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Beginning of the Trumpet Judgments - 24

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2021 2:00 am

Beginning of the Trumpet Judgments - 24

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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September 20, 2021 2:00 am

Pastor Mike Karns continues his systematic exposition of the book of Revelation.

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Well we are steadily making our way through our study the book of Revelation, and I thank you for your interest in your encouragement. As we've sought to do this tonight. Let me sketch the roadmap so you know where I want to go so you might follow me want to begin by spent a little bit of time with some background and how God employs trumpets throughout the Scriptures send what their purpose and use is that I want to draw three parallels for you to from the Old Testament and one from the immediate context here in the book of the Revelation and then we will look at the four trumpet judgments that we find in verses seven through 12 and then will conclude by a threat of future judgment. Verse 13 so that's where we want to go.

Background when Israel was delivered by God Egyptian bondage and led through their wilderness wanderings. They were ready to enter the promised land, and we listen to this. I won't read the entire passage but the passage or the portion that is pertinent to our discussion tonight.

This is the fall of Jericho Joshua six now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel.

None when Alton Nunn came in and the Lord said to Joshua.

See, I have given Jericho into your hand, it's King and the mighty men of valor, you shall march around the city all you men of war, you shall go all around the city once and then you shall do it six days and seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark.

But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times in the priests, shall blow the trumpets, it shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn and when you hear the sound of the trumpet that all the people shall shout with a great shout then the wall of the city will fall down flat and the people shall go up every man straight before him trumpets. Revelation chapter 8 and verse six launches the third cycle of visions with the Angels blowing seven trumpets.

Verse six so the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Know what's unique about this is the employment of the trumpets with the priests in Joshua's time was a very local thing. It had to do with the fall of Jericho that city but the blowing of the trumpets here is to affect the entire world. It's not a local event. It is a wide event and it's not men it's not priests blowing the trumpets. It is angels blowing trumpets in heaven. And because it's not man. And because it's angels, and because it's not on the earth, but it's in heaven. We are anticipating the manifestation of significant divine intervention. This is on a much broader scope and is far more significant than what we read there and Joshua chapter 6, so the trumpet visions of Revelation chapter 8 and chapter 9 because chapter 8 only includes the for the first four trumpet judgments. There are three more, and that they will be considered in chapter 9 the show that the world and all of its might will not successfully bar nor frustrate God's covenant people from ultimate victory, and they see God taking vengeance on his enemies and bringing the consummation the end of this world order and the ushering in of a new heaven and a new earth. Christ will strike the for the fortress of sin and unbelief and judgment is coming up on this world.

Jesus said that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it in the Bible we see trumpets are blown for a number of reasons. They were sounded to call the people of God to assemble for special events. The trumpets were blown in accordance with the observance of the feast days in Israel you can see that in Leviticus 23 verse 24, when Solomon was being enthroned, the king of Israel. The trumpets were sounded together, the people for that coronation were told in the New Testament that the sounding of the trumpet will announce the second coming of Christ as he gathers his elect from the four corners of the earth.

Matthew chapter 24 versus verse 30 in verse 31 the prophet Joel associated the blowing of trumpets, with God's coming in judgment.

This is Joel chapter 2 in verse one below a trumpet in Zion, sound an alarm on my holy mountain, for the day of the Lord is, trumpets were sounded in the Old Testament.

Together, the people for war judges chapter 3 verse 27. Ehud in Judges 327 sound of the trumpet to call the men of Ephraim into battle, and most importantly, trumpets being blown in the Old Testament during holy war was assignment assignments for God to come and make war on behalf of his people, so the trumpet trumpets sounding was an announcement by Joshua there in Joshua chapter 6, not what the people were doing. It's incredibly conspicuous. It is all it almost looks ludicrous. There just marching around the city doing that in obedience to God. But what does that have to do with warfare will what they were engaged in was intentional to demonstrate then that when the walls of Jericho fell and Jericho was defeated that the only explanation wasn't people walking around the city and blowing trumpets, but it was God. The trumpet, Solomon, God, and it was clear to everyone that this is something got it done, such as the conspicuous nature of what we're reading here in Revelation chapter 8 remember Gideon and his little army. What did they carry with them.

Well Bible says they carried torches and they carried trumpets and when they blew the trumpets. It was God who can remember God told him I get too many men send someone home and here is his great Army of the Midianites and how many men does he have to engage in battle 300, 300, they blew the trumpets and God came on the scene and God caused the Midianites to be confused and ultimately defeated, and it is against this broad background. The Revelation chapter 8 verse six tells us that there are seven angels who had the seven trumpets and they are prepared to blow them and they are doing that in anticipation of divine intervention. God is going to come on the scene of history and he is going to Fort and conquer and defeat his enemies. So there is a clear and obvious background here and I didn't want us just to be alarmed by what, what, what's this with trumpets only discount a sketch what I've said before your number times, but not all of you've been here for the series. Just so you can connect the seals the trumpets in the bowl judgments that make up the bulk of the book of the Revelation you remember that God Almighty in his right hand held a scroll that was a seven sealed scroll and there was nobody John couldn't find anybody in heaven or earth that was worthy to open the scroll, but one came forth the Lord Jesus Christ and had authority to take from God the father and open the scroll loose the seals and execute the content of God's decrees that were reflected in those seals and in rapid succession.

The first six seals are open were thinking will. If this the seven seals represent the entirety of human history, and six seals of open we must be getting to the end but we have a Bible in front of us and tells us that there's 22 chapters in the book of Revelation. And that's only in chapter 5 and six and would like wait a minute, what's what's gonna happen here. Well you know that the seventh seal gives way to the seven trumpet judgments and then in a similar fashion were gonna look at the first four trumpet judgments in verses seven through 12 verse eight and then the fifth judgment. Chapter 9 first part, the six in the latter half of chapter 9 and then that seventh trumpet judgment gives way to the seven bowl judgments so there is an intensification of judgment in the manifestation of judgment as these judgments unfold the seals the trumpets in the bowl judgments so sometimes we can come to get lost in the what's what and what is all this seals and trumpets and Bowls or violence.

Well, that helps. I think you did connect the theme and how the book is constructed now, let's talk about a few parallels that I see here in our consideration tonight. There is a clear and obvious parallel between the seven trumpets.

Revelation chapter 8 and nine and the seven trumpets of Joshua chapter 6, and we've already looked at. Let me say few more things about that in Joshua six. The first six trumpets were blown as a prelude to the decisive seventh day, and on that seventh day, the blowing of the trumpet on that day when the victory was given so it is here in Revelation 1st six trumpets are a prelude and a build up to the seventh trumpet and again the seventh trumpet is made up of the seven bowl judgments which will be the last and the cataclysmic and the final judgment in human history is God wages war against Satan and all his evil and against all those who refuse to bow the knee and repent. Let me show you a second parallel, but only the parallel of Joshua chapter 6 to the trumpets sounding in Revelation, Satan represent nine but the parallel between the four trumpets that are sounded here in Revelation 87 through 12 and the four seals of Revelation chapter 61 through seven, and as I have my Bible open. I don't need to turn the page 1, pages Revelation 61 through seven and my Bible has headings.

The first seal verses one into the second seal verses three and four. The third seal verses five and six. The fourth seal verses seven and eight and in a similar fashion.

We have the four trumpet judgments in verses seven through 12 of chapter 8. What we have here is a parallel cycle of the same history were not thinking consecutively were not thinking all this is additional judgment know this is the same. If history seen from two different vantage points. There's things emphasized in the trumpet judgments that were emphasized as the seals were revealed. Remember the four seals were the unleashing of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with their calamities upon the earth.

We won't revisit that. Remember, you can read about it there in Revelation 61 through eight, and those seals and again the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but here there is a parallel listen to the words of Derek Thomas who writes about this parallel. I thinks quite helpful. He says quote the seals know that's Revelation 6, the seals view the unfolding of God's redemptive purposes. From the point of view of the Lord's people. Those who are sealed and we see that the seal of Israel in chapter 7 the trumpets now view that same reality from the point of view of the unsealed, that is, those who are not the people of God. The opening of the seals bring great consolation to the people of God, but the sounding of the trumpets bring great woes upon those who are not the people of God.

So says Derek Thomas, sort of.

These four trumpets were going to look at here in a moment depict, will they show God's judgment on the sin of the world through the upheavals in nature that God is using his sovereign control over nature to judge his enemies. Now we need to be very careful that we don't look to a calamity in our day.

This reported in the news, and say that is the evidence of God's judgment.

One thing is certain, regardless of our inability to accurately connect cause-and-effect.

We believe that God is sovereignly in control of his universe right and everything that happens is under his sovereign rule and control now in any given time in any given circumstance. We don't have the ability nor the wisdom God hasn't given that to us to be able to say this happen for this reason, this is how we explained that so we just need to be careful but when reading about it here in Scripture we are on good ground because we have an accurate ability to interpret what God is and connect cause-and-effect so the four trumpets. They depict God's judgment sin of the world through the upheavals in nature, God using his sovereign control of nature to judge his enemies.

And then there is another parallel, we must must identify for you so that were prepared to move through these four trumpets.

There is a parallel between the trumpet judgments and the 10 plagues that came upon Egypt during the time of Moses, and in a moment you're going to see how closely these trumpet judgments parallel what we read about their in the time of Pharaoh. You remember how God humiliated the gods of the Nile and broke the unbelieving heart of Pharaoh by means of these plagues so they there are very there are very conspicuous parallels in the trumpet judgments between the first the seventh and the eighth plague involving hail, blood and darkness to remember there were 10 plagues with these trumpet judgments are going to parallel three of those 10, the first the seventh and the ninth and what is happening here is there is a reinforcing of the inside of the assertion that the trumpets of Revelation are signifying God's holy war in history against his enemies who have oppressed his church. One of the main points of the plagues in Moses day before Pharaoh was to demonstrate that the phenomenon that was being manifested could only be explained as an intervention by God. You remember the magicians of Pharaoh were able to duplicate some of it but as things went on they were there out of their Lake when Pharaoh questioned them this is what they said reluctantly as they tried to interpret their inability to duplicate the miracles and the phenomena that God was bringing about through Moses. They reluctantly said this is the finger of God.

That's what they said and that's what were going to see these phenomena is the take place. There is no other way to explain apart from this is the doing of God we can explain it any other way. You remember a few years ago that when the would be an earthquake or a tsunami or whatever, it wasn't uncommon to hear in the news is it's reported that this was an act of God.

You remember that, but how long is it been since we've heard God's name evoked in any way whatsoever. People are even willing to say what this was an act of God.

Well, it is an act of God. It's interesting that the insurance company likes to use that terminology to avoid liability while you have no coverage because this was an act of God with the trumpet judgments that were going to look at here in a minute minute Harold and declare these are the acts of God, God himself is acting in history to judge his enemies. One additional observation and then we will take a few moments to look at these four trumpet judgments and it is the restrictive nature of God's judgment in these trumpet judgments you say what you mean by restrictive restrictive nature of God's judgment. While I have highlighted in my Bible and the text that there are 12 times in chapters 8 where you find the phrase 1/3 and 1/3 of the trees were burned up, 1/3 of the seas became blood, 1/3 of the ships were destroyed. 1/3 of the rivers. Not all of the rivers. Not all of the graphs. Not all of the trees, but 1/3 to 2/3 didn't come under God's judgment so when I say I restricted the restrictive nature of God's judgment that even though God is expressing his judgment is expressing his wrath in the ruin of his creation's destruction is restricted to one third and not the whole. There is a mercy in his judgment as he restricts it in giving men time to repent. It's a partial judgment. It is not the final and ultimate judgment that will be seen in the bowl judgments in chapter 16, so they serve the purpose of warning the unrepentant the unbelieving and there's an exclamation point on it in verse 13, because after the four judgments there's a parts in the Bible says in verse 13, I looked, I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven. Your Bible might say an eagle flying in heaven. The word there could be translated angel could be translated eagle could be translated vulture. Somehow, I like eagle flying something vultures. I just don't like vultures. But when we see vultures what does that communicating something, something's dead. This vulture is a bird of prey. He's getting ready to descend speaks of death.

So there's a warning that God is sounding before the final trumpet judgments now that brings us to the trumpet judgments themselves. So let's begin in very limited amount of time.

I don't know how it is for you when you're standing here preaching time does not stand still time just in how did 25 minutes getaway, now maybe you're sitting there going. Maybe that's the way you think, well, let's Revelation 8 verse six so the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Verse seven the first angel sounded, and half arms are in hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth in the third of the trees were burned up in all green grass was burned up again. This is similar to what we read in Exodus chapter 9 of the plague of hail and fire. It is the seventh plague that comes upon Egypt and you notice that it says they were thrown to the earth when there's the action of something being thrown there somebody doing the throwing right.

The question is who is doing the action and the obvious conclusion or answer to the question is the sovereign God of the universe is the one who is doing this they were thrown to the earth. It's something that's coming from heaven. Something that's coming from God's domain and it's coming upon the earth again. It's God's intervention.

1/3 of the trees were burned up, and this is an all green grass was burned up folks. If all the grains on the face of the earth are burned up. You know how long were going to live.

Not very long animals are going to live very long.

We read in chapter 9 and verse four they were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth. Here's locus when say will wait a minute here, I thought all the grass was burned up in chapter 8, but in the fifth trumpet the locus or commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, one of the times I traveled to Zimbabwe we would be traveling along the road and there'd be smoke and there were these controlled burns and there hadn't been raining for months. I mean no rain for three, four, five months so I was inquiring as to why the burning.

He said it's a way of rejuvenating the land that when all the dead grasses burned in just a matter of a few weeks without any rain, fresh green grass begins to immerse emerge. I don't understand the physics of that but all green grass was burned up in verse seven well in a matter of time. The earth rejuvenates itself in green grass reemerged. It was so some of you probably know more about that.

I do, I just observed it so that's how we would explain what seems to be a contradiction there between chapter 9 verse four we read there in chapter 8 and verse seven. So it's God's judgment.

You don't have to live your life very long before you come to the very distinct conclusion that there are very very few things in life you have right? Been mentioned and prayed in his reference to the coronavirus and the Delta variant. It's a silent killer and you can do all you you know to do to protect yourself but it's an illusion to think that things that I can do that guarantee absolutely that I won't get the Delta variant God wills you won't get it. But if God wills you will get it. There's nothing you can do to prevent yourself from getting someone asked me after one of the services recently. Is anybody going to live any longer than God has determined what I said no question answer to that question is a simple no. When I got a live one day longer and our life isn't going to be one day shorter and she said they said sorry gave way under the person said what I doesn't matter how we live. I said all yes it does matter how we live. She was wrestling with divine sovereignty and human responsibility just in that particular arena. Then that issues in so many other areas so is on trying to help this person. I said well I remember what they said or what was reported been said soldiers who were engaged in in combat in the Civil War. Mrs. holding divine sovereignty and human responsibility together, finding that attention. They said trust God as the divine sovereign part of it and keep your gunpowder dry. That's the human responsibility side so we we've got to maintain the tension between those two things in so many areas of life. The second trumpet, then the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain now again I'm back to just reorienting ourselves. John is describing visions is not giving commentary. He's not giving interpretation. He doesn't say. I saw something like a great mountain burning in that mountain was this or that he is just describing something but there's a phrase there that helps you understand that what is making reference to is not a literal mountain right then the second angel sounded in something like something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea in the third of the sea became blood. What in the world could he be making reference to something like a great mountain 11 critical hermeneutical principle is that we must must allow Scripture to interpret Scripture right so let me clear this up very quickly for you by turning you to Jeremiah chapter 52 Jeremiah that is a 52 I met Jeremiah 51 Jeremiah 51 God is making reference to the Empire of Babylon Jeremiah 51 verse 24 says, and I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all the evil they have done in Zion in your site says the Lord. Behold verse 25 I am against you all destroying mountain God through the prophet Jeremiah is calling Babylon a destroying mountain, behold, I am against you all destroying mountain who destroys all the earth, says the Lord, and I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you down from the rocks and make you a part mountain turnover verse 42, the sea has come up over Babylon.

She is covered with the multitude of its waves. Her cities are a desolation, a dryland and a wilderness so back to Revelation chapter 8 what is this great mountain. Well, it's a reference to the great empires of human history who have exalted themselves and lived and boasted of their economy and their going to do this and are going to do that. And God says babbling in Egypt and all the great powers and in John's day the great Empire of Rome, God will destroy that's what he's I believe making reference to the second angel sounded in something like a great mountain burned burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and the third of the sea became blood in reference there to blood is death there is death. God is going to judge his enemies world empires, you know, I am inclined to stop here because there's not enough time to say the things that I think need to be said, so let me that's the nice thing about expositional preaching stop and return to it next week and pick up so let me bring this to a conclusion by bringing some summary statements here. What would we see going on with seen the first two trumpet judgments will see it again reinforced in the third and the fourth what we see here in these trumpet judgments is a picture, a picture of God's judgment of sin and wickedness and there are worse judgments coming, there is an Eagle. There is a vulture that is circling and he's doing that is warning. There's there's death coming. There's more judgments to follow, but in the midst of God's judgment. There is a picture of mercy as I mentioned 10 times in chapter 8 that this judgment is affecting one third of the creation order so that on the land. Some of it in the sea, so there is there is mercy with God. God does not delight in the destruction of the wicked, so there is judgment yes, but there's time for unbelieving people to take note and to turn and to repent and trust God so picture of mercy a picture of warning and then we have a word. I think for the church for believers for John in his day, you know it's interesting that you read commentators and commentators say well when John's talking about this mountain he has in view of Mount Vesuvius the studious that erupted in Italy and destroyed Pompeii around 70 ADM thinking well maybe but I just showed you from Jeremiah that it's not Mount Vesuvius. It's a great empires of the world. It's Babylon, it's Egypt and Rome and all the other nations that have risen and God has overthrown listen to Luke chapter 21 chapter 21 verse 28 is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. The coming of the Son of Man and when we get to verse 28. He says now when these things begin to happen when these things begin to happen. Earthquakes and these manifestations in nature. When these things begin to happen. Look up and lift up your heads, because church believer. Your redemption draws nigh. These are to encourage us and to remind us that despite the fact that there is an appearance of things are just unraveling that there's no rhyme nor reason there is no purpose. There is a God in heaven who is sovereignly ruling in raining we need to keep our eyes on him into look up because our redemption draws nigh the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is I don't what it is but I know one thing and you can't refute what I'm about ready to say we are one day closer to his return than we were yesterday. My right about that. Yes, our redemption draws nigh so believer church be encouraged and listen to me this is an awful time in human history when God pours out his wrath on unbelieving people.

Those who refuse to repent.

Those who refused to acknowledge him.

If God and his grace has arrested us and brought us to this into subjection to him and we have surrendered ourselves. There is no more wrath for us.

Why is that because the Lord Jesus Christ stood in our place, and he bore the wrath of Almighty God, so that we will never have to face it or deal with it.

If that doesn't encourage your heart, if that doesn't inflame your heart for love for Jesus and God's mercy and kindness. I don't what does we deserve wrath. We deserve judgment, but God poured out his wrath and judgment on his son to satisfy his justice in order to allow him to forgive you and me and welcomed us into his family. What grace, what mercy but there were those who have not bowed the knee.

There are those who are still defined and in rebellion to God and we have the warning here of Scripture. What God has purposed to do, he will glorify himself in the judgment of sinners. He will satisfy his justice and requiring payment for their sin. So let's continue to rejoice in God and his kindness and mercy to us, shall we pray father how we thank you tonight for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ to became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. How we thank you that the wrath of our God has been extinguished by the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore we can say now to him who was able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to God our Savior, your who alone is wise to be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen

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