Question: Please explain the book of Revelation beginning with chapter one and going through chapter 22.
Answer: Chapter eight explained: In this chapter we hear the sounding of four trumpets, of the seven, contained in the opening of the seventh seal. Trumpets speak of warning judgments. These judgments are designed to get the attention and obedience, of the ungodly earthly people, to the will of the God of Heaven (chapter 8:3-5 says “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth:…”), but then as is now warnings often fail to bring about repentance (chapter 9:20-21 informs us: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”). But, on the other hand this chapter also tells the Godly, who may be sojourning on earth but their home is in heaven, that they will ultimately be victorious over the control of sin affecting their lives (In Matthew 22:14 Jesus tells us this: “For many are called, but few are chosen”).
Just as the plagues of Egypt (Exodus chapters 7-12) was a warning to the Pharaoh to let God’s people go, the trumpet warnings of Revelation chapters 8-15 are a warning to the ungodly of the earth to let God’s people along (Hebrews 10:31 warns: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”). So, we might say; the plagues of Egypt are being recalled.
Verses 1-2 show us what happened when the seventh seal was opened; there was a silence in heaven. This silence is to be considered as a sort of a drum roll calling attention to and announcing God’s judgments and actions (verdict) against the oppressors of His people. We see seven angels standing before God (ready) and they were given seven trumpets to sound the alarm to the oppressors, but will the oppressors listen?
Then in verses 3-5 we see yet another angel standing at the altar of incense. This angel had incense to offer along with the prayers of the saints (Revelation 6:9-11 & Luke 1:10). The angel then filled the censer with fire from the altar and cast it upon the earth; the message from God is clear: Hurt my people and you will suffer the consequences!
Now, in verses 6-12, we hear the first four trumpets sound God’s warning to the oppressors. The first warned of the earth and earth life being affected. The second warned of water and water life being affected even commerce. The third warned of the water of the earth being bitter and unusable. The fourth warned of heavenly bodies being inflicted—this is common customary prophetic speech describing the Almighty’s attack on the ungodly sinners of this earth, no more and no less.
John then sees (v 13) and hears another angel with a message from heaven to earth: that God is not yet done with His warning judgments; there are three more to come. This woeful (sad and grief stricken) message is addressed to the ungodly of this life as opposed to those who “dwell in heaven” (Revelation 12:11-12 & 13:6-7).
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