Silence In Heaven & Two Witnesses On the Earth

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as it was given unto the apostle John on the isle of Patmos. More specifically today’s passage is found in the tenth and eleventh chapters of this New Testament book. “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thundered uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them” (Revelation 10:1-4).

 

            “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:5-7).

 

            “Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth. So I went to the angel and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth. Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings” (Revelation 10:8-11).

 

            “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth” (Revelation 11:1-3).

 

            “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Revelation 11:4-6).

 

            “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritual is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 11:7-10).

            “Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. IN the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:11-13).

 

            “The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly” (Revelation 11:14).

 

            When you come to the tenth and eleventh chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find a shift from the trumpets which were beginning to be sounded in the midst of the heavens. In order to truly understand the words which are found in these two chapters I am convinced that we must needs begin with the eighth and ninth chapters of this New Testament book. Moreover in order to truly understand that which is taking place in heaven and on the earth it is necessary to journey back to the fourth and fifth chapters of this prophetic book. Within these two chapters we find the apostle John beholding a door standing open in heaven and the same voice which he had heard in the beginning like the sound of a trumpet would call unto to him to come up that he might see and behold those things which were to take place. Immediately the apostle John was in the Spirit and he would see and behold a throne room in the midst of the heavens. This is something we dare not miss nor lose sight of for what we begin reading within the fourth and fifth chapter would be a powerful vision and revelation of the scenes which would take place in heaven. It would be in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book where you will find the apostle John see a door opened in the heavens and being in the Spirit as he would behold a throne standing in heaven. Not only this but the apostle John would see One seated upon the throne and beings which were before and round about the throne. While in the Spirit the apostle John would see the throne standing in heaven with One being seated upon the throne as well as four living creatures round about the throne and twenty-four elders before the throne. The apostle John would then hear the glorious and wonderful and beautiful sounds of some of the worship which takes place in the midst of heaven. Consider the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:1-11).

 

            What we find in the fourth chapter is the beginning of the vision which the apostle John would see and yet before he would see a vision and revelation of those things which must take place he would see a vision of the throne—and not just the throne but the worship which would take place before and round about the throne. It’s interesting to note that in the first and opening chapter of this prophetic book the apostle John would see a vision of the risen, ascended and exalted Jesus Christ in the glory and splendor He had with the Father from the beginning. At the beginning of this vision the apostle John would see a vision of the One whom He had personally walked with for three and a half years in a form and appearance such as He had never seen before. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder how similar or different the vision of the ascended and glorified Christ was to the vision which he had personally seen together with his brother James and Simon called Peter atop the mountain. The apostle John had indeed walked with and seen Jesus in the flesh and he had seen a vision of Jesus Christ in a measure of the glory He had with the Father from the beginning. The apostle John had also personally born witness to the resurrection of Jesus the Christ from the grave as well as personally witnessed His ascending unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. Now all these [earthly] years later the apostle John would once more see his Lord and the One whom he had walked with and followed for three and a half years, however, this time would be a vision of Jesus which he had never seen before. The appearance and likeness of Jesus was entirely and altogether different from anything he had seen before when he walked with Him in the flesh. The vision which the apostle John would see was one of the Lord Jesus in all His glory, in all His wonder, in all His splendor and in all His beauty.

 

            As you come to the fifth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the vision and revelation of the throne room of heaven continuing. IN the fourth chapter of this prophetic vision we find the apostle John beholding the throne room in heaven and the One who was seated upon the throne. Not only this but the apostle John would indeed see the One who was seated upon the throne and the worship which took place before and round about the throne. When, however, we come to the fifth chapter of this prophetic book we find a continued vision of the throne room which was in heaven and yet there would be a shift in this vision. In the fifth chapter of this prophetic book we find the apostle John beholding in the right hand of the One who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back sealed with seven seals. The apostle John would then see a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, saying, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals? And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.” Upon hearing these words the apostle John would weep much because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll or to look in it. One of the elders would behold the apostle John weeping and would speak unto him encouraging him not to weep for the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. This is something incredibly key for us to understand for it calls and draws our attention to just what the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It would be through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ He would obtain the keys to Death and Hades, however now we learn something entirely new about what His death accomplished—namely His prevailing to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of this book beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals? And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, 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 who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor 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, I heard saying: Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! Then the four living creatures said, Amen! And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshipped Him who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 5:1-14).

 

            The fifth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ describes a scene in heaven centered around the scroll which was in the right hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. What’s more is that not only does it center around the scroll which was in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne but it was also centered upon the words which were written within and on the back. The apostle John would see the scroll in the right hand of the One who sat upon the throne which had seven seals upon it and writing contained within and on the back of it. As the vision progressed a search would be made for one who was worthy to take the scroll from the right hand of the One seated upon the throne, to break the seals which were upon the scroll and to read the contents of the scroll itself. The vision goes on to reveal how there was no one found in heaven, or in the earth or under the earth who was found worthy to take the scroll from the right hand of the Father which was in heaven and to break the seals and see the contents therein and upon it. The apostle John would weep when he saw that there was none who was found worthy to take the scroll from the right hand of the One who was seated upon the throne and to break the seals which were upon it and read the contents which were written within and on the back of it. One of the elders would encourage the apostle John not to weep for there was One who was found worthy—the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David—who prevailed and triumphed to take the scroll, break the seals and see the contents which were found within and on the back of it. The Lamb would take the scroll from the One seated upon the throne and it would be this very scene that would cause the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders and myriads upon myriads of those round about and before the throne to break out in worship before the throne—worship of the Lamb and worship of the One who sat upon the throne. THE SCROLL, THE SEALS AND THE LAMB!

 

            When you come to the sixth chapter of this prophetic book you will find a wonderful and powerful transition from the worship which took place before and around the throne unto the Lamb and the One who was seated upon the throne. As you begin reading with and from the first and opening verse of the sixth chapter you will find the scroll which was in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne now being in the hands of the Lamb who was slain and who prevailed and triumphed over Death, over Hell and over the grave. Beginning with the first and opening verse of the sixth chapter you will find the breaking of the seven seals which were upon the scroll and how each corresponding breaking of the seal would result in specific events which would take place upon the earth. Perhaps one of the greatest things that is found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ from this point forward is that events which would take place in heaven would have a direct impact and effect upon the earth. That which took place in heaven—that which none of the inhabitants of the earth were even aware of—would directly impact the inhabitants of the earth. How absolutely intriguing and incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and to see how with the breaking of each seal events would unfold upon the earth beginning with the coming forth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The riding out of the four horsemen of the apocalypse would be the beginning of the judgment and wrath of the living God upon the face of the earth and against its inhabitants. Consider the following words which are found in the sixth chapter beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, Come and see. And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, Come and see. Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, Come and see. So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and to not harm the oil and the wine. When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, Come and see. So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beats of the earth. When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been 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, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, and great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves 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 who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6;1-17).

 

            Within the sixth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we encounter the beginning of the breaking and opening of the first six seals which were upon the scroll that was in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne. What’s so incredibly interesting about this is when you think about and consider how the sole purpose for the taking of the scroll out of the right hand of the One who was seated upon the throne was to break and open the seals which were upon the scroll that the contents therein and upon it would indeed be manifested and witnessed. With the breaking of each seal that was upon the scroll new and different events would take place within and upon the earth—beginning with the riding out and going forth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for within the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find a series of seven which were present. The first of this series of sevens within this prophetic book was the seven seals which were upon the scroll now in the hands of the Lamb who prevailed and who conquered death, hell and the grave. Once the seven seals were broken and the contents of the scroll would be made visible a second series of sevens would be manifested as seven angels would each be given a trumpet with which they would blow within the heavens. With the sounding of each trumpet events would take place upon the earth which would further demonstrate the judgment and the wrath of the Lamb. Not only this but after the seven trumpets were finished being sounded by the seven angels there would be seven bowls which would be poured out upon the earth with which the judgment and wrath of the living God would be finished and complete.

 

            As you prepare to come to the seventh chapter of this prophetic book you will find the breaking and opening of the sixth seal. It would be the breaking of the sixth seal that would begin tremendous judgment and wrath being poured out upon the heavens and upon the earth and the inhabitants therein. IF you begin reading with and from the twelfth verse of this chapter you will find that when the Lamb opened the sixth seal there would be a great earthquake that would strike the earth and the sun would become black as sackcloth of hair while the moon would become like blood. The stars of heaven would fall to the earth as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Not only this but the sky would recede like a scroll when it is rolled up and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. As a direct result of this the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, and every slave and every free man would hide themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. That which we find here in this particular passage of Scripture would be in direct fulfillment of the words which the ancient Hebrew prophets Isaiah and Hosea prophesied for both of these Hebrew prophets would see a vision of many upon the earth hiding themselves in the caves and mountains of the earth that they might be spared and saved from the wrath of the Lamb and of the One who is seated upon the throne. What’s more is that when the sixth seal was broken and the events would begin to take place upon the earth the inhabitants of the earth would begin to recognize that what was taking place upon the earth was indeed the manifestation of the face of the One who was seated upon the throne and the wrath of the Lamb. Moreover the inhabitants of the earth would recognize that the great day of the wrath of the Lamb had come and would ask themselves who—if anyone—could stand.

 

            Continuing to read in this prophetic book you will come to the seventh chapter which would begin with the sealing of those of the nation and people of Israel. The first eight verses of the seventh chapter would indeed describe the sealing of one-hundred and forty-four thousand from the tribe of Israel—those who were sealed by heaven itself and sealed before and in the sight of the living God. With this in mind it is important to recognize and understand that the vision in the seventh chapter would begin with the apostle John seeing four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. The apostle John would continue watching as another angel would ascend from the east having the seal of the living God. It would be this angel who would ascend from the east having the seal of the living God who would cry out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea and declare unto them that they should not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees until they had sealed the servants of their God on their foreheads. The apostle John would continue looking and would hear the number of those who were sealed and that number would be one-hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. There would be twelve thousand from the tribes of Israel which were as follows: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Simeon, Levi, Isaachar, Zebulon, Joseph and Benjamin. The vision within the seventh chapter would indeed continue with a multitude whom the apostle John would see which would come forth from the great tribulation having washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. These who would come forth from the great tribulation are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple with the One seated upon the throne dwelling among them. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the seventh chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

 

            “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed” (Revelation 7:1-8).

 

            “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from? And I said to him, Sir you know. So he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:9-17).

 

            The second half of the seventh chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ would describe a great multitude which came forth out of the great tribulation—those who made their garments white in the blood of the Lamb. These who came forth out of the great tribulation were undoubtedly those who endured unto the end and who were able to stand in the midst of all the events which took place upon the earth. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and wonder—something I have been leaning toward for quite some time now—is whether or not the saints will be delivered out of the earth BEFORE the great tribulation or AFTER the great tribulation. The apostle John would see a great multitude too great to count whom he would be asked if he knew who they were. It would be revealed unto the apostle John that these were those who came forth out of the great tribulation who had washed their garments white in the blood of the Lamb. The apostle John would see a great multitude who were found faithful unto the Lord—perhaps even in the midst of the great judgment and wrath of the Lamb which came upon the earth and now they are standing before the throne of God day and night. This is something which warrants strong consideration for the final image before we come to the breaking and opening of the seventh seal is a great multitude of those who came out of the great tribulation who not only endured but who washed their garments white in the blood of the Lamb. How absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it signifies and reveals how there would indeed be a multitude of faithful ones who would endure during and throughout the great tribulation and would ultimately stand before the throne of God which was in heaven. What a truly wonderful and powerful sight and thought it is to see a great multitude—innumerable in number—who came forth from the great tribulation and would stand before the throne of God night and day worshipping Him with Him among them them in their midst.

 

            With all of this in mind we know come to the eighth chapter of this prophetic book where we find the breaking and opening of the seventh and final seal upon the scroll and the preparation that would take place for the sounding of the seven trumpets. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the seventh seal it is that it is intrinsically linked and connected to the sounding of the seven trumpets. It would be the breaking and opening of the seventh seal that would prepare the way for the seven angels which would each be given a trumpet which they were to sound. It’s actually quite interesting that before the seven angels would sound their trumpets there would be silence in heaven for the space of about a half an hour. One of the questions I can’t help but wonder is what would cause all of heaven to be silenced—and not only silenced but silenced for a half an hour. What would cause worship before and round a bout the throne to cease and the voice in heaven to be silenced for the space of a half an hour when in the fourth and fifth chapters of this prophetic book we have seen wonderful visions of the worship which took place before and round about the throne? What was it about the breaking of the seventh seal that would cause silence to consume the whole of heaven for a half an hour? The apostle John describes how the seven angels who stand before God were given seven trumpets. He would also see another angel who had a golden censer and would come and stand at the altar. Unto this angel 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. The smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended before God from the angel’s and then he would take the censer, fill it with fire from the altar and threw it upon the earth. As a direct result of this there would be noises, thunderings, lightnings and an earthquake upon the earth as the seven trumpets prepared to sound them according to the word and command of the living God. Consider if you will that which is found in the eighth chapter of this prophetic book beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “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. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angels’ 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. 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. 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. 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!” (Revelation 8:1-13).

 

            When the first angel sounded the trumpet given unto them we find hail and fire mingled with blood being thrown to the earth and a third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass was burned up. After the first angel sounded the trumpet given unto them the second trumpet sounded the trumpet given unto them and something like a mountain burning with fire being thrown into the sea and a third of the sea became blood. In addition to this a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. After this the third angel sounded the trumpet given unto them and a great star would fall from heaven burning like a torch and it would fall upon a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of this star was Wormwood and a third of the waters would become wormwood and many men would die from the water because it was made bitter. The eighth chapter would conclude with the fourth trumpet being sounded by the fourth angel 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. The apostle John would see a third of the day not shining and the same would be for the night. As the apostle John continued looking he 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. When the final seal was broken there would be silence in heaven for the space of a half an hour as the seven angels which stood before God were given trumpets with which they were to sound. After the fourth trumpet was sounded the apostle John would hear an angel flying through t he midst of heaven pronouncing woe because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels which were about to sound. It is when you come to the ninth chapter of this prophetic book where you will find the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets by the angels to whom the trumpets were given. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the ninth chapter of this prophetic book and the events surrounding the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets:

 

            “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. 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. 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. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 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 the 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 strings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 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. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things” (Revelation 9:1-12).

 

            “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. Now the number of the arm of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 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. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by the 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” (Revelation 9:13-21).

 

            When you come to the tenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find a seeming break from the three woes which were directly connected to the sounding of the final three trumpets. SEVEN TRUMPETS AND THREE WOES! It would be in the ninth chapter we find the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets and the woes which would take place upon the earth as a direct result of the sounding of those trumpets. Great devastation, judgment, wrath and destruction would indeed take place upon the earth as a direct result of the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets and we begin to see the picture of the bottomless pit in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ. This is incredibly interesting for when it comes to the bottomless pit we not only see one who would emerge from the bottomless pit but also an army of those beings which were under and subject to this king. When the fifth and sixth trumpets were sounded there would be a great and wonderful sign which would take place as the bottomless pit—which was previously sealed—would indeed be opened. Great plagues would come upon the earth such as had not been seen in the earth in times past—not even during the days of Egypt when the LORD God would send ten plagues and judgments upon Pharaoh and the land of Egypt. What we find in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is a powerful picture of plagues and judgments of the living God which would come upon the whole earth and not merely upon a single nation, or land or people. This is something worth noting because it would be in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ we encounter the tremendous reality of the finality of the judgment and wrath of the living God—wrath which had been stored up until this very moment in human history. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of this prophetic book beginning with the first verse. It is here in this particular chapter we find a mighty angel coming down from heaven with a little book open in his hand—a little book which the apostle John would be instructed to eat:

 

            “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left food on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them. The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:1-7).

 

            “Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth. So I went to the angel and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth. Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and was sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:8-11).

           

            When you come to the eleventh chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the emergence of the two witnesses who would appear during the Last Days. IN the opening verse of the eleventh chapter we find the apostle John describing how he was given a reed like a measuring rod. The angel which gave him the reed instructed him to rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worshipped there. With this being said the apostle John was to leave out the court which was outside the temple and was not to measure it for it had been given to the Gentiles. These would tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. During this time period two witnesses would be given power that they would prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth. These two witnesses would be the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stood before the God of the earth. Concerning these two witnesses it is written that if anyone wishes to harm them fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone sought to harm them they must be killed in this manner. These witnesses of the living God have the power to shut heaven so that no rain falls in the days of their prophesy and have the power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues as often as they desire. This is quite an interesting description concerning these two witnesses for if you look at the Old Testament you will find that there was one prophet of the living God who prayed that it might not rain upon the land and it didn’t rain for three and a half years. There was another prophet who turned water into blood and who didn’t necessarily strike the land with plagues but would be the instrument of the living God to bring plagues upon the land. The prophet of the living God who prayed that it might not rain upon the earth was the prophet Elijah while the prophet who would turn the waters into blood and who would be involved with the plagues and judgments which were unleashed upon the land of Egypt was Moses.

 

            Scripture does not reveal who these two witnesses are and gives no detail concerning them other than the fact that they were the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stood before the God of the earth. It’s important to recognize and understand when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture that the ancient Hebrew prophet would see a vision which would include the two olive trees and lampstands which would stand before the living God night and day. It would be in the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah. It would being the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah we find and encounter the tremendous word which was given unto Zechariah which has been quoted by countless ministers, preachers, pastors, Christians and the like throughout the centuries and generations. Within this chapter we find the angel who spoke with Zerubbabel emphatically declaring unto him that it was not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD—language which was indeed similar to that which we find in the sixty-first chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah where it was written of the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord being upon the Messiah and Christ who was to come. This passage we know directly referred to Jesus of Nazareth who was anointed by the Father to do good works among men upon the earth. This is something we dare not and must not miss for within this same chapter we find two anointed ones who would be the divine witnesses of the living God being present upon the earth for three and a half years as they proclaimed the mighty and powerful testimony of the Lord among the inhabitants of the earth. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah beginning with the first and opening verse:

 

            “Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of sleep. And he said to me, What do you see? So I said, I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left. So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, Do you not know what these are? And I said, No, my lord. So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it! Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying: The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth. Then I answered and said to him, What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left? And I further answered and said to him, What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains? Then he answered me and aid, Do you not know what these are? And I said, No, my lord. So he said, These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:1-14).

 

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