The Apocalypse – Chapter 8 – Part 2
Yesterday we commenced with Chapter 8 of the book of Revelation (or Apocalypse), today we continue with the second part of that Chapter – The Trumpets
Walking Through the Fire ‘The God we serve is able To rescue us from your hand’ The words of three young men Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t understand. The king said, ‘were not three men we tied up and threw into the fire’? But the three Hebrews served a God Who was greater than any earthly pyre. We do serve a God who wants to give To us all His heart’s desire. So it is then that He allows us To go through His refining fire. I see four men walking around the king said, ‘how can this be?’ The very thing the enemy meant to destroy Is the thing that will set men free. Our God is completely dependable His ways are perfect and true. If He allows you to walk through the fire. He will see that no harm comes to you. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – The Trumpets
- The most severe calamities have their bounds and limits set them by the great God.
- In the midst of judgment, God remembers mercy.
- God gives warning to men of His judgments before He sends them.
‘The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. A third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
Woe, woe, woe
Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
Henry says – The first angel sounded the first trumpet, and the events which followed were very dismal. There followed hail and fire mingled with blood, etc., Rev. 8:7. There was a terrible storm. Whether it is to be understood of a storm of heresies or a storm of war, expositors are not agreed. However it is a very terrible storm, fire and hail, and blood: a strange mixture!
Their limits are set
It fell on the third part of the trees, and on the third part of the grass, and blasted and burnt it up. A shadow of which may have meant to represent the Roman empire, which was a third part of the then known world. The literal interpretation describes a significant minority of the earth and its vegetation becomes devastated. Whichever type or shadow the most severe calamities have their bounds and limits set them by the great God.
The second angel sounded, and the alarm was followed with terrible events. A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood, Rev. 8:8. By this mountain some understand the leader or leaders of the heretics. The city of Rome was ransacked five within 137 years with great slaughter and cruelty. A great mountain burning with fire suggests a volcano whose ashes pollute the sea. In these calamities, a third part of the people (called here the sea or collection of waters) were destroyed. Here was still a limitation to the third part, for in the midst of judgment God remembers mercy.
The tragic result of sin
The third angel sounded, and the alarm had the effects as before: There fell a great star from heaven, etc., Rev. 8:10. Some take this to be a political or star from the clergy who greatly corrupts the churches of Christ. Wormwood is a bitter herb, sometimes poisonous which symbolises the tragic results of sin. This star fell: Upon a third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. It made these streams very bitter, that men were poisoned by them. Some believe this to be when the doctrines of the gospel are corrupted. The springs of spiritual life which become contaminated by a mixture of dangerous errors that the souls of men found their ruin.
The fourth angel sounded, and the alarm was followed with further calamities. There was a darkness. The great luminaries of the heavens fell—the sun, the moon and the stars. These symbolic cosmic events are partial disruptions and not to be compared with the Final Coming of Jesus. Some take this to be the governors of the church, who are placed in higher sphere than the people.
God gives warnings
However there is a limitation. It is confined to a third part of these luminaries. There is some light from the sun by day, and of the moon and stars by night, but it is only a third part of what they had before.
Lets take these plain and practical remarks. If the gospel is coldly received it is usually followed with dreadful judgments. God gives warning to men of His judgments before He sends them. He sounds an alarm by the written word, by ministers, by men’s own consciences, and by the signs of the times. So that, if a people be surprised, it is their own fault.
The anger of God embitters all the comforts of the people and makes even life itself bitter and burdensome. God does stir up all his wrath in this world but sets bounds to the most terrible judgments. Corruptions of doctrine and worship in the church are themselves great judgments, and the usual causes and tokens of other judgments.
An awful errand
Before the other three trumpets are sounded here is solemn warning given to the world. How terrible the calamities would be that should follow them, and how miserable those times and places would be on which they fell, Rev. 8:13. The messenger was an angel flying in the midst of heaven, as in haste, and coming on an awful errand. The message was a denunciation of further and greater woe and misery than the world had endured.
If lesser judgments do not take effect, but the church and the world grow worse under them, they must expect greater. God will be known by the judgments that He executes. He expects, when He comes to punish the world, the inhabitants should tremble before Him.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Prayer: Father, I come to You. I thank You that the most severe calamities have their bounds and limits set them by You. Also that my own trials and tribulations have their bounds and limits set by You. And that You use all evil for good in my life. Thank You that in the midst of judgment You remember mercy. You do not give us according to what we deserve but Christ took up our sins upon Himself to cleanse us. Thank You for Your warnings given to men of impending judgments. May we always take heed. May we always be ready to listen and respond to Your Words and warnings with humility. In Jesus name. Amen.
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