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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Revelation 8

Verses 1-13

  1. Intro:
    1. Baptism Class – In upper room.
    2. Prayer is a weapon, a mighty weapon in a terrible conflict. Our prayers are to be a continual, conscious, earnest effort of battle, the battle against whatever is not God’s will. P. T. Forsyth (Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
  2. BIRTH PANGS! (1-13)
    1. 7th SEAL – SILENCE! (1)
    2. Last week we talked about the 7th Seal already.
      1. Silence is Golden? No...Silence is eerie!
      2. The silence is the lull before the storm!
      3. Again, even the Heavenly Hosts stop worshipping.
      4. Suspense, expectancy, anticipation!
    3. SAY IT WITH A SENT! (2-5)
    4. Ever wonder what happens to your prayers when they reach heaven?
    5. Oh people…God hears our prayers. ALL our prayers!
      1. Their destination? - His throne…right before Him!
      2. We need to pray, really pray! [happy to hear it was “much”!]
      3. He doesn’t miss your prayers! – They go up certified mail.
      4. George Mueller said about prayer, “answers are always coming.”
    6. Prayers mixed with incense is a message with a sweet gift.
      1. You can send a note, or a note with flowers! (as per my wife yesterday)
      2. You can send a note, or a perfumed note!
      3. It’s a message with a scent attached! – It’s, “Saying it with a Scent!”
    7. Ask, What’s your favorite fragrance?
      1. Perfume, food, X-mass Trees, flowers, fresh soil/working in garden, working on cars/grease, horse manure/ranch, gasoline.
      2. Ever walk into a candle store & get a number of scents that start blending together? That would be like all our prayers coming to His throne together.
        1. Cheesy 101 – Candles that smell like Jesus??? [read article] always take it too far!
    8. Sometimes we see notes, phone messages, voice mail, emails as more “to-do items”. God sees them as perfumed love letters when his children pray to Him.
      1. And He reads them like a military man overseas enjoys reading “long overdo letters” from family & friends.
      2. I believe He smells them, & reads them again & again.
      3. He enjoys notes His admirers send.
      4. When we went from snail mail to email & text messaging to communicate with one another, don’t you communicate more with friends then ever before?
        1. As we learn more & more how easy it is to access God’s throne …do we take advantage of that more?
    9. (5) The world will not come to the altar for forgiveness(9:21), so the altar comes to the world w/judgment.
    10. (6) Trumpets - Num. 10 gives the 3-fold use of Trumpets.
      1. Shofar – rams horn.
      2. Gather the people; announce War; & announce Special Events.
      3. Read Joel 2:1.
      4. They are to warn, punish, & bring people to repentance & faith.
      5. These 1st 4 Trumpets bring desolation on the: “Land, Saltwater, Freshwater, & the Heavenly bodies.” [these trumpets announce War]
    11. 1st TRUMPET - VEGETATION! (7)
    12. You’ll hear 1/3rd used about 10 times.
      1. This fraction might indicate that though God is bringing punishment upon earth, it is not anywhere near being finished, nor near completion!
    13. Hail, Fire, mingled w/Blood - Like the 7th plague in Egypt [Ex.9:18-26]
      1. Possibly volcanic activity.
    14. The Target - Green vegetation (trees & grass).
      1. This would surely mess up the balance of nature, & its food supply (for both man & animals).
    15. Trees - Fruit Trees; Grass – It will effect pasture lands (hurting the meat & milk industries!)
    16. 2nd TRUMPET – SALTWATER! (8,9)
    17. Like the 1st Egyptian plague (water to blood) (Ex.7:19-21)
    18. Like a great mountain burning – probably a meteorite crashing into the sea.
    19. 3-fold destruction - 1/3rd saltwater to blood; 1/3rd part marine life dead; & 1/3rd ships destroyed.
      1. Remember the oceans occupy about 3/4ths of the earths surface!
    20. Henry Morris says, regarding marine organisms(liv creatures in the sea), “These constitute the lowest & most basic components of many of the world’s food chains, so their destruction must precede a domino effect on many higher forms of life!”
    21. Much of the world today depends on food supplies from other parts of the world that are transported on the seas!
      1. 25 yrs. ago there were 24,867 Ocean going merchant ships registered. Imagine the hit upon the shipping industry when 8,289 valuable ships will be destroyed (w/their cargo?)
      2. The Port of Los Angeles encompasses 7500 acres, 43 miles of waterfront and features 26 cargo terminals. Combined, these terminals handle more than 162 million metric revenue tons of cargo annually. Last year, the Port moved an impressive 7.3 million TEUs, establishing a new national container record once again. [That’s 1 Port!]
      3. TEU = A twenty-foot equivalent unit is a measure of containerized cargo capacity equal to one standard 20 ft (L) × 8 ft (W) × 8 ft 6 in (H) container.
      4. Remember what happened to our ports after 9-11 when ships had to sit out in the ocean for a few weeks?
    22. Read Joel 2:30.
    23. 3rd TRUMPET - FRESHWATER! (10,11)
    24. Another heavenly body falls to earth.
      1. This star or meteorite is named “Wormwood” for its effects on the inland waters – the great rivers.
      2. All the water is polluted.
    25. Nat. Geographic Society says they are 100 principle rivers in the world.
      1. Nile 4,160 miles, longest; Amazon 4000 miles long.
      2. Suddenly 33 rivers become bitter/poisonous!
      3. Many species of wormwood grow in Israel...all have a strong bitter taste, leading to the use of the plant as a symbol of bitterness, sorrow, calamity.
        1. Prov.5:4 “But in the end she(immoral women) is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.”
        2. Lam.3:15 “He(God) has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood.”
    26. 4th TRUMPET - HEAVENLY BODIES! (12)
    27. Like the 9th plague in Egypt – darkness is recalled.
    28. Sun, moon, & stars lose their luminosity, so both night & day are darker.
      1. Maybe this judgment of darkness is to warn the world to flee to Christ who has come as light into the world.
      2. The great tragedy is that people often stay in the dark because their practices are evil.
      3. Jn.3:19,20 “this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
      4. And, the final destiny of the rebellious is where? but a place of outer darkness!
    29. When the Krakatoa Volcano in Indonesia exploded (8-27-1883) nearly 5 cubic miles of rock & dust were thrown into the air.
      1. The surrounding region was dark for 2 & ½ days.
      2. Dust drifted around the earth several times, causing bright red sunsets for a year! (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.29.)
      3. We remember Mnt St Helens in 1980.
    30. TRIPLE WOE! (13)
    31. 1/3rd less energy available.
      1. So many are going solar (Israel solar roof shingles). They require solar now for at least part of the indiv. homes power source.
    32. Changes in temperature - will effect human health, & food growth.
    33. Note: this will flip-flop w/the 4th Bowl judgment “intense heat”!
    34. Next 3 woes are the next 3 trumpets.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to revival. The church desperately needs revival, but it is not going to come by quick and easy methods. Evan Roberts prayed for eleven years before the Welsh Revival broke out, and his ministry during that remarkable time broke him physically. More than one hundred thousand people were converted to Christ during that mighty awakening, but it was not the result of manufactured meetings (they were spontaneous) or manmade promotions. True revival goes deeper than that.

Warren Wiersbe, God Isn’t In a Hurry, (Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI, 1994), p. 14 (

Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)

Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Revelation 8". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.