Revelation Series #16
Part 3 of Chapter 11
The 7th Trumpet, 24 Elders Worship
Do you Remember the Last words from Revelation that we read two weeks ago?
11:14 - The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon
so now, let's move to the final section of chapter 11 and the beginning of the Final Trumpet, the beginning of the greatest outpouring of God's wrath that the world has seen or heard of
READ - 15-19
Historicist - the 6th trumpet included everything from 9:13 through 11:14 … The intervening material has depicted a period of 1260 years, which include papal persecution of the true church, the Reformation has occurred and a conflict with the Turks which conquered "a third of mankind".
Now we hear the 7th trumpet which ends the 1st series of visions. This trumpet brings us to the end of the age. It is not a momentary sounding but an extended period including the pouring out of the 7 bowls of wrath, the last of which brings the end of the world. The bowls, begin to be fulfilled in the French Revolution but the last few bowls still await the fulfillment at the coming of the Lord.
Preterist - though it is announced that the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord … this is NOT a declaration that the entire earth has at this point come under the forcible and conscious rule of Christ, as at the end of time. The time frame here is the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 … David Clark says
The first great opposer is swept awayand the 'kingdoms of this world' no rather the rule or sway of this world belongs to Christ. Now the kingdom was really given to Christ at his ascension but two things had to happen before it was rightly on its way as a world conquering power. The first was spiritual, outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost; the second was physical, the breaking down of the barrier of Judaism in the fall of the first great opposer. Then Christianity became a world religion. They go on to say that there may be a tendency to read in the expression, "the time of the dead, that should be judged" ; a reference to the final resurrection and judgment of all the dead at the final coming of Christ. Jay Adams says though … this marks a transitional period in chapter 12. Before everything is about Judaism and after everything is about the Roman Empire
Futurists - There is a wide spectrum of understanding of these verses among Futurists who are for the most part Premillennialist. But here is a run down. Most see this 7th Trumpet as Announcing the 2nd Coming of Christ to remove all opposition and take authority and establish his millennial Kingdom. Which may raise the question of chronology … Wolvoord says "how can kingdoms of the world become at this point Kingdoms of Christ when, as a matter of fact, seven vials are to be poured out? The answer is that just as the seven trumpets are part of the seventh seal, so the seven vials are part of the seventh trumpet
"He shall reign forever and ever" is not a discrepancy with he shall reign for 1000 years. In the millennial reign he begins and it continues for eternity in the new heaven and the new earth.
There also then is a resurrection of the dead, it seems, and a judgment in v18. But dispensationalists believe the Church is Raised at the Rapture … and the Wicked at the end of the millennium. But this seems to place them at the same time. Which would be too late for the church and too early for the wicked.
Wolvoord explains "this is the resurrection of the righteous dead rather than the wicked who are not raised until after the millennium". He and Lindsey and others would define this as NOT the church but the believers of the Old Testament era and those who became believers during the Tribulation who will be resurrected and rewarded at the end of the Tribulation.
While this then gives us 3 Resurrections, 4 if you count the Witnesses, others would explain it this way … the seventh trumpet is both the commencement AND the end of the Millennium. It is marks the Second Coming of Christ at the Beginning and resurrection at the end. Ironside writes "the 18th verse covers the entire millennium and carries us on the judgment of the wicked dead, to the end of time … The day of judgment then would be 1000 years long"
This would say then that the 7th trumpet is a synopsis, a table of contents as wiersbe says to the rest of the book and the rest of history … MORE ON THIS LATER
Spiritual - The trumpet brings in the final reign of God and he shall reign for ever and ever. It is the close of Act III of the drama. After ch. 6, this is the 2nd picture given to the end. Instead of giving details, this trumpet gives us a picture of heaven after the judgment and shows us what the judgment means for God and his Kingdom.
Many manuscripts omit "and is to come" in verse 17, if this is accurate, then the Lord NOW is simply the who IS and who was … because there is not further reason to predict his coming
The ark of the covenant, is a reminder of God's faithfulness. The chapter ends with a display of the solumn artillery of heaven (alford)
So … The second woe has ended, that is the 6th Trumpet and now the 7th Woe
Let's remember quickly the Trumpets
1) Hailstones - destroy 1/3 of grass and tree
2) Mountain-like Fireball in the Sea turns to blood … destroys 1/3 of ships, animals in the sea
3) Star-like a torch (wormwood) destroys 1/3 of fresh water
4) 1/3 of Light is darkened day and night
5) Demons who are imprisoned are released and attack those without GOD's mark for 5 months
6) Army comes from the Euphrates and 1/3 of earth's population killed
Two Witnesses have been on earth for 3 ½ years seemingly immortal they are killed, lay dead for 3 days in the street, then get up and are called up into heaven
Earthquake hits Jerusalem 1/10 of buildings destroyed and killing 7,000 people of record, and it would seem that a number turn to Christ in response.
Now comes the 3rd, final, and worst woe, at the end of the 7th Seal. We are in the 2nd ½ of the 7 year tribulation period
Go back with me to Rev 10:7 - In the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets
The NLT words it this way When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God's mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets
Those words are important for us to understand this section of scripture. This passage seems to be broad and inclusive, it seems to lump together things that elsewhere happen over different periods of time.
Now if I were to have said to you a month ago, "In the 2005/06 Day of Football bowls, Teams will be Crowned Victors, Teams will be Crushed and Defeated, Steers will overcome Gladiators, Lions will outlast Indian Warriors, Worthless Nuts from Columbus will devastate leprechauns from South Bend. Cheerleaders and Grown Men will cry, Boys and Old women will Cheer; bones like hearts will be broken, knees will be bent in submission and in injury; some will dive and catch glory, others will stretch out to grasp air; some will run over opposition, others will run as it were into a wall; and only one will remain unvanquished."
Now … Besides being impressed by my eloquence, If I said all of that … would you expect those things to happen all on the same day? Is it a contradiction for me to lump all of those things together or is it natural to lump them together before a more detailed description of the Bowl Season?
Now we see … what is happening here in the last part of chapter 11. The 7th trumpet sounds but it will also come to include 7 bowls or vials of God's judgment. The 7th Trumpet announces the completion of all things, but all things are still yet to be completed. Warren Wiersbe calls this section the "Table of Contents" for the rest of the book.
So we need to recognize that the 7th Trumpet doesn't just give a staccato blast … no it is a LONG EXTENDED DRAWN out BLAST … it is DURING that blast … that lasts the final period of the Tribulation …
It is long enough that the 7 Bowls of God's Wrath are poured out, Satan and his Antichrist are defeated, Christ returns with his own and takes ownership of this world and so here … it begins …. Here it is laid out for us and then will be explained more deeply in the following chapters
Let's divide this Summary into 3 parts tonight
1. Coronation of a Victorious King
Now some have said that this picture is flashing forward to the End of the Tribulation and the Winning of the Final Battle
Others would say that this is just saying that the World is open to Jesus now …
Others say that this is a pronouncement in Heaven of what was about to be fulfilled … I personally tend to lean toward the latter … It is being declared in Heaven as God is about to allow the final workings of his plan to make it a reality in all of the Universe on every dimension, to let all see and experience in full reality what has ALWAYS been …
Can we just get a Glorious Picture of Jesus here tonight
This IS the Revelation of Jesus Christ isn't it?
There were Loud Voices - perhaps the entire angelic choirs of Heaven announce this Victorious Pronouncement of Truth …
The KINGDOM (singular is the best reading) - basileia /bas-il-i-ah/ royal power, dominion, rule, not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom … the territory subject to the rule of a king
Right now the World is it's own Kingdom. There are many countries but they are all while subject to a Sovereign God, under the influence and dominion of Satan. The Kingdom of God is in the Human Heart.
Because of our Sin and choices, a Sovereign God has given over limiter control. This world has been experiencing the result of being a fallen world. It is a world turned over to Satan.
We may call this a Christian nation but it is not. There are Christians here but we are no more a Christian nation than England, than France, Than Russia, than Iraq. You may not like that but this Kingdom has been allowed to be influenced and under the Dominion of Satan
But in those days it will be more so than ever before. The Restrainer, the Holy Spirit will be removed as his Temple, the individual hearts of the Church has been caught up into glory. And this world will LOOK and Feel like Satan's dominion, his playground.
But THEN the Territory of Satan, the Kingdom of this world, has BECOME the Kingdom of our Lord and Jesus Christ
Satan will be dethroned …
Satan offered Jesus the Kingdoms of the world once … "just bow down to me one time" … but Jesus wouldn't go the cheap route for disobedience always results in temporary pleasure, temporary treasure, temporary power, temporary wisdom, temporary authority
But Jesus was obedience to Death, even death on the cross and he has received and inheritance …
Psalm 2 - is very pertinent today in this passage …
It is his inheritance therefore
And it will not be a temporary Kingdom … no it will be FOR EVER and EVER
That is the word aion - /ahee-ohn / - an unbroken age, perpetuity of time it's where we get our word ion.
I like that it is written in my bible FOR …. EVER and EVER. That tells me that this Kingdom is HIS for the PURPOSE of ETERNITY … it is until the Day after Eternity … It is not the 12th of Never but the 7th of Forever
Remember Isaiah 9:6 - He is to be the Everlasting Father … that is the Father of Eternity or the Originator or Source of Eternity.
Remember that everything is made by him and for him as is Eternity FOR his Purpose to rule for ever and ever for ion upon ion
And He shall Reign for ever and ever
HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!
But Second in this passage we have
2. A Convocation of Praise
Now understand me, Satan is NOT in charge today, oh he thinks he is, but GOD is on his throne. When Stephen was being stoned, he looked and saw Jesus and recognized Heaven, his hope, Jesus his Savior, standing in the throne room next the Father his God, and he was NOT discouraged. I believe that God allows every one who suffers injustice for his name to catch a glimpse of Glory that they might press on. David feared not Saul because he knew he was going to be King. I fear not tomorrow because I know that GOD is on the Throne.
So can you understand today that JUST as much TODAY as in Chapter 11 of Revelation in that Future celebration, the Kingdom of this world is the Kingdom of the Lord, it is a DONE DEAL, it may not be finished in the physical but it is finished in the Spiritual. It is settled in Heaven. How do I know because Paul tells me that God has ALREADY given Jesus a name above every name, and that name is Lord that Every Knee will bow and every tongue confess that it is TRUE, he IS Lord
How should we respond today to this truth?
How should we respond to the glory that Jesus Christ is LORD and our Victorious King?
Well, let the Church be the Church, we should do some Heaven Practice and do what the Church does here, the 24 Elders, which is the Church in Heaven, seated on thrones …
They got down off their thrones, they fell on their faces and Worshipped God …
1. Because of Who is He and What he has done ---
a. when's the last time you got on your face before God?
b. I'm not telling you to do it now, but you should do it from time to time for no other reason than to humble yourself before God
LET's WORSHIP HIM FOR A MINUTE
"Thank You Lord" - D. Jernigan
we need to get down off our thrones, there is no greater act of honor / worship than to give up your seat. You will give up your seat to a lady on the bus or train but you can't give up your throne to Christ? Come On
We are not worthy to sit there in light of who he is
c. We give thanks to the Lord - kurios / koo-ree-os/ means "one to whom a person or thing belongs" … because he is Almighty - pantokrator /pan-tok-rat-ore/ - "he who holds sway over all things"
because he is the One who IS and who Was - no the KJV and NKJV tag on "and is to come" but the oldest and most reliable manuscripts we have in the Greek drop off the familiar who was and is and is to come from the old Testament … WHY? BECAUSE he IS … and was … that's it … Eternity is NOW … THEN … so there is no more IS TO COME … FULFILLMENT is at Hand
and Because you have begun to reign - The only thing I could think of here in response is the Valley Girl Phrase "AS IF" …. As IF he ever STOPPED reigning … but NOW it will be absolute in every dimension and region of this universe.
B. Praise Him Because He Judges the Wicked
In chapter 4 the 24 Elders worship him as Creator
In Chapter 5 As Redeemer
Here as Conqueror and King
1. The Nations were Angry … again as a picture of the final days unfolding … the will become more and more angry toward God as his plan is unfolding and their fate is evident … BUT Haven't men apart from God hated God in every generation. I have never seen an age where God as relating to Jesus Christ is MORE hated by those apart from him than today. The only intolerance that is tolerated is intolerance toward intolerance, or proclaiming absolute truth is found in Jesus Christ alone.
2. While his Kindness (rom 2:4) leads to repentance their response is to be more and more angry
3. WHY? Ps 2:1-3 - "let us break their chains and fetters" --- The contemporary English Version says "let us cut the ropes and set ourselves free" The Message paraphrase says "Let's get free of God!" The issue that angers those apart from God is I WANT TO DO IT MY WAY … I won't surrender to you … I won't come to you to be saved … My Life is, well, "My life … go ahead with your own life, Leave me alone" as Rock and Roll Theologian Billy Joel taught us.
And How will God respond? Ps 2:4 … "The One in Heaven Laughs … the Lord Scoffs, then he rubkes, then he terrifies them in his wrath"
4. Your Wrath has come --- Now this is NOT an emotional response from God. You see … they are orgizo /or-gid-zo/ "provoked to anger" but the wrath that God has is NOT orgizo or even another word thumos which is an emotional passionate anger … NO God is described as orge /or-gay/ that is a character or natural response, aroused by unjust or unworthy action, it is the punishing anger of a magistrate … God's wrath is the result of his Character.
He is NOT emotionally upset or out of control … No this is a decision made by the justice of God against a wicked, prideful, unrepentant, ungrateful Kingdom that rejected God's Words, His Ways, His Revelation, His Son's Sacrifice and it is HOLY INDIGNATION. Do not fear that the wicked will not get their day … because they will … He will Judge the Wicked … and we will see it in Revelation 20:11-15
>>> The Time Has Come <<<
Now don't be confused or to concerned here as some are about whether this is accurate since we will see that the Church, the Old Testament Dead, and the Wicked will be judged different and even at different times … this word … TIME here the TIME … is the word Kairos / kahee-ros / meaning a measure of time, a season, a larger or smaller portion of time …
So just know that the Time has come and it will play out in order as God directs and intends
But see here also that we should praise him because
C. Praise him Because he REWARDS the Faithful
1. Rewarding the Prophets …
a. What is the greatest reward for a Prophet of God? Vindication … Fulfillment of those prophesies … All those who scoffed now will know that God is the Lord and His Servants the Prophets weren't old fools or young idiots they spoke the words of God and God fulfilled them just as he said
b. but Preachers are prophets too … they may or may not predict the future but they proclaim the truth of God and they will be rewarded to as the Truth they have preached and proclaimed faithfully come to fruition, when my FAITH SHALL BE SIGHT as the writer Horatio Spafford said "Oh Lord Haste the Day when my Faith Shall be Sight, the Clouds be rolled back as a scroll… the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend …" That day is coming and what a reward it will be for the prophets of God
2. Rewarding the Saints and Those who Reverence his Name
a. We will NOT be judged for our SIN … as Believers in Christ our sin was judged at the cross … but we will be judged for our works and rewarded by the Father. If we are of the Church and Raptured into glory … I believe we have already been judged at this point and rewarded with crowns that we wear and throw at his feet
b. the Old Testament Saints have yet to be judged and rewarded for their lives of faithfulness to God. Those who perhaps weren't trained in the synagogues never knew the Law but God revealed himself to them and they worshipped him … "those who reverenced his name" - both small and great … God is no respecter of persons … whatsoever a man sows he also reaps
There is Coronation of the Victorious King
A Convocation of Praise
3. A Confidence in his Faithfulness
This final part of this picture is especially important to John's Jewish readers
Then God's Temple was opened … within was seen the Ark of His Covenant
Judgment comes from the Holy of Holies and Forgiveness comes from the Holy of Holies
When Israel read this … they understood
God has not forgotten
God will Lead us as he did from Egypt
God will Judge Sin
God will Provide for us
God has a home for us
God will fulfill Every Promise
Jesus ascended to Heaven to present his sacrifice, himself, to the Father on our behalf and have our Judgment be declared FORGIVEN for all who receive it. But from that same place, Judgment is declared on all unacceptable, unoffered sacrifices.
As with Cain and Able, one accepted, one rejected
One was obedient, one disobedient
One was humble, one was full of pride
One blessed, another cursed
So it is from the Holy of Holies in Heaven comes salvation and forgiveness for all who God Foreknew, so he predestined, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. And there is also Judgment for those he also foreknew all along as those who would reject him in their foolish pride.
Just as after the Cross, the Veil in the Earthly temple tore loose opening the way to God for every man … SO now in the Heavenly Temple the doors are opened into all that the Father has made available to man through the Victorious Son
Everything that God promised his People Israel are in that ARK … the ARK has NOT been lost … and Raiders haven't found it …
God has it … and protects it
God's promises are NEVER LOST … though the world may not see them … yet are they safe as the day they were given and as sure as the Lord who made them
The Reason God Reigns is because of the Faithfulness, Fidelity, Reliability, and Power, to Keep his Promises
At the Heart of the Gospel is the truth of Jesus, The reason Jesus could say "I am the way the truth and the Life is because if he goes to prepare a place, he will come again … because he would NOT leave us as orphans.
He didn't save us to leave us
He didn't transform us to let us die
He didn't love us to abandon us
We see here a glimpse an overview of the 3rd woe, the 7th trumpet which will include 7 bowls. We see and here lightnings, voices, thunderings, earthquakes, great hail, and we are now moving into the worst of God's Judgment, the darkest days of the earth, and the Dawnings of a new day, a new earth, a new Heaven!
The End of an Era for Satan and those who take his way and the Beginning of Forever for God and those few who find the narrow way
Wednesday Night Bible study Fall 2005-Spring 2006
The following resources were used among others in preparation
Revelation Four Views: A Parallel Commentary – Steve Gregg
W.A. Criswell Expository Sermons on Revelation
Dr. J.A. Seiss Expositions on Revelations
MacArthur Bible Studies: Revelation – John MacArthur
Dr. David Jeremiah Expositions on Revelation
The Pulpit Commentary: Revelation
Wiersbe: The Bible Exposition Commentary