Morning Bible Study
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals. As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further,
events begin to take place on the earth and the time that we call the
Tribulation begins to unfold.
The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving
world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.
the seventh seal are seven trumpets.
As the seventh seal is broken, seven angels step up to blow seven trumpets and there is silence
in heaven for a half hour.
:7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood,
and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and
all green grass was burned up.
– pur – fire
This is most
:7 hail and fire …
mingled with blood
This kind of reminds us of the plagues
that Moses brought
on Egypt with God's power.
The first plague was turning the waters
of Egypt into blood. (Exo 7:20)
The seventh plague (Exo 9:24) was hail mixed with
So there was hail,
and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in
all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
There is a
phenomena known as “red rain” where the rain is as red as blood. Cases throughout history have been documented
back to the 8th century BC. In recent history, the Indian state of Kerala
has had several of these red rains since 2001.
In studying this particular phenomena, some think the red rains were caused by
a meteor shower, even claiming that there were extraterrestrial spores in the
rain, while the main view is that they were caused by airborne spores from a
locally found algae.
:7 trees … grass
… burned up
That would definitely be an ecological disaster, no?
:8 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
:8 a great mountain
burning with fire
Could this be something like:
A meteor or
A satellite or
spacecraft burning up as it enters the atmosphere
A missile with
a warhead “burning” because of the rocket engine
:8 the sea
– thalassa – the sea; used of the sea
in general; used specifically of the Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea
In Israel, there are not a lot of words for bodies of water, probably due
to the fact that it’s in a desert climate. Any pool of water can be a “sea”,
like the bronze “sea” in front of the Temple (the size of a swimming pool).
It could be
referring to all the oceans.
It could be referring
to a specific body of water like the Mediterranean Sea
It’s used for something as small as the Sea of Galilee, though the next
verse (ships) wouldn’t make much sense if it were something that small.
:8 became blood – haima – blood; of
those things that resemble blood; blood shed
refer to the living things that will be killed.
It could be
referring to literal blood.
It could be
referring to something that looks like blood, whether it be an oil spill, or the “red tide” caused by
A red tide can produce toxins, deplete oxygen, and kill fish and plant
:9 And a third
of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were
– literally, “having souls” – psuche –
breath (of animals or men); the soul
It could refer to animals that have “breath” or men who have “souls”
Sell what you have
and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure
in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
Therefore we do not
lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing,
yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
The nations were
angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be
judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
:9 a third
– tritos – the third
Note that the judgments under the trumpets seem to affect
1/3 of everything.
contrast, the seals brought judgment
on 1/4 of the world (Rev. 6:8),
killing 1/4 of the population.
on, with the bowl judgments, every thing in the sea dies.
NKJV) Then the
second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man;
and every living creature in the sea died.
The judgment is increasing in
judgment gets worse
There will be times when we are going
down the wrong path in life and God will allow difficult times to get our
wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience,
but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”
Sometimes God has to do painful things to get our attention.
CAUTION-not all difficulty is due to our sin.
tends to usually show mercy to us at
Sometimes we don’t know what to do when
God isn’t harsh with us because we know we are doing the wrong things, and
we’re expecting a spanking. Paul wrote,
(Ro 2:4 NLT) Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is
with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is
intended to turn you from your sin?
This is one of the big reasons why
these Revelation judgments haven’t happened yet …
(2 Pe 3:9 NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count
slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.
Yet when God’s mercy doesn’t work,
sometimes God will turn up the heat on us to get our attention.
This is what God warned Israel about
concerning disobedience. He warned that
if they disobeyed Him, that He would make things difficult for them.
(Le 26:18 NKJV) ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you
seven times more for your sins.
Don't wait for it to get tougher. Have you been wrestling with God over an area
of your life where you’ve been disobedient?
This is the time to turn around.
This is the GOSPEL - Jesus came to die
for sinners like us
:10 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
:10 a great star …
Again, this could be a satellite, a meteor, or an intercontinental
Remember that this is a first century man describing
events that could involve things specific at least to our 21st
:11 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.
This “star” pollutes the water supply and many die. More about this later…
:12 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.
:12 sun … moon …
stars … darkened
I guess this could
be talking about the day and night being shorter, but I think it’s more likely that the brightness
of the sun, moon, and stars will be decreased by 1/3.
We sometimes think of the possibility of human causes to these events like
a nuclear explosion, or even pollution.
It could be a non-human event as well, such as a volcano.
: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 remaining
blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
to all the birds that
fly in the midst of heaven
:13 woe – ouai – alas, woe
(“oy” if it’s a Jewish angel)
There are three remaining trumpets and there are three “woes”. One woe for each trumpet.
The point is this – if you think these things are bad, just wait for
men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of
those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will
:11 Wormwood – apsinthos – wormwood
Artemisia absinthium is a plant that produces
a bitter oil. Pure wormwood oil is very
poisonous, but when used in certain ways can be used for various medicinal
purposes. It is used in some alcoholic
drinks and wines. One of its medicinal uses
was to cure intestinal worms, and hence the English name “wormwood”.
The key to understanding
“wormwood” is the word “bitter”.
There is a related plant, Artemisia
vulgaris, which is known as wormwood or also “mugwort”.
The technical Russian word for the wormwood plant is Polyn obyknovennaya, and the word Polyn is the word used in the Russian
translation of our passage here. But the Russians
have another word, a common word for the plant:
Chernobylnik. It kind of sounds like “Chernobyl”, doesn’t it?
Some have claimed that the nuclear accident at Chernobyl was a fulfillment
of Rev. 8:11. I’m not so sure. Coincidence??
Perhaps this trumpet judgment will remind us of Chernobyl, where a Soviet
nuclear reactor melted down and exploded.
350,000 people were evacuated, and the death toll ranges from the 32
official deaths, to one estimate that places the toll near 1 million in
premature cancer deaths.
In Jeremiah’s day,
wormwood was connected to the judgment on Israel’s rebellion:
9:13–15 NKJV) —13 And the Lord said,
“Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed
My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have walked according to the
dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught
them,” 15 therefore thus says the Lord
of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
The idea is that “bitterness” is a result of rebellion against the Lord.
The writer of Hebrews warns us:
12:14–15 NKJV) —14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no
one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short
of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing
up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
We may not be living in the day of this falling “star”
yet, but this passage reminds us we still need to watch out for bitterness.
When you refuse to let go of your grudges and you hold on
to your bitterness, it will “spring up” and cause you and others trouble.
What do you do with bitterness?
4:31–32 NKJV) —31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put
away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
On the moonless night of November 15, 2002, five boys ran across a park, jumped a 61-year-old man,
bound his wrists … and beat him with pipes until his heart stopped. All for his
wallet. That man was Nathaniel Jones, the grandfather of future NBA star Chris Paul.
boys who murdered PaPa Chili] are men, sitting in prisons across the state of
North Carolina, some serving 14-year terms, some life …. The five are about the
same age as Paul, same race, same height, and from the same hometown … Paul,
now 26, said: “Those guys were 14- and 15-years-old at the time, with a lot of
life ahead of them. I wish I could talk to them and tell them, ‘I forgive you.
Honestly.’ I hate to know that they’re going to be in jail for a long time. I
Why could Chris
Paul forgive his grandfather’s killers?
Because he’s a Christian. When
one fan asked him if he was a Christian, Paul answered, “Yes. I grew up in the
church and still go every Sunday if I don’t have practice. It’s always
something that my parents instilled in me. I’ve grown to be pretty devout in my
Reilly, "The Lessons of Nathaniel Jones," ESPN (4-27-11)