7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, 2 Witnesses and a Little Book

“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. [3.5 years] And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. [approx. 3.5 years] Revelation 11:1-3 NKJV

Revelations is packed with rich symbols, like Ezekiel and Daniel. Many of these symbols would have been understood instantly and differently than we look at them, back in the days when John wrote it. I suppose it would be prudent to return to the language the scroll was written in to really grasp some of these things – like “a book” since books did not exist back then. Then after understanding the terminology, cross reference everywhere else in the Bible and other Jewish texts where those symbols show up and the various meaning and patterns of activities associated with those symbols. For example where else did we see the measuring of the temple and why was it being measured? Then here, why does the measuring of the temple apply to measuring time? This combined 7 years is formally known as Jacob’s sorrow.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of the Revelations of Jesus Christ (also called Revelations or Revelation), chapters 6 through 11 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  This is the part where people get nervous – what do the symbols mean in this section? The overall tone is of God’s judgment, doom, and perilous times.

Since, the churches were judged in the last section we read, and never mentioned again – many believe that these events occur after the rapture of the church. The gentiles seem to prosper under their one world government and antichrist leadership for the first half – then the 2 witnesses come and prophesy and some believe the angels will even manifest to help bear witness and lead people to salvation in these times.

A misconception is the premise of the “Left Behind” book series. Although I read them, and they were riveting, they did not have strong scripture basis.  For example – the time for the gentile’s salvation ends and their grace runs out with 3.5 years of being overrun, then the Jews have the grace to repent under the witnesses.  So those who think “I’ll get my act together AFTER the rapture, and I will be a strong witness for God at that point” have bought a lie. Because if you cannot be strong for God NOW, there is no way you can do it without the grace we depend so greatly on. And who will you be a witness to? As the grace to the gentile will be over. And do you think you can reach a Jew? Haven’t we learned they are too stiff necked for that!! Get your life right with God now, and stop that nonsense.  He has 5 churches full of nonsense, you are not called to be in the “many”. You are called to be separate. You are called to be in the faithful church or the persecuted church. And His grace shall complete you.

The rapture is NOT in the book of Revelations, and the seven seals and the seven trumpets are two different descriptions of the tribulation – which is further elaborated by Jesus in the Gospels when the disciple ask about the end of days as well as in other books of prophesy.

If you think the rapture will happen pretribulation, I am right there with you. There is solid biblical evidence of that being the case, but I am not going to make that argument for you – you need to answer that for yourself. Sometimes I think I only believe that because of wishful thinking. My mother raised me to believe the rapture will come mid-tribulation. And there are plenty of verses to support that as well. AND I am a FIRM believer we should ALL be prepared for that! Yes. Be prepared for the worse and hope for the best. I only know of one person who believes post tribulation. And I know of one who sees it as meaning the evil get removed, not the righteous.  That is a whole lot of people’s thoughts and not a lot of scripture in these sentences above in this paragraph! It is important to note that. Then since this blog is BIBLE based – not prophesy based. Let us stick with the scriptures even if we do not fully understand. 

We know, I hope – at this point in our journey together, that God opens eyes and ears and understanding – That God provides revelation. Not me. Not you, discovering it on your own. No. That, my friends is the entire point of this book! It is the revelation of Jesus! Not the revelation of the end times, and not the revelation of the judgements of God.  This book is about getting to know Jesus… so in each and every symbol looks for the “red thread”. Like the tree in the garden of Eden, to the burning bush and Moses’s staff, to the tree with each of the judges, to the branch carved into a sling in the story of David, to the carpenter’s son who hung on the tree as the Lamb sacrificed for our sins…. Follow the symbols. Follow looking for Jesus. DO NOT look for reading into and maybe possibly something or another. This book is called the Revelation of Jesus and if we seek Him first everything else comes together. If 2020, and this year, have taught you anything – especially as we read Jeremiah’s prophesies and saw them come to pass literally. We will know these thing, when they happen. And it will be more literal than we could have ever imagined.

There is a strong delusion in the last days – Jesus said. And so even the obvious literal fulfillment of these things have people blind to it. God’s ways are not our ways.

This is why we must focus on God, on learning to dwell safely in the secret place – inside and under his wing. Looking up and praying for Jesus to come again. Setting our affections on things above. We may believe it is a far ways off… none the less, come Lord Jesus Come.
Just like we are instructed to pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem even as we read the prophecy that there will not be peace. We pray none the less, as we are instructed. Even as Israel poisons its people with the shot and experiments on them like the Holocaust hasn’t ended.  Even as they put in place travel bans essentially trapping God’s people in a huge concentration camp they can call their own nation! Why are the eyes of the world blind to the injustice and gross human rights violation?!

If you are in Israel – get into the secret place with God! Get there quickly and stay there – it is your only chance. And quite honestly, all of us should do the same. It is in that secret place that God will protect us and keep us.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse – this one will give you peace that passes understanding as the world around us spins out of control we know our sovereign God still has a plan! We may not be able to comprehend, but hang in there His way is better!!   

Isaiah 55:8

NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
NLT – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
ESV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
KJV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
NKJV – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
NAS – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
AMP – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Revelations 6-11 NKJV

First Seal: The Conqueror

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the [a]seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Second Seal: Conflict on Earth

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come [b]and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales[c] in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A [d]quart of wheat for a [e]denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And [f]power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances

12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and [g]behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the [h]moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky [i]receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, [j]the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

The Sealed of Israel

After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were [k]sealed;
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

A Multitude from the Great Tribulation

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

14 And I said to him, [l]“Sir, you know.”

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to [m]living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Seventh Seal: Prelude to the Seven Trumpets

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.

So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

First Trumpet: Vegetation Struck

The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the [n]earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck

Then the second angel sounded: And 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 living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck

10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck

12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day [o]did not shine, and likewise the night.

13 And I looked, and I heard an [p]angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Fifth Trumpet: The Locusts from the Bottomless Pit

Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the [q]bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And [r]they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is [s]Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name [t]Apollyon.

12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Sixth Trumpet: The Angels from the Euphrates

13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For [u]their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their [v]sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The Mighty Angel with the Little Book

10 I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders [w]uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying [x]to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”

The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his [y]hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.

John Eats the Little Book

Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.”

So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.”

And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”

10 Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 And [z]he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”

The Two Witnesses

11 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. [aa]And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. [3.5 years] And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. [approx. 3.5 years]”

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the [ab]God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.

The Witnesses Killed

When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also [ac]our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations [ad]will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

The Witnesses Resurrected

11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And [ae]they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Proclaimed

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The [af]kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was [ag]and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
18 The nations were angry, and Your [ah]wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of [ai]His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Footnotes

  1. Revelation 6:1 NU, M seven seals
  2. Revelation 6:3 NU, M omit and see
  3. Revelation 6:5 balances
  4. Revelation 6:6 Gr. choinix, about 1 quart
  5. Revelation 6:6 About 1 day’s wage for a worker
  6. Revelation 6:8 authority
  7. Revelation 6:12 NU, M omit behold
  8. Revelation 6:12 NU, M whole moon
  9. Revelation 6:14 Or split apart
  10. Revelation 6:15 NU, M the commanders, the rich men,
  11. Revelation 7:5 NU, M omit sealed in vv. 5b–8b.
  12. Revelation 7:14 NU, M My lord
  13. Revelation 7:17 NU, M fountains of the waters of life
  14. Revelation 8:7 NU, M add and a third of the earth was burned up
  15. Revelation 8:12 had no light
  16. Revelation 8:13 NU, M eagle
  17. Revelation 9:1 Lit. shaft of the abyss
  18. Revelation 9:5 The locusts
  19. Revelation 9:11 Lit. Destruction
  20. Revelation 9:11 Lit. Destroyer
  21. Revelation 9:19 NU, M the power of the horses
  22. Revelation 9:21 NU, M drugs
  23. Revelation 10:4 NU, M sounded,
  24. Revelation 10:4 NU, M omit to me
  25. Revelation 10:5 NU, M right hand
  26. Revelation 10:11 NU, M they
  27. Revelation 11:1 NU, M omit And the angel stood
  28. Revelation 11:4 NU, M Lord
  29. Revelation 11:8 NU, M their
  30. Revelation 11:9 NU, M see . . . and will not allow
  31. Revelation 11:12 M I
  32. Revelation 11:15 NU, M kingdom . . . has become the kingdom
  33. Revelation 11:17 NU, M omit and who is to come
  34. Revelation 11:18 anger
  35. Revelation 11:19 M the covenant of the Lord

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