Revelation: Things Are Not As They Seem – Part 7

Understanding the Seven Trumpets… Revelation 8:1-9:21 and 11:14-19 May 15th, 2016


I. What is the CONTEXT of the TRUMPETS?
A. Be AWARE of the STRUCTURE. (Rev. 6; Rev. 8-11)
B. The TRUMPETS are the RESULT of prayer. (6:10; 8:1-6)
C. A key QUESTION is WHEN? (Mt. 24:29-30)

This is one of the most difficult sections of Revelation to read. The seven trumpets unleash suffering, death, and destruction on the earth. Some of it is natural, but some is clearly demonic. Whether we like it or not, these events are the results of the prayers of the saints. They have cried out, How long, O Lord? (6:10) and now He is answering their cry.

1. Take the time to read 8:1-9:21 and 11:14-19 out loud. What are the images and ideas that stand out to you as you hear the text?
2. Have you ever had God answer a prayer in a way that you would not have predicted? In a way that you would have not wanted? Share the story with your group.
3. These judgments are currently taking place on the stage of history. Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why or why not?

II. What is the PURPOSE of the Trumpets?
A. To SOUND the WARNING (Joel 2:1; Ez. 33:3-6)
B. To those who RESIST the KINGDOM. (8:13; 9:4; 11:13; Lam. 3:22-23)
C. The PATIENCE and RESTRAINT of God. (8:7-12; 9:10,15; II Pet. 3:9)
D. Judgment is GOOD NEWS. (6:10)

When you are seeking to destroy the enemy you dont sound seven trumpets to let them know you are coming. Trumpets are sounded when you see the army advancing against you. They are a signal to prepare yourself a warning of what is to come. In the same way, God is using these limited judgments to warn those who resist Him of what is coming if they continue to resist.

4. What are some warnings that you see happening in our society today? How can the church best respond to people in this context?
5. In what ways do you see the patience and restraint of God around you today?
6. Is judgment really good news? If it is why do we fear it so much? How can we communicate both the love and justice/judgment of God to those around us?

III. What is the RESULT of the Trumpets?
A. On the surface SUFFERING and DESTRUCTION. (Rev. 8-9)
B. In the heart – Not MUCH (until next WEEK). (9:20-21)
C. In the end The COMING of the KINGDOM. (11:15-18)

The trumpets unleash horrible forces. Earth is subjected to pain, suffering, death, and destruction. And yet in spite of all that we see very little change. Humanity still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and woodidols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. (9:20-21) Why is that? What else has to happen to bring about repentance?

7. As we see this we say, Why dont people get it? Why cant they see? Has there ever been a time when you were slow to see what God was trying to say to you?
8. Read chapter 10 and 11. Do you see anything there that brings about a change in those who resist God? What can we draw from this to influence our own life in the midst of warning judgment?

A. PRAY and LIVE for JUSTICE. (Micah 6:8)
B. See the HAND of GOD all around you. (Ps. 19:1-4)
C. Be the CHURCH in the midst of JUDGMENT. (10:8-11)

How then should we live? If its true that God is unleashing these trumpets as signs of warning to the world around us, how do we live in that context? How do we work with Him instead of against Him? In a nutshell, what does the Lord require of us? The answer is so simple to say and yet so challenging to live. Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.

9. What are some specific ways that we can both pray AND live for justice in our own context?
10.If you had to sum up what God is teaching you from the book of Revelation in just a few sentences, what would you say?