[BELOW IS A 2,600-word MINI-EXTRACT from my book-in-progress, “The Meaning of Apocalypse – A Primer on the Book of Revelation”, which so far stands at a total of 140 large-format paperback-size pages and almost 50,000 words. It could be twice that size by the completion. I hope this piece whets your appetite for the whole thing and I commit it to your heart with much love and blessings]
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THE FIRST VERSE OF CHAPTER 8 in the Book of Revelation, in which the seventh seal of the scroll is opened by the Christ (referred to here by His salvific name, “the Lamb”) I believe belongs in this first vignette as a conclusion to all the seals being opened. The second of the seven vignettes would therefore begin in verse 2 of chapter 8 (which will begin in our next chapter below) and conclude at the end of chapter 11. Bear in mind that there were no chapter divisions in the original Greek manuscripts of the Bible. They were later added in translations to break up the text for readers. Chapter divisions first appeared in the thirteenth century and verses were established in the late sixteenth century. Sometimes they are helpful but other times they are rather arbitrary. So the first verse of chapter 8 says: “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour”.
I will speak about this verse and its electrifying “silence” in more detail at the beginning of the next chapter, but here is a good place to say a few words about the structure of the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls which occur throughout chapters 5, 6, 8 , 9, 11 & 16 in the Book of Revelation. When the seventh seal is opened, it then reveals the seven trumpets, and the sounding of the seventh trumpet then reveals the seven bowls. It is like a progressive revelation of the forces which prevail in the world throughout this period of time from the ascension of Christ to the end of the age. Each block of elements gives way to the next. Remember that the seven seals which trigger all this were stamped on a closed scroll completely filled with writing (chapter 5, verse 1), representing God’s plan of the ages in throwing the archangel, Satan, out of his usurped ‘rulership’ of this cosmos, which the Christ had verbalised when He said, shortly before His crucifixion: “Now is the judgement of this world. Now the ruler [Greek: archon] of this world will be thrown out” (Gospel of John, chapter 12, verse 31). Not only this scroll and its seals, but the entire book of Revelation and, indeed, the entire Bible, function as a commentary on that verse, revealing the mechanics of how that ‘throwing out’ takes place over time.
It would be a mistake to regard the seals and all the trumpets as solely relegated to the Endtimes. As I have shown in this chapter, the seals reveal themselves progressively, with peaks and troughs, throughout the time from the ascension of Christ till the end of the age but increasing in intensity as that end draws near. The seven trumpets progress directly out of the seventh seal. The first four of those trumpets (which clearly stand together) I believe are also active throughout the time from the ascension of Christ till the end of the age but increasing in intensity as that end draws near. It is not that they follow on from each other chronologically in history (for they work in parallel) but that there is a progressive revelation of them, with peaks and troughs, each increasing in intensity as the age rolls by. One could also say that the effects which the first four trumpets reveal have been active in some way from the time of the Fall of humanity. But the Book of Revelation is mainly concerned with the period of time from the ascension of Christ until His second coming, because the ascension was the great sign that Satan had been cast out and one would therefore think that the entire cosmos should have been transformed right there and then. But no. That is not the way that God has planned this. In the inscrutable wisdom of God, there is a process, and it must be followed. To the eye of ignorance, it looks as though everything remains the same, just as it has been since the Fall. But to the eye of understanding, huge changes have taken place in the heavens and in the spiritual realm which have vastly accelerated the influences which will destroy this present creation and replace it with a wholly new one. So although there is a delay in the final ratification of the victory of Christ over the forces of darkness, there will come a point when “there will be no more delay” and “the mystery of God will be fulfilled, just as He proclaimed to His servants the prophets” (Book of Revelation, chapter 10, verses 6-7).
The fact that those first four trumpets are said to affect “one third” of the earth shows that they are progressively worse than the fourth seal, which was said only to affect “one fourth” of the earth. One third and one fourth are not to be taken absolutely literally there but as being indicative of the level of affect and lethality — a similar principle as in chapter 12, where the fall of angels is depicted as involving only “one third” of the angels, not to give us an exact amount but to show us in a symbol that it was a minority which fell away from their status of purity. Those first four trumpets affect the earth through natural means (the number 4 being the coded number for the creation), and I will deal with them individually in the next chapter below. The fifth and sixth trumpets — the first and second “woe” (Greek: οὐαί) of three of which John speaks — crank up the intensity and involve terrible judgements rained down on humanity on a personal basis. I believe that these “woes” are not among those which are to be operational to a greater or lesser degree throughout this age, which is the case with the seals and first four trumpets but are reserved for close to the time of the end. The first of those woes, the fifth trumpet, is reserved for the time before the end while the saints are still on this earth, as can be seen by the fact that its horrendous sense of despair was to adversely affect “only those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (chapter 9, verse 4) — the saints, of course, being protected. The sixth trumpet (the second of the three “woes”) has the intensity cranked up even more, though in a physical sense rather than in the psychological sense of the fifth trumpet. I believe that this too falls into the same category as the fifth trumpet and is part of the time of great affliction which, for the first half of it, will involve disciples still being on the earth, for even though they are not psychologically affected by the madness of the world, they are still subject to the physical effects of the world’s rebellion. Then there is the seventh trumpet which signals the pouring out of the seven bowls of Divine fury, which I believe are solely Endtimes judgements on the world for after the saints have been removed from earth.
Although disciples of Christ are subject throughout this age to the conditions of the seals and the first six trumpets, including when they are at their most intense as the end of the age approaches, they are evidently not to suffer the ‘bowls of Divine fury’ as they are said to affect only “those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image” (chapter 16, verse 2). Therefore, I believe that those bowls — unlike the seals and trumpets — are not revealed progressively throughout the age but are reserved solely for the time right at the end, and after all disciples have been taken up from the earth. The disciples of Christ will certainly go through the time of great affliction to which Christ referred when He said, “At that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 21). But He then adds that for the sake of His disciples “those days will be cut short”, that is, those that are still on earth at that time will be raised up from off the earth half-way through the great time of affliction, as is also alluded to in the Book of Revelation, chapter 11, verses 11-12, when the ‘two witnesses’ (symbolic of the witness of the disciples of Christ throughout the age, as we will see in our next chapter) heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “‘Come up here’. And they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched them”. What a moment that will be! (Frankly, I can hardly wait, yet there is still much work to be done beforehand). Then the Divine fury of those bowls will be unleashed upon the earth, then “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 29) and the Christ will appear not as a mere man but “as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west” in the last great spiritual battle of humanity known as Armageddon (which has nothing whatsoever to do with a physical war on a battlefield in Israel!). This is the final outcome of the telescoped operation of the seals, trumpets, and bowls. It is all in the immaculate plan of God laid down in that scroll with the seven seals which only the Christ could peel open.
Essentially — and here is the key to understanding the seals and the first six trumpets — throughout the age, judgement is being progressively revealed to the world. All the while that the seven seals and the six trumpets have been working their way through history during the last couple of millennia, most people have not even cottoned-on to the fact that they are witnessing portents and warnings of the final judgements. Every earthquake, every volcanic eruption, every natural disaster, every famine, every plague, every war, every revolution and other political upheaval, every meteorite or comet flashing by, every geomagnetic storm from the sun, every flash of lightning, every tornado, every supercell storm, every so-called ET or UFO sighting (which are counterfeits generated by the demonic realm which will play a major part in the deception leading to the Endtimes), every religious cult, every pretender to messianic status, every dictator — they are all stark aspects of the fallenness of this creation which direct our attention towards the intensifying of these at the time of the end. The Christ plainly pointed to them as happening throughout this age, intensifying towards the end when, in answer to what will be the signs of His coming and of the end of the age, he specifically referred to widespread religious deception, counterfeit global saviours (false ‘christs’), wars, rumours of wars, posturing by nations against each other, famines, earthquakes, widespread political instability (Greek: ἀκαταστασίας, akatastasias), plagues and pandemics, terror-inducing sights and events (Greek: φόβητρον, phobetron), and astronomical disturbances (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verses 3-8; Gospel of Luke, chapter 21, verses 8-10). He was careful to say that all these are not the end itself but “the beginning of birth-pains”, which one dynamic equivalence translation from the Greek rightly rendered as “birth-pains of the new age”. That new aeon began to ‘gestate’ right in the womb of the present evil age immediately at the ascension of Christ (which is the great axis upon which the whole creation hinges) and has been doing so since then, with the birth-pains building up across the world until the actual climactic birth of it as the aftermath of the cataclysmic return of the Christ.
People regard all the above world phenomena and cosmic disturbances as somehow being natural. But they are not at all natural in terms of the original creation. For they are all stark evidence of the Fall of humanity spawned by the fallen archangel, Satan, when death and corruption of all kinds, disease, disasters, pain, division, conflict, shortages — even the atrophic Second Law of Thermodynamics — came into the then pristine creation and skewed it completely, reducing it to the spiritually-crude limitations of three-dimensionality. These world phenomena and cosmic disturbances are also outright portents and forewarnings of the end of this age and the cataclysmic return of the Christ. This is not mythology but reality. In the western world and the more technologically advanced nations, people can generally ignore it all… until some geological or meteorological catastrophe happens, and then they will most likely blame it on ‘climate change’. Let me tell you that all the elements which people currently (and falsely) regard as being merely indicative of ‘climate change’ — whether record heatwaves, deadly flooding, hugely high temperatures leading to tropical heat in northern territories, record-making droughts, supercell storms, and so on — are simply part of the age-long intensification process of Divine judgement wrapped up in the seals and trumpets in the Book of Revelation — birth-pains of the new age. Let me tell you that you have hardly seen a part of it yet, for they are surely going to severely worsen, ultimately beyond even what you may have seen in the most intense disaster movies. Their intensification as the end of the age draws near will become increasingly hard to ignore as catastrophe after catastrophe rolls in, yet almost the whole world will be in denial (no doubt, along with the globalists’ unfortunate pawn, Greta Thunberg, blaming it all on those who “resisted action on climate change”!). They always have been in denial, as they will be even as catastrophe envelops the world and they will be shaking their fists at God (examples of which we see in the Book of Revelation, chapter 9, verses 20-21; chapter 16, verses 9 & 11), instead of finally realising that all those nutty disciples of Christ were right after all, then submitting to Him in discipleship themselves. This wilful obstinacy and hard-heartedness which will intensify even more as the end of the age draws near (which the Christ refers to as ‘the love of most growing cold’) is a recurring feature in the Book of Revelation: That the mass of people would rather do anything, no matter how heinous, than acknowledge the messiahship of the Christ. This is the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’.
However, there will be some, when they sense this intensification of catastrophic phenomena coming to pass just as had been prophesied, whose hearts will melt, whose scoffing will be stopped, and they will fall on their faces at the realisation of what is coming on the earth and turn to the Christ while there is still time to do so (for there will come a time when that possibility will be past). His disciples will not be fazed by all these phenomena, but they will rejoice that truth is finally being vindicated publicly after the centuries of scoffing and denial and that their redemption is soon coming (as shown in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 21, verse 28). I know that many will have a hard time accepting all that I am writing here and will be incensed that it is being written at all, and they may even want to have it censored from the internet. These are the strong feelings which the notion of Divine judgement generates. If you are among them, then I doubt that anything I say will convince you, outside of Divine intervention. But in the years to come, when you see this intensification process hugely hotting-up and you see a monstrous character masquerading as a Christ-figure and heading up a one-world government, you will hopefully remember reading the words in this book. That is a big part of why they have been written!
© Copyright, Alan Morrison, 2021
[The copyright on my works is merely to protect them from any wanton plagiarism which could result in undesirable changes (as has actually happened!). Readers are free to reproduce my work, so long as it is in the same format and with the exact same content and its origin is acknowledged]