Even staples will suddenly become luxuries that must be carefully protected. Breaking the fourth seal unleashes a fourth horse in —8. Just as famine naturally follows war, death naturally follows famine. And where the other riders carried an object with them, the fourth rider is followed by Hades, the temporary location of the unrighteous dead prior to their final judgment. When Christ breaks the fifth seal , it signals not further destruction on the earth, but a plea from the souls of all the believers whom Antichrist has put to death up to that point in the tribulation John says they cry out to God for His judgment and vengeance on their oppressors.
Instead of answering their request immediately, the Lord clothes them in His holiness and righteousness, fitting them for His kingdom, and encourages them to wait on His perfect timing John immediately shifts attention back to the calamity on earth with the breaking of the sixth seal It unleashes a massive earthquake that shifts the geography of the world. It darkens the sun, turns the moon blood red likely a result of all the ash and dust generated by the earthquake , and sends all kinds of celestial bodies crashing to the earth — John also indicates that the sky as we know it will disappear Chapter 7 is one of those gracious breaks.
Along with John, we temporarily pull away from the destruction of the earth to see how the Lord provides for and protects His people in the midst of suffering. Not all believers will be put to death during the tribulation—the Lord has other purposes for some of them.
Specifically, verse 4 indicates that thousand from the twelve tribes of Israel are saved and mobilized as evangelists during the tribulation. Only God knows which tribe a Jewish person is from. God already has these men and women marked out for salvation, sovereignly set aside for His eternal purposes. Sealed under the protection of the Lord, these redeemed Jews lead an innumerable number of people to repentance and faith in the Lord , 13— Of course, this marvelous redemptive work in and through the thousand is cause for another outburst of worship in the throne room of heaven.
Chapter 8 moves back to Christ and the scroll in time for the breaking of the seventh and final seal. And when the seventh seal is broken, everything in heaven stops. Why did heaven go silent? During the silence, John sees seven angels standing before the Lord, each of them with a trumpet The first trumpet sounds in and with it comes hail and fire across the earth, burning up one-third of it and the trees, as well as all the grass.
The fallout from that destruction would be immense—not only do people and animals need vegetation for food, they need the oxygen it provides to maintain breathable air. Verse 8 records the second angel sounding his trumpet, and a flaming mountain is thrown into the sea. Likely a meteor or an asteroid, this object destroys one-third of the ships and kills one-third of the creatures in the sea , turning a third of the sea to blood John says that many die from drinking the bitter, poisonous water. When the fourth trumpet blows , a third of the sun, moon, and stars are destroyed.
Chapter 9 describes the horror unleashed by the fifth trumpet. John says a star falls from heaven The demons take on physical forms similar to locusts and swarm over the face of the earth While these demons are set free to terrorize the world, they are limited in what they can do. But the demons are permitted, for five months, to torment—but not kill—anyone without the seal Unlike normal locusts, these demons have a king.
John gives us his name in Hebrew Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon Both mean the same thing: destroyer. The sixth trumpet signals the release of four more angels who had been bound at the river Euphrates — We can assume these are fallen angels since Scripture never refers to holy angels as bound. Unlike the demons released under the fifth trumpet, these demons are able to kill. In the final verses of chapter 9, John writes that in spite of all the judgment the Lord has poured out on the world, the remaining people do not repent of their sins.
- Fifty Degrees Hotter In No Time.
- David Guzik :: Study Guide for Revelation 21.
Instead, they curse God, harden their hearts, and continue to pursue their sinful desires. Prior to the sounding of the final trumpet, in chapter 10 the Lord gives John another respite from the destruction. In verse 1, John sees a mighty angel descend to the earth. The angel stands with one foot on the earth and one on the sea —graphically demonstrating that while Satan has temporary reign over the earth, ultimate authority and dominion still belong to the Lord.
The angel carries the scroll that Christ opened , and John hears the angel roar like a lion, followed by seven peals of thunder As John prepares to write down what he heard in the thunder, he is warned by a voice from heaven to keep those things secret That same voice from heaven then orders John to take the scroll and eat it —9. John does, and says the taste is sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach We do know that the world hates them.
Study Guide for Revelation 21 by David Guzik
We also know that God protects them, for a time, from the hostility of the world. The Lord unleashes these two witnesses to preach the gospel to a hostile world for forty-two months , and He guarantees their safety throughout that time. In addition, they are granted power to control the weather, to turn water to blood, and to strike the earth with any plague they see fit No wonder the unrepentant world hates them.
All this will take place in Jerusalem The eyes of the world are on these two dead bodies, celebrating their demise The worldwide visibility of these two witnesses seems to call for modern communications technology.
The two witnesses lie dead in the street while the unbelieving world celebrates—even to the point where people exchange gifts to commemorate the deaths of these two prophets But after three and a half days, the two witnesses rise from the dead, causing understandable panic for everyone watching And in the same hour, there is a massive earthquake that kills seven thousand people and destroys portions of Jerusalem The point of this short interlude before the seventh trumpet is clear: God will never be without a witness.
Even as His righteous wrath rains down on the earth, He is still graciously calling sinners to repent and believe. John closes chapter 11 with a final, victorious statement. While the Lord has officially reclaimed the world, there is still plenty of destruction and wrath ahead. The dragon John describes is Satan, who always tries to destroy Christ. Verse 7 describes war taking place in heaven. While Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven after their first rebellion, they still have access to it Job ; Once those demons join the ones who had previously been released from the pit and from the Euphrates, the earth will be overrun with demonic forces.
In chapter 13, John introduces us to another key figure in the events of the end times: the Antichrist. The Beast wages aggressive war against the people of God on earth and blasphemes the Lord and His heaven —7. John says the Antichrist is supported by an evil companion—the False Prophet, who performs demonically powered signs and wonders to lend credibility to the Antichrist. As already noted, at this point of the tribulation the world is overrun with demons and demonic influence. Demonic power infests every area of life—demons control virtually everything.
How It All Goes Down
People often ask about the significance of the number Its significance is that it represents man. It starts with the celebration of the thousand witnesses as they sing a new song to the Lord That army of witnesses has much to praise God for. In —4, God seals and protects them from harm; they make it through the fiercest persecution in history, unscathed. They minister and thrive under the least-hospitable conditions imaginable. From there, John quickly shifts his attention to the proclamations of three angels, each one warning about siding with Antichrist against God — John says Christ will return in glory , and that the justice He metes out against His foes will be swift and terrible.
John graphically describes the severity of the battle, which, although it will take place outside of Jerusalem, will result in enough spilled blood to cover the entire nation five feet deep John returns to the scene in heaven in chapter 15, as the men and women who have faithfully persevered against the Antichrist sing songs celebrating the redemptive work of the Lord on behalf of His people. One is the song of Moses ; cf.click here
The Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Exodus — They also sing the song of the Lamb, previously sung in chapter 5, verses 8—14 —4. The jubilant celebration is a strong contrast to the terrifying destruction the Lord has in store in chapter Starting in verse 2 and coming in rapid-fire succession, the seven bowls of judgment are poured out on the earth, punishing those who have taken the mark of the Beast. The first bowl results in painful, possibly cancerous sores The second bowl turns the ocean to blood, killing every living thing in the sea; the third —7 has a similar effect on the rest of the waters.
God is no longer destroying by thirds; John is now seeing and describing total destruction. The fourth bowl —9 is poured out onto the sun, making it so hot that it burns men on earth, scorching them to death. And instead of repenting, John says they harden their hearts and blaspheme God. And because there was no light, people were much more susceptible to injury. John says that the pain they incur in the darkness is so intense it causes them to gnaw their tongues in agony.
The sixth bowl of judgment —16 is poured into the Euphrates, drying up the river and preparing the way for the kings of the east. Napoleon himself called it the greatest battlefield he had ever seen. But, as John made clear earlier —20 , the effects of the war will stretch far beyond the geographical limits of this battlefield.
The great city, Jerusalem, will be split into thirds, preparing it for its central place in the millennial kingdom As the earth convulses, John says every island disappears, the mountains are not found, and giant hailstones cause unimaginable death and destruction — Ephesians ; Revelation ; By contrast, John refers to the false religion of the Antichrist as the Harlot For a long time, the Beast and the Harlot will work in concert promoting political and religious deceptions. But in the end, the Beast will consume her , setting himself up as the unquestioned leader of both systems.
All false religions are united in following and worshipping him. Like everything else on earth, it is overrun by demonic forces, and that demonic influence brings it to ruin. In contrast to that calamity, John maintains a heavenly perspective. John reminds us to rejoice in the Lord accomplishing His will, even amid the ruins Chapter 19 records that celebration, as heaven prepares for the establishment of the kingdom on earth—the second coming of Christ.
Starting in verse 11, John comes face to face again with the full glory of the risen Christ. He writes:. And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. After the thousand years is over, Satan is briefly let loose After that, John witnesses the Great White Throne Judgment, watching as death and Hades themselves are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone forever — John bids men and women to come and partake of the salvation only available through the glorious, risen Christ, because one day it will no longer be available.
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