Revelation 8

Woe to those who, by their rejection of the Lord Jesus, will find themselves left upon the earth to taste the sufferings of the Great Tribulation. Satanic forces will be allowed abroad without restraint, bringing fear upon all men by reason of conditions in the earth and in the heavens above.

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.

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.

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.

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;

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.

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.

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!

Revelation 8:1-13 – ​The Incense of the Prayers of Saints

   The seventh seal includes the seven trumpets. What a contrast that pause must have been to the jubilant songs of the great multitude! In the Jewish temple, we are told, the musical instruments and chanting resounded during the offering of the sacrifices, which occupied the first part of the service; but at the offering of the incense a solemn silence was observed, Psalm 62:1. The people prayed quietly without, at the time of incense. What a glimpse is here afforded of the intercession of our great High Priest! The smoke of the incense of His great merit arises with the prayers of the saints. Pray on, believer, though your voice be feeble, and so much imperfection mingles with your efforts to serve God. The incense of Christ’s intercession is fragrant enough to make even you acceptable.
   The four first trumpets include the devastation of natural objects. The dumb creation, and even the earth itself, suffers for man’s sin. Think of the horses wounded in battle, dying in long agony; of vast tracks of country once smiling, with harvest becoming a wilderness; of the soil compelled to produce the ingredients of poisoning and intoxication. Poor Mother Earth! Goethe said that he could hear her sighing as a captive for redemption. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 8:3—That He should offer it with the prayers of all saints.

​   Each series of seven, whether of the candlesticks, the seals, the trumpets, or the vials, is introduced by some appropriate and suggestive appearance of Christ. Here, for instance, the seven trumpets are restrained until this inspiring vision of the Redeemer is delineated as an imperishable fresco on the wall of Scripture.
   It is not startling that He assumes here the appearance of an angel This was his frequent guise in the ages which preceded his incarnation. And as to the priestly function here ascribed to Him, they are his habitual practice and wont throughout the present dispensation. He appears in the presence of God on our behalf. He has gone within the vail to make intercession for us. Such a Priest becomes us who is a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord has pitched, and not man. And since it is necessary that, as High Priest, He should have somewhat to offer, there is given to Him the praises, prayers, and gifts of the saints, that He should mingle them with the much incense of his own merit, and present them at the golden altar which is before the throne. Whenever we approach God in the name of Jesus we are really appealing to Him on the ground of that presentation, of that much incense, and the prevalence of that intercession.
   Our prayers appear at times too utterly unworthy to bring to God. How can we dare to believe that they can be acceptable to the Holy God! Granted! It is all true. But never forget the much incense which is added to each petition; and remember that Christ gave Himself unto God, and is perpetually giving Himself, for us, an offering and a sacrifice, for an odour of a sweet smell. —Our Daily Homily