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Blow the Trumpets

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Title:  BLOW THE TRUMPETS!

Text:  Revelation 8:1-13

Introduction:

            Up to this point six seals have been broken and what poured out upon the earth has sent the earth reeling from the judgment.  There was an interruption between the sixth and seventh trumpets with loud praise in Heaven.  But as the last seal is broken, there begins a blast of seven trumpets with even greater judgment.  To follow the trumpets are seven bowls of wrath, which are the greatest judgments of all.  But notice the similarities between all these judgments:

            The Trumpets                         The Judgment                                    The Bowls

            1.  8:1-7                                   The earth                                              16:1-2

            2.  8:8-9                                   The sea                                                16:3

            3.  8:10-11                               The rivers                                             16:4-7

4.      8:12-13                              The heavens                                         16:8-9

5.      9:1-2                                  Mankind – torment                               16:10-11

6.      9:13-21                              An Army                                              16:12-16

7.      11:11-19                            Angry nations                                       16:17-21

            Just to get an overview of how things are laid out, the trumpet judgments are released during the first half of the Tribulation, and the bowl judgments are during the last half of the Tribulation.  Read Text.

1.  What happens when the seventh seal is broken?  (Silence for half-hour in Heaven.)      Does that mean there are no women in Heaven? (Ha!  Sorry ladies!)      What do you think brought on this silence?  (Everything stops; Heaven is silent; it must be an awful expectancy of what is going to happen next as the scroll can now be unfolded and they can see all that is to transpire.)

2.  Seven angels are standing before God who are given trumpets.  What does their posture tell you?  (They are privileged to stand before God; standing is the posture of service.)      In biblical times the blowing of trumpets was always important.  What do you recall is associated with the blowing of trumpets?  (Moving the camps of Israel, proclaiming great festivals, overthrowing of the ungodly, laying of the foundations of the Temple, announcing royalty, and war.)  Num. 10:1-10      Which purpose do you think applies in this chapter?  (War.)

3.  In addition to the seven angels who are given trumpets, an eighth angel comes in and stands before the altar with a golden sensor.  It’s not by accident that the angel approaches the altar with the incense; notice Aaron’s instructions on the Day of Atonement in Lev. 16:11-13.       To the Jew, what would the burning of incense at the altar picture in their mind?  (Prayers ascending to God.)  Ps. 141:1-2; Lk. 1:8-10; Rev. 8:3-4

4.      Verse 3 says the prayers were those of the saints upon the altar.  Do you recall who these saints are and what their prayer is?  (The tribulation martyrs who prayed for God to vindicate them.)  Rev. 6:9-11
Insight: The very censer that was used to give fragrance to the prayers of the saints is now used to scatter fire from the same altar upon the earth.  Prayer has two aspects.  It brings an answer of grace to the one who prays and it brings an answer of judgment upon the world of evil.  We must be careful how we pray…there are consequences to our prayers.
What picture of the power of prayer do you see in Rev. 8:5?
Insight: Since the censer is symbolic of our prayers, we see here the dual power of our prayers…to bless God, and to tap His power from on high.

5.      Describe the hail that falls when the first trumpet is blown.     What is the target of this hail?  (Vegetation, trees, grass, one third is burnt.)      What would happen to the balance of nature and food supply with this judgment?

6.      As the next trumpet blows a third of the waters are turned to blood, which in turn destroys a third of the life in the sea and the ships.  With this imbalance of life in the sea, do you suppose it would lead to further problems?      What would happen to our economy if a third of the ships on the seas were wiped out?

7.      With the third trumpet a third of the fresh waters are polluted.  With fresh waters polluted, what is likely to result?  (Death and disease.)      What is the name of the star that falls into the waters?  (Wormwood, which means “undrinkable.”  Read Article on Wormwood.)       Is it unusual that this star is named?  (No.)  Ps. 147:4      If ecologists are worried about the consequences of pollution today, what do you think they will propose for clean up after the third trumpet?

8.      With the fourth trumpet a third of the sun, moon and stars lose their light.  What will happen to temperature changes and the tides of the oceans as a result of this judgment?      How will it affect human health and food growth of what remains?
Insight: This judgment is temporary.  See Rev. 16:8-9 as to why.           Knowing how human nature takes advantage of the darkness, we can only imagine the spread of crime and wickedness that will increase because of the longer hours of darkness.  Jn. 3:19-20
Insight: Making the days gloomy and the darkness of the nights still darker, with all the distresses of a chilly atmosphere, you would think the hearts of men would turn to God.  Sadly so, their rebellion increases.

9.      Before the next trumpet blows, God uses the animal kingdom to declare His judgment…an eagle circles the heavens with a declaration.  Why three woes?  (Three trumpets are yet to sound, and they will be even worse.  “If you think this has been bad, just wait, the worst is yet to come!”)  Rev. 9:12; 11:14

Conclusion:

            God is the Creator of this earth and the vast universe.  When He created it, it was for the purpose of giving Him glory and giving man a perfect habitat.  When sin entered, the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden was cut off.  Ever since, creation has been groaning to be released from its bondage.  Creation is anxiously longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  Rom. 8:19-23

            Since God is Sovereign and can do whatever He chooses, He can destroy at His command if it accomplishes His will.  He will use the destruction of His creation in a last plea to turn the hearts of wicked men back to their Creator.  Judgment will fall even to His creation because of their increased sin.

            But even after all is destroyed, God still has a benevolent will concerning the creation.  Rev. 21:1,7  That which has been polluted by man or by God will someday have it’s renewed purity in Heaven.  Rev. 22:1-5

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