LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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THE TRUMPETS

 

 

And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Revelation 8:2.

 

The seventh seal opened on a state of silence. The silence seems to be the ecumenical attitude that has overtaken the church world, bringing on an almost universal spiritual apathyóor at best, a state of inaction. Under the sixth seal the church at large rejected the practice of the unity of the body of Christ because of rigid doctrinal and social divides. Nevertheless, the servants of our God were sealed with the truth that the church is the logical and natural result of the atonement and the experience of the new birth. Many left denominations to live out that truth in congregations of people that practiced holiness and the unity of believers. This happened, not just in the United States, but around the world.

Unity was a stated goal during the Protestant Reformation but was never achieved. Yet, this thinking endured unrealized throughout the sixth seal only to emerge in the seventh seal in organic forms through several ecumenical movements. However, a spirit of indifference and toleration came into existence that even now dominates most religious thinking among professing Christians. The idea is that we all are the church of God no matter what we believe or what our practices are; just believing in Jesus is all that is necessary to be a Christian. General acceptance of this thinking essentially overshadowed the reality of what was being experienced by the servants of our God as they lived out their public stand for and practice of the biblical reality of the church. The result is the reality of the church has become obscured and has been effectively silenced.

 

BREAKING THE SILENCE

 

Under the seventh seal the servants of our God are not comfortable with spiritual silence. The silence continues for about half an hour, however long that may be.

Under this seal we see that eventually a ministry is given seven trumpets, but instead of sounding the trumpets, they stand in the presence of God apparently not knowing what to do with them. Ecumenical thinking creates a spiritual numbness because it is reluctant to challenge practically anything in the way of religious doctrine and practice; even going so far as to acknowledge any religion, Christian or otherwise, as a possible probable way to God.

The servants of our God, herein called the saints, are stirred and begin to earnestly pray for God to do something. The saints remember that Christ sits at the right hand of God and makes intercession for them according to the will of God through the working of the Holy Spirit as stated in Romans 8:27, 34. First, we have about half an hour of silence then we have an unspecified amount of time during which the saints are praying. Christ, our high priest as represented by the angel, collects the prayers as incense and when the golden censer is filled, He offers it to God and God says that it is time to break the silence.

In verse 5 Christ takes the censer with the prayers of the saints and takes fire from the altar and throws it to the earth. The precedent for this fire is seen on Mount Sinai when God descended to give the Ten Commandments. But in the seventh seal we need more than just the Ten Commandments; we need the power of the Holy Spirit to make the Law of God the living word of God. This seal shows us that what the church and its ministry needs is another Pentecost where the Holy Spirit infills and empowers its ministry. The fire at this point in the seventh seal is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that breaks the silence. The church has been overshadowed by earthly thinking and now that thinking is broken up and the church is stirred once again to speak up with Godís word as it is empowered by God.

The silence lasts for about half an hour and then the saints start to pray. Where are we in our work of prayer? Christ cannot send the fire of the Holy Spirit on us until we fill His censer with prayer. Is it half full? Is it almost full? Or have we merely sent up a trickle? The seventh seal Pentecost depends on our prayers! According to verse 6 it is only after we send up enough prayers to fill Christís censer that the angels can prepare themselves to sound. Are we there yet? Do you know any of these angels?

 

WHAT ARE THE TRUMPETS?

 

Verse 2 tells us the angels stand before God and are given seven trumpets. While we are not told specifically, we assume that it is God that gives the trumpets to the angels. This is consistent with Godís revelation of Himself at Mount Sinai where His voice is embodied in the sound of a trumpet.

Throughout the Old Testament trumpets are used in three significant ways: In worship, to warn people of impending danger, and to advance the cause of God against the enemies of Godís people. At the battle of Jericho, the priests carried seven trumpets and on the seventh day when they sounded the trumpets the walls of the city fell down and Godís people won the battle. (Joshua 6) Gideon fought the Midianites with an army on only 300 men. Judges 7:22, ďWhen the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every manís sword against his companion throughout the whole camp.Ē The enemies of Godís people were defeated at the sound of the trumpets.

The trumpets are given to the angels who in turn sound the notes of the messages given to them by God. Since the saints have been praying for the silence to break, it seems logical that the angels play their trumpet notes to them or at least for their benefit. In response, the saints will worship God because of the messages sounded by the trumpets. Through the messages the saints will be warned of impending dangers. They will be reminded of what has happened before their time so that they will not fall into the same traps as did previous generations of the church. And, the sounds of the trumpets will advance the cause of God against the enemies of His people.

There is an obvious and intentional similarity between the letters to the seven churches of Asia and the seven seals. The letters to the churches reveal spiritual conditions that can happen to any church, congregation or movement at any time in history. The seals reveal the history of the church from Pentecost to the present day.

As we hear the sound of each trumpet we can match each successive historical period with a consecutive spiritual condition seen in the letters to the churches and learn the WHY behind what happened. The trumpets are a challenge to us who live under the seventh seal. We need to hear and understand clearly so that we in turn can articulate messages to the church-at-large.

The intent of the trumpet messages is to gather together a people for God that clearly understand the gospel and the message of the Revelation and to prepare this world for the second coming of Christ and the end of time. Under the sounding of the trumpets we see the church preparing for the second coming of Christ but do not think that the messages of the trumpets will give us a date for His return. Remember that Jesus told us to watch and be ready because no one on earth can or will ever be able to predict that date.

Are we as Christís church ready? Or, do we have a lot of work to do?

Letís get busy!