Posted by Peter Thompson

Revelation 8:1-6

Anticipation of God’s Action

INTRODUCTION: The seventh seal is opened. This seventh seal is going to contain the rest of the book of Revelation. The seven trumpets will be inside this seal and then the seven vials will be inside the seventh trumpet. When this seal is opened here, the entire book in the right hand of God is open. The entire final judgment of the wicked and redemption of God’s people is revealed. This group in heaven that has been worshipping and praising the Lamb and the one sitting on the throne are anticipating what God is about to do. We too should anticipate the actions of God. We should expect God to do something big. Something powerful. Something supernatural that will prove His existence and His rule over all the world that He has created. We are going to discuss three actions that you should take as you anticipate God great actions.
A. When the Lamb opens the 7th and final seal, there is silence in heaven for 30 minutes
1. With the seventh seal open the entire plan of God is revealed
2. There are no seals left-The entirety of God’s judgment is revealed
3. The entirety of God’s redemption is revealed
4. And the people and angels in heaven are speechless
5. Have you ever seen something and just didn’t know what to say about it
6. These creatures that are seeing the plan of God unfold are in awe
7. In awe of the judgment to come first-the power and authority that God is going to exhibit and the terrible judgment he is going to pour out
8. It’s not funny and nobody is happy about it, as these people contemplate what God is about to do
9. They are also in awe of the power that He has to take sinful people and turn them to Himself
10. The power that He has to take sinners to heaven by the blood of the Lamb
11. This final plan that ends with God living with man on earth is too much to take in in an instant
12. So they are simply silent for half and hour, just thinking about God and what He was going to do
13. Man had been talking long enough, it was time for God to have the final say, so everybody else just shut up.
B. In our day and time we spend a lot of time expressing our opinion and trying to show how much we owe
1. We live in and cause a world that is loud and never stops
2. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
3. That verse is talking about stopping what you are doing and everything you are saying to see God work-same idea that we have here in Revelation
4. Zechariah 2:13 “Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.
5. Again, God is going to rise up from His dwelling place, God is about to act, be silent
6. Because what God is doing is more important than what you are doing
7. Everything else needs to stop to see what God is doing
8. You should be thinking about how great God is and not how much you know
9. You should be thinking about His authority and power as you contemplate what God is going to accomplish
10. As you anticipate God’s great actions, sometimes you need to contemplate God and His work silently
11. Shut up, listen and watch God and what He is saying and doing.
A. While that silence is going on seven angels that are in front of God are handed seven trumpets
1. Now each one of those trumpets is going to hold an event inside this seventh seal
2. But before that happens another angel steps up by the alter
3. He has a golden censer in his hand, it was used to carry incense from the alter over to the golden alter that is before the throne
4. He would use the fire from the alter of incense to heat the censer and smoke would rise out of the censer before God
5. So the smoke comes from the censer in his hand, that is what is offered up to God here with the prayers of the saints
6. Now saints refers to anyone who has been made holy by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus
7. If you have accepted Jesus as your savior you are a saint
8. Notice that the prayers of the saints go up before God with the smoke out of the angel’s hand
9. The idea is that God hears all of their prayers, their prayers come into His presence and He takes notice of them
B. Did you know that when you pray God hears you
1. It is not just some ritual we do as Christians to show how holy we are
2. We should pray in order for God to hear
3. Not for men to hear, not to make us look special but to communicate with God
4. Some of the prayers we hear in Revelation are asking God to take vengeance on those that killed His people
5. We hear prayers for God to come quickly and receive His people to Himself
6. Some saints are praying for the judgment of God on the wicked world
7. Some are praying for God to give them rest
8. God hears them all and is about to act on them
C. God wants to act on your prayers too, if He possibly can do it without hurting you He will
1. Sometimes I’m too busy to hear what my children are asking me
2. God is never too busy to hear your requests, pray for God to act in a powerful way
3. Pray for God to show His power on the earth
4. The power of God and the works of God is what convinces people that He is real and that they should believe in Him
5. You want to see people saved? Pray for the power of God to be revealed
6. He will hear your prayer, and He will do great things.
A. And then we see the beginning of God’s action here
1. The angel begins to use the censer for a different purpose
2. He puts fire in it from off the alter
3. And throws it down to the earth
4. And then there are voices, thundering, lightning and an earthquake
5. We don’t know for sure if this happened on the earth or in heaven
6. But either way the point is that God is moving into action
7. His power is on display
8. Judgment is coming on the earth in the form of these trumpets and the vials that will be in the last of the trumpets
9. All of the saints have prayed, the people have contemplated what God is going to do
10. And then He does it, and there is nothing that anybody can do about it
11. It doesn’t matter at this point if somebody yells for God to stop
12. It doesn’t matter at this point who prays
13. God is acting according to His will
14. And in this case it is going to bring great destruction on the earth and on the people that do not believe
B. When the silence is over and the praying is done
1. God is going to do His great work and there is nothing you can do about it
2. Whether you like what He is doing or not is irrelevant
3. God is going to act and His people must accept what He does as His perfect will
4. I have seen Christians get mad at God for what He does
5. I have seen Christians stop serving God for what He has done
6. The Christian that is pleasing to God trusts Him that what He is doing is right
7. And accepts His will as perfect
CONCLUSION: In the end God is going to judge the whole unbelieving world for their unbelief and defiance of the God that created them. It will be terrible and awe inspiring. Along with that destruction comes the redemption of God’s people. As we look forward with anticipation toward those events it reminds us that God is working even now. God is going to do great things here in this time, just like He has done great things in the past and will do great things in the future. Are you looking with anticipation to see God work in your life and in His church. I hope that you are anticipating that, and as you do silently contemplate the mighty acts of God, pray to a God that is listening to your every word and accept the will of God as He moves in powerful ways.