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Section 9B .. The Future/End of The Age

 

003white  Index to Section 9B... The Future         >       The End of The Age (Index)   >        Part IV... The  Seventh Trumpet

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The-Future

The End Of The Age Part IV... The Seventh Trumpet

Carol Brooks
Edited by Vicki Narlee

INDEX TO ALL SIX SECTIONS

PART I... THE 'DAY OF THE LORD This devastating period of time, described as coming suddenly, was foretold by the prophets of old and is described in several different terms in both Old and New Testaments

PART II... THE FIRST SIX SEALS. If one avoids a superficial reading of Matthew 24, then compares what Jesus said in that chapter with the Seals of Revelation 6, it becomes quite clear that the Seals represent the persecution of Christians.

PART III... THE SEVENTH SEAL AND THE FIRST SIX TRUMPETS. This Seventh, and last, Seal does not bring about any disasters in itself but introduces the Seven Trumpets. In the Old Testament, trumpets often announced a coming disaster. And it will be no different at the end of the age, when the sounding of trumpets will herald the plagues that God will send on the earth, which will indeed be of 'Biblical proportions'.

YOU ARE HERE 001orange PART IV... THE SEVENTH TRUMPET. This last Trumpet is, in a sense, the most eventful of all them all, since it literally ushers the old age out, and the new one in. In summary, this last and final Trumpet... a) Brings and end to the mystery of God, when the doors to the Kingdom close forever with no possibility of redemption for any that have not yet become a disciple of the Lamb. b) Marks the point when believers are caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (the rapture). They are physically moved off the earth for a very specific reason. c) Introduces the Seven Bowls that end all things.

PART V... THE RAPTURE. The reasons we cannot, and should not, trust in the Rapture taking place before the tribulation.

PART VI... THE SEVEN BOWLS. Zephaniah 1:18 says it all... "Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord's wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth"ON THIS PAGE

 

The End Of The Age Part IV... The Seventh Trumpet

The Sounding Of The Seventh Trumpet /The Third Woe

The Preaching of The 'Eternal Gospel'

Summary of Events At The Seventh Trumpet
a) The Mystery of God is Finished
b) The Earth is Reaped (The Rapture)
The Timing of The Reaping
C) The Seven Bowls

Why The Simultaneous Events At The Seventh Trumpet Are Interconnected


The Sounding Of The Seventh Trumpet /The Third Woe

    Then the seventh angel sounded; 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 will reign forever and ever."  (Revelation 11:15 NASB)

I have read some really convoluted arguments about this last trumpet, one of which actually advanced the theory that the seventh trumpet is blown at the start of the tribulation. In other words, the seventh trumpet comes before the other six. The lengths that people will go to in an effort to prove predetermined theories never ceases to amaze me. Common sense and a simple reading of the text is replaced by elaborate and ridiculous theories, while imagination trumps the printed word.

    Note: Almost exactly the same things has been done with the Seven Feasts of Israel which symbolize a sequence of events. They were given by God in a set chronological order and the events that they symbolize will take place in the same exact order. I have read way too many interpretations of the Feasts that jump backwards and forwards between them in an effort to make them fit into pre-conceived end time scenarios. (See The Seven Feasts of Israel)

Let us not read complex nonsense into simple text. We have Seven Trumpets. One comes after the other in sequence, which is the whole point of numbering them. One, two three... I am sure you get the picture. the dead will rise at the Last Trumpet, which comes after the other six, and introduces the Bowls.

It is at this point in the chronology of end time events that God reclaims his rightful rule over the earth. The time has come to "destroy them which destroy the earth", and to reward His servants the prophets, the saints, and those who fear His name, be they small or great (Vs. 18). (See Part VII of What And Where is "Heaven"?... The Judgment Seat of Christ and Rewards in Heaven).

However, at this point, Revelation once more pauses in its recital of ongoing events to show John (in chapters 12, 13 and through 14:5) a symbolic panorama of events and people sweeping backwards over the last two thousand years, then forward to the major players and events of the tribulation period. It then continues on to the return of Christ who is depicted as standing on Mt. Zion. (See A Dragon and Two Beasts)


The Preaching of The 'Eternal Gospel'

In the very next verse, that comes immediately after the interlude of Revelation 12:1 through 14:5, John said that he saw

    "... another angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." (Revelation 14:6-7 NASB)

The angel obviously cries out loudly enough for every one... every nation and tribe and tongue and people, to hear what he has to say. His two commands are to "fear God  and give Him glory", and "worship Him who made the heaven and the earth".

Since the doors of the kingdom are about to close forever, this will be the last opportunity anyone on earth will ever have to repent of their sins, reject all man made religions and idolatry, and declare their allegiance to the Son of God. (If you have not enthroned Christ as Lord, and do not defer to Him as King, you cannot possibly be saved. DETAILS)


Summary of Events At The Seventh Trumpet
The Seventh Trumpet is, in a sense, the most eventful of them all, since it literally ushers the old age out, and the new one in.  In summary, this last and final Trumpet...

    a) Brings an end to the mystery of God, when the doors to the Kingdom are closed forever and there will be no possibility of redemption for any that have not yet become a disciple of the Lamb.

    b) Marks the point when believers are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (the rapture). The dead will rise first, followed by those still alive at this point. Note: "sons of the kingdom", as they are called, are physically moved off the earth for a very specific reason.

    c) Introduces the Seven Bowls that signify the end of all things.. The battle of Armageddon takes place, the cities of the nations fall, and the islands and mountains 'disappear'


a) The Mystery of God is Finished

    (5) Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven,  (6) and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will be delay no longer, (7) but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:5-7 NASB)

The mystery of God is finished as the seventh angel is about to sound. In other words, the mystery of God will be complete before the blowing of the seventh trumpet.

But what is this mystery? We usually think of a mystery as something that we have to figure out. For example a murder mystery is a "whodunit". However, when the Bible speaks of a "mystery", it does not mean something that is difficult to understand, or even incomprehensible. In Scripture, the word refers to something that had not previously been revealed... ie. the good news of the Gospel that God planned "before the ages". A believer understands the mystery (which is precisely why they became believers), but others do not.

    but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; (1 Corinthians 2:7-8 NASB)

    and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; (Ephesians 3:9 NASB)

    that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,  (Colossians 1:26 NASB)

Jesus said to his disciples...

    And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,  (Mark 4:11 NASB)

    And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. (Matthew 13:10-11 NASB)


b) The Earth is Reaped (The Rapture)
The second event connected with the Seventh Trumpet is the reaping of the earth, or the separating of those who are God's people, from those who are not.

The Reaper and The Harvest (Revelation 14:14-20)

    (14) Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.  (15) And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe." (16) Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped

    (17) And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.  (18) Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe." (19) So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.  (20) And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles. (Revelation 14:14-20 NASB)

The above verses tell us about two sides of the one event...

    1) In verse 14, the first reaper, who casts his sickle upon the earth, is obviously the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When the angel cries out with a great voice for Jesus to put in His sickle and reap, because the harvest of the earth is ripe (Vs. 15), He does exactly that (Vs. 16).

    2) The second angel with a sickle gathers the clusters from the vine and throws them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. (Vs. 17-20)

Verse 16 only says that Jesus casts his sickle upon the earth and the earth was reaped. However, if you consider this statement in conjunction with Matthew 24:31 and Matthew 13:49 (below), it becomes obvious that Christ 'cuts', or makes the distinction between the good crop and the weeds, but it is the angels who gather and bind the tares, then collect the elect from one end of the heaven to the other.

    So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, (Matthew 13:49 NASB)

    And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matthew 24:31 NASB)

And what happens to each group?

The Harvest is Gathered into The Barn
Any harvest is the gathering in of crops which were, at an earlier time, sown as seeds. The parable of the sower in Matthew 13, tells us that the end time harvest is no different. Note the words "the field is the world"

    The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one (Matthew 13:37-38 NASB).

Jesus' instructions to the reapers to "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn" (Matthew 13:30 NASB) indicates the tares are separated and symbolically 'bound' in some way, before the believers are gathered into His barn.

In verse 49, He draws the analogy to the end times, saying

    So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous (Matthew 13:49 NASB)

Therefore the harvesting in Revelation 14:16 can not be anything but a gathering in of the good crop (the "sons of the kingdom")... also called ‘The Rapture’.

The Tares are Cast Into The Winepress
Revelation 14:19-20, and a couple of verses in Matthew tell us what happens to those who have not had their sins forgiven...

    So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles. (Revelation 14:19-20 NASB)

    The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:41-43 NASB)

    So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49-50 NASB)

The winepress where the grapes are crushed, is used as a symbol to denote the destruction of the wicked. (Almost identical symbolism is used in Isaiah 63:1-6 in reference to the destruction of Edom).


The Timing of The Reaping
It has always been of considerable amazement to me how people can blatantly pass over extremely clear and unambiguous passages of Scripture, in favor of complicated arguments which would take a Philadelphia lawyer to make any sense of. Regarding the Rapture, two of the most unequivocal statements regarding when God's people are taken off the earth, are (All Emphasis Added)...

    But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31 NASB)

    Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52 NASB)

In other words, the 'Rapture' does not occur before the Tribulation, as so much wishful thinking, bad teaching and convoluted arguments would lead us to believe. Nor does it occur in the middle of the Tribulation, but at its end when the Seventh Trumpet blows. At that final Trumpet, the doors to the Kingdom will close forever, Christ will take His people off the earth, and God will publicly, and rightfully, reclaim His earth.

    Then the seventh angel sounded; 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 will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 11:15 NASB)

Paul told the Thessalonians

    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 NASB)

And when do the "dead in Christ" rise? Note God's very last words to Daniel...

    But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."  (Daniel 12:13 NASB)

Scripture makes the timing of the Rapture so crystal clear that it is almost impossible to believe how incredibly complicated some Christians have made the whole issue, and to what extent they have allowed themselves to be fooled. For more about the folly of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position, go to the next chapter (Link At The End of The Page).


Jericho
In Christian theology, typology is a representation of one thing by another. In other words, a type is an actual event which, at the time it occurred, was a foreshadowing or, if you will, a rough draft of one or more actual events yet to come. The significance of the 'type' does not seem to have been apparent at the original occurrence.

And the fall of Jericho was no exception.

In Joshua 6, seven priests, accompanied by the Ark of the Covenant, marched around Jericho blowing seven trumpets made of rams' horns. They did this once every day for six days. On the seventh day they marched around the city as before except, this time, they circled the city not once, but seven times. On the seventh and final perambulation when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city" (Vs. 16) at which they shouted with a great shout, and the walls of Jericho literally collapsed.

This pattern is repeated in the book of Revelation... At the last trumpet, there will be a great shout as there was when the walls of Jericho fell. We, as believers, will be moved off the earth, and the Bowls, or end of all things, will cause the final destruction of Babylon... after which Christ will return to earth. (See Two Babylons)

    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16 NASB)

    In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  (1 Corinthians 15:52 NASB)

In summary, the first Six Trumpets signify the 'day' of God's wrath when humanity pays for its sins... its greed and arrogance, its brutality, its lies and thieving etc. Through these judgments, the faithful will be protected from God's wrath by the mark on their foreheads. However, when it comes time to make an end of all things, believers will be moved off the earth for safekeeping. In other words, the 'harvest' will be standing on the far shore of the Red Sea when the waters come crashing in over the heads of the Egyptian army.

It is at this point that they will receive their glorified bodies, then return to earth with Christ. In all likelihood, He will alight on the Mount of Olives and enter Jerusalem through the Golden Gate, from where He will rule the earth for a thousand years of peace. See The Golden Gate on THIS page (Scroll down a little).


C) The Seven Bowls
The Seventh Trumpet also introduces the Seven Bowls that signify the end of all things.. The battle of Armageddon take place, the cities of the nations fall, and the islands and mountains 'disappear'. See Chapter VI

Luke
Evidence that The Seven Bowls follow the Rapture is also found in the Gospel of Luke.

The Lord Jesus specifically taught that the days of Noah and the days of the Son of Man parallel each other. In His words. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man," (Matthew 24:37, Luke 17:26).  In other words, in the days immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ, we should expect to find conditions similar to those that existed just before the flood. [See Days of Noah]

Luke added that similar conditions existed in Sodom and Gomorrah before they were destroyed.

    (26) "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: (27) they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  (28) "It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; (29) but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.  (30) "It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.  (Luke 17:26-30 NASB)

However, it should be very carefully noted that God did not destroy all the inhabitants until Lot, the only righteous man in the city, left Sodom. And, as Luke went on to say, it will be just the same when Christ returns. Once believers are taken out of the way (The Rapture) the Seven Bowls will destroy all the inhabitants of the earth.


Why The Simultaneous Events At The Seventh Trumpet Are Interconnected
To recap, the events that take place at the Seventh Trumpet are not only closely related, but either happen simultaneously, or in rapid succession.

    a) The mystery of God comes to an end, and the doors to the Kingdom close forever

    b) The Temple fills with smoke

    c) The earth is reaped i.e. the wicked are separated from the righteous

    d) Believers are gathered to the Lord, meeting Him in the air (the rapture)

    e) The Bowls are poured out on the earth making an end of all things

    f) The kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of our Lord

To completely understand why these events are so intertwined requires a step back in time, to the Old Testament Day of Atonement.

Present and Future Salvation
In the Old Testament, the Most Holy Place of the temple was off limits to everyone except, once a year on Yom Kippur, when the high priest went behind the veil into the presence of God to atone for the sins of the nation. The process, as prescribed by God, was as follows... Aaron had to first slaughter a bull as a sin offering for himself, then take its blood into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle it on, and in front of, the Mercy Seat. After which, he went back out and sacrificed a goat for the sins of the people, then repeated the ritual of sprinkling the blood (this time of the goat) on, and in front of, the Mercy Seat (Leviticus 16).

    Note: All sin carries the death penalty and since life, both symbolically and physically, is in the blood, the penalty for sin is the shedding of blood... yours. As Hebrews 9:22 says "..without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, were a vivid reminder that God demanded death as a punishment for every wrongdoing [Leviticus 17:11]. The animal functioned as a substitute for the offender, and bore the punishment of the person who had sinned. But this was only a temporary covering over of the person's sins until the coming of Jesus Christ who, by offering Himself in our place, took away sin, instead of merely covering it over. Sent by the Father, Jesus came to offer all those who choose to put their trust in, and follow Him, safety from the wrath of the Father Himself. See Salvation

It is very apparent that just the shedding of the blood outside the tabernacle was NOT an end in itself ... it had to be brought to God and 'offered' as an atonement for sin. In other words, each atonement was a two part process... the shedding of the blood followed by the sprinkling of the blood on the Mercy Seat. In fact, the very next chapter in Leviticus, which prohibits the eating of blood, says...

    For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.' (Leviticus 17:11 NASB)

Similarly, the Israelites, who had been slaves in Egypt for generations and were refused their freedom despite plague after plague being visited on the Egyptians, were given very explicit instructions by the Lord on the night before the final plague, which caused Pharaoh to change his mind. They were told to sacrifice a lamb and apply some of the blood upon their door posts and lintel. That night the angel of God "passed over" the houses of the Jews that were covered by the lamb's blood, but caused the death of the first-born of all families who were not. The point here being that sacrificing the lamb was only the first step... They had to do something with the blood before they were spared from the avenging angel's deadly touch. The author of Hebrews both compared and contrasted the prescribed ritual of the atonement as carried out by the High Priest in Old Testament times, with Christ's redeeming sacrifice on the cross. He tells us how the imperfect observances on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) were but a type, or a shadow of the perfect to come. (For More Information See The Feasts of Israel)

Remembering that nothing that Aaron did was without significance, but every part of the ritual was a foreshadowing of something to come. Just as the blood of the goat was shed, Jesus shed His blood for the atonement of sin. However, Jesus' blood has (in a sense) to be sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, which is when the atonement actually happens.

So when does the second part of the process actually happen? The book of Hebrews gives us a glimpse into the full symbolism of Yom Kippur.... Note the added emphasis

    For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26 NASB)

"Has been" is the perfect tense which, in English, indicates the past. However, in the original Hebrew and Greek, the authors of the Bible often used this tense to indicate a future action as if it were already done. And there is a good reason for this... They knew that when God said something would take place it would, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, happen. Therefore they used the past tense to emphasize the certainty of a future event. (Note that, in the vast majority of cases, the translators have not literally translated the perfect tense, but have changed it into the future, presumably in an attempt to avoid confusing the reader)

In this case the timing of the atonement is very specific... at the consummation of the ages, which ties in with the fact that the New Testament sometimes says that salvation is an accomplished reality, and at other times says it is still in the future. For example...

    Past: Ephesians 2:8-9 states that Christians have already been saved
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast".

    Present: But 1 Corinthians 1:18 says the process is ongoing
    "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God".

    (Note: The KJV has this verse as "to us who are saved". However, the Greek has both 'perishing' and 'saved' in the present continuous tense. Vincent's Word Studies also says the Greek reads "being saved: in process of salvation").

    Future: While Matthew 10: 22 says it is still in the future
    "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved".

    As does Romans 13:11
    Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

    While 1 Thessalonians 5:8 takes it a step further, speaking of the "hope" of salvation
    "... let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation".

Note: This seeming contradiction is not limited to salvation alone but, also occurs with confusing regularity in statements about other topics of crucial importance ... justification, redemption, glorification, and adoption, which you can, and should, check for yourself.

So what is the answer? Can we be assured we have salvation now, or is it something we have to strive and hope for. Have we already been adopted as sons, or are we eagerly waiting for this adoption? Are we righteous now, or is it yet a distant hope? For those who are actually interested in what the Bible says on the subject... as opposed to what parents, pastors, friends, or denomination may believe and teach, the answer to all of the above questions is... BOTH. (See The Two Phase Atonement

In other words, we are saved now, but as the English proverb goes "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip". which implies that even when the outcome of an event seems certain, things can still go wrong. Jesus put it another way. He said "...the one who endures to the end" will be saved. (Matthew 24:13)

In short, Christians are not finally saved until Christ appears "before the face of God for us'.... when He appears "a second time" for salvation, which is the equivalent of Aaron entering the Holy of Holies to 'offer' the blood of the sacrificed animal. When the atonement is complete, the doors of salvation close (the mystery of God ends), the wicked can be separated from the righteous, and Christ can gather His people to Him. After which God completes His wrath in the Seven Bowls.

When does this happen? According to Hebrews 9:26, at "the consummation of the ages", which brings us to one other interesting and, more than probably, pertinent detail...


The Temple Fills with Smoke:
Revelation 15:8 says "... the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished".  (Revelation 15:8 NASB)

It is to be noted that the temple will fill with smoke as the seven angels are given the "seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God". Read it in context...

    (5) After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, (6) and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. (7) Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.  (8) And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. (Revelation 15:5-8 NASB )

While smoke (and clouds) were a common aspect of manifestations of God's presence throughout Scripture (Ex. Exodus 19:18, Isaiah 6:4), and no one was able to enter the Temple when this happened (Exodus 40:35, 1 Kings 8:10-11), the smoke filling the temple at this point in the end times could very well have huge significance. It happens just before the Seven Bowls are poured out, which means it is one of the many events that take place just before, or as, the Seventh Trumpet sounds.

The account in Leviticus 16 tells us that when Aaron, as High Priest, once a year, entered into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of the nation, he not only carried with him the blood which was to be sprinkled on, and in front of, the Mercy Seat, but he also carried a pan of burning coals from the altar and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense into the Holy of Holies, where he put the incense on the coals so that the 'cloud of incense' (smoke) covered the mercy seat, (V. 12-13) and doubtless filled the inner temple.

It is entirely possible, nay more than likely, that, at the end of the age, when Christ the High Priest appears before the face of the Lord for us, putting away sin (Hebrews 9:24-26) smoke will once again fill the temple.

 

Continue On To Chapter V: The Rapture. While the timing and the reason for the rapture have been discussed on this page, The next chapter deals with why we cannot, and should not, trust in the Rapture taking place before the tribulation.

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