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The Study of Revelation, Part 153

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    Revelation Chapter 8

    The Seventh Seal

    VERSE 1 continuedWhen He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

    As it is explained in the Southern Wisconsin notes.

    “We had a great deal of discussion about what the opening of the seventh seal represented. There have been many different interpretations placed on these verses by others and even us from time to time. As far as locating this seal time-wise, our study group felt that it was basically at the same time as the seventh church, and the seventh trumpet. It may be that the opening of each seal prepares the way for each corresponding trumpet, but the two events should begin at about the same time.

    One thing for sure about this being the seventh seal, is that seven represents completeness. For that reason, we think that the opening of this seal at the very least implies a full revealing of God’s plan of salvation. This was the mystery of God that was to be revealed in the days of the Seventh Messenger or as we know it the Divine Plan. Christ has gradually through the Gospel age unsealed one seal at a time and now we are able to see what had been hidden from the foundations of the world.

    Because we were shown the truth about what God has been doing salvation wise, that new light contrasted and revealed as tares those of the false church, who had claimed to be representing God, and who are now seen not to have been representing him at all, but rather they are offspring or sons of the evil one. So, it appears that the opening of this seal also revealed a considerable amount of information about the judgment of the tare system that was due at that time (1878).

    To confirm the theme of judgment our study group decided to look at the seventh church, and the seventh trumpet for a common theme that would help us to determine if we were correct. We noticed that the message to the seventh church had the theme of Judgment in it, in that they were told that they were wretched, miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. They were told that they could get out of this condition, but only if they would buy from the Lord gold refined by fire, and white garments, but if not, they would be spewed out implying judgment.

    They also had to hear the Lord knocking at the door, and open it in order to have him come in to them (be made aware of the second presence). Remember that the wheat and the tares were to grow together throughout the gospel age, but in the end of the age they were to be separated one from the other. This situation is described in the parable of the drag net, where all the good and the bad fish are pulled ashore. The bad fish are then cast back and only the good were kept.

    Judgment in the Seventh Trumpet

    The seventh trumpet also tells us that it was time for the dead to be judged, to give the reward to the bond-servants of our Lord, and to destroy those who destroy the earth. Looking at the above the study group saw that judgment was also a common theme of the seventh church, the seventh trumpet. That those were pointing to judgment seems to confirm the seventh seal as containing judgment also.

    In regard to the space of a half an hour, we had some difficulty in coming up with a convincing explanation for what the space of a half an hour was. InHarvest Gleanings”, we did find an interesting interpretation of the half-hour.

    If we take 360 and divide it by 24, we get 15, and one half of that would be 7.5 or in other words 7.5 years is what would be about a half an hour. In the beginning of the harvest parallels, of both the Jewish and the gospel age, we find a seven-year period, (A.D. 29-36, and A.D. 1874-1881).

    Since the time that we first had the study on this topic, we have heard a very convincing argument on the use of the term hour, which has shown us that the term hour as used in the scriptures may not always be pointing to a fixed time period. We are not sure if that is the solution in this verse, but we have decided to add it to the discussion of the term “half an hour”. This is not a sure or finished idea, but we are including it so that starting from that basic idea we have been able to suggest some possibilities below regarding the term “about half an hour”.

    If we were to go through all of the uses of the word hour in the scriptures, we would see that they refer to a general span of time. The term is used in regard to a time of trial or testing in several other places, especially here in Revelation. The use of the term hour supports the idea that we have previously stated, in that we think this is referring to a time of testing or judgment. Here are some examples of testing or judgment, in regard to the term hour.

    "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that {hour} which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev 3:10 NAU)

    And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.” (Rev 9:15 NAU)

    “…and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." (Rev 14:7 NAU)

    “…standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, "Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' (Rev 18:10 NAU)

    Continued with next post.

    About Author

    Harvest 1874
    I am and have been a Bible Student now for over 30 years ever since the day the Lord so graciously called me out of darkness into his marvelous light. To Him be the honor and glory forever. Everyday I thank Him for the privilege of working in His "vineyard".


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