From Worship to Silence to Trumpets Sounded: And the Judgment Continues

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in the eighth and ninth chapters of this New Testament book. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” (Revelation 8:1).

 

            “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there was voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound” (Revelation 8:2-6).

 

            “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up” (Revelation 8:7).

 

            “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea. Became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of ships were destroyed” (Revelation 8:8-9).

 

            “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of thew waters, because they were made bitter” (Revelation 8:10-11).

 

            “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound” (Revelation 8:12-13).

 

            “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace: and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have. Not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was at the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were strings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two more woes hereafter” (Revelation 9:1-12).

 

            “And 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 which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone, which  issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails; for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:13-21).

 

            When you come to the eighth and ninth chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find the completion of the breaking of the seals which were upon the scroll. In the fifth chapter of this prophetic book we learn that there was a scroll in the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne. The apostle John saw this scroll in the right hand of the Father who sat upon the throne in heaven and saw that there was none in heaven nor on the earth nor even under the earth who was worthy to take the scroll from the hand of the One who sat upon the throne and look therein. Upon seeing there was none who were worthy to take the scroll from the hand of the One who sat upon the throne which was set in heaven the apostle John wept bitterly. It would be when seeing and witnessing his weeping that one of the elders would come unto him and instruct him not to weep for there was one who was worthy to take the scroll from the hand of the Father and to examine the contents therein. Immediately thereafter the apostle John would witness and behold a Lamb as it had been slain in the midst of the throne and in the midst of the elders. This Lamb would be the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of Jesse which the elder had spoken to him about who would now take center stage in the midst of the court of heaven.

 

            As you read the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the apostle John looking and beholding a Lamb as it were which had been slain and had seven horns upon His head. It would be this Lamb who would take the scroll from the hand of the One who sat upon the throne thus igniting a chorus and symphony of worship in the midst of heaven. FROM WEEPING TO WORSHIP! In all reality it is quite remarkable and astounding to read the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ for there would be a powerful shift and transition that would take place—namely the transition from the weeping of the apostle John in the midst of heaven to the worship of the four and twenty elders, and the worship of the four living creatures as well as the worship of the great multitude of angels innumerable round about and before the throne. When the Lamb who was slain and had conquered and was found worthy took of the scroll which was in the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne it ignited a great and mighty scene of worship in the midst of the throne and court of heaven. What’s more is that when you read the words which are found in the fifth chapter you will notice the weeping of the apostle John, the worthiness of the Lamb and the worship of heaven. THE WEEPING OF THE APOSTLE, THE WORTHINESS OF THE LAMB, THE WORSHIP OF HEAVEN! This is something which is truly captivating when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the mighty and awesome truth surrounding the scroll which was found in heaven and the great chorus and symphony of worship which would break out in the midst of it when the Lamb took the scroll which was in the hand of the One who sat upon the throne.

 

            In order to truly understand the words and language which are found in the eighth and ninth chapters of this prophetic book I am absolutely convinced we must needs turn and direct our attention to the words which were found in the fifth chapter—and not only that which was found in the fifth chapter but also the words which are found in the sixth and seventh chapters as well. Consider if you will—first and foremost—the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book beginning with the first verse:

 

            “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:1-5).

 

            In the first five verses of this particular passage of Scripture we are indeed brought face to face with the incredible scene in heaven which centered upon a scroll and/or book that was in the right hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. This scroll had writing within and writing on the backside and was sealed with seven seals. The apostle John saw a mighty and strong angel in heaven proclaiming with a loud voice, saying, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” The apostle John would continue observing this powerful scene in heaven and would behold how there was none in heaven, nor any in the earth, neither anyone under the earth who was found worthy to take the scroll from the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne or to look at the contents therein. We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for almost from the beginning of this passage of Scripture we notice the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding the worthiness of the Son who was indeed the Lamb of God which had taken away the sin of the world. If you want to truly understand the words found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book you must needs recognize that not only does it center around the scroll which was in the right hand of the Father but it also centers around the One who was found worthy to take of the scroll, to break the seals thereon and to read the contents therein.

 

            The more you read the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book the more you will find the apostle John weeping when he observed there was none in heaven, nor in the earth, neither under the earth who was found worthy to take the scroll from the hand of the One who sat upon the throne and to look at the contents therein. One of the elders which worshipped before and round about the throne, however, would come unto the apostle John and instruct him to weep not for there was indeed One in heaven who was found worthy to take the scroll and to look at the contents therein. That one who was worthy was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Root of Jesse who had prevailed and was qualified to open the book and loose the seven seals which were present thereon. At this the apostle John would continue looking and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders there would stand a Lamb as it had been slain which had seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. It would be this Lamb which would take the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. The Lamb taking the scroll from the right hand of the Father which sat upon the throne in heaven is perhaps one of—if not the greatest truths that is found within this chapter for it demonstrated and proved that He had not only conquered and overcome but also was found worthy to take the scroll from the hand of the One who sat upon the throne. Oh with this in mind consider now the next part of the scene which unfolded in heaven beginning with the sixth verse:

 

            “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:6-10).

 

            The words which we find in this passage of Scripture present us with another vision and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ—this time, however, we see the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb which was as it were had been slain having seven horns and seven eyes which were the seven Spirits of God which went out into all the earth. The revelation which we see concerning the Lord Jesus Christ in this passage of Scripture would not only by in His being the Lamb of God which was slain before the foundation of the world. What’s more is that this revelation would further continue to describe how this Lamb was the only One found worthy in heaven, in the earth and under the earth to take the scroll which was in the hand of the Father which sat upon the throne. We must needs pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they bring us face to face with another revelation and vision of the Lord Jesus Christ—one that brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding His being worthy to take of the scroll and to loose the seven seals which were present upon it. The apostle John would not only be told of the Lion of the tribe of Judah who was the Root of Jesse being worthy to take the scroll and to loose the seven seals thereon but he would also witness and behold the Lamb taking the scroll out of the hand of the One who sat upon the throne which was in heaven. This removal of the scroll from the hand of the One who sat upon the throne in heaven would ignite a mighty chorus among the four and twenty elders and four living creatures as they would indeed sing of the worth of the Lamb which had not only been slain but also which had conquered and overcome.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book you will find that this scene which would take place in the midst of heaven would not end with the worship of the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures but would continue to including the voices of many angels too great in number to count by the apostle John. The apostle John would continue to write in this passage of Scripture how he heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders whose number was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands. These angels would join in the chorus and symphony of worship which was found in the midst of the court of heaven when the Lamb took the scroll which was in the hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for while the scroll with seven seals which was found in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne appears to be the central object in the fifth chapter the Lamb which had been slain appears to be the central figure. In fact in the final verses of this particular chapter you will find the apostle John going on to describe further worship which would take place in the midst of heaven as many angels would break forth and join in the chorus of worship before and round about the throne which was present in the midst of heaven. Having said this I now invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the final verses of the fifth chapter beginning with the eleventh verse:

 

            “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that are sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-14).

 

            In the first ten verses of the fifth chapter we find the apostle John observing the worship of the four and twenty elders and of the four living creatures when the Lamb had taken of the scroll which was in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne. The apostle John would witness and observe as when the Lamb took the scroll which was found in the right hand of the Father which was in heaven the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb having every one of them a harp and golden vials full of odors which were the prayers of the saints. These four and twenty elders and the four living creatures sang a new song which proclaimed of the Lamb that he was worthy to takek the book, and to open the seals thereon for he was slain, and had redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Not only this but the Lamb had also made us unto our God kings and priests which shall reign upon the earth. What’s important to note is that this wasn’t the only scene which would unfold in the fifth chapter for immediately after the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures would sing their new song of worship unto and before the Lamb which had been slain and by His blood redeemed us from every nation, kindred and tongue you will find the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders—too many to count—singing with a loud voice. These angels would proclaim before and unto the Lamb which was slain, saying, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not only understand the worthiness of the Lamb which had been slain from before the foundation of the world but also the worship which would take place round about and before the throne concerning the Lamb which had not only been slain from before the foundation of the world but also which was worthy to take of the scroll which was in the hand of the one seated upon the throne.

 

            If you continue reading in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find that it wasn’t enough for the Lamb to take the scroll which was present in the right hand of the Father in heaven for there would need to be the process of breaking the seals which were present upon the seal itself. When you come to the sixth and seventh chapters you will find the beginning of the breaking of the seven seals which were upon the scroll—and not only the breaking of the seven seals which were upon the scroll but the corresponding action that would take place in the midst of the earth as a direct result. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for in order to understand the words and language found in the eighth and ninth chapters of this prophetic book you must first understand the words which are found in the sixth and seventh chapters. It is in the sixth and seventh chapters we find and discover the beginning of the breaking of the seven seals which were upon the scroll which had been in the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne. The breaking of these seven seals would not only demonstrate the worthiness of the Lamb which was slain before the foundation of the world but also the beginning of the judgments which would take place upon the face of the earth. Beginning with the first verse of the sixth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the Lamb beginning to break the seals one by one and how the breaking of each seal would signify and signal events which would take place and unfold upon the earth. This is something which must needs be understand when reading the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ for one of the main themes found in this prophetic book is that which takes place in heaven directly impacting and affecting the inhabitants of the earth and the earth itself.

 

            With this in mind I invite you to consider the words which are found in the first eight verses of this prophetic book as the words contained therein present us with the breaking of the first four seals and how their being broken by the Lamb would signal four distinct riders upon four different colored horses which would ride out upon the face of the earth. The breaking of these first four seals would indeed signal what have commonly been referred to as “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.” The words which we find in this passage of Scripture are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to truly consider them for each of these riders upon their own colored horse would bring about something entirely different within and upon the earth. Each horse together with its rider would have a different and unique impact and effect upon the earth—beginning with the rider which was present upon the white horse. Beginning with the first seal which was present upon the scroll there would be the beginning of events which would start to unfold within and upon the earth as the judgments of the living God would start to be manifested among and upon the inhabitants of the earth and upon the earth itself. What’s more is that as you read the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will essentially find the beginning of the end of the original creation which the living God had done in the opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. That which we find and read in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis describes the creation of the heavens and the earth and all that was contained therein and here in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the beginning of the undoing of all the living God had created in the beginning.

 

            I am absolutely convinced that before we can truly delve into the words which are found in this prophetic book beginning with the sixth chapter we must needs consider the words presented unto us in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. It is what we find in the Old Testament book of Genesis we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything which existed therein. Having said this I now invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in this Old Testament book beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day, and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:1-25).

 

            That which we find in the first twenty-five verses of the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis clearly paint the powerful picture of the creation of the heaven and the earth and everything which therein was created. In these verses you will find the creation of the Day and the Night, the creation of light and the lights which were in heaven, you will find the creation of the seas and the land and so much more. I firmly believe that in order to understand the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we must needs turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis for within it is a powerful picture of how everything originally began when it was created by the living God. It’s important to note that what we find in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ was never the original intention or design of the One who was seated upon the throne. Please don’t miss that which is found in this passage of Scripture for what we find in it brings us face to face how it all began while beginning with the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the beginning of the end of that which was created at the beginning. What’s more is that when you read the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will not only find the beginning of the end of the creation of the living God but you will also find the preparation for the creation of something entirely brand new—something which the ancient Hebrew prophets spoke of and foretold. Important to note when reading the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ is that while we would indeed see the destruction of the original heavens and the earth we would witness and behold the creation of a new heave and a new earth—one that was entirely and altogether different from the original creation and one that had not been nor would be tainted and marred by sin, by curse and by death itself.

 

            The words which we find in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis are such that warrant strong and powerful consideration for they bring us face to face with the original creation of the heavens and the earth. It would be in the original design and creation of the living God where there was no sin, where there was no death, where there was no curse and where everything which the LORD God created and looked upon was good. Oh one of the greatest truths I can’t help but think about when reading the rest of the Scripture is whether or not there was a powerful transition which took place in the heavens and the earth. After the living and eternal God created the heavens and the earth and everything which therein was He looked upon it all and saw that it was good. What you find in the sixth and nineteenth chapters of this same Old Testament book of Genesis, however, are two powerful stories of judgment executed in the earth. In the sixth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find the judgment of the living God upon the earth and the inhabitants therein as he would cause a great flood to cover the face of the whole earth. All living creature which had the breath of life within it would be destroyed and consumed by the waters which covered the earth. So immense and incredible was this great flood that the waters thereof would cover the mountains which the LORD God Himself created. What’s more is that when you come to the nineteenth chapter of this same Old Testament book you will again find the LORD God executing judgment within and upon the earth as He would rain fire and brimstone upon the cities of the plain which would include the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Thus within the Old Testament book of Genesis we find an incredibly powerful picture of the judgment of the living God upon that which lived and moved upon the earth.

 

            When we come to the sixth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the living and eternal God beginning to execute His judgment and wrath against and upon the earth and everything that would move upon it. Beginning with the first verse of the sixth chapter we find the breaking of the seven seals which were upon the scroll that was in the right hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. It is with the breaking of these seals we find certain events being triggered in heaven which would be manifested within and upon the earth. With the breaking of the first four seals we find the riding and going forth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse within and upon the earth—each bringing with them a certain degree and measure of the judgment and wrath of the living God. Scripture does not reveal who these four horsemen are—only the color of the horse they rode upon and what they would ultimately unleash upon the face of the earth. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah:

 

            “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts, saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to k ill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:1-8).

 

            “And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; and in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord. And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and from through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country” (Zechariah 6:1-8).

 

            It’s actually quite interesting to think about and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the beginning of the judgments of the living God upon the earth would unfold with the breaking of the seals. The breaking of the seals would indeed signal the beginning of the end—the beginning of the judgments of the living God upon the earth and the inhabitants which were present upon it. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when you read the first eight verses of the sixth chapter you will find that with the breaking of each of the four seals upon the scroll there was a different colored horse each with a different rider upon them which would go forth into and upon the face of the earth with their own unique and individual purpose. The rider on the white horse would go forth to conquer and to conquer while the rider who rode upon the red horse was given power to take peace from the earth and that men should kill one another. It would be unto this rider on the white horse that was given a great sword to use within and upon the face of the earth. The rider on the black horse would be given power and authority over the commerce and merchandise of the earth and would undoubtedly directly impact the fruit of the earth. It would be in the sixth verse of this chapter we find it being spoken concerning the rider on the black horse, saying, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Oh that which we find and read here is the rider on the black horse being able to bring famine—perhaps even drought upon the face of the earth during those days in the beginning of the end. What’s more is that the rider on the pale horse was named Death and Hell followed with him. Furthermore power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

 

            That which we must needs recognize and understand concerning the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is the riders on the different colored horses who would ride forth upon the face of the earth—each being given a certain measure of authority upon the earth and the inhabitants which were present thereon. We must not miss and lose sight of this for as you continue reading in the sixth chapter you will find that when the fifth seal was broken it would have absolutely no impact upon the earth. In fact it would be with the breaking of the fifth seal we find an entirely different picture taking place as a direct result of these seals being broken. When the Lamb which had been slain broke the fifth seal we find the apostle John writing concerning what he saw under the altar—namely, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God for the testimony which they held. Those which the apostle John saw under the altar were those who were martyred and put to death for their faith, and for the word of God and for the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh we dare not and must not lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth concerning those who would be put to death for the sake of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth and would find a place of rest beneath the altar which was present in heaven. In verses ten and eleven of this chapter we find the apostle John beholding the fifth seal being broken and the powerful image of the souls which were under the altar—those who were put to death for the sake of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

            “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:10-11).

 

            The fifth seal would be directly linked to those who had been martyred and put to death for the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and whose souls were found beneath the altar which was present in heaven. These souls which had been slain for the testimony of the Lord Jesus would seek vengeance and justice against and upon them and upon their blood which was shed upon the earth. The souls which were present beneath the altar would cry out before the Lord asking Him how long it would be before he would judge and avenge their blood on them which dwelt upon the earth and it would be given unto them white robes as they were told they should rest a little season until their fellow servants also and their brethren which would be killed were as they are. It would be this scene in heaven that would set the scene for the breaking of the sixth seal and with the breaking of this seal we begin to truly see the judgment and the wrath of the living God beginning to be executed against and upon the earth. With the breaking of the sixth seal we are brought face to face with a powerful sense of judgment upon the earth—the beginning of judgment so severe that it would shake the most powerful rulers and leaders which were present upon the face of the earth. In verses ten through seventeen of the sixth chapter we encounter and come face to face with the breaking of the sixth seal as it would come closer and closer to each of the seven seals being broken. Consider the following words which were written by the apostle John concerning the breaking of the sixth seal:

 

            “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their place. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” (Revelation 6:1-17).

 

            I find it absolutely necessary to pause for a moment and take a step away from the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and turn and direct our attention to certain Old Testament passages of Scripture. These passages which are found in the Old Testament bring us face to face with a certain caliber and pedigree of people present within the earth who lived righteous and holy lives before the living God. In the Old Testament book of the Psalms David would ask some serious questions of and before the LORD—namely who would be able to ascend the holy mountain and hill of the Lord. It would be David who would also ask who would be able to ascend the hill of the LORD. What’s more is that these questions were undoubtedly rhetorical as David would go on to answer these questions himself within the remainder of the Psalms. What’s more is that this type of language is also found in the prophetic writings and must needs be understood when considering the words which were found in the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The final statement of the sixth chapter would be centered around the great day of the wrath of the Lamb coming upon the earth together with its inhabitants. This question would also then be followed by the question asking who would be able to stand in the midst of the great day of the wrath of the Lamb. It is this question which I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the Old Testament book of the Psalms as well as the Old Testament prophetic writings. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in each of the following passages of Scripture:

 

            “LORD, Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not, he that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved” (Psalm 15:1-5).

 

            “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? OR who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 24:1-6).

 

            “Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overturning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies” (Nahum 1:6-8).

 

            “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD and offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:1-3).

 

            Each of these passages must be carefully understood—particularly and especially when reading the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ—for these passages ask one very simple and yet incredibly profound question. The passages you just read ask the great and mighty question concerning who can ascend the hill of the LORD and who can stand in His presence. What’s more is these passages also present an entirely different question—one which many would rather not ask let alone make any attempt to answer. It is when you read the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic writings of Nahum and Malachi you find these Hebrew prophets asking the tremendous and incredible question concerning who it is which would be able to stand in the midst of the indignation and fierceness of the anger of the living God. Nahum asked the question concerning who would be able to stand before the indignation of the living God and who would be able to abide in the fierceness of his anger. The prophet Malachi asked the question regarding who would be able to abide the day of his coming and who would be able to stand when he appears. These questions strike at the very heart of that which we find in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous and incredible question of who it is who will be able to stand in the midst of the days of great judgment, wrath, indignation, fierceness and anger. This was the question which the kings of the earth, the rulers of the earth, the chief captains of the earth and the mighty men of the earth would indeed ask—a question which would be answered in the seventh chapter.

 

 

            As you continue reading in the seventh chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find the living God commanding the four angels which stood on the four corners of the earth which held the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. The apostle John saw another angel ascending from the east having the seal of the living God who cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea saying unto them that they ought not to hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees till they had sealed the servants of the living God in their foreheads. It is incredibly important we recognize and understand that which is found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here within it brings us face to face with the answer—at least in part—concerning who would be able to stand in the great day of the wrath which was to come. The kings of the earth, the rulers, the princes, the chief captains and the mighty men recognized and understood that the great day of the wrath of the Lamb was upon the earth and all that were in the earth and they would ask who it was who would be able to stand in the midst thereof. It would be in the seventh chapter of this prophetic book we find the number one-hundred and forty-four thousand being proclaimed as the number of those who would receive the seal of the living God in their foreheads—twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. If you want to understand this even more concerning those who would be able to stand in the midst of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of the living God you must needs also turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel:

 

            “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; and the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city” (Ezekiel 9:1-7).

 

            “And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah LORD God! Wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city is full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with. Linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me” (Ezekiel 9:8-11).

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to highlight and underscore the sealing of the one hundred and forty four thousand in the seventh chapter of this prophetic book as well as the sealing of all those who mourned and grieved over the abominations of the city during the days of Ezekiel. When you come to the eighth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the seventh seal being opened and broken from the scroll and there being silence in heaven for about the space of a half an hour. Scripture is not clear what the significance and importance of that silence was—particularly and especially after reading in the fourth and fifth chapters the worship which took place in the great court and halls of heaven. Pause for a moment and consider that which would silence heaven from worshipping before the throne of the living God and would silence the four and twenty elders, the four living creatures and multitude of angels who night and day sang worship and praise before and unto the living God. When the seventh seal was indeed broken there would be silence in heaven for about the space of a half an hour—a silence which would immediately be followed by a different sound. Up until this point we have read of one speaking whose voice was as it were the sound of a trumpet, however, when we come to the eighth and ninth chapters of this prophetic book we find seven angels each being given a golden trumpet which they would use to sound. Just as in the breaking of seals there would be events which would unfold upon the earth so also would the sounding of each trumpet bring about events which would take place in the midst of the earth.

 

            That which you find in the eighth and ninth chapters of this prophetic book describe in great deal the sounding of the first six trumpets and the corresponding events which would take place upon the face of the earth. After the seventh seal was opened and broken there would be seven trumpets which would begin to be sounded in heaven and unleash a sound that would bring upon the earth great judgments and the wrath of the living God. Immediately following silence would come a different sound in heaven—one that had not been heard or recorded up to this particular time. It is what we find and read in the eighth and ninth chapters that call and draw our attention to the absolutely incredible and wonderful truth surrounding the sounding of the first six trumpets and how the sounding of those trumpets would unleash a torrent of devastation, destruction and chaos upon the face of the earth. This is something we must needs recognize for when we read the words found in this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with the seals being broken and the corresponding judgments which were unleashed upon the earth and now the sounding of the seven trumpets and the judgments which would be executed upon the earth. There were indeed seven angels which were reserved in heaven for this very purpose—each which were given a trumpet which they were to sound. At the sounding of that trumpet something would be released in the heavens and upon the earth and both heaven and earth would be directly impacted and affected. If there is indeed one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage it’s the clarion call to repentance, the clarion call to holiness and the clarion call to righteousness. The apostle John wrote concerning the inhabitants of the earth how even though they experienced the judgment(s) of the living God upon the earth they did not repent of their evil deeds, their treacheries, their wickedness, their sin and their iniquity. It is with this in mind I leave you with the invitation which John the Baptist gave unto all those who came unto him to be baptized as well as the words which the apostle Peter spoke unto those who heard his words on the day of Pentecost:

 

            “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Luke 3:3-9).

 

            “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:10-14).

 

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:37-40).

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