Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Seventh trumpet - The third woe

K)  The Rapture Takes Place

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
   And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
   saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
   The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
   Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. 11:15-19

   The return of Christ is the single greatest expectation of The Christian Church. For the Christian, all of history has led to this point, and this is the climax of all our hopes.

   The mighty angel said, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished.
10:7.  Paul wrote, This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Eph 5:32.  When the seventh trumpet sounds, the mystery, The Church, will be finished.

   Paul also wrote, we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound. 1 Cor. 15:51-52.  The last trumpet sound, the one to which Paul refers, is the sound of the seventh trumpet of The Revelation, when the Church is called home.  

It is that last trumpet sound, to which the mighty angel is referring here; the trumpet blast of the seventh angel.  This teaching is greatly disputed.  Those who do not accept this theory say that Paul and John are not referring to the same trumpet blast at all.  That argument raises this redundant question; how many last trumpet calls can there be?

   In chapter 10:7, the sound of the last trumpet was announced and in 11:15 we are told the seventh angel sounded.  In spite of that, Concordia writes, The third woe is not pictured at all.  It is illogical to suppose that the fifth trumpet sound heralded the first woe, the sixth trumpet sound heralded the second woe but that the seventh trumpet sound would not herald the third woe.  This is especially true, since the contents of the seventh trumpet blast, so exactly fit the picture of the most horrible of all woes. 

   In contradiction to the Scriptures, Dr. McGee writes, The third woe is not the blowing of the seventh trumpet.  However, the angel had specifically stated that it was.  I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! 8:13

   In chapter 19, the writer sees another "video", a video in which the rapture of the church and the praise in heaven that accompanies that event, is more fully portrayed.  There is great cause to rejoice: for the struggling church is now “the church triumphant”.  This is the event to which Paul referred, when he said, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
1 Cor. 15:51.  At this point in The Apocalypse, all Christians have been changed, and there is much praise in heaven.  The great multitude in heaven says, Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. 19:7

To John's mind it was as if a great multitude praised God; then he said, no it was louder than that, it was like a giant waterfall. Actually, he says, it was even louder than that, it was as loud as mighty rolls of thunder.

    Of the seven trumpet blasts, only the last three herald a woe.  The reason that the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpet blasts are worse than the first four is because, according to this study, it was immediately before the fifth trumpet blast that Satan was released from his prison.  The last, the seventh trumpet blast and the last bowl of wrath are also the last of the three woes.  

Being that this is the last trumpet blast it is also the call for the rapture of the church when all the redeemed (excluding the martyred saints), will be caught up in the air to meet their Lord and be rewarded according to their deeds. 11:18.  We, who are redeemed, are so enthralled with this prospect that we overlook the fact that this is really a woe; it is a woe for all non-Christians; the last chance for redemption is eternally past.

This is the last, and the saddest of all woes.  It is also a woe for Christians who have done nothing for which to be rewarded.  They will be eternally without rewards.  They will have no trophies to present to their Master, the Redeemer who bought them.

   When the seventh angel sounded,…there were loud voices in heaven…and the twenty-four elders…fell on their faces and worshipped God. This seems so fitting and wonderfully glorious. Christ said that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents, Luke 15:7, but now, the whole church is in heaven; surely, there would be praise, joy and worship in heaven.

   You have taken Your great power and reigned.  Throughout history, from the Garden of Eden onward, humanity has been rebellious against the Lord. Demanding blessings and refusing praise against His wishes.  The Lord in loving kindness and in great patience has been waiting for man to repent and turn to him in humility.  Now Jehovah will take his rightful place on the throne of judgement.

   Concordia notes, and some Bible translations agree, that in 11:17, the words, and is to come, are not in the best texts.  This seems right, because, at this point in the narrative, Christ has just returned, the rapture has transpired and the temple of God is opened in heaven.  There is no more room for another, is to come, in history.  

Concordia continues, God is no longer hidden from men’s eyes in the Holy of Holies enthroned upon the ark. His covenant promise … is forever fulfilled, and those that love Him see Him face to face.  Concordia also teaches that God is invisible!  Go figure.

   However, not only is the Church, the Bride of Christ, safe with the Bridegroom, but the Lord God has revealed His great power and has taken His rightful place as the King of all nations.

  the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great. The time has come that the dead should be judged. Until now, they were dead and were still in Paradise or in Hades.  At the same time that The Church is being raptured, the non-Christians rise up together with The Church to go to their judgment.  All, except the martyrs will be judged in the same scene. 

That people go to their eternal reward at the time of their death is just another unscriptural doctrine, which the church holds, .  A careful study of the Bible concerning this teaching clearly shows that together with Paul and Daniel we must wait until the rapture of the church.

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