Morning Bible Study
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.
As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place
on the earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.
The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving
world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.
the seventh seal are seven trumpets.
We have now
reached the moment for the seventh trumpet to sound.
11:15-19 Thy Kingdom
:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven,
saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord
and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
:15 have become
Wuest: The kingdom of the world has come into the possession of our Lord and
:15 The kingdoms of
To understand this, we need to understand the history of the kingdoms of
created the earth and gave it to man to rule over (Gen. 1:26).
When man sinned
in the Garden of Eden, Satan became king. (Gen. 3)
“You were the anointed cherub who covers; I
established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and
forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15
Jesus called Satan “the prince of the world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
He was the one who made this offer to Jesus:
ESV) —5 And the
devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of
time, 6 and said to him,
“To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me,
and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be
yours.” 8 And Jesus answered
him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only
shall you serve.’ ”
And now the voices are declaring that the kingdom has changed hands.
Voices of faith
seventh seal were seven trumpets. Within the seventh
trumpet will be seven bowl judgments.
We think that chronologically
we are somewhere about the middle point of the Tribulation period. There are still plenty of things ahead.
will reveal himself as evil incarnate somewhere around this point.
The world still
has to get to the real Armageddon.
But in heaven they
are declaring that the game is over and God has won.
And they even respond in praise.
Does God have things under control?
Is God at work in your life, even when things look grim?
The only survivor
of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly
for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none
seemed forthcoming. Exhausted,
he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him
from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after
scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling
up to the sky. The worst had happened;
everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. “God, how could you do
this to me!” he cried.
Early the next
day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the
island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the
weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal, they replied.
We need to learn to offer up a “sacrifice of praise” even
when we don’t understand how things are to work out.
Just as these voices are proclaiming God’s kingdom in the middle of the
Tribulation, I think that God would like for us to learn to proclaim His
kingdom in the middle of our world.
Listen to the words of this song …
:16 And the
twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their
faces and worshiped God,
:17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and
who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and
:17 taken … power …
This is why the elders are giving thanks to God.
God doesn’t just have great power, He uses it. He reigns with it. He exercises His authority.
How has God taken His power and reigned?
We’ve seen it done
through earthquakes, droughts, demonic locusts,
God has been demonstrating His power in the difficult times.
That’s how heaven sees it.
:16 fell on their
This was how the elders expressed their worship of God, on their face.
These individuals are called “elders”. That means that they are old,
they have position, they are important, they are mature.
These are not new believers. They
are not young converts. They are
They aren’t just “mature” in the eyes of other men, they are “elders” in the
eyes of heaven.
What does worship look like, coming from truly “mature” believers?
These “mature” individuals have an interesting habit.
They are always falling down before God.
Look at how they consistently express their adoration of God:
(Re 4:10 NKJV) the
twenty-four elders fall down before
Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast
their crowns before the throne…
(Re 5:8 NKJV) Now when
He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb…
(Re 5:14 NKJV) Then the
four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives
forever and ever.
(Re 7:11 NKJV) All the
angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures,
and fell on their faces before the
throne and worshiped God,
(Re 19:4 NKJV) And the
twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen!
Have you ever been in a place full of people when a very important person
walked into the room?
What happens? Don’t people start
turning towards that important person.
Don’t people whisper to each other and point to that person? Isn’t everyone’s attention in the room
directed towards that person?
What would happen if you heard the door in the back of the
room open and shut and you heard me call out to: Albert Pujols? Whitney Houston?
yet there is Someone here right now who is far greater than any other. Did you notice when He entered the room?
Does it make you tremble to think that God is here right
Some of us are a bit embarrassed when it comes to worship.
Some of us would never dare to raise our hands in church to God.
Some of us barely sing above a whisper because we’re embarrassed about our
Sometimes the problem is that we are more concerned about what other people
are thinking than we are with having God be the center of our attention.
Mature worship puts God in the center.
Mature worship responds to God.
:18 The nations were
angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they
should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the
saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those
who destroy the earth.”
:18 The nations
NKJV) —1 Why do the
nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set
themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their
bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who
sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord
shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall
speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:
In Psalm 2, God
responds to the anger of the nations with His own anger.
:18 has come …
In our passage, God responds to the wrath of the nations with four things
that have “come”
1. God’s wrath
The nations expressed “wrath” (same Greek word), and God returns the favor.
The Tribulation period is the time of God’s “wrath”. He will be giving the earth what it
deserves. He will be making things
2. Judging the dead
No one will escape God’s judgment.
Everyone will one day stand before God – more when we get to Rev. 20.
While some will be judged with eternal punishment, there will be others who
will receive rewards for what they’ve done with their lives.
It’s a good thing to earn “rewards”
If you watch TV commercials, you have been learning about earning “rewards”
To be honest, some
of us are like little Kylie, and we act as if we don’t want “rewards”. We think that somehow it’s wrong or
unspiritual for us to be thinking about the rewards that God will give us.
But that’s not the way that Jesus saw it.
Jesus talked about rewards as an incentive to serve Him.
25:14–21 NKJV) —14
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far
country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
“Talents” are an ancient form of money – about 75 lbs. of
15 And to one he gave five talents, to
another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and
immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents
went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had
received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug
in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those
servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents
came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five
talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to
him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few
things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your
Don’t be like little Kylie and think that you don’t need
God pays a good wage for a day’s work.
I’m longing for that day that I might hear Him say, “Well
Paul used the idea of rewards to remind us that it will all be worth it
when we get to heaven.
4:16–18 NKJV) —16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is
perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light
affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and
eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not
look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For
the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not
seen are eternal.
weight of glory” is a good thing. It’s a
There will be a day when everything you’ve suffered
through will pay off.
4. Destroying the destroyers
When God created the heavens and the earth, He entrusted mankind to take
care of His creation.
NKJV) Then God
said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the
air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth.”
God’s plan was
for man to take care of the planet that He created.
Some of us get caught up in politics and start looking at things as a
Democrat or a Republican.
Being concerned about the environment is something that we
all need to be concerned about, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican.
God is also concerned about the environment. He’s put us in charge of it.
He will one day “destroy” those who have “destroyed” the
:19 Then the temple
of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His
temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and
:19 the ark of His
covenant was seen
We know about the Ark of the Covenant because of a movie.
was built under the direction of Moses 3400 years ago.
It was supposed to be a model of God’s throne.
The Ark was made of wood, covered with gold, and was basically a box meant
to hold the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, which were God’s
“contract” or “covenant” with the Jews.
It’s the box of the contract.
The lid of the box was made of solid gold and called the “mercy seat” – the idea is
that this was where God sat.
God’s throne is all about “mercy”.
The Ark was
kept in a tent called the Tabernacle for 500 years until Solomon built the
first Temple, where
it was moved into the inner sanctuary, the “Holy of Holies”.
The Ark has been
missing since the time of Jeremiah when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the
Babylonians in 586 BC.
There was no
record of it being carried off to Babylon like the other parts of the
Temple. It was just missing. MIA.
built the second Temple, there was no Ark.
In Jesus’ day there was no Ark.
What’s the point of John seeing the Ark in heaven? Perhaps it’s this …
God never changes
God keeps His promises. He keeps His
Even though the “contract box” hasn’t been seen in 2500 years, God still
honors His contracts. He still honors
His word. It’s still valid in heaven.
people who like to claim that there’s a big difference between the God of the
Old Testament and the God
of the New Testament, and that God’s rules and personality changed with Jesus.
But the more I read my Bible, I realize that God has never changed.
Are the Ten Commandments still valid?
You bet. God still requires men and women to be
“righteous”. That has never changed.
What has changed is the truth that God had always planned on – that someone else would
fix our “unrighteousness”.
God would send His Son to pay for our sins.
(2 Co 5:21 NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we
might become the righteousness
of God in Him.
God has always
required His people to have faith – in both Old and New Testaments.
In the wilderness, the people had to believe God and “look up” to the
bronze serpent up on the pole.
3:14–16 NKJV) —14
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal
life. 16 For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Are you ready to believe in Jesus?