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THE SEVENTH TRUMPET – Revelation 11:15-19

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on May 18, 2016 under AM Bible Study |

AM Bible Study Group; May 18, 2016 from Revelation 11:15-19

Theme: The blowing of the eleventh trumpet announces that the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of the Lord and His Christ.

(All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version, unless otherwise indicated).

In Revelation 10:7, we’re told that, “in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.” It’s marvelous to notice that, whereas the sounding of the previous trumpets brought forth horrible events, the sounding of this one results in a glorious worship service!

As we have been arguing in this study, the story then begins to be repeated and told again all the way up to Chapter 19—where we’re told of the return of the Lord. The sounding of this last of the seven trumpets, then, will announce the culminating event of human history—the end of the reign of sin, and the beginning of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ upon this earth. (The events of the seventh trumpet in this passage parallel the events of the seventh bowl judgment of 16:17-21.)


A. John tells us, “Then, the seventh angel sounded . . .” This is the end of the series of seven trumpets that has been the theme of chapters 8-11. It is also the third and last of the “woes” announced in 8:13. In Scripture, the sounding of a trumpet announces the commencement of the reign of a king (see 2 Samuel 15:10; 1 Kings 1:39; 2 Kings 9:13; 11:12-14). This is the seventh in a series of seven, and suggests the commencement of the reign of the King of kings (Revelation 19:11-16).

B. The blowing of the trumpet is responded to by “loud voices in heaven”. We encountered many of these voices in loud expressions of worship in chapter 5. There was great quiet in heaven for a half-hour at the beginning of the series of trumpets (8:1); but now, when the last trumpet is blown, heaven becomes loud again with voices in praise.

C. The powerful and joyful announcement of these voices is this: “The Kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Though some translations have “kingdoms” in the plural, the most reliable manuscripts of the original text have it in the singular—“kingdom”; and this word may be best translated “sovereign rule”. It’s not that the existing kingdoms of this world now become the various properties of Christ. Rather, it’s that the principle of rule—held by fallen men under the rule of the devil (see John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)—will now transfer to Christ. Following this, there will only be His reign on this earth.


A. Just as the loud voices of heaven responded, so also do the twenty-four elders (4:4; 5:8, 14; 7:11; 19:4). They seem to be representative of redeemed humanity. They are presented as having been sitting before God on thrones; but with the blowing of the trumpet—and the great announcement of Christ’s rule having been declared—they are now shown to be falling on their faces before God in worship. It’s as if they—having sat upon thrones—now arise from their thrones and fall on their faces in whole-hearted acknowledgment of the rightful reign of Jesus Christ.

B. We’re told that they give thanks to the Lord God—whom they call “the Almighty” and “the One who is and who was” (the clause, “and who is to come” is not in the best manuscripts). No wonder, then, that they fall and give thanks! The fulfillment of their great hope has arrived! God has taken His great power and “reigned” in the Person of His Son. Though His reign now begins, it is spoken of—rightly—as if it had already occurred (in the simple past tense).

C. The twenty-four elders go on to describe the events that accompany the commencement of that reign:

1. “The nations were angry” (see Psalm 2:1ff). This explains the fury that will cause the wicked people of this world to attempt to make war with Christ at His coming (19:19).

2. “. . . and Your wrath has come” (see 6:16-17). God’s wrath will now be poured out to the full and will be satisfied.

3. “The time of the dead, that they should be judged”. The next event, after the reign of Christ on this earth, will be the white throne judgment (see 20:11-15). There are two great resurrections that ‘bookend’ either side of the millennial reign of Christ on earth: the resurrection of the just unto life at His coming, and the resurrection of the unredeemed unto judgment at the great white throne judgment. The judgment of the dead that is here spoken of is the judgment before the great white throne.

4. “And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great” (see Revelation 20:4). This speaks of the first resurrection—that of the just unto life. Finally, the Lord Jesus comes bringing His reward with Him.

5. “And should destroy those who destroy the earth”. Ungodly and unbelieving people have tried to ‘save’ the planet in their own power and make it into a habitation for themselves in which God is neither recognized nor honored; and all they succeeded in doing is destroying the earth further. Man’s fall brought ruin on the creation (see Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 8:20-22; and those who arrogantly continue the perpetuation of that ruin through their rejection of their Creator will now be judged.


A. The Bible teaches us that there is a temple in the heavens. Moses was commanded to build the tabernacle according to the pattern that had been given him (Exodus 25:9); and that this pattern was of the true temple in the heavenlies (Hebrews 9:23-25). With the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the temple in heaven is opened. Sin had closed access to the temple to fallen man; but it had been opened at the death of Christ at the tearing of the veil from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). Now, it is opened fully to redeemed humanity at the beginning of the reign of Christ; and within, the ark of the covenant is seen. The ark is symbolic of the keeping of all the covenant promises of God. As this will show, nothing has been forgotten or neglected of any of God’s covenant promises to His people. Every promise was remembered and kept.

B. At the same time, the blowing of the seventh trumpet brings about great cataclysmic events on the earth—”lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail”. These events (often associated with the glory of God; see Exodus 19:16-18; Revelation 4:5; 8:5) are, from the earth’s standpoint, the “woe” aspect of the seventh trumpet; and are the events described in 16:17-21 and 19:1-21.

* * * * * * * * * *

This brings to an end the book’s first presentation of the events of the end times—given primarily from heaven’s standpoint. With chapter 12, the story begins to be told again—given this time from the standpoint of earth, and of Satan’s rebellious efforts to thwart God’s reign.

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