KEY TEXT: Revelation 11:15-19 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
KEY THOT: The seventh trumpet will signal the beginning of a series of events on earth culminating in the binding of Satan for 1,000 years:
(1) Christ's Rule. Christ will begin his reign on earth, beginning a new age in human history: "the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom our Lord and Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever" (v.15)
(2) Dead Judged. The dead will be raised for judgment. There will be two resurrections, first for believers and then the rest of the dead: "the time for the dead to be judged" (v.18)
(3) Servants Rewarded. It will be a time of rewards for believers: "for rewarding your servants, the prophets and the saints" (v.18)
(4) God's Wrath. But it will be a time of retribution for the wicked: "for destroying the destroyers of the earth" (v.18).
(5) Open Heaven: Heaven will be open and visible to peoples on earth: "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple" (v.19).
When the seventh trumpet is sounded, the seven bowls of God's wrath will be poured out upon the earth. The events following the seventh trumpet described in Revelations 12-19 are quite complicated and convoluted. But we know that these events take place over 42 months before Satan is finally bound for a 1,000 years, granting earth and its inhabitants a period of peace under Christ's iron-rod rule.
Where will the believers be during this remaining 3.5 year (42-month) period of the 7-year Great Tribulation? Based on 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, the sounding of the last trumpet will signal the resurrection and rapture of believers. This would be the "first resurrection" described in Revelation 20:5-6. The second resurrection takes place at the end of the 1,000-year (millennial) reign of Christ, which is the resurrection of the rest of the dead for the final Great White Throne judgment which will determine their eternal fate (Rev. 20:11-15).
Some church traditions don't believe in the millennial reign of Christ. But we will interpret Revelation literally, unless the context clearly indicates it is figurative. May the Holy Spirit grant us wisdom and revelation in the coming weeks to understand His message given in chapters 12-19.
Abba-Father, Grant us Your Holy Spirit to interpret the events following the sounding of the seventh trumpet. For Christ's sake. Amen.