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The Seventh Trumpet

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By Virgil - Posted on 28 December 2003

Despite the seemingly endless flood of books and movies about the end times, and the end of the world, the book of the Revelation is not about the end of time but about the time of the end – not the last days of the world – but the last days of a temporary system, a temporary covenant that has given way to a new and better covenant. The last of the trumpets have blown. The mystery of God has been fulfilled, and Jesus Christ rules as King of kings and Lord of lords.Consider: We believe that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of lords. We believe that the world belongs to him. But the following statement was made by Tim Lahaye – coauthor of the popular Left Behind books and author of a number other “non-fiction” (term used very loosely!) books on eschatology : “When Jesus comes, He is going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Could anyone even suggest that for these last 1,900 years Jesus has been Lord and King over the kings of this earth – kings who have persecuted Christians by the millions (an estimated 50 million martyrs have been slaughtered for their faith)? To say that Christ is ruler now is a statement that reaches almost blasphemous proportions.” Tim Lahaye End Times Controversy: 2nd Coming Under Attack, pg. 11

Tim Lahaye says that to declare that Christ is King is almost blasphemy! But according to the bible to deny that Christ is indeed King of kings isn’t just almost blasphemy; it is blasphemy! Despite this, Lahaye’s books continue to sell, and he and others like him continue to teach an understanding that denies the truth of the scriptures.

But let’s start with the words of Jesus himself to his disciples in Matthew 16: 27 – 28 “For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. Truly, I say to you , there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

Many commentators try to explain this as a reference to the Transfiguration where Peter, James, and John saw Jesus speaking to Moses and Elijah and shining was white as light which happened just six days after he had made this statement about the coming of the kingdom of God before the death of some of the disciples.

But you’ll see as you look at the transfiguration event – there was no coming with angels or any judgment. There was no repayment for everyone according to what they had done. The transfiguration was not what Jesus had in mind when he said “there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the coming of the Son of man in his kingdom.” What he meant was that his second coming would be within the lifetime of disciples who were standing there with him – that his second coming would be a first century event.

His second coming was seen in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman army. The great tribulation took place in the Fall of Israel. Jesus said, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those that are out in the country enter it; for these are the days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written…when you see all these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place.” (Luke 21:20 – 24,31 - 32)

“all that is written”, “this generation” “all has taken place” these should indicate to us that Jesus meant his coming in his kingdom would be seen in the destruction of Jerusalem within that generation – at 70 AD.

But why is the destruction of Jerusalem so important? Why was that the sign of his coming?

The destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was akin to the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians and the destruction of Judah by the Babylonians. These armies were used by God as the rod of his wrath for the violation of his covenant with Israel. Since they had rejected the Christ and the new covenant made in his blood their city was brought down in punishment.

But even more than that. The new covenant made in Christ’s blood had superceded the old covenant made with the blood of bulls, sheep, and goats. The new covenant with Christ as the High Priest had superceded the old covenant with a descendant of Aaron as the human high priest. The new covenant opened the heavenly temple – the true temple -to all of mankind; whereas the old covenant temple had been made by human hands and restricted entrance to a select few.

The temple in Jerusalem was the focal point of the old covenant system. The people went up to the temple to offer their sacrifices there because, even though no building made by men could contain him, God was thought to reside there within the most holy place, the Holy of Holies. The Temple with its altar and regular sacrifices was THE symbol of the sacrificial system.

But not everyone could enter the temple. The temple in Jerusalem was built with a series of concentric areas. The outermost court could be entered by everyone, but only Jews could proceed further. There was a sign posted at the gates to the next warning that to bring a gentile any further was a capitol offense. Paul was arrested in Jerusalem on the accusation that he had brought Greeks into the temple area.

But the gospel of the Kingdom taught no division. As Paul said, “in Christ there is no male of female, Jew or Greeks, slave or free” those old divisions of the old covenant were going away.

To the Gentile converts in Ephesus he said, “Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands-- 12remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (2:11-12)

Under the old system The Jews were considered God’s chosen people. They were set apart as a kingdom of priests so as to demonstrate to the world the ideals of the Kingdom of God. They were the depository and conservators of knowledge of the living God on earth. But that knowledge and that kingdom was no longer exclusive to the Jews.

This was the mystery of God, the mystery of Christ – that the gentiles were now welcomed and made a part of the kingdom of God. Paul…defines the mystery of God that was foretold by the prophets as Jew and Gentile in equality in Christ. That the Gentiles were fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, This was the grand purpose of God before the foundation of the world…The mystery of God would be realized when the 7th trumpet sounded.

The time of waiting is over; at the time when the seventh angel is hear sounding his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled just as he announced in th gospel to his servants the prophets.Rev. 10:7

And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose 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.” And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,

"We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign." And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm. Rev. 11:15-19

Here in John’s vision we have the son of man coming in the glory of the father with angels and bringing repayment to all for what they had done – both reward for the saints and destruction for the destroyers.

John saw heaven opened up and the true temple revealed. And within the temple he saw the Ark of the Covenant. The ark was the war palladium of YHWH the God of hosts… it was the war standard which was carried into battle and which threw Israel’s enemies into panic. Whenever the ark set out, Moses said,

"Rise up, O LORD!
May your enemies be scattered;
may your foes flee before you.”
Numbers 10:35-36

The ark preceded the warriors into battle. John’s vision of it here signals that a battle is about to take place The rest of the revelation given to John shows that that battle was coming against Jerusalem.

This was the seventh trumpet. But the song we sometimes sing got it all wrong. “when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more…” Time wasn’t over – except for the old covenant system. The mystery of God was revealed at the blowing of the seventh trumpet – the mystery that all would be welcomed into the kingdom of God without division between Jew and Gentile, without division between male and female.

Christ does indeed rule now, and forever as King of kings and Lord of lords. To deny his kingdom is to deny our salvation and our acceptance into his kingdom. IF he hasn't come a second time - with his angels in the glory of his father to bring repayment - then the seventh trumpet hasn't sounded and the mystery of God has not been fulfilled. And if the mystey of God has not been fulfilled, we gentiles are still the dogs outside the temple. To deny his Kingship is to deny the fulfillment of the new covenant and to be bound by the old covenantal system with it’s temple made by human hands and the requirement of regular sacrifices made by a human high priest.

"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign." Amen!

Praeterbro's picture

Outstanding Jeff!

davecollins's picture

Brother Carter,

Please tell me where your Salvation Army Church meets. I'm moving there!! Thanks for a great article...I've already e-mailed it to 3 of my closest futurist friends. Thanks again,Jeff

jcarter's picture

i'm in danville, illinois. though there are Salvation Army Corps (churches) throughout the united states and around the world. ---there is no official eschataolgy in the salvation army, and as a preterist i'm in the minority.

But you're welcome to drop by here anytime.

There is no life without prayer. Without prayer there is only madness and horror. - Vasilii Rozanov

Roderick's picture

Wow! Jeff, that was a very clear presentation. I especially like how you contrasted LaHaye's comments with what the bible claims and what we claim -- that is Jesus IS King of kings and Lord of lords -- not postponed. Amen!!! Great work.

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