The Celebration of All the Saints in Glory
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Can you understand what it will be when only His saints are together in victory? It is sin that makes every beautiful moment a disaster. It does not matter how great a nation, a family, or a church something will try to blight the beauty. Every Christian will be challenged in this world. Regardless of the glory there will be sadness in the mix. But the day is very near that all the darkness will vanish. God’s saints have only true hope of absolute purity and happiness. God Himself has a contract or a covenant with His own to end the sadness forever. We are the only part of our world that knows a future without one moment of sorrow. When all His saints of 6,000 years get together it is going to be wonderful. We will live in happiness, pure happiness forever.
The true saints of God will never suffer in vain. Every heart-rending prayer, every period of great intercession for the kingdom of God to come, and every person that endures tribulation, persecution, or temptation will be avenged and rewarded for their faithfulness. You cannot give a cup of water to a righteous person and not be guaranteed your reward, “For whosever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” Mark 9:41. The Father and His Son never redeem a person in vain and will never fail to justify, sanctify, and multiply those overcoming saints that take up their cross and follow Him. When the books are opened and the time of the reconciliation of all things has come, the faithful believers will discover that the Father has planned the end perfectly. The Apostle Paul said it beautiful, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
This great chapter of the Book of Revelation is mainly about the avenging of His Saints. Even the attention-getting first verse suggests great things to come. The Bible and secular history is replete with the injustice and persecution of the righteous people of the earth. It has always cost to be an all out Bible-believer and to live the genuine life of a Bible-believing person. When the converted man or woman has stepped out of darkness into the light, the light will never fail to shine from that converted person, and darkness will be offended. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. They may not hate us, but the enemy that rules their lives will hate the light that uncovers their deeds. It cannot fail unless the heart of the wicked is open to be converted themselves!
Revelation chapter eight is the supernatural beginning of the avenging of His saints. Vengeance is evil in the hands of men, but righteous in the hands of God. Then, it is called justice. This promise has been left to us and we are to leave vengeance in His hands and wait for the right to prevail. It is impossible for right not to prevail if we will keep our hands free and our heart full of patience and faith. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19. Every act of wickedness against righteousness will be perfectly vindicated, and every unrepentant sinner will answer for his sins.
The entire Book of Revelation is about justice and redemption. It’s impossible to have one without the other. There is no perfect redemption without justice and there is no true justice without redemption. Our Father has never condemned the righteous with the wicked. Justice is the principle reason that the Rapture must occur before the seven dark years of tribulation. When the Creator judged the earth with a flood, Noah had to be removed first. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8. When Sodom and Gomorrah went up in flames, Lot had to be removed first. The angel said, “Haste thee, escape thither for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither” Genesis 19:22. Any person that unfairly judges the righteous is laying a snare for themselves. When you are unfairly treated, put it in God’s hand and go on in righteousness. Forgive and forget!
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. Revelation 8:1.
The Lamb, the Son of God, will open all seven seals. This is clearly His activity. Nothing makes this book so breathtaking as the proximity of everything and every event to the Lamb and to His Father on His throne. This seal and its opening startled Heaven into silence. The entire populace of Heavenly Jerusalem has anxiously waited for the day when Satan will be judged and evicted from the universe. The angels are well aware of the broken heart of God over man’s first rebellion and even more conscious of the moments surrounding the death of the Son of God to redeem. That redeemed host from the earth has joined the Heavenly hosts. A holy awe envelops this city and even the “Holy, Holy, Holies” of the Seraphim and Cherubim revere the call of silence as preparation is made to avenge the overcomers out of a sin cursed world.
Recording angels have never missed an event on God’s earth. Every injustice is daily recorded. Every sin that has not been removed by the Lamb’s blood is written and awaiting justice. The acts of wicked men to destroy the righteous are perfectly prepared for this hour. And as stupendous as it may seem, every saintly prayer and every weeping believer waiting on His God and crying out for mercy, both for themselves and others, is all recorded. The prayer of the saints will soon become fire in the earth and the books have it all on record.
1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Revelation 8:2-5
Seven angels with seven trumpets and the angels are coming straight from the Father’s presence. This is the only opening of the seven seals that special angels are given special prominence and that the prominence has the favor of the Father. Of course, all of the activities flow from the unity of the Father and His Son, but to see a special mention suggests something very close to His heart. Nothing connected with this earth holds any favor more special than His redeemed and their discipleship and tribulation during their pilgrimage. They must be vindicated and the time has arrived.
An eighth angel appeared before the altar that had in his possession a golden censer. This was no doubt taken from the great Temple of Heaven of which the Temple of Solomon was but a shadow. Bible students have given only scant attention to this temple. I believe Melchizedek was the high priest of that temple and descended to offer a foreshadow of communion to Abraham. Connecting that golden censor to the temple and the prayers of the saints is especially important. The prayers of the saints would naturally be preserved in the temple for it is the very center of all redemption. The Blood of Jesus Christ is on the altar in that same heavenly temple. This is the very center of the activities of the seven years of the Great Tribulation. The Apostle Paul notes every anointed prayer as special. Prayer has always been the lifeline of His church. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6.
The power and authorities vested in these great volumes of prayer is quite overwhelming. The angel already held in his possession the prayers of the saints and now receives incense to add and finish this offering ready to be offered. Everything is on hold, silence is evident, and the angel is about to unleash the authority that will affect the universe and all heaven, but the effect will be on earth. It’s important to note that this includes the prayers of all saints. This offering is made directly before the throne of the Father, on the very central altar of heaven called, the golden altar. You can rest assured that this is the central most sacred spot of Heavenly Jerusalem and has the attention of the entire Heavenly host.
Once this offering is finished, the smoke and aroma ascends up before the Father as an acceptable act of worship. Every prayer in Christ’s name, offered by a believing saint, is held in store for action. Sometimes the action is immediate according to the will of God, and sometimes it is preserved until the proper hour; but they are always heard. When I read of the saints of God from Pentecost to the present and see the price in blood that the many martyrs have paid, I get just a little of the emotion that will be manifested on that day. Think of Polycarp, the Huguenots, Hussites, the millions that were slaughtered during the dark ages, and the thousands that were slaughtered by reformation leaders when their dictates were disobeyed. I long for this hour with all those saints that are awaiting vindication.
Now, the action will begin on earth. Every prayer prayed by a saint of God as they were led to the stakes to be burned alive or to the waters in which to be drowned or the many other deaths of martyrdom are all stored up for vengeance. I read of a sixteen-year-old young lady that would not recant her faith in Christ alone, who was carried by the inquisitors to a horse trough and held under water until she was dead. Then, her body was cast on the fire to burn. Those inquisitors will be made to bow at her feet and confess her name before the Father. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” Revelation 3:9. Every debt of every persecutor must be paid.
After the prayers had touched the heart of God, this angel took his censor, filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it onto the earth. You can believe that this Tribulation Period now takes on a new level of judgment. Now, the Father and the Lamb are not just judging the earth, they are judging every act of evil against every saint of God for six thousand plus years. The effect is immediate as voices, thundering, lightning, and earthquakes begin to move across the earth from east to west and from north to south. Not one piece of real estate will escape this action. The vengeance of righteousness against wickedness, light against darkness, and purity against impurity will utterly fill the earth. God’s saints will be vindicated. This action will continue until the end of the seven years is complete.
We should remember that in the final reckoning before our Father, it is not our music or our great sermons, as important as they are when Biblically offered, but the prayers we have prayed. The greatest work of His saints is found in our fellowship and communion with Him. Intercession for the lost, prayer for the multiplying of His words, weeping over the vileness that invades this earth, and wonderful communion with the Father and the Son, is the pure order of righteousness. To allow our works to out pace our prayer life is our shame. More than our labor, He wants our loving togetherness.
1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
“And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” Revelation 8:6-9.
A properly blown trumpet is an awesome musical instrument. It can sound incredibly startling when the sounds are meant to startle. At this point in the Book of Revelation, the wicked population of this earth is hell-bent to destroy and eliminate every vestige of morality and any remembrance of the God of Holy Scripture. A new god is being proclaimed and loved, and the new freedom has unfettered the flesh of men to the full satisfaction of their wildest lusts. Its freedom and the new religion is full of the dreams of wealth and pleasure. But even in the midst of their pleasure, the trumpet begins to sound and the earth begins to shudder. The events on this earth are out of control and the very sound of that trumpet is like a wake-up call.
When the first angel sounded, the heavens turned black and a storm broke out like midnight on the world. Everyone had heard the trumpet and the storm was so instantaneous that the two could not be separated. The hail was murderous and destructive, killing tens of thousands and literally destroying everything in its wake. To add to its fury, the hail became a mixture of fire and blood falling together with the hail. One third of the earth’s trees were destroyed before the storm had subsided and there was no grass left. It was a fire-parched world when it was all over.
Without warning and probably no more than a few days, maybe hours later, there is another great sound of a trumpet. The world shuttered again and the world news outlet goes on alert. The earth is struggling to return to normal. Yet, everyone is expecting the worse. Finally, the news gets the story that a great mountain had fallen from out of nowhere burning with fire. It had fallen to the sea and the first release of waves begins to paint the true picture. The sea and, in many places, a third of the earth’s large bodies of water has turned to blood. In many places it had congealed and is already an unbearable stench. Pleasure, money, vacation! Nothing matters except survival. The seas of the world are a disaster. At least one third of every creature in the world’s bodies of water is dead. At least a third of the ships have gone down with all their crew on board. It is a second disaster on top of the first.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Revelation 8:10-11.
Consternation, death, desperate efforts to bury the dead, looting, and scrambling for food is occurring on a worldwide basis. The world is in shock! Days, maybe weeks, pass and then suddenly a third trumpet sounds. The past months have been unbearable and another shock creates utter insanity. As the world watches for the results of this trumpet, the sky turns threatening and a great star is hurling in a path towards the earth. The entire earth trembles and shakes on impact. It had fallen like a lamp full of fire and destruction. Its effect is upon the rivers and all the fountains of water. The sea is already undrinkable, and, now, the water supplies issuing out of the earth are utterly contaminated. Multitudes die as they drink in desperate thirst from the poisoned waters.
1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” Revelation 8:12-13.
The trees and green grasses have mostly been parched, the seas and oceans are a disaster, and the water supplies of the world are poisoned. Now, Heaven itself must speak of the judgment of a Holy, but angry God. Millions of His servants have been slaughtered. Godly people have been hated and martyred simply for being Godly. The Father promised vengeance on a rebellious and unbending world and its time has come. The forth angel sounds and the heavens respond. A third of the sun goes black, then a third part of the moon, and then a third part of the stars so that the earth is a black, thick darkness for at least five hours out of every daylight period. Nothing can be more awesome than blackness without a shade of light. Insanity is the only answer for the total universe except for those who know truth and have repented. They wait in confidence knowing that the time is short and Jesus will return to establish His kingdom.
Suddenly an angel appears in the sky and heralds a message that the world will hear in great sorrow and fear. It’s not over and the angel sounds the warning. Everyone will hear the angel’s word. There are three woes to go. The angel will declare, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” Revelation 8:13.
The time schedule would suggest that the period of these seven angels is three and one-half years. There will be different events that happen simultaneously and there will be no rest for the world or the wicked. They will surely find places and times to continue their sins and moral rebellion, but each event will only make this world more dangerous.