STUDY: PART 24
V.1. “When He opened the seventh seal… ” Who is “He?” We can know this He refers to Jesus, even if the H was not capital, because it was made very clear in Revelation 5:1-7 that Jesus was the only One worthy to open the seals. The time stated of half an hour of silence simply refers to an unspecified, but limited period of time. This will be a time of prayer of the saints before the first trumpet is blown. When the trumpets begin to blow, the plagues spoken of will literally happen on earth. These are not symbolic of anything, they are real plagues.
The number seven is mentioned several times in verses 1, 2, and 6 of this chapter. Seven in Hebrew is Sheh'-bah is from a root word meaning complete or full. It’s the number God blessed in Genesis 2:1-3. Please read that now.
The Hebrew for 7 appears a total of 392 times in the Bible beginning with Genesis 2. It is actually used a total of 700 times running throughout the Bible. 7 is the number of fulfillment, or completion, the number of the day on which God rested, and the number which God chose to bless within the Scripture record.
Evangelist, Ed F. Vallowe writes, “When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number FOUR and added to it the perfect divine number, THREE, and got SEVEN, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven -- the four-square earth plus the divine COMPLETENESS OF GOD. So we have SEVEN expressing COMPLETENESS through union of earth with heaven. This number is used more than all other numbers in the Word of God, save the number ONE.”
In Revelation, the number 7 is used 54 times. These are: SEVEN churches, SEVEN Spirits, SEVEN stars, SEVEN seals, SEVEN trumpets, SEVEN vials, SEVEN personages, SEVEN dooms, and SEVEN new things. These sevens all lead to the conclusion of life on earth as we know it.
V. 2. In the Book of Tobit, which is in the Catholic Bible, verse 12:15 reads, “I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.” In Luke1:19, it reads, “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.” So the angels who “stand before God” could be said to be archangels. They are a different class of angels with a different business to perform in the Tribulation. They have been with us throughout the Bible and will be with Jesus at the close.
Satan was a beautiful angel covered in every jewel, with jewels of gold. He is not the ugly creature all red with horns and tale that we usually see. Nor is he the cute cartoon character of the same description. These depictions actually portrait Pan of Greek mythology.
V. 3. I believe that the use of Jesus in this verse as “another angel” is wrong. Jesus called up the dead in Christ and the church and is now sitting opening the seven seals. He is on His throne of judgment. He is the One in charge of all that will come in Revelation. Jesus will never be seen as an angel again as He was in the Old Testament.
V. 4. Why do you suppose the prayers of the saints are likened to incense?
It’s because the fragrance and essence of incense rises. David prayed, “Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense” (Psalm 141:2). Smoke rises. Prayer, like smoke, when said by those in Christ, rises to the throne room of God. J. Vernon McGee said, “Incense speaks of the value of Christ’s name and work in prayer.” He also said that many think it redundant to say in Jesus’ name at the end of every prayer since we know in our hearts we are praying to Jesus, but that it’s very important to say, In Jesus’ name,” or something similar. I say that Jesus is our Mediator, and it’s through him that God receives our prayers, therefore, give him the glory, the credit, if you will. And how hard is it really to say those three little words?
V. 5. In the Old Testament the High Priest took the copper censer to carry in burning coals from the brazen altar outside the Tabernacle. Solomon made censers of gold for the rebuilt temple. It doesn’t matter to the details here what metal this censer is made of. The priests brought the incense and the coals into the temple and burned the incense to create a smoke covering between God and himself so he would not die from being in the presence of God’s holiness.
Please read Leviticus 16:12, 13.
What we are seeing in Revelation 8:5, is the offering of incense before God on the altar, then, conversely, the fire for atonement of the saints who had been martyred being tossed down to earth in judgment. All those who have completely rejected the Christ of God for their salvation will now be affected by the answer to the prayers of the Tribulation saints, “Oh, God, avenge us.” The noises and thunderings herald the coming judgment of God to earth. I ponder the words “an earthquake’ and wonder if this is the big one always being predicted.
Please read II Samuel 22:8
V. 6. Now the silence is over, the seven angels have received their orders and are preparing to blow: The trumpets are about to begin sounding. The plagues will begin. The judgment can not be stopped. This blowing of the first trumpet will introduce the beginning of the end of earth as we know it. It will begin the process of destroying the heaven and the earth so that God can create the new heaven and the new earth so that the New Jerusalem can descend into place. Trumpet would be a good word for a devotional
STUDY: PART 25
Before I begin the study I’d like to say something from my own thoughts about Revelation. This 22 chapter Book of the Bible is the pivotal point from which Jesus will return. What I mean is that right now we are only teaching the gospels in part, but the entire message must be told and retold before Jesus can come. What has been missing, and deliberately avoided for centuries, is the information and truths of Revelation that prepare the path for Jesus to come. Pastors are afraid to launch a study of Revelation because of its intricacies. Also, it’s a lot of work researching. Another consideration is that they are afraid to interpret incorrectly. Personally speaking, I only took on this challenge at the request of one of the Pogo pals. But, until we know the whole Bible, Jesus will tarry.
In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple and the “Signs of the Times and the End of the Age.” Look at Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Now we know what that’s referring to, so, although we will not uncover or understand all the truths in this once through, we will gain some wisdom and knowledge, and hopefully a longing to study for ourselves to know more. Remember that we are admonished, “Study to show thyself approved” (2Ti 2:15). Let’s begin.
V.7. We know that the voice of Jesus sounded to John as that of a trumpet (Revelation 1:10,11). (In Exodus 19:16-19, we read that Moses also heard this type of trumpet voice.) We also learned that the trumpeting was used to warn people of the coming battle. Now we see that the angels are blowing trumpets before they let loose the judgment of God on the earth. Each one blows his warning to awaken people to the truth of the gospel. After the church had been taken out, the 144,000 were sealed. By their ministry people were saved. This is the first remnant. These are the ones who will walk the earth during this judgment period to gather up the harvest that will be remnant two from out of Babylon. I believe God will supernaturally protect this group as they minister in the world.
Let’s read Ezekiel 14:12-23.
The first judgment is hail and fire, as happened to Egypt (Exodus 9:23), but this time it will be mingled with blood. This fire will cause one third of the earth’s grasses and trees to be burned up. Believe this one thing. The plagues in Egypt were real, and they caused great destruction. The plagues spoken of in Revelation are also be real. But instead of the fiery hail destroying 100% (Exodus 9:25) of one country’s trees and grasses, it will destroy one third of these crops over the entire world. Also remember that trees and grasses are sources of food. This plague will wreak havoc in the earth. Also notice this judgment is on the plant life of the world, not her people. The phrase “were thrown to earth” is significant in that it can be interpreted one way, it’s coming from outside our planetary orbit. God can’t throw something to earth that is on earth. I don’t believe it will be nuclear bombs, I believe it will be exactly what God said, hailstones of fire mingled with blood. (Could this blood be that of Jesus and the martyred saints?)
VV.8, 9. Blood is often seen as God’s judgment.
Please read Exodus 7:15-19.
What the mountain is that was cast into the sea is unspoken by John. He doesn’t tell us if this is an actual planet falling to earth, or if, as many commentators surmise, it is a person of importance in the world, so I won’t hazard a guess at it. What John does state clearly is, “And something LIKE a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.” However, since trumpet number one was a literal action taken as judgment by God, we must believe that trumpet number two will be also.
It is very important to notice that the water became as blood before a third of the fish were killed. It was not their blood that turned the seas red, but the energy of what fell into the water that stirred the pollution up from the bottom of the ocean. Talk about a red tide! Many nations of this world use fish as a main part of their eating habits, so this judgment will cause hunger, but not necessarily death. J. Vernon McGee said that knowing what is coming ought to motivate us now to witness to many others so that the population remaining on earth to suffer this Tribulation time after the church is caught up will be far less.
V V.10,11. It’s ironic that man polluted the earth’s water supply for the sake of greed. Then man decided they must clean up the water supply if they are to survive at all. We cannot survive without clean water so scientists have been devising ways to un-pollute the waters of the world. It’s really a reversal of what took place before when Israel crossed the Red Sea and came to Marah where the waters were bitter with judgment and Moses was told to toss a tree into the water and it became sweet for drinking (Exodus 15:23-26). Then man spent the next centuries causing death and disease to grow in the water. Man then cleaned (is cleaning) the waters so that by the time of John’s vision, the water was clean to drink, and now the Lord will cast something into the water to make it bitter, or poisonous. I agree with the many that a meteor will be the cause of the water becoming Wormwood. Meteors are made up of a vast number of poisonous ingredients, and these will be what contaminate the waters.
Read Ruth 1:20 with me now. “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” The literal translation of Naomi is pleasant, and of Mara it is bitter. Naomi chose to be called bitter because she blamed God for killing her family instead of blaming the bad choices and sin in their lives that caused them to die.
In Revelation the Wormwood * truly is God’s judgment against man for their idolatry and cruelty. God’s justice and righteousness require vengeance. He’s perfect and cannot look upon sin. His mercy is still in effect at this time of John’s revelation so only a third of the earth’s water became poison. Many people will die from the pollution in the water, but it’s just the beginning of what will happen to people during the trumpets and bowls in the Tribulation.
* Definition of Wormwood: Wormwood is a bitter plant found growing in the desert in Israel, and is often mentioned in the scriptures to denote something offensive and nauseating. In the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, wormwood is said to be, “an emblem of calamity and injustice.” Wormwood is symbolic of judgment.
STUDY: PART 26
Please read Revelation 8:12, 13.
V.12. We depend on the sun for warmth, for growth of vegetation, and for he vitamins we need to sustain life, vitamin D being one of them. The moon and the stars don’t give off much light in comparison, and certainly no warmth, but it’s what navigators use to direct their ships and planes at night. The sun and moon were given by God to be signs of the seasons. The moon is what affects the tides of the oceans and seas.
Let’s read Matthew 24:29 to see what God warned us would happen to these celestial bodies during the Tribulation.
What does a third part of the sun and moon being darkened promise to those who are alive then? The greatest energy shortage man will know up to that time. Plants that were destroyed in the fires of trumpet one won’t rejuvenate, new plants won’t grow, water won’t evaporate to make rain, and people will become ill from lack of sunshine. But this is only a foretaste of what will come later in the Tribulation that Matthew wrote about above. For this time, however, God will keep His promise made in Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” So this will be a judgment, but not the final curtain for the earth. But look what John writes next.
V.13. “Woe, woe, woe,“ says the angel. Some translations say it’s an eagle. I believe that if John wrote eagle in the original text, then it’s an eagle. God made a donkey talk, guess He can make an eagle talk as well. But the research I did in different Bibles led me to conclude it’s probably and angel. The King James and New King James versions both call this being an angel. Most of the commentaries I read say it’s an angel as well.
A woe is an interjection, which is said to be something shouted loudly and abruptly, or something written in a text. It’s a word used to interrupt a conversation or a writing. It’s a word that has no particular meaning of its own. Woe is like wow. Why is this eagle shouting so loudly and interjecting this word three times? It is to get our attention. Any time a word is used two or three times, it means, “Pay attention here, I have something important to tell you.” This message is one of great sorrow for the last three trumpets are woes, or harsh judgment to come.
The study tonight is short, but that’s because I want to give you all a little test. Let’s see what we remember from the previous 26 studies we’ve done. I’m going to ask you questions, and you can type out your answers here.
1. Why was John given this revelation?
2. Where was John, and what day of the week did his vision take place on?
3. Who was this revelation sent to?
4. “…and from Jesus Christ, the faithful _______________, the firstborn of the ________, and the ruler over the _______ of the ________.”
5. What did Jesus claim to be in Revelation 1: 8 then 11 the 17, 18?
6. What three things was John to write?
7. Find the titles given to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
8. Where was John called up to?
9. Around the throne were __ thrones, and on the thrones I saw __ elders sitting clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold upon their heads.
10. What did the four living creatures who were before the throne of God shout?
11. Who was deemed worthy to open the scroll?
12. Look in your bibles and tell me what the titles of the seven seals are in chapters 6 and 8.
13. In chapter 7, who was sealed?
14. What were struck as each of the first four trumpets was blown?
The answers can be found at the beginning of the chapter nine page.