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Just BEFORE the Seven Trumpets Begin

 

There is an unusual service that occurs in Heaven just before the seven trumpets begin. Once you understand the significance of this special service, the judgments that follow will make a great deal of sense. As you investigate the seven trumpets, keep this thought in mind: God is love. This means that God’s actions are eternally consistent with principles of love. The Father gave us Jesus because He ‘so loved the world” and Jesus willingly died on the cross because He “so loved the world.” God’s wrath against evil and degenerate behavior is motivated by His love for righteousness, fairness, and equity. Do not forget the flood in Noah’s day. A “God of love” destroyed the whole world when a majority of people became hopelessly wicked. (Genesis 6:7) God’s love for oncoming generations demanded action.

 

The full cup principle is based on love, and God’s love is expressed through a perfect balance of justice and mercy. God hates to see individuals and nations self-destruct through degeneracy, rebellion, and sexual immorality. (Genesis 13:13) God is patient and longsuffering, not willing that anyone should perish. (2 Peter 3:9) We often forget that God – who sees the past, present, and future with the same clarity – loves oncoming generations just as much as He loves the present generation. Therefore, His love for oncoming generations moves Him to destroy the current generation so that the oncoming generation can be free of the degenerate and destructive behaviors that would be passed down to them. Remember, the sins of the fathers are passed down to the third and fourth generations! (Exodus 20:5)

 

Over time, sin multiplies it metastasizes like cancer cells. Sin penetrates society quickly and exponentially. Sin is like gravity. It creates a steady downward tug that eventually pulls everyone (especially the innocent and uninformed) into its deadly vortex. A new generation only gets a chance of having a better life when the older is destroyed. Thus, it becomes necessary for a God of love to destroy degenerate groups of people when they pass the point of no return.

 

Innocent people sometimes perish when God destroys degenerate groups because God’s wrath against a group of wicked people is not necessarily discriminating. For example, many small children were drowned in Noah’s flood. Many good people were killed during King Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem. When God’s wrath breaks out against a corporate body whose majority is beyond redemption, it is like the indiscriminate destruction caused by an atomic bomb. The loss of innocent life does not prohibit

God from doing what needs to be done because (a) God knows that everyone on Earth dies sooner or later anyway, and (b) He has the power to resurrect every dead person. Remember, Jesus will judge each person individually. Jesus will decide each person’s case accordingly. So, whether a child died in Noah’s flood or a person dies of illness, a crime, a tragic accident, or during some expression of God’s wrath, the cause of death has nothing to do with one’s eternal destiny. (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14, 2 Corinthians 5:10)

 

 

The Censer Comes Down

The story of the seven trumpets begins with Revelation 8:2. Take a few moments to get acquainted with this segment of the story: “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Another angel, who had the golden censer, came and stood at the altar [of Incense]. He was given much incense to offer, wit the prayers of the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand [and God granted the request of His saints]. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came 1peals of thunder, 2rumblings,3flashes of lightening and 4an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. [A few days later,] The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came 5hail and fire mixed with blood [mercy], and it was hurled down upon the earth.  A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass [including food crops] was burned up.” (Revelation 8:2-7, insertions mine)

 

Five Physical Phenomena

Five small superscript numbers were inserted into the verves above. Each number identifies a fearful and spectacular event. These five events form a package and this “package of five events” will occur on three separate occasions during the Great Tribulation. The first package will occur at the beginning of the seven trumpets. The second package will occur at the end of the seven trumpets. (Revelation 11:19) and the final package will occur at the end of the seven bowls (Revelation 16:18-21). The Bible does not say whether these events will transpire over a few hours or a few days. However, according to Rule Three of apocalyptic prophecy, we can be sure these five events will be phenomenal! They will be designed to bring the world to a halt. Everyone on Earth will be intimidated by these violent and powerful displays of nature. The whole world will witness these violent events at the same time.

 

Even though Revelation 8:5-7 does not explicitly say these five phenomena will be global events, they have to be understood as global events because:

 

1.   The seven trumpets will affect the whole world.

 

2.   The Great Tribulation will affect the whole world.

 

3.   The seven trumpets will terminate world order as we presently know it. The seven trumpets will put the world on notice that Jesus Christ now rules over Earth as Almighty God.

 

4.   These five phenomena will occur three times. The third package occurs at the Second Coming, which will be a global event. Since the Second Coming and the seven trumpets are global in nature, I believe it is safe to conclude that all three packages are global. These five events are designed to get worldwide attention at the same time.

5.   God’s wrath and the offer of salvation will be global in nature. The story in the book of Revelation is universal, that is, the story is the same in every nation. Therefore, these five phenomena will occur in the same way at the same time in every nation.

 

Commentary

“And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets.” (Revelation 8:2)

 

The story of the seven trumpets begins with a simple statement. John saw seven angels standing before God – actually, Jesus Christ. Earlier, in our study on the seven seals, we found that Jesus ascended the throne as “Lord God Almighty” in 1798. (See Revelation 11:17 where Jesus is called “Lord God Almighty.”) The angel’s standing posture before God’s throne indicates these particular angels have positions of highest authority. These seven angels are described throughout Revelation in different ways, such as the seven spirits of God, the seven angels of the seven churches, the seven angels who received the seven trumpets, and the seven angels who will eventually pour out the seven bowls.

 

The Timing of Revelation 8:2

As a result of my study, I have concluded the seven angels were given the seven trumpets in the spring of 1994. Since this date is not explicitly declared nor predicted in Scripture, some people scoff at the suggestion that 1994 is prophetically important. To be fair, I agree that a certain amount of skepticism is warranted, but the fact remains that the seven angels are given seven trumpets at some point in time. When I ask people to put a biblically reasoned date-stamp on Revelation 8:2, the responses range from silence to avoidance. Some people have suggested the seven angels were given the seven trumpets at the cross, or when Jesus returned to Heaven, or at the end of the seventy weeks, or at the time of Noah’s flood, or 1798, or 1844. Some people have even said, “It does not matter when they received the seven trumpets because if it did matter, God would have told us.”

 

Nothing in Scripture explicitly dates Revelation 8:2. However, for those who would duck the dating of the verse, my response is simple: “There are seventeen prophecies and eighteen prophetic time periods in the books of Daniel and Revelation, and God has not declared a starting date for most of them. This silence does not mean that starting dates are unimportant or that starting dates cannot be determined. In fact, God’s silence is an invitation to see if a solution date can be found!

 

Every-one wanting to date-stamp Revelation 8:2 faces a thorny problem. Here is the problem: The torment of the fifth trumpet lasts for five months. (Revelation 9:5) Should these five months be regarded as five literal months or should they be translated (using a day for a year) as 150 years (thirty days per month times five equals 150 days which translates into 150 years)? This question raises more questions: If time is translated as a day for a year in apocalyptic prophecies, like the seventy weeks mentioned in Daniel 9:24, when does a day for a year translation begin? Does the day for a year translation ever end? If so, when?

 

By God’s grace, I believe that I stumbled upon the answer to this problem and this discovery produced Rule Four of apocalyptic prophecy. Rule Four states, “The presence or absence of the Jubilee Calendar determines how God measures time.” In other words, when the Jubilee Calendar is operating, the day for a year translation occurs. A day is translated as a year. When the Jubilee Calendar is not operating and there is no translation, prophetic timing is to be understood as stated. Therefore, I have concluded that the seven angels received the seven trumpets in the spring of 1994, at the expiration of the Jubilee Calendar. (Please examine this matter further by reading the “Addendum” located at the end of this study.)     



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