The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
9. Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." (8: 1).
The first six verses plainly tell us what is contained in the seventh seal and what happens at that time. In verse one sudden silence is recorded to be in heaven for the space of half an hour. It seems that all heaven is taken by surprise with what is coming to pass at that time.
The Prophet Isaiah testifies that the heavenly hosts do praise the Lord without ceasing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts!" (6: 3). John records about the four living creatures who without ceasing give praise unto God by day and by night, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Rev. 4: 8).
At the opening of the seventh seal there is a sudden silence in heaven - a great surprise for the heavenly hosts who just keep silent for the space of half an hour. This happens at the moment when the mercy seat changes into the judgement seat and the indignation will be completed. For all heaven, the completion of God's counsel is a great surprise.
As with the previous seals the text belonging to them had to be read and taken into consideration, so also it must be with the last seal. Beginning with verse 2 we are actually told about what the seventh seal contains and what takes place at that time:
"And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it upon the earth; and there were voices, and thunderclaps, and lightnings, and an earthquake." (8: 2-5).
The description very plainly shows that Israel is in connection with what happens at that time. During the space of the New Testament Church Jesus Christ is the Mediator and also our Advocate before the throne upon which He placed His own Blood as the High Priest (Heb. 9: 11-14). After the Bride Church is ready and taken up, His ministry as High Priest ends. Those who found grace before God will then see Him in Whom they have believed. After the taking away, God deals with Israel. The prayers of those from the twelve tribes are not being received by Jesus Christ as the Mediator to be brought before the Throne of grace. At that time, as the Bridegroom, He is having the Wedding Supper with His Bride in Glory. Here we are dealing with the prayers of those who are sealed, and these prayers are taken up by an angel as a well-smelling incense and are brought upon the golden altar.
After the seven angels who stand before God received the seven trumpets, the final prayers of the Jews are gathered in the golden censer and poured upon the golden altar. After the last prayer has reached there, the throne of mercy changes into the throne of judgement and the wrath of God breaks forth. This is shown by the fiery coals which are thrown upon the earth. At that moment God does not want to be worshipped. He cannot receive worship and praise, and at the same time He pours out His wrath and terrible indignation upon the earth. Therefore the silence in heaven.
After the golden censers have served their part, they will be filled with fiery coals from the altar which are thrown upon the earth to signify that the wrath of God has broken loose and comes upon the earth. "And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound." (8: 6). Then the work of grace with the nations and with Israel is completed.
Of all the seals, the seventh is most clearly described, not containing any mysterious symbols as the others. There is no revelation needed to understand the seventh seal. The contents pertaining to it are very clear and sufficient. After the throne of grace turns into the throne of judgement, the seven angels begin to blow their trumpets. Thus it is clearly said in the seventh seal. We must remember, that the trumpet judgements can only commence after the sealing of the 144,000 has taken place (chapter 7).
"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were cast upon the earth; and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
And the second angel sounded, and, as it were, a great mountain burning with fire was cast unto the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood;
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as though it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.
And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, so that the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise."
The first four destructive trumpet judgements are directed and poured out upon nature. They are plainly described. After the first four angels blew their trumpets, John records, "And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!" (8: 13).