I want to say we are done with the seal judgments, and in a way, we are, but the truth is, we now have to open the seventh seal. As I have pointed out, with every one of God’s judgments, the seventh is the lead-in to the next series to come. We now have two more judgments to be experienced by the people on the earth and Israel.
There is, however, one exception to this rule, the bowl judgments. Revelation 16:17 tells us that with the pouring out of the seventh bowl, a voice, from the temple where the throne of God is, said, it is done.
What is done?
It is not the judgments, as they continue for a short but undetermined amount of time, but it is undoubtedly the culmination of those judgments.
We will soon see the end of the world’s systems as Jesus returns in chapter 19 as the conquering Messiah. The evil, bondage, and slavery of this world come to an end, and we migrate into the millennial kingdom. And Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet get thrown into the lake of fire.
Every seal so far has come with tumult, and yet here it’s suddenly silent for half-an-hour.
Revelation 8:1 NASB “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”
If you have ever been in a dark cave and the park rangers turn out the lights, it is ominous and frightening.
Looking at these events as though we were on the outside looking in, most of us hope that the rapture will come quickly and we don’t experience what God is about to pour out upon the earth because our Gentile minds can’t seem to comprehend what is about to come.
Well, I have good news, all that happens, under the judgments associated with the seals, bowls, and trumpets, all come after the church is gone.
The silence is about to be broken.
Revelation 8:2 NASB “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.”
But the angels, without a word, are put on hold.
Revelation 8:3 NASB “Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.”
The altar is a common theme throughout the Bible, but in the book of Hebrews we are told that Jesus offered the mandatory gifts upon the altar that served as the pattern for the one on earth. Those golden censers served a similar purpose, in that they sent up a sweet aroma to God. Here verse 3 the incense is mixed with the prayers of the saints.
This evokes another conversation as we often wonder if God hears our prayers; and, if He does, does He act on them. In a sense, Daniel had the opportunity to have a similar misgiving. In Daniel chapter ten, after a vision of war, which greatly disturbed his peace. Daniel saw into the future. Just think about what many of us have seen, rampant and brutal bloodshed in the streets.
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Beyond the time of his capture, we cannot say that Daniel saw, nor experienced this degree of violence. I am pointing this out because it is often much easier to understand the emotion of the moment if you put flesh and blood on the speaker, which in this is Daniel.
So Daniel longs for an explanation, an answer that was three weeks in coming. He had the opportunity to doubt and mistrust God as he waited. Finally, at the end of twenty-one days, an angel shows up to explain what Daniel saw. Had God failed or forsaken Daniel? Not at all, for His messenger, Gabriel, was in combat with a fallen angel, a demon called the Prince of Persia.
I tell you this because you need to have faith and hold on to God’s promises.
Revelation 8:4-5 NASB “And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. (5) Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
The incense mixed with the prayers of the saints went up before God. What was the result of this incense mixed with prayers? The angel took the censer, filled it with fire, and threw it to earth; not because God wanted it out of His face, but because it became a judgment.
“there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
In the book of Amos chapter one we see God decreeing that He will send fire upon many who have hurt Israel.
The Seven Trumpets
Revelation 8:6 NASB “And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.”
The first angel sounds.
Revelation 8:7 NASB “The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
Did you catch what just happened?
“The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood,”
Where have we seen this before?
Exodus 9:23-24 NASB “Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt. (24) So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.”
The prophet Joel conveys the imagery of blood.
Joel 2:30 NASB “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke.”
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The impact of these events.
“a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
Everything, especially in the Revelation, is understandable, prophetically, to the Jews; this is no different.
Zechariah 13:8-9 NASB “It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. (9) “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”
Several people I know have said, there will be NO Jews entering the millennial reign. Where do you suppose those 144,000, Jewish, male virgins, that we saw in Revelation six go to? They go into the millennial reign. Zechariah tells us that a third of Israel survives, and they too enter the millennial kingdom.
Note how Zechariah says, “and they will say, the Lord is my God.” You can add these to the list of those who teach the Jewish ways during the 1000 years of peace, as the nations come and bow before God during the Feast of Booths/Succoth.
Before we move on to the next verse, I want to point something out. In my previous post I showed you Revelation 7:1, this is where the four angels stop the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth. I have an inquiring mind and therefore had to know what happens if the wind ceased to blow. The short answer, everything begins to die; that includes people. Imagine what the earth looks like at this point, it is brown and wilted. So, when God turns loose hail, mixed with fire and blood, everything that looked like a plant will burn.
If that wasn’t enough.
Revelation 8:8-9 NASB “The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, (9) and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
This is the second angel, with a trumpet (a shofar.) When he sounds:
“and what looked like an enormous blazing mountain was hurled into the sea” (CJB)
From a logical point of view, this could only be an asteroid. Do you realize that they are telling us that asteroids are coming and there is nothing that can be done about it.
What effect does this have?
a third of the sea became blood,
a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died,
and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Isn’t that strange, the scripture has no commentary? Does it need one?
You don’t want to be here when this stuff happens, accept Jesus into your life and bypass such grief.
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