Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Trumpets

The Trumpets That Announce Judgment
Revelation 8:1-9:21

The judgment of God exists to move people to repent.

Before God destroyed the city of Jericho He sent His army to surround the city and blow the trumpet. When the trumpet blast was heard God was letting the nation know that destruction was at hand. God saved Rahab and her family but everyone else was destroyed. Rahab and her family all understood that Yahweh was the One true God and she demonstrated her allegiance to God by risking her life and that of her family for the purpose of God. When she heard the trumpet blasts she knew a new kingdom was at the gate.
Throughout scripture we see where God has announced that on the Day of the Lord there will be a trumpet blast.
On that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those lost in the land of Assyria will come, as well as those dispersed in the land of Egypt; and they will worship the Lord at Jerusalem on the holy mountain. (Isaiah 27:13)
Blow the horn in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the residents of the land tremble, for the Day of the Lord is coming; in fact, it is near. (Joel 2:1)

He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matthew 24:31)
In a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
The sound of that trumpet introduced the destruction of the old kingdom and announced the arrival of a new king. Chapters 8 and 9 give us an elongated view of the breaking of the seventh seal. Here we hear six trumpet blasts. The first four blasts introduce the destruction of the earth and the last two describe the terrible woes in store for those who are not sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Let me make mention here that “The Day of the Lord” is not just one day long. Rather it is an extended period of time. Scripture seems to indicate that between the 6th and 7th trumpets there will be a span of time and that span of time is referred to as “The Day of the Lord.” 
Perhaps it is best if you don’t think of the Day of the Lord as a 24 hour period of time. Rather think of it like this, God is God and He is not bound by time, if He wills, a day will last as long as He wants. The events contained in Chapter’s 8 and 9 will take as long as it takes.

Major on the Major
Let me say here that it is very important that we not major on the minors and that we not minor on the majors. Every detail in scripture is important but not all details are pertinent to the truth being conveyed by the Spirit. Details often give emphasis to the main point to help saints know the major purpose of the text. For example Chapter nine speaks of a 200 million soldier army. The point of the text is not there so that we can concentrate on from what nation the army comes or determine if  they are demonic forces? Rather it is to let us know the army is empowered by God and they will destroy those who do not repent.
The major theme for today’s text is: The judgment of God is coming and everyone who does not repent will be destroyed. Let’s see how the minors emphasize the majors.

The Calm Before the Storm
Take note of the power of silence. For the space of half an hour there is total and absolute silence in heaven. All of the angelic beings and all of the martyrs and every soul understands the significance of what is about to happen. Satan’s rule on earth is about to end and Jesus’ earthly rule is about to begin. This time is the awe inspired silence before the storm. It is much like the ominous feeling we have when we have prepared for the hurricane and it is quiet, the calm before the storm. The prayers of the saints have risen to heaven like smoke from an incense stick. God is now about to act.

Know that God hears your prayers and they do move Him to action. He may or may not grant your request. But know He hears and when the time is right He will do what is best.

The First Four Trumpets
A trumpet blows to announce that God’s agents are about to destroy 1/3 of the earth. 1/3 represents a partial destruction of the earth. The Day of the Lord is a period of time and each time God’s wrath is poured out it is terrible but each time it is magnified. It continues to intensify until the final victory where Jesus annihilates evil.
There is a curse upon the earth that has existed since the days of Adam and Eve. Paul said, “For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. (Romans 8:19-22) On the day sin entered the world the earth received a curse and on the day the trumpet sounds the earth will be purified. First trumpet, 1/3 of the earth is burned up, second trumpet, 1/3 of the sea is contaminated and at the third trumpet, 1/3 of the rivers and streams are contaminated and at the fourth trumpet, 1/3 of the sun, the moon, and the stars are removed. God’s judgment on the earth is carried out so that the curse put on it in the Garden can be removed. This judgment will intensify until the earth is totally destroyed and then recreated by God.

The Fifth and Sixth Trumpets
The fifth and sixth trumpets are aimed at the people on earth who have refused to repent. Smoke from the abyss is released by the angel empowered by God. The angel is instructed not to harm those who have been sealed but to destroy those who are not sealed. Something with a more painful sting than a scorpion will have power to inflict the unsaved with tremendous pain. Pain so severe they will want to die but cannot.
Then the sixth trumpet will blow and a force of power unheard of by any human army. 200 million soldiers strong go out to destroy 1/3 of the human race.
It is my understanding of Scripture that the 200 million soldiers are Satan’s demonic forces, super human beings more powerful than any man or human army, but powerless when in the presence of the Lamb of God. Later we will see where the Word of God defeats this mighty and powerful army. The very Word that spoke the world into creation will speak evil into the Lake of Fire.
The message of these six trumpets is here to encourage the saints of God because they are sealed and will never experience any of God’s wrath. But this message is also a warning to the unrepentant that the judgment of God is coming and when the trumpet is sounded it is too late to repent. To you I say don’t miss what John says in 9:20-21.

 The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21)

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