The Lamb opens the last seal
1 The Lamb opened the seventh seal. Then it became completely quiet in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand in front of God. Someone gave them seven trumpets.
3 Then another angel came. He stood at the altar where people offered gifts to God. He had a gold bowl to put incense in. He received a lot of incense and he burned it as a gift to God. It made a nice smell and it mixed with the prayers of God's people. The angel offered the incense and the prayers on the gold altar that was in front of God's throne. 4 When he did that, the smoke from the incense went up in front of God. The prayers of God's people also went up to God. 5 Then the angel took the gold bowl and he filled it with fire from the altar. Then he threw it all down onto the earth. There were loud noises and the sound of thunder. There was bright lightning, like a very bad storm. The earth shook with an earthquake.
8:3Many years before Jesus came to this earth, God spoke to Israel's people. He told them to build a special house for him. In this house they worshipped God and they offered gifts to him. There was a very big altar where the priests burned animals and other gifts for God. See Exodus 27:1-8. And there was a small gold altar where they burned incense. See Exodus 30:1-9.
The first four trumpets
6 Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to make a noise with their trumpets. 7 The first angel made a sound with his trumpet. Strong rain with stones of ice fell on the earth. The rain was mixed with fire and blood and it poured down. It burned a third of the earth. It destroyed a third of the trees and all the green grass.
8 Then the second angel made a sound with his trumpet. I saw something like a very big mountain that was burning with fire. This mountain fell down into the sea. A third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the animals that lived in the sea died. It also destroyed a third of the ships on the sea.
10 Then the third angel made a sound with his trumpet. I saw a very big star, which was burning with a bright light. It fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and the springs of water. 11 The name of the star means ‘It tastes bad’. A third of the water on the earth became bad. Many people died because they drank that bad water.
12 Then the fourth angel made a sound with his trumpet. A third of the sun became dark. A third of the moon and a third of the stars also became dark. There was no light for a third of the day and there was no light for a third of the night.
8:12The troubles that the first four trumpets bring destroy a third of the earth. That means one part out of every three parts. They also destroy the same amount of the sea, the rivers and the light. So these troubles do not destroy everything. They do not cause the end of this world.
13 Then I looked up. I saw an eagle that was flying high in the sky above me. I heard it say with a loud voice, ‘Great trouble! Great trouble! Yes, great trouble is coming to the people who live on the earth! Very bad things will happen when the other three angels make a sound with their trumpets!’