Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet (11:15-19)

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2006-10-09 12:02.

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Earlier, John heard the promise that the blowing of the seventh trumpet would see the fulfillment of the “mystery of God.” (10:6, 7) When the seventh angel trumpeted, John did hear a loud voice in heaven, confirming the fulfillment of this promise. Evidently because all defiantly opposing God and Christ would come to their end, the kingdom or rulership of the world of mankind would be fully in the hands of the one whom all in heaven acknowledged as “our Lord and his [God’s] Christ.” Never again would those who oppose the Almighty and his Christ be permitted to exercise dominion in any form, for Christ would “reign forever and ever.” (11:15)

The 24 elders (as representing all of God’s people) seated before the Almighty apparently kneeled and bowed down. With their faces touching the floor of heaven, they worshiped him, expressing their gratitude for everything that would be taking place. They thanked the Almighty for having begun to reign. This is apparently to be understood as his ruling by means of his Christ and through him taking action to reward deserving ones and to punish the ungodly. (11:15) The 24 elders acknowledged that, in response to the wrath of the nations (as manifestly revealed by their defiantly resisting his will), the Almighty’s anger had been aroused. The time had come for the dead to be judged, for God’s servants the prophets and all others having reverential regard for his name to receive their reward, and for all ruiners of the earth (by their deliberate disregard for God’s ways) to experience ruin. (11:17, 18)

John saw the sanctuary in heaven being opened, revealing the presence of the ark of the covenant. Besides seeing the ark, which symbolized God’s presence and his covenant promises, John also observed other evidences of the divine presence—lightnings, voices, thunders, seismic activity, and a great hail. (Compare Exodus 19:16-19.) All these manifestations of God’s presence served as an assurance that he would be turning his attention to the earth, bestowing rewards on his loyal servants and executing punitive judgment on all those meriting it. (11:19)