Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective
Video for this article here: SermonAudio.com/StudyGrowKnow
We are back into Revelation and this particular article (video of teaching at the link above), takes us back in a bit of a summary of what has already been covered. Revelation 8 itself opens with the Seventh Seal being opened and from this final seal comes the Seven Trumpet judgments and in fact, ultimately, the Seven Bowl judgments that come after the Seven Trumpet judgments.
As a matter of review, the Book of Revelation highlights three very important facts pertaining to Jesus. Revelation highlights:
- The Person of Jesus
- The Power of Jesus, and
- The Program of Jesus
We often tend to get caught up in the minutiae contained within the Book of Revelation and tend to lose sight of the fact that ultimately, Revelation is literally a revealing or an unveiling. The book provides insights into the Person, Power and Program of our Great and only God, Jesus. The fact that God has taken the time to share this knowledge with us should cause us to become humbled in the face of the truth of who Jesus is and the program put in my motion by the Godhead.
The general outline of Revelation can be seen in the following:
- What You Have Seen (Chpt 1)
- What Is Now (Chpts 2-3)
- Letters to the Seven Churches
- What Will Take Place (Chpts 4-22)
- Vision of the heavenly throne (4)
- Seven-sealed scroll (5)
- Opening of the six seals; time of divine wrath (6)
- Those who will be saved in the Great Tribulation (7)
- Opening of the seventh seal and the introduction of the seven trumpets (8-9)
- Mighty angel and the little scroll (10)
- Two witnesses (11:1-14)
- Soundings of the seventh trumpet (11:15-19)
- Seven great personages of the end times (12-15)
- What Will Take Place (Chpts 4-22) continued…
- Bowls of divine wrath (16)
- Fall of Babylon (17-18)
- Song of hallelujah in heaven (19:1-10)
- Second coming of Christ (19:11-21)
- Millennial reign of Christ (20:1-10)
- Judgment of the Great White Throne (20:11-15)
- New heaven and new earth (21:1-22:5)
- Final word from God (22:6-21)
We’ve previously covered up to and including Revelation 7 (first article/episode in that series here: Introduction to Revelation). In this latest episode/article, we cover Revelation 8, which covers the opening of the Seventh Seal out of which come the Seven Trumpet judgments.
As the opening of the Seventh Seal commences, there is 30 minutes of silence in heaven. This is likely literal and done for effect. Just as before a theatrical production begins, often the lights go down or off, any music that was playing goes silent and there is the anticipation that the show is about to begin. In much the same way, the heavens go completely silent which will likely cause a very eerie feeling throughout the earth as people will not know what it means or what is to follow.
1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Revelation 8:1-6 NKJV)
We can clearly see the pageantry that plays out in God’s throne room as things are done according to the specifics of His will. The people living on the earth at this time are in for a huge shock (if the first six seals were not shocking enough).
Each successive Trumpet judgment opens and another aspect of God’s wrath is poured out onto the earth and those alive at the time.
- First Trumpet: Hail, fire, mixed with blood; a third of the trees, and all the green grass burns up (Revelation 8:7)
- Second Trumpet: a burning mountain thrown into the sea; a third of the sea turns to blood and a third of the sea creatures die and a third of the ships are destroyed (Revelation 8:8-9)
- Third Trumpet: a star named “wormwood” falls from heaven and turns a third of the rivers “bitter” or poisoned killing many people (Revelation 8:10-11)
- Fourth Trumpet: a third of the sun, moon and stars darken (Revelation 8:12)
A triple woe occurs now prior to the final three Trumpet judgments pouring out. An eagle flies through the heavens declaring “woe, woe, woe!” to the inhabitants of the earth because what is coming is worse than what has already come (Revelation 8:13).
Whether this is an actual eagle or a representative angelic being is not clear. It could be either and certainly, if God can have Balaam’s donkey speak (Numbers 22:21-29), is it too hard for God to give human voice to an eagle?
What transpires in Revelation 8 amounts to one form of God’s wrath after another poured out onto the earth and humanity. This is done, not because God “hates,” but in actuality, because He loves. He knows what is best for us and due to the consistent rebellion of humanity against God’s grace, there is no alternative here for God except to judge humankind. The arrogance of humanity has led the entire planet to not only disregard God’s laws, but in its place, humanity has chased after all things God hates.
While it is relatively easy to not only get bogged down with all the minutiae in Revelation (which can easily take our eyes off of God and onto other things), it is best, in my opinion, to understand that Revelation 4 – 22 are still yet in front of us and the entirety of Revelation reveals the Person of Jesus, the Power of Jesus and the Program of Jesus.
Ultimately, His will is and will be accomplished. It remains for each person to choose this day whom we will serve (Joshua 24:14-15). By default, we choose ourselves. Even if we do not choose, we have still chosen to serve Self and/or Satan. It takes a determined choice on our part to follow Jesus and receive the only salvation available to all people.
The book of Revelation is a book that God wrote for our benefit. The emphasis of that book should be seen in the greatness and magnificence of Jesus Christ, our Lord, God and Savior. It’s fine to have differences of opinion over aspects of Revelation, but there are some things that are completely non-negotiable.
The same human author of Revelation tells us in one of his short epistles that the entire world is under the sway of the evil one (1 John 5:19). This essentially means that Satan’s deceptions undergird the world’s systems. All who are not saved are asleep in that system. In fact and unfortunately, many who are in Christ can also be lulled asleep by this same system because their commitment to Jesus is not what it should be.
The seven churches that Jesus dictated letters to John for all had problems with the exception of the church at Philadelphia. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the church of Laodicea, which had nothing good going for it because they had become lukewarm. They were comfortable and didn’t see a need for any spiritual growth, so they received no commendations from Jesus, but only warnings.
Those seven churches are representative of all churches throughout this Church Age to the present. Which Christian are you? Where do you see yourself? Are you more in love with our Savior today than before or have you grown lukewarm because you’ve lost interest in attending church, having fellowship with other Christians or in reading and memorizing His Word?
The book of Revelation is not only a warning to those in the world, outside of the Christian faith. It is a warning to the Church to wake up, to not negotiate with Satan. We need to be vigilant because Satan is like a lion, roaming around seeking unsuspecting people to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Peter also tells us that in order to be sure we don’t give way to Satan, we need to be alert and understand how Satan works. He is deceptive beyond measure and one of the things that becomes clear throughout the book of Revelation is just exactly how well Satan’s deceptions have worked to keep this world under his (God-granted) authority. That authority however, will not last forever.
Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective
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