Revelation Chapters 8 & 9-September 24, 2014

Background

The cycle of the seven seals teach something about the persecution. Although the cycle of the seven seals showed that evil was self-destructive even while imposing its will on God’s people, the cycle of the seven trumpets shows that nature itself is also involved in judgement. Since God is the One who controls the natural order such as described there indicates that God is an active participant this judgement. When evil is unleashed and uncontrolled the natural order can turn from its role of defender and sustainer of life to a destructive force. This happens because God can and does intervene in the continuing process of nature and history.

At the beginning of Chapter 8 there is the opening of the seventh seal and then there is a 30 minute pause in heaven. A long silence, some have said this may have been written this way to emphasize what was to come next. Occasionally there would have been a long pause before a battle, or the time of silence that existed before creation. There is no final answer but perhaps some part of all of these suggestions.

Seven Trumpets (Chapters 8-11)

The judgements that follow the first four trumpets are elemental forces of nature directed at the cosmos and which affect humanity but only indirectly.

This time of natural disasters or things that do not seem to make natural sense are the things even those who are not religious would probably notice.

The last three are demonic forces which affect humanity directly

Chapter 9

Trumpet 5- The beginning of this chapter John of Patmos describes seeing a star that was falling and that this star had a key to a bottomless pit.

This “fallen star” unleashed locusts, which have long been a symbol of hard times or invading armies; example, Joel chapter 1 & 2

These locusts have different features most notably human heads, evil has no entrance into the world except through human agency.

They will be unleashed for 5 months, also about the average span of time that would naturally occur in that region.

The king over the locusts is the angel of the bottomless pit. Hebrew name Abaddon, the destroyer, Greek Apollyon, who will attack those who have been oppressing the Christians for 5 months.

Trumpet 6-the unleashing of the 200 million horsemen to reign down fire and brimstone, this is a heightening to the vision and the things that are happening are getting worse.

Evil is self-destructive, but God also is involved in the judgement. The people of God suffer, but God will not allow them to be ultimately or finally defeated. Their witness is important to the final triumph of God’s will.

 

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