THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
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We return now to the linear action of the Great Tribulation. The interlude between the sixth and seventh Trumpets is past and we have arrived at what, unquestionably, will be the most epic and dramatic turn in end-time world history ... namely, the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. Back in chapter 10, the mighty angel said that in the days of the sounding of the seventh Trumpet there would be no further delay ... but, in those days, he said, the mystery of God (referring to who the Lord Jesus Christ really is) will be finished, as he has declared to his servants, the prophets. For example, as we have it in Isaiah 25:6-7,
The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
All of Heaven will have been holding its breath for the momentous event of the sounding of the seventh Trumpet for its blast will be the sound of ultimate victory! It signals that the time for the personal intervention by the Lord Jesus Christ, himself, has now come. The blowing of the seventh Trumpet will begin an unstoppable and methodical march of God to set all things straight in Heaven and Earth, culminating in the complete and irrefutable revelation of who Jesus Christ truly is. When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, Heaven is going to go wild.
However, let’s remind ourselves of the exact timing of this event and what will immediately follow it. Time-wise, the seventh Trumpet will be blown at the very end of the Great Tribulation ... within a matter of days, if not hours, of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Immediately upon the blowing of the seventh Trumpet, Christ’s Bowl judgments will be poured out upon the earth in rapid, staccato procession … like the grand finale of a giant fireworks display. Then, Christ will descend to Earth, dispose of his enemies, enter his temple at Jerusalem and begin his millennial (1000 year) reign here.
Now, it is also important to realize that, from a human standpoint, the days of the seventh Trumpet will encompass a considerable segment of time. Many historic events, and the things that are related to them, fall under the days of the voice of the seventh angel (10:7). In order to be clear, let’s list them. The days of the seventh Trumpet will include:
…all of the seven Bowl Judgments
…the complete destruction of Antichrist’s capitol, economic, political and religious system
…the annihilation of Antichrist's armies at the battle of Armageddon
…the casting of Antichrist and his False Prophet into the Lake of Fire
…the Second Coming of Christ
…the resurrection and restoration of Israel to their land
…the judgment of the nations
…the one thousand year reign of Christ on Earth
…the final battle of Gog and Magog at the end of the Millennium
…the consignment of Satan to the Lake of Fire
…the resurrection and judgment of all wicked people at the Great White Throne judgment
THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The [NU changes kingdoms to kingdom] of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!’ And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: ‘We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was [NU omits and who is to come] Because you have taken your great power and reigned.’ The nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth. Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, pandemonium broke out in Heaven. This was the trumpet that everyone had been waiting for. From this time on, all of God’s created intelligences would be able to see the end. The cries of God’s saints for intervention, going back to the beginning of time, will now be answered. Here are a couple of those cries from the Psalms:
Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded. Psalm 7:6
Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Psalm 9:19
So, when the seventh angel blew his trumpet, John heard a great jubilation break out in Heaven ... a cacophony of voices ... the like of which I suspect, had never before been heard there. The air became filled with cries saying, The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. The NASV correctly translates the word kingdom here in the singular. Both of these words, kingdom and is become are in the singular. Dr. McGee points out that you and I view this world as divided into little territories of nations with new ones being formed and old ones being deleted or changed from time to time. So, he says, we draw and redraw our little lines on our maps to distinguish their boundaries. But God sees the world as it truly is … just one dark kingdom … ruled over by the Prince of Darkness. In Matthew 4:8-9, we read that Satan took Jesus up on a high mountain and offered him all the kingdoms of the world ... provided that Jesus would fall down and worship him. It was a legitimate offer. They were his to give. If this were not so, it would not have been a temptation. Second Corinthians 4:4, calls Satan the god of this world. Sin and selfishness, sickness and savagery, death and spiritual darkness, blindness and rebellion, war and graveyards are all hallmarks of this god’s kingdom. McGee further comments, God sees Satan’s slaves plodding like zombies to fill up the cemeteries. The sounding of the seventh Trumpet is the beginning of the end to all of this! From that precise point in time, Satan's kingdom will be systematically dismantled by the King of kings and Lord of lords. Hallelujah, indeed!
The twenty-four elders enter into to this jubilation as well and John heard them say, We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the one who is and who was because you have taken your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth. These words of praise, by the leaders of the Church, are the key to defining the wide range of time that the days of the seventh Trumpet encompass. Let’s break their declaration down. They proclaim:
…We give you thanks … because you have taken your great power and reigned. When the seventh Angel sounds, God and his Christ truly will have begun to exercise their great power to intervene upon the Earth. From that exact moment on, Satan's grip on this world will begin to slip and his kingdom will begin to unravel.
…The nations were angry and your wrath has come. The anger of the nations will have been building throughout the Great Tribulation. Now, God's hot wrath will begin to rain down upon them by means of the Bowl judgments and then reach its apex at the battle of Armageddon. At that battle, all the nations of the earth will be gathered together to experience firsthand the wrath of God’s Almighty Lamb.
…And the time of the dead [has come] that they should be judged. The judgment of the dead from all time will be set in motion by the blowing of the seventh Trumpet (though not all at one time, nor all on the same day). Jesus said,
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice [Christ's voice] and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:28-29
…And that you should reward your servants the prophets and the saints. Bear in mind that judgment and rewards are two very different issues in the plan of God. Rewards will be given for faithfulness and fruitfulness. The elders speak here of two different groups who are scheduled for rewards during the days of the seventh Trumpet. The Church is not one of them, by the way. She will have already been rewarded, as we noted back in 4:4. The people who the elders are referring to here are Old Testament prophets and saints. They will receive their rewards after their resurrection at the end of the Great Tribulation. They include such people as Adam and Eve, Enoch, Jonah, Ruth, Hannah, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist, the greatest of the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 11:7-11). Daniel 12:2, is a key scripture here...
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
[Note: Yet another group of saints, the Tribulation saints, will also be resurrected and rewarded at the end of the Great Tribulation. I believe this is implied in Daniel 12:2. Logic also dictates this and it is my opinion that it will occur in conjunction with the resurrection of Israel and the Old Testament saints.]
…And [you] should destroy those who destroy the earth. In conclusion, the elders testify that during the days of the blowing of the seventh Trumpet, Christ will destroy all those who destroy the earth. Destruction of the Earth is one of the wanton hallmarks of the wicked. A modern day example that comes to mind was when Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to torch hundreds of oil wells in Kuwait and dump millions of gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf. The resulting devastation was horrendous and its effects will last for generations. From the beginning of time, wicked men have been destroying God’s beautiful Earth, both individually and collectively. Their self-centered, reckless and devil may care attitude toward God's creation is witnessed on a daily basis in our world and is well documented in both ancient and modern history.Think about this for a minute. God placed man over the earth to care for, manage and preserve it. In Genesis 1:26, we read,
And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (KJV)
But, when sin entered in, man became Earth's destroyer instead of its keeper. Jesus said,
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42
For all the destroyers of the earth then, there is a payday coming. It will take place during the days of the blowing of the seventh Trumpet. The elders joyfully confessed that all these things were set in motion when the seventh angel sounded his Trumpet. Truly, on that day, the kingdom of this world will have become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ. When the seventh trumpet sounds, it’s a done deal! The process of putting all enemies under the feet of the Son of God will immediately begin and be relentlessly executed all the way down to its conclusion at the Great White Throne judgment (Rev. 20).
At the close of this great and joyous scene the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of his covenant was seen. Keep in mind that God's temple in Heaven is the real one of which the tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness, as well as the later temples of Solomon, Ezra, Herod and the temple of the Tribulation are mere shadows. Immediately following the jubilation that will errupt at the blowing of the seventh Trumpet, Heaven's temple will once again be opened and men down on Earth will once again be able to see up into Heaven (6:14-17). This time, however, they will be staring directly into the Holy of Holies and will be able to see the ark of his covenant there. The ark is a distinctly Jewish piece of furniture, by the way. Therefore, I believe this event will be especially aimed at the unbelieving Jews who are still alive on earth at that very late hour. This whole amazing event will answer the prayer of Psalm 132:89,
Arise, O LORD, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.
You will remember that the lid of the ark was called the mercy seat. It was made of solid gold and included two golden cherubim with their wings extended over it. Inside the ark were the stone tablets written on by the finger of God (Exodus 40:20), Aaron's rod that budded (Numbers 17:8-11), and a bowl of manna from the wilderness wanderings of the people of Israel (Exodus 16:33-34). Of all the furniture in the Temple, the ark speaks the loudest of the fact that God is in covenant relationship with his chosen people, the Jews. When the ark becomes visible from Heaven, time will be running out for those remaining Jews who are still persisting in their unbelief down on Earth. This visual display will be a powerful appeal to them. In essence, God will be saying, I haven’t forgotten who you are and all of my covenants with you. Have you forgotten me and your covenant with me? The Mercy Seat is still open. Won't you come? God’s great love for his ancient covenant people is incredible. As we have it in Romans 11:28-29,
As concerning the gospel, they [the Jews] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [irrevocable].
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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