Friday, March 22, 2013

The Temple Doors Will Be Opened

F)     Six Trumpets And Six Bowls of wrath


The purpose of interlacing the trumpet blasts, 8:7–11:19, with the bowls of wrath, 16:2–16:21, as has been done here, is to show the great similarities between them, and to reinforce the idea that to understand The Revelation properly, it must be rearranged.

   We are here looking at the introduction to the trumpets and the bowls, we are not studying the actual trumpets and bowls; that comes later.

Seven Angels With Seven Trumpets


And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
8:2+6 

  These are trumpets that herald upcoming events, these are not speaking trumpets, as was specifically stated about the earlier trumpets.  For more on this see: https://ikefehr1939.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-trumpet-speaks.html

   At this point, John introduces us to seven angels, but before this series is passed, we will have met seven other angels, who are not included among these seven.  Then, in chapter 15, this first group of seven angels, is mentioned again, and they are said to be bearing the seven plagues.  

   It seems as if the trumpets are the harbinger of the coming plagues, but the plagues are brought in the seven golden bowls.  In this study, the trumpets and the plagues are interwoven and studied together for a more comprehensive understanding of the issues involved.

   Mr Smith**, very conveniently, finds an incident in the history of the Middle East and Europe, which, according to him, denotes each specific trumpet blast. Mr Smith and The Signs (May 1998. p.25) gives an easy, but erroneous meaning to these seven judgments.  

According to him (in order of occurrence):

1. The first trumpet symbolizes the divine judgments that came upon Jerusalem and the Jewish nation when it set itself against Christ and his followers.
2.  The second trumpet symbolizes judgment upon the western Roman world.
3. The third trumpet referred to the professed church of Christ when it allowed itself to become defiled.  (As the Roman Catholic Church gained strength.)
4. The fourth trumpet referred to the ensuing darkness of the middle ages.
5. The fifth trumpet constituted the Mohammedan scourges that swept over the Middle East and into Europe.
6.  The sixth trumpet consisted of the scourges that continued under Turkish control.
7.  The seventh trumpet is not mentioned because it signifies the end of time.
         
This interpretation is wrong for several reasons:

1. This involves much more spiritualization than good Bible interpretation allows!

2. 1:1, 4:1 and 22:6 of The Revelation say that these things must shortly come to pass, but according to Mr Smith’s interpretation the first trumpet blast would have sounded before John even wrote it as prophecy.

3. The scourge of the fifth angel lasted five months but the disaster brought by the Mohammedan hordes lasted much longer.  (Although, Smith tries to clarify this by saying that 5 months equals 150 days, which, in prophecy, means 150 years).  There is no reason to accept 150 years as the actual number.  For example, Mohammedans did not invade Spain until 711 AD and the first of the crusades to drive the Turks out of Spain did not happen until 1085 AD.  This is 374 years later, not 150 years, as Mr Smith declares.

4. He says that The seventh is not mentioned because it signifies the end of time.  I agree that it heralds the end of time, but 11:15 distinctly says, Then the seventh angel sounded; the seventh trumpet is as specifically stated as the first six are.

Seven Bowls of Wrath

   Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete; 15:1 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”15:1+5-16:1


   In 15:1 John introduces the seven plagues, then in 15:2-4 he sees a scene which happens during the "Great Tribulation".  After that scene of the "Great Tribulation"  he goes back to the seven plagues in 15:5.

  Mr McGee* writes, Chapter 15, besides being the shortest chapter in Revelation, is the preface to the final series of judgments which come on the earth during the Great Tribulation.  Many Bible scholars agree that the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath is what constitutes "The Great Tribulation".  I agree with this, but I believe that the blowing of the seven trumpets and the pouring out of the seven bowls go hand in hand.

      When we first study the trumpet-blowing angels, we will notice that:
1) In 8:2 they are introduced,         
2) In 8:2 they were given the trumpets, 
3) In 8:6 they prepared to sound the trumpets.  

    We see the same sequence with the angels who have the bowls of wrath. 
1) In 15:1 they are introduced,
2) in 15:7 they were given the bowls of wrath and
3) in 16:1 they are told to Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath.  

   Then one of the living creatures (there are four, as we studied in ch. 4) from around the altar gave to each of the seven angels, one golden bowl. These seven bowls hold the wrath of God.  Contrary to natural events, when these "bad" things, the seven last plagues, happen on earth, they are not just acts of nature.  They are God's wrath, poured out upon the earth, in the form of severe ecological changes. 

  For generation upon generation humanity has ridiculed and blasphemed Jehovah; humanity has thumbed its nose at Jesus Christ whom Jehovah has appointed heir of all things.  Punishment for that kind of behavior is fair and just.  But even so, Jehovah does not bring an immediate end to humanity.  By sending the plagues He is trusting that some, in their misery, will repent and turn to Him for forgiveness.  Will these plagues have the desired effect?

   Now, for the first time, the writer tells us how these angels are dressed.  They were wearing pure white linen with a golden sash around their chests.  Perhaps we ought to rid our minds of the idea that angels are only ethereal, almost non-real.  They do wear linen, they talk and they perform physical duties.

   Even though the temple door was open, no man was able to enter into the temple, because it was filled with smoke; The smoke from Gods glory and from his power. 15:8.  However, later in history, 11:19, at the rapture of the Church, the temple will be opened again and then God's children will be able to enter the temple; but that cannot happen until Jehovah's wrath is satiated.  That will happen after the seven bowls of wrath have been poured out.

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** A Commentary on Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, Seventh Day Adventist.
      * Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.


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