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Revelation 2. The Seventh Trumpet

Revelation: The Seventh Trumpet

Rev 11:15-19

Revelation 11:15-19New International Version (NIV)

The Seventh Trumpet

15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become

the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,

and he will reign for ever and ever.”

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

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

the One who is and who was,

because you have taken your great power

and have begun to reign.

18 The nations were angry,

and your wrath has come.

The time has come for judging the dead,

and for rewarding your servants the prophets

and your people who revere your name,

both great and small—

and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.

So, if you are wondering why we are starting a series through revelation in the middle of Revelation it is because this will be the third time I am going through Revelation with the church; and the pervious sections from verse 4 -11:14 are available on the website under the Apocalypse series.

Last week we went through Revelation (the whole Book) in about 40 min. I felt it necessary to do this so that we could get a birds eye view on the whole book so that when we dive into the individual images that John writes about; we will have a better “big picture” on which to hang these images.

So, I would suggest again if you missed last week; download Revelation in a nutshell from the website.

Okay; so as I have said; we are starting essentially in the middle of Revelation; specifically right and the end of the first half of the book narratively, and John end this section with a crescendo!

This section is one of the most beautiful passages of hope in the Bible.

So, let’s dive into what John is trying to tell us.

To do this image any justice we have to give a bit of a context to where we are in Revelation:

1.Where we are in Revelation

So, in terms of where we find ourselves in the book of Revelation.

Remember John is not writing a code of the future; he is writing all of history from God’s perspective and so Revelation is a manual on how to live in the now in light of the end.

So far in the book we have had the letters to real churches in Asia minor; we have had the image of the throne room of God; with the Lamb representing the crucified Christ.

In all this we have seen that it is only through the sacrificed lamb that the key to the Old Testament is unlock; and that the Kingdom of God will arrive not with military might and a show of power; rather it has come with the King being crucified; sacrificial love is the themes of the opening scene.

John has also told the first set of three Judgments; were we saw the judgments of God through war, famine, death, and conquest; in all this we have seen how God has marked his Army for protection in the 144000 however, His army will not conquer with swords; rather with sacrificial love, even unto martyrdom.

In this particular section John has retold the judgments of God but now this time in the theme of the plagues of Exodus.

Remember; John is telling the same timeline (from the death of Christ to the second coming in three different lights).

We see in these plagues that there is no repentance; only hard hearts. However, we see hope: A message (the Lamb’s scroll) is given to John and He sees how the world will repent; through the witnesses who are killed yet brought back to life and in this there is repentance.

It is literally right after the killing of the two witness and the repentance of the people that we find this passage; Johns second depiction of the Old Testament Day of the Lord!

And, this starts with great phrase…

2.Starting with a great phrase

John starts this second depiction of the terrible day of the Lord with this great statement:

“The kingdom of the world has become

the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,

and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Now the NIV translates this passage better than the older versions such as the KJV translate this passage as the kingdoms – plural. And it was a logical deduction for the world is made up of not one kingdom but many different kingdoms.

So the older translators translated it as the kingdoms, however, the Greek that John uses does not allow us to translate it like this.

John is saying the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord.

John is continuing his theme of Revelation; and that is why he uses the singular; man left to himself (without submission to God) always defaults to Babylon.

Mas has been building ‘Babylons’ since the fall. In fact, the first Babylon was Babel! A city (or system) that rises itself against God!

John is saying to the churches and to us; All Babylons; all the great civilizations; and kingdoms all fit into one kingdom; the kingdom of the world.

Paul calls this the kingdom of darkness; Jesus makes the same distinction by declaring that His kingdom is not of this world (or to put it another way) is not like the kingdoms of this world!

Now, we might be tempted to think of it like a battle between to great nations; John is making it clear that it is simply not so.

In fact, the emphasis of John is that all this raging against God, and building of empire for the glory of the empire, will be swallowed up when Christ returns.

Jesus is not, and does not have to battle the kingdoms of this world; for this world is His and always has been his. They simply believe that it is theirs, and when Christ returns how they will be reminded how wrong they were.

It is kind of like when two kids are fighting over whose toy it is; and the dad comes in and takes it away and says neither of yours! I bought it!

Humanity spends so much effort and pain fighting over who owns what; and empires expend so much effort and pain ensuring that they have power and might and ownership over others.

John shows us; why buy into that kind of mentality; Jesus owns it all; he always has and always will!

Yes it seems like (at the moment) these great powers; these empires; these Babylons have power, but they are playing games. And when the true king of this world comes they will have to give account for all that they have done!

John reminds us in verse 18

18 The nations were angry,

and your wrath has come.

The time has come for judging the dead,

and for rewarding your servants the prophets

and your people who revere your name,

both great and small—

and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Now, you might be saying; that seems great; God is going to come one day and put things right; what does that mean for me now!

I am experiencing the injustice of Babylon; the evil, the corruption. How does a good outcome help me now! I might be dead by the time Jesus comes!

And so, John encourages the church in the judgment to not only know the outcome but give a challenge on how to endure and even overcome the now;

3. Ending with a great challenge

Again in verse 18 we read;

18 The nations were angry,

and your wrath has come.

The time has come for judging the dead,

and for rewarding your servants the prophets

and your people who revere your name,

both great and small—

and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Now, John gives us two clear realities; the reality of Judgment and the reality of rewards.

Wrath is coming to all those who destroy God’s good world, and who bend the truth to their own gain, who abuse their power. Essentially evil will be dealt with. We have established that.

But, God will also reward those who are faithful; the prophets (his servants) and his people both great and small.

But let us ask what is the key reality of the reward? They revered your name.

The original; they had fear of your name.

A phrase used throughout Scripture to those who recognize God for who He is.

What does this mean?

Well mankind left to themselves universally recognizes the reality of God; however, they refuse to glorify him or give him thanks (Roman 1:18-25).

We all do this and the whole of mankind do this; we war against who God is; we deny Him his character, His power and His worth and substitute things into that character, power and worth to suite us.

Every Idol, every little g god is this realized!

Those who receive God’s reward are those who by faith see Him as He is!

Now to go back to my question; how does the outcome of the end change the fact that I am experiencing injustice etc now?

Well it comes down to this simple reality; those who have made God into something He is not; those who refuse to worship Him, and rather worship things of their own creation; effectively reap what they sow.

Now, I have to say; I am stepping a little bit out of the scope of this passage to make this point clear; but it is to make the point clear to you.

Evil sows the seeds of its own destruction; these people who live the life of luxury, who blatantly reject the standards of God who are evil; and seem to have it all, because they are refusing God are in every action sowing their own destruction.

And yes, they might look like they have it all, but don’t be fooled; it all comes to waste; it all comes to an end, and, we must not miss this, is hollow of true meaning even when they are enjoying it.

Evil consumes itself.

Now going back to the passage; the reward of those who fear the Lord – who live in reverence of who he truly is – is that they experience that same reward now.

Let me put it this way; can any Babylon (no matter how big) remove your reward if your reward is Him?

As I often say to Natalie when we are talking about the rise of violence and how the world “seems to be going crazy”, I say, the worst that anyone can do to you is kill you and then they just send you to Jesus quicker!

Jesus, is our reward; we who fear His name, who know what He is really like; us who through the gospel have enjoyed the wonder of wrath and love blended together in the cross, whose hope is secure in Him, have a reward that never can be threatened!

And this gives you and incredible anchor in your life!

In fact, if your reward is in him; let Babylon fall; we will carry on! Let the nations rage; it doesn’t change our reward (just our circumstances).

This is the wonder of the Christian hope it is not an escapist kind of mentality; it is a ballast that gives us hope even now; when things are good or when things fall apart!

So, church, don’t put your hope in the success of the empires of the world; or the systems of the world; rather use them, but know their destiny!

You; spend your time enjoying your reward now, because you will enjoy Him forever, because you were made to enjoy Him and His love!

Let the nations rage; Christ is more than enough for me!

Let’s pray!

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