Summary: The awe of God’s power is breath-taking to Heaven’s inhabitants, so much so that they literally stand silent before His Throne. Following this we see the results of the first four trumpets sound, signifying the beginning of God's judgment on the Earth.
The Seventh Seal
Revelation, Part 9, Revelation 8:1-13
- Last week, we saw the role of 144,000, from the 12 tribes of Israel
-- There are 12,000 each of the 12 tribes of Jacob (Israel)
-- Represent a select group, descendants of Jacob
-- Are appointed to preach the Gospel to the world during the Tribulation
-- They are NOT appointed before the Tribulation begins …
- They fulfill the role planned for Israel, to be a light to the nations
- APP: Out of all the nations of the Earth, God has chosen the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be a light to the nations, to be his witnesses
-- Isaiah 43:10-12 says "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.”
- When they are finished preaching, the final souls who have been martyred for their belief will be brought from under the altar and before the throne
- These souls receive their reward, their glorified bodies, and God’s judgment on humanity is about to begin
Read Revelation 8:1-13
Ω Point 1 – A pause in heaven
Ω - The pause in time is Heaven actually holding its breath!
-- APP: The awe of God’s power is breath-taking to Heaven’s inhabitants
-- This also allows the earth to think about what it has done; consequences!
-- Even today, your (our) actions have consequences we must consider
- FACT: The first six seals bring about horrible judgment to all of the earth
-- Now humans are given one more option to think about their mortality
- Remember the first 6 seals brought about the death of ¼ of the humans
-- Certainly this would be WIDELY publicized on the news, internet, etc.
-- APP: This pause also allows the inhabitants of the Earth to think
-- IMP: Again, God’s grace is offered regarding their eternal choice
- Imagine Heaven actually holding its breath in awe of God’s power!
Ω - I want to examine the real world implication here:
-- If Heaven is silent at God’s power … maybe we should take note?
-- Perhaps we should consider our own response BEFORE a righteous God?
-- Maybe we should consider how we treat one another ... in light of this?
-- Nitty-gritty: gossip, backbiting, spiteful remarks, rumors, etc. – Stop it!
--- No action goes without God noticing; even Heaven pauses before Him
-- We cannot fool God (Galatians 6:7 …)
- APP: If Heaven is silent at the awesomeness of God … can we be?
Ω Point 2 – Angels at the Throne
- We now see that there are 7 angels standing at the throne of God
-- They are waiting God’s command to carry out the trumpet judgments
- The censor would hold the fire when combined with incense
-- This produced a fragrant smoke which would ascend upward
-- This was a picture of the priestly office
-- The smoke represented the prayers and worship going toward heaven
- The altar of incense before the holy of holies
-- It was a picture of the original one located in Heaven
-- In ancient times, the high priest would go before the altar of the Lord
-- He would offer up the prayers of the repentant and ask for forgiveness
-- APP: This same act is being demonstrated here in Heaven
- During this time, many of the new believers are being pursued and killed
-- Their prayers have come before God’s throne, and God has heard them
- God is about to respond to our rebellion with His judgment on the Earth
-- This pause (again) reflects this; it is a tremendous show of respect to Him
- We need to understand that God created it all (creation study)
-- Therefore, He can most certainly destroy it all (He is Alpha and Omega)
- Thought: If you are in Heaven during this time, I somehow feel according to this text … that we will see God’s judgment on the Earth, in order to fully understand his power and authority.
- Re-read Revelation 8:6-13
Ω Point 3 – The Sounding of the Trumpets
- Trumpets are loud – they are jarring – and they get your attention
-- God is using these trumpets to get the attention of the Earth
- A trumpet is also used to signal the rapture of the church