Weve come at last to the moment when the seventh seal is broken and the scroll can be opened. The time for judgment has arrived. One spiritual season of earths history is giving way to another. The favorable year of the Lord is being replaced by the day of vengeance of our God (Is 61:2; Lk 4:17-21). The Lamb of God is now rising up as the Lion of God. But even in this transition Gods mercy can be seen. Like a watchman on the wall He sounds the trumpet to warn the earth that destruction is near. Why? Why doesnt He just immediately gather His heavenly hosts and descend on the earth? And there can only be one answer to this question: Because He wants to give people one more chance to repent. Today, after an overview of the seven trumpets well look more closely at the one word which defines Gods goal: repentance. Then well ask, why is it so hard for people to repent? For that matter, why is it sometimes so hard for us as believers to repent in certain areas? And finally well review ways repentance releases Gods blessing into our lives.
1) Rev 8:1 Seventh seal: scroll open
2) Rev 8:1 Prayers rise to God/silence
3) Rev 8:3 Altar of incense lifts the prayers of all the saints
Coals from the altar of sacrifice
Two handfuls of ground, mixed spices
Dense cloud of incense
4) Rev 8:5 Gods wrath: He gives justice to those who refuse mercy
5) Rev 8:6 Seven trumpets
Many uses for trumpets in O.T.
Two main types (silver and shofar)
- Sacred: calling on Gods presence
- Military: calling on Gods presence
- Tribal signals: Exodus, assemble, march
- Warning: watchmen on the wall (Eze 33:1-9) (shofar)
6) Rev 8:7-9:19 Seven trumpets
Massive thunderstorms ignite forest and prairie fires, crushing hail.
Volcano or meteor/comet deadens one-third of sea life and ships.
Drinking water, fresh water polluted (poisoned), acid rain?
- wormwood: prophetic judgment for idolatry
Severely darkened atmosphere
7) Rev 8:13 Three woes: the human race will soon be afflicted with much greater misery
Woe! A cry of despair
On top of environmental disaster there is now spiritual disaster.
Historic spiritual restraints now removed. (Are you sure you want to spend eternity with these?)
(WOE #1) Demonic infestation
- Shaft of the abyss is opened and demons come out like a great cloud of smoke or locust
- Torment, not death
(WOE #2) Demonic plagues
- Four angels bound at the Euphrates
- Tower of babel, Ge 11:1-9, Nimrod, Ge 10:8-11
- 200M horse men: human or demonic army
- 3 plagues
8) Rev 9:20, 21 Gods verdict: The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues did not repent . . .
(WOE #3) Rev 11:15 War in heaven: Satan is personally cast down to earth and his angels with him (Rev 12:7-12)
- This is the midpoint of the final seven years.
- This is what happens spiritually just before the abomination of desolation (Rev 13; Da 7)
1) Repentance (metanoia) change of mind, not sorrow (grief)
2) What does God want to change?
Ge 2:15-17 tree of the knowledge of good and evil
Ge 3:5 . . . your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (youll decide for yourself whats right and wrong)
3) Whats at stake? Who decides what is right and wrong, you or God?
4) Repentance: put the apple back on the tree
5) When we are born-again there are two steps we must take:
Believe God has given you mercy through Jesus Christ
C. The Process
Repentance begins with a general decision of giving authority back to God. After that we learn to apply this decision to every area of our lives. We learn a dependant lifestyle, daily humbling our self-reliance and trusting God instead. (Pr 3:5, 6 turn from self reliance to God reliance)
D. Message of the trumpets
God gives us generous opportunities to repent, but well get what we deserve if we refuse.
1) We start with a major policy decision: to put the apple back on the tree
2) Then our Heavenly Father frequently calls us to repent in areas where we are unaware of our self-reliance.
1) Stop quickly when the Holy Spirit tells you youve taken control (Pr 3:5, 6). This prevents living with foolish mistakes.
2) If there is a missing link in your armor, take time to fast and pray to ask why (persecution is one thing, perpetual trouble is another).
3) If repentance comes hard then recognize that pride has taken hold in that area (different areas of our lives vary in the amount of pride we have).
4) Repentance teaches us to be honest with ourselves which in turn helps us be honest with others.
1) Do you remember the time when you made a major policy decision to put the apple back on the tree? If you do, tell us what caused you to let God take control.
2) Is there a particular area of your life where you have an unusually hard time letting God take control? If you feel comfortable sharing this, tell us why this is a struggle for you. What blessing will be released when you learn to obey?