Blow Phil Blow!

by Joseph Franks

Yesterday, Phil Robertson, the grandfather on Duck Dynasty, was banned from A&E for his anti-gay comments. He used his freedom of speech, presented his heterosexual preferences, expressed his religious thought, and was declared to be a narrow-minded bigot. Phil may have been a bit straight-forward and salty in his conversation, but according to Jesus Christ and the Apostle John, Phil got it right.

All of us, who do not repent of our sexual sin, whether it be homosexual or heterosexual, are in great danger of suffering the wrath of God.

In the Revelation given to the Apostle John, he saw seven candlesticks representing the seven churches. There the King walked amongst his church noting her successes and failures. With great seriousness and compassion he called his bride to recognize his authority and repent. He presented himself as standing at the door, knocking. Those who loved him were to open the door, repent and commune with him. For all others, judgment was at hand as the King was ready to remove their light. God was calling his religious rebels to repent.

John’s vision then shifted to the King in heaven who was slowly opening a scroll with seven seals. In this vision the King was shown to rule, reign and conquer. Satan made advances. God’s people suffered. However, not one of his precious ones was lost for he has marked them. They were his forever.

Then John’s vision transitioned to focus on seven trumpet playing angels. In Scripture, trumpets were used largely for three reasons.

  • First, they called God’s people to assemble and worship. (Exodus 19:13; Psalm 81:3; Psalm 150:3; Isaiah 27:13; Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
  • Second, they called God’s people to assemble for war. (Judges 3:27: Judges 6:34; 1 Samuel 13:3)
  • Third, they encouraged God’s enemies to fear. Rebels are to hear, bow the knee, raise the white flag and surrender. If not, judgment is at hand. (Joshua 6:5; Joshua 7:18; Joel 2:1; Amos 3:6; Zephaniah 1:16; Zechariah 9:14)

It is this third usage of the trumpet that God seems to present in Revelation 8 and 9.  Just as Joshua and Gideon blew their trumpets to warn Jericho and Midian that destruction was at hand, so God’s angels blow their horns before inflicting the earth with God’s discipline.

In Revelation 8 and 9, each angel plays his trumpet; judgment then follows. By the time the fourth trumpet is blown, the sky, earth, sea and rivers have been affected.  Catastrophic damage is widespread, but it is not total. God has been harsh in his discipline, but he has only affected one-third of the earth. Two-thirds have been left alone. In all this, God is calling rebels to repent.

Then, between the fourth and fifth trumpet, an intermission of sorts occurs.  An eagle descends with a message from heaven. (As if God’s message was not already coming through loud and clear.) While the angels and elders are singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” in Paradise, the eagle is preaching “Woe, Woe, Woe” to men on earth.  A threefold curse is being uttered.  As bad as trumpets 1 through 4 have been, it is going to get worse. God is again calling rebels to repent.

Trumpets five and six are then sounded.  Satan and his demons are given more freedom to create hellish havoc on the earth.  Previously, only the earth had been affected, but now mankind is targeted.  It looks like the end even for the Christian, except for the fact that God has marked them.  They will suffer, but they will also be protected by the sovereign hand of the King.  For everyone else, it is open season and Satan is hungry.

But then comes the saddest sentence in the ninth chapter of Revelation:

Revelation 9:20-21     The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The rest of mankind are incorrigible rebels.  Though being disciplined by God and destroyed by Satan, they remain utterly unteachable and unmoved. Like the Egyptians and the Sodomites, they taste the power and fury of God, but are not impressed.  Instead of repenting, they grow harder and harder in their sin.  Such is the condition of all who are left alone by the Holy Spirit.  Such is the condition of all who are left to the leading of their depraved free will.  What one sees here is total depravity left unchecked. The trumpets have sounded; the warning has been given; the warning has been ignored.  There is nothing left for rebels but to see their walls come crumbling down. They should hear the trumpets. They should read the signs. They should repent, but they will not.

Friends, are we this spiritually dull?  Jesus Christ has already come to earth and conquered Satan, sin, death, and the grave. From his throne he allows Satan to buffet men. From his throne in heaven, he sends angels to trumpet a warning. Can we not look around at the chaos caused by sin? Can we not look within and see our internal misery as a result of our godless rebellion? Can we not see the leadership of Satan who seeks to maim, kill and destroy?  Can we not see the devastating effects on our children? Woe! Woe! Woe! And the worst is still to come. This tough existence on the planet is the only heaven some of us will ever experience, and then comes ultimate separation from God – the Lake of Fire.

Allow me to play the role of the trumpet-sounding minister today?  We should give up worshiping gold and silver. We should cease trusting in man.  We should no longer murder and hate. We should flee lust and sexual morality — whatever brand it may be.  We must work hard and not steal from our fellow man. We must cast ourselves upon the mercy of Christ and hear his words, “Father forgive them.” Let us learn from our consequences and his discipline. Let us not be calloused rebels. Let us not be so dull. Let us not be incorrigible fools.  Call upon Christ and have his seal put on your forehead? There is still time for us to bow the knee and kiss the Son.

We should all listen to Phil Robertson.  He is old and odd.  However, he plays his trumpet fairly well.  God is love, and he longs for men to repent. God is holy, and he will judge all who ignore his trumpets and stand in defiance.

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