Revelation Chapters 8 and 9

Hello! Welcome back to our study on Revelation chapters 8 and 9. In this post, we’re going to talk about whether the trumpet judgments are real or symbolic. And we’re going to talk about God’s treasuries where He stores all His… we’ll, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out what He stores in His treasuries. Let’s go!  

Revelation Chapters 8 and 9

Third in an Eight-Part Series
By Karen Thompson

The Trumpet Judgments—Literal or Symbolic?

Rev. 8:5 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. 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

In Revelation 8:5, John described a dramatic scene: “the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth….” When the angel cast the censor filled with fire into the earth, it was immediately followed by “voices, thunderings, lightnings and an earthquake” (v. 5). This is the second time we see this phrase of “voices, thunderings, and lightnings.” The first time we saw this phrase was right before the seven seals were opened. This time the voices, thunderings, and lightnings along with another earthquake announce the judgment of the seven trumpets. The seven angels that were each given a trumpet stood ready to sound their trumpets (v. 6). The trumpet judgments unleash a deluge of objects falling from heaven to earth, meteorites and the like.

The trumpet judgments that will befall Antichrist and his kingdom are similar to some of the plagues the Lord sent to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, when he refused to allow the children of Israel to leave Egypt. When God judged Egypt, He used natural things but in a supernatural way. You’ll see this same thing in the book of Revelation. When God pours out His judgment on Antichrist, He will use natural things but in a supernatural way.

The plagues poured out upon Egypt included turning the waters of Egypt into blood; that meant all the water: streams, rivers, ponds, and even the water in their pitchers and buckets. He sent a plague of frogs so numerous they were everywhere, in their bedrooms, ovens, and bowls. There was a plague of lice. Then there was a “very severe pestilence” that afflicted their livestock to such a degree that many died. The fifth plague was boils that broke out on both man and beast. There were locusts that covered the face of the earth and a plague of darkness so dark it could be felt! The last and most severe plague sent to Egypt is when the firstborn of every household was struck dead, even the firstborn of the livestock! All the plagues were something natural that were administered in a supernatural way, making them unbearable. You’ll see some of the Egyptian plagues are duplicated in Revelation.

The trumpet judgments in Revelation are cosmic events, things falling out of space and onto earth. John described them as being a burning star and a mountain in flames and other such things falling out of heaven. Some say these cosmic events are only symbolism. But are they symbolism? Or did John see real events that would happen in the future? I’m confident John was seeing real events and not symbolism, because we’re talking about the wrath of God being poured out, striking fear in the heart of every man. I don’t see symbolism striking fear in anybody’s heart. John most definitely was writing about real events and not symbolism.

Are we to take what he was describing as literal, that a star and a mountain fell out of the sky to the earth? No, of course not. John described to the best of his ability what he saw in the vision. Until it actually happens, we can’t know for certain what John saw. If we analyze his descriptions, we can make intelligent speculations. As noted before, using past biblical examples, we can surmise these events will be natural events applied in a supernatural extreme.

Natural events that occur every year are things like meteorites that fall from space and impact earth. Most of these objects burn up and disintegrate in earth’s atmosphere before they reach the earth. But there are hundreds of meteorites ranging in size from a marble to a basketball that actually hit the surface of the earth every year. These meteorites aren’t large enough to do a lot of damage. There are larger meteorites that explode in the atmosphere and then fall to earth as meteorite showers, raining down a few to thousands of pieces. For example, on October 7, 2008, observers tracked a meteorite for 20 hours until it exploded in the atmosphere and rained down in the Nubian Desert in Sudan where 100s of pieces were recovered.1

Meteorites that fall to earth produce any number of unusual results. As they fall through the atmosphere, some meteorites burn so brightly they can actually appear to outshine the sun. Some of them glow in different colors such as yellow, green, or red. When a meteorite breaks up, there are explosions and rumblings. When whirling to earth, they create sounds such as whistling and hissing noises. They can be accompanied by sonic booms and shock waves. Some leave a trail of dust in the sky long after they have landed on earth. When they land, they can be warm to the touch or frosty cold. There have been instances where noxious gases from the meteorite have made people sick!2 

In my guestimation, I think John’s description of the trumpet judgments are meteorites falling to earth. But another reason I’m confident that’s what John was seeing is because the Bible talks about God’s treasuries where He stores His hail and lightnings for the end times! In Job chapter 38, the Lord was rebuking Job because his thoughts about Him were incorrect. The chapter begins with God giving Job a rebuke: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now your loins like a man, and I will demand of you, and you declare to Me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding” (Job 38:2–4 Amp.). Then in verses 22–23, the Lord talks about His treasuries: “Have you entered the treasuries of the snow, or have you seen the treasuries of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:21–23 Amp.). The Lord stores in His treasuries hail for the day of battle and war. That is remarkable! Most assuredly, the Lord is saving these treasures of hail for His war with Antichrist, for “the time of trouble.”

And then in Jeremiah chapter 10, we hear more about these treasuries where the Lord stores His wind, rain, and lightnings: “God made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and by His understanding and skill stretched out the heavens. When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind out from His treasuries and from His storehouses” (Jer. 10:12–13 Amp.).

These scriptures in Job and Jeremiah talk about how God has treasuries and storehouses. Perhaps the asteroid belt is one of the Lord’s treasuries. The asteroid belt is what scientists call the innumerable asteroids that orbit the sun. The main portion of the belt lies between the planets of Mars and Jupiter, but there are asteroids outside the main portion of the belt that orbit near earth. The objects in this belt are innumerable and range in size from dust to what they call dwarf planets. Sometimes asteroids are pulled out of the belt by the gravitational pull of a planet and impact that planet.3 Scientists believe that 99.8 percent of the 30,000 meteoroids that have been found on earth to date originated from the asteroid belt.4

Keeping all this in mind, it’s not difficult to conclude that the trumpet judgments describing cosmic events are real and will happen during tribulation. In the next post, we’re going to look at the first trumpet judgment.

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