3and filled it with f ire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there occurredthunderous voices
and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.As our Lord opens the last seal in the scroll which decrees His revelation to the world, theunveiling thereby of the details contained within it of all the horrific events which must precedeHis glorious return produce an awed silence in the heavenly temple which is said to last for “half an hour”. As is common in biblical usage, hours, days, weeks, etc. often stand for larger timeperiods in purely human terms (a device whereby the insignificance of worldlyevents ascompared to heavenly control and divine sovereignty over time is emphasized).
Such isundoubtedly the case here as well, and it is best to see this particular “half hour” as a one half year delay in the unleashing of the Tribulation, a circumstance which postpones the beginning of the end times from the spring (the time of the crucifixion; see the previous footnote forreference) to the fall, thereby bringing it about that both the beginning of the Tribulation and itsend at our Lord’s return seven years later will coincide with the time of the Jewish fall festivals(Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Succoth [“booths”]) to which festivals these eventssymbolically correspond.
1. The Seven Archangels with the Seven Trumpets: Although not explicitly identified as suchhere, these seven angels “who stand in state before God” (literally a Greek perfect tense), are, infact, archangels (cf. “I am Gabriel, who stands before God” in Lk.1:19). That is why they are“the” seven angels, the definite article here serving to distinguish them from the angelic rank andfile. It will be remembered from our previous treatment of angelic duties that the archangels(also known as princes [
], and rulers [
]), occupy a primarily martial office (we maythink of them as equivalent to “generals”).
Their duties include not only combat with satanicforces (Dan.10:13-14; Rev.12:7-8), but also making proclamations (i.e., “orders”, oftenaccompanied by the military trumpet: cf. 1Thes.4:16), and, as in our context here, theadministration of divine judgments upon the earth. As can be seen both from this passage andfrom Revelation 15:7, they constitute a college of seven (Gabriel and Michael being the only twonamed in scripture) who stand before the heavenly throne, ever ready to carry out God’smandates. They are the highest ranking angels to undertake such missions on earth, the cherubsremaining with the chariot throne, and the elders before it in the third heaven (Dan.8:16; 9:21;10:13; 10:20-21; 12:1; Lk.1:19; 1:26; Eph.1:21; 1Thes.4:16; Jude 9; Rev.7:2; 15:7). Thearchangels often have paraphernalia appropriate to their particular missions; e.g., trumpets for
Literally, “thunders and voices”, but these are one and the same, for the voices are words of God, incomprehensible to the world at large, which are comparable to thunder, thoughdiscernible from it (cf. Jn.12:28-30; and see below).
See The Satanic Rebellion: Part 5: “Judgment, Restoration and Replacement”, section II.8,“Evidence for the “The Seven Days of Re-Creation”.
See The Satanic Rebellion: Part 5: “Judgment, Restoration and Replacement”, section II.8.c“The Jewish Ceremonial Calendar”.
See The Satanic Rebellion: Part 4: “Satan’s World System”, section III.3.b.3, “Archangels”.