Oh how the Bible is all one story!
There is an amazing parallel between the plagues of Egypt and the judgments (seals, trumpets, bowls and visions of conflict) of Revelation. Both are an “un-creating of the world.” As you’ll hear in the sermon this week, God un-creates the world before He brings a new heaven and a new earth.
Now, this week you’ll see an amazing parallel between the trumpets of Jericho and the trumpet judgments of Revelation. Both bring disaster on the unrepentant.
The seals are from the perspective of how God’s judgment can refine believers.
The trumpets are from the perspective of how judgment affects unbelievers, rather than, as with the seals, to refine believers. As Dr. Campbell writes: “Although some may repent” (think Rahab in Jericho), “the ultimate purpose of the judgments is the hardening of hearts of unbelievers and the bringing to pass of God’s judgment.”
The ultimate goal of the judgments, however, is to glorify God and to demonstrate His authority over the nations of the world.
An optional but fascinating video shows how archeology substantiates the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. At the close, they also address the problem people have with God and judgment. You can also see this on you-tube or transfer it to your big screen. All these discoveries strengthen our faith!
Every year at Christmas I list my top books of the year. I’ve read so many about the plight of North Koreans, and the martyrdom of believers there. I’m not sure which book I’ll choose from this series, but I did love “The World is Bigger Now” by Euna Lee, an American Christian journalist captured when trying to film a documentary about the above.
She was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. What she did that is relevant to this week was inspired by the Jericho story. She was held captive for five months, and during that time she marched around her small space for seven hours each day, asking God for judgment on her captors and release for herself. And the walls came down — for she was released just before she had to begin her twelve year sentence.
Here is a two minute video from CNN of her returning home to her family. Both President Clinton and Al Gore went to North Korea on her and her fellow journalist’s behalf.
On Tuesday, read this article first:
On Thursday and Friday, I hope you’ll watch or listen to this excellent sermon on the judgments, which is particularly on the trumpet judgments. It is from Westside church in Vancouver.
- What stands out to you from all of the above and why?
- If you watched the video on the archeology of Jericho, what stood out?
Monday: Getting Ready
3. In PART 5 of Mystery Explained, read the introduction up to the headline: The First Four Trumpets.
A. How are the four sets of judgments like the four gospels?
B. Give one illustration from Campbell of a parallel between one of the plagues of Exodus and one of the judgments of Revelation.
C. What does Dr. Campbell believe the ultimate purpose of the judgments is?
D. What did the sound of the trumpet signify at Mount Sinai? At Jericho?
E. What is the overall significance of the trumpets?
F. How has suffering impacted you as a believer?
It is enlightening and sobering to me to realize that unbelievers, though they may claim to be believers, back away from God in times of suffering, and true believers persist, despite not knowing the reason for their suffering. Their mouths are stopped and they know God is wiser than they are.
G. Thoughts on the above?
Tuesday: First Three Trumpets
It is a mystery as to why God would harden hearts, but here is a one page article with an explanation. Read this:
5. What comments do you have on the above?
6. Somehow, in God’s mysterious ways, election and free will work together. I believe election is bigger than foreknowledge, but it is a mystery to me how this works. However, I do think it is wise when sharing Christ with another to consider tellng them that there is danger in postponing surrender. See Isaiah 55:6. How might you explain this to someone you love?
7. Compare the plague in Exodus 9:22-25 to the Judgment in Revelation 8:6-7
8. What does Dr. Campbell write about this first trumpet in the opening paragraph under “The Four Trumpets.”
9. Compare the plague in Exodus 7:20 -25 with the second and third trumpet judgments in Revelation 8:8-11.
10. What does Dr. Campbell write about the second and third trumpets?
Wednesday: The Fourth Trumpet
11. Compare the plague in Exodus 10:21-23 with the Judgment in Revelation 8:12.
12. What does Dr. Campbell write about the fourth judgment. What does darkness signify?
13. How have you felt the darkness to be increasing in our world — or do you think it is as it has always been?
14. Read Revelation 8:13. What does the eagle cry out? How is this the opposite of holy, holy, holy? Significance?
15. Read the last paragraph in Mystery Explained in this section which begins “That the events described…
A. What common theme do you find in the prophesies of Moses and Amos?
B. What does Micah 7:9 say?
C. What does Dr. Campbell say we should learn from this?
16. Optional: Read Joshua 5:13 to 6:5. What parallels do you see with Revelation?
17. What is your take-a-way and why?