The Seven Trumpets

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Revelation 8-11
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 7 The Seven Trumpets

(Revelation 8-11)


Copr. 2019, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.


Introduction: This week we come to the seventh seal! In Revelation 6 we saw that Jesus opened the first six seals. Last week, in Revelation 7 we studied God’s sealed people. The sealed are those who choose to follow Jesus. This week Jesus opens the seventh seal to our study. Why would God provide the information to us in that order? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and see if we can find the answer to that question and unravel the meaning of the seventh seal and the seven trumpets!


  1. Seventh Seal, Seven Trumpets


    1. Read Revelation 8:1. Why do you think there is silence in heaven for half an hour when the seventh seal is opened? (We will learn that it involves some terrible things. Perhaps heaven is stunned by this knowledge.)


    1. Read Revelation 8:2. Where have we previously seen seven angels? (Read Revelation 1:20. These seven angels had specific messages to the seven churches.)


      1. What are the seven trumpets? (Read Revelation 1:10. Jesus’ voice is like a trumpet. This suggests that each of the seven angels has a God-given message.)


    1. Read Revelation 8:3. What does the incense represent? (The prayers of the saints.)


      1. Why do you think that is specifically mentioned? (We ended the sixth seal with the wicked hiding in caves (Revelation 6:15-17), because they believed the end of the world was at hand. The righteous, in contrast, are sending up prayers to God to protect them in these terrifying times.)


    1. Read Revelation 8:4-5. Why hurl the censer of incense, which involves our prayers, to the earth? (The quarterly cites a Jewish commentary on the temple service. At the end of the daily sacrifice the priest took the censer and threw it on the ground, whereupon seven priests blew seven trumpets.)


      1. Assume that is a correct. Why should we have that symbolism at this very point in John’s vision? (Since we discussed that God’s followers were sealed in the last chapter of Revelation, this may signify the close of probation. Sacrifices have ended. Humans are either saved by grace or they have been judged by their works.)


  1. Trumpets


    1. Read Revelation 8:6-7. Hail and fire are an unusual combination. What does this suggest? (Read Exodus 9:25-26. This suggests that this is a judgment from God.)


      1. What does “mixed with blood” tell us? (People die because of it.)


      1. What is the result on earth? (A third of the earth is burned.)


    1. Read Revelation 8:8-9. What does this sound like to you? (A huge volcano erupts with disastrous effects.)


    1. Read Revelation 8:10-11. What does this sound like to you? (This is a huge meteor strike! It poisons the waters.)


    1. Read Revelation 8:12. What has happened here? (Part of our sun burns out. Because the sun provides the light for the moon, the result is that the light of the moon is also reduced.)


      1. Recall that we have seen other references in Revelation to advance signs of things going wrong in the galaxy. This is another example.


    1. Read Revelation 8:13. Does it sound as if things are going to get better? (No! One commentator called the next three trumpets the “woe trumpets.”)


    1. Read Revelation 9:1-4. Let’s work this through. This sounds like another meteor strike. But, why would a meteor be given a key? (Read Isaiah 14:12 and Luke 10:16-18. The “star” that falls from heaven is Satan. I don’t think this is a meteor.)


      1. Read Revelation 20:1-3. What does Satan have to do with the “Abyss?” (Satan lives in the Abyss for a thousand years.)


      1. Read Revelation 20:7-8. Compare it to Revelation 9:2-4. Do these two descriptions sound similar?


      1. Look again at Revelation 9:4. What does the “seal” reference tell us about the timing of this? (It follows the description of Revelation 7, and that tells me that it follows the close of probation.)


        1. Read Exodus 9:26. What does this tell us about the Egyptian plagues? (Not all afflicted God’s people.)


    1. Read Revelation 9:4-6. Who is torturing those who do not have the seal of God? (The “smoke locusts” who come out of the Abyss. This sounds like fallen angels - those who chose Satan as their leader.)


    1. Read Revelation 9:7-11. What do you conclude from the fact that these smoke locust/scorpions have faces that resemble those of humans and their “king” is the “angel of the Abyss?” (This is another clue that these are fallen angels.)


    1. Read Revelation 9:12-17. Remember these are those who are not sealed. How do they die? (“Fire, smoke and sulfur.”)


      1. Read Revelation 20:9-10. How do these enemies of God die? (By fire and sulfur.)


    1. Read Revelation 9:20-21. How are the rest of the wicked affected by these terrible plagues? (They continue with their evil deeds, just like nothing has happened.)


  1. The Scroll


    1. Read Revelation 10:1-4. Who did we last see holding a scroll? (Revelation 5 & 6 recount that Jesus opened the scroll. This description sounds like it is Jesus.)


    1. Read Revelation 10:5-7. What is the seventh trumpet? (It is the conclusion to the conflict between good and evil.)


    1. Read Revelation 10:9-11 and compare Ezekiel 2:9-3:3. What does it mean to “eat” the scroll? (It means to take in what God has described and then share it with others.)


      1. In John’s case the eating is sweet, but the scroll turns sour in his stomach. How did John view Jesus’ opening of the sealed scroll? (All heaven rejoiced!)


        1. How do you think John views the trumpets? (John describes terrible times.)


  1. Two Witnesses


    1. Read Revelation 11:1-2. Does this sound like a continuation of Revelation 9-10? (No. Those chapters sound like the end of the world. This sounds like a description of the temple on earth.)


    1. Read Revelation 11:3. In verses 2 and 3 we find a reference to “42 months” and “1,260 days.” These are the same time frame. Do you think this is symbolic? (This same time period is also found in Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7, Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 12:14.)


      1. Re-read Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7. If a “time” is a year, then this is 3.5 years, or 1,260 days. Do you think this refers to literal days?(Read Daniel 12:9. Daniel is told that this is a prophesy that will be understood in the last days. If it just meant “days,” then the meaning would be immediately obvious.)


    1. Read Revelation 11:3-4 and Revelation 11:7-11. In general, the 1,260 year period represents a time of difficulty for God’s people. Who are these two witnesses who are also called two olive trees and two lampstands? They give testimony to God during difficult times, are killed and then brought to life. (If this period represents over a thousand years, then these are not humans. Calling them “olive trees” and “lampstands” further suggests that they are not humans. However, the reference in Revelation 11:8 to “their bodies” sounds like they are humans. Lawyers refer to a “body of law,” thus the belief that the two witnesses are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible is reasonable. Satan has waged a terrible war against belief in God’s word.)


    1. Friend, the end of times has been opened to your review. Would you like to avoid these plagues and eternal death? Why not choose the winning side right now by giving your heart to Jesus?


  1. Next week: Satan, a Defeated Enemy.