REVELATION 8 -9 – AN OVERVIEW OF THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS – THE JUSTICE AND NECESSITY OF GOD’S WRATH

Dear Friends,                                                             

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. {BUT} This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:16, 19-20, 36; also see John 16:8-11)  "To the degree people disagree with or are uncomfortable with the God revealed in Scripture, that is the degree to which they have a shallow view of man's wickedness and God's holiness and a superficial view of reality. God hates all evil because it is contrary to His nature and because it hurts people. If He does not judge all sin then we do not live in a moral universe and God would be mocked." (Ken Boa) "The real test of how much we believe of prophetic truth is what we're doing to warn men to "flee from the wrath to come." (Matt. 3:7- Vance Havner)                         

As we return to the chronology of events (chapter 7 is parenthetical) the intensity of God's wrath increases but few repent. (Please read all of chapters 8 & 9).  "The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts."  (Rev. 9:20-21; also see 6:16-17 and 16:11) "Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever." (Gen. 6:3) As a person's heart continues to harden to God's wooing and warnings (as with Pharaoh) their heart seems to harden to a point of resisting God's saving grace to the bitter end. Look at the intensity of God's wrath in the six trumpet judgments in chapters 8 & 9 and yet man's refusal to bow the knee to Christ. (Phil. 2:10-11) Another third of mankind dies plus ¼ in chapter 6; over three billion and more to come.                                                     

["As in the sequence of the first four seals, the angels sound the first four trumpets in rapid succession. But the effects of the trumpet judgments on earth are far more devastating than the seal judgments. A third of all trees and grass; a third of the sea, the living creatures in the sea, and the ships on the sea; a third of all rivers and springs of water; and apparently a third of all daylight and moonlight are affected by the trumpet judgments. The first four judgments seem designed to reverse in part the original creation of God. The Lord initially assaults the environment. Food is destroyed; distribution of goods is crippled; water supply is severely limited; production is cut drastically." [1]Radmacher, Earl D. ; Allen, Ronald Barclay ; House, H. Wayne: Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville : T. Nelson Publishers, 1999, S. Re 8:1] And yet as awful as these judgments are (and more to come in chapter 16) they do not compare to the eternal torment of hell. That is why Jesus spoke more about hell than He did of heaven; because He wanted no one to go there. (Mark 9:42-48)                                                                                                                                                       Commentators differ on whether these judgments are natural (e.g., nuclear war) or totally supernatural (demonic hordes, astro catastrophes) and /or a combination of both, but many agree that the devastation actually occurs on earth and is not symbolic in that sense. Steve Griffith along with Hal Lindsey, John Walvoord and others, interpret this as modern military warfare, a thermonuclear holocaust, and Steve's questions below reflect this view.

Read Rev. 8:2-6 – According to these verses, the prayers of the saints play a prominent role in the eventual unleashing of the Trumpet judgments.  How does this encourage your heart and your prayer life?

Read Rev. 8:7 – 9:21 –   In the first four Trumpet judgments and the sixth Trumpet judgment, what numeric fraction is prominent in each of these judgments?

According to Rev. 9:15 and 9:18, what is the death toll from "the fire and the smoke and the brimstone" of the sixth Trumpet?

Given the sophisticated weaponry of the twenty-first century, what weapon could the "fire and smoke and brimstone" indeed picture?  Why?

In Rev. 8:7 a third of the earth, trees, and green grass are said to be burned up.  Would this be possible in your view if an all-out Sino-Western or Sino-Russo-Western nuclear exchange involving 2,000 – 3,000 thermonuclear warheads took place?  How so?

Forty percent of the earth's ships are in seaport at any given time.  Because military planners always target their enemy's (or enemies') seaports, do you see how easy it would be for a thermonuclear exchange to destroy one-third of the earth's ships?  Do you see how two or three hundred thermonuclear explosions targeting the submarines and surface ships of the combatants could easily set off an underwater chain reaction-coupled with radiation falling into the earth's oceans-that would kill a third of the ocean's sea creatures?

Rev. 8:10-11 gives a picture of a third of the earth's fresh water supply becoming contaminated by something coming "from heaven, burning like a torch."  Given your understanding of (1) hydrogen bomb radioactivity and mushroom clouds and (2) upper atmospheric winds, would it be possible, in your view, for one-third of the earth's fresh water supply to become contaminated by the radioactive fallout from 2,000 – 3,000 thermonuclear explosions?

If indeed a catastrophic global nuclear exchange takes place during the Tribulation, what atmospheric phenomenon would the person in the path of such an exchange, yet surviving it, see in the sky which could cause the appearance that "a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars" were smitten, so that a third of them might be darkened and that day might not appear for a third of it?  

Until He comes, Len and Kristen    

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