Revelation Chapter 8
Chapter 6 of Revelation ended with the opening of the sixth seal which resulted in the mountains and rocks falling upon the great men of the earth for the great day of his wrath is come. Chapter 7 we see four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth. There is also a sealing of the one hundred and forty four thousand. Chapter 7 closes with yet one more scene from Heaven. Now in Chapter 8 we see the opening of the seventh seal and with that, the beginning of what seems to be a whole new sequence of events, the sounding of the seven trumpets.
As we look at Chapter 8 we need to look at the symbolic meanings to the key words used throughout this chapter. One thing we need to keep in mind while looking at the contents of this chapter is the fact that what we are facing a spiritual battle. KJV Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
One more detail that tends to make the interpretation of the book of Revelation confusing is attempting to look at the entire book in the sequence of world history. This may or not be true. It would be difficult for one to be an expert in both the Bible and world history. Attempting to link all of the symbolic meanings found in the book of Revelation to a sequence of historical events would be beyond the scope of this study. I do not believe that such a sequence needs to be established to bring a clearer understanding.
There are of course examples in the Bible to follow when studying Biblical history, but at times Bible texts is not listed in the proper chronological order. Look at Psalms 78. David is all over the book, from one page of history to another, then jumping ahead and then back to yet another point in history. Why was Psalms 78 written in such a fractured sequence of events? The books of Psalms and Proverbs contain the explanation to hundreds of key spiritual words. This would be one of the likely places to look for such examples to study keys that have been placed within the Bible, waiting to be discovered.
This only shows one more example showing we need to keep our minds open when studying the Bible. The book of Revelations may have a historical sequence that parallels that of this world, or this sequence may be spelled out in fractured bits and pieces much like it is in Psalms 78.
1. And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
In Chapter 4 we have seen that a trumpet can symbolize a number of things. Most of them seem to point to either a warning, an announcement or to call a gathering. The question is, what could this gathering be and is there anything in the Bible that may help bring us to a clearer understanding to this chapter?
KJV Joshua 6:6. And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord. 7. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord. 8. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the Lord, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.
As we look at the lessons taught by this story about the fall of Jericho the most important point is the fact that God is the reason that those walls fell. Israel only needed to obey, the rest was a result of God’s actions.
3. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
5. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Here are two words, censer and incense, they are closely connected and need to be explained. First we will look at the word censer.
KJV Leviticus 10:1-2
1. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
This example shows us that God does not take kindly to those that offer “strange” fire, which may sound harsh on the surface, but when we look that this in a spiritual sense we can begin to understand the importance of such a task. Could it be that the censer used in the tabernacle was a sign linked to the censer mentioned in Revelations? There are other examples of a censer and incense being misused in the Bible. See Numbers 16 and Ezekiel 8:10-13.
KJV 2 Chronicles 26:18. And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. 19. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar.
As we look at the word censer we get a partial picture of its significance in Revelation 8. This chapter holds a very important message that can only be explained by the Bible
KJV Leviticus 16:12. And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: 13. And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
KJV Hebrews 9:3. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4. Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5. And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
The censer is one more sign of being before the Throne of God and a connection between His throne and the law of the covenant. To gain a fuller understanding we need to take a deeper look at the word incense. From the above text we can see the close connection between the censer and the incense. Now we need to uncover the spiritual meaning of the incense used in that censer.
From Revelation 8:4 we can see that the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, that there is a connection between the incense and prayer. KJV Psalms 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. David verifies that incense is a symbol of the prayers that are before the throne of God.
So what is this connection between prayer and the law of God? I think there have been a number of books written about the important connection between prayer and following the law of God. To stay focused on the subject at hand we will not go into the details of prayer and the law of God. Rather we will look at additional text which deal with the word incense.
KJV Exodus 30:7. And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
As Exodus suggests, this incense (prayer) is to be before God for all generations.
KJV Exodus 30:34. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: 35. And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: 36. And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.
A specific recipe was given for this incense that was to be offered before God. This was written for a very specific reason. So we would not forget.
KJV Exodus 40:5. And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle.
Once again we see the incense was to be burned close to the law of God. But why does the Bible contain stories like the two sons of Aaron (Leviticus 10:1-2) that were consumed by the fire of God for offering strange fire? And how does one explain the story of Korah, and all his company (Numbers 16) where 249 were swallowed up by the earth? Why would God be so judgmental about the handling of this incense? Looking at the word incense in the Bible should explain this dilemma.
KJV 1 Kings 3:3
3. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
KJV 1 Kings 22:43. And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.
KJV 2 Kings 17:11. And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger:
KJV 2 Kings 22:17. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
KJV 2 Kings 25. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
KJV 2 Chronicles 28:3. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.
KJV 2 Chronicles 34:25. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
Now notice that all of the above text is in the order found in the Bible, and each one of these text represents a deeper and deeper falling. First it was only Solomon being mislead. Then it was all the people. This progressed to a point where they were not only burning incense, but they were burning their own children to a false God. Is this why God was so wroth with those that took the responsibility of burning incense so lightly and knew a strong warning was needed? How close have we paid attention to this warning?
6. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7. 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.
We know that that God used hail and fire as a judgment on a few occasions. The first was in Egypt, the second in KJV Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; Because the Bible does not use the word “hail” in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah we shall concentrate on the story of Egypt.
KJV Exodus 9:18. Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. 19. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. 20. He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: 21. And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. 22. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 23. 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. 24. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 26. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail
Hail represents a judgment send by God. In Exodus we see that there were four things destroyed by the hail and the fire. Men, beasts, green herbs and trees. We also know from Exodus that all of the men, beasts, plants and trees were not destroyed by this hail. If there was a further connection between Exodus 9 and Revelation 8 we should see a spiritual connection between the trees and grass of Revelation and those that were destroyed in Exodus.
We have already seen in Revelation chapter 7 that trees represent people. We now will take a look at grass.
KJV 2 Kings 19:26. Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up.
KJV Isaiah 40:6. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
KJV 1 Peter 1:24. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
From this we can see that the hail and fire, a judgment from God was being sent down to people and not just the trees and grass of the earth. This does not explain the link between Exodus and Revelation but only opens the door to yet additional study that needs to be considered.
8. 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;
The first word to look at here is mountain. What could a burning mountain represent?
KJV Exodus 3:1. Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
KJV Exodus 3:12. And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
God first appeared to Moses on a mountain. Moses was told the people of Israel were to serve Him upon that mountain. Early on God used a mountain to signify a place of worship.
KJV Psalms 36:6. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
KJV Psalms 48:1. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
KJV Psalms 72:2. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. 3. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
The mountain of God represents His righteousness. But are there other mountains in the Bible?
KJV Jeremiah 3:6. The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
KJV Jeremiah 3:22. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God. 23. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.
KJV Jeremiah 50:6. My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
When we look at the above three texts we see there are also false mountains, or false beliefs. A mountain can also represent a false belief, even a false belief in salvation.
There is also the question of why this mountain is on fire. We need to look how the word fire is actually used in the Bible, and see if this helps to this question.
Chapter 7 has shown us that a sea could represent people. Is this saying that this symbolic mountain, or false belief is cast into a group of people? We need to look into the rest of the verse to see if this pattern is consistent with the remaining spiritual symbols.
KJV Judges 6:21. Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.
This is only one text but this explains fire is used to accept a sacrifice.
KJV Exodus 9:23. 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.
Fire is also used as a judgment from God.
KJV Exodus 13:21. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Fire can also be used by God to lead His people.
It is unclear at this point which of these could best explain why this mountain is on fire and why it is cast into a sea. Chapter 7 has already shown that a sea can also represent people. To paraphrase verse 8 we may well be able to say. 8. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain (belief, religion) burning with fire (sacrifice, judgment of leading) was cast into the sea (people): and the third part of the sea (people) became blood;
There is still one more word to look into which may shed some additional light required to understand this text. That word is blood and should be one of the easiest words to understand.
KJV Matthew 26:28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
KJV Hebrews 9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We know blood represents the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
KJV Exodus 7:19. And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
Blood has also been used to represent a curse.
KJV Genesis 9:3. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
The Bible also shows blood represents the life of any living creature, including man.
KJV Psalms 59:2. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
KJV Ezekiel 23:37. That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them.
Blood can also represent evil people and false religions.
Now that we have looked at all of the different things blood can represent, we can now take one more look at verse 8 and see if this will help to make the verse any clearer.
8. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain (belief, religion) burning with fire (sacrifice, judgment or leading) was cast into the sea (people): and the third part of the sea (people) became blood;(sacrifice of Christ, judgment, the life of man, workers of iniquity)
It appears we can paraphrase this text in one of two ways. One being a very positive promise to the followers of Christ. The other would be a warning to those following their own ways.
And the second angel sounded and a great belief (mountain) that centered around a sacrifice was given to the people. One third of the people accepted the sacrifice of Christ.
And the second angel sounded and a religious judgment was presented to the people. One third of the people became even more wicked.
The point here is, there are many different ways to interpret some of the verses of the Bible. Either one of the above applications could apply to any individual, depending on the situation. We also need to take a closer look at the remaining texts in chapter 8 before drawing any conclusion.
9. 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.
Verse 9 adds one more word to take a look at. That word is ship.
KJV 1 Kings 22:48. Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.
KJV 2 Chronicles 9:21. For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
KJV Psalms 107:23. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
KJV Ezekiel 27:5. They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. 6. Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim. 7. Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee. 8. The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. 9. The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise.
The first symbol of a ship is used to represent merchandise.
KJV Matthew 8:23. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
KJV Matthew 13:2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
KJV Mark 4:1. And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
A ship also symbolizes a place where Jesus gathered His disciples and taught.
Now that we have taken a look at the verse following verse 8 we can see that one third of the creatures in the sea died and one third of the ships in the sea were destroyed. That helps to further limit the way we feel we can accurately look at verse 8. As we look at verse 8 and 9 together we can clearly see this may be a proper paraphrase of the consequence of the sounding of the second angel.
8. And the second angel sounded and a religious judgment was presented to the people. One third of the people became even more wicked.
9. And one third of the people died and one third of the wealth was lost.
10. 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;
11. 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.
We know it was a star that was used as a sign to foretell the coming of Christ, and Christ was the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16). We will also take a wider view at what this star from heaven could represent.
KJV Revelation 22:16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
KJV Matthew 2:2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
A star could represent Jesus. A star foretold His birth.
KJV Revelation 1:20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
A star can also represent an angel.
KJV Deuteronomy 1:8. Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. 9. And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: 10. The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
KJV 1 Chronicles 27:23. But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the Lord had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens.
KJV Genesis 15:5. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Stars are also used to represent the people of God.
KJV Revelation 12:3. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
Stars are also used to represent Satan and his fallen angels.
The next word to look at is lamp.
KJV 2 Samuel 22:29. For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.
KJV Psalms 119:105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
KJV Proverbs 6:23. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
KJV Proverbs 13:9. The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
KJV Proverbs 20:20. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
It is simple to see God, His word and commandment is a lamp. Like everything else, there is also a counterfeit lamp.
KJV Isaiah 33:21. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby
KJV John 7:37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
KJV Ezekiel 29:3. Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.
Here we can see the word “river” can either represent the glory of the Lord, or the pride of Satan. We also need to look at the word water. Many seem to apply the same meaning to sea, river and water, because they are all water. That may be true in human terms as of reasoning, but it this true in Biblical terms?
KJV Genesis 6:17. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
God used water to destroy everything that lived upon the earth, except for those that freely entered into the ark.
KJV Psalms 29:3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters.
KJV Psalms 105:41. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
KJV Isaiah 12:3. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
KJV Isaiah 44:3. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
KJV Matthew 3:11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
KJV John 3:5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
There are a number of texts which relate water to God, the Spirit of God and the work in salvation and repentance.
KJV Proverbs 18:4. The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
KJV Proverbs 20:5. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
KJV Isaiah 17:12. Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
KJV Isaiah 17:13
13. The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
KJV Isaiah 57:20. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt
There are also a number of texts relating water to people and nations. So how do we determine which interpretation to apply to a text? We need to look at the entire text, the thought behind the text, and the surrounding text to make sure everything fits a single theme.
KJV Psalms 65:9. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
KJV Numbers 24:6. As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.
KJV Psalms 1:3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
There are instances in which the Bible point out the fact the words water and river can be interchanged. Most often when the Bible refers to water we usually think about the river, a stream or a sea. Earth bound water. There is one more instance relating to water, rain.
Rain represents a promise from God. KJV Deuteronomy 11:11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: This gift from God is often times taken for granted. How often do we appreciate what this rain does for us? KJV Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: What would the earth be with out the rain?
Rain is a wonder of God. How often do we contemplate this miracle that was set upon this earth? KJV Job 36:26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. 27. For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: 28. Which the clouds do drop and distill upon man abundantly. 29. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?
When God created this earth He knew one day, He would have to bring the rain. Just image what had to go into planning of this world. Water is like a living source all on it’s own. What else on this earth has been designed to perpetually clean and recycle itself, no matter what man does to it? Just think of the design of water. It is a substance you can hold in your hand. It has mass, and no form of its own but will conform to any shape. Water is made up of two simple molecules, hydrogen and oxygen. This sounds so simple but how long has it taken man to finally duplicate God’s process of combining these two simple molecules into the substance water?
Although the design of water is simple, the perpetual process that water has been enduring over these thousands of years is not a simple task to understand. Water, which we know as a liquid, is of course heavier than air. But God has given this substance some miraculous power that allows it to return to a state of gas through the process of evaporation. What happens after evaporation is even more astonishing. Water in the form of a vapor collects in the sky, in a form we call clouds. Now, some how these water droplets are supported by the air until they reach a point in which they are obviously too heavy for the air to support. That is when they fall in the form of rain.
What is really amazing, is the amount of energy it takes to move this rain through the atmosphere. What is the power that starts the hurricane spinning? How does the air hold these huge amounts of rain we see in thunder storms, hurricanes and typhoons that can drop more then a foot of rain from the sky in just a few hours. What is the force that holds all of those millions of pounds of water in the air? Water weighs about 8.3 pounds per gallon. We have all seen the effects of a flood caused by rain. How is all of this weigh held in the air?
One additional word to look at, wormwood. This is one of the few places in the Bible that people can remember seeing the word wormwood, and thinking they know the meaning, but here we will take a look at most verses this word is used to see if there is a deeper understanding to the bitterness that wormwood adds to water.
KJV Deuteronomy 29:18. Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
KJV Proverbs 5:3. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4. But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
KJV Jeremiah 9:14. But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: 15. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
KJV Jeremiah 23:114. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. 15. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
This is very simple to see wormwood represents men looking out after their own interests, and following the plan of Satan. Once again the Bible speaks explains the exact spiritual meaning.
Now we can take a new look at verses 10 and 11.
10. 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;
11. 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.
If we were to paraphrase verses 10 and 11 based on what has been studied, we can paraphrase these verse like this:
10. And the third angel sounded and Satan (star) fell from Heaven. He appeared as a light of knowledge (lamp) to a large number of people. 11. We know this star is man’s imagination following after Satan and these people are following Satan unto eternal death.
12. 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.
13. 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!
Following are a few verses that may help to explain what the sun and moon means in the above text.
KJV Deuteronomy 4:19. And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. 20. But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.
KJV Deuteronomy 17:3. And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
KJV 2 Kings 35. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
The sun and moon can be false images of worship.
KJV Isaiah 13:9. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
KJV Isaiah 24:23. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
KJV Mark 13:24. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Isaiah and others also write that there will be signs in the sun and the moon in the last days before the return of Christ.
KJV Psalms 8:3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
KJV Psalms 84:11. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
KJV Isaiah 30:26. Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
The Bible is clear God created the sun and moon. God is also compared to the sun. After the world is redeemed, the light of the sun and moon will be increased.
We have already seen in verses 10 and 11 that stars can represent either people, or Satan and his fallen angels.
So what does all of this mean in terms of verses 12 and 13? Are these verses warning of a physical darkening of the sun and moon? Or are they a warning about a lack of a true following after God? Or could these verses tell of a falling away from forms of false worship? This is another case in point which shows we can not look at one single text, and think we have a full explanation of it’s context. To gain a full understanding of the end of chapter 8 we need to first take a look at chapter 9. We could also take a closer look at the many places in the Bible in which the darkening of the sun and moon are foretold. Each one laid out upon a table may give a clearer view of the meaning of Revelation 8.
- COPYRIGHT 2011 BY DENNIS HERMAN
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