Summary: Message 21 in our exposition of Revelation considering the last trumpet and interlude of chapter 11-12.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“The Last Trumpet and Final Interlude” Rev 11-12
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-9
1. Earth Shaking Prayer 8:3-5
2. First six trumpets 8:6-9:21
3. Interlude 10-11:14
a. The mighty angel and the little book 10:1-11
b. The temple 11:1-2
c. The Two Witnesses 11:3-14
The book of Revelation outlines a most engaging drama of the last days. The concepts and players are not all new. Old Testament prophets have provided numerous pictures and clues of end times events and players. So far, we have tracked this drama on two dramatically different stages. Events will unfold on a heavenly stage. Events will unfold on an earthly stage.
Heaven is portrayed as the control center of the universe; God’s throne room. Earth is the dwelling place of the kingdoms of men. John has introduced numerous characters in this drama. He began with a striking vision of the resurrected Christ. This was nothing like the picture of Jesus in the Gospels. This is a resurrected glorious, powerful Christ almost too majestic to describe. John related specific messages from Jesus to each of 7 literal churches in existence at the time of the writing. Jesus addressed issues related to each church common to issues churches have faced throughout church history. John then related a vision of the heavenly stage related to worship in the throne room. He described a most stunning place.
He introduced a number of heavenly characters. Him who sits on the throne. 24 angelic beings seated on 24 thrones around the central throne. 4 other angelic beings inside the throne.
They constantly proclaim the greatness of the eternal holy God who created all things.
John also introduces “The Lamb that was slain”. Jesus comes forward to finish the redemptive work conceived from the beginning of time. The angelic beings offer their praise to the Lamb for His redemptive work extending to people from every tribe and language and people and nation. Their praise is joined by an innumerable number of angels surrounding the throne and grateful creatures and people from every corner of the earth. All heaven declares the glory and worth of the one who sits on the throne and the Lamb. The lamb breaks the seals of a document of the final days of judgment as the scene shifts to the earthly stage where each seal will unleash devastating earthly catastrophes.
John introduces the earthly players. Pagan kingdoms and people of the earth who continue to defy God’s authority. Angels stationed at the four corners of the earth. 144,000 divinely protected Hebrews witnesses for God. John describes a multitude of faithful martyred during this period giving praise around the throne. The breaking of the seventh seal introduces the sounding of the seven trumpet judgments. Demonic hordes join the drama with their own torment. At this point, it is a universal power struggle that includes both seen and unseen beings. The trumpet judgments are more intense and closer together.
Even though the kingdoms of the earth realize that these are divinely caused judgments, they refuse to repent.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. Revelation 9:20-21
John was given another vision after the sixth trumpet detailing other events happening during this same period. He describes a strong angel with a little book of further judgments. He is instructed to prophecy concerning the fate of the remaining kingdoms and people. He is told to measure the rebuild temple in Jerusalem. He describes two powerful witnesses who will bear witness to the truth in the last days. John introduces a beast from the abyss that kills the witness once their ministry is done. They are resurrected after 3.5 days to the astonishment and fear of those who see it. That brings us to the sounding of the seventh trumpet and another interlude that introduces some additional characters of the last days.
4. The seventh trumpet 11:15-19
Following these events John switches back to the heavenly stage from where the last trumpet sounds announcing the final showdown. The result of the seventh trumpet is the pouring out of the final seven bowl judgments just as the seven the seal introduced the seven trumpet judgments. The seventh of all three sets of judgments are similar in that they take place in heaven with loud declarations.