Sermon: The Seventh and Final Trumpet Revelation 11:15-19

The Seventh and Final Trumpet

Revelation 11:15-19

 

Primary Truth Taught- With the seventh trumpet, God’s kingdom is completed and judgment executed.

Introduction

John’s two-part interlude ended and now the church is ready to witness the next phase of redemptive history, Christ’s return.

The seventh trumpet coincides with the seventh seal, showing heaven right before the return of Christ.

This final segment of the trumpet judgments give us two hymns, the first praising God for His kingdom, the second, for His work, rewards and judgment.

I’ve never heard a praise song or a hymn for that matter praising God for His judgment on the lost world. Many probably can’t even comprehend this concept. However, when that day arrives it will be so right for God to do that that all believers will sing the hymn of praise for God’s justice against unbelievers.

Human Need Met

Revelation 11:15–19 (ESV)

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.

  1. Heaven’s Declaration

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.”

Do you remember another place in the Bible where Jesus was offered the kingdoms of the world?

Luke 4:5–8 (ESV)

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

       “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,

and him only shall you serve.’ ”

Satan promised Jesus something that was not his to give. Satan is a liar. The world and all its kingdoms belong to God not Satan. We need only to do a brief summary of Psalm 2 to discover the kingdoms belong to God and God alone.

These kingdoms are not taken by force but given for obedience. Jesus received them officially at His resurrection because right before He ascended, He told His disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him. Christ is victorious through obedience and suffering and God grants Him the Kingdoms of the earth. They are His now but they will obey when He returns…

and he shall reign forever and ever.

This is the grand mystery spoken of in the Bible. Christ will return and place everything under His rule…

Revelation 10:7 (ESV)

but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

The truth for us in this first verse today is that we must never listen to the devil’s lies or even listen to our own reasoning because it too is fallen and cursed. This verse taken in context shows us that if we do things the way in which God prescribes and take no shortcuts or go the way of pragmatism we will gain all God desires for us to have which will ultimately be for our good rather than being disobedient and try to gain what we think we need on our own.

When we have a discussion to make we must turn to the Scriptures to discover what God wants.

We must also be patient and wait on God’s timing. What would have happened if Jesus took matters into His own hands that day when Satan was tempting Him and did not wait on God’s timing and will? He would have been as guilty as the first Adam and we would all be cursed for eternity. However, He did not listen to the liar but instead listened to God and He was completely victorious and everything Satan promised Him, God gave in the right time.

  1. The Elder’s Admiration

16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,

As we mentioned before, the 24 Elders are select of redeemed humanity. They may even represent redeemed humanity in heaven.   Seated closer even than the angels, they are forever praising God for His redemption. When Christ came into view, they sang a new song, worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Now, their song is a song of praise because Christ is returning setting up His eternal Kingdom on earth.

Because they are worshiping the eternal God, they fall on their faces in reverence and awe.

  1. Christ is Praised Because He is Reigning on Earth

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

who is and who was,

       for you have taken your great power

and begun to reign.

The Elders praise God because His Kingdom is finally consummated and Christ is ruling.

Notice something with me…before Christ’s second coming the four living creatures sing…

Revelation 4:8 (ESV)

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

       “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

who was and is and is to come!”

But notice what the Elders sing at the Lord’s coming… who is and who was,

They leave out “who is to come”…why because He has come. The future fulfillment of who is to come is no longer future. So Jesus Christ remains who was and who is.

They also praise Him for His great power, which He exercises in His eternal reign over all the earth.

Many reformed scholars view the phrase, for you have taken your great power

and begun to reign, as replacing who is to come.

When this song is sung, God has come in Christ to earth and all enemies totally defeated and He reigns supreme and sovereignly over the earth.

for you have taken your great power and begun to reign, is written in
the Greek using the perfect tense meaning an action in the present with ongoing consequences. In other words it takes place and Christ’s reign will continue for all time.

  1. Christ is Praised Because He is Ruling on Earth

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.”

We hear in this verse, echoes of Psalm 2. We should read it in light of this Psalm. As David declares the delusion the nations have when they think they can rule and reign apart from God. As we read that they take a stance against God and His Son, God laughs at the sheer foolishness of the nations.

Psalm 2:1–6 (ESV)

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

   The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

   “Let us burst their bonds apart

and cast away their cords from us.”

   He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the Lord holds them in derision.

   Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

   “As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

Now in this final Book of the Bible, we see clearly the time when this takes place.

We have seen the fulfillment of Psalm 2 in the trial of Jesus where the Jews and the Romans took up counsel against God’s Anointed. We’ve seen throughout the church age when this has also happened. Believers are persecuted and attacked by the lost world. The enemies of God have taken counsel together untold number of times against God and His anointed. Here, in this verse, we see God indeed does have the last word.

The nations raged, but your wrath came,

All the books will be balanced when Christ returns. He is the Judge and He will right all wrongs.

As believers, we do not need to make sure and get even when we’re wronged. We don’t have to have the last word or fight with vengeance for our rights. God has the last word. He rights all wrongs. He will vindicate us when necessary.

  1. God’s Covenant Completed

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.

With the sound of the final trumpet comes God’s reward to His beloved and His wrath to His enemies. This is the picture we see here. It’s a two-fold coming. When Christ returns it means unbelievable blessing for His people and unbelievable wrath for His enemies…that’s the thunder, flashes of lightning, earthquake and hail are all about.

The Ark of the Covenant has always been the visible piece that showed the people God was with them is a special way. So when John sees inside the heavenly temple and spots the Ark of the Covenant reaffirming that very shortly God will be with His people and the covenant will be complete…I will be their God and they will be My people.

Then we have the answer to the martyrs’ question…

Revelation 6:10 (ESV)

10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

God’s covenant is completed. What do we mean by God’s covenant? Remember, a covenant is a promise and He has promised us many things. Some vital promises center around the person of Christ.

What does it mean to us as the church that God keeps His promises?

God can be trusted.

It also tells us something about God.

He is sovereign over all things. That’s the only explanation there is concerning the fact that He keeps all His promises.

  1. We learned in the first point that the devil is a liar and often makes promises to us that he can’t fulfill. He might try to convince us that a particular sin is not all that bad when in reality he is lying.
  2. We learned that when Christ returns He will execute perfect justice on all His enemies. So, when we are wronged we don’t need to take vengeance or to get even. If any vengeance is due, God will execute it. So, if there is someone who has wronged you there is no need to be bitter or to hate them because God will make everything right in the end, we can trust Him.
  3. Finally, we learned from this text that God’s promises always come to pass because He is sovereign over all things. We may suffer for a time but God will keep every promise He’s ever made. One such promise is the promise of Christ’s return.

 

Acts 1:6–11 (ESV)

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Declaration of Grace

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God and bestows on them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: