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The Book of Revelation part 6 – The Trumpets and Bowls Jugdements
We have noted in these studies that the Seven Sealed Scroll that appears at the very throne of God, in chapter five of the book, is the title deed to the earth that was purchased with Jesus’ blood by His death. When He opens the last Seal then the “kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” The breaking of the Seven Seals constitute the broad picture of end time events that lead to the second coming of Jesus. We have already noted that they are similar to the signs that Jesus mentioned in His Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew 24.
The Full Commentary
By contrast the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements give us a more detailed understanding of these events and are thus a commentary on the Seven Seals. By them we get a better understanding of end time events and we are thus better armed, if indeed we have to face them. The Trumpet and Bowl Judgements are therefore not in sequence but in parallel. Both conclude with the coming of Christ for the Church on the Great Day of Wrath, that befalls the world after the Great Tribulation. Though they may differ in perspective, just like the four Gospels, they all “come down to the wire” by giving us a picture of a huge invasion force that comes down into the Middle East arena for the great battle of Armageddon. These are said to be the “Kings from the east.” See Revelation 9:13-16 and Revelation 16:12.
The Harmony of the Bible
It is also interesting to note that between the sixth and seventh Trumpet Judgements and the sixth and seventh Bowl Judgements the rapture of the Church is portrayed. That is, just as the last Trumpet blast takes place, the Church is removed from the earth (Revelation10:7). Also, at the conclusion of the outpouring of the Sixth Bowl judgement and therefore, just before the outpouring of the seventh, and with it the arrival of the Day of Wrath, Jesus comes as thief for His Church ( Revelation 16:14-16). This is the clear teaching of scripture and with it all of scripture agrees. For instance in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 we are told that Jesus comes for His Church on the day of the sounding of the last trumpet. The fact that there is a “last trumpet” means that others have been sounded before. With this the book of Revelation clearly agrees!
Of course 1 Thessalonians :13-18, also states that the Church will be removed from the earth with a loud trumpet blast. The harmony of scripture, though written by many authors, is amazing.
The things to note
The Trumpet and Bowl judgements are indeed quite terrifying but their goal chiefly is to bring the world to repentance (Revelation 9:20-21). Even when the ungodliness of the world demands God’s intervention by judgement, the heart of God is still reaching out His world in the hope that men and women, lost in their sins, would nevertheless repent. They do not!
These judgements then give us a picture of what end time events will look like.
We note the following:
1. There will be increasing natural disasters that the world will write off to global warming instead of global warning! These will initiate serious illnesses and pandemics.
2. The sea and the waters will increasingly become polluted.
3. The luminaries in the heavens will begin to do strange things.
4. Demonic entities will begin to flood the earth. They will emerge out of the “Bottomless Pit” where they have been restrained for many centuries. Hitler believed that he had been contacted and commissioned by them! These will now bring forth a dark Antichrist King who will arise with them and rule the earth for a brief, but very difficult period for the Church (Revelation 11:7).
5. A global conflict of huge proportions will befall the earth bringing great destruction and death to its population.
6. Jesus will snatch His Church away as He comes in great power and glory to take possession of that which He has purchased by the spilling of His blood. He will take up His throne, vindicate Israel and the Church, and rule the nations with a “rod of iron.” (Revelation 11:16-18)
The visions and proclamations of the end
Just as the last trumpet Is about to sound, John sees a vision of the Angel of the Lord, Jesus, descending to the earth with an open scroll in his hand. Simultaneously, He places His feet on the land and the sea indicating that the seventh seal will now be broken and the earth and all that is in it will become His (Revelation 10:1-7). As He comes the mystery of God is finished. That is, the life and mission of the Church on earth has been completed. She will join Him and reign with Him on the earth!
The Apostle John is also given a book by an Angel that is sweet in taste but bitter to the stomach (Revelation 10:8-11). This book is the Word of God and, for the believer it is precious and sweet, tasting like honey (Psalm 81:16). The Bible is a wonderful book as it feeds us and leads us in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 119:105). However, parts of its message are considered hard to swallow by many Christians because it speaks of terrifying things and thus, it can become bitter to our stomachs! We don’t want to hear it and this is why the book of Revelation is the most ignored book by the wider Church. This betrays lives that are not anchored in the love, care and sovereignty of God. Christians should never be eaten up with fear (2 Timothy 1:7) but John is told to declare the message of the book anyway.
It is certainly true that we are facing days of great upheaval and now, more than ever, we must feast on the book of Revelation, even if its warnings are hard to take. The Bride must be readied for the coming of her King and she must be told the truth. Selah.