Part 019 – Breaking of the seventh seal

The Book of REVELATION

A Study

Part 019

Breaking of the seventh seal – Revelation 8:1, 2

The seals, trumpets & vials

All the judgments ― all of the judgments of the 7-year Tribulation Period ― having to do with the  redemption of the inheritance are contained in the seven sealed scroll. The seven trumpets and the seven vials are introduced later in the book (Chapters 8-10, 11b, 15 and 16). But these are not judgments in addition to those seen when the seals were broken. They are further descriptions of the same judgments, providing more information and detail. As we have seen earlier, the breaking of the first seal portrays the appearance of the antichrist as a man of peace and this man will achieve worldwide dominion through subtle means. For three and one-half years this man will continue his conquest in this manner, until the day arrives when he will achieve worldwide dominion, and then his true colors are seen through the breaking of the second, third and fourth seals depicting war, famine and death respectively.

The end result of these judgments

The end result of the judgments revealed through the breaking of the second, third and fourth seals is shown by the breaking of the sixth seal ― the complete breakdown, disarray and collapse of the earth’s government under Satan, his angels, and the nations (Rev.6:12-17). The judgments revealed through the breaking of the second, third and fourth seals are further described with more information and details by the judgments seen when the seven trumpets are blown and the seven vials are poured out. Finally, when the seventh vial is poured out, we see a clearer picture of what we saw at the breaking of the sixth seal ― the complete breakdown, disarray and collapse of the earth’s government under Satan, his angels, and the nations (Rev.16:17-21). The same end seen at the breaking of the sixth seal is also seen with more details at the pouring of the seventh vial. And this is the same end referred to in the same way (also providing additional information) in the Olivet Discourse accounts of all three synoptic gospels (Matt.24:29, 30; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-27).

The goal

That seen when the sixth seal is broken not only provides further information and commentary for that seen when the first four seals were broken but is brought to its full end when the seventh seal is broken ― the seven trumpets and the seven vials emanating from the seventh seal bring the matter to a conclusion. And everything moves toward a three-fold goal:

1)      Bringing Israel to the place of repentance through these judgments

2)      Bringing Gentile world power to naught through these judgments

3)      Bringing about the redemption of the inheritance through these judgments, after which, the bride is seen as Christ’s wife (Rev.19:7-9)

Silence in heaven

When the seventh seal is broken, there is silence in heaven for “the space of half an hour.” The various judgments which God has deemed necessary to complete the redemption of the inheritance are now seen. And apparently there is such awe over the whole matter ― not only because of the severity of the judgments but because of the things which will consequently be brought to pass ― that no one utters a word.

Voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake [a shaking]

Please note here, the various occasions in which “voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake [a shaking]” are occurring. After all the seven seals are broken, prior to the sounding of the trumpets, another angel with a golden censor offers incense on the golden altar before God’s throne and then fills the censor with fire from the altar and casts it upon the earth. Then there were “voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake [a shaking]” (Rev.8:3-5). “Lightnings, thundering, and voices” were also seen in connections with God’s throne, immediately before the introduction of the seven-sealed scroll (Rev.4:5). Then “lightnings, and voices, and thundering, and an earthquake [a shaking], and great hail” are also seen in connection with both the blowing of the seventh trumpet (Rev.11:15-19) and the pouring of the seventh vial (Rev.16:17-21). All these “voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake [a shaking]” are seen in connection with God’s throne and judgments which ensue when the seals of the seven-sealed scroll are broken ― we see it when the scroll is introduced, and this is continued when the seventh seal is broken and also when the judgments are concluded (Rev.4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18).