Revelation 8 and 9 by Pastor Don
Pastor Don has been systematically teaching through Revelation during Sunday School. Before he began our teaching he talked about the pastors in India that we support financially and with prayer. One, Pastor Paulas has 40 churches that he has started, and there are many miracles that come from these churches. Pastor Abraham is also doing well. What we do not always appreciate is how little finances they have to operate their churches, and yet God’s Word goes out powerfully. Recently there were 65 baptisms. That in itself is impressive, but consider this. In India, to be baptized the person has to pay to the government the equivalent of one month of salary – and their wages are not that huge to begin with. This impacts their family and their finances in a big way. Not only that, but once they make a public declaration of their faith, they are then subject to beatings, brutality, and often their families turn against them, so they lose their family. Often the pastors baptize the people at odd hours like 3 AM so the Hindus do not know who was baptized.
One of the pastors under Pastor Abraham and Pastor Paulas was holding a prayer meeting at a sister church, not evangelizing or trying to win converts, just praying with his members. The people were dragged out of the church by the Muslims and Hindus, and beaten. Logs were rolled all over them causing further pain and damage. They were then thrown in jail, for what? For holding a prayer service. Ultimately we were able to make their bail and get them out of jail, but their attackers were not punished.
We, in America, have it easy right now. We can worship when we want and where we want. But we are beginning to give up some of our rights, and at some point, we too could be at a point where preaching God’s Word from the pulpit will be outlawed.
Then Pastor Don went on to talk about Revelation 8 and 9, but he did it quickly, to catch us up with where the first service was in the book of Revelation.
He told us at the time Revelation 8 occurs, the rapture would have already happened. He had given us a packet of proof texts for the rapture.
Just like Jesus pointed out about the time of Noah, for us on earth everything will seem to be OK until the time of escape, things will go on seemingly as before. Yes there are persecutions, judgment, mega ministries, false teachings, and it will seem as if life goes on as usual. Many will not believe what has been predicted until AFTER it has been proven. Many ministers have betrayed us by teaching false doctrine, preaching to please their members instead of sharing hard Biblical truths with their members. Many churches are seeking to keep their churches and increase members at the expense of souls.
The telling question is, once the church is under attack, will the church still stand? What will I do, what will the church do when they are accused?
Judgment begins at the house of God. God is good, and He does good works.
Pastor Don told us the Bible tells us, do not murder. But if we find a child has been hurt we would want to attack the murderer, wanting to take a life for destroying the life of the child. When God does that, we make a judgment on God. God cannot let evil slide. Evil reigned 6,000 years on God’s planet. He tried to have people repent, He sent His son to die for our sins. He wants no one to go to hell. But some people are so evil that they do not want to spend eternity with God. They prefer evil to yielding their lives to God. God will give them the desires of their heart, even though it will sadden God that they choose an eternity without Him.
Pastor Don pointed out that God said, “Vengeance is mine.” We are not to return evil for evil, we are to turn what happened to us over to the Lord. God will take care of it. He knows far more than we do about the WHOLE situation, and will act with true justice.
Revelation Chapters 8 – 11 detail God’s taking vengeance. Many have confused God’s compassion with His acceptance of what we are doing. This is not so, there is a time when God will act decisively, and people will face repercussions for what they have done or failed to do. Some want to think that God will not punish everyone – some have even preached that Hitler will be forgiven or satan will be forgiven. This is a false teaching, and it deceives those who believe it. Those who know God know that He is true to His word, and is ultimately just.
As of Revelation 8, the Church has been raptured, but there will still be believers on earth called – saints. Their hearts were not prepared at the time of the rapture, and they did not say, “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” They did not believe that the rapture could occur. Yet God saved Noah, Lot, Moses out of their troubles – will He not save us? Elijah was taken off of the earth. If God tells us that this is what will happen, it will happen.
Revelation 8:1-3 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
They were praying for the situation on earth, freedom for their loved ones.
Revelation 8:4-7 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
This would cause world wide drought, for vegetation is required for the water cycle. We are already beginning to see drought increase in the World, and the fires destroying vegetation.
Revelation 8:8-9 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Imagine, tsunamis, pollution, coral reefs dying. There have been plagues of red algae destroying sea life even today. Imagine this on a greater scale than what we experience today.
Revelation 8:10-11 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
Pastor Don asked how many of us have bought and consumed bottled water. Most everyone in the congregation had done so. This is a good indication of what is happening to our planet, the water is being polluted, pesticides are going into the water system, and we are having to pay for what was freely given before. The situation will get far worse as time passes. In some countries you cannot drink even their bottled water, for it would affect our system.
Revelation 8:12-13 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
The angel will cry woe, woe, woe because the following judgments will be far worse than the previous.
Right now there is a cry about global warming, there will not be such a problem when the sun has been darkened. The sun is the heat source of our planet, and over the past 10 years the sun has been emitting irregular sunspots which affect the temperature on the earth. It is a prelude to stuff that is about to happen. We recently had a huge tsunami which knocked the earth’s axis off by 1/4 of a degree. That sets a wobble in the earth’s rotation. Think of a top that is slowing down and begins to get wobbly. This will affect the temperature of the earth and weather patterns.
Revelation 9:1-3 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
We can discern great catastrophes that occurred in the past, earthquakes and volcanoes. Vesuvius was such a huge volcano that eight feet of hot ash fell on people, and the people died, became mummified. The sun was blotted out for months. Mt. St. Helens dropped 3 feet of ash on people. There are hints that there is a major volcano in Yellowstone waiting to erupt. Our country could be plunged into darkness and those within 100’s of miles of Yellowstone could be instantly killed. Again, imagine this on an even greater scale.
We can see that from the pit there will be locusts that have the power of scorpions, the poison of scorpions, and they will affect the earth.
Revelation 9:4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
These locust/scorpions have a spiritual component, for they will not be able to touch those who have the seal of God on their foreheads. Who has a seal? Believers that are on the earth when these creatures emerge, those who got saved after the rapture, and then there are the 144,000 who are sealed by God. Those with the seal of God will have the mind of Christ. Before they may have thought, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” When they saw what happened they then realized that God had kept His promise, and they became believers. They will not be harmed by these creatures.
Revelation 9:5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
The creatures were not permitted to kill, just torment for five months – 5 x 30=150 days.
Revelation 9:6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
Notice that people have lost the control of death, they will try to die to escape the torment, but will be unable to conquer death.
Revelation 9:7-10 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.
Their appearance is terrifying, and Pastor Don mentioned if you find a book that shows creatures like dust mites and other microscopic creatures magnified, they too have ferocious shapes. We don’t know the size of these creatures, but they will inflict torment.
Revelation 9:11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Pastor Don made a joke, he said he was a good Don, but this being was a bad don. The name Apollyon means destroyer. And he is definitely led by the devil who wants to kill, steal and destroy.
Revelation 9:12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
Each woe gets progressively worse.
Revelation 9:13-15 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
One third of mankind!!!! Notice that these angels were prepared for a specific time, for the hour and day and month and year.
Revelation 9:16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
At one point, the idea of an army of 200 million would have seemed impossible, but today we know that China would be capable of raising such a huge army. The European Union could also raise such an army. The Chinese, because of their laws, have a population that is mostly male, and many men in China have to go to the black market to gain a wife. With such an increase in population food shortages would occur. Israel is known is the breadbasket. Since the Israelites have returned to their country, the land has become fertile and produces many crops that supply Europe and other countries with food.
Revelation 9:17-19 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.
We won’t know about these unless we see them, and John was trying to describe what he had no words to describe. But the poison that comes out of the horses, the fire, smoke, and brimstone, plagues, will be awful. Another third of mankind remaining on earth was killed. We are talking major death and destruction here.
Revelation 9:20-21 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
What is the saddest aspect of this is the people on earth who saw these things happen, who knew they were predicted, still DID NOT REPENT! Their hearts were so hardened they still chose their idols over the truth.
God was not asking them to fix things, He was asking them to repent. They were looking for God in all the wrong places. When they figured out that God was in it, the sane thing to do would have been to repent. Repentance is the way of truth. Yet the people loved their sin so much that they would never confess the truth. They hate God, they hate the Children of God, and everything that has to do with God.
Pastor Don, continued to quickly go through chapter 10 and 11, which I will share with you tomorrow.
Have a blessed night!
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