Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Seventh Trumpet

The events of the seventh trumpet cover a broad period of time.

"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." Revelation 11:18

"I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished His work in the sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out." Early Writings, p. 36

The wrath of God takes place after probation closes. The time of the dead to be judged follows that, so that would be the judgment of the wicked during the 1000 years. The ultimate reward of the saints and the destruction of the wicked after the 1000 years is described in the last half of Revelation 11:18. So the seventh trumpet events extend from the anger of the nations during probationary time until the final rewards and punishments are given after the 1000 years.

Overall, the seventh trumpet is more about the spiritual conquests of truth than it is about military conquests. The first six trumpets were God's initiatives in history to prevent the complete takeover of catholicism (Roman and Eastern). And in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, God's truth fully triumphs.

Three scenes are presented in Revelation 11:15-19 in connection with the sounding of the seventh trumpet:

  • Great voices in heaven declare what is accomplished during this period (verse 15).
  • The twenty-four elders worship God in words of praise to Him (verses 16-18).
  • The temple of God is opened in heaven (verse 19).

In verse 15 we see the final, uncontested establishment of God's universal kingdom. In verses 16-18 the twenty-four elders celebrate that accomplishment. And in verse 19 the heavenly sanctuary and the law of God are opened to the view of all. These three scenes sum up God's final moves in the war against error as it comes to its conclusion in the seventh trumpet. Unlike the specific markers listed in verse 18, these broader scenes are not events to be charted on a timeline, but rather are a summary of the effect of God's work during this period. If we had to identify a focal point, I would suggest the culmination of the investigative judgment and its results.

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