Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Coming Soon: Chapter 8, The Seventh Seal and First Five Trumpets…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 3, 2013

"Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle..." Romans 1:1

“Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle…” Romans 1:1

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Saturday, Week III, Morning Prayer: READING: Phil 2: 2-4, 14-16 (emphasis added)

Make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the ONE LOVE, united in Spirit and ideals.  Never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others’ interests rather than his own.

In everything you doact without grumbling or arguing; prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond reproach in the midst of a twisted and depraved generation – among whom you shine like the stars in the sky while holding fast to the Word of LIFE.

As I look to the Day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose.

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

RESPONSORY: I cry to You, O Lord, for You are my refuge!

Index of Terms

A quick Review…

"Seven Seals means this is a Covenant Document." Michael Barber

“Seven Seals means this is a Covenant Document.”      Michael Barber

We read at the beginning of Chapter 8 that the Seventh Seal is opened… If you recall back to Chapter 6, Part II, we had only covered the opening of the first 6 seals of the Covenant Scroll.  Let us do a quick review, shall we?

Rev 6:2

Rev 6:2

First Seal: Rider looks like the Son of Man, riding on a white horse, wearing a crown with a bow in his hand ready to go about conquering (Rev 6:2).  His purpose, to deceive and destroy, “…if anyone says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Mt 24: 23-24)

Rev 6:4

Rev 6:4

The Second Seal: War, a time of great chaos when men will “slay one another”, thanks to that first rider who can ‘divide and conquer’… gee, sound familiar, America?  “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Mt 24: 6-7a)

Rev 6:5

Rev 6:5

The Third Seal: Famine, “…and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs [more on this later].” (Mt. 24: 7b-8)

Rev 6:8

Rev 6:8

The Fourth Seal: Death… Well, duh!  If there’s war and famine and earthquakes there are bound to be casualties.  Yet let me recall the reader back to those passages in Leviticus…

Plagues and starvation (Lv 26:16), slavery and terror (Lv 26: 16-17), crop failures (Lv 26:20), sudden terror from wild animals (Lv 26:22), desolation in population (Ibid.), war (Lv 26:25) and pestilence in the large cities (Ibid.), when food is available it will NOT satisfy (Lv 26:26).”

To give further credence to the severity of the situation and the attention it does require so those who see it and experience it will understand.  And those who are part of the hard-hearts,

And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold.” (Mt 24:12) 

May this call you back in repentance so that you will not miss the opportunity to see God face to face.  For those who are called to endure, hope should increase and your prayers multiply, “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 24:13)

Rev 6:9

Rev 6:9

The Fifth Seal: The Saints and Their Blood – those who have faithfully borne witness to the Lamb and were killed for their love as well as those whose lives did not have a chance.

John learns that these saints must wait until ‘the full number’ of martyrs is killed, illustrating that God is holding back His judgment, which will eventually be poured out all at once [coming later in the bowls of Rev 16] .” (Barber, 99)

Rev 6:12-17

Rev 6:12-17

The Sixth Seal: The Wrath of the Lamb – God’s Justice cannot be avoided, cannot be removed.  His Justice calls out against the wickedness of mankind and the debase attitude of His degenerate children. (See Deut 32: 1-12; Saturday, Morning Prayer, Week II, Canticle)

And NO ONE will be able to escape His Justice…

Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb’” (Rev 6:15-16)

There will be no place to hide, nowhere to run, yet for God’s faithful people His Mercy will shine through because THEY will humble themselves before our Creator ACCEPTING the Justice that is upon the world.  While others will be destroyed, THE HUMBLE will be saved – again, not necessarily in bodily form, but most certainly in that the SOUL WILL LIVE.

If the reader were to STOP here and not read on, what would they expect the Seventh and final seal to bring forth?  Total destruction?  Complete annihilation of the wicked?  A total destruction of the earth?  None of the above.

Revelation 8:1 “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”  — NOT a literal amount of ‘time’

Here I’m going to have to quote an entire paragraph because it cannot be said any better than this.  We are embarking upon a very literal “Calm before the Storm”…

So what is this half-hour of silence?  The half-hour represents the Jewish rite of the offering of incense.  The next few verses describe the angels in heaven performing the same ritual that the Levitical priests carried out in the earthly temple.  Here at the seventh and final seal, we see the liturgy as the great climax. The liturgical prayer of God’s people is more earthshaking than ANY earthquake, more dramatic than the stars being darkened.  You might not realize it standing among tone-deaf Catholics at Mass, but what we do in the church building every Sunday is the MOST POWERFUL THING imaginable.  IT’S EFFECTS are far more PROFOUND than we could ever imagine.(Barber, 119, emphasis added)

Recall how in Chapter 3, Barber pointed out the mirror of the Heavenly Liturgy is contained within the earthly Liturgy known as the Sacred Mass.  He pointed out …

In other words, The Apocalypse [unveiling] shows us that when we celebrate the liturgy on earth, we join with the angels and saints in their liturgy in heaven.” (Barber, 27, emphasis added)

Because as Pope Benedict XVI also reminds us, “Every Eucharist is Parousia, the Lord’s coming.” (Ibid., endnote 7)

Therefore, “the Apocalypse [Revealing] can never be explained properly apart from Christ’s coming to the Church in Eucharistic celebration (cf. CCC1137).  It is there that the Church unites her suffering with Christ’s and truly experiences Him coming to her.” (Barber, 35, emphasis added)

So, to say that this, “liturgical prayer of God’s people is more earthshaking than ANY earthquake, more dramatic than the stars being darkened” (Barber, 119) is not great exaggeration, but rather a profound TRUTH that should make all those who take liberties and abuse the liturgy to THINK TWICE about the peril they place themselves in. 

As Jesus Himself said, “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea… woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!” (Mt 18: 6, 7c)

Oddly enough, this scripture passage is a great lead-in to the fullness of the Seven Trumpets of God’s Judgment, called down upon the wicked that have lead God’s children astray… And that certainly can be said in our Church today.  Take heed, you wayward shepherds!

Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Lk 12:48b)

On the note of Benedict’s decision to Abdicate: NOT a case of neglect but one of COURAGE!

FIRST FIVE TRUMPETS

The first five trumpets...

The first five trumpets…

Note the similarity of these to the plagues that happened to Egypt.  With Jerusalem as the “New Egypt”, it only seems fitting that its judgment be the same…

Just as the Egyptians hardened their hearts against the Lord and doubted His mighty power, so also Jerusalem has hardened its heart by rejecting Christ.  Now it will suffer the same judgment.” (Barber, 123)

And as America has rejected God and His Son by removing Him from our schools, our public places, and even in our houses of worship, so too will she receive the same.

Trumpet 1: Hail and Fire : No trees and green grass will remain (Rev 8:7; Ex 9: 22-24)

Trumpet 2: One-third of the Sea turns to Blood : killing off all water creatures (Rev 8:8; Ex 7: 20-21)

Trumpet 3: One-third of the Waters become Bitter : can’t drink the water (Rev 8: 10-11; Ex 7:21)

Trumpet 4: One-third of the Sun and Moon are struck : Three days of darkness follows (Rev 8:12; Ex 10: 22-23)

Trumpet 5: From the Smoke come Locusts : They sting like scorpions (9:3), and are allowed to “torture for five months” those who did not bear the seal of God (9:4, 5) but they could not kill… (Rev 9:2; Ex 10:14 – during Moses’ day, these were a dense swarm that destroyed everything in their path)

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LEADING UP TO THE TRUMPETS…

Revelation 8:2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.  And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.”

MightyArchangels

Seven Angels before God – the Old Testament book of Tobit says:

I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.” (Tobit 12:15)

Raphael is an Archangel, so is Gabriel and Michael.  It stands to reason, then, that it is the Archangels of heaven who are these seven angels…

I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God and I was sent to speak to you…” (Lk 1:19)

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon… And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” (Rev 12:7, 9)

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.’ ” (Jude 1:9)

…we are not praying to the angels at all, but asking them to pray for us.” (Barber, 120)

Incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints…  

These angels, who always stand before the throne of God, take our prayers and mingle it with incense to offer it to God… so when we ask for the intercessory help of St. Michael, our guardian angels, and any of the other Archangels, our prayers are lifting directly up to God! Not a bad idea, is it?  So many avenues of PRAYER we have to the Father Almighty… Even King David prayed,

I call up Thee, O Lord; make haste to me!  Give ear to my voice, when I call to Thee! Let my prayer be counted as incense before Thee, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!” (Ps 141: 1-2, emphasis added)

Revelation 8:5

Revelation 8:5

The angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth…

Most people know that fire coming down from heaven is often used in the Bible as a symbol of God’s judgment.” (Barber, 120)

I saw the Lord standing beside the alter, and He said: ‘Smite the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people; and what are left of them I will slay with the sword; not one of them shall flee away, not one of them shall escape.” (Amos, 9:1, emphasis added)

As Barber points out, one of the most famous examples of this is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Fire rained down from heaven to destroy these two cities for their extensive wickedness.

(Gee, can we say Las Vegas, San Francisco, Reno… just to name a few…)

Jerusalem is now about to be judged similarly.  In fact, it’s later called ‘Sodom’ in Revelation 11:8.” (Barber, 121)

Barber also points out that it was the original cry of those saints under the altar in Revelation 6: 9-11, when they cried out for justice for their deaths. 

Their prayers then become, “as prayers for judgment” which is why they “are mixed with fire and thrown down to earth”.  God is answering their prayers.  (Ibid.)

Revelation 8:6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.

INTERESTING TIDBIT…

Jerusalem before its final destruction has been called, the “New Egypt”.  It is this name that brings to mind the seven plagues brought upon Egypt before pharaoh let God’s people go.  Note: there are SEVEN TRUMPETS soon to be blown by the seven angels.  Seven, the perfect number of completion.

Another ancient city fell to the blowing of trumpets… do you remember which one?  More bible trivia… Right, Jericho!  See Joshua 8 for that account.

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TRUMPETS, ONE BY ONE…

The first five trumpets...

The first five trumpets…

Revelation 8:7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth…

InJD…

Would you believe that this actually happened and that it was witnessed by none other than our Jewish historian, Josephus?  Yep, he saw it all.  He saw the Roman soldiers surround the city from all sides, he watched them march in and head straight for the temple mount, and then he witnessed them slaying every living person in that temple until their blood ran down the front steps.  Next, he witnessed the soldiers set the whole structure on fire – after they looted it of its treasures, of course.

Blood was mixed with fire.  The Roman soldiers also used large catapults of fireballs that they hurled at the city from all directions.

Because the hill was high, and the works at the temple were very great, one would have thought the whole city had been on fire… For one would have that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething-hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larger in quantity than the fire.” (Josephus account – Barber, 126)

Jesus said to His disciples as they looked on at the Temple, “Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.

The landscape was completely transformed…

Revelation 7 continued: “and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Truly, the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country in every way, and it’s trees were all cut down…and the most beautiful suburbs of the city…now… as a desert…” (Josephus account- Barber, 124)

InOD…

We can only speculate how this might play out in our hour of judgment… for my part, I’m thinking nuclear war because that has the total ability to “burn trees, grass, and the earth” all in one fell swoop. 

Blessed Mother Theresa once said, “The fruit of Abortion is nuclear war.”  We, that is the world and the US especially, have certainly sown that seed.  I guess we’ll see when the harvest comes

Revelation 8:8 The second angel blew his trumpet and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Tons of symbolism here and outright prophecy!

“…something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea…”

First, “a great mountain” refers explicitly to God’s Holy Mountain where the Temple stands…

I will climb the Lord’s mountain and worship at His Temple there.” (Is 2: 2-3)

Plus we’ve already heard Josephus’ account regarding the “burning with fire” that “great mountain”. 

Second, what does it mean, “thrown into the sea”, because the Temple was certainly not “thrown into the sea”. 

Old Testament Writing...

Old Testament Writing…

To understand the meaning behind this, one must understand a little bit about Old Testament language.  Whenever the “sea” is referenced, it usually represents the gentile nations, like in Daniel 7…

“…the Gentile nations are symbolized by the four beasts which arise out of the ‘sea’.” (Barber, 125)

Remember, IN JOHN’S DAY, the four beasts represented the four kingdoms that invaded Israel and took its people captive: Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece, and Rome – Rome being the fourth beast for them…

The people in Christ’s day recognized that they were living in the time of the fourth beast…[as such], messianic hopes were at a fever pitch in Jesus’ day.” (Barber, 45, emphasis added)

Remember the reactions of those who came out to John?  They all asked if he was the one to come (see Lk 3:15).

So the “image of the mountain [Jerusalem] being cast into the sea [Gentile Nation, aka Rome]… indicates that the nations will ‘swallow’ up the city.” (Barber, 125)

Which of course is essentially what happened.  The Temple, their world, was engulfed with flames set by the Roman Soldiers of the Gentile nation.

Behold, I AM against you, O destroying mountain… I will stretch out My hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burnt mountain.  No stone shall be taken from you for a corner and no stone for a foundation, but you shall be a perpetual waste,’ says the Lord.” (Jer 51:25, 26 – speaking about the judgment against Babylon, and now Jerusalem has become “The New Babylon”, see Rev 17:5b-6)

Revelation 8:9 and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

This is actually a matter of historical fact, even though “John is not trying to give us a blow-by-blow account, in exact chronological detail” because “he wants us to see the spiritual truths behind the historical events…” this did actually happen to an extent.  And of course, our historian is the witness account. (Barber, 124)

Jewish Historian

Jewish Historian

Likewise, Josephus tells about Jewish rebels, who tried unsuccessfully to fight against the Romans on the Gennesareth Lake.  The Romans jumped on their ships and ran them through.  Their ships were destroyed, and those who tried to swim away were killed by arrows and darts.  Josephus explains, ‘[O]ne might then see the lake all bloody, and full of dead bodies… and as the dead bodies were inflamed by the sun, and putrefied, they corrupted the air.’ ” (Barber, 126)

Pleasant, huh?  Doubtless all that carnage in the lake killed most if not all of the fish as well.  How will all this come to pass In Our Day?  God only knows, and frankly, I don’t want to think about it.  But if God did not spare His own Holy City… WATCH OUT! 

FAST AND PRAY, and make yourself ready for that day by coming back to God in FULL repentance with a sincere heart.  The TIME IS growing short…

UpNext

Coming Soon: Chapter 8, Part II: Trumpets 3, 4, & 5

Book Study:

Chapter 7

Chapter 6 Part I and Part II

Chapter 5 Part I and Part II

Chapter 4: Part I: Revealing the Son of Man
Chapter 4: Part II: Coming on the Clouds

Chapter 3: Heavenly Liturgy and the Holy Mass

Chapter 2: 4 Senses of Sacred Scripture

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