Summary: Are you ready to hear the trumpet call of God to judgment and glory? It will be one or the other for everyone. Meanwhile we are to be people of the Word! Hearing, following, and sharing it!
Revelation, the Grand Finale of God’s Word
The Trumpets of Judgment and
Proclamation of the Word
When my kids were little they used to make up songs. Almost all of them were about God or church. We video taped one of them where they all sang, “Trumpets will sound and I will be floating up with my God!” Even then they knew that heaven’s trumpets were a good sound for God’s people. But in our study this week we will also see that heaven’s trumpets are a terrible sound for those who do not have the seal of God that marks them as His people. One thing we will see in this study is that the prayers of the saints and the judgments of God are connected. After God hears his children’s cries he sounds the trumpets of judgment, sends his message to be proclaimed and vindicates the messengers with his power.
In everything that happens, God is involved, and if God is working in it, dear student, you can be sure that its purpose is for good. Just imagine that behind everything that happens before our eyes, there is an unseen reality involved and in control. While we do not have all the answers to every question of why, we can hold on to the Bible’s answer of who is in control.
Our God is the great creator of all things. He has absolute authority over all, and nothing can happen without His knowledge and permission. Jesus said, “Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from his will.” (Matt. 10:29). This is not to blame God for evil, but to assure us that evil is not in charge! Tragic events and terrible suffering are everywhere and always have been. But are these things just meaningless happenings with no reason or purpose? God’s word answers that question. The purposes of God are in the world events to call people to repentance. Can you see the hand of God in your life? Have you come to trust in his grace even when the hour is dark and the way steep and you are weary and hurting? You can, you know. God will ultimately vindicate his people and judge all who trouble us, meanwhile we must trust in him.
Read chapter 8:1-13
This book mentions seven earthquakes. Three of them are in chapters 8-11. The earth is shaking with judgments all through this chapter. But notice as chapter 8 opens, what happens in heaven right after the opening of the seventh seal?
It appears that everyone is listening, but what for? Read verses 3-4. What is going on here?
Read verse 5. What happens next?
Dear student, do you realize that all of heaven listens as your prayers are offered up before God? The seven angels receive their trumpets of judgment and then they wait as another angel presents our prayers to God. Just think of it! Heaven is quiet so that your prayers may be heard! How important are your prayers to God? Never underestimate the response of God to your prayers. Prayer precedes this entire section of events. Are you a person of prayer?
This section is about the sounding of seven trumpets and the events that follow. Notice the trumpets in the Bible. The Hebrew words for trumpet are shophar, a horn (for blowing):-- horn(4), horns(1), ram’s horn(1), trumpet(m)(46), trumpeter*(m)(1), trumpets(19). And chatsotsrah, (an ancient) trumpet:-- trumpet(1), trumpeters(3), trumpets(22). And teruah, trumpet, to blow the battle sound.
The Greek word for trumpet is salpigx, a trumpet:-- bugle(1), trumpet(8), trumpets(2).
This word for trumpet occurs 11 times in the New Testament and 6 of those times is in Revelation.
Read Exodus 19:1-25, Then read chapter 20:18-20. Notice the trumpets here. These were sounded as God began to give the ten commandments to Israel. What did the people think about this sound? What else do you see happening here that is similar to the first 5 verses of Rev. 8?
Look in a concordance at the word trumpet and notice the context of its use. Trumpets in the Bible were used to signal something. They typically were not used to play a tune and entertain an audience. Most of the time trumpets performed two major tasks: They called the people to worship, and they sounded the signals for war.
Read Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16. (You might also read the contexts of these verses.
How are the trumpets used here?
What are they signaling?
Are you ready to hear the sound of the trumpet of God? For all who are in Christ, this will be a joy filled sound and call to eternal worship in the presence of our great God and King. For all who are not in Christ, it will be the terrifying sound of certain doom and destruction in the eternal place of punishment for all who do not follow the Lamb in faith and are marked with the seal of God.