Revelation chapter 8 begins by telling us of Jesus opening the last of the seven seals. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ contains details about the events that will happen at the end of the world. Many of the details are symbolic in nature. But the greatest blessings that are hidden in the book of Revelation will not be found in the factorial bits of information about the future; but rather in the spiritual truths that are given in the promises of God, and that are taught through the symbolisms and through the lessons learned in the events that will occur.
In the previous chapters of Revelation details were given concerning the first six of the seven seals in the book that could only be opened by Jesus Christ. Evidently these seals are symbolic of Gods sovereignty because the events that take place upon the earth at the beginning and until the end of the great tribulation will only occur when the Christ opens the seals. And concerning the book with the seven seals Revelation 5:3 says, And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. No man indeed, except Jesus Christ. And what is the reason that Jesus alone can open the book and the seals therein? Because Christ is God. Jesus is one who is without sin and Holy. Jesus is the one who has perfectly fulfilled the law and died for the sins of the world.
And it is indeed one of the great spiritual lessons that should be learned and that we should be reminded of when we read the book of Revelation and when we seek to live by faith in this world so corrupted by sin and so often filled with disappointments, failures, persecutions, and death. This is why God promised us in Romans , And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
The Bible says in Revelation chapter 8:1, And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. When the first 6 seals are opened they bring forth, war, famine, disease and death to Ό part of the earth. When the fist 6 seals are opened; the sun will blacken and the moon will be as blood and the very stars of the heavens will fall unto the earth. And when the first six seals are opened they also bring forth a great and horrible persecution to the children of God, so much so; that many countless believers in Christ will die for their faith.
And the Bible says in Revelation 8:1, And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. Consider the great destruction and suffering that will be caused in the opening of the first 6 seals. Yet before the seventh seal is open there will be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. What is this silence symbolic of? Well, what do you think of when you think of heaven? Do you think of the sound of thousands of innocent and happy children laughing and playing, or the sound of Angels strumming harps of silver and gold? Or perhaps you can hear the sound of the saints singing and praising and thanking God for His great mercy and grace. Or perhaps you can imagine hearing the voice of the Father whisper, in a still small voice; I love you. Yet, when the seventh seal is opened there will be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. Perhaps this silence is like the calm before a storm. Perhaps this silence is likened unto when we give a moment of silence out of respect for those who have died at a memorial service. One truth is certain, this silence in heaven tells us just how serious and terrible indeed are the events that will soon take place upon the earth.
2000 years ago Jesus Christ came to this earth to die for the sins of the world. And when He walked that lonely path of shame and suffering He kept silent. The Bible says in Isaiah 53:7 says, He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet he opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not his mouth?
There is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak. Hebrews says, So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Jesus kept silence once but He will not keep silent the second time around. There is a judgment that is coming. There is the eternal judgment of the lake of fire for those who do not turn from their sins and turn to Jesus. And there is also the judgment for the corrupt nations of this world Psalms says, The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. This is one of the purposes of the great tribulation to judge the wicked nations of the world for their sins against God. We should know that this judgment will be terrible indeed, because Jesus said in Luke 21:26 that mens hears will fail them because of fear.
When we consider all of the horrible events that will fall upon the peoples of the earth, what great comfort and joy it is to know that God is love; that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all; That God knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation; and Just as Psalms 23:3 says, God will lead us in the paths of righteousness for His names sake. And Psalms 23:6 says, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Following God in this life in a close, personal, and holy way should be no great secret. Simply think about and believe the promises of God and remember that Jesus died for your sins so that you could be free from condemnation. And then even if you walk this earth during the time of the great tribulation; you will find that there are reasons to praise and thank God, and be comforted by the love and fellowship of His Spirit.
The Bible goes on to say in Revelation 8:2-4, And I saw the seven angels which 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 angels hand.
If you do not believe in the sovereignty of God then perhaps you should think again about what the Bible says in Romans 8:28, And we know that all thing work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. One of the greatest ways that the children of God will see the Holiness of God, His judgment and love, His mercy and grace, and His way of working all things to good: is through the experience of answered prayers. When you read the book of Revelation and consider all of the terrible things that will happen to some people in this life, it should help you to realize the importance of standing on the promises of God. Here in Revelation 8:2-4 there is one other important truth we are reminded of; it is the importance of the power of prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
The symbolism found here in verses 2-4 and the immediate events that occur remind us of how great and gracious God is indeed. Concerning prayer, In Revelation chapter 5:8 God describes the prayers of His children as, golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. If something is made of gold, then it is very valuable. The word odours has the idea of incense and perfume or something that is very pleasing. The prayers of Gods children are so precious to Him. He values them more than all the gold and money this world can hold.
Verse 3 tells us that the prayers of the saints are put upon the
altar. In the O.T. the altar was the place of sacrifice. It was at the altar
that the lamb was slain as a sin offering, a symbolism of the fact that Jesus
is the Lamb of God who died on the altar of
This is the symbolism of Revelation 8:3 when the prayers of the saints are placed on the altar. Faith pleases God. Our prayers to God are based on the blood of Jesus Christ and not on anything else. When you speak to God you can speak directly to Him, there is no other man that you must go through other than Jesus Christ the only Begotten Son of God. Hebrews says, let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
It is also very important to notice that verse 3 says, the prayers of all the saints. Here at the very end of the world, at very end of Gods plan and dealings with man in this temporary world: the prayers of all the saints are still before God. It has been about 6 thousand years since the Spirit of God first moved upon the face of the deep and since the love of God through His Spirit breathed breath into the life of Adam, the first man. But from the prayers of Adam, to the prayers of Moses, to the prayers, of Christ Himself when on this earth, and to the prayers of you and I; every prayer that has been prayed has risen up to the heavens like a sweet smelling burning incense to bring pleasure and joy to the Father because of the Son. These prayers do not past swiftly by the presence of God in His eternal glory, but they remain ever in His thoughts; being answered time and time again, because God loves His children and values their prayers.
One very great result of our prayers is given here in Revelation 8:5-6, And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. These 2 verses of Revelation 8 tell us of five things that come about, as a result of the prayers of the saints: voices, thunderings, lightnings, an earthquake and the sounding of trumpets. The voices and thunderings are most likely symbolic of the declaration of Gods truth to the world. Concerning the Word of God the Apostle Paul asked of the believers in II Thessalonians 3:1, Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you. The lightnings and earthquake are perhaps a literal lightning and earthquake, and are probably symbolic of the judgment of God to shortly come upon the earth. And the sounding of trumpets emphasizes the fact that something very important is about to take place. The sounding of the trumpets only occurs after the prayers of the saints have offered to God. The important events that occur after the sounding of the trumpets are the final events before the return of Christ.
How important is prayer? Well, the results of Gods final working in this world are partly because of the prayers of His children. What are the prayers that His children have prayed over the centuries? That the name of Jesus Christ might be magnified, that the will of God might be accomplished, that the lost people of the world might be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, that the wickedness of the world might be judged and sin destroyed forever, that Christ will return quickly to take His children from this corrupted world.
Human beings are social creatures. Yet, how much more so is the eternal God? Just how much God truly values our prayers; will never be understood by us. But you certainly should not doubt that God answers your prayers, because Jesus said in Luke 11:9, And I say unto you, Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find. God is more than able to answer your prayer, to break you free from the chains of sin and the power of the devil. Of all the things you will ever ask of God; to ask Jesus for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life is indeed the greatest prayer you could possibly request of Him. And He will answer you. How much more so is God capable of answering all of your lesser requests? How important is prayer? Without prayer, you do not have a relationship with God.
The Prophet Elias prayed and it rained not on the earth for 3 ½ years. The apostle Peter cried out to Jesus on the mists of the stormy sea and Jesus saved Him. What about the countless blind, maimed and diseased that cried out to Jesus and He healed them. Psalms 34:6 says, This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. With God all things are possible. Pray without ceasing the Bible says.
The next time that you would desire to see the mighty hand of God do a great work in your life, simply pray to God and He will show thee the power of His eternal Godhead. Perhaps you have never turned from your sins and turned to Jesus. Then you can do so right now. Pray to Jesus now and He will save you. Jeremiah 33:3 says, Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Copyright; 2003 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved