|Getting the Seven Trumpets Ready,
Revelation Chapter 8
Verses 1-6 (NASB)
And when He broke the seventh seal,
This is the final seal on the scroll. When it is loosened, heaven can
begin to see inside and the scroll starts to unfurl. Let's take time
here to review
the seven seals as they give a hint of the scroll contents.
there was SILENCE IN HEAVEN for about half an
Silence is NOT a normal state in heaven. When you read the previous
you are struck
by all the praising, worshiping, and singing taking
in heaven. To have silence is unusual.
There are two views as to what causes the silence.
It is difficult to say from these two views, that either is the sole
cause of the silence. Since God is all knowing (hearing), it seems a
little restricting for Him to have silence to hear the prayers Himself.
Rather, it may be for
the benefit of the angels and saints already present.
- What heaven sees inside the scroll is so awful, it
- God wishes to listen to the prayers of the saints (Revelation
8:3) that He silences the heavens in order to hear them.
As an aside observation, it is typical of the Revelation to have
everything explained in precision. That is, the silence is for about
half an hour ('not
about an hour' or 'some period of time'). This would indicate that what
with the trumpets is NOT symbolic but EXACTLY what will happen to the
The 'thirds' which follow in the rest of this chapter are accurate. If
were symbolic, then they would be 'some' and 'lots' of whatever are
or destroyed, and the precision of time is not needed in this verse.
is because time is of consequence to earthly things or more precisely,
to the rotation of the earth on its axis; God has no time restrictions!
And I saw the seven angels who stand before
Again, John is very precise when he uses 'the seven angels'; these
seven angels are 'presence angels' and most likely are the same as the
archangels. We know of two of them in our scriptures, while Jewish
writings indicate the
remaining five as shown in the following table.
Offering up of the prayers
of the saints
thought is connected with archangels.
and seven trumpets were given to them.
In Israel, the trumpet warned of danger. In
, it warns of the last days. See also Numbers
10:1-10 and Joel
Before every woe, a warning is given by an angel blowing
trumpet was unique and contained its own warning upon a specific part
the physical universe.
Trumpets also are associated with revelation
the Law (Exodus
19:16-20) and the prophesy (Amos
3:6-7). Jericho prevented Israel from taking the Promised
); so, too, the evil one prevents or tries to prevent Christ from
His true inheritance. This is associated with seal seven. Satan uses
Gentile nations to hold on to this earth and to fight the Jews, God's
14:1-4 and Luke
WILL OVERCOME! Isaiah
, and Zechariah
And another angel came and stood at the
ALTAR, holding a
Bible scholars are divided as to who this ANGEL is. Some believe that
he may be Christ Himself; others believe he is just another ministering
angel. There are several passages in the Bible which may lead one to
believe that Christ visited the earth as a messenger angel.
Hagar, Sarai's maid, sees an 'angel of the Lord' in
Genesis 16:9-13, and ends up referring to the angel as "Thou
God who sees".
The initial encounter of Gideon was with the angel of
Judges 6:11-18. Later, 'the Lord' said He would be with
The background to Samson's birth announcement in
Judges 13:2-20, Manoah's wife saw the angel of the Lord who
her the message
her new baby to be a Nazirite. When Manoah entreated the Lord if this
he went through a most fascinating dialogue. The angel of the Lord said
name was incomprehensible (usually an attribute of Christ's name).
the 'angel of the Lord' ascended out of Manoah and his wife's sight in
smoke of the ALTAR they had built. This is curiously parallel to the
standing at the alter in this verse.
The high priest, alone, carried the censer, fire pan
a sin offering for himself, Leviticus
This mediating role is Christ's alone between God and
describes in 1
Interestingly, there never has been a reference to
appearing back on earth as an angel after His ascension. However, Paul
indicates in Hebrews
13:1-6 that we may have
entertained angels without knowing it. Was Christ one of
and much incense was given to him,
The incense for the altar of incense (Exodus
30:1-6) was made of 4 spices: stacte, onycha, galbanum, and
30:34-38). Some scholars equate this to the four offices of
Son of Man, and Son of God. See Revelation 4:7.
Thus, the much incense may be the prayers of Jesus Christ Himself
that he might add it to the PRAYERS of ALL
ALTAR which was before the THRONE.
These prayers most likely are ones for revenge like those of the
martyrs under the altar (Revelation
and the "cursive" psalms: Psalm
83:13-18, and Psalm
109:6-20. This type of prayer really does not have a place
but now with the seventh seal opened, it time for vengeance.
Incense also is very closely tied to Christ's name.
Malachi 1:6-14, rebukes defiled offerings and the priests who
permit them. He
that incense is offered to the greatness of His name.
As an observation, even the prayers coming from us are tainted with
sin curse. But the mixing of the much incense, Christ's prayers, covers
terrible sin curse odors with the sweet smelling fragrance of Christ's
This parallels the blood of Christ making us spotless such that we can
presented before God, Revelation
And the smoke of the incense,
This smoke is coming from the censer, and apparently the angel has
moved closer to God, inasmuch, the smoke is going up before God. Also
this is that heaven and the THRONE must be within the atmosphere.
Incense cannot burn without oxygen (or atmosphere). Symbolists would
argue otherwise. However, John is writing what he saw (Revelation 1:11).
with THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS went up before
God out of
These are prayers of those who
have accepted or
accepting Christ as Savior
. Christ (Mark
11:22-25) changes them into SAINT'S PRAYERS as they are
It is not unusual for prayers to be thought of as
same analogy in Psalm
Also, it is significant that the prayers ascended out of the angel's
hand. The hand is the "working element" of a Christian.
Other than eating, the HAND of the angel was doing similar to what
believer's hands should be doing.
And the ANGEL took the censer;
This is the censer that has the prayers of the saints purified and
filtered by the "much incense"
and he filled it with the FIRE of the ALTAR,
It is not clear if there is only one altar in heaven, the incense
altar. There is no need for a "sacrifices" alter because the supreme
already taken place, Hebrews
. This altar is probably the one where the souls are seeking vengeance
. This implies the FIRE symbolizes God in His holy and pure judgmental
We are about to see another side of a loving and caring God.
and threw it to the earth.
for some thoughts
heaven is. The lull in heaven in
verse 1 when the seventh seal was opened may also have been
earth. If so,
that lull is over!
and there followed
This is much like God's visit to Mt. Sinai in
. This is the tribulation saints vindication. Compare the consequences
, and 2
. Note, too, there is no indication that there is any rain. This
fire continues on for some time, perhaps for the duration of the seven
- peals of thunder and
- sounds and
- flashes of lightning and
- an earthquake.
And the seven angels who had the seven
themselves to sound them.
The sequencing of the seals, trumpets, and bowls are not necessarily
chronological, and neither totally parallel. The trumpets overlap or
are contained within the seventh seal. Likewise the seven bowls (the
Revelation 11:14) overlap or are contained in the seventh
Yet with God being beyond the constraints of time, John,
or constrained, probably had no other way of describing these
occurrences. One thing is certain, at the seventh bowl, the
proclamation is given, "It is done.", Revelation
16:17. The vengeance, as horrible as it is, has been
A few more words about trumpets. They have been used as "futures"
signals in Isaiah
, and 1
. Look for a balance between the literal and symbolic meanings given by
trumpets. Also watch for parallels to the Egyptian plagues in Exodus.
from the NEW
AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The
Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1977, 1995 Used by permission."
References to the Revelation of Jesus
Christ are in bold italics. All
other references are in bold