SECOND TRUMPET – 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 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. (Revelation 8:8-9)
Blazing Mountain Thrown into the Sea – This is not likely a reference to a literal mountain, but rather “something like a huge mountain” that is ablaze. Again, John is trying to describe devastation unlike anything he had ever witnessed or even imagined as possible. This vision may also be Continue reading “The Second Trumpet”
FIRST TRUMPET – The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon 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)
Hail and Fire Mixed with Blood – This judgment corresponds with the judgements on Egypt in Exodus 9:22–25. However, John’s vision adds blood to the hail and fire of the Exodus narrative. See also Ezekiel 38:22.(1) The Prophet Joel also prophesied “blood and fire” in the last days (Joel 2:30). If this is a direct supernatural judgment from God, it is Continue reading “The First Trumpet”
INTRODUCTION – And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. (Revelation 8:6)
Seven Angels – Only two angels are specifically named in the canonical scripture (Michael and Gabriel).(1) The Apocrypha (Enoch 20:7) names seven archangels Continue reading “Seven Trumpets Sounded – Introduction”
FATE OF MULTITUDE – Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17)
In Heaven, the multitude will enjoy the presence of God where they will hunger or thirst no more. No longer subject to death (Revelation 21:4), they will drink of the water of life. They will no longer experience the oppressive heat of the sun. They will have every tear wiped from their eyes. Having refused the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16–17), they held to the testimony of Jesus. Despite persecution from the evil one, they turned to Christ and now enjoy the promised deliverance.(1) Note that the 144,000 survive the Tribulation, while multitudes of believing Gentiles (and Jews) will give their lives during this awful time. These are the souls under the altar previously encountered in Revelation 6:9–11. God will reward these believers and will give them glory for their suffering.
Some Bible students believe that the promises of Revelation 7:15–17 will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom rather than in Heaven. Revelation 20:4 indicates a special resurrection for these Tribulation martyrs and promises that they will live and reign during the Kingdom age.(2)
Up Next – We begin our study of the Seven Trumpets.
Question of the Day – Earlier these martyrs asked “how long?” Now it comes to pass, with the “never again[s]” and “every tear” “wipe[d] away.” How can this give us encouragement as we encounter difficulties as we await Christ’s return?
- Sloan, R. B. (1998). The Revelation. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (p. 673). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 817). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
MULTITUDE IDENTIFIED – Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14)
Who Are They – Jewish teachers sometimes asked questions they knew their disciples would not be able to answer. The disciples would respond by asking the teacher for the answer. This is the same teaching technique that is being employed here. Jewish apocalyptic literature often included angelic guides who asked the mortal observer rhetorical questions to guide them to the answer.(1)
Those Who Came Out of Great Tribulation – “The great tribulation” refers to Continue reading “The Multitude Identified”
GREAT MULTITUDE – After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelation 7:9-12)
Every Nation – The Greek literally means Continue reading “A Great Multitude”
Why This Group in Tribulation – The following text from Daniel is often used to explain Israel’s role in the last days, specifically the seven years of tribulation.
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people [Israel] and your holy city [Jerusalem] to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out.” (Daniel 9:24-27)
This text from Daniel is rather cryptic, with at least four puzzling questions that need to be answered to gain a better understanding of what Daniel is prophesying: Continue reading “Israel’s Missing Week”