Monday, July 26, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #9: The Victory and Final Woe

 The Epistle of Jesus #9: The Victory Trumpet and Final Woe

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Past/ Review / Chronology
I. The vision of Christ and letters to the seven churches. 1:9–3:22.
II. The Lamb opens the seven-sealed book is opened. 4:1–6:17.
III. The sealing of the 144,000 and the angels sounding the seven trumpets. 7:1–9:21.
IV. Interlude 10-11 (To comfort and encourage the people of God, then and now)

Last week we were shown the Two, the witnesses for God, the two olive trees, the two lampstands,  the last two great heroes of God in the last epoch of the time of the Gentiles.

I stopped with their story, but chapter 11 continues with the Final Woe, which is the Seventh Trumpet of the Angels. That commences in verse Revelation 11:14.

A Proclamation Of Victory - Revelation 11:14–19 

14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The Seventh Angel Sounds The Seventh Trumpet
We have been waiting for this seventh trumpet to sound since chapter 8:13 Revelation 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
There are three woes that the angel announces after the fifth trumpet has sounded. These mark an intensifying of God’s wrath upon the dwellers on earth, who will not heed the call to repent of their sin and wickedness.

The first woe was the 5th trumpet in Revelation 9:1-4 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

The Second Woe was the 6th Trumpet in Revelation 9:13-19 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

We then saw in Revelation 10 and 11 an interlude a step away from the plagues of the seals and the trumpets for the purpose of showing God’s people, that God was working, to show the faithful believers who refused to take the mark of the beast God’s perspective during this time. First a heavenly perspective of the great angel and John eating the little book showing the call to be a witness for the Lord even though it would be a bitter experience.
Then there was the earthly perspective to be seen of the two witnesses on the earth, the great powerful last prophets and heroes of God. These powerful men who for 3 ½ years cannot be touched by the anti-Christ, but when the Beast returns from the pit, he kills them, who it seemed nothing could stop or even hinder. Yet God will show it was His plan all along and He raises them up after 3 ½ days and before the whole world calls them home to heaven.

The believers of that time and the persecuted believers of every time on earth can learn from this prophecy that lesson, to see things from God’s perspective and know that He always has a plan, He always has a purpose and He always has the power to carry them through. His plan may not be all that I want or ask for, but that is what perspective gives us. The ability to see from heaven’s mountaintop and know that God is the overseer of time, history and eternity.  He is not late, He is not lazy and He is not lacking the power to bring about His purpose. My part is simply to be faithful and trust Him.

Then we finally come to the Seventh Trumpet, The Final Woe of this series of plagues. The seventh angel sounds his trumpet and then this “woe” is announced by a great choir, great voices in heaven and they make and announcement not of woe but of victory.
The Trumpet of Victory Sounds - Revelation 11:15 “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

This is the victory call of Christ’s Kingdom. The kingdoms of the earth have become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Now that is announced with the seventh trumpet but the final series of judgments and the return of Christ is yet to happen. This is the start of the end. I believe we should place it right at the middle of the seven year tribulation, 3 ½ years in and now 3 ½ years to go. The trumpet marks the final onslaught of God’s judgment on the earth and in particular upon the kingdom of the anti-Christ, the Beast and all those who follow him and have taken his mark on their forehead and hands.

Just as we saw in the seven seals, when the seventh seal opens it reveals the rest of the judgments of God. The seventh seal contains the seven trumpets and the seven bowl judgments. Here we see the seventh trumpet sounded and it opens or reveals the final woe which is the seven vials or bowl judgments, the final strike against the earth before the Lord comes back as Captain of the Lord’s Host and Messiah.

This Trumpet sound is like the Joshua’s army as they marched around the city of Jericho, six days they marched but on the seventh day they marched and blew the trumpets and the walls fell down. The battle still had to be finished before Israel could take possession of Jericho, but that seventh day marked the point of victory, there was no going back for the enemies of God’s people, no time to rebuild the walls, no time to recall the taunts, the jeers or their misplace faith in their pagan gods. When the trumpet sounded on the 7th day it was over for Jericho. The same is true here, there is still 3 ½ years to play out but when the 7th trumpet sounds but it is over for the anti-Christ and his kingdom and all of heaven knows it and calls out a victory cry, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

Woe to the inhabitants of earth but Joy to the inhabitants of heaven and the believers of earth who are hiding from the attack and persecution of the Beast.

Woe Of the World, Is often Joy to Jesus’ Disciples
This world may be destined for woe but God’s people are created for joy. A joy that overcomes the woe.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33 In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

2 Corinthians 7:4.Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.  

No matter how bad it will be in this world, Jesus has given us joy.
How Can I Keep From Singing?

In the middle of last year’s lockdowns and scares many people would get together and have Zoom meetings for church, for business, for family but the ones I remember and were such a blessing were those that brought singers and choirs together. Especially when they sang hymns. One of the best was a choir and orchestra from New York that sang, “How Can I Keep From Singing”

1 My life flows on in endless song, above earth’s lamentation.
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.

No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Love is lord of heav’n and earth, how can I keep from singing?

2 Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.How can I keep from singing? [Refrain]

3 What though my joys and comforts die,I know my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth. [Refrain]

4 The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am his!How can I keep from singing? [Refrain]

Transition: Praise

And that brings us to verses 16-18 where praise is once again sung in the halls of Heaven’s Throne room

A Praise To God - Revelation 11: 16-18

16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 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.

The 24 Elders Praise God

This short song of praise is the expression of the victory that has been proclaimed by the heavenly choir of vs. 15. It expresses the emotion of all of God’s people, both Old Testament and New, which are represented by the 24 elders, 12 OT Tribes, 12 NT Disciples.
This moment is what all of God’s people, the persecuted, the dispersed, the wanderers and the pilgrims have been longing and praying for.

Abraham left his home looking for that city whose builder and maker was God. Hebrews 11:8–10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and called people to the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 5:3–12 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

All those combined and multiplied prayers are now going to be answered as the seventh trumpet sounds. All that hope, all that faith, all that expectation will be at last realized when the Kingdoms of earth become the kingdom of our God.

And so the 24 elders, the representation of all believers, fall on their face, they worship and praise God, who has now answered the last unanswered prayer of all God’s people throughout history.
And that brings up a question?...

Are We praying for The Kingdom?

One day we will be in that throng, gathered round the throne and we will see these events play out just as John did. We will sing the songs of praise to Him as King and judge. We will lift our voices with the chorus of heaven and sing, “Revelation 11:17 We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”

If we are the redeemed, if we are the children of God, if we are saved and sanctified by the blood of the lamb then what we just read will happen and we will be there! Now until that day we should be preparing for it by praying for the same thing we see these saints have been praying for; the prayer request of the people of God now being fulfilled here in heaven’s throne room. We need to be praying “O Lord God, thy kingdom come.”

Isn’t that what Jesus told us to do in? Matthew 6:9–10  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We need to be praying.

Pray for the kingdom of Heaven to come to earth. Yes, pray for Jesus to return. Pray for the sin, pain, sorrow to end. Pray for God to prove to this belligerent, hateful, atheistic world that He rules and reigns. We should also be praying for the Kingdom in another way. We should be praying…

Pray for the kingdom to come to human hearts. When John the Baptist and Jesus were preaching in Israel during Jesus’ first coming their message was…

Matthew 4:17 “…Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Now they weren’t saying that the kingdom of heaven as we are reading about in Revelation 11 was near. No, they were preaching about entrance into that kingdom, about belonging to that kingdom.  The Kingdom of Heaven one day will be physically on the earth, but until then it is a spiritual kingdom in our heart. 

Jesus told Nicodemus, who was looking for that physical Kingdom,
John 3:3-5 …Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Until the seventh trumpet blows, we are to be working and praying to bring people into the Kingdom of Heaven. Do you remember what Jesus told Peter and the Disciples in Matthew 16:19? “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The ability, the power and the responsibility to open the kingdom of heaven is now ours. The keys to kingdom are in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we hold those keys as His church.

Mark 1:15 … The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Yes we need to be praying for Jesus to return, reclaim, and revive this sin corrupted world, but we should also be praying and working to bring that kingdom to the hearts of the lost around us. “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand” has never been a more vital message than it is today.

Illustration: Keep Looking Up!

In a nursing home ministry I had as a Bible College student in DeSoto, Texas, I was once wheeling one of the residents back to her room. I had just finished preaching about the second coming and the sweet lady I was pushing to her room. Looked back over her shoulder and asked. Do you believe Jesus is coming back? I was a little surprised at the question, since I had just finished my sermon about just exactly that. But it wouldn’t be the first time I had put someone to sleep during a sermon so I smiled and said, “Yes Ma’am. I sure do.” She then smiled real big pointed her finger toward heaven and said, “Keep looking up!”

I’ve thought of that encounter many times since then, she preached a message to me that day. Keep looking up, Jesus is coming. Keep looking up, despite fear, pain and sorrow, Jesus is coming. Keep looking up, keep telling the Gospel to those in pain, Jesus is coming back. Just keep looking up!

When the 7th Trumpet sounds all that looking up, praying up and preaching up will come it final fruition and fulfillment.
Transition: There is one more event that takes place before this scene John is seeing changes, it’s in verse 19 .

A Promise Kept – Revelation 11: 19

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

The Temple of God Is Opened

This is an interesting verse and it shows once again that the book of Revelation is mostly about God and his people the Jews. Right after the announcement of victory, comes this observation, “and the temple of God was opened in heaven and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.” This is not the temple that John measured, that temple is the rebuilt temple on the earth, this is the temple of God in heaven and it contains the ark of the covenant.

You might wonder what is happening and why the ark of the testimony is in heaven. The truth is that this ark of the testimony has always been in heaven as has this temple. John specifically says “the temple of God in heaven.”

When God gave Moses the plans for the tabernacle, back in the book of Exodus, it was meant to be a representation, a foreshadowing of this Temple in Heaven. The tabernacle was not just a place of meeting for Israel it was also a 3-dimensional model of the heavens God had created.

We see this Shadow of Heaven’s Temple in  Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

The tabernacle was divided into three areas the outer court, the holy place and the most holy place. The outer court corresponds to the heavens that surround the earth, the firmament of the clouds and birds; the holy place is the heaven beyond the atmosphere of earth, it would be the heavens of the planets and stars, the sun and moon. Some would include in 2nd heaven the place where the angels dwell and those who have died in faith dwell, Paradise. The most Holy Place was a representation the third heaven, the very throne room of God.

The Three Heavens - Paul mentions these heavens in 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

When the seventh trumpet blows and the temple is opened, we see the heavenly Temple opened and the reason it is opened is that the people of God, the nation of Israel can see the ark of God. The ark that has been lost since the time of the Old Testament, the most precious possession of the people of Israel is safe in the Temple of God.

The ark on earth was the place where the presence of God dwelt between the two cherubim, the two arch angels. The lid of the ark was the mercy seat, where the priests sought forgiveness for the sins of the nation of Israel. It was a representation of God’s throne of mercy.

Psalms 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne:
mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

Proverbs 20:28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

When the Temple is thrown open in heaven and the ark of the covenant is seen there, it shows God’s mercy, truth and faithfulness in keeping the covenant with Abraham and Moses. It shows God’s forgiveness and His love. It shows His promises are true and never to be forgotten. It shows God never forsakes His own. What they thought was lost was always safe in the keeping of God.

The people of God could not keep the covenant, but the God of the people could and did. The ark seen in heaven is proof of that promise kept.

The Promise of the Gospel

Today, the Bible tells us that God’s Mercy, Truth and Promises are open to Us through the Gospel. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The mercy seat, the seat of atonement has never been lost. It has always been found at the throne of God.

Illustration: Newton and the throne of Grace

John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace truly was a wretch, he was slave trader taking men, women and children from Africa, transporting them in the worst conditions you can imagine, treating them with less dignity than animals. He was a drunkard. He was cruel to his men, they hated him so much that once when he fell drunk overboard, they rescued him by throwing a harpoon into his leg and dragging him back on board. He sunk so low that he himself became a slave to the very people he used to sell, like so much cattle. Even worse as he puts it he became a runaway slave. But John Newton found grace at the throne of God become a pastor and a hymnwriter. We all know Amazing Grace but here is one that isn’t published in hymnals anymore, not since the late 1800s. In most hymnals it is only a number but in one written in 1810 it is title “Coming To The Throne of Grace”

1 Not to Sinai's dreadful blaze,
But to Zion's throne of grace,
by a way marked out with blood,
Sinners now approach to God.

2 Not to hear the fiery law,
But with humble joy to draw
Water by that well supplied,
Jesus opened when he died.

3 Lord, there are no streams but thine,
Can assuage a thirst like mine;
'Tis a thirst thyself didst give,
Let me therefore drink and live.

The throne of mercy is open and the ark of the covenant is sure and fast. And just as God has held the nation of Israel in His hand all these centuries and now with the 7th Trumpet blowing, into eternity, He also will keep His promises through the Gospel to us.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Paul believed the promise of God and boasted that nothing could take him from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


All throughout the Bible we read the same promise if you come to the throne of Grace, trusting in the shed blood of Jesus that was poured upon the mercy seat of heaven, then you are His for eternity, you are safe for eternity, you are kept by the power of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as safe and secure as the ark of the covenant. Aren’t you glad, it’s sure, aren’t you glad it’s true, aren’t you glad your soul is kept by the unlimited power and unconditional love of God on high!

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