Revelation 8:1-13 Part 6


1)    And when He loosed the seventh seal, silence was in the heaven for half an hour.

2)    Then I did see seven messengers which had stood before God; and seven trumpets were given to them.

3)    Then another Messenger did come, and He was poised before the altar having the golden censer.  And much incense was given to Him in order that He would present the prayers of all the holy ones before the golden altar in front of the throne.

4)    And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the holy ones arose before God out of the hand of the Messenger.

5)    Then the Messenger took the censer and filled it from the fire of the altar of whole burnt offering and poured into the land.  And there were thunders and sounds and lightnings and shaking.

6)    And the seven messengers having the seven trumpets prepared themselves that they might trumpet.

7)    And the first trumpeted.  And hail was, and fire having been mixed in blood and poured into the earth, and the third of the land burned up, and the third of the trees burned up, and all tender herbage burned up.

8)    Then the second messenger trumpeted.  As it were a great mountain was cast burning into the sea, and the third of the sea was blood,

9)    and the third of the creatures having life in the sea died, and the third of the vessels were utterly destroyed.

10) Then the third messenger trumpeted.  And a great star fell out of the heaven as a torch being burned and fell on the third of the rivers and on the fountains of water,

11) and the name of the star is called ‘the wormwood’, and the third of the waters was made into wormwood, and many men did die from the waters for they had been rendered bitter.

12) Then the fourth messenger trumpeted.  And the third of the sun was stricken, and the third of the moon, and the third of the stars so that the third of them would be darkened; and the third of the day would not be brought to light, nor the night.

13) Then I saw and heard one eagle winging its way in mid-heaven exclaiming in a powerful voice, ‘ouai’, ‘ouai’, ‘ouai those living on the land, from the remaining soundings of the trumpets from the three messengers about to trumpet!’


We seek God-controlled men here, and God-controlled women, God-controlled children… rather than a man-controlled god.

A man-controlled god is what some really prefer though, because they can mold and shape the “god” into something more acceptable to them.  Then they can worship “that”.

Worshipping something that’s designed by one’s self is a lot easier, you see, because the “self” can fit in much more comfortably to a deity that’s self-designed.  Designer gods are really quite convenient.

It’s also “fashionable” to have one’s own personal deity, “fashioned” to meet one’s needs, because everybody is supposed to be tolerant of everybody else’s self-originated religious belief system.  And it makes one look really smart to have one of those.

However, as has been said before, every one of them is a perverted copy-cat, because without God’s Revelation there would be no idolatry!   But every one is a perversion of God’s Revelation of Himself in His creation and in His Word.  A cursed and depraved people just doesn’t want this God to rule over them.  They want their own.

And judaism is one of them (or many of them if one considers all the varieties).  From the very time that Moses received God’s Law and His instructions for worship (all of it Christian), Israel was already devising its own religion.  And it never stopped doing it.  Except for a few elect, God-fearing men raised up by God in Israel’s history, Israel never believed the Gospel.  Judaism was the acceptable, developed religion.  And it is recognizable only as a perversion of Christianity.  (And, by the way, “judeo-Christian ethics is not Christian ethics.  That’s a misnomer.  Judaist ethics is a perverted copy of Christian ethics.  Jesus condemned their casuistry and hypocrisy in the sermon on the Mount, in His parables, and in Matthew 22-24.)

So, for fifteen hundred years, between Mount Sinai and the destruction of Mount Zion (more “mountain theology” there), Israel distorted and perverted God’s Revelation of Himself in His creation and in His Word.

And God had even established Israel in the land as a “micro-image” of that which is in the heaven.  She was all created in the likeness of the heaven; and God called her His “heaven and earth”.  (Heaven and earth meaning a micro-likeness of both.)  But even so, even after God’s very specific Revelation of Himself and His heaven, and having provided her with His Own words enscripturated, Israel still preferred gods of her own design.  And her idolatry was continuous and flagrant.

We finished our time together last Lord’s Day (during the second hour) in a very short discussion of God’s complete and perfect three-fold judgment of Israel at the time of “the end”.  And that complete judgment is set within the seven-fold trumpeting of the voice of God from the throne.  And during that discussion I realized that I had not gone back and “re-set” that for you from the older Scripture.

We had gone through it on at least one extended series in an earlier text; but I should have reviewed it, because it didn’t come clear for you as we entered the text of chapter eight having to do with the seven trumpeters. 

So, before we even look at the fourth trumpeter, which still has to do with the horrific plagues and famine and pestilence brought against Israel, we need to once again see the covenantal sanctions promised Israel should they not obey.

Remember, this is the spoken Word of God to Israel through Moses.  It is to Israel – the special image of God’s heaven on earth; to Israel – the receiver of the Word of God concerning His Son Jesus the Christ; to Israel – the recipient of the explicit Word of God concerning His covenant.

Although the blessings promised to Israel should she obey are awesome, and although we would be greatly blessed by hearing them again, that’s not our context right now.  So I’m going to read two or three passages from Moses concerning the covenantal sanctions for disobedience.  That is our context.

The first is a passage from Leviticus chapter twenty six in which you can hear the “seven-fold” sanctions promised by God; for in our text in the Revelation, it says there were seven voices of God trumpeted from the heaven against Israel. 

This Leviticus passage is the prophetic Word coming to pass, and being filled up, here in our text.  And it is really important for you to remember because, after we finish the fourth trumpeter of God’s decree this morning, we still have three more to go.  And the next several chapters of the Revelation have to do with them!

Then, having heard Moses in Leviticus twenty-six, from Deuteronomy we’ll hear the grim and dreadful specifics of God’s judgment of Israel for disobedience.  (We won’t read all of that, of course; it’s much too long.  And it’s gruesome and hideous.  You can read the eight chapters for yourselves – beginning with chapter twenty-six of Deuteronomy.)

But this is what Moses was told by God to speak to the nation during the years just before they were to pass through the Jordan into the promised land, led by Joshua.

And please remember that we approach the Scripture in terms of the Covenant – just as God has revealed it.  It is the Covenant revealed to Adam and his wife in the garden; it is the Covenant revealed to Noah before and after the flood; it is the Covenant revealed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (and Jacob’s twelve sons); and it is here revealed to Moses and Israel.  It is the same Covenant.  And here in the establishment of Israel, it is spoken by God and written by Moses in great detail.

And in every case the Executor and Mediator of the Covenant is revealed and prophesied and foreshadowed– especially to Israel, which was created in the “likeness” of God’s heaven and earth, with the throne-room/sanctuary of God right in its midst!

So, let’s proceed.  Here is the Leviticus twenty-six passage.  And listen carefully for the seven-fold judgment of God, which John sees and hears here in our Revelation text:


13.  I am Yahveh your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

14.  But if you will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;

15.  And if you despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant:

16.  I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning fever that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

17.  And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you.

18.  And if you will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

19.  And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

20.  And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.

21.  And if you walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

22.  I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.

23.  And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;

24.  Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

25.  Then I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the terms of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

26.  And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

27.  And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;

28.  Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

29.  And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat.

30.  And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.

31.  And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet aromas.

32.  And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.

33.  And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.


So, right here in the text of Moses’ third book is the seven-fold sanction against Israel should she break God’s Covenant.  And what do we see in our Revelation text?  Seven trumpeters trumpeting the very voice of God as He brings a perfect and complete seven-fold covenantal sanction against Israel – just as He promised fifteen hundred years before!  The terms of the covenant and the language of the covenant right there in Leviticus are still the same.  It’s God’s covenant and God’s language.  And we have to recognize it and learn it.  And when we hear that same language in the Revelation, the prophetic connection must be made!

Now.  The following is a portion of Deuteronomy twenty-eight.  Once again, this is God’s Word through Moses; and it clearly explains the sanctions against Israel for breaking the covenant.  Listen carefully to the language of God, so that when you hear it again, in the Revelation, you will recognize it and know the source!


15.  But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the voice of Yahveh your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day, that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you.

16.  Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.

17.  Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading-trough.

18.  Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock.

19.  Cursed shall you be when thou come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

20.  Yahveh will send upon you cursing, discomfiture, and rebuke, in all that you put your hand unto to do, until you be destroyed, and until you perish quickly; because of the evil of your doings, whereby you have forsaken me.

21.  Yahveh will make the pestilence cleave unto you, until he have consumed you from off the land, whither you go in to possess it.

22.  Yahveh will smite you with consumption, and with fever, and with inflammation, and with fiery heat, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue you until you perish.

23.  And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron.

24.  Yahveh will make the rain of your land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon you, until you be destroyed.

25.  Yahveh will cause you to be smitten before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them, and shall flee seven ways before them: and thou shall be tossed to and fro among all the kingdoms of the earth.


And combine that with this small portion of chapter twenty-nine:


18.  lest there should be among you man, woman, family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from Yahveh our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood;

19.  and it come to pass, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart’, this will lead to the destruction of the watered (land) (along with) the dry land.

20.  Yahveh will not pardon him, but then the anger of Yahveh and his jealousy will smoke against him, and all the curse that is written in this book shall lie upon him, and Yahveh will blot out his name from under heaven.

21.  And Yahveh will set him apart unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.


As John sees and hears the seven-fold judgment of God upon Israel as the trumpeters sound, you can hear the same language as God spoke to Moses before Israel crossed the Jordan.  And, if you read both passages closely you can hear the complete three-fold judgment inherent in the seven-fold pronouncement from Yahveh.

Now, as we end this review of the prophesied judgments in the older Scripture, listen carefully to the prophet Ezekiel in chapter five.  This will give you the full perspective for the “three-fold” judgment we’re hearing in chapter eight of our text (and beyond).  Ezekiel has been caused to see the gross idolatry in Jerusalem and in the temple; and God reveals to him what will happen to this nation.  Listen:


1.     "As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take it and use it as a barber's razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair.

2.     "One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, to indicate when the days before the siege are complete. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city; then one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.

3.     "Take also a few in number from them (i.e. the hairs) and bind them in the edges of your robes.

4.     "Take then some of (the hairs) and throw them into the fire and burn them in the fire; from it a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.”

5.     "Thus says Yahveh GOD, 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands all around her.

6.     'But she has rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the nations and against My statutes more than the lands which surround her; for they have rejected My ordinances and have not walked in My statutes.'

7.     "Therefore, thus says Yahveh GOD, 'Because you are more turbulent than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed even the ordinances of the nations which surround you,'

8.     therefore, thus says Yahveh GOD, 'Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations.

9.     'And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again.

10.  'Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind.

11.  'So as I live,' declares Yahveh GOD, 'surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare.

12.  'One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.

13.  'Thus My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be satisfied; then they will know that I, Yahveh, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them.

14.  'Moreover, I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations which surround you, in the sight of all who pass by.

15.  'So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath and raging rebukes. I, Yahveh, have spoken.

16.  'When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those who I will send to destroy you, then I will also intensify the famine upon you and break the staff of bread.

17.  'Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, Yahveh, have spoken.'"


To the presence of the princes, priests, elders and scribes of Israel, Ezekiel was sent by God and told to “act-out” (a prophetic demonstration) to act out the three-fold judgment coming upon Israel should she not repent.  And I’m sure you heard that a few of the hairs from Ezekiel’s head and his beard were “preserved” in his robe.  And these are obviously the elect “remnant” of the twelve tribes – found by our Lord and His apostles, marked, sealed and rescued.

Now.  Having once again reviewed the prophecy of the “seven-fold” trumpeting voice of God, and the “three-fold” judgment of Jerusalem and all Israel, we can more easily understand the text of chapter eight and beyond.

God’s covenant didn’t change during that fifteen hundred years; nor did His purpose; nor did His language.  What God is saying and doing as John looks on is exactly what He said to His prophets.  And it is what His prophets were told to say to Israel.  And it is what Israel heard God say through the prophets!

But Israel would not hear.  Instead, they ignored, beat and killed the prophets for prophesying such things!  And when Israel pursued, persecuted and killed many of Christ’s elect from the twelve tribes (as Jesus had said they would), then the blood of all righteous men in Israel’s history would be laid to their account in this generation.

And now in our text we see the fire and brimstone of the wrath of God being mixed with the blood of those righteous men being poured out into the land that God had created as the likeness of His heaven and earth.

But let’s proceed now to the fourth trumpeter in our text as the voice of God “sounds” His wrath and fury in famine and plague and pestilence upon an obstinate people:

Then the fourth messenger trumpeted (verse twelve).  And the third of the sun was stricken, and the third of the moon, and the third of the stars so that the third of them would be darkened; and the third of the day would not be brought to light, nor the night.

God’s judgment of this nation in “thirds”, acted out by Ezekiel in prophetic demonstration, is followed by the prophetic Word of God as He brings accusation after railing accusation against Israel’s idolatry.  And here’s an example of that, from Ezekiel chapter thirty two, as we hear the prophet’s judgment against this “heaven and earth” creation.  Listen:


3.     Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring you up in my net.

4.     Then will I leave you upon the land, I will cast you forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon you, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with you.

5.     And I will lay your flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with your height.

6.     I will also water the land wherein you swim with your blood, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of you.

7.     And when I shall put you out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.

8.     All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and set darkness upon your land, says Yahveh GOD.

9.     I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries which you have not known.


You see, from God’s perspective, and in His language, He has made a “heaven and earth” for Himself called Israel.  And it is in the specific likeness of His sanctuary in the glory cloud.

And this “micro-cosmos” – Israel – as God has created it, has all its own cosmic structure.  It has green grass and vineyards and herbage, and trees, and rivers and seas, and mountains, and cattle, and people, and sun and moon and stars, and a man-made likeness of His throne-room right in its midst along with His written Word.  He made it for His Own glory; and it broke His Covenant with all its idolatries and adulteries and hypocrisies; and it did that from the beginning.

And you wonder why He even saved a remnant (the few hairs bound in the robe of Ezekiel).  But He had promised to do so.  And He did.  The Lord Jesus Christ came to seek and to save those lost sheep of the house of Israel (Jacob) – God’s promise.

But the “thirds” of Ezekiel’s prophecy affect all aspects of this cosmic structure God called His “heaven and earth”….  And that includes its land and its waters and its people and its cattle - and its lights.  And it also includes the likeness of God’s throne room, doesn’t it?  For no stone of the temple will be left on another.  In fact, as God’s language indicates, His special creation will be completely de-created.  It will pass, in God’s great fury, out of existence.

And in its place will be a new heavens and a new earth, with a new holy city coming out of the heaven, and a new temple made without hands, the Lord Jesus Christ as its cornerstone, the apostles as its foundation, and the names of the twelve tribes on the city gates.  It is the city of God; and the temple is the temple of Holy Spirit – the Body of the Christ.

And as the apostle John wrote (as we’ll hear later on):


"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).


But as the fourth trumpeter of the voice of God sounds, John continues to write here in verse twelve of the first “third” of God’s judgment – that having to do with famine and pestilence and plague as the “third” of the lights of God’s “heaven and earth” are turned off.

Now.  Verse thirteen:


“Then I saw and heard one eagle winging its way in mid-heaven exclaiming in a powerful voice, ‘ouai’, ‘ouai’, ‘ouai those living on the land, from the remaining soundings of the trumpets from the three messengers about to trumpet!’”


There are three more trumpetings from God’s messenger/trumpeters; and there are three “woes” spoken.  “Ouai”, the sound of the eagle’s cry, is translated “woe” in English.

Do you remember the four great world-wide kingdoms of Daniel’s prophecy?  One each was called up out of the sea of humanity to rule the world.  And each of the four cherubim at the four corners of the mercy seat in the heaven called them up.  One each.

And as John describes the cherubim in chapter four of this book, one of them is described as “a flying eagle”.  And here in our text is an eagle, flying in the heaven, directly from the throne of God, pronouncing “woes” upon those living in the land of God’s heaven and earth.  For the last three trumpeters will bring Ezekiel’s second third, and the third third, of God’s judgment upon Israel.

Should you wish to read what these woes are, and the reasons for them, you might read the prophecy of Isaiah.  There are twenty-one woes there, and they are all specific judgments against Jerusalem and all of Israel.  Here, there are three more trumpeters (total of seven) and three woes.  Qualitative and quantitative completion and finality!

But here’s the relevant prophecy having to do with our text.  Israel has broken the covenant.  The trumpets are ruled by the flying eagle cherub; and the fourth trumpeter sounds the voice of God in judgment; and then the eagle-cherub is seen and heard over the house of the Lord!  And Israel will reap the whirlwind.  It is from the eighth chapter of the prophecy of Hosea.  Listen to it:


1.     Set the trumpet to your mouth (he says). As an eagle he comes against the house of Yahveh, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.

7.     For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: he has no standing grain; the blade shall yield no meal; and even if it did, strangers shall eat it up.

8.     Israel is swallowed up: now they are among the nations as discarded pottery.


The eagle-cherub from the throne will appear again in chapter twelve; and its mission is ultimately redemptive.  For the salvation of the creation and all of God’s elect will come through Israel’s decreation (Romans eleven).

So God’s cherub begins the message with wrath, proclaiming three “woes” about to come on those who dwell on the land.

Like the plagues upon Egypt, the curses proclaimed upon Israel in Deuteronomy twenty eight are here becoming more intense and more precise.  It is building to a three-fold completion, corresponding with the three woes of the eagle-cherub that will be sounded by three more trumpeters: the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpeting voices of God.  We’ll see those in chapters nine and eleven.

But after much time, and great longsuffering by a jealous and holy Lord of Hosts, the awesome and dreadful sanctions of the covenant are finally unleashed against the covenant-breakers in the land, in order that the Lord Jesus Christ might reign over all the mountains, and until all His enemies are made His footstool.  The last enemy to be defeated is death (1 Corinthians 15) which is defeated at the resurrection.  And since death is the last enemy, that means that all other enemies are defeated before the resurrection!

That has been the covenantal plan of salvation from the beginning.  And all of those with vivid imaginations regarding the second coming of the Christ need to stop and hear His Own Word, and turn and faith in what He said.  Then maybe we can send all the millennial schemes that have been imposed on God’s Word to the theological refuse pile.