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ATN12 - "The Sound of Trumpets"

“All Things New”: Back to the Future

  • The Revelation of John is what is, what was and what is to come. It’s a manifesto for the Kingdom of God – a public declaration of God’s intentions; things which “are” and “are to come”

  • “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Shema levot: Hb.“hearing hearts.” To hear is to obey, belief takes form ONLY in action. The entire book is about covenant keeping – and the justice which God adjudicates for Himself, His Church and the human race at large

  • With Chapters 1-3, we started out on earth:

    • Christ in the midst of the “lampstands”/churches, His presence with us

    • Jesus writes to seven churches: completeness – the whole church age

    • Each letter speaks to the leaders (“stars” / “angels”) and the churches about their spiritual state

    • Each letter ends with “listen to what the Spirit says to the churches” – shema levot

    • Effectively, Jesus Christ judges His Church, continually             

  • With Chapters: 4-8:5, we ascend into heaven:

    • The vision of heaven and the Seven Seals: this covers the entire span of the church age

  • The tribulation and the Kingdom and the patient endurance. Yet, it is all “in Jesus” – making it both possible and hope-filled (2017: Jeremiah 29:11)

The Seventh Seal releases the Seven Trumpets – Judgment comes (8:6-11:19) 

  • Another view: the perspective as seen from Heaven’s perspective

    • 1-3: natural devastation

    • 4-7: plagues on humanity

  • 8:6-7: The First Trumpet: The “Egypt Judgements”

    • A spiritual analogy to dealing with the demonic false gods of “Egypt”

    • Burning hails falls from the sky

    • “A third” – partial destruction of nature

  • Vs. 8-9: The Second Trumpet: The “Burning Mountain” Judgement

    • A catastrophic volcanic eruption – and entire mountain is cast into the sea – a picture of the emerging spiritual conflict with the underworld of the Abyss

    • ”Burned” – the implication is fire caused by electricity/lightning

    • ”A Third” – partial destruction of sea life and of human fishermen (“ships” = fishing fleets)

  • Vs. 10-11: The Third Trumpet: The “Wormwood” Meteor Judgement

    • Wormwood was a bitter plant, but not poisonous

    • OT reference of the bitterness which comes from judgement

    • “Blazing like a torch” and affects the freshwater

  • V. 12: The Fourth Trumpet: Part of the sky obscured, day/night altered

    • Possibly the result of the previous plagues

    • Indicates the spiritual nature of the conflict seen within nature

  • V.13 – the eagle and three “woes” – yes, it can get worse than this

  • 9:1-12 – The Fifth Trumpet: Release of the Demonic Host

    • Not real locust, as they sting and don’t eat plants

    • They hurt but don’t kill

    • Can only affect people not sealed with the Holy Spirit

  • Vs.13-19 – The Six Trumpet: The Four Angels & the Army of 200,000,000

    • “Fire, smoke and sulfur” – imagery from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

    • A “third” of humanity not sealed by the Holy Spirit are destroyed

    • (Summary to this point: a “third” of all of creation has been destroyed in judgement, yet the Redeemed are untouched)

  • Vs. 20-21 – Two-thirds of non-sealed humanity is unrepentant – just like Pharaoh. They do not stop their sinful deeds, worshiping demonic idols, murders, sorcery, sexual immorality, thefts – all violation of covenant

  • Another interlude between the sixth and seventh element

  • The Little Scroll: Revelation 10:1-11

    • An angel standing on earth and sea (the whole world) cries out for God to speak the final word of Judgement (on the whole earth)

    • The “seven thunders” speak (God) yet John is told to “seal” it up and do not write it down. The exact details of the final act of God’s judgment are hidden and withheld from humanity!

    • The Angel swears and oath by the Eternal One that in the “days of the Seventh Trumpet” the mystery of God would be fulfilled

    • John is told to eat the scroll, which tastes good, but makes the stomach bitter – and he will prophesy more about peoples and nations

  • The Two Witnesses: Revelation 11:1-14

    • Remember, this is a spiritual perspective, not natural

    • The “Two Witnesses” testify against faithless Israel. A metaphorical reference to Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the prophets) speak against Israel and in favor of Christ, who is the fulfillment of both (MT 17:1-8)

    • The measuring of only the “the altar and those who worship there” – this is a metaphor for the Jewish people

    • 3 ½ days, 42 months – symbolic of calamity, normal life interrupted, but only for a short period

    • “Sodom and Egypt”  as a metaphor for Jerusalem – sinful places God’s people were led out of, used here of unfaithful Jerusalem – yet God is still seeking the Jews

    • Mission fulfilled, the two witnesses are killed and resurrected, taken into heaven – the enemy’s power is limited, God’s is not!

    • An earthquake, a tenth of the city falls, “7000” killed – with the remaining inhabitants converted!

  • Vs.15-18: The Seventh Trumpet – The Kingdom is about to come!

    • “Kingdom of this world” - The dominion of God is now to be reestablished completely – the “not yet” has arrived

    • “begun to reign” – now He’s about to do it!

  • V.19 – The Ark of the Covenant revealed! The covenant-keeping God is going to war!

How This Applies to Us

  • God is in absolute control of His universe!

  • Even to the end, through all human tragedy and divine judgement, the Father maintains those whom are sealed with the Holy Spirit!

  • Covenant-keeping keeps the faithful, the faithless covenant-breaker is destroyed!

  • God’s covenant fulfillment cannot be stopped – He is faithful to His servants even if they are murdered!

  • Ultimate security is only found in the Lord! Psalm 91:1-16

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