Revelation - Lesson 10

The Seven Trumpets (Part 1)

A vision of the seven trumpets. (We don't have a copy of the picture of the model of the temple but we left in the description for your benefit.)

Lesson 10
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The Seven Trumpets (Part 1)

  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 



Dr. Robert Mulholland


The Seven Trumpets (Part 1)

Lesson Transcript


When one of those didn't come, they just thought, Yeah, this is actually pretty good, but this is the right way. And I think that's a future that people have got to go back and watch more. I feel special that it are like that. Good morning. Why? Wife Once again, there was apparently not. On Tuesday, we read about the false cell clothing itself in myths and symbols of power. Convinced itself that it is what it does. There is no substance under the things with which I am closed. I am hollow and my structure of pleasure and ambitions has no foundation. I am objectified in them, but they are all destined by their very contingency to be destroyed. And when they are gone, there will be nothing left of me but my own nakedness and emptiness and hollowness to tell me that I am my own mistake. Since he decided to depend upon himself without contact with God, Adam had to become his own poor, fallible little God. Everything now had to serve him. Since he no longer serve the Creator, or precisely since he no longer fitted perfectly into the order in which they had all been established together. All creatures rebelled against Adam, and he found himself surrounded not by supports, but with so many reasons for anxiety, insecurity and fear, he was no longer able to control even his own body, which became, to some extent, the master of his soul. His mind. Now, since it no longer serve God, coiled in the service of the body, wearing itself out in the schemes to clothe and feed and gratify the flesh and protect its frail existence against the constant menace of death. If we would return to God and find ourselves in Him, we must reverse Adam's journey.


We must go back. By the way, he came. The path lies through the center of our own soul. Adam was drawing to himself from God and then passed through himself and went forth into creation. We must withdraw ourselves in the right and Christian sense from exterior things and pass through the center of our souls to find God. You must recover possession of our true selves by liberation, from anxiety and fear and inordinate desire. Here, Merton turns the search for our original identity into the basic dynamic of the spiritual life. If in my deepest self, I am a relationship to God by whom? In whom and for whom I exist. And if from where I now stand, I am in ignorance of this relationship grounded in God. Then it must follow that I stand in a radical alienation in this orientation from my own deepest identity. All esthetical strivings can be reduced to the experience of the prodigal son for attempts to journey back home to return in earnest to the father's house. But this forward journey back to one's original identity and God by this forward journey back to one's original identity and God, we reverse Adam's journey by allowing God to purify us from all that stands in opposition to his will. That story of the prodigal son is an interesting one. I was looking at it yesterday. When you look at the at the Greek, the younger son is, you know, asks his father for his share of the inheritance. That's not what the Greek says. He asked his father for his portion of series, which means being or substance or essence, and the father gives him his portion of be on life. So it's really the prodigal son is really a parable of the spiritual journey.


How Adam and we you see take our being and our life which we have received from God and we go into a foreign country. And once we have worn ourselves out there, we become slaves in that country. And it's interesting that when he comes, it says when he comes into himself. You know, he he discovers the emptiness within. He discovers the the void that has been created by going away into that for our country. And he recognizes also you see, that he's no longer worthy to be God's son. And so he decides to to return and to ask to be a slave. And then, of course, you know, the story is he returns and it says the father saw him A. It's the same word that's used for the for our country that God is already with him there in our country, just waiting for that acknowledgment of his condition. And the moment he acknowledges his condition and turns to return, God is there to embrace him and to to re clothe him and to restore him as a child. It's really a wonderful parable of the spiritual journey. Pray with me. Lord, we give you a thanks and praise for this. Unbelievable. Reality that you accompany us even into the far country. That you are there. In our emptiness. In our hollowness in our nothingness. Waiting for us to. Realize our condition. To turn to you. Lauren, help us to. To yield ourselves to you. Who to withdraw from all of those things in which we have clothed ourselves and sought to find our identity. Not that they are necessarily bad. It's just that they are not a sufficient ground for our identity. Which is a life hit with Christ in you. Help us, Lord, to.


To awaken. And to return. In your name, We pray. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I'm in. Okay, now let's see. Tom Hofmeyr. Right. Bill Hogan. Yeah. Jonathan Hunt. Yeah. Jonathan. John. Okay. And Brandon Lewis. And Craig. And Tom. I'm getting. I'm slow, mature, very slow. And not so sure about this. The slide I have up here is is an illustration of the where we're looking at chapter seven, the Great Tribulation. We're trying to illustrate here you have this age, which is all this age and the age to come are the Jewish terms for, you know, the fallen order and restored kingdom in. John. They're New Jerusalem and fallen in Babylon. So I just have this age on Babylon, New Jerusalem the age to come and then those those arrows I have going up from fall of Babylon into Houston is trying to illustrate the tribulation that faithful citizens in New Jerusalem experience of the hands Paul in Babylon. And if you if you stretch them all the way across you see from from Jesus the incarnation, the cross there to the final consummation over at this end. That's what would be the great tribulation, you know, through all the ages of Christian history. Then went Am I got to. Yeah. This is a model of the temple in Jerusalem. This. This is the temple itself. The temple precincts. With the wall around. This is the actual temple building itself. And this in in the New Testament times. The angle doesn't give you quite the perspective, but it was 1500 feet this way and 900 feet this way. So figure, you know, five football fields, you know, 1500 feet and three football fields lengthwise that way. John And your model of tribulation begins for a nation.


If you take it out of like a future sense, like some people have or out of the prairies, what you just say, you could possibly stretch out back to the fall of Adam, or it just simply be there is like this John specifically that it begins at the Incarnation. John isn't John's question is does tribulation go before the cross as well? John doesn't deal with that. You know, in a sense, if you read the Old Testament story, when God's people are faithful, they still often experience, you know, tribulation at the hands of those around them. So it you know, it is you might say it is a constant reality all the way across history. Yeah. Yeah. Mm hmm. This. This is. This was the. The what's called the Antonia. This was the fortress. This is where the Roman troops would be quartered. When they when they would come for the festivals. The procurator would always bring a contingent of troops during the festivals, because that's when there was a time when it was likely for the Jews to. To uprise an uprising. And they could the soldiers could stand up here on the parapets and sink and look down and to see any disturbance in the temple. This is why when when Paul was getting beaten to death in the in the temple precinct by the Jews, they thought from up here there was there was an entrance into the temple courts from this fortress. And that's why the Tribune comes out and with the soldiers and rescues Paul and then you can't see it here, but they're there steps that went up into the entrance. When they get up on the steps. That's where Paul asked Tribune, Can I address the people? And then he stands there, you see, and is able to reject his voice out across the crowd.


Yeah. Is that. Is that model in Jerusalem or where is that? Uh. I'm not sure where that model is, Aaron. An awesome looking model. It is. It really is it? Now now this is looking into the into the the the actual temple precincts themselves. This this is what was called the Court of Court of Women. This is what's called the beautiful gate. Remember the beggar sitting at the beautiful gate? He was there. And then this is the court of Israel inside. And then you have the area inside that where only the recently brides can go. And this is the entrance into the sanctuary. And over here you can see that little angle there. That is the ramp going up onto the sacrificial altar. And we all look a lot closer at it. See that angle there? Now, looking down, now your me back up. The next picture is going to be looking down from up here, down into this space behind that wall. And this is the representation of the sacrificial altar. Here's the ramp coming up onto the altar. This is where the sacrificial fire was kept burning 24 seven. It's where the burnt offerings were offered. According to Josephus, this was about 75 feet this way and 15 feet high. So this this is a huge structure. And this when we're coming back now to to the seventh SEAL, when when the priest and in John's imagery, he's using the Day of Atonement imagery, because this angel is given a golden center, which is what the high priest used on the Day of Atonement, due to the incense offering, the priest would go up onto up onto this altar and scoop up coals from the sacrificial fire, then would come down off the altar and go into the sanctuary.


Here's that sacrificial lamb. He would come down off of that altar, go into the sanctuary to the golden altar, which was right in front of the veil, the separated the sanctuary from the holy of holies. But the calls on the golden altar put the incense on the coals and then the smoke of the incidents, of course, would go up into the into the presence of God. Now, also, John, indicates that the the priest, the angel was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of the saints, etc.. And that is also playing off of Jewish imagery because the morning incense offering, the evening incense offering were not only the first and the last liturgical acts and the sacrificial cult as in Jerusalem, they were also the first and last of the daily office in the synagogue. The morning incense offering was the time of morning prayer. The evening incense offering was the time of evening prayer. And so these were these were designed to to coincide so that what was going on in the temple, in a sense, was being replicated by prayers in the synagogue. And if you read the account of John the Baptist father who is doing the incense offering, it said that all the people were standing outside praying. So he this this was a time of prayer. And so here you see the incense mingled with the prayers of the saints. Now coming in quite good. Everything set up here this morning? So it up to up to a verse. After verse three, actually up to verse four, you have a description of the incense offering on the Day of Atonement. But then in verse five, John breaks this imagery or modulated because in verse five. The angel takes the sensor, fills it with fire from the altar.


Now, see, this is the is the golden altar. This is the altar of incense. Filled it with fire from the altar and through it. Now, the Greek says into the earth. Translation all the way through is very faulty on this. There are all sorts of things that go in here. And this is what goes into the Earth is into the earth. And there were peals of thunder, rumbles, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. The ofany. But added Added to this now is the earthquake, which becomes a fairly consistent image that John uses throughout his vision. Now, of course, earthquake is also part of the. If you go back to the to the Sinai experience, you see earthquake is there along with all of these other things. But earthquake is a very relevant image to John's readers because they live in an earthquake zone. And earthquakes were happening frequently in these seven churches. And of course, an earthquake is something that you cannot predict. That comes suddenly, totally unexpectedly, and is a total radical disruption of life. And so I think John is playing upon the Old Testament imagery of the OFANY and at the same time playing off their experience of earthquakes in this part of the world. In fact, in the early sixties there had been a terrible earthquake in this area. I mentioned it was like the lay of the sea, a lay the sea. It was leveled. So, you know, it's a very pertinent and relevant image that John is using, but it's an image of of a just radical disruption of the status quo, of the daily order of things. And I think what John is doing here is giving us an insight into the nature of prayer. That we probably don't grasp all the time.


Because we basically think of prayer as petition or intercession or praise Thanksgiving or, you know, acts, adoration, Thanksgiving, confession and thankfulness, supplication. We think a prayer is something we do. And so when we come across Paul telling us to pray without ceasing. You know, a great big question mark comes up, How do you pray without ceasing? I mean, Paul, I've got to teach a class this hour. How can I pray without ceasing? I'm going to teach a class. How can these people pray without ceasing? They're supposed to be paying attention to me. How do you pray without ceasing? See, the reason we have a problem is because we think of prayer is something we do. We're so functionally oriented. Prayer essentially is something that we be. Is what we be in our relationship with God. So to pray without ceasing, you see, is to live in in that centeredness and live out of that centeredness into the world. In a sense, we've already seen an aspect of it in the 24 elders who represent us. Remember in chapter four, where they are continually bowing, worshiping and casting the crown. The that is prayer is not trying to get God to do something for us. Rather, prayer is making ourselves radically available to God for God to do something in the world with us and through us. Prayer is abandonment. It has yielded ness. And of course, that kind of prayer. Understanding prayer in that way. It is a very sacrificial act because you have to lose yourself for his sake. So much of our prayer, you see, is wrapped around our agenda, our wants, our needs, our desires, our plans, our purposes. But true prayer is the relinquishment of all of those to God. Now let God do with them whatever God wants to do with them.


He may enhance them. You may annihilate them. Either one is okay if we are in abandonment. So it's a sacrificial act. And I think that's what John is illustrating here. You see, the prayers are mixed with the sacrificial fire. They have been through the fire of sacrifice. And what John is indicating, you see, is when when that is the nature of our prayer. The presence of God is released into this fallen Babylon world in the fall, and Babylon world is shaken. So it gives you a whole new theology of prayer, you might say. When you unpack this, this part of John's vision, John, that I really like, if it occurs after them as a response to the prayers from the Saints and the crying out of the martyrs. And so you would argue that that wouldn't be correct? I don't think so. Well, when we look at the trumpets next year and see that they they really do not connect in that kind of way. Okay. So what we. What we have here then, uh. Where's my picture of the seventh seal? Oh, there we are. The summary. The first. The first rider is Christ the Conqueror. That is the one who has overcome the fallen of Babylon. So that that's that that's the first dynamic. See, what you've got here is is new. And that's not New Jersey, by the way. That's New Jerusalem and Babylon. Okay. And what you have in the seven SEALs you see is is an image or a vision of the dynamics of these two orders of being. And John begins with Christ. He is the conqueror and the conqueror, of course, over Babylon. Then you have the dynamics of all of Babylon, the next three riders, you know, Satan, the Beast and false prophet, death and Hades.


Then in the fifth seal, we saw the consequence the martyrdom of the saints at the hands of Hall in Babylon in the sixth year. You see the disruption of fallen Babylon at the presence of God in the lamb, you know, in the saints, in the church, the body of Christ. And then in the seventh seal, we see how the prayers of the saints are, the means by which fallen Babylon is shaken by God's presence. So so that that's, you know, moving around our cyclorama and our movie around John's cyclorama You'll see he he is has been describing this to us. He then moves to the seven SEALs, to the seven trumpets. But before we move there, are there any any questions on the seven SEALs? I guess one with Christ being the first writer. Something that seems to happen is when you have God's presence or fear from you, that judgment just comes by his very presence. And it seems that Christ being the first writer as he draws near, as he comes forth to to the fall in Babylon world, these judgments just follow him because of who he is and what happens in his presence. You're exactly on the right track. You're exactly on the right track. And we're going to see how we get to chapter 19. You know, it's sort of a pulling of this whole idea together when there we see Jesus and it says in in righteousness, he judges and makes war. Now here again, you see, we fall into our functional orientation. You think we think of judgment as something you do we think are making war is something you do. But when John says in righteousness, he judges who makes war? It is Christ righteousness itself. That is the judgment of unrighteousness.


It is the righteousness of Christ himself that is war against unrighteousness. Jesus doesn't have to lift a finger. The very reality of his being, you see. Militates against the unreality of all that is false. And so this is exactly the idea that, you know, that Jon picks up and amplifies later and we'll see other images of that as we go along. For instance, the rod of iron here is the ultimate reality, the bendable reality of God and God's realm against which the falsity of fallen Babylon in its realm crumbles like a like a pot shattering the pot. Okay, Now let's move to the to the trumpets. And here again you got a first for last three division. And the first four trumpets, as we'll see, really are dealing with the fall illness of creation. And then the last three trumpets are dealing with fallen Babylon. Now, why do I say that? Well, let's just jump ahead just a little bit here. And if we go down to. 813. John says. Then I looked and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in mid heaven. And we sort of want to keep our eye on this mid heaven. By the way, the mid mid heaven would be between heaven and earth. Something that sort of connects both of them. Whoa, whoa, whoa. To those who dwell upon the earth at the blast of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow. Now remember those who dwell upon the earth. Here they translate the inhabitants of the Earth. Those who dwell upon the Earth is one of John's ways of describing the citizenship of all Babylon. So John is is indicating here that the last portion of this aspect of the vision, the last three trumpets, deal with fallen Babylon.


That implies that the first four trumpets deal with all of humanity. The fall in Babylon gets isolated out for these last three. Which suggests that the first for everybody is in the context of those first four. So let's go back and look at those first for now. The seven angels who have already been introduced back in verse two, introduces them before he completes the seventh seal. The seven angels who had the seven traumas made ready to blow them. The first angel blew his trumpet. And there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were hurled into the earth. By the way, here's another into the earth. Notice of you know how your Greek into the earth. And a third of the Earth was burned off, a third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass was burned up. Now, the the imagery here, of course, in part is the plagues of Egypt. Where you had the hail and and of course, you had the water turned to blood. You're getting sort of a playing with the imagery, not the exact words in the exact imagery. Later, he uses that and then a third, a third of things we're going to see out, almost a third of this, a third of this, a third of this, a third of this. And you kind of wonder why What's John plane with the third? Well, I think one aspect is if a third of something is affected, it means it's not complete. It has been diminished. So this is part of the way I think, in which John is is trying to indicate the fullness of creation. That creation itself is not what it was intended to be, that it has been diminished. And of course, this you know, this is a constant picture in in Jewish understanding.


You can see it in Paul in Romans 18. You know, that creation was subjected to futility by the one who subjected it in hope. And then Paul goes on to talk about the redemption of creation. But the creation is a fallen. Creation. It is not what it was created to be. It has been diminished. And so here we see we're here. The first images is the earth. Now the third come again to the third. If you take a third away from from the hole, what are you left with? Two thirds. Put it into decimals. 66.66666. Just sort of keep that on the back burner. We're going to see that number again. And I suspect I'll check to see whether they had decimals and understood decimals back in those days. They did. So I think John may be playing with something on on this order as well. The not only is is the creation diminished and not what it was created to be, but the cause of the diminishment is Satan's rebellion. And we'll see him play that out a little bit later. So a third, a third of the earth. The second angel blows his trumpet and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. Now, someone asked about a volcano image the other day. The here's the closest you come to it. Is this a mountain burning with fire thrown into the sea? And of course, that sort of if it is a volcano image, it's a it's a it's a little bit of a shift. And then a third of the sea became blood again, playing off of the of the plagues in Egypt where the water is turned, or Moses turns the water to blood. Yeah. Wouldn't Jon know what a volcano is? Oh, sure.


I would presume so, anyway. Yeah, we talked about this the other day, you know, but they're the only the only active volcano. Depending on where where you're looking was, was Etna, which is basically, you know, grumbling all the time and has been, you know, for the last 2000 years. You do have a serious. And of course, Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum Herculaneum in. 69 or 70. It's in this period. But the only other volcano was Tara was right in the center of the Aegean that blew up about 1200 B.C. Now, there still may have been a residual memory of that in the culture. But volcanoes, especially for people in the in east, earthquakes are their image. The volcanoes are not really an image that would relate to them. In Italy, yes. Volcanoes would have more relevance. It's just I'm looking at the words used something like a great mountain. Well, first of all, what is he? He's drawing a comparison through a simile. And why doesn't he say volcano? Ask him when you see him. Okay. I don't think that's what he's talking about here. Okay. And also, I'm glad you mentioned that something like it says something like a great mountain. It wasn't a great mountain. Again, here we see that John is is indicating that the imagery he's using is not adequate to convey the fullness of the reality he was experiencing. It was something like a mountain. Just like in chapter one we saw. Jesus voice was like a trumpet, and it was also like the sound of many waters. Every time you see something like or something as it is, John's indicator that this image is a pointer to the reality. It's not the reality itself and it is not a complete pointer.


It cannot adequately contain the reality itself. Okay. So now the sea is a third of the sea becomes blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died and a third of the ships were destroyed. And here you see, especially when you when you see a third of the ships see, this is indicating that we're dealing with the natural order, the created order, which we are part. And humanity in that order. Existing in that order. And one of the thought I was going to share here. Yeah. And here, here, I would suggest that is one of the places where John is not using sea as an image. Remember we saw in chapter four there was this something like a sea of crystal. Underneath Gods feet. We're going to see in chapter 13 the bees coming up from the sea, sea in those instances and then in the new creation, the sea is no more. In those instances, John is using sea as an image, as a cipher for the reality he's trying to convey here. I don't think he's doing it here. I think he is talking about the physical sea. And of course, in the Roman world, the Sea, the Mediterranean was a very significant part of the of the empire. But John is indicating the fallen ness of creation here. Fern Angel blows his trumpet and a great star falls from heaven, blazing like a torch. And it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water because it was made bitter. And of course, Wormwood is a is an illustration you use is drawing from the Old Testament and the bitter waters.


Remember where Moses. How did he heal the waters? I forget. With something into the waters and they became safety. Now, of course, springs and rivers of water. Are the sources of the sea. So in a sense, you're John is sort of backing up his imagery from from the sea and its fallen this to the very sources of the sea which are also affected. And notice also with the ships, a third of the ships are destroyed here. Many died from the water because it was bitter. And here I think John is is seeing that the creation instead of being a place of nurture and wholeness. For human creation, that nature has become inimical to human wholeness. It is no longer a place of nurture and support. It is flawed. And as a result of that. Humans die at the hands of a fallen nature. And of course, we see this all around us with hurricanes and earthquakes and floods and, you know, all sorts of stuff. I think this is what John is is is seeing in his vision. He's he's trying to illustrate the fallen ness of the created order. He's in a sense, he's sort of backing up even further with the seven SEALs. We're looking at the, you know, sort of the conflict between New Jerusalem and fallen Babylon. Now, you know, you can ask the question, well, what what's this falling Babylon stuff all about? So it's as though the camera's pulling back even further. As you move to the next scene, the camera pulls back further and you see even a larger aspect of the reality of New Jerusalem and fallen Babylon. And here what he's seeing here you see, is the phoniness of creation. And then the fourth angel. Fourth Angel blows his trumpet.


And a third of the sun was struck and the third of the moon under the stars. But a third of their light was dark. In the third of the day was kept from shining. Likewise the night. So here now, you know, you've got the now we're talking about the heavenly realm, but not heaven as God's dwelling, but rather the sky, the cosmos. See, we were focusing on things on Earth. With the the earth, the sea and the waters. Now we're looking outside to the larger context in which the earth exists. And that to you see, has been affected, that it is not complete, it is diminished by a third. Everything is diminished by a third. Now. Some some of the parallels are crossed here, going back to the water for a minute. When we get over to chapter 22. We're going to see the river of the water of life flowing forth from the throne of God in the land. It's sort of the contrast to to this bitter water, this wormwood water. Jeremiah, by the way, is the is a source of warmth. Look at Jeremiah 915. That's where you get the wormwood. Illustration, and it's associated with the response of God to the rebellion of Israel. There, Jeremiah's focusing at very pointedly that God gives them wormwood to drink because they have rebelled against him. Here. We're talking about a whole creation that has fallen, you see, and has wormwood, the drink, so to speak. And. Yeah. Any question on those honors for Brad? Yes. Just making sure that I understand when it says the night is not shining. A third of the day was cut from shining. Likewise the night. Are they talking about the moon? There could be. It's somewhat indistinct.


Well, of course, if the stars you see, if a third of the stars are diminished, that's going to diminish whatever light there is at night. And he doesn't mention the moon here. Well, I think we see the moon mentioned elsewhere, but not here. Yeah, Yeah, you can kind of like from a CRTC perspective, but if you have angels going these trumpets, does that kind of implicate God as, like, the source of all this destruction instead of Satan's rebellion as the source of all this destruction? Yeah. Laurence Question Does this implicate God as the source of all this destruction? Again. When you step off. The fifth third bank building in Lexington. Is gravity the source of your destruction? In one sense, you can say yes, but gravity would not have been a source of your destruction if you stayed on top of building is because of our art. Putting ourselves in opposition to the law of gravity that we are destroyed. And so there is a consequence of rebelling against reality, rebelling against God. God doesn't have to say, Huh? Greg, I'm going to get you for that. You know. Unreality always crumbles against the implacable reality that God has created. So these are. The consequences. Of the fall. Of course, this is this is the way God has created the world created. What is. But you see, part of it is you cannot see it. And here's where you have to be careful with the wrath of God idea. Mm hmm. You say that God is punishing people because of this. No, we're punishing ourselves. In the Old Testament was wonderful. Be sure your sin will find you out. I say God will find out your sin will find your. Because sin is inherently destructive.


What about the lake of fire? And the eternal judgment is that all end to the same? I think so, yeah. So it's just. That's just the consequence of evil. It's not that God is actively torturing. It's just you've fallen taking this path. And that's the. That's the just. Ah, that's just. Yeah. In a sense you've made your bad. Now you've got a line, you know, is the consequence of your, of your behavior and the consequence of your relationship with God. And one of the interesting things we're going to see when we get over to chapter 14. Is that John envisions? Hell, if you will. Right in the center of heaven. Because those who if he says, if you worship the beast and its image and receive its mark on your forehead in his right hand, then you will be tormented forever in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb. I'm sorry. Wait a minute, John. But hell was infinitely removing that direction from heaven, which is over here. And John isn't seeing it that way. And the way, you know, the way I've come to understand this is that we are created. Every human being is created for an eternal relationship with God. We will be forever in relationship with God. To live forever in the presence of the Holy God as an unholy person is the eternal torment. To live forever in the presence of the Holy God as a holy person is eternal delight and joy. And of course, one of the things you wrestle with there is that the parable that Jesus tells of the rich man, Lazarus, you know, Lazarus, the poor beggar singing that rich man's game, a rich man does nothing for him.


They both die. And here's the rich man in hell. And here's Lazarus and Abraham's bosom. And they're carrying on conversation. How do you do that if you're, you know, instantly separated? Obviously, they're right there together, although as Abraham says, you know, there's a barrier we can't cross over there. You can't cross over here. And it raises all kinds of of of horrendous questions. What? What if I am, you know, graced to be on the God side of that side? And one of my loved ones is on the other side. I don't know the answer to that, but this is why John is picturing hell. And will we see our pictures in two different ways. But always it is intimately associated with what we would call heaven. It's not you know, you don't get this whole area here, one of those lines in John's imagery of the sea. There's this oh, this giant imagery of the sea have anything to do? Can you parallel with the the sea in which the President Clinton himself before entering into the temple? Yeah, I think so, because you see that if that if the sea that is that you know, huge basin of water that was in the temple and then didn't show it in that picture. But that's where the priest cleansed themselves before their service. Well, if they cleanse themselves, what's left in the water unclean is. You see. So. So it is inherently an image of unclean ness. And I think that's also what John is picking up when he sees this, see, you know, under God's fee. It's interesting that you're talking about on Babylon, where the wickedness amongst the righteousness of God. It's interesting that the see is amongst the righteousness of the temple or.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Other. Yeah. John, I was just thinking about your imagery of saying that the the unholy can still be seen in, in the presence of the holy presence of God. And it seems like a of like when you said the image of seeing a loved one, one of our loved ones, that's not great to be on the holy side or maybe I'll be on unholy side, you know, just thinking about it and somebody looking upon me. It seems like if we were truly joyful for being on the holy side, seeing somebody we love on the other side would bring some sort of disappointment or torment in itself of thinking, especially thinking, What if I didn't do all I could to speak to him? Or. Yeah, you know, in that sense it just I mean, yes, no one has that. And also, if you if you want to, you know, extrapolate that to a greater dimension. It is what God has experienced from the moment of the fall. With respect to his beloved creation, which has put itself on the other side. And the cross reveals to us that God does cross over. That God enters in that rebellion. Into that deadness. Into that darkness. Into that brokenness. To make it possible for us to come back over that and maybe even after death is probably off track, but that these people that are suffering in the presence of God, that there is still that it would seem like if they were still in that presence, that there might be the opportunity to come clean, that those only those that can clean that can come in. Yeah. Yeah. There's an interesting image. And John does not give us any kind of clear indication at all on this.


John's question is, is it possible for people to get back over on the right side after death? John, in the in chapter 22, I believe it is is chapter 121 describes New Jerusalem. And he says the gates are never closed day or night, which means there is no hindrance for anything on the outside from coming in. But he says nothing unclean can enter. You know, you have to leave your unlikeliness at the gate, so to speak, if you're going to come in. Now, is that an indication that it's possible for those outside to get inside? After death? I don't know. I don't know. I mean, the question and another part of that question is what about persons who have never, for whatever reason, who have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel? Are they by that fact, condemned to eternal damnation? Well, I have difficulty with that. I have difficulty squaring that with the biblical image of of a god of cruciform love. Who always seeks the redemption of his fallen creation. It is not his will that any should perish. And that's not an excuse for, you know, universal salvation either, because this is a love relationship. We're talking about. And God will never force a love relationship on us. It's not a love relationship. Torched. So it raises all kinds of interesting questions. Dr. Milhollin, going to your. Analogy of the parable that Jesus is talking about with the rich. The rich man. Yeah. It is not the fact that that's a parable, sort of. Need us then to be cautious in how we interpret that in terms of a literal interpretation of eternity sort of thing, considering that there's sort of this worldly implications of the rest of Jesus parables had.


Is that I don't know. You know, we always have to be careful not to read more into a parable than is there. But, you know, I wonder, what would Jesus have have used that figure? To mislead. I don't think so. Hey, now, Now we come to the angel trying to move heaven. And then the word whoa becomes very interesting. Not. I mean, it means what it means to us. Well, you know, sometimes I didn't have. Alas, alas. But the Greek is. Is. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. So our English. Well, that's Greek. Whoa, whoa. And we're going to see how these play themselves out, because what becomes interesting. Is that? Only two of them. Are fulfilled. We're going to see at the end of the sixth trumpet. John says the first wall is passed at the end of the at the fifth top of the first wall is passed at the end of the sixth trumpet. The second wall is passed. When you get to the seventh trumpet, there's no indication that the third wall has passed. It's not there. And you sort of begin to wonder, well, hey, John, you missed something here. Where's the third wall? Then you get over to chapter 18, where John sees the judgment of Paul in Babylon, and he has three different groups of people crying out, Whoa, whoa, to the great city. Not whoa, whoa, whoa. Just to whoa, whoa, whoa, the great city. So we'll we'll unpack those as we get there. But see, John is introducing something here and then emphasizes it at the end of the fifth and at the end of the sixth, so that when you get to the seventh trumpet, you're looking for the third wall to be accomplished. And it's not over.


Raises the question in your mind, Hey, let me got two of them here and then you get over to 18. You still have to go again. That's. Something's going on here. And we'll when we get over to 18, Will. Well, when we get to the seventh trumpet, we'll talk about it and then see it amplified again in 18. So here and here, here's where John makes this this split you see between the first four and the last three in the seven SEALs, it was four horsemen. And then we moved to other kinds of imagery here. It's the first four. This break with the Angel amid heaven, specifying that the next three trumpets are wolves to those who dwell upon the earth, that is, to the citizens of Fall in Babylon. Okay. So the fifth angel blows his trumpet. John sees a star that had fallen from heaven to earth and was given the key to the shaft of the abyss, the bottomless pit. Now a business abyss is another. It's sort of a synonym for Hades or, in John's context, death in Hades. Now, what's interesting here is that this star does not have the key to the abyss. He has the key to the shaft. Of the abyss. And I think I think there's something going on here with this because we've already seen who has the keys of death in Hades. Jesus, Jesus, Chapter one. First thing he says, you know, I was dead, I'm alive forever more. And I have the kiss of death in Hades. So. So what's going on here? I think what John is trying to illustrate by this imagery, the fallen star, is we're going to see at the end here is Satan. This is the fault of Satan.


And of course, Satan. One of the names for Satan is Lucifer. What does Lucifer mean? Like their light bearer. Light bearer. So, you know, the tradition of Satan is that Satan was a brilliant figure, a light, a figure of light in some of the Hebrew stories, Satan was was number two to God. You see. But Satan didn't want to be number two. Like Abe is, he tried harder. You know, he wanted to be number one. And that, of course, was, you know, the source of the source of the fall. And and of course in Isaiah, Satan is described as as and as a fallen star. How you have fallen. Because you said my my throne is higher than God's. And Isaiah gives a wonderful little description there of, you know, Satan's fall. So here the star had fallen from heaven. And the key to the shaft. I think what John is trying to illustrate is that that it is Satan's rebellion. That opens the access into the shaft. I mean, if you if you sort of picture a vertical shaft and then off to the side, you know, another or the abyss, you know, a vertical pit, the abyss, and then off to the side, a shaft that comes into it. Okay. You see the abyss, the place of fire, the place of judgment. Is inherent. In the very nature of God's creation. Now, had Satan never rebelled, then the abyss would never have been actualized. But Satan did rebel. And his rebellion, you see, is the key. You might say the key to the shaft of the abyss. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit. And from the chaff rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace. The sun and the air were darkened, the smoke from the shaft.


Now, of course, you got an implicit fire image here. You know where there's smoke, there's fire. And of course, one of the consistent images we already see, one of the consistent images for God is fire. Our God is a consuming fire. We've seen Jesus picture. Is his face shining brighter than the noonday sun, his eyes like a flame of fire. And one of the ways in which this fire image is used is that fire purifies things. Fire burns out that which is dross. When you put your into the fire, you see. The or is not hurt, but all impurities are burned out. And so the idea of of God as fire, as a consuming fire, that God's holiness, you might say, burns against all that is unholy. But again, not in some kind of active retribution. Retribution. But simply by the very nature of who God is. It's sort of like, Well, what's a good illustration here? Uh. I was gonna say matter and anti-matter. That doesn't work. Because when you when they come together, they're both annihilated. Hmm. Oil, Water and oil. Well, they certainly don't mix. It's hard to get an alternate image here to it, to what John is working with the fire, the fire idea, the implicit fire idea that's behind the smoke is that of of God's judgment against rebellion. And of course, in Hebrew imagery, the abyss or Hades is the place of the sinful, the the rebellious. So John is simply playing off of this imagery. Now notice also see the sun and the air were darken. With the smoke from the shaft. And we've already seen a third of the sun. In the previous drama, the third of the sun is is darkened. Now we're seeing the same thing again in a sense we're seeing.


Where the fallen of creation comes from. It comes from Satan's rebellion, although John's focus now isn't on the fullness of creation. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth. And they were given authority like the authority of scorpions. So they're sort of local scorpion things. And in a minute, we're going to see they also get to be horses. You see how Johnny is mingling his imagery here just really. Emphasizing things. Now they were told not to damage the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree. Well, obviously, we're not talking about literal locusts because what the locusts do, they devour everything green. So Jon is making it very, very clear to us that these are not literal locusts because they're not going to harm the grass or the green growth or any tree. Aaron, wasn't it? Back in chapter eight, this is all the Greengrass turned up. Yeah. Yeah, it would be. Would they be. Well they had the. Yeah. If they have. Yeah. Yeah. You got to be very careful here not to not be. Let me out John. Dispose of all the grass back in the first. Wasn't the first trumpet. You know the. Where all the green grass was burned off. Yeah. So what's left for these loggers to eat? Well, you can't go there, you know. You see, John is using a very different imagery here, Brian, to retrace your steps for just a minute, hopefully. Yeah. To go back on the idea of. Of Satan being in second command, you said that's kind of a traditional idea or traditional belief. My question is, is there really any biblical evidence that that's the case? I've heard that prior. Uh huh. But I have not found any clear biblical evidence that that's accurate and if it is great, but.


Let's let's look at this, Mr. Deming, passage from Isaiah. Which seems to be the source of this misunderstanding. Yeah. Isaiah 1412. How you are fallen from heaven on Daystar. So you can see where John is getting his image. You see the star falling from heaven. How you are falling from heaven. O'Day Star, Son of Dawn. How you are cut down to the ground. You Who laid the nation's law. By the way, this is also being related to Babylon. So now you get any connection you see with Fallen Babylon and and this imagery you set in your heart. And so here we go. I will ascend to heaven. I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of assembly, on the heights of that phone. I will ascend to the tops of the clouds. I will make myself like the most high. There. There is that is the text that is built upon, you know, in the test mental period to develop this this understanding of Satan's fall. And then notice verse 16, but you are brought down to scale to the depths of the pit or in Greek, the abyss source. So here you can see where John is getting his imagery. Here he's pulling out of this passage from Isaiah and of course, understanding as we're going to see it, we don't see it yet. But at the end of this trumpet, this angel is identified. It is Avalon or Apollo on Avalon and Hebrew. Apollo one in Greek, which is the Destroyer. Now, this you said just a second ago that this was developed in the inner test mental period. Is there any writings where that's been brought out or is there more of a, like I said, a belief system or a traditional passing down of this information? It is developed in some of the interesting mental writings.


I don't have it in front of my brain right now. But the whole the whole image of of the fallen angels, you know, in this this pit of fire. And Jud picks up on that, you know, where Jud talks about those who had rebelled, you know, were assigned to this nether world. So it's really sort of a common perception that they're building upon here. Okay. Let's see if we can. Work this right? Very good. I did it right. But why did it go to that? And it's been moving together. Here's one chapter. Here we go. Yeah, I thought about that. Yeah. Okay, now, now notice. So they're not going out there. They're not real locusts. And by the way, the locust image is also an Old Testament image. Isn't it, Amos, Where the locusts come and devour the land. And of course, the locusts are Babylon coming to to destroy and to take captive Israel. But notice this. Who they hurt are those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. You see, this makes it very clear we're dealing with the citizens of Fall in Babylon. Because those who have the seal of God on their forehead are the citizens of New Jerusalem. And that goes back to chapter seven. Remember the beginning of Chapter seven, that interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal? Where where this you have these four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds and a mighty angel, you know, from from the east tells them to do not let the winds blow until. We have seal the servants of God on their forehead. So you see how John is picking up this thread and carrying it and we'll see it carried on further, you know, the seal on the forehead or the or the mark on the forehead or the name on the forehead.


He's carrying this imagery all the way through. So obviously, we're we're dealing with the fall and create the fallen humanity, the citizens of fall in Babylon. And these locusts were allowed to torture them were these local scorpions. Remember, they have stings like scorpions. We're allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them. And their torture was like the torture of a scorpion. When seeing sting, someone bring the scorpion image back in again, you see? And in those days, people will seek death, but they will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them. Very interesting image here. What's going on. Now, of course, the five month period is is about the lifespan of locust. I mean, a real locust. You know, they they they come out in the spring and, you know, by the fall they've disappeared for another 17 years or whatever, depending on what breed they are. But they were speaking of corn, that the people from Babylon are tormented. By these Locust Scorpion things that come out of the fire, that come out of the abyss, out of the pit. Okay. So in some way, John is connecting the torment of the citizens of Babylon with Satan's rebellion and with the judgment of God against that rebellion and the fire of God that burns against that which is unholy. Now verse six is the real puzzle. In those days, people will seek death, will not find it long to die, but that will flee from them. And you sort of wonder, I mean, can't they just throw themselves off a cliff or put a sword through their heart or what have you and they commit suicide? Well, I think what John is dealing with here and I think the imagery of the fifth trumpet is the image of the torment of sin.


Sin half torment. And I think this is what John is seeing. And I don't know how many of you have been in ministry long enough to have experienced this, but I know when I was in ministry, I experienced a number of occasions where a person would come to me. And they they were in the bondage of some. Destructive habit in their lives. And, you know. It was just it was killing them, and yet it wasn't. You know, they wished they could die. And the story is sort of the nature of sin. I mean. Well, when we look on let me go on and look at the next piece, then we'll come back to this, because this is this is tied in. In appearance. The locust were like horses equipped for battle, not not seen. But now we got Locust, Scorpion, horse things. I mean, really mixing images here. Okay. They're like horses, equipped for battle. On their heads were what looked like looked like crowns of gold. Now they're not crowns. It looked like. Okay. Their faces were like human faces, their hair like a woman's hair. And that that means long and flowing their teeth like lions teeth. They had scales like iron breast plates. And the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. Now. That's that's that's a very powerful image. In a sense, it's a very attractive image. It is an alluring image. Here is an image of might, a power or strength of control of dominance. A victory. All of these things. And I think what John is seeing here is the way in which sin presents itself to us. I mean, if we could see beforehand the consequences of our sin.


Nobody in their right mind would touch it with a ten foot pole. The thing is, sin allures us. It appears to us as something that is going to give us control. It's going to give us power. It's going with strength. It's going to give us see, we expect to benefit from this in some way. And so we embrace it, noticing faces like human faces. Sin even allures us into thinking that we're really be human if we if we do this. But then notice what happens in verse ten. They have tails like scorpions with stingers, and in their tails is their power to harm people for five months. The first time you succumb to the temptation to a sin. Usually nothing happens. You know, it feels good. The sky doesn't fall on you. You. You are. Pleased with it in some way. And so you do it again. And again, nothing happens. I don't fall on you. It pleases you even more, perhaps. And so you do it again. And for a certain way on that trajectory. You're still in control. I mean, you've all heard me. Well, I can stop any time. Well, yeah, now you can. Up to a point. But if you continue down that trajectory of sin. At some point you cross an invisible barrier. Up to that point, you can still say no. When you cross over that invisible barrier, suddenly you discover you can't say no to this anymore. It has taken control of you up to that point. You're in control. You're making the decision to do this. But once you've crossed that point, you've lost control. And now you have to do this because it has taken control of your life. And it's at that point or shortly after that point that you begin to experience the torment of seeing.


Because at that point you begin to to sense something of the debilitating and destructive dynamic of what this is doing to your life. And you wish you could be free of it. You know, and you may you may stop it for for a day or a week or maybe even a month with your phone right back into it again. This his grip, Sonya's kind of hooks into you. So in a sense, you see these horse things look beautiful up front. Looks like, Boy, I want to jump on it. Right. But when you get to the other end, what have you got? The sting. Would it be stretching the imagery too much to kind of envision it like you see the front so you jump on and as you're writing it, that's the most vulnerable place to get stung by a scorpion would be on its back because their tails look up like that. I don't know. I mean, is that stretching it to, you know, as, you know, scorpions? You know, they're they're the scorpions face in this where the tail comes up like this, you know, with the sting. And, you know, I probably stretching a little far there, I think. But, you know, their tails are like scorpions with stingers. So if you are if you are riding that horse, you know, that's the tail can get your back there. You don't see it. So so what Jon is seeing here is the trauma. And I've I've had people sit in my office where I've sat in their homes with them in pastoral visits. In tears. Wanting to be free of this thing. Wanting to be rid of it. Wishing they could be dead to it. You know, and they can. And they can.


This is a foreshadowing of health. The second or specifically the second death, because I'm seeing this constant torment that will not go away, this torment that's always on top of them. And then you even see the source of this torment as almost like you're describing sin, you know, as you're describing, and the sin becomes their master. You know, I you know, I am an alcoholic. I'm a father. I can quit any time or quit. Now, you've already had three failed marriages quit. Now you know, it's the source of all of your problems, of the dysfunction of your family. Quit now. My father can't quit because it has become his master. No. His God. Yeah, exactly. So would you say this is more of a a foreshadowing of as John is building up to hell? I don't want to use the word because that's probably a technical term, but of the second death, certainly it's associated. It's associated. And we're going to see next week when we get to the to the sixth trumpet that that the ultimate outcome is death. Mm hmm. But not relief from pain. Well, I'm not sure it's relief from pain, even though it's not relief from pain. Right. Yeah. Right. There seems to be with that mention of the wound separating the punishments to, ah, the the tribulation of all creation. The tribulation specifically fallen Babylon. Here you have something coming from hell that affects. Ah, that, you know, their king is Satan. That affects only those who do not have this this heavenly mark. And you almost seem that. I guess there's a there are two forces at work on the same time of the earth that are affecting. Do. Jeff thinks you have God working on everyone. Kind of separating out those who follow and those who don't.


And then Satan is doing his own thing. Working wrath on those who follow him. I don't know why he would do that, but it seems to me the consequences of following. Yeah, well, of course, when you get down to the end here. Of this of this trumpet they have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Avalon. And in Greek he is called Apollo on. I'm on the phone in Hebrew means destroyer. Apollo in Greek means destroyer. So the the essential dynamic you see of Satan's activity is destruction. It is destructive. Now, what we're seeing here is is the torment of sin. But then when we come to the next trumpet next week, we'll see the destructiveness of saying how? How the torment. Ultimately results in destruction. Okay. Good place to stop. Have a good weekend. We'll pick up here next Tuesday. That is the.