"The Seventh Trumpet"
General idea: The seventh angel now sounds his trumpet and loud voices echoing from the heavens proclaim that the entire world has now become a part of the
We are also shown a contrast between goodness and wickedness, between those who oppress and those who seek liberty, such as the faithful
Vs. 15-19: Now comes the third terror, and woe commences as the seventh angel blows the trumpet, declaring to the whole world that the
· Sounded his trumpet refers to the arrival or accession of something or someone great, such as a king (1 Kings ; Rev. 9:13).
· The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord. In John's time, governments were worldly dominated kingdoms within kingdoms. The Jewish mindset and hope in their time was that they would one day be handed over to God and His Kingdom. It is all about His timing (Ex. ; Psalm 2:2; ; Isa. 9:7; Dan. 7:13-18; Zech. 14:9; 1 Macc. 2:57).
· Twenty-four elders. Elders refers to those with authority, God's representatives who are called to declare and serve Him wholeheartedly and righteously. In the early Church, the number 24 meant the 12 Israelite tribes of the Old Testament and the 12 apostles. This also refers to the Church as triumphant, and the entirety of all believers-the sum total of the Church. This can also refer to angelic beings who are also worshipping God (Rev. 9-11; 5:5-14; -17; -18; 14:3; 19:4). (see Rev. 4: 1-5 study for more info).
· The One who is and who was. God is the beginning and the end. This term refers to His sovereignty as He rules over all humanity at all times. Some see this as the start of the reign of Christ on earth; however, the text does not support that theory (Rev. 1:4, 8; 4:8).
· You have taken your great power. This does not mean God was not in control before or had not exercised His power. Rather, the acknowledgment of His present rule is already a "given" in Jewish thought. This is celebrating His future rule over all nations and our participation in it as His faithful (Psalm 2).
· The nations were angry may refer to their panic and/or how corrupting was their sin. It is interesting to note that they are not afraid but angry, typical of rationalization, defiance, and preponderance of sin. It is always foolish to fight against God (Psalm 48:4).
· Your wrath/anger points to the Judgment that is coming (Joel ; Mal. 3:2). God's wrath and righteousness are a reality. However, Christ covers our sin for us (Zeph. 1:14-18; Nahum 1:6; Mal. 3:2; Rom. 1:18; 3:9-23; 6:23; Rev.19:15). We have hope and assurance when our trust is in Christ. He is our hope, even when the very foundations of the universe are collapsing around and under us. When our hope is in Christ, nothing can shake us (Luke 12:32-34; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Heb. -29; Rev. 14:10-11; -21; 20:8-15).
· Your servants the prophets. Referencing Dan. 9:6, 10; Amos 3:7; Zech 1:6.
· God's Temple. This metaphor refers to God's preeminence and/or where God dwells, not necessarily an actual corporeal structure (throne). Nor does it say that the
· The ark of his covenant represents the presence of God, His faithfulness, and atonement in keeping the covenant He made with His people even when they disobeyed Him. This refers to the main Jewish icon, the box chest, made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, which held the tablets of the Ten Commandments and was placed behind the sanctuary curtain in the inner sanctum where the presence of God dwelt. This image could also represent the
· Lightning….hailstorm points to God's supremacy and authority, the true God and His right of vengeance, His self-revelation, and His awesome majesty and power, and represents an important event, possibly the curse and plagues associated with mocking and disobeying God while worshipping the fake god, Zeus. It is our duty to heed His voice and reverence Him (Ex. 19:16-19; Job 37:5-6; Psalm 18:11-15; 77:18; Ezek. 1:4, 24; 43:2; Dan. 10:6; Heb. 12:18-29; Rev. 4:1-11; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18).
Keep hope and Christ in mind, as well as the fact that God is understandable and approachable! In devastating times of stress and war, to fathom something such as the
We are also shown that when all seems lost in our personal lives, when people and events come against God and His faithful, they really do not win. No enemy can do to us what God does not allow-nothing that could really, effectively, eternally hurt us. Those who do evil will be judged beyond what we could or would want to do to them. They get their deserved what is coming as we who are faithful get our reward. The key is to trust Him; be assured and confident that He is reigning and in control.
These judgments are deserved. Do not mourn for those who are reprobates, who continually refuse to repent while dragging others down with them. These people want the judgment; they have begged for it by their refusal to reconcile to or recognize the Sovereign reign of our Lord and by their contradictory evil ways. They know better, but in spite of that, still sin. There is no sadness or grief on their part and there is none needed by those of us who are the faithful. The choice is before us; we can accept the love, forgiveness, and grace of our Lord or we can refuse. Next come natural consequences and justified judgments to those who are wicked, and the wonders of paradise to those who have received His election (Deut. 30:19).
The Preterist view: They see this passage as discords of the Roman war against
The Futurist view: There are varying views in this camp, but most see this as the herald to Christ's second coming. The trumpet is seen as proclaiming it is here, the second coming. This view is contradictory for them, as most in this camp believe the rapture took place in Rev. 4:1 which is prior to these events (even though there is no Scriptural support for such a premillennial view). Thus, some see this trumpet as the end of the Millennium, which would contradict their theories on the coming chapters. Some see verse 18 as the accumulation of the entire Millennium. The Kingdoms of the earth is seen as a problem and discrepancy in their chronology, and thus, many speculative views, such as associating it with chapter 20 and the millennial reign, or seeing it as meaning that the earth is no longer under the control of people. The judging of the dead is also out of their sequence, because they teach a rapture that has already occurred; this happened prior to the Tribulation (neither are evident in the text). The common response is that after the tribulation, people come to Christ and this passage is talking about these people.
The Idealist view: They see the Trumpet as God's reign on earth and His eternal nature. The judging of the dead is seen as the stubborn and unyielding world versus the faithful and what Christ offers. This passage is also an interlude of praise to God and the
The Historicist view: The trumpet is seen as the end of the age of papal interdiction and persecution of the faithful, and the treaty with the Turks in 1699. The
The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive Bible Study):
1. What does this passage say?
2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?
1. How do you like to praise, rejoice, and worship God? How would you contrast goodness and wickedness?
2. How vast and magnificent is God is in your life? What metaphors, language, or feelings do you have for God's omniscience? Why is it is our duty to heed His voice and reverence Him?
3. What happens when we read in what we think and not take careful time to see what the context, cultural considerations, and word meanings are? Do you think that some of these theories of end times would be utterly ridiculous to the original readers and Author? Why, or why not?
4. Why do you suppose God allows such things as persecution to happen? Why do you and/or other people still sin in spite of the fact that you know better?
5. What needs to happen for your relationship with Him to become more faithful? How is your faithfulness to Christ reflected in your behavior and words?
6. How does it have an effect on your trust and faith in God that He "condescends" to you, as in "descends" to your level to make Himself known so He is more accessible and understandable to your ability of comprehension? What can you do to perceive Him better?
7. Do you think that humanity has been warned enough? If not, what do you think it would take for people to see their sins and accept Christ?
8. Why is it that no prophecy, no matter how valid and true it is, will sway those who are evil or entrenched in their own ways?
9. What can you do to more fully trust that His judgment and what He gives you are sufficient? How can you better keep hope and Christ in mind in devastating times of stress and war?
10. When all seems lost and people and events come against you, how can you have greater perseverance? What about if you better realized that God, not all the evil, will win? What about that God will not allow any enemy to do anything to us that can really, effectively, eternally hurt us (Psalm 34:11-22)? When bad things happen, we naturally desire vengeance. How does the fact that those who do evil will be judged beyond what we could or would do to them help you to have assurance and confidence to trust God to judge, that you do not need to take matters in your own hands or go against the civil law?
11. How can you have hope and faith that even with suffering and the consequences of sin, His perfect plan, that all things will come together to give Him glory, will come to fruition? What will you do to gain more hope and faithfulness for your life?
12. Why is it important, in our Christian lives, that we be faithful? What can happen when we stay faithful in Christ? What can you do to show greater trust in Him and continue your walk in faith as He gets you through and vindicates you? What about not looking to your fears and not turning your face from our Lord? How will you do that?
© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org