Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Revelation 8 (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (17th June 2005)

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

John saw seven angels in front of God that were given seven trumpets. So imagine, John was expecting the scroll to be read but instead of this he had a vision of God, for the first time.  He saw God sitting and in front of Him seven angels coming. They were given, not the scroll to be read, but seven trumpets. How strange! There was silence in the Kingdom of God and everyone could hear the sound of the trumpet. Why this silence? Was it because everyone was frightened or because people knew something great was about to happen?

So what in your life make you silent?
Are you able to talk when you panic, or do you remain silent in front of God? Habakkuk 2:20 says that when God is in his temple, everybody must be silent. But today, when the Word of God is spoken into our lives, we find it better to raise our voice, we bring up discussions and fight against the Word of God. That’s a bad habit, don’t discuss the Word of God. If you have a question, wait until the person has finished and then express yourself. If the person doesn’t want to listen to you, don’t force people to accept what you say but rather, ask the Holy Spirit to convince them. Silence is good in everything we do.

When the seals are removed, it’s to get our attention: “Be careful, something is coming. Be ready to receive it.” 
To open a seal is to open a door for the plague to come on the earth but this plague will be fulfilled by human beings like you and me and especially politicians. Politicians use their power and bring many plagues into people’s lives. All around the world, they can kill or persecute Christians and others, if they want to but now it’s the end of the time and God wants to remove the seventh seal to get our attention: when the power is removed from our authorities who will take over that power?

Let’s go to Revelation 17. The Bible tells us the power will be given to the beast and it will start to control the world, guide and give instructions to those in authority. So if you and I are the church of God and we can’t grasp that, who will and what shall we understand?

Christians are fighting all around the world, telling God the world is rotten, politicians are pulling it down but He doesn’t intervene. Bills legalise drugs, gay marriages and so on, we see it all happening but we can’t stop. We must accept this is God’s timing. He warned us about it so that we won’t get angry, but just keep quiet and ask God: “Help those people so they can become Yours. They need to understand the signs of time.” If a bill giving rights to children is voted in Parliament, don’t be surprised. If such thing is in your Bible just say thank you to God because it’s the time for it to be fulfilled. “I’m just asking you to protect my nation, my people and people who are not saved so that they can discover who you are.”

And in the second part of the verse, the seven angels were in front of God didn’t refuse the trumpets they were given. They accepted them.

What is the role of a trumpet?
What is the shape of a trumpet?
It’s a wind instrument, used to call people. You can’t use a machine to play the trumpet, unless it produces wind. Think about it. A computer needs power and might get louder than a trumpet but a trumpet needs wind, otherwise a trumpet will refuse to produce a sound. The wind goes only through one way, the mouth must stick in a certain place and then it’s ready to be blown properly. If you don’t have enough breath, the trumpet will not work.

A child, for instance, could blow their hardest but the sound of the trumpet will never be heard.

Question: Why can’t everyone blow the trumpet?
Because some people don’t have enough breath and others they don’t know how to do it.

There is also a technique, your lips must vibrate and when God gave the trumpets to the angels, He chose seven angels could blow them properly. There was no mistake.

And today in our world, there are many people who are good at blowing their own trumpet: “Do you know me? I’m this and that. If you compare me with Gustave, he is nothing, I’m such and such and such”. They want to show how others are useless and they get upset if they are not asked about the great things they’ve done. If people don’t congratulate them for their great works, they are upset: “You don’t even encourage me!” and they feel bad. Many people can even sin because others don’t appreciate their work, they will condemn them and say: “This guy is not a good guy. He doesn’t know how to live with people, I am wondering if his culture is a good culture.”  But remember God gives trumpets not for us to blow them but for God’s purposes.

Question: Why do people blow the trumpet in the Bible?

To announce the feasts. They used to train people, people who will be good at it.

Exodus 19:16 was the time of God coming back to his people. When He came he didn’t use a car or a horse, he came through the sound of lightning, thunders, smoke and after the sound of a trumpet. So God used the trumpet to announce His coming in the Old Testament, as the Bible says at the end of the time, the trumpet will be blown for the same purpose. He wanted to show His people this is the first sign of His coming back. The sound of the trumpets will be different from what we are used to, it will bring fear, we won’t be able to stand up anymore, it will force us to bow down and hide our faces. God has warned us who will blow the trumpets.

Have you already heard the trumpet of God? For example, have you already been through something that frightens you, facing death right in front of you or even realising that thunder can kill?

We can be here and suddenly thunder comes and kills Odon, no rain, everything is clear, the sun is shining outside and someone is killed. It is frightening and the next time we will be afraid. If the thunder is very loud, other people will try to run away, afraid only because of the sound of the thunder. 

The trumpet is blown: God is coming

But in the Bible the thunder was joined by smoke, lightning and the sound of the trumpet. It’s not the trumpet playing Jazz music, or any other type you know but it’s the trumpet of God. It says He is on His way and He is coming back and everybody started shaking, young and old people, they were full of fear. So imagine the day our Lord will come back, the trumpet will be blown and this world will be changed. All sinners, all politicians and all Christians will fear. After that those who must go will go. If you are not prepared and you hear the sound of the trumpet, you must know that this sound will announce the end of repentance and it will be too late to repent. This sound will stop all activities.

The Israelites wanted to see God, they insisted to see Him saying He is their leader and they have never been allowed to see Him. They were curious, which is not bad if it’s in the good way but if curiosity is manifested in a way that destroys God’s glory, it becomes a sin.  God manifested Himself to them because they were curious and afterwards they changed their mind and were scared.

The trumpet is blown: a king is chosen

In 1Kings 1:34, God allowed people to use the trumpet to choose a king.

So, don’t blow your own trumpet, let other people do it, people who appreciate you. Don’t try to reach the best position by blowing your own trumpet, just accept a humble place and God will tell someone to do it for you. Don’t raise yourself up, just try to control your ways and actions and God will do something. King Solomon was clever and though, he wanted God to lead him, He told God he would be the next king if his father David dies, but it was not enough for him, he was aware how he needed God continually in his life.

The sound of the trumpet will testify who you are in front of others. Accept who you are, humiliate and humble yourself and God will start to make people testify for you.
e.g. If Shari starts telling Steve how good she is at organising her house, or how pretty she is, Steve will start counting the minutes and two years later he will still remember this lady who couldn’t stop boasting and everybody who hears that testimony, even without knowing Shari, will think something is wrong with her. They will be careful.

How awful! We make a step in the wrong direction when we start blowing our own trumpet to others.

In the book of Judges, the people of Israel wanted to visit Jericho. God told his people to first walk around the city for 7 days, to blow the trumpet every time and on the seventh day to blow their trumpet again.

Imagine walking around Hamilton every morning, how would you feel? 

People were tired but they encouraged each other because of God’s command. “Don’t give up, when God asks something, He will also do something soon. Let’s walk together, we don’t want anyone to stay behind,” They walked in silence because enemies were inside that fence.

But on our journey to heaven, we’re just like parrots, if you want to know who are the most talkative women in the world, go to churches and watch, especially the pastors’ wives: “How are you sister? Do you know I was with sister x and she was like that and that and that’ and the woman will tell you everything the sisters' said. The sister just wanted to share a problem for her to pray about, it was confidential but when the woman heard the problems, it was too heavy on her heart and she tried to think of a person she could unload it to. So, as soon as she met another sister she asked if she could go with her to the shop and she started telling everything the sister said, asking not to tell anybody. But when that first sister will hear in two years how that woman spread around her problems, she’ll be shocked, she’ll criticize and hate her. She’ll think that woman is really unwise and she will keep her distance from her.

So, with God let’s work in silence. When you hear people’s problems, just keep it for yourself unless it’s to pray about it. In that case, go to someone, speak and agree to pray together so that God can do something in that person’s life and remember prayer is a secret between you and your God, don’t advertise it in the newspaper. Some people, who remember the verse to agree and pray for a common purpose so that God can answer might come to you and open up their hearts. They don’t want to inform you but rather agree with you, pray together according to that verse.

Those people walked around Jericho in silence as God had told them to do but on the seventh day, God decided it was time to break the silence, to make a new step. They blew the trumpet.

If someone was not ready to blow his trumpet, he could give it to a specialist who knew better. So, they blew the trumpet and the walls fell down. Just a wind instrument made the walls to fall down.

If someone blew his trumpet now, the walls will not fall. But that day, everything fell. So every time we work with God and follow his instructions in silence, waiting for his promises to be fulfilled, whatever we do when it’s God timing, we will have the victory, we can break the wall of difficulties.

If we want someone to have salvation today, and God said to work for three days and to do this and that the third day if we stand up and remind Him it’s His time as He said, I can tell you that person will not resist, they will kneel down and cry out to God for forgiveness and give their life to Him.

We can break walls without using physical tools, but only with wind instruments. That wind doesn’t come from your ears but from your mouth. Just use your mouth with the power of God and whatever barriers are in front of you will fall down. Everybody knows in the army, they use trumpets all around the world, not because it sounds great but because it has the power to alert. In some countries they blow special trumpets when the country is attacked to alert soldiers wherever they are.

When the angels will blow the trumpets, nobody will enjoy its sound or feel joy. It will announce the destruction of the world.
When the seals were opened, power was given so that human beings could make others’ people lives hard and God will punish ¼ of the world.

With the trumpets, it becomes about one third of the world punished.

Moses was sent and Pharaoh refused

For example, everyone can see today disasters in Congo, in Zambia but not in Australia. When the trumpet is blown, things will change in Australia too. People will face difficulties and things will be tense to the point of the politicians losing their mind not knowing where to go and what to do next. They’ll be as confused as Pharaoh and the trumpets in Revelation are related to the 10 plagues in Egypt. Pharaoh used to be the leader and he was a good king but time came for him to let God’s people go. God said so, He decided time was up for His people to find freedom. He intervened not with His army in the heaven but through a human being like you and me, Moses.

Imagine Colleen going to the queen of England and asking her to give freedom to us Kiwis, to be free to have our own President in NZ. What will happen to Colleen, her body might come back without a head or she’ll jus disappear.

One day, God also will decide to send people and He will choose the weak and humble ones. They will stand up for God and He will send them. They’ll go, talk and through them God will realise big things, because the weakest will become the strongest, the humble ones will be raised up.

So, if you want to be used by God, humble yourself first, God will raise you up. He will tell you to go, see Pharaoh and ask him to let the people go. Maybe Moses was afraid before Pharaoh and didn’t what to say or even stuttered, but He just had to obey God: just go! Moses couldn’t talk properly. Pharaoh might have answered: “What?” and think this person is so scared! “Talk properly!”

So, if you are among those who can’t speak properly today, please don’t be afraid, God will put a power in you. If you stutter, God will make your voice to be heard and finally by force, through you, the whole nation will find freedom.
Imagine all the leaders of Israel when they were in Egypt might have said: “We are the elders, we control this community, we look after our people in slavery, why didn’t you come through us so that we could do what Moses did? We know these people better than Moses, he lived in Pharaoh’s house, then he went somewhere to find refuge and he’s back now and wants to give us freedom. Is that normal? He doesn’t know us, neither who we are nor our culture. Who is he?”

And this is the world today. Pastors will say: ‘Who is Steve, who is Michael, who is Michelle … they are nothing. They don’t even know the Word of God, they have never learnt theology, who are they so that they could give freedom to NZ?”
It is true they know very little but with this little knowledge, God will use them. Remember God didn’t give 10 sentences to Moses to say just: Go and bring my people back from Egypt. It was not an hour preaching, not even 10 minutes, just a few words that could change the situation.

Pharaoh said no, he couldn’t and he might have told Moses to go and first learn to speak! Moses went and came back, the following day, the same thing happened with the same negative answer from Pharaoh. He dismissed him again, although signs could already be seen, similar to the trumpet we will learn about next time, Pharaoh refused. God said that if these people couldn’t understand the meaning of suffering, the meaning of drinking blood instead of water, of sleeping with frogs in their beds, and if they can forget and ignore these punishments, why should He let them live and He decided to kill them. “I’ll see where their arrogance will stop.”

“If Michelle is with Zoe today, I’ll remove Zoe from her and I’ll see how arrogant she is.”

That night, the angel of God came. Imagine an angel like Chloe coming and visiting you, saying: “All of you here, kill a goat and put its blood on your door frame?” What will you say? You’ll think she is crazy! But on that day they just trusted God without knowing why or seeing any proof of His existence, they were convinced, killed the sheep and put the blood on their doorposts.

Many Christians today wonder if they will do what God said, if He is really alive because they can’t see Him, they can’t touch Him and they can’t hear His answer but the result was there though, and when the angel came and saw the blood on the doorposts, just this single sign he understood.

If the blood of Jesus Christ is not in your life, whenever the power of killing, power of death comes to you, you’ll be someone crying the following day. You’ll be someone who has lost something in you, love, peace or other things. Remember only the first-born was killed. Who is the first born in you? I think for everybody, the first-born is salvation. To become a Christian we need first of all salvation. To apply this blood on your salvation means to know the fruit of repentance and follow Jesus-Christ with all your heart. If you don’t apply the blood of Jesus-Christ on your salvation, you’ll lose it in a bad way.

Why that? The Bible says that we can’t lose salvation, it’s true but we must also know what is in Chapter 13 otherwise, on that day, many people will cry.
Finally the angel of God killed the first born all around the country.

I don’t know how big the cemeteries could have been in Egypt, have many people cried that day. If there were 7 million families in Egypt, that day they buried seven million people and if they were 25 million families with children, they buried 25 million people. Who could have gone and supported his neighbour, who could have comforted his neighbour? If everyone loses his son, who will comfort who? Even the king didn’t have anyone to come to him that day because it was just a disaster.


So that was the picture of the seven trumpets the angels will blow.
Let’s stop now.
Let’s pray that whenever He comes back we will be ready to go with him. We need to keep silent in many situations so that we can keep the glory of God at the right place and we need to be careful and observe what’s around us to know what to do and to know the meaning of the trumpet.
Finally I’m sure you are still reading about the justice of God and also I will also ask you to find the verses in the Bible, which talk about trumpet. There are almost 13 times in the Bible where they talk about trumpets, 13 occasions where trumpets are mentioned. Please know those ones, they are very important

Let’s pray.

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