Welcome back to our study in the book of The Revelation. I know you must be thinking that we will still be studying Revelation when Jesus returns. Mmm-hmmm! You might be right. To be honest with you, my desire to write comes and goes…and by the look of my posting schedule, it goes more than it comes. So, with that said, here I am to offer you what the Lord has given me for this day. I have no idea when the next post will come, but Lord willing, we will move on and study Revelation more consistently in the coming days.
We have studied the book of Revelation up to our current passage of Revelation 11:15-19 over the course of almost two years. The last time we studied in Revelation 11, we finished our visit with the Two Witnesses from Revelation 11:1-14. In verse 14, we were told that the ‘second woe had passed, the third woe was soon to come’. These ‘woes’ correlate with the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets, and they signify an intensifying of the devastations of the earth. The 3rd woe/7th trumpet will take us on a journey from Revelation 11: 15 – Revelation 14:20, so buckle your seat belts, friends.
We took a break between the 6th trumpet/2nd woe and the 7th trumpet/3rd woe to study the Day of the Lord and the Rapture. Please go here to find those, and other posts in this series:
The reason we studied the Day of the Lord and the Rapture at this point is because I believe, and I may be wrong, that the Rapture occurs just prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet. So, here we are, hearing the blast of that 7th trumpet. Let’s read about it.
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17 saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
We were told in Revelation 10:7 that when the 7th angel sounds his trumpet that the mystery of God would be fulfilled. The Greek word for mystery is ‘musterion’ and it means private knowledge or a divine secret. So, let’s take a look at all that happens when this 7th trumpet sounds.
- There is an announcement in heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
- There is worship in heaven
- God’s temple in heaven is opened and the ark of the covenant is revealed
- There is lightening, thunder, heavy hail, and an earthquake
- A sign appears in heaven pointing toward the increased persecution of the Jews
- Satan is thrown to earth
- The antichrist and the false prophet appear
- There is a harvest of souls from the earth
Never before has Christ physically reigned on the earth, but it seems that the sounding of 7th trumpet heralds his reign on earth, and with that comes His wrath. Does that mean Christ is physically present on earth, or that Satan simply no longer has jurisdiction over the world? It may be that this is also a reference to the Day of the Lord.
The first time we read about the wrath of the Lamb was in Revelation 6:16-17 which correlated to the breaking of the 6th seal. We do not find the full wrath of God poured out until the bowl judgments that begin in Revelation 15.
I cannot state strongly enough how very significant this 7th trumpet is in the entire end time story. So much happens here, and it really is the beginning of the end. You will notice that much of what happens at the sounding of the 7th trumpet takes place in heaven: the announcement, worship, the temple is opened and the ark of the covenant is revealed, and a sign. The things that take place on earth are natural disasters, Satan, antichrist and the false prophet appear and there is a soul harvest. Many of these things we will study in more detail as we move through the events of the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
One more thought. I find it so interesting that when the temple in heaven is opened that the ark of the covenant is revealed. Not the cross. Not the empty tomb. The ark of the covenant. Why?
This is purely my speculation and you may think differently…and that is okay. I believe with all my heart that the entire Scriptural canon was written for the Jewish people…God’s chosen people. From beginning to end, the Bible is God’s love letter to Israel. A letter designed to draw her heart to Him. Because of Israel’s refusal to recognize Jesus as Messiah, you and I, as Gentile believers, have been ‘grafted into’ the lineage of Abraham (Romans 4:13-17 and Romans 11) and experience the blessings of God through Scripture. The Bible is for us, as well, but still it beckons Israel.
The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament tabernacle was where God met with the High Priest of Israel once a year. It was there that the priest offered a sacrifice for the sins of the nation. The Ark of the Covenant was the most holy part of the Old Testament tabernacle, and when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed for the final time, the Ark was lost.
So, for the Ark to show up in the heavenly temple detailed in the book of The Revelation would be highly significant to a Jewish person. It would be God’s way to saying the Israelite, ‘this book, The Revelation, is for you! Pay attention!’ God continues to call Israel to Himself, even when they do not respond. It is a beautiful picture of love and faithfulness.
Okay, enough for today. I will see you back here soon.
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