Revelation Chapter 8: the first four trumpet judgments; the opening of the seventh seal; the awesome silence in Heaven; seven angels with seven trumpets; ominous precursors to the judgments of Yahuah ("God")
The calamities of the first five seals are caused by the anti-messiah going forth to conquer the world (6:2). Then, the events of the sixth seal (6:12-17) are the preview of the Day and the Wrath of the Lord Yahuah. But now, following the sealing of the 144,000 of Israel (7:4-8) and John’s vision of the Redeemed of the Lord in Heaven who “come out of the Great Tribulation” (7:14), the terrible events of the trumpet/bowl judgments commence.⁶
Some try to naturalize these plagues by saying the blood is the blood of humans and animals killed, merely naturally occurring cycles of events, and so forth. Others attribute them to nuclear holocaust. Others allegorize them, asserting that they are symbols of spiritual or social disintegration, or something other than literal events. But, as scientific discoveries within just the past half century about comets and their effects when impacting Earth or other celestial objects have clearly shown, although some of the trumpet and bowl plagues may have demonic components, many or most of them may also be attributed to cometary impact.
Of course, Bible translators and expositors down through the centuries have not had access to the extensive information from the sciences of archaeology, geology, anthropology and astronomy now available, so it is understandable that they would interpret the prophecies of Scripture in whatever way made the most sense to them. But sadly, the vast majority of current commentators are no more aware of the relevance of current discoveries to Bible prophecy than were the ancients and continue to perpetuate the old, misguided interpretations and myths.
However, this commentator (Watchman Bob), after much study and prayer, is totally convinced that, in these Last Days, the Creator is making His Revelation of exactly what will transpire during and after the Final Seven Years very clear to those who have eyes that see and ears that hear. And it is his prayer that the reader will be as astonished as he is at how clear it all is, as explained in the following commentary.
8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
When the seventh seal is opened revealing the contents of the scroll, there is an ominous, awesome calm in Heaven (the only such silence mentioned in Scripture) before the greatest, most destructive “storm” in history - the plagues of the judgments and the Wrath of Yahuah. After the 144,000 are sealed and the Redeemed Followers of Yahushua ("Jesus") are safe in Heaven, the four angels (7:1) will now release the winds of destruction on Earth.
8:2-6 And I saw (a) the seven angels who stand before [Yahuah], and to them were given (b) seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with (c) the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before [Yahuah] from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were (d) noises, thundering, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
a. Perhaps one way the seven Spirits before Yahuah’s throne (1:4) manifest themselves will be through the actions of these angels.
b. Trumpets were used in Israel to warn of danger and to announce significant events, including, in prophecy, the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1).
c. One precursor to the judgments of Yahuah being executed is the prayers of the Saints - another indication that the events of the six seals, which include the prayers of the martyrs (cf. 6:10), are precursors to, rather than manifestations of, the judgments and the Wrath of Yahuah.
d. More ominous sounds and sights announcing the terrible, destructive events to follow
8:7-12 The first angel sounded: And (a) hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And (b) a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. Then the second angel sounded: And something like (c) a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And (d) a third of the 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 (e) Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. Then the fourth angel sounded: And (f) 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. (g)
a. Scientific studies of comets have revealed that they are giant balls of ice or compacted snow (“hail”), covered with a crust of rocky dirt and venting toxic gases and other substances, which burn as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere. If they explode before striking the ground, they incinerate all living organisms within range in the air and on the ground below. If they impact the ground (with the force of one or many nuclear bomb explosions), they leave deep craters, some of which may even penetrate the earth’s crust into the soft, superheated mantle below. They also produce seismic shock waves in the earth’s crust, send out superheated waves of wind, and shoot clouds of toxic smoke, dust and debris high into the atmosphere, exactly like the effects of a nuclear bomb explosion.
b. On June 30, 1908, a relatively small comet fragment with a cross section about the size of a football field exploded over the Tunguska River Basin in Siberia with what scientists estimate to be the force of a large, 30-megaton nuclear bomb. This mid-air explosion devastated and burned over 1,000 square miles of forested area and incinerated several herds of reindeer. Eye witnesses 40 miles away reported that they were burned by the blast of what they described as a blindingly bright “star” exploding in the sky. Geological studies have shown that a similar explosion caused the annihilation of all life in Sodom and Gomorrah. For more details, read The Comets of God, pages 54-57 and 143-152. This much larger first trumpet comet, exploding with the force of probably thousands of nuclear bombs, destroys a third of Earth’s forests, all green grass, and probably a third of all land-dwelling living organisms (in prophetic Scripture “blood” is a symbol of death).
c. This is a clear description of a burning comet plunging into the sea. Recently (2005) and eighteen mile wide cometary impact crater was discovered in the floor of the Indian Ocean. Scientific studies have shown that the impact that caused this crater, which has been named the Burckle Crater, produced a huge tsunami wave over a mile high and several miles wide that rushed out at over 400 miles per hour in all directions, including up the plain of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers until it crashed into and ran up and over the Ararat mountains over 3,000 miles from the comet’s point of impact. This impact, which occured about 2800 BCE, was apparently a major contributor to the Great Flood of Noah’s day, which may help explain Genesis 7:11 - "All the fountains of the deep were broken up." For evidence of this read The Comets of God, pages 104-105. Also, a much larger crater 112 miles in diameter, named the Chicxulub Crater, has been discovered in the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Computerized construction of the cometary impact that caused this massive crater and geological studies of land topography surrounding the crater show that it penetrated the earth’s crust, threw trillions of gallons of ocean water superheated to thousands of degrees Farenheit high into the air, triggered a massive earthquake that shook the whole planet and produced a series of tsunamis higher than the Rocky Mountains, plus created a giant fireball of steam and molten ejecta that leveled everything in its path within a distance of over a thousand miles. It also would have produced a dense cloud of toxic smoke, steam and debris that covered the whole planet for months or years, killing much of Earth’s vegetation and, many scientists believe, brought about the end of the dinosaurs and other prehistoric forms of life. See The Comets of God, pages 125, 213, 216, 270 and 422 for more details about the Chicxulub Crater.
d. Scientific studies of the Burckle Crater, the Chicxulub Crater (which was produced by a cometary fragment about six miles in diameter) and other even larger craters have clearly shown that “something like a great mountain thrown into the sea,” causing a third of the sea to become “blood” (filled with death), a third of the sea to die and a third of the ships on that sea to be destroyed is very feasible indeed. The second trumpet prophecy could be easily, simply and quickly fulfilled, for example, if a large comet 50 or 100 miles in diameter plunged, at over 25,000 miles per hour, into either the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean.
e. A “great star” (comet) named Wormwood (a bitter herb in the Holy Land) falling on and contaminating the “springs” (sources) and rivers of fresh water is also very possible in light of what we now know about comets. Studies have shown that comets contain numerous toxic radicals like hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and sulfur which, when combined with water and other substances in extreme heat, form deadly, poisonous chemicals. There are several large freshwater lakes (e.g., North America’s Great Lakes and Russia’s Lake Baikal), each of which, with the rivers that flow from them, contain close to 20% of Earth’s fresh water. Coincidentally, the Great Lakes and Lake Baikal are at approximately the same latitude (45 degrees North) so, if a comet breaks up over the earth at that latitude, fragments might very well land in all those lakes and contaminate over one-third of Earth’s fresh water.
f. Comets exploding when they impact the earth produce mushroom shaped plumes of fire, smoke and debris exactly like that of a nuclear bomb exploding. Just a small comet fragment 100 meters in diameter will result in an explosion on impact equal to that of a large, thirty megaton bomb. A somewhat larger comet or comet fragment six miles in diameter will produce the explosive force of thousands of nuclear bombs on impact. It is easy to see that a comet that size or larger (some are over 100 miles in diameter) will produce enough smoke and ash to darken the light from the sun, moon and stars that shines on one-third or more of Earth.
g. The net result of the first four trumpet judgments, which destroy a third of the earth’s life-support resources, is that perhaps a third or more of the earth’s human population dies. If that is a third of the remaining population after the events of the six seals have killed 25% (cf. 6:8), then over three billion or almost half of the earth’s population will have died during the Final Seven Years, up to this point in time, with the worst yet to come.
8:13 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 three angels who are about to sound!”
The destruction of the earth and the decimation of its inhabitants is already terrible. But now, with the last three trumpet judgments, the plagues of the judgments of the Lord are going to intensify, becoming indeed woe-ful. Then, the final result, following the seventh and final bowl of wrath being poured out (16:17-20), will be the total destruction of the surface features of the earth and the death of virtually all of Earth’s inhabitants (except those supernaturally protected by the Lord). Following that, the earth and its “heaven” (sky or atmosphere) will be renewed (21:1) and the millennial reign of the Messiah Yahushua will begin (20:4). But, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Next come the fifth and sixth judgments of Yahuah—the first and second “woes.”
⁶There are two primary different interpretations of the sequence of events of the Day and the Wrath of the Lord - the plagues of the the trumpet judgments (chapters 8, 9 and 11) and the bowls of wrath (chapters 15 and 16). One view is that the trumpet and bowl judgments occur sequentially - the bowl judgments following the trumpet judgments as listed in the text - and the other view is that they parallel each other in sequence (the first trumpet judgment occurs at the same time the first bowl of wrath is poured out, the second trumpet judgment occurs at the same time the second bowl of wrath is poured out, and so forth). There is textual support for both interpretations and problems with both. The Lord has not given this commentator (Watchman Bob) conclusive revelation as to which, if either, is correct, and he will not be dogmatic about it. But, in his opinion, the view that the trumpet and bowl judgments occur sequentially has more textual support. (See a detailed exposition in the commentary on 15:1-8a.) So, this commentary is based on that interpretation. However, whichever interpretation is correct, the terrible plagues of the trumpet and bowl judgments will literally occur, and the Lord has graciously given His People this Revelation of what they will be like so, when those who are still alive see them coming to pass, they will understand what is happening and, like the tribe of Issachar, will know what to do (cf. 1 Chronicles 12:32).
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