The Sounding of the Trumpets

Revelation

The Sounding of the Trumpets

July 8th, 1962 @ 10:50 AM

Revelation 8:6-13

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
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THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPETS

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 8:6-13

7-8-62    10:50 a.m.

 

 

On the radio you are listening to the services of the First Baptist Church of Dallas.  This is the pastor bringing the 11:00 o’clock morning message entitled, The Sounding of the Trumpets.  We are preaching through the Bible and after many, many years, have come to the last and the climactic book, the Revelation.  And in our preaching through the Revelation, we have come to chapter 8.

It is a great disappointment to me that I haven’t opportunity many, many times to explain why it is that I am persuaded a certain thing is as it is, that it means what it does.  If I even pause to make a few extra observations or to discuss why I am persuaded that a certain thing is as it is, then the time is gone and I haven’t even begun to preach the sermon.  I spoke over forty minutes this morning at the 8:15 hour, and just barely began to speak of these things because I began to talk about some of the things in them. 

These sermons are being published.  They are not only mimeographed as they are preached, but they are being published.  And the first volume will come out this fall.  Do you know what part of the Revelation is encompassed in that first volume?  The first chapter, that’s all.  When we gathered the sermons together for the first volume, they cover just one chapter.  So there is a great deal that would ordinarily be said if we had time to say it – to look at the Bible, really to see what these things mean.  But, lacking that opportunity, unless we came here and stayed hours – lacking that opportunity, there are many, many things that the pastor says that he just apparently says.  But he doesn’t just apparently say them.  Back of it, oh, I could not tell you the hours and the hours and the hours of poring through these things; and finally, as I do it, I come to a very definite persuasion in my own heart concerning them.

Now the reading of the text; the last time we spoke we closed at the fifth verse of the eighth chapter.  Now today we begin at the sixth verse and go to the end:

 

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all the green grass was burnt up – and a third part of the earth was burned up.

And the second angel sounded, and –

 

Now there is another instance of it – "and a third part of the earth was burned up."  That is not in the Revised Version [1901], but that is what John wrote.  It is in the Greek.  Now:

And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were bitter.

And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shown not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

And I beheld, and heard –

 

And you have in the Revised Version, you have in the Authorized Version here, the King James Version – "an angel."  John wrote "an eagle."  He wrote in the Greek "an eagle":

 

And I beheld and heard an eagle flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

[Revelation 8:6-13]

 

We have come in the point of history as we go through this Apocalypse, where all things are in readiness for the great climactic consummation of the age, the coming of our Lord, and the establishment of His kingdom in the earth.  The seventh and the last seal has been opened.  And there is a silence in heaven [Revelation 8:1] – one of expectancy, intensest interest.  There is an awe that covers all of the hosts of glory.  And there are before God, brought in remembrance, the prayers of all the saints of all the ages: "Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done" [Matthew 6:10].  And as we read, under that fifth seal, the cry of the saints of God whose blood has been shed in the earth; the day has come for the answer to that cry.  And the prayers of God’s people are brought up before His remembrance [Revelation 6:9-10] – all of them through all of the ages. 

Then in this same eighth chapter, the angel fills the golden censer with fire of judgment from off the altar, and he flings it into the earth [Revelation 8:5] – a picture of the wrath and the doom and the judgment of God upon this unbelieving and blaspheming world.  Then the angels of that judgment – of that visitation prepare to sound, and the first angel sounds.  And when the seventh angel has sounded, then comes the final day [Revelation 8:6-13] – the great battle of Almighty God that ushers in the visible appearing of Christ our Lord and the establishment of His millennial kingdom in the earth.

There are two great events that cover all time, all future, and all destiny; these two events yet to come.  The first event is the translation of God’s people to heaven.  The first event is the coming of Christ for His saints [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].  The second great event is the return of our Lord with His people from heaven [Revelation 19:11-16].  That first great event is spoken of so much by the apostle Paul.  You read a part of what he has to say in the Scripture reading this morning:

 

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall be raised first: 

Then we who are alive and remain unto the coming of Lord shall be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air

 [1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17]

 

This is the first great event of the future.  And it can happen any day, any hour, any time, any moment.  There is nothing separating between us and that coming of the Lord for His people.

Then the second tremendous event that lies ahead is the coming of Christ openly, visibly with the armies of glory and with His sainted people in heaven.  That will be the establishment of His kingdom in this earth, where the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and when He reigns forever and forever [Revelation 19:11-16].  Between those two great events, the septenarii series of judgments fall – the seven seals [Revelation 6:1-8:1], the seven trumpets [Revelation 8:2-11:19], and the seven vials of the wrath and judgments of God [Revelation 15:1-16:21].  And when these "sevens" are finished, then is finished the mystery of God in the earth.

Now, as we face these tremendous events, there are seven things that characterize them.  First: peace; always it starts that way.  Here is a world leader who presents himself as a world savior.  And he has the answers to all of the problems.  And he comes on the scene.  We have seen it time and again.  We are looking at it now.  And he comes on the scene and he delivers us, he says, from war.  And he solves all of our economic problems.  And then inevitably, inevitably, there follows blood and war, and famine, and need, and want, and pestilence.  I see it all the time.  I read it in history.  I read it in the pages of Cuba.  I read it in the pages of China.  I read it in the pages of Eastern Europe.  I read it all of the time, whether I read history or whether I read history in the newspaper.  Always it follows that pattern.  These men who come with their schemes and their programs and they bring utopia with them.  But beyond them – beyond them, always the shedding of blood, the bearing of the sword, the execution squad, the want and the famine and the lack and the need and the scarcity, then pestilence. 

Then, of course, the persecution of God’s people – always, always the slaughter of God’s people.  Then the great warning signs of God in heaven.  And then, the final visitation of the wrath and judgment of God from above.  Those are the seven seals.  First, peace.  Second, war.  Third, famine.  Fourth, pestilence.  Five, the persecution of God’s people.  Six, and the warning signs of God from heaven [Revelation 6:1-17].  And seven, the final visitation from above [Revelation 8:1]. 

And these are these seven trumpets [Revelation 8:2-11:19].  They are that day of the awful wrath and judgment of Almighty God.  No nation, no dictator, no tyrant, has ever yet defied God and lived.  There is a judgment upon him; there is a judgment upon the people.  Every time a nation turns in those directions, there inevitably follows these same events, the awful judgment of God upon it.  Iniquity, unbelief, infidelity, atheism, the defiance and rejection of God – these things always follow after.  So in the blowing of these seven trumpets we have come to the great final consummation of the age as God judges a disbelieving and a blaspheming and a rejecting people.

Now, all of those septenary, all of those series of "sevens" are arranged exactly alike; four and three – four and three.  Then those last three are separated – two and one.  And you have it here in the blowing of the trumpets.  The first four are a series to themselves [Revelation 8:2-13].  And the last three are in a series to themselves [Revelation 9:1-11:19] – just like all of them.  Of those seven trumpets, the first is the judgment of God on the land, the trees, and the grass [Revelation 8:7].  The second on the sea, and the creatures in the sea, and the commerce of the world [Revelation 8:8-9].  And the third upon the fountains of water and of rivers [Revelation 8:10-11].  And the fourth on the stellar skies in the heavens above us [Revelation 8:12-13].  These are general judgments.  And we will have a word about them in just a moment.  And then the other three are directed pointedly, terrifically, horribly toward mankind – because they increase in intensity and severity as they follow through [Revelation 9:1-11:19].  The fifth [trumpet] is the breaking of the partition, the opening of a door between the earth of mankind and the abyss of hell [Revelation 9:1-12].  And the sixth trumpet [Revelation 9:13] is the loosening of the four restraining angels [Revelation 9:14], and the army of two hundred million horsemen [Revelation 9:16], and the seven thunders [Revelation 10:3], and the testimony and life and struggle and agony of God’s two martyrs who are slain, murdered [Revelation 11:3-14].  Then of course, the seventh trumpet brings the great battle of the day of God Almighty and the intervention of Christ in human history [Revelation 11:15-19].

This morning, these first four trumpets [Revelation 8:2-13] – "The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood,they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees were burned up, and all of the green grass was burned up.  And a third part of the earth was burned up" [Revelation 8:7]. 

Now, there are those, and I respect them greatly, there are those who believe that these things are exactly as they are described and that they are not representative of, they are not symbols of, other things.  When the first angel sounds, there follows hail and fire, mingled with blood.  And the trees, a third, the grass, a third, and the earth, a third, is burned up.  I have no quarrel with that interpretation at all.  In the ninth chapter of the Book of Exodus: "And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.  So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as was never in all of the land of Egypt since it was a nation" [Exodus 9:23, 24].  So, in the sounding of this trumpet and the judgment of God upon the earth, I have no quarrel at all – none at all with those who look upon these things as being actually as they are described.

But to me – to me, these things are symbols.  They are pictures of judgments of God that are sometimes delineated and sometimes not.  For example, in this second sounding of the trumpet it says: "And as it were a great mountain burning with fire cast into the sea" [Revelation 8:8].  Then he will say in the third angel who sounds, "there fell a great star from heaven burning as it were a lamp" [Revelation 8:10].  Now, what the seer is saying is that the thing was not a mountain actually, but as it were a mountain burning with fire.  What it was was not a star – as a lamp actually, but as it were a star – a lamp falling, burning.  So to me, these things represent, they are symbols of the judgment of God in this earth.

Now, I have written here what I think these things are.  And in order to get it into the text when this message is mimeographed I read them here.  Hail is a sudden, sharp interposition of the judgment of God – Isaiah 28:2-17.  Fire is an unsparing evidence of the wrath of God, burning judgment, mostly in the form of war – Deuteronomy 32:22; Isaiah 33:14.  Blood is death, moral death, spiritual death, physical death.  It is death.  The earth is the civilized world, constituted authority, the world as you know it under a regular and established government.  The sea is restless masses of humanity – Daniel 7:2-3; Isaiah 57:20.  Trees represent the pride of human greatness, flaunting the presence and the glory of God – Daniel 4:20-22; Ezekiel 31:3-18.  Grass is men generally, people generally – Isaiah 40:6-7.  And the green grass, of course, would be the finest, the flower, the fruit of the mankind – the best.  When you go to war, whom do you destroy in war?  Always the green grass, the flower and the fruit, the finest of the land.  When you go down to enlist in the army, in the war, of course, they may feel of you, and if you are warm you’re in.  But if you go down to join the army, they pick out the finest of the crop.  And it is only the finest of your manhood that fights in a war.  They go down to Annapolis by appointment.  They go to West Point by appointment.  They go to Colorado Springs, to the Air Force Academy by appointment – your finest.  And in this green grass – the grass is representative of the people; the green – the finest flower of the land.  And a third of the world burned up, that is the scorching devastation of war [Revelation 8:7].

Now, a mountain – a mountain represents a firmly established power, a kingdom – Jeremiah 51:25.  A star, a lamp – in Revelation 1, a star was a pastor, a teacher – a man of great authority as he stands before the people.  And the lamp, of course, was the congregation – the church [Revelation 1:20].  And when it falls, it is an apostate teacher that fills the earth with tragic and terrible darkening doctrine.  And there is not anything in the earth so tragic as the misleading of people in teaching a wrong evaluation, a wrong revelation, a wrong doctrine; the star, the lamp.  The rivers and the fountains, which are embittered by this star that falls, that represents the sources of life-giving water – the doctrines, the salvation, the hope.  The teaching is poison, and it darkens the skies above and embitters the sources of life beneath.  Why, I can read all of this in my daily newspaper – just as it is here in the Book – just the same thing.

Well, let’s get started.  The first angel sounded, then the sharp judgments of God.  Do you notice, only a third part is burned up – only a third [Revelation 8:7].  That is, God in mercy still deals with His people.  God in mercy still has hope for His people.  They may be indoctrinated with the most false propaganda mind could imagine.  And you got it here in the United States, and you have got it by the uncounted illimitable worlds-full beyond us.  And whenever men listen to it, whenever men follow it, there inevitably follows after these tragic things, loss of life, loss of property, loss of home, loss of true vision.  But God still waits, God is still merciful, God still hopes, God still prays.  There is only a third part of it that is destroyed.

The second angel sounded and as it were a great mountain [Revelation 8:8] – that would be a government – and burning it was cast into the sea, that is, in the restless masses of humanity.  "And a third part of the sea became blood and the creatures died and a third part of the ships were destroyed" [Revelation 8:8, 9].  Wherever you have a seething humanity, I will tell you exactly the burning mountain that will be cast into it: for the doctrines of socialism, and the doctrines of communism, and the doctrines of atheism, and the doctrines of rejection and of disobedience – all of these wherever there is a restless mass of humanity, look and there you’ll find that hand.  There you will find that sword.  There you will find that burning.  For they cannot live, they cannot survive other than in the restless masses of humanity.  And instead – and instead, of bringing order out of chaos; and instead of seeking to bring a righteous and splendid government out of anarchy, and instead of bringing blessings where there is restless disillusionment and tragedy, they feed it and they feed it.  For they live in all of that restless mass.  That is where they breathe.  That is where they are given life.  And when that burning mountain on fire is cast into that restless sea, there you will find the world, the nation, the section, the part bathed in blood.  And the third part of the sea became blood.  And the third part of the creatures died.  And a third part of the commerce is destroyed [Revelation 8:8-9]. 

You will never in this earth have a prosperous Cuba.  Its commerce is destroyed.  You will never in this earth have a prosperous China.  Its commerce is destroyed.  You will never in this earth have a prosperous Soviet government.  Depression is built into the thing.  That is what it is to have it, just like it says here in the Book.  Blood – the loss of commerce and the loss of life.  But, God hopes, God waits.  It is only a third part.  This earth will never, never altogether be subjected to such devastation – not as long as God can see that there are people who bow in His presence, who look up in faith, and who pour their lives into the great program of our Lord.  Only a third is destroyed [Revelation 8:8-9].

And "The third angel sounded, and there fell a star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon a third part of the rivers and upon a third part of the fountains of waters" [Revelation 8:10].  And there will never be a time until the end – and then we come in victory – there will never be a time when wrong doctrine absolutely and positively and fully covers the earth.  It never will be.  There will always be those who champion right.  There will always be those who give themselves to purity of teaching and to purity of doctrine.  But, the tragedy lies in these who poison the rivers and the fountains of waters, the sources of our hope and the sources of our lives and the blessedness of our destiny is destroyed by those who teach these wrong doctrines.  And some of you say, "the disciples of the mistaken."

"And the name of the star is called Wormwood, and the third part of the waters became wormwood: and men died [of the waters], because they were made bitter" [Revelation 8:11].  Then you have the same thing carried out.

And when that fourth angel sounded, the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars [Revelation 8:12].  The miasmic, dismal, darkening clouds of apostasy, and false teaching, and false doctrine clouded the earth and clouded the heavens.  All which is how God needs His stars to shine, His lamps to burn, His teachers to teach, His preachers to preach, His people to live in a world that grows darker, darker, and the sun, the great central power, the moon, the lesser power, the stars still lesser powers, darkened, darkened by apostate teaching.  "And they shone not for a third" [Revelation 8:12].  Again it never blots out the truth.  It never is able to cover the whole earth.  God, in His mercy, still gives us opportunity to live, opportunity to turn, opportunity to teach, opportunity to preach.  God gives it to us if we are given to God in our dedication to those holy purposes.

"And I beheld" – at the end of the fourth sounding – "and I beheld, and heard an eagle flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!" [Revelation 8:13].  These three following are so terrible and so horrible – they are so intensive that before the angel sounds, before those judgments fall, a great warning is made throughout the earth.  An eagle – and here again [Deuteronomy 28:; Jeremiah 48:; Matthew 24:28], Deuteronomy 28:[], Jeremiah 48:[], Matthew 24:28 – an eagle in this instance like this is a harbinger of judgment. 

Sin has a voice in heaven.  An execution and judgment upon it may not fall immediately, but it will fall.  It will come.  It will come.  The Lord delayed long in the days of Noah, but the judgment fell [Hebrews 11:7; Genesis 6:13, 7:17-24].  Jezebel lived in her villainy, and in her wickedness she lived many years, but the day came when God said: "She will be eaten of the dogs, and the horses will trample her body under the rolling wheels of the chariots they pull" [1 Kings 21:23].  And the same to pass [2 Kings 9:30-37].  Sin has a repercussion in heaven, and it may not be just at this moment, and at this time, and at this minute, but there is coming a day when it shall be judged. 

And this eagle, a very plain white eagle, like the lion is the beast of the jungle, the eagle is the royal bird, the fowl of the air.  And in his keen, quick eye, as he crosses in his flight the vast meridian of the earth, he sees his prey from afar.  And he cries, "Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth" [Revelation 8:13].  This is a mercy of God.  We follow it all the way through – only a third part, only a third part, only a third part [Revelation 8:12].  All the way through without exception, only a third part.  God gives warning that a man might turn, that a people might turn before these awful judgments of God fall upon them, that we might turn! 

Before God ever does anything in the way of judgments, He always warns – always warns.  He did in the days of Adam.  "Adam, touch it, but you die" [Genesis 2:16-17].  He did in the days of the antediluvians; for a hundred and twenty years, Noah preached righteousness to the people [Genesis 6:2; 2 Peter 2:5].  He did in the days of Judah, and He did in the days of Samaria, and He did it in the days of Israel.  And He did it in the days of Jesus.  And He did it in the days of Paul, and He does it in our day – does it in our day.  You go this way, and this way leads to damnation, and it leads to judgment, and it leads to bloodshed, and it leads to death! 

One time I heard a great preacher, L. R. Scarborough, say that in the Bible there were six hundred warnings about hell.  And he added, "If a man were going down a road and there were six hundred signs on that road saying, ‘This road leads to hell,’ by the time a man got there, it will be because of his own choice and his own volition, his own, his own crazy determined will."  And that is exactly the way it is with God in this whole world.  God has preached and God has made His way plain.  And God says, "You follow this road and it leads to disaster and to damnation and to judgment and to death and to hell."  And that is why God warns, "I beheld and I heard" – both – "this eagle flying through the meridian sky saying, Look, look, stop, consider; woe, woe, woe" [Revelation 8:13].

One of the most unusual things about the Lord God Almighty is the reluctance with which He gives up His people, His preachers in the earth.  Why doesn’t God damn them out of His sight?  Why doesn’t God destroy them?  Why doesn’t God burn them with fire?  Why does God let a tyrant live?  Why does God let these awful people continue in their terribleness and their awfulness?  Why does He do it?  Because of the longsuffering of the Almighty [2 Peter 3:9].  Maybe, maybe they will turn.  Maybe they will hear.  Maybe they will listen.  Maybe they will repent.  Maybe they will be saved.  "As I live, saith the Lord, as I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his evil ways and live: turn ye, turn ye . . . for why will ye die?" [Ezekiel 33:11],  an appeal from God, a warning from the Lord, lest we fall into perdition and into damnation and into death.  And that is why this warning here before the sounding of the last three and final trumpets, beyond which it is forever and forever too late.  "An eagle flying through the midst of heaven saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe" [Revelation 8:13].

Woe to whom?  Look at this.  There are two words in the Greek language – there are two words in the Greek language for dwellers, people who live.  One is paroikeō, which means to dwell as a sojourner would.  The other is katoikeō, which means to settle down – we like it here, this pleases us.  And that is the word used here.  "Woe to those who have lost their heavenly vision."  They are pilgrims no longer.  They do not have God in their hearts any more.  Their Utopia is down here.  Their paradise is down here.  Their hopes are down here.  Their life is down here.  They have lost the heavenly vision.  They do not feel any longer the upward pull.  The truth of God is not in their hearts.  Woe, says the Lord, to those katoikeō’s, these who have built every hope and dream down here in this world, and they are no longer pilgrims from this world to the world that is yet to come.

 

Day of anger, day of wonder,

When the world is driven asunder,

Smote with fire and blood and thunder,

King of majesty tremendous,

Who doth free salvation send us,

Well of mercy, O, befriend us.

["Dies Irae" ("Day of Wrath") William J. Irons, trans]

 

As we face death, and as we face trials, and as we face conflicts, and as we face judgment, and as we face the inevitable of all of the unfolding future, O well of mercy, O God of salvation, remember us, befriend us, save us!

Now while we sing our song, somebody you give his heart to the Lord. Somebody you put your life into the fellowship of the church.  As the Spirit of Christ shall lead in the way, shall open the doors, shall say the word, would you come and stand by me?  In this balcony round, coming down one of those stairways at the front, at the back; on this lower floor, into the aisle and down here to the pastor, "Preacher, I give you my hand, I give my heart to God."  Or, "Pastor, here we are, coming into the fellowship of the church.  God bless us today as we come."  Now let us stand and sing.

THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPETS

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 8:6-13

7-8-62

 

I.          Introduction

A.  Everything stands in readiness for the final judgments which bring the great consummation

1.  Last seal is broken – heaven in suspense to see the result

2.  Prayers of the saints of all time are brought to review

3.  The words, ashes of holy indignation have been dropped from the golden censure upon the world

B.  There are two coming events which overshadow all others

1.  The translation of God’s people to heaven(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

2.  The return of our Lord with His people from heaven(Revelation 19:11-14)

3.  Between the two events the septenary series of judgments fall

C.  Seven final events leading up to the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom, the seals – peace, war, famine, pestilence, persecution, signs, wrath

D.  Each septenary series follows same plan – divides between first four and the last three; the last three separated into two and one

1.  First four trumpets are woes upon nature

a. Land, trees, grass

b. Sea, creatures in the sea, commerce

c. Fountains of water and rivers, fresh water

d. Heavenly bodies, sun, moon, stars

2.  Last three trumpets directed toward mankind, the most terrible, severe

a. Breaks open the door between earth and hell

b. The loosening of the four restraining angels and army of two hundred million horsemen, the seven thunders, the mighty struggle and murder of the two witnesses

c. Brings in the battle of the great day of God Almighty

 argin-left:1.25in;text-indent:-.25in’>2.  Prayers of the saints of all time are brought to review

3.  The words, ashes of holy indignation have been dropped from the golden censure upon the world

B.  There are two coming events which overshadow all others

1.  The translation of God’s people to heaven(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

2.  The return of our Lord with His people from heaven(Revelation 19:11-14)

3.  Between the two events the septenary series of judgments fall

C.  Seven final events leading up to the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom, the seals – peace, war, famine, pestilence, persecution, signs, wrath

D.  Each septenary series follows same plan – divides between first four and the last three; the last three separated into two and one

1.  First four trumpets are woes upon nature

a. Land, trees, grass

b. Sea, creatures in the sea, commerce

c. Fountains of water and rivers, fresh water

d. Heavenly bodies, sun, moon, stars

2.  Last three trumpets directed toward mankind, the most terrible, severe

a. Breaks open the door between earth and hell

b. The loosening of the four restraining angels and army of two hundred million horsemen, the seven thunders, the mighty struggle and murder of the two witnesses

c. Brings in the battle of the great day of God Almighty

II.         The first trumpet(Revelation 8:7)

A.  Some believe these things are exactly as described

1.  No quarrel with this interpretation (Exodus 9:23-24)

B.  To me these things are symbols, pictures of judgments that are sometimes delineated and sometimes not – "as it were"(Revelation 8:8, 10)

1.  Hail – sudden, sharp interposition of the judgment of God(Isaiah 28:2-17)

2.  Fire – unsparing evidence of the wrath of God, burning, mostly in the form of war (Deuteronomy 32:22, Isaiah 33:14)

3.  Blood – death, physical and moral

4.  Earth – the civilized world, constituted authority, the world as you know it under a regular, established government

5.  Sea – restless masses of humanity(Daniel 7:2-3, Isaiah 57:20)

6.  Trees – pride of human greatness (Daniel 4:20-22, Ezekiel 31:3-18)

7.  Grass – men generally (Isaiah 46:7)

a. Green grass – the best, finest

8.  Mountain – a firmly established power, kingdom (Jeremiah 51:25)

9.  Star – pastor or teacher, man of authority before the people

10.  Lamp – the congregation, the church

11.  Rivers, fountains – sources of life-giving water which are the doctrines, the salvation, the hope

C.  Only a third part is burned up – God is still dealing in mercy

 

III.        The second trumpet(Revelation 8:8-9)

A.  A mountain "as it were" – a government

1.  Cast into the sea, the restless, seething masses of humanity

B.  Results – a third of the sea died, and third of the ships destroyed; loss of life and commerce

1.  Wherever you have a seething humanity, the burning mountain cast into it will be socialism, communism, and atheism

 

IV.       The third trumpet(Revelation 8:10-11)

A.  Star, lamp, fell upon third part of rivers and fountains of waters – apostate teacher, church poison the sources of life, doctrine, salvation

1.  There will never be a time, until the end, when wrong doctrine fully covers the earth

B.  His name is "Wormwood" – bitter, poisonous herb

 

V.        The fourth trumpet(Revelation 8:13)

A.  An eagle flying through heaven warns inhabitants of the earth of the next three judgments

1.  Eagle a harbinger of judgment (Deuteronomy 28, Jeremiah 28, Matthew 24:28)

B.  Execution and judgment may not fall immediately upon sin, but it will fall (2 Kings 9:30-37)

C.  God always warns

1.  L. R. Scarborough

2.  His longsuffering – maybe they will turn (Ezekiel 33:11)

D.  Katoikeo – "to settle down"; used here in text

1.  Woe to those who have lost their heavenly vision

2.  Poem, "Day of Wrath"