrates River according to Scripture. China along
with other Asian nations are located in the region designated.
2). The Chinese have factually declared on numerous occasions
that they can field a foot soldier army of 200 million men. The
exact number specified in prophecy. A prophecy, which must be
noted, that was recorded at a time when there was not 200 million
people to be found living on the entire earth.
3). Bible prophecy declares that the Euphrates River will
be dried up in order for this army to achieve access to the valley
of Megiddo where the conflagration of Armageddon will take place.
This supports that it is China's vast army being spoken of since
an airlift of 200 million men from the East with all their vehicles,
armaments and equipment is unrealistic. China will by necessity
have to travel by a land route in order to accomplish this awesome
mobilization into the Middle East.
Please review our Rapture Watch Message, "China's Road
to Armageddon" for further information.
Returning to the final verse of Rev. Ch. 9 we find that the
population of the earth found alive at the time of this judgment
will still refuse to repent and turn to Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of their sins. Here we find further proof that salvation
in Christ will still be available after the Rapture of the Church
to Heaven. To point out that people are refusing to repent when
salvation is no longer available would be disingenuous.
The seventh trumpet is then notably withheld from our view
for the time being and Chapter 10 reveals John in heaven having
a respite from the vision he had been witnessing upon the earth.
A mighty angel is seen holding a small book in his hand as
he put his right foot on the sea and his left foot upon the land.
The little book could possibly be the same book found in Daniel
12:4 & 9.
We are told that John then heard seven thunders utter something
which he was prohibited to disclose. What a secret John had to
keep for all the remaining days of his life. Perhaps there is
some relationship between this glorious secret and the inexpressible
heavenly words which Paul said, "it is not lawful for a
man to utter" in II Corinthians 12:4.
One day soon believers will learn firsthand of God's marvelous
secrets. Revelation 10:7 reminds us that the angel, which will
sound the seventh trumpet, is not out of John's view, but that
in the day this angel sounds his trumpet, the mystery of God
will be finished.
What is this mystery of God? A personal opionion is that it
will have to do with the most challenging questin for every believr
to answer abut why the all powerful God of eretnaity has not
put an end to evil. It is during the time of this great tribulation
that the Lord begins to forevr remove evil from His creation.
Verses 8-11 then reveal John taking the little book and having
to eat it. As is many times the case with the Word of God for
mortal men, the truth revealed in the book can be both sweet
and disturbing at the same time.
John is then told he must continue to prophesy. His words
will contain God's promises of life or damnation for all who
will live upon the earth from that day forward.
Chapter 11 then backs up and fills in more details of the
things that have taken place upon the earth.
Verses 1-13 direct our attention to two extraordinary anointed
men of God. There is some debate as to whether Rev. 11:3 refers
to them being here the first or last 3 ½ years of the
Tribulation, or even an overlap of both.
One Scripture which tends to support the theory that the two
prophets will not begin their ministry until sometime into the
first 3 ½ years can be found in Ezekiel 38:22. There we
find that when Russia invades Israel during the first 3 ½
years of the Tribulation Period, one of the plagues that will
afflict them will be flooding rain.
The Scripture does not clearly state whether this plague comes
upon them in their own country in route to Israel, or in Israel.
If this rain does come upon them while they are in Israel then
read in conjunction with Rev. 11:6, it would mean for certain
that the prophets will not begin their ministry until after Russia
invades since no rain is to fall during the time of their witness.
There is also the likelihood that this drought will be global.
For our study we lean to the belief that they will be here
at some point during the first 3 ½ years after Russia
invades and will be the instruments God uses to awaken the 144,000
Jews of Rev. Ch. 7 to their heritage in Jesus Christ when God
pours out His Spirit as prophesied in Ezekiel 39:29.
This is strongly supported by the reference to the temple
and its worshipers having to be evaluated during this future
time. Bible prophecy reveals in Daniel 9:27 that the Anti-Christ
will stop the worship in the tribulation temple by the middle
of the final 7 years. This would suggest that the two prophets
will be here for at least some portion of the first 3 ½
years of the Tribulation Period while worship is still permitted.
In verses 1-3 of Ch. 11 John is first told to measure the
temple and those who are worshiping there.
The tribulation temple must be erected in Jerusalem by the
first 3 ½ years and the worship at this temple will have
ceased during the final 3 ½ years according to Dan. 9:27.
The Jewish focus of the Tribulation Period is again made evident
by this concern paid to the soon to be rebuilt temple in Israel.
This is of paramount importance to many Jews and is a matter
of unfinished business which will not be left unattended for
much longer. For further information please review our Rapture
Watch message, "The Temple will Fit."
Revelation 11:3-6 then tell us about the ministry of the two
chosen prophets of God.
Verse 4, when read in conjunction with Zechariah 4:2-5 &
11-14, reveals their Old Testament association and their glorious
position which has been established by God.
We pity the numerous false prophets of the past and living
today who will answer for impersonating these "two anointed
ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth."
For 3 ½ years no rain will fall during the days of
their ministry and they will have power to strike the earth with
plagues as often as they desire. This implys that the stopping
of the rain could be a global judgment.
Verses 7-10 reveal that after 3 ½ years the beastly
spirit which will apparently possess the Anti-Christ will kill
them. Then a time of unholy rejoicing and giving of gifts will
take place upon the earth because of their murder.
This global time of festivity, once again, does not fit well
with the idea that this portion of Scripture will transpire at
the close of the Great Tribulation. The close of the Great Tribulation
will not be conducive to parties and celebrations.
Verses 11-13 then describe the two prophets glorious and wondrous
resurrection and their being caught up to heaven before the eyes
of the world after having been left lying dead in the streets
of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days. Please see our Rapture Watch
Message, "Israel's Lawbreaking Prophets" for further
Verses 14-19 then complete the sounding of the circle of trumpet
harbingers with the closing of Ch. 11 at the blowing of the woeful
There are those who say this trumpet is the last trumpet blown
at the Rapture of the Church recorded in I Corinthians 15:52
and I Thessalonians 4:16. Nothing supports their position other
than the mention of a trumpet. A trumpet which is not referred
to as "the trumpet of God" nor "the last trumpet"
as divinely titled for the Rapture trumpet in I Cor. 15:52 and
I Thess. 4:16.
The seventh trumpet written of in Rev. 11:14-19 is not the
last trumpet that will ever be blown and neither is the last
trumpet of I Cor. 15:52. This can be proven by another of God's
trumpet blasts found in Zechariah 9:14-17 which is heard when
Christ returns to save Israel from annihilation at the start
of His millennial reign.
Again, even this trumpet of Zech. 9:15 is not the last trumpet
referenced by Scripture. The great trumpet blast described in
Isaiah 27:12-13 calls for the gathering together of the elect
children of Israel during Christ's establishment of His millennial
kingdom as is fully supported in Matt. 24:30-31. For further
information please see our Rapture Watch Message, "Understanding
The trumpet of God which sounds at the Rapture in I Corinthians
Ch. 15 is a final trumpet only in the sense that it completes
the Church Age of God.
A prime example can be found in Exodus 19:15-19 when the Lord
was to come down in the sight of the Israelites after two days
of their consecration. This passage of Scripture provides a noteworthy
comparison for those who study the Church in relationship to
Bible prophecy at the close of this second millennium.
As has been noted in our previous message in this series on
the Book of Revelation titled, "Looking Down from Heaven"
when we review Rev. 11:16-18, we still find no address or mention
of the Church being found upon the earth during this time. Only
the same twenty-four elders of the Church found in Rev. 5:8-10
are revealed once again seated before God as the view returns
We are told that the woeful seventh trumpet announces the
day when Jesus Christ begins to exercise His rightful authority
over the earth during the second half of the Tribulation Period.
The time of this event is just after the first wave of martyrs
had been killed at the fifth seal in Rev. Ch. 6. The two prophets
may very well be counted among these committed believers who
loved not their lives unto death.
We are told the Temple of God in heaven is then seen open
at this time and in Rev. 7:14 we are shown that the martyrs will
be granted the honor of entering and serving God in this holy
Time is running out. Today is the day to have your sins forgiven
by trusting with faith in the Son of God Jesus Christ who died
as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Don't put it off. Tomorrow may well be too late. The Rapture
is going to happen.