The sounding of the seventh trumpet – Revelation 11:14-19

The third woe mentioned in verse 14 is the seventh trumpet judgment. The sounding of this trumpet is seen here in Revelation 11:15-19. This is a very significant milestone in the book of Revelation. The sounding of the seventh trumpet brings about the final events that lead up to the return of Jesus to set up His kingdom on the earth. Though the sounding of the seventh trumpet is described here in these verses, the actual events that come from the seventh trumpet are not seen until we get to chapter 15. Chapters 12-14 contains a digression, taking us back through the tribulation to the point of the seventh trumpet by a different path, focusing on the tribulation from the perspective of Satan. There are three basic things we see here at the sounding of the seventh trumpet: Proclamation of Victory, Pronouncement of Praise, and a Promise of Faithfulness.

Proclamation of Victory. The praise is found in verse 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.[1] The voices that are heard are probably the great choirs of heaven. They sing out and declare that Christ will be victorious and He will reign upon the earth. Jesus is the rightful King and He will take back His Kingdom from the clutches of Satan. This does not mean that Jesus does not reign today, for He does. As Warren Wiersbe points out, “Today, He rules over a spiritual kingdom; but in that future day, He will reign over the nations of the world and rule with a rod of iron. No matter how difficult the circumstances might be, or how defeated God’s people may think they are, Jesus Christ is still King of kings and Lord of lords, and He is in control. One day, we shall triumph!”[2] It is good to know that no matter how difficult life may be, in the end, we will be victorious. There is no doubt that Jesus is King and He will rule and reign. All those who believe on Him, will reign with Him in that glorious Kingdom. The lesson we learn from this is that in Christ, we have victory. We have victory over sin. We have victory over this world. We have victory over our future. We have victory over Satan. There is victory in Jesus!

Pronouncement of Praise. As this seventh trumpet is sounding, there is a chorus of praise that goes forth in heaven. This is seen in verses 16-18. “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.”[3] The elders worship of God is focused on the sovereignty of God. He is the almighty one who always has been and always will be. He has great power. He is omnipotent. The nations of the earth are set against God. Yet, because of the fact that God is in control, the nations will face His wrath. He will destroy those who are set against Him and He will establish His kingdom upon the earth. “In general their hymn of praise anticipates the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His rule on earth.”[4] You and I sing such songs of praise today. Our worship of Christ today is in anticipation of His soon return. In the age in which we live, we are anticipating the rapture of the church. Though, one day, we will also return with Christ to the earth and rule and reign with Him. Such anticipation for our glorious future should drive us to utter praise that is worthy only of our King.

Promise of Faithfulness. In verse 19, we have a promise that God will be faithful to the very end. “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.” [5]This chapter opened with a temple on earth, but now we see the temple in heaven. The focus of attention is on the ark of God, the symbol of God’s presence with His people.”[6] The seventh trumpet brings tremendous suffering to the earth. Yet, God is faithful. He will finish what He started. The time will soon come when it will all be over and Christ will reign. Since God is faithful to us, we should be faithful to Him. We should stay steadfast and abound in the work of the Lord as we await His return.

“John has again brought us to the point of our Lord’s return and, indeed, has begun to describe the rejoicing that will accompany His return (19:1–10). But he is not yet ready to describe the actual coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords. There is (sadly) more to relate regarding “the beast that comes up from the Abyss” to make war with the two witnesses, the people of God. It is that awful forty-two months, the period of persecution (and protection/witness), that John must now unfold.”[7] “The dramatic introduction of the events relating to the seventh trumpet concluded here and will be resumed in chapter 16. Chronologically the time was close to Christ’s second coming.”[8]

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 11:15–17). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 600). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 11:16–18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 957). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[5] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Re 11:19). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[6] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 601). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] Sloan, R. B. (1998). The Revelation. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (pp. 674–675). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 957). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

 

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