Revelation 8:7-9:12 Joyful obedience to Christ is the sign that we will escape the tribulations of the last days.

Revelation 8:7 – 9:12

The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.

Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them. The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.


While the purpose of the seven seals is to refine the saints to enter God’s kingdom, the purpose of the seven trumpets is to turn people away from religiosity amid moral depravity towards God. Hence, the tribulations of the seven trumpets will be more severe than the tribulations of the seven seals. At the 6th seal, those who joyfully obey the words of Christ and follow Him are caught up into the kingdom of God. These comprise a small number of people who call themselves Christians and an even smaller number who do not call themselves Christians. However, the latter group have come to acknowledge Christ and follow Him, but not through the conventional channel; the church. Nevertheless, there will still be a very small number who repented after the 6th seal and these will be caught up into God’s kingdom at the seventh trumpet. 


The first trumpet sounded:

The earth will be inundated by meteorites. This cosmic event will result in a third of the earth being burned up.

The second trumpet sounded:

There will be a series of underwater volcanic eruptions; the biggest volcanic eruptions the world has ever seen. Mountains will be moved from their positions wiping out sea life and destroying ships in their vicinities. 

The third trumpet sounded:

The great star is an angel that descends from the sky like a torch. This angel is sent to poison water sources and many will die from drinking it.

The fourth trumpet sounded:

One third of the earth will be covered from the light and heat from the sun. Hence, only a third of celestial bodies will be seen from the earth.

The eagle flying in midheaven represents angels broadcasting the message of repentance warning humanity of the three remaining trumpets that are about to sound.

The fifth trumpet sounded:

The star from heaven is another angel that descends from heaven to open the bottomless pit which is at the centre of the earth. And the world will see smoke arising from the pit so much so the sun will be covered and the atmosphere will be polluted by the smoke. The locusts are spirits created to torment evil men and fallen angels. They come in the form of insects to sting those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Their sting is meant to torment, not to kill. So torturous is their sting that “men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” 

John saw the spiritual form of the locusts; horses prepared for battle. And they are led by the angel of the Abyss, Apollyon; who is a fallen angel whom God uses to lead the army of locusts.


Joyful obedience to Christ is the sign that we will escape the tribulations of the last days.

People who are raptured at the 6th seal operate by hearing and obeying Christ’s word. They do not need any external incentive or compulsion, for they joyfully obey Christ even amid the tribulations. For such, tribulations serve to refine them and secure them a place in God’s kingdom. However, those who do not obey Christ’s word wholeheartedly are left to contend with more severe tribulations.

Many study the scriptures supposing they are obeying Christ being worthy of the kingdom. But they do not seek a personal communion with Christ to hear and obey His word. Jesus said to the Jews,

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. – John 5:39

Still, many come to the church in order to be seen as holy and good. Such conform to the laws of scripture in appearance only but not in the Spirit, which is love.

In the case of the rich young ruler, he desires to enter the kingdom and claims to have fulfilled the 10 commandments. But when Jesus asks him to detach from his wealth and properties, his true nature is revealed. Likewise, many in the church supposed by their religiosity have secured for themselves a place in the kingdom. But they are not willing to detach from their wealth and give to the poor. They claim to have called Jesus ‘Lord’ through their prayers, praises and through their outreach efforts. But Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21).

The question remains: is there a 2nd chance for those who are not raptured at the 6th seal to enter the kingdom? The answer is yes. However, they must learn to obey Christ’s word willingly and joyfully despite inconveniences and sufferings. Some obey Christ with the purpose of fulfilling their dreams and desires. But when the outcome of obeying Christ did not meet their expectations, they grumbled against Him. Such will not enter God’s kingdom. Moses said to the Israelites who grumbled against God,

“Your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.” Numbers 14:29-30

Therefore, let us not grumble against God but rejoice whenever we face various trials. The attitude of joyful obedience to Christ is the sign that we will surely escape the tribulations of the last days.


Do you seek God’s counsel whenever you make decisions? Do you grumble against God when things do not go your way? Or do you continue to seek His ways and obey Him despite the inconveniences and suffering?


Dear Lord, I desire to know your ways and follow you. Even when the outcome of my circumstances is unfavourable, I will praise you believing that I will have the ultimate victory. I will follow you even if it meant inconvenience and suffering. One thing I ask, that you open the heavens and reveal to me things yet seen or heard. Endow me with supernatural abilities so that I may accomplish your mission. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

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