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

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The-Future
 

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

Carol Brooks

INDEX TO ALL SIX SECTION

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 compares what Jesus said in Matthew 24 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. In the Old Testament, trumpets often announced a coming disaster. And it will be no different at the end of the age, when the the seventh and last seal introduces the Seven Trumpets that herald the plagues of 'Biblical proportions' that God will send on the earth.

YOU ARE HERE 001orange PART IV... THE SEVENTH TRUMPET. In a sense this last and final Trumpet is the most eventful of them all, literally ushering the old age out and the new one in. It a) Brings and end to the mystery of God, when the doors to the Kingdom close forever b) Marks the point when believers meet the Lord in the air (the rapture) - 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"

 

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

ON THIS PAGE
The Order of the Trumpets

The Interlude Between The Sixth and Seventh Trumpet

At The Sounding Of The Seventh Trumpet /The Third Woe
 a) The Mystery of God is Finished
b) The Earth is Reaped (The Rapture)
The Timing of The Reaping and a lesson from Jericho
C) The Seven Bowls

Summary of Events that Take Place At The Seventh Trumpet

A Word of Warning

The Timing of The Atonement

The Order of the Trumpets

    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)

    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 strange ideas regarding this last trumpet. One site went as far as to claim that the Seventh Trumpet will be blown at the beginning of the tribulation. In other words, the seventh trumpet comes before the other six. The lengths that some 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 and imagination trumps the printed word.

    Note: Almost exactly the same things has been done with the Seven Feasts of Israel that symbolize a sequence of events. They were given by God in a set chronological order thus 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)

The book of Revelation is complicated enough without us making ridiculous claims about the simplest concept. 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 and seventh Trumpet that comes after the other six and serves to introduce the Bowls.


The Interlude Between The Sixth and Seventh Trumpet
As previously mentioned in the previous section beginning in 10:1 there seems to be a break in the series of judgments during which John sees and hears several different things.

    Chapter 10 talks about The Strong Angel, the Seven Thunders and the Little Book which John is commanded to eat. (See Footnote in Part III ).

    Chapter 11, verses 1-2 are about the measuring of the temple. Verses 3 through 12 are about the Two Witnesses - verse 13 describes the earthquake that takes place when God brings the Two Witnesses to life and takes them up into heaven in a cloud. See The Two Witnesses

    Verse 14 tells us that "The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly" at which point John heard the angels say  "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."  (Revelation 11:14-15 NASB).

    Vs. 18 has the 24 elders proclaiming that the time has come to "destroy them who destroy the earth" and to reward His servants the prophets, the saints, and those who fear His name - great and small.

(See The Judgment Seat of Christ and Rewards in Heaven - Part VII of What And Where is "Heaven"?

However, at this point, Revelation once more pauses in its recital of ongoing events to show John (Chapters 12:1 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'
Immediately after the interlude John 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 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".

Because 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. See Salvation on THIS Page
 

The Sounding Of The Seventh Trumpet /The Third Woe

In a sense the Seventh Trumpet is the most eventful of them all because it literally ushers the old age out and the new one in. The sounding of this 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: the "sons of the kingdom" 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...

    "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 i.e the separating of those who are God's people - the sheep -  from those who are not - the goats.

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 sitting on the cloud with a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand is obviously the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When the angel loudly cries out 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 swings it then gathers the clusters from the vine and throws them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. (Vs. 17-20)

Note that 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 heavens 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
A harvest is the gathering in of crops which were sown as seeds at an earlier time. 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 harvest of believers is 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)

The harvesting in Revelation 14:16 is a gathering in of the good crop (the "sons of the kingdom")

The Tares are Cast Into The Winepress
Both Revelation 14:19-20 and Matthew 13 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 (The Rapture)
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 a Philadelphia lawyer would struggle with. When it comes to 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. The rapture occurs when the Seventh Trumpet is blown at the end of the Tribulation At this the final Trumpet the doors to the Kingdom close forever, Christ will take His people off the earth and God will rightfully and publicly 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 have made the whole issue, and to what extent some believers have allowed themselves to be fooled. See Chapter V for more about the folly of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position. See Chapter VI


Jericho
In Christian theology, typology is a representation of one thing by another. To put it another way, a type is an actual event that 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' was rarely, if ever, apparent at the original occurrence. 'Types' can be physical objects, rituals, or even people who in some way foreshadowed the Messiah. See Understanding Prophecy and Typology)

The fall of Jericho was no exception.

As related in Joshua 6 seven priests accompanied by the Ark of the Covenant marched once 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 with one difference. This time they they circled the city not once, but seven times. On the seventh and final round after 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 will cause end of all things including the final destruction of Babylon. Finally, Christ will return to earth.

    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)

See Two Babylons

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. however, the faithful will be protected from God's wrath by the mark on their foreheads throughout these judgments. And when it comes time to make an end of all things (the Seven Bowls) 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 and will 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 Ezekielís Prophecy About The Golden Gate on THIS page (Scroll down a little).


C) The Seven Bowls
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 safely out of the way (The Rapture) the Seven Bowls that signify the end of all things will destroy all the inhabitants of the earth. The cities of the nations fall, and the islands and mountains 'disappear'. See Chapter VI


Summary of Events that Take Place At The Seventh Trumpet
To recap, the closely related events that take place at the Seventh Trumpet 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 (For the significance of this See The Two Phase Atonement

    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


A Word of Warning
Perhaps the most common misconception that most believers labor under is that they have already been saved.

This is largely due to the totally misguided theory of Once Saved - Always Saved. However, even those that do not hold to OSAS can be very wrong about salvation. Take for example, the common responses to the question of what one has to do to be saved (the most crucial point of the whole New Testament) no end of well meaning Christians will reply either that they have to 1. 'Believe in Jesus Christ'. 2. 'ask Jesus into their hearts' and 3. 'Accept Jesus as Their Personal Savior' etc.  Unfortunately, only the first comes anywhere near the mark.

    The first -  'Believe in Jesus Christ' is horribly abbreviated and neither tell you what you are saved from nor what you gain by being "saved". It certainly does not convey all that is involved.

    The second is a meaningless phrase that communicate nothing intelligible and is NOT found anywhere in the Bible.

    And as far as the third is concerned - The word "personal" means the matter relates only to one particular person. Christ is not anyone's "personal Savior".

See Shallow, Abbreviated, and Highly Inaccurate Salvation Messages on THIS page

If you happen to be one of those people who are trusting in the fact that in the past you prayed a prayer, raised your hand, walked an aisle, or signed a card, your faith is misplaced. God will not welcome you into His kingdom based on your efforts to live a righteous life, keep the Ten Commandments, do good and help others. (If being saved was simply a matter of pulling up our socks then Jesus died an agonizing death for no reason whatsoever).

The fact is that none of these things will save you from the arrow that He has already drawn in His bow - an arrow that is tenuously aimed at every sinner... at you.

Therefore you need to ensure you are one of the people that the Lord gathers into His barn before the 'tares' or those who commit lawlessness are thrown into "the great wine press of the wrath of God. (Revelation 14:19-20) Note: Matthew 13: 41-43 and 49-50 both say "the furnace of fire" which alone should tell you that neither the fire nor the press are to be understood literally.


The Timing of The Atonement

What we need to do is take a much close look at what the New Testament says about salvation which, at first glance, can be terribly confusing. For example, the New Testament sometimes says that salvation is an accomplished reality but 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.

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.

What you shouldn't do is gloss over these differences in tenses. They were neither careless writing on the part of the apostles nor were they mistranslated. They are there for a very important reason.

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.

To completely understand why the New Testament uses different tenses and to ensure you are one of the people that the Lord gathers into His barn requires a step back in time to the Old Testament Day of Atonement. See The Two Phase Atonement

    Also Note: (If you are looking for a short and easy answer, you are in the wrong place. And, may I add, if you think you have already found a short and easy answer, you may very well be hopelessly deluded.)


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. HERE

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