Revelation Chapter 8
VERSE 5 “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thundering’s, lightning’s, and an earthquake.”
NOTE: Here brethren take two views of things. Many apply Verse 5 to the Jewish Harvest; some apply it to the Gospel Harvest. We will give BOTH views here. This scribe prefers the second option for reasons which will be explained.
If this verse applies to the Jewish Harvest, its message is basically this: Once Jesus offers his sacrifice on behalf of his Church, he re-directs the use of the rights He has purchased as symbolized in the censer and coals. He goes into the court (probably representing the Jewish nation) and casts down burning judgments against the people. His new message of the Gospel Age causes controversies, claims, blinding flashes of truth, and a revolution. Then, Verse 6, the development of the Gospel Age Church, begins.
The weakness of this view (although it certainly has enough merit to be a viable interpretation) is that the events of Verse 5 seem TO DUPLICATE in essence the events of the First Trumpet (Verse 7.) WHY should the first Trumpet events be mentioned before Verse 6 says the trumpeters begin to sound?
If this verse applies to the Gospel Harvest, its message is basically this: Jesus’ rights gained from his sacrifice are first used for the development of his Church (Verse 4). The message to the church will be heard on a wider scale because the messengers are given Trumpets (Verse 2.) However, the Trumpets will not be acknowledged by society, requiring that Jesus, AT THE END OF THE AGE, re-direct the authority he had due to His sacrifice. He uses His powers of judgment in the court (representing nominal Christianity) by sending destructive elements resulting in controversies, claims, blinding flashes of truth, and revolution.
Having shown the TWO WAYS he was going to use what he gained from his sacrifice (the reason for the parenthesis or interlude, i.e., Verses 3-5), Jesus now has John return to the subject at hand, the seven angels with Trumpets —the very subject which was introduced in Verse 2 and is now being returned to so that the narrative of the Trumpets can proceed.
This option does away with the problem inherent in Option One. It has, as mentioned, its precedent set in Chapter 12, Verses 6 and 14. It also sets the stage for the Seven Plagues because it shows that the Seven Trumpets WILL NOT CONVERT the world NOR destroy the old order; something else will be necessary. It also has as a corroboration (Ezek 10:2) which speaks of the coals which would be heaped on Babylon during the Gospel Age Harvest. It is not unlikely that 8:5 is the same prophecy as Ezekiel’s in slightly different terms.
This option also has a nice parallelism to the Introduction to the Seven Seals (Chapters 4 and 5). In THAT introduction also, the RESULTS of the age of seal-openings are shown (Rev 4:9-11 and 5:11-14)
VERSE 6 “So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”
Verse 6 picks up where Verse 2 ended. Verses 3 through 5 are parenthetical to teach us the lessons outlined above. Verse 6 should be read as an extension of verse 2.
Reading verse 2 and then verse 6 without anything intervening makes perfect sense. We DO NEED the intervening information, however, and are glad for it. The precedent for this form was established in Rev 12:6 and 14. Between 6 and 14 details are given; but 14 brings us back to where we were so that the story can be continued with more detail. In Rev 14:8 and 13 we have another example of this kind of construction, although not nearly so obvious. Verse 13 RELIES on jumping back to Verse 8 in order to establish a date for the word “henceforth.” Thus we know the contemporaneous nature of 14:8 and 14:13. But the intervening verses GO PAST THAT DATE.
THAT seems to be the nature of Rev 8:2-6
THE SEVEN ANGELS WHO HAD THE SEVEN TRUMPETS PREPARED THEMSELVES TO SOUND: Each in his own order and time as is manifest in the following multi-chapter narrative.
In our next post we will take a look at this from the perspective give in The Keys of Revelation
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