FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 105
THE SOUNDING of the TRUMPETS
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
PART ONE HUNDRED and FIVE
The Seven Trumpets
Prepared to Sound
The Sound of the Trumpets
A Third Part
The Seventh Trumpet
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour...and the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” (Rev. 8:1, 6)
This vision reveals the great truth that in the outworking of God’s kingdom purposes, first something happens in the heavens, and then as a consequence, certain events take place on earth. John sees seven angels standing before God. It is a heavenly, celestial scene! There in the high and holy presence of God and His throne seven trumpets are given to the seven angels, and they prepare themselves to sound. As each trumpet sounds there are solemn and marvelous events that transpire in the earth, the sea, upon the rivers and fountains of water, and in the heavens that govern the earth man. Every divine action that affects the earth realm begins in the heavenly, celestial realm! The sounding of the trumpets heralds and initiates the next step in God’s great redemptive and restorative program!
The central portion of the book of Revelation to which we now come, may be likened to a drama in three acts — the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials. Each act of the drama brings to us a view of the same landscape, but every time we come afresh to it the view is widened by the fact that we regard it from a greater height and further stage of development. With the breaking of the seventh seal we expect the end, the final consummation, for now the book of life within us is fully open and all the seals are broken! We would suppose the work of God is now fully accomplished, yet the end does not come. John pauses but for a moment before launching on a new series of visions introduced by the seven trumpets, which in turn are followed by the pouring out of the seven vials and the events which follow. As we look at these three acts of the drama it is clear that each in some measure touches and affects the same realms — the heavens, the earth, and the sea. So here we too pause, and ask what we are to make of this unique scheme of things!
We would deprive ourselves of infinite treasure should we refrain from investigating the deep meaning of the three series of visions — the seven Seals, the seven Trumpets, and the seven Vials. Does series follow series merely for emphasis, or can some difference be discerned between them? There is a remarkable difference! The breaking of the seals is an unveiling, thus denoting revelation. It should be observed that with the breaking of the respective seals, nothing is said about reading anything from the book which is being opened. The events which accompany the breaking of the seals one after another are not represented as being read — they are dramatic scenes vividly enacted before the Seer’s vision opening to his mind and spirit the revelation of how, the revelation of the process by which the Christ is brought forth into full manifestation in and through each member of God’s called and chosen elect. Thus the Lamb in proceeding to break the seals begins His work as a Revealer!
Can we not see by this that the seals are the revelation of how the Lamb progressively brings forth the manifestation of the Christ life in the experience of each member of the body of Christ. Actually, as I see it, nothing really happens when the seals are loosed except the dawning of spiritual understanding within ourselves. Here the revelation, the blueprint, of God’s great and glorious purpose in us is made known to us! This is purely revelation! Nothing ever happens in our lives until first we receive a quickening, an understanding, a revelation! No man can come to Christ and trust Him as Saviour until first he has received by revelation (spiritual quickening, awakening) the awareness of his need and God’s gracious provision of reconciliation, redemption, and transformation through Jesus Christ. Very few have received healings, miracles, answers to prayer, baptism in the Holy Spirit, gifts, or any other blessing and benefit until first the revelation divinely broke within their consciousness of the availability of these wonderful provisions. All things are received by faith, and faith comes only by hearing the word of God. The principle is clear — the man who has received no revelation of sonship to God cannot become a manifest son of God! God has a beautiful plan for everything. Revelation is the prerequisite for initiation, as initiation is the harbinger of consummation!
The breaking of the seals is to reveal things that have been concealed, or unknown to us; trumpets, on the contrary, are to announce new things, summon armies, initiate movement of the camp, call the Lord’s people to His great feasts, and in all things to give the signal for change and transformation. No more delay! The hour has come! When the trumpets sound, the Lord sets His hand to commence the accomplishment of all that was revealed through the loosing of the seals!
The seven seals then give us the introduction to the Lord’s work in us — all that was revealed by the opening of the seals of revelation now, as the trumpets sound, begins to be inwrought and accomplished experientially in our lives. Beyond the seal s lie the trumpets, and beyond the trumpets lie the vials which also may be contrasted with the seals and the trumpets. The opening of the seals is the key to the book, for when they are opened, the book is. Yet we have merely seen by revelation what God is going to do! The seals break to us the
revelation; the trumpets then usher in the initiation, inauguration, and accomplishment of the work, raising up within God’s elect the reality we have so clearly seen by revelation, conforming us to the full stature of manifest sonship. Finally, the vials bring the result of God’s work in us to and upon the whole creation of God, producing the FINISHED PRODUCT! Therefore we may say that John beheld the seals of revelation opened; he heard the trumpets of initiation and accomplishment in God’s firstfruit company, sounding their herald; and then the vials of consummation bringing an end in all realms to everything that opposes the kingdom, establishing the nature, life, wisdom, glory, and power of God from the lowest sea to the highest heaven. What a mighty God we serve!
Many commentators on the book of Revelation teach that the seven trumpets are contained in the seventh seal
— in other words, the seven trumpets proceed out of the seventh seal and are, therefore, the events of the seventh seal. They further teach that the seven vials are contained in the seventh trumpet, or proceed out of the seventh trumpet and are, therefore, the events of the seventh trumpet. I see no ground for believing that. On the contrary, the vision of the seven seals was finished before John saw the seven trumpets, and the seven trumpets all sounded before he saw the seven vials. The same is true in their spiritual fulfillment within us! If we can insert the seven trumpets into the seventh seal and the seven vials into the seventh trumpet then all are the contents of the seventh seal. In my mind that destroys the whole scheme of the revelation! What would be the object of having the seven trumpets and seven vials if they are not different from the mere contents of the seals? Why not make the rest of the Revelation also come out of the seals? Yet the real truth of the matter is far deeper than this!
THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
It is odd what strange notions some people get concerning the meaning of scriptures they read in the Bible. As a young boy I was brought up in a church system that taught that every word in the Bible was to be taken literally, and that the word “trumpet,” where it appears in the book of Revelation, referred to a literal angel blowing an actual trumpet at the end of this age, announcing terrible judgments to be poured out upon the world. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth than such a crude and carnal notion. When Jesus said that He was the Vine and His disciples were the branches, He certainly did not mean that He was a literal vine growing out of the earth and that they were literal branches. When He told His disciples that they were the “salt of the earth,” He certainly did not mean that they literally were sodium chloride! The Bible is full of symbols and figures of speech, and Jesus spoke in such allegorical, parabolic, and spiritual terms that it is said of Him, “without a parable spake He not unto them.” (Mat. 13:34) The term “trumpet” is a symbol of victory, battle, warfare, movement, feasts, deliverance, and a number of other meanings. The word “trumpet” appears approximately one hundred times in the Bible. In the Old Testament the word is found about eighty-five times, while in the New Testament it occurs only about fifteen times. The first mention of trumpets is recorded in the book of Exodus, the last in the book of Revelation.
Multitudes of the Lord’s people throughout the earth are filled with fear and dread when they read or think about the events connected with the blowing of the trumpets in Revelation. Because they read the scriptures and understand them only with the natural, carnal mind, they miss the wonderful and deeply spiritual message that can only be understood by the spiritual mind. When they read of hail and fire mingled with blood being cast into the earth, burning up the grass and the trees, the seas turning to blood, the waters made bitter, the sun, moon, and stars smitten, locusts swarming out of the abyss tormenting men so that they seek death but cannot find it, they are completely overwhelmed with anxiety, consternation, and foreboding.
There are many who feel that every earth-shaking event that shocks the public must be a sign of the “end-time,” and we must make certain that we are prepared for the “doom day” which is upon us. Millions of Christians suffer from a malady called “Doomsday Syndrome.” They constantly fear what the future holds, believing that the “great tribulation” or the “end of the world” is upon us. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear some doomsday disciple pronouncing imminent judgment and damnation. Babylon’s preachers and teachers continually have a hey-day with sensational world events, trying to make them fit the fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies, speculating about their meaning, projecting, predicting, and even prophesying about their outcome, and never apologizing for all their past mistakes and erroneous conclusions. Almost every year another super-disaster hoax is perpetrated upon gullible Christians.
No matter what you have been hearing about the dark and dreadful things to come upon the earth, let me tell you something about the doomsday prophecies that keep coming year after year and decade after decade. Sherlock Holmes once solved a famous murder case by noticing what did not happen. He observed that the victim’s dog did not bark on the night of the crime. Therefore the dog — and hence the victim — must have known the assailant. The rest was easy. So it is with the so-called “end-time” events! What hasn’t happened is significant. For instance, a great economic crash mindlessly foretold by the parrots of pessimism year after year has tremendous significance by its very absence! Despite all the prophets of gloom and doom the communists have not taken over the world, the Roman empire has not been revived by a ten-nation European Union, America has not been invaded, California has not fallen into the ocean, the new currency printed by the United States Treasury proved not to be a conspiracy to confiscate everybody’s money, the mark of the beast has not come via a cashless money system, the government has not declared martial law, the churches have not been closed, Clinton was not our last president, the Antichrist (as people think of him) is nowhere to be seen, communist Russia did not invade Israel, we have not been laser-tattooed with 666 on the forehead, Y2K went the way of all flesh and the folks who fled to remote areas with their generators, out-houses, guns, and stockpiles of food had plenty to eat for a while before creeping back into civilization — and the sons of God continue to be processed and matured for the Day of Unveiling! Only the word of the Lord has stood! All the false prophets have been proven liars, and God alone is true!
In my files over the past thirty years I have purposely saved booklets and papers in which people have set dates for devastating tidal waves, killer earthquakes, the collapse of the money system, the fall of America, the so-called “rapture” of the church, the appearance of the antichrist, and a host of other ominous events. I refer to these prophecies and predictions from time to time, and with the passing of time their falseness is starkly evident, for not one single prophecy of gloom and doom has come to pass! Ah, Sherlock Holmes, what hasn’t happened is significant! All these doomsday apocalyptic pictures of the end of the age, the antichrist, the great tribulation, etc., are based upon carnal-minded interpretations of certain prophecies in the Bible which have nothing whatever to do with the unfolding of the kingdom of God in the earth, are completely irrelevant to God’s great purposes in this hour, and simply do not enter into the equation at all. They are founded upon a confusion of thought — a failure to understand the scriptures by the Spirit!
You cannot teach the book of Revelation as doctrine. It is not a book of doctrine! It is a book of spiritual pictures and experiential realities! The book of Revelation is not meant to be preached, it is meant to be experienced! That is the only way to really understand and know it. We truly grasp it as it happens within us! We must read and keep (fulfill within ourselves) the words of the prophecy of this book, in order to receive the promises in it (Rev. 1:3). Remember that Israel was armed too with seven trumpets which they sounded against their enemies in order to inherit the land of Canaan (Josh. 6:13,20). In this hour God’s elect are called to act like Joshua and Caleb who had faith in the promises of God made to Israel and did not look to their weakness and to the strength of their enemies before them, as did the unbelieving spies.
Through the unbelief of the ten spies the whole congregation of Israel was turned back from the onward march of victory, and had to retreat and fell into shame, punishment, and death. These ten spies were men of high honor. They were rulers chosen by the Lord for His tribes, but they forfeited their high calling to conquer their enemies in the land and raise up the kingdom of God in the earth, because of their sin of unbelief. They refused to sound the trumpets of God’s command and march forward in the sound of those trumpets to attain the promises. This experience of Israel is the lesson now laid out before us in the sounding of the trumpets of the Revelation, through which we must believe the word of our Father unto us in this new day of the kingdom, pressing on in to conquer all our enemies within and without which prevent us from inheriting the promises of the Father to those apprehended to become the manifest sons of God, being conformed to the image of the firstborn Son, putting on the mind of Christ, thus inheriting the power, authority, dominion, and glory of rulership with Christ in His kingdom!
PREPARED TO SOUND
Now consider the scene! Seven angels are prepared to blow seven trumpets! Seven trumpets are about to sound! In chapter five of the Revelation we find a lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth (Rev. 5:6). Then we find that “out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5) Take note that the horns and the eyes are in the Lamb that is in the throne. The seven spirits of God originate from the Lamb in the throne! But they are “sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6) Thus there is an emanation out of the throne of the seven-fold spirit of the Lord that radiates out until it penetrates and fills all the earth and every dimension of creation. The seven lamps of fire which burn before the throne are the first aspect of that emanation! Let us grasp the picture! The horns and eyes of the Lamb, which are the seven spirits of God, are in the throne. By this we can understand that the seven spirits of God issue out of the very nature and authority of God in the Lamb! But the light of the seven lamps or candlesticks, which are also the seven spirits of God, burn before the throne. There has now been movement, for both that which is in the throne and that which is before the throne are the seven spirits of God — which eventually are sent forth from before the throne “into all the earth!”
In consideration of these beautiful truths it will be instructive to look again at the significant scene in chapter eight of the Revelation. “And I saw seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” (Rev. 8:2) Before God! Before the throne! Is it not clear that the position of the seven angels is identical with the position of the seven lamps of fire, which are the seven spirits? The great truth is that these are the same seven angels of the seven churches! Therefore, the sound of their trumpets is a sound that comes out of the midst of God’s elect! Consider this, my beloved. Seven lamps of fire are burning before the throne. And now there are seven angels, and they are standing before the throne. Furthermore, the seven angels are given seven trumpets — a seven-fold message. They are sounding forth a word! As you study chapter eight you will see that these trumpet sounds go forth into three dimensions — the sea, the earth, and the heavens. Oh, yes! These are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth!
Can you not see by this that the seven angels are also the seven spirits? The seven trumpets they blow are the seven-fold creative word of God which issues forth out of the spirit in the Lord’s apprehended people. Oh, how wonderful are these things! As you follow these seven angels all the way through the book of Revelation, you will find that their relationship is to everything that happens to the three realms men live in upon earth. They sound the trumpets that affect the earth-realm. These same angels pour out the vials that affect the earth-realm. Follow these seven angels and you will see how they are identified with every activity of God that affects the earth-realm! The sound of their trumpets is the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth in the power of a creative word! Oh, the wonder of it!
We are told that these angels “prepared themselves to sound.” In what did their preparation consist? In that preparation, as John saw it in the picture, we would have to include the erecting of the figure, the standing upon the feet, grasping the instrument, the bending of the arm, and adjusting of the head, the inflating of the lungs, the swelling of the cheeks, and the pressing of the trumpet firmly to the mouth. All of this, and much more, were necessary to the production of a clear, far-reaching, and reverberating sound. Without that preparation there could not be the intelligent and effective blowing of the trumpets. Oh, yes! The trumpeting of a message requires preparation. Today I hear many saying that there is nothing more to do in order to become the manifest sons of God — just wait upon the Lord, they say, and one day, when God’s hour arrives, we will be magically changed, glorified, and manifested. There are others today who are trumpeting messages who have not prepared themselves! If you have ever heard a high school band play you know that they are amateurs.. There is often a bit of discord in the sound of the music. I have heard many “trumpet messages” across the land that spiritually sounded worse than any high school band I ever heard! I have heard trumpet messages, even among those who profess to be the sons of God, which to my spirit were naught but a raucous, screeching, clamorous, discordant noise.
Those who played in the Big Bands of the early and mid twentieth century were accomplished musicians. Do you think they got there automatically? Those men and women spent years practicing, every day staying true to their craft, and to the talent God had invested in them. They perfected that gift through exercise, going beyond the ordinary effort and toil of everyone else that picked up a musical instrument. They became masters of their art through discipline, through struggle, through hours of dedication and unswerving commitment to that which God had placed in their souls. When the concert opened there was no uncertain sound! There were no discordant notes, no dissonance! Those who blew the horns and bowed the violins had prepared themselves to sound! They had practiced the music until it became a part of them — they were in fact themselves the music! That’s what it means to prepare to sound — the messenger becomes the message. When we become the message, then, and only then, are we truly prepared to sound! When we finally blow the horn we have something to say and we say it by what we are, more than by what we speak!
The trumpets are sounded within us by the seven-fold anointing (angels) of the spirit, and we hear them, not with our external, fleshly ears, but with those greater and more meaningful “ears” of the spirit! And if Father has given us “hearing ears,” or spiritual ears, to hear the sounds of His trumpets, then we will hear them indeed and be empowered to experience within ourselves all they call us to! Seeing that the trumpets are spiritual trumpets sounding first within our spirit, later through us as the Lord’s trumpet people, it follows that the preparation for their sounding is likewise something that takes place within us by the spirit. The preparation comes as Christ is raised up in our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit! It is the word of the Lord finding a lodging place and responsiveness in our lives, becoming established as the law of our life. It means separation from all other voices, heart-felt consecration and commitment to the ways of our Father, and the inflating of the whole personality with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit!
With a simple knowledge like this we should have no trouble at all in understanding that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the Logos of God, is Himself the seven-fold trumpet, the message, the revelation, and the power! In type Jesus is the trumpet of God, delivering a clear sound, a living word, introducing us to the reality of the perfection and incorruptible life of which He is the beginning. Praise God, it is the Lord Himself who comes in the trumpet-message, and at the sound of His voice we are changed with Him to share the glory of His sphere of life. Remember — it is the Lamb in the throne who has the seven spirits of God, which seven spirits are also the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne and the seven angels standing before the throne sounding the seven trumpets! Oh, the mystery of it! The Lord Himself descends out from the highest realms of our heavens (spirit) into the lower realms of our earth. We are the creatures God is creating to express His nature, power, and glory unto creation. His purpose for coming out of the realm of spirit into our earth (soulish realm) and into our sea (body realm) is to catch our whole being up into the realm of spirit, to swallow up all death into HIS LIFE! And He accomplishes this by coming to us in a Trumpet-message, the Living Word of God! It is the living, creative word that changes us!
Let us look a little deeper into the meaning of the seven trumpets. The figure of the trumpets is taken from the Old Testament, and hence we must go back to the Old Testament for a full understanding. There were different kinds of trumpets under the Israelite economy. There was first the trumpet of God’s law, when God manifested Himself in awesome righteousness, in terrible majesty and power. When Yahweh appeared on the summit of Sinai, there was “the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud,” so that all the people in the camps trembled (Ex. 19:16). There was a military trumpet which summoned the armies of Israel to battle against their enemies (Num. 10:9; Jer. 4:19). There was also the musical trumpet which, like all the other trumpets, was a wind instrument, which formed a part of the temple orchestra (Ps. 98:6; 150:3). This trumpet was never used in the synagogue service, but always in the service of the holy temple. In addition to these, there was the sacrificial trumpet which was blown over the burnt offerings and peace offerings while they were being presented, announcing to the people outside that reconciliation with God was being established (Num. 10:10; Lev. 23:24; 25:9). Further, there was the royal trumpet which was only blown when a new king was anointed and crowned. When Solomon was made king the trumpet was blown and the shout went up, “God save the king!” (I Kings 1:34,3 9; II Kings 9:13) The trumpet of jubilee was also a significant trumpet in Israel, but only once in every fifty years. Those who were privileged to hear that trumpet were blessed indeed, for it proclaimed their liberty from all debts and servitude (Lev.25:8-12). At the sound of that trumpet all shackles fell from the arms and feet of the prisoners, and all who had been in bondage returned to their possessions and their families. During the year of jubilee the people ate of the increase of their fields and rejoiced with joy unspeakable.
Another important trumpet was the trumpet of solemn assembly which called all the representative men of the whole assembly of Israel to the door of the tabernacle, to receive the instructions of the Lord. Then there was the trumpet of forward movement which was blown when it was time to break camp and move on to another place at the word of the Lord (Num. 10:3-7). There was also the festal trumpet which called the Lord’s people to each of the seven great feasts of Yahweh. There was another trumpet used in Israel, and it might be called the trumpet of the seventh month. It was blown for one day only, and that on the first day of the seventh month, and then the whole day was given up to it. That trumpet called the people to rest, for on that day they ceased from all their labors and kept holy Sabbath. The blowing of these trumpets announced the beginning of the civil year. It corresponded to our New Year’s Day. It also ushered in the seventh month of the religious year with its three feasts of trumpets, atonement, and tabernacles. It is claimed by many that the seventh month trumpet was the most significant of them all!
With these facts before us, what is our conclusion concerning the meaning of the seven trumpets in the book of Revelation? They are truly a figure from the types and shadows of Old Testament economy, and in the light that the Spirit now brings they are not difficult to understand. Are they the trumpets of the law? Then they call us to be awakened to the law or nature of God which He is putting in our minds and writing upon our hearts!
Are they the musical trumpets of the temple worship? Then they call us to prayer, to the high praises of God at all times and every situation, to worship in spirit and in truth, and to the new song that springs forth out of the hearts of the overcoming sons of God! Men have done all sorts of things and called it worship, and many have even enjoyed the ecstasy of a realm of spiritual worship where, because of the thrill, release, and glory of it, rather than truly worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth have instead worshipped worship! Those who experience the deep work of this trumpet rise above all fear, frustration, doubts, depression, and unbelief, recognizing the hand of God in all that happens in their lives, acknowledging that our great and glorious Father is absolutely in control of everything that comes our way, and that He divinely, purposefully, and wisely directs all our steps according to His infinite plan and purpose. The Lord’s called and chosen elect who have spiritual ears to hear this trumpet have come out of the old order religious systems of man with their programmed and controlled “worship” to now worship the Father freely in the high places of the spirit! No longer is it the command of men to raise the hands, clap, dance, and praise the Lord, but it is a deep, awesome reverence that springs from the spirit and flows forth unto God. This worship no longer draws attention to the worshipper, nor yet to the beauty and glory of worship itself, but glorifies the Lord alone, always. In the lives of God’s apprehended ones in this great Day of the Lord, the Father is cutting off everything we thought to be worship and leaving us void that we might really recognize true worship as it is spontaneously energized by the Spirit of God!
Are the trumpets of Revelation the festal trumpets? Then they call us to follow on to know the Lord in His feasts! How precious the knowledge that we have a God who hungers, thirsts, deeply desires to feast with His people! The feast means that God and man are brought together; the Lord appears unto man to associate Himself with him in an intimate manner, in an extremely close relationship. There were seven feasts given to Israel, just as there are seven trumpets in the Revelation. The three primary feasts were the feast of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. A feast involves an appointed day, a public assembly at a fixed time or season. The feast days were times when Israel kept divine appointments; times when they assembled before the Lord;
times when they met with God in the revelation of His great purposes. All their worship centered around these religious festivals. Our Father has also set some appointments for us, and He expects us to keep them! Only by keeping all these divine appointments can we meet with Him or know and experience Him in all His glorious and eternal reality. The sublime truth is not merely that we are called to appear before Him in His great spiritual feasts, but that HE COMES to the feasts! HE APPEARS in the feasts! In Passover we meet the Saviour; in Pentecost we meet the Spirit as the firstfruits of our inheritance; in Tabernacles we meet the Father in all the fullness of God! There is a complete salvation that God has ordained for His sons, in spirit, in soul, and in body. These feasts provide it all! All the feasts of the Lord are necessary for a full salvation! Ah, as we hear the trumpets blow spiritually in our walk with God they will call us to His feasts, and as we appear before Him in all His feasts we are transformed in His presence, they are bringing us to our full sonship to God!
Are the seven trumpets of John’s vision the military trumpets? Then they call us to battle with every enemy of the Christ life, to warfare against the carnal mind, all fleshly desires, every vestige of self-will, the bondages of religion, the limitations of the natural man, and every cunning working of sin and death. Our enemies are not outside of us, my beloved, they are not the world, the church systems, our boss, our spouse, our neighbor, or the government. Oh, no! The only enemies any of us have are right here within us, and it is here that the Lord’s chosen people are learning to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge (knowing) of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5).
Are the seven trumpets the royal trumpets? Then they proclaim the fact that a new King is on the throne of our lives and that a new reign has begun within us! The kingdom of God is being raised up within a people who are called and are being perfected, matured, transformed, and prepared to rule and reign with Christ over the nations! Are the trumpets of the Revelation the sacrificial trumpets? Then they reveal that those who are pressing on into the fullness of God have now presented their bodies as a living sacrifice unto God, holy and acceptable unto Him. Are they the trumpets of forward movement? Then they proclaim the great truth that in our journey into our promised land of fullness of sonship to God we have not ever, nor do we now, settle down in any religious system of man, nor in any calling, ministry, revelation, order, or any spiritual realm of attainment we have come to in God. There are people who claim to be in this walk of sonship and the kingdom, but the sad truth is, they’re not! At least they are not in the message and dealings of the Father that we have received and are experiencing! They are too comfortable. They are too content. They are too satisfied. They are too relaxed. They are too set in their ways, too settled down in an order that is even now ready to pass away! And you can’t get them to move even if their life depends upon it! I tell you, my beloved, wherever we are camped at this moment in our spiritual experience, we must have our spiritual “ear” tuned for the sound of the trumpet, ready at any moment to break camp and press forward into the next move of God!
Are they the jubilee trumpets? Then they proclaim liberty to the captives, health to the sick, strength to the weak, comfort to the sorrowing, joy to the sad, sight to the spiritually blind, healing to the spiritually lame, understanding and wisdom to all who lack, liberty to every prisoner of sin, limitation, and death, and glory, authority and overcoming power to every man who rises up in the spirit to return to His former estate and full inheritance in God!
Are they the trumpets of the seventh month? Then they announce that just as the Lord’s people have experienced the spiritual feasts of Passover and Pentecost, the hour has now come to celebrate the last feast, the feast of Tabernacles, and all that it speaks of. The feast of Tabernacles is a further realm and a higher dimension than has been apprehended by any except the firstborn Son of God! Pentecost is only the firstfruits of the Spirit, but Tabernacles is the full harvest — FULLNESS! Oh, yes, our gracious Father shall surely give unto the elect sons of God the FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD which rested and now rests upon our resurrected, glorified, ascended, and enthroned forerunner. Blessed are they that are called to this great feast, that which supersedes Pentecost, that which is the balance of the meal of which Passover and Pentecost were merely the first courses. This Tabernacles feast, being the last, shall bring perfection! It will bring the consummation of our salvation, spirit, soul, and body! As we leave this feast in great strength, those who will be in control of this planet from that time forth will be abiding in the fullness of RESURRECTION LIFE — it shall mean a new day of hope and deliverance and glory for the whole earth as the Lord moves through His body of manifest sons to deliver the entire creation from the bondage of corruption — the tyranny of sin, sickness, sorrow, limitation, and death. Aren’t you glad!
It is abundantly clear that the seven trumpets of the Revelation embody with in themselves ALL that the trumpets of God signify throughout the entire word of God! All the trumpets in the scriptures are models, prophetic pointers to the heavenly and spiritual trumpets of the new covenant. In these trumpets we see God’s
perfect number, His complete, all-inclusive number — SEVEN. All that God will say to His elect, and do in His elect, as we walk with Christ and grow up into our full spiritual stature as sons of the Father, will be sounded from these trumpets! At one time it will be the call to true spiritual prayer, praise, and worship, while at another time it will be the trumpet calling the camp to war, to rise up in the might of God to defeat all our enemies! In years past we heard the sound of the trumpets calling us to the spiritual feasts of Passover and Pentecost, and now in this new day of the Lord we are hearing the seventh trumpet calling us to arise and gather unto the feast of Tabernacles, the feast of His fullness! Oh! There are so many trumpets, and in the seven trumpets of the Revelation we hear them all line upon line, precept upon precept, until we are changed into His likeness, for they each call us onward to the very fullness of that life which He is!
THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPETS
If you make a study of trumpets in the scriptures you will discover that the sound of a trumpet represents the word of the Lord. It is His voice communicating a specific word to man. The trumpets blow a specific message. It is not a general word, nor an uncertain sound, nor yet a trumpet sound swallowed up in the harmony of the various instruments of an orchestra, but a specific and clear word from God. That’s the main thought with trumpets — the word is clear! The sound pierces the air with the sense of awesomeness. It’s a clear, resonant sound, it comes in power, with enlightenment, opening a revelation in your spirit, and producing the effect of that revelation in your being. Just one word from the Lord can change our life forever! It is an announcement, a creative purpose of God proclaimed, put into action, to bring about a certain transformation within us. Remember that the messengers were “given seven trumpets.” They are given the trumpets from the Lamb upon the throne! Those who have received their trumpet-message directly from the Lamb on the throne will not blow an uncertain sound, for they receive their word directly from Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” Such is the trumpet sound we are hearing in these days, and have been hearing for a number of years, as the word of the Lord is sounding forth clearly and powerfully in the message of sonship and the kingdom of God! Isn’t it wonderful!
Let us take heed how we hear, and how we speak, and what we speak! The order of man is passing. How? BY THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPETS! By the very word of our mouth, because of HIM who speaks out of us! We might compromise the message and bear a message of appeasement to the old order of the religious systems, but what would that accomplish? If a trumpeter blows an uncertain sound, how will you know to prepare yourself? If the trumpeter has no message, how is he going to speak? If he has a weak or false message, the truly spiritual “ear” will detect the screeching, discordant note and reject the sound. I have had to
reject many sounds that I have heard among God’s people!
The seven trumpets are like the seven eyes, seven horns, seven stars, and seven spirits — they are the seven-fold fullness of God’s trumpet-message, the declaration, proclamation of the process of His victory wrought out experientially within each of us! Seven angels sound the seven trumpets. Who are they? THEY ARE THE LORD! It is the Lord in His people, of course, but it is the Lord! Know this, and you will possess a great key to the book of Revelation. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ! So when someone shows up under a symbol, doing something that originates with God, who do you suppose it is? Why, bless your heart, IT IS THE LORD! The Lord Jesus said in chapter one, “Behold, I come quickly.” And throughout the book He comes, and He comes, and He comes, and He continues to come! He comes as a trumpet-voice. He comes as a Lion. He comes as a Lamb. He comes as seven spirits. He comes as seven angels, messengers. He comes as a mighty angel, or messenger. He comes as the Son of man. He comes as horses galloping out of a seven-sealed book. He comes as a star coming down out of heaven. We could go on and on. But when an action originates out of God and out of heaven, under whatever symbol is used — IT IS THE LORD! It is the Lord coming to purge us, refine us, thresh us, instruct us, enlighten us, perfect us, change us, transform us, mature us, and conform us to the image of the Son! As the trumpets sound within the lives of God’s elect we begin to experience the fullness of all that God is! There has never been an expression of God at this level in the earth at any time except in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the firstborn among many brethren. But now there is a people that has been sealed unto the day of redemption, and as God begins to sound the trumpets it will bring forth a many-membered expression of God at the same level of God’s fullness. THIS IS THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!
Our Father loves us with an everlasting love, and He has a plan that will change, perfect, mature, and transform us into the image of His firstborn Son. This order, plan, and purpose of God will come into fulfillment in our lives as we hear the sound of the seven trumpets within ourselves, respond whole-heartedly to each sound, and begin to “walk” through the events they inaugurate in our lives. Do not let anyone ever tell you that our omniscient and omnipotent Father does not have a precise order, process, growth, and development to bring us to the fullness of Christ. The God whom we love and serve knows the end from the beginning, for He planned it all, and He would never awaken within us the revelation and hope of sonship unless He already had in motion an order, plan and purpose by which to accomplish the reality of our call within ourselves. He knows where we are in our walk with Him today, for He called us to walk in this wonderful new Day! We are not on this journey as a result of wishful thinking, for we have heard His voice and we have beheld His glory! He has had a plan and purpose for our present and future attainments in Him that have existed from before the foundation of the world. And even were we to stray and make our bed in hell (Ps. 139:7-10) our all-wise Father will be there with just the right plan and dealings to bring us out of it in a better spiritual condition than when we made that “bed.” Further, our loving, merciful, and faithful Father has a plan, order, and purpose that will bring us to the very throne of God!
The sounding of the trumpets is fulfilled in us spiritually as we hear the Voice of the Lord! Every time the word of God comes to us in and by the Spirit and changes us we are experiencing the mighty power of the seven trumpets. We cannot go on with God unless there is one clear sound after another that blasts with power in our spiritual consciousness. We can only do the will of our Father by hearing His Voice. God’s will is also declared in the Bible, but there must be a word beyond the sacred page, spoken by the very breath and mouth of God, before that word can change and transform us. To try to fulfill the written word by the obedience of the natural, carnal mind is folly. But to fulfill the living word of God, spoken out of the mouth of God by the Spirit, by the mind of Christ within, will surely raise us up to live in His sight!
“A THIRD PART”
The seven angels with the seven trumpets are divided into two groups. The first four, which we shall consider first, announce God’s dealings or judgments upon the “world” of the carnal man. In the symbolism of John’s vision the first judgment falls on the earth, the land mass. The second falls on the seas and oceans. The third falls on the rivers and their sources. And the fourth affects the light-bearers — the sun, moon, and stars. In each case, a third of their power is destroyed. The expression “a third part” occurs as many as twelve times in this passage, surely indicating that the Lord would have us pay special attention to this particular feature. A third part of the trees are burned up; and though it literally reads that all the green grass is burnt up, we take it to mean all the green grass that grows on the third part of the earth, as would be most natural. A third part of the oceans becomes blood so that life cannot exist in them; a third part of all ships on the seas are destroyed; a third part of fresh, flowing water becomes so bitter that it cannot be drunk, and men die of thirst; and a third part of the light of the heavens is darkened.
Surely, there is reason for the question: What is indicated by this “third part” occurring so often in the text? One third! Three is the divine number and four is the earth number. Now, as I have pointed out, under the first four trumpets, we read the words “a third” twelve times! And twelve is God’s governmental number concerning this earth. Let us see what the picture means at this point. THERE IS NO PART OF THE WORLD OF THE CARNAL MIND, THE NATURAL MAN, THE HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS, OR THE ADAMIC LIFE THAT IS BEYOND THE REACH OF OUR FATHER’S DEALING HAND, AUTHORITY, AND DOMINION! Within me, within you, my beloved, there is a “sea realm,” the outer man of the body. In our intellect, in our soul life, there is an “earth realm.” And in our spirit there is a “heaven realm”! There are things that are true in each of these realms, in each of these dimensions of our life. Every man on earth fits into one of those three categories —every man! There is not a man on this planet who is not living out his life from one of those three realms. Billions of people live in the consciousness and power of the sea or body realm (desires and sins of the flesh); vast multitudes more live in the consciousness and power of the earth or soul realm (intellectual, moral, and religious); and a little flock of the Lord’s elect live in the consciousness and power of the heaven or spirit realm (Christ life).
I have mentioned previously that John saw three series of dramas, each with seven parts. There is the drama of the seals, that of the trumpets, and finally the vials. As we meditate upon these great truths, surely we can see that the opening of the seals is the revelation of Jesus Christ! A revelation is an unveiling, and it is Jesus Christ who is unveiled unto us and within us as the seals are loosed. The further truth is that all our glorious Father wrought out in Jesus in order to reveal the fullness of God in Him, must now be wrought out also in God’s firstfruit company of “many sons” brought to glory. God’s elect, grown up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, is the second company to be brought to full and complete redemption, restoration to the life and glory of God! The third company to be restored back into God again comprises all the rest of creation. The point I wish to make is just this: As the loosing of the seals brings the revelation of Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, so the blowing of the trumpets accomplishes the very same work of God in His called and chosen elect, the many-membered body of Christ, or the manifest sons of God. And just as the trumpets show the work of our Father in His chosen elect, so the pouring out of the seven vials reveals the deep and awesome dealings of God with the rest of mankind! Thus the seals represent the work of God in and through Jesus Christ, the trumpets show the work of God in His many-membered son company, and the vials reveal the work of God in all creation. Three series of dramas, each with seven parts! Three is the number of completeness, seven the number of perfection. These three dramas with their seven parts reveal the great truth of God’s complete redemption and restoration of all things, bringing perfection! There are three stages in the redemptive program, and a full and complete redemption wrought in each stage. Jesus has already been resurrected, glorified, and enthroned! Multitudes who read these lines are even now in the process of full redemption and restoration! And our Father has a wonderful plan and purpose to restore all things and all men back into the perfection and glory of God! Isn’t it wonderful!
It is my deep conviction that the “third part” mentioned so often in connection with the trumpets bespeaks of the work of God in His elect in contrast to all the rest of the Lord’s people and the people of the world. When this “third part” has been thoroughly purged, when the work of perfection and maturity has been fully accomplished in the sons of God, there remain yet multitudes of the Lord’s people who are still babes in Christ and slaves to the man-made religious systems of Babylon, and millions more of the peoples of the world who do not even know God.
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
To me, the greatest evidence that the ministry of the seven angels through the seven trumpets finishes our Father’s great work of bringing many sons to glory is found in the fact that at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which is necessarily also the “last trump,” John is explicitly informed that “in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” (Rev. 10:7) This statement gives the meaning and purpose of the vision of the trumpets, and therefore we know what the work of the trumpets accomplishes and we have the interpretation of the vision! The “mystery” of God which is “finished” is the mystery of CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY! (Col. 1:26-27) Yet here, Christ in us is no longer a hope — HE IS BECOME THE GLORY! The mystery is finished, completed, fulfilled, realized, attained, accomplished, concluded, perfected, and consummated! Isn’t it wonderful!
The truth of the statements we have made will be clearly demonstrated by that which is to follow. The Holy Spirit has not left us without a witness to all these glorious things! He testifies unerringly that “the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever...and the nations were angry, and Thy wrath (passion) is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints...and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God (sons) was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament (His presence, glory, and power): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (Rev. 11:15-19)
Just as soon as the seventh angel begins to sound his trumpet-message and the mystery of God formed as Christ in His sons is finished, the very next scene is the birth of the man child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron! The manchild, or the manifest sons of God, is “caught up unto God and His throne.” Oh, yes! When the seven trumpets have fully performed their work in the lives of God’s elect, the “one third” company , immediately there appears a great wonder in heaven, “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.” (Rev. 12:1-2, 5) And further, before the seven angels pour out the seven vials of the last seven plagues, which completes the work of God in creation, the 144,000 sons of God are also seen standing with the Lamb upon mount Zion — the mount of kingship, rulership, and dominion! The work in them is truly finished, for John describes their glory in these wonderful words, “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads...these are they which were not defiled with women (religious systems); for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:1-5) ALL OF THE ABOVE IS THE RESULT OF THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH TRUMPET! Without doubt, then, the seven trumpets bring full redemption, perfection, maturity,
immortality, and kingship dominion to God’s called and chosen elect. That is the mystery!
Another truth clamors here for our attention. At the sounding of the trumpets several things are cast into the heavens, earth, and sea of man’s carnal, mortal existence. There is hail, blood, a great mountain, stars, angels, and a dragon. There is one other item, however, which appears alike in the sounding of each of the seven trumpets! Whatever is poured out under a given trumpet, this one ingredient is part of the mix — fire! There is fire and hail mingled with blood, the great mountain burning with fire, the star from heaven burning as a lamp, the sun is a fire, there is smoke from the fire burning in the bottomless pit, fire from the horses’ mouths, and finally, under the seventh trumpet, there is the fire of lightning. Ah, can we not see by this that the seven trumpets bring the purging, refining, purifying, cleansing fire of God into the religious carnality of our soul-life, and into the bestial nature of our body-life! When our Father wants to change and transform us, in the totality of ourselves, He commissions His seven angels, the seven spirits of God, who are the fullness of the Holy Ghost fire of God, to descend as the fire of His all-consuming glory into every area, part, facet, crevice, dimension, realm, height, and depth of our being! What happens when these blessed seven spirits of God cast into the earth and into the sea this fire which produces such holy blazes? Through this fire He brings total destruction — destruction even as far as the natural consciousness, the carnal mind, the self life, the fleshly desires, and the human identity of the man of earth! Then are we able to say of a truth, “It is no more I that liveth, but Christ liveth in me!”
Never forget, my beloved, that the book of Revelation reveals the processes that God takes His people through so that the bride can make herself ready, arrayed in linen pure and white; the manchild can be birthed and caught up to God’s throne of authority, power, and dominion; and all creation redeemed, purged, and transformed by the fiat of the almighty Creator and Redeemer: “Behold, I make all things new!” (Rev. 21:5) ALL THINGS NEW! Ah, that is the mystery! Ah, that is the purpose! Oh, yes! That is the work! In former times we supposed the book of Revelation was about God’s vindictive, implacable vengeance poured out upon the inhabitants of the world, and we felt sad for them, or perhaps some felt glad, feeling that mankind deserved what they would get! Only now, in the light that the Spirit brings, can we say with the beloved Seer of Patmos, “Blessed, happy, to be envied is the man who reads the word of this prophecy!” (Rev. 1:3) Isn’t it wonderful!
To be continued...