Revelation 8. Forum Discussion

Jesus opens the seventh and final seal

Chapter 8 begins with Jesus opening the 7th and final seal. What will happen when this final seal is removed and Jesus (“The Lamb”) is able to open the book?

Before we get to that, here is a summary of the first 6 seals that were opened and recorded by John in Revelations 6:

  1. Seal #1: A rider on a white horse. John writes that the rider was given a crown which signifies that this person was in good standing with God. He also had a bow and, “Went out conquering and to conquer.”
  2. Seal #2: The 2nd seal deals with war. For this seal, we see a rider on a red horse who was, “Granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.” This is God asserting that He has the right to take peace from the earth as He sees the need to do so.
  3. Seal #3: The 3rd seal mentions a black horse and that its rider had two scales. Once again, John writes that he heard a voice tell him to, “Come,” so that he could get a closer look. He writes that he heard a voice coming from the area of the four creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” So what does this symbolize? Perhaps the scales are representing the exchange of money for the wheat and barley. The NASB study Bible refers to the 3rd seal as “Famine.”
  4. Seal #4: The lamb (Jesus) breaks the 4th seal. This time John sees an ashen (pale) horse. The person sitting on this horse had the name, “Death.” John writes that Hades was following with him and that, “Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” The 4th seal of the book held by God and being opened by Jesus has to do with death and hell (Hades). Is it significant that they were only given authority over 25% of the land? Maybe the 25% represents the worst of the population on the earth?
  5. Seal #5: As Jesus breaks the 5th seal, John does not see a horse. So to summarize, in the first four seals we have four horses: a white horse (associated with conquering), a red horse (seems to represent war), a black horse (possibly representing famine or the limited supply of wheat and barley), and an ashen, or pale horse (representing death). In the 5th seal, instead of a horse, John sees underneath the alter, “The souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.” They are held in reverence and John writes that they were each given a white robe. This is symbolic of their favorable position with God. These martyrs cried out with a loud voice saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” They were told, “They should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” It seems as if God knows who will be martyred and when. And it also seems that these people are remembered and that they are going to be honored by God for their sacrifice.
  6. Seal #6: As Jesus breaks the 6th seal, John gets a look into the awesome things that will take place on the, “Day of wrath”, which is talking about judgement day after Jesus returns. John writes, “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

So now we have Jesus opening the 7th, and final, seal.As expected, amazing things happen once all of the seals are opened. Here is a summary as recorded by John in Revelations 8:

  • Once the Lamb broke the 7th seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
  • John saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
  • An 8th angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer. This angel was given, “Much incense,” so that he might add it to the prayers of the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.
  • The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel’s hand.
  • The angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar.
  • He threw the censer filled with fire to the earth.
  • There followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
  • Then the seven angels who had trumpets prepared to sound them.

Wow!! What an awesome display of power from God!

As each of the 7 angels sounds their trumpets, something amazing occurs. Here in chapter 8, we get a look at the first 4 angels sounding their trumpets, as recorded by John:

  • Angel #1. After the trumpet is sounded, “ 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.”
  • Angel #2. After the trumpet is sounded, “ Something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood,and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
  • Angel #3. After the trumpet is sounded, “ A great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters.The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.”
  • Angel #4. After the trumpet is sounded, “A t hird of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.”
  • After the 4th angel sound their trumpet, there was an eagle flying that said with a loud voice, “ Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Given the circumstances, and everything that we have already seen from the first 4 angels sounding their trumpets, that is an ominous warning of things to come.

Here’s something to keep an eye on. It looks like those that remain on the earth at this time will suffer God’s wrath. But, the 144,000 plus the, “Great multitude which no one could count,” standing before the throne will be saved.

These are amazing displays of God’s awesome power. As we read today’s lesson, we can marvel at all that God can do. It reminds us that when we have problems in our own lives that seem big to us, that these problems are nothing to a God that can turn the moon black, the sun red, consume 1/3 of the earth with hail and fire, turn 1/3 of the sea into blood, destroy 1/3 of the rivers with a fallen star, and to darken 1/3 of the sun and 1/3 of the moon.

Our God is an awesome God! If we will humble ourselves and worship Him, He will take care of the rest.

As it says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord , ‘plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” Amen

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

Are there any displays of God's power that you have seen and would like to share?

Reply
Michael
Virtual Bible Study

I have seen hurricanes, water spouts, and the northern lights. The northern lights were the most impressive. Our God is an awesome God!!

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John

I get confused between the 144,000 and the "Great multitude" that will be saved. Is the number much bigger than the 144,000?

Reply