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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Revelation

(Return to Framework Contents)


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)


To go to Ch.9  CLICK HERE


FRAMEWORKS: Revelation 8


v.1-5 The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
v.6-13 The First Four Trumpets



v.1-5 The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer


v.1 (the last seal reveals a period of silence) When he opened the seventh seal , there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

v.2 (and seven angels with trumpets) And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

v.3 (but before the seven can blow, another angel offers incense, a sign of worship, mixed with the prayers of the saints) Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God's people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.

v.4 (the smell & the prayers wafted up before God) The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up before God from the angel's hand.

v.5 (the angle then throws fire on the earth) Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.


[Comment: Following the opening of the last seal the picture is of all the prayers of believers being wafted up before God, as if to remind Him of their presence, the fruit of the work of His Son, that contrast the evil on the earth committed by unbelievers, as if to confirm the rightness of the justice that is about to be imposed on the unbelievers on the earth. There is an implication that believers are still on the earth]


v.6-13 The First Four Trumpets – a third of the world destroyed


v.6 (the seven prepare) Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

v.7 (a third of the world burned up) The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

v.8,9 (a third of sea creatures & ships destroyed) The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

v.10,11 (a third of the earth's drinking water polluted) The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood.[ meaning bitter] A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

v.12 (a third of the sky turns black) The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, 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 turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

v.13 (the final 3 trumpets will bring greater woes) As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”


[Comment: the first four trumpets blown herald the judgments that follow. Destruction by fire comes on a third of the earth, a third of the sea and a third of the drinking water and a third of the sky. Observe, rather like the plagues brought on Pharaoh in Exodus, these judgments are gradual seeking to bring mankind to their senses with two-thirds of the earth remaining unaffected]



FRAMEWORKS: Revelation 9


v.1-12 The Fifth Trumpet: The First Woe: evil creatures released to torture unbelievers

v.13-21 The Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe: death to a third of mankind


[ Note : a study of the Judgments of God in the Bible suggests that there are two sorts of judgment: 1. Disciplinary – that are designed to give people the opportunity to repent, 2. Terminal – that are also 'judgments of the last resort' – death because God sees there is no other option. Sometimes in the latter case where only a percentage of the population dies, it may also be considered ‘disciplinary' for the survivors, i.e. giving them yet further time to repent. The torture seen in verses 1-12 can be seen as disciplinary judgment while the death coming in verses 13-21 are primarily terminal but as only a third are killed, it should be seen as disciplinary for the remaining two thirds.]



v.1-12 The Fifth Trumpet: The First Woe: evil creatures released to torture unbelievers


v.1 (a senior demonic being given power) The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.

v.2 (he opens the underworld) When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.

v.3 (locust-scorpions released on the earth) And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.

v.4 (they are allowed to attack only unbelievers) They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

v.5 (they torture them) They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.

v.6 (people will long for death) During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

v.7-10 (these demonic spirits look evil and have the power to torment) The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

v.11 (Satan, the Destroyer is over them) They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).

v.12 (that's 1 of 3 sorts of woes) The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.


[Comment: However we understand this – possibly an outpouring of demonic spirits under Satan's charge – it is a time of great pain, infection(?) or even plague (?). Whereas the judgments before had impacted the physical earth, these demonic beings are allowed to attack the bodies of people. Again it is a case of gradual increasing of the judgments to bring mankind to its senses.]



v.13-21 The Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe: death to a third of mankind


v.13 (a further voice comes) The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God.

v.14 (it commands four destroying angels be released) It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”

v.15 (they are to kill a third of mankind) And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.

v.16,17 (they appear to command a terrible army) The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number. The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur.


v.18 (they bring plagues, and fire and a third die) A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.

v.19 (they appear to sting to bring death) The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.


v.20,21 (the unbelieving survivors refuse to repent) The rest of mankind who 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.


[Comment: The fact that the four angels had been previously bound, suggests they were fallen angels, demonic authorities who are now released to extend the judgment of pain to the judgement of death for a third of mankind. Almost unbelievably, mankind still do not repent and the list of their sins remains clear.]