Revelation of Hope
Introduction – In this Session will begin Revelation Chapter 8, and start the second cycle of Sevens. As I mentioned earlier in this study, the book of Revelation is a cyclical book that tells and re-tells the same account of salvation history, but in varying degrees of intensity and scope.
The first set of Sevens were concluded with the completion of Chapter 7. In Chapter 8, we begin the re-telling of the same story of the first Seven Seals, as the Seventh Seal opens up the cycle of the Seven Trumpets. The Seven Trumpet cycle is told from the perspective of the spirit realm and the spiritual warfare that accompanies the destruction of Jerusalem and whole of salvation history.
Before we move on, it would be helpful to review the first cycle of the Seven Seals. The rider on the white horse is Jesus Christ who is portrayed as the victorious conquering King. The rider on the red horse is the Roman Army being led by Vespasian and Titus. The rider on the black horse was the famine that accompanied the siege of Jerusalem. The fifth seal brought into view those who were martyred for Christ during the Jewish and Roman persecutions of the First Century, and their intercession for justice. The sixth seal brought into view the signs of God’s coming judgment to Jerusalem for rejecting the Messiah Jesus Christ. Then the Interlude brings into view the encouraging vision of those who stayed faithful to the Lord, of both Jews and Gentiles through the great tribulation of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish and Roman persecutions of the Early Church.
The book of Revelation is 3 cycles of Seven, representing the 777 complete view of salvation history from the birth of the Church to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
a) The silence in heaven is a significant contrast when compared to the glorious DOXA of Chapter 7.
b) This is something we should pay attention to, as it speaks of 2 things as the Lamb opens the Seventh Seal. The first being the awesome reverence of God in the angelic realm. There are many times in Scripture where being in the presence of God demanded silence. See Ecclesiastes 5:2, Job 40:4-5, Psalm 46:10. The second is the angelic realm was in awe of God’s judgments and the scope and power of His decrees. No words can describe the awesome power of what has been decreed by God in terms of the finality of them.
a) The symbolism of 7 is found throughout the book of Revelation as it is the divine number of completeness, and finality.
b) Trumpets in Scripture are used for 3 main purposes. To sound the alarm of war, to gather the assembly to worship or feast, or as a command to march. In the context of this prophetic book, the 7 trumpets are the alarm of war against those who have rejected Jesus as Messiah.
c) The seven angels were ones that stood before God in addition to the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders. The description of their position as being before God tells us something about their status and mission. Being before the Living God tells us that these 7 angels were close to the counsels of God in throne room and that these angels were set apart for carrying out the decrees of the Godhead.
d) It is important to mention that we see the pattern of seven trumpets in the destruction of Jericho (See Joshua 4:8). This is prophetic picture of the destruction of those who oppose God and His people. In this account also see 3 cycles of 7 symbolizing the totality of God’s judgments.
a) In verses 3-5 we see the power of prayer and intercession. In verse 3 we see the altar of incense in the True Temple in Heaven. We see similar scene mentioned in Revelation 5:8. A gold censer was only used on the Day of Atonement. The smoke from the censer came from the sacred fire that never burned out on the altar of incense. Hebrews 9, connects this with the Holy of Holies and our access to the true Holy of Holies through Jesus Christ who is our True High Priest in Order of Melchizedek. See Numbers 4:14 and Leviticus 16:12.
b) Our prayers are incense before God and are pleasing to Him. This verse shows that even the angelic realm partners with our prayers. Prayer is described in Revelation as powerful, pleasing to God and full of ability to accomplish what is being prayed for.
c) Acts 10 gives the account the prayers of Cornelius being an offering before God that released salvation to the Gentiles.
a) The act of the angel hurling the censer to the earth (GE), describes the awesome power and the force of our prayers.
b) Keep in mind that the destruction of the Land is in view in the Seven Trumpet Judgment. The Land mentioned is the Land of Judea, and specifically the Jerusalem and the Temple. The Old Covenant revolved
around the Promised Land. As Jesus was rejected by the political and religious rulers of Judea, and as Jesus instituted a New Covenant, the Land was worthy of Seven Trumpet Judgments.
c) Peals of Thunder, Rumblings, Flashes of Lightings and an Earthquake are all symbolism speaking of the unspeakable power of God’s throne, judgments and the majesty of His person. We see a similar manifestation in Revelation 4 in the description of the spiritual atmosphere around His throne.
http://www.livius.org The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff http://www.josephus.org The Story of Christian Theology, Olsen G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ Blue Letter Bible.com Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology Holman Bible Dictionary Strongs Concordance NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament- NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament Jonathan Welton – Raptureless George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem Wikipedia Rapture Fever – Gary North The Prophets Dictionary – Price Early Christian Martyr Stories – Bryan M. Litfin Vines Expository Bible Dictionary