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When the Trumpet Sounds: Part 6
9/25/2017 12:05:00 AM by: Dr. Paul D. Norcross

So Where Are We Now?

The born again church is currently in the period known as the beginnings of sorrows. Jesus Christ spoke of this ramp-up to the tribulation in Matthew 24:3-8:

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

The events of the beginnings of sorrows accelerate and intensify as the world draws toward the Day of The Lord. The beginnings of sorrows are characterized by deceptive doctrines (v5), particularly false messiahs – which specifically target both the Jewish doctrinal refusal to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and instead look for another, as well as many self-appointed ministers even today. 

The beginnings of sorrows is also characterized by wars and rumors of wars (of which there have been great increase recently), nations and kingdoms conflicting, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes with increasing frequency.

The book of Revelation contains further insight into the state of end time events and becomes easy to understand when we realize that it concerns things past, present, and future. 

The Apostle John was directed by Jesus Christ in 1:19 to write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.  The book of Revelation can be understood more easily if we take note of the following sections:

  • Chapter 1 concerns things that are past
  • Chapters 2 and 3 concern things that are now (the messages to the seven churches)
  • Chapters 4 and 5 concern the events of the rapture of the church
  • Chapters 6 through 19 foretell the details of the tribulation on the earth
  • Chapters 20 through 22 speak of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ

IN REVELATION CHAPTER 1 we learn of the importance of keeping the words of this revelation due to the imminence of these events (v1:3). Christ affirms His authorship (v5) and He reminds us that He has made us kings and priests (1:6). He also informs us that He has come to prophetically declare events that are about to unfold.

IN CHAPTERS 2 AND 3 clear warnings and encouragements are given to the seven churches. These are still very applicable to churches today and are among the most profound messages in Scripture. They speak with as much relevance and clarity as they did in the first century.

CHAPTERS 4 AND 5 speak directly to the born again church to illuminate what will happen when we are caught away in the clouds with Jesus Christ. The four and twenty elders are thought to represent both the twelve disciples (and thereby the church) and the twelve tribes among those born-again saints of Israel who have embraced Christ as their Messiah. Thus the born-again church, addressed for the second time as kings and priests, are called to reign on the earth.[1]

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”  (Revelation 5:9-12)

CHAPTERS 6 THROUGH 19 proclaim the events of the tribulation itself in which seven years of destruction take place upon the whole earth. What is God’s purpose in all of this? We believe this is more than just judgment. It is also, like the character of God, redemptive. Many who suffer through the tribulation will still be saved. The work of the Holy Spirit is still being accomplished, and the astonishing departure of thousands of souls from the earth in one moment will be a staggering sign to the unbelieving world. Many will quake in the fearful realization that they really were left behind. Some will be convicted and ultimately will be saved.

The purpose of the tribulation is thus as Jesus spoke in Matthew 24, to be a witness for all nations:

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  (Matthew 24:14)

Why is this witness needed? 

Because the heart of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ is that all may be saved. The Apostle Paul spoke that Israel will be saved (Romans 9:27; 11:26) through the taking away of the veil of blindness that is upon their hearts until it is done away in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:11-16) when they turn unto the Lord. 

The tribulation will trigger repentance and searching anew for Christ. And those who go through tribulation and stay faithful, especially those who endure the great tribulation and become saved in Christ, will hold a special place in the Father’s heart.

“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”  (Revelation 7:13-17)

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[1] Revelation 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation  5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

NOTE: This is the sixth of a 10-part series on this topic taken from Principles for Overcoming in Spiritual Warfare,  Copyright © 2016 Paul D. Norcross. 

Part 7 will begin looking at uses and significance of a trumpet’s sound in Scripture.

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