- Restraining the winds. Imagine that you are standing next to John in a remarkable, invisible state. As you peer into the darkness you tremble because you see seven angels with their trumpets poised to blow. It’s the closing of the evening sacrifice, but the trumpets are silent. A lamb’s blood flows at the base of the altar. What is that priest doing with a golden censer at the golden altar? Ah…as he is offering the sacrifice, you hear the loud crashing sound of the censer being hurled on the hard surface, and all seven priests blow their trumpets. Fire from the altar of sacrifice scorches the air as it is hurled to the earth on the altar where saints pray to God on the same altar where the prayers of the saints were lofted heavenward. Wind is blowing in every direction. Is this the beginning or the end of God’s acts of special intervention on behalf of His followers?
- The meaning of the trumpets. Explain to fellow class members if you can how trumpets in the Bible are linked to prayer, to worship in God’s temple, to battle, to harvest. Try to imagine how the sound of trumpets could magnify the sense of holiness. What should the blast of trumpets tell today’s followers of God about the earth-shaking events about to take place on earth? How would you link, step by step, the seven trumpets with judgments on members of the early church, about heaven’s final decree of judgment against those who refuse to take heed, and the pulling of the entire world into the dramatic even we know as Armageddon? What advice do you have for believers about to be plunged even deeper into a world of suffering and woe? Or is that off the point? Aren’t things getting better and better as the years roll by?
- The angel with an open book. In what way(s) does the sixth trumpet sound the message that Jesus is about to come to earth? Why does John use the symbol of a lion to represent Jesus Christ? Who is the angel with an open book? Aren’t you glad the end of everything bad is being depicted? Identify for your class members the “mighty angel.” What do the symbols of the land and sea represent? What does the lion ‘s fierce roar represent? The “thunders” that sound have a message for John, but God doesn’t tell him what it is or why he should not attempt to explain it. Can you explain the Rev 10:6 (that there will “be time no longer”? Your lesson notes that the two years between 1882 and 1884 signals the end of prophetic visions linked to timely events. Talk about the importance of this finding.
- Eating the scroll. What is meant by “eating the scroll” in the Bible? What can make the proclaiming of God’s word bitter to so many when it is received by them? From sweet to bitter. What does that mean to you and me living in the last days of earth’s history? How could something so sweet as God’s message to His people turn bitter? What is the Biblical meaning of the symbolic word of “measuring”? Are you ready to be measured by the principles of the Bible and the special end-time messages God has prepared for us? Find the connection–and share it–between measuring God’s people and participating in the vindication of Jesus. Are you ready to participate wholly in the total absorption of God’s word? What is the purpose of such vindication of One who is already perfect? Is the judgment at the end of time good news? Why? or why not?