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Revelation 8:1-6 “The Opening Of Seal 7”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Seal 7 is opened and preparation is made for the sounding of the seven trumpets…

 

Rev 8:1-6 KJV

(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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 8 and 9, John sees the opening of seal 7, which will symbolizes the beginning of God’s wrath falling upon the  fallen earth and sinful mankind.  His wrath against the earth is emphasized in trumpets 1-4. Trumpets 5-6 (the first two woes) are judgments that fall against fallen mankind.

Trumpet 7 (the 3rd woe) is the completion of God’s wrath falling upon the earth and mankind.  This last trumpet brings to completion what was begun in trumpets 1-6.  Trumpet 7 is made up of the seven vials.  Each vial corresponds to a specific trumpet. Each vial simply expands, intensifies and brings to completion the wrath that was begun in its corresponding trumpet.

 

Trumpet Vial Area Of Earth Affected Trumpets (Vials) Areas Of Mankind Affected Trumpets (Vials)
1 1 1/3 Trees. Green Grass(All the Earth)
2 2 1/3 Sea(All the Sea)
3 3 1/3 Rivers, Springs(All the Rivers, Springs)
4 4 1/3 Sun, Moon, Stars(Entire Sun)
5 (Woe 1) 5 Men Not Sealed By God(Entire Kingdom and All Worshippers Of Beast)
6 (Woe 2) 6 1/3 Mankind(Whole World)
7 (Woe 3) 7 God’s Wrath Intensified and Completed Against Earth and Mankind Described By The 7 Vials(The Final Destruction Of Babylon and Lost Mankind {The Battle Of Armageddon})
 

 

As we continue our study all of the above will, hopefully, become more clear.

For now, let us just understand that the falling of God’s wrath during the second coming appears to be progressive; growing in intensity, severity and devastation as He descends and His presence draws nearer to the earth.  This is much like the tribulation in today’s time (first six seals) that will gradually increase in intensity and frequency as His coming draws near.

As we have said seal seven is divided into seven parts, symbolized by trumpets that are blown.  Here is a short outline of the upcoming lessons on seal 7 …

  1. Introduction To 7th Seal – 8:1-6
    1. Opening of 7th Seal – vs 1
    2. Handing of 7 Trumpets To Angels – Vs 2
    3. Prayers Of Saints Offered as Incense vs 3-4
    4. Preparation For Coming Wrath – vs 5-6
  2. Sounding Of First Four Trumpets – 8:7-8:13
    1. 1st Trumpet – vs 7
      1. Judgment – Hail, fire, blood
      2. Affected – Trees, grass
    2. 2nd Trumpet – vs 8
      1. Judgment – Great burning mountain, sea to blood
      2. Affected – Sea, sea creatures, ships
    3. 3rd Trumpet – vs 9-11
      1. Judgment – Burning Star (Wormwood)
      2. Affected – rivers, springs, men
    4. 4th Trumpet – vs 12
      1. Judgment – Striking
      2. Affected – Sun, moon, stars
    5. 3 Woes Announced – vs 13
  3. Sounding Of Trumpets 4 & 5 – 9:1-21
    1. 5th Trumpet (1st Woe) – 9:1-12
      1. Falling Star given Key To Bottomless Pit
      2. Locusts From Pit with King Of Locusts – Abaddon, Apollyon
  1. 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) – 9:13-21
    1. Release of The 4 Angels & 200,000,000 Army From Euphrates killing Mankind
    2. Mankind does not repent
  1. Please note 7th Trumpet will be revealed in Rev 11:15 & Rev 16: which will reveal the completion of God’s wrath aginst the earth and sinful mankind.

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 8:1-6 KJV

And when he had opened the seventh seal,

John now sees the Lamb opening seal number seven.  This seal is the final one of the series.  It will bring His wrath to fall against sinful mankind, purify the earth from sin and its results, and reveal the second coming of Christ to a renovated world.

 

there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

At the opening of the seal, a great silence takes place.  This silence emphasizes the expectation and anticipation that a great event is about to occur.

It is motivated by a great reverence and appreciation for the work that is about to be done.  Our Lord is ready to permanently rid the world of sin and enter into the remade earth to forever dwell with His saints… this is the event that all of His saints have been waiting for since Adam and Eve’s fall… this is the great hope of believers about to be fulfilled.

 

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God;

Now John sees seven angels standing before the Lord.  This tells us much about what is going to take place:

  1. Elect angels do the bidding of the Most High. They deliver His message or perform many great works on behalf of the Lord.  These angels are teaching us that what is about to take place is the work of Almighty God.   It takes place with His authority and His approval.
  2. There are seven angels. Seven is the number of perfection and completeness in the Bible.  Seven angels helps us to understand this work of God will be a complete work, it will leave nothing unaccomplished.
  3. These angels stand before God. They are awaiting to receive their mission and accomplish that which the Lord desires of them.  Again, this is emphasizing that what is about to take place is pleasing to the Lord and a part of His will being performed.

This helps us to understand that the punishment of lost individuals, and utter destruction of ungodly governments and false religions is a work that is authorized and pleasing to the Lord.  Although our Lord is a Lord of love and mercy, He is also equally a Lord that is just and holy.  This verse presents that clearly the events about to take place are pleasing to a holy and just God.  We should never deny the wrath of God against sin and fallen mankind using the justification that He is simply a God of love, mercy and forgiveness.

 

and to them were given seven trumpets.

The seven trumpets make up the entire seventh seal.  With the sounding of the seventh trumpet, seal number seven will be brought to an end and eternity will begin.

Why are trumpets used to symbolize the coming of the Lord and His wrath against sin?  Throughout the Bible, trumpets are used to announce:

 

Symbolism Trumpet Used In OT Event Within 7 Trumpets
Announcement Of God’s Presence Exo 20:18 The Second Coming Of Christ To Earth
Announcement Of Upcoming War Jeremiah 4:19 The Battle Of Armageddon
Announcement Of Victory Judges 7:19-21 Christ Gaining Final Victory Over Satan, Sin and Death
Announcement Of Upcoming Harm Ezekiel 33:3 Impending Doom For Lost Mankind, Wicked Governments & False Religions
Announcement Of God’s Wrath Joel 2:1, Hosea 5:8-9 God’s Wrath Falling In Great Tribulation and Armageddon

 

And another angel came and stood at the altar,

Next, another angel comes and stands by the altar of incense.  This was an altar used during the times of OT worship to represent the death and continual intercession of Christ (as mediator for His people) entering into God’s presence and being accepted by Him. It also symbolized the requests of God’s people ascending to God as sweet smelling incense.   

 

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.

This angel has a golden bowl of frankincense and other fragrant substances.  He was to offer these fragrant substances to accompany the prayers of the saints that were arising to God.  This pictures that the prayers of the saints are acceptable and pleasing to God, much like the fragrant incense pleases the physical senses.

Keep in mind that gold is a symbol of God.  The golden bowl that is essential to presenting the fragrant incense and prayers to God is a symbol of Holy Spirit intervention in the life of the saint as he prays.  The golden bowl is a picture of God’s role in the prayers of His saints.  Apart from the HS intervention, no man could pray acceptably before God and his prayers would not ascend into the presence of God.

 

And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

The angel faithfully presents the incense with the prayers of the saints.  Implied is there acceptance by God.  What are the prayers of the saints?  Perhaps it is the saints prayers desiring justice to be done in the earth.  One example of this type of prayer was found during the fifth seal that was opened (Rev 6:9-11)…

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

 

Their prayer is now going to be acted upon by God. This same angel now gives a small taste of what is about to fall upon lost mankind….  

And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth:

The angel now fills this golden bowl with fire and empties it out upon the earth.  It is as if the angel is giving the lost world a small taste of what is about to come upon them.

Fire gives light, destroys, and purifies.  It is symbolizing that the sins of mankind will be revealed and the wrath of God that is about to fall upon lost mankind and the result will be the purification of the earth in preparation for eternity.  This wrath will be vengeance upon the lost world for their abuse and mistreatment of the saints of God.

 

and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

With the taste of God’s wrath being given to lost, we now have symbolically described that God will be present in that wrath. Much like He was present on Mt Sinai when He gave Moses the 10 commandments…

Exo 19:16-19 KJV – And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.  And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

 

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

With a foretaste of His presence and wrath given to those on the earth, the seven angels now prepare to blow the first six trumpets which will bring God’s wrath upon the earth.  Trumpet 7 will be looked at in detail in Rev 16 and will emphasize God’s wrath falling upon the sinful kingdoms of the world. 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, Christ is revealed as the eternally sovereign Lord who is just and holy.  It is He that authorizes, controls and assures the wrath of God that will fall against sinful mankind.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, as we see this preparation of the falling of God’s wrath upon the earth, may we all recognize the holiness and justice of Christ.  We should NEVER accept the false teaching that, because Christ is love, He will never judge sin nor consign men to the Lake of Fire.  His wrath falling upon man at His second coming is a foreshadow of His wrath being sent against lost mankind as they are placed in the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 


5 Comments

  1. i sure needed to take this and it has edified and cleansed me this day reverend rob. please pray for my mission the hobounivercity.
    God Bless

    Sincerely,

    General BT Hope

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    A good exposition. Appreciate the video; I like your discussion on the incense pointing towards Christ and also the discussion about how God will not be just “grace” without dealing with sin. A good warning.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      There seems to be more and more writers and teachers that are picturing our Lord as all-love and no justice… everybody ends up saved… that type of stuff. Trying to warn against these teachings.

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