The Sevens of the Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation scares people. It’s not just the destruction that takes place, but it’s also, for many people, difficult to understand. I know there are a lot of prophecy teachers on the internet who claim to deliver teachings that thoroughly explain it all. Have you read any of that stuff? It’s easy to get more confused.
The good news is we don’t have to understand it completely to appreciate it. The even better news is we are blessed for just reading it. It doesn’t say we have to understand it.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Revelation 1:3
One of the unique features of the Book of Revelation is the fact that there are so many sevens found in it. Most people are aware of the seven judgments with each having seven specific judgments composing those seven judgments. There are a lot of other groups of sevens in the Book of Revelation.
The book opens with seven churches in Revelation 2:1-3:22. All of these churches have certain characteristics for which they are either condemned or praised by the Lord.
Now, within each of these seven churches are some more “sevens.” Each church has an angel who is requested by the Lord to write a letter. So there are seven angels, or messengers, each with a specific letter to each of the seven churches for a total of seven letters. He says in Revelation 1:20 that the seven angels are the seven stars and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. This reveals the mystery of the seven stars in His right hand and the seven lampstands and it’s this revelation that names the book and defines the mission or theme of John’s prophecy. These seven stars are also mentioned in Revelation 1:16, 2:1, and 3:1. Got it? Um, not really.
Now that we have this clearly understood, if we back up a little, we find that there are seven spirits who are before His throne (Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, 5:6). What is this all about? If you ask seven different theologians, you’ll get nine different answers. Most agree it’s related to the Holy Spirit perhaps revealing His different attributes. It could also tie in to something the prophet Zechariah penned in Zechariah 4:1-6 because there is a similar imagery that John the Revelator uses.
The big sevens most people are familiar with are the judgments. The first series of judgments are found in the seven seals. The seventh seal expands into the seven trumpets one each held by an angel for seven angels, and the seventh trumpet expands into the seven bowl judgments, which are also called vial judgments. Seven angels actually pour each judgment from a bowl or vial. These are the seven last plagues—the worst judgments of all which complete the wrath of God Revelation 15:1
Seven thousand people are killed in Revelation 11:13 and in Revelation 12 we have a listing of seven personages, as they are often called. These include a woman, the child to whom she just gives birth, a red dragon, a third of the angels, God, Michael, and the earth. Then in Revelation 17:10-11 there are seven kings.
Chapters 20 and 21 of Revelation end with the last seven visions.
The patterns of sevens in the Book of Revelation show the precise manner in which God wraps up the end. These are signs of the end that also reveal His nature; God uses the number seven to show completion.
Oh, and there’s one more set of sevens in the Revelation—the seven thunders! Notice this is a sound; the sign of noise that takes place between the sixth and seventh trumpets in Revelation 10:1-7. God's word instructs us that His voice is still and small--not noisy or thunderous.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
But during the tribulation, His voice will be thunderous.
No matter what claim prophecy teachers lay on you, the revelation of the seven thunders is reserved for the time of delivery. The prophet Elijah revealed God’s voice but the prophet John is instructed to hide God’s message. This is a special message reserved for those who are alive, but certainly not well, in the tribulation.
But God’s question for Elijah applies to us right now.
“What are you doing here?” What ARE you doing for Him? What’s your mission, your call, your assignment?
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
What are you doing here?
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