This is Episode #361 and today we’ll read Revelation chapters 4-8 together. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”
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Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #361 and today we’ll read Revelation chapters 4-8 together. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I'm your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me - from the beginning - simply reading God's word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Revelation Chapter 4:
The Throne Room of Heaven
After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
Immediately I was in the Spirit, and there was a throne in heaven and someone was seated on it. The one seated there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald surrounded the throne.
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothes, with golden crowns on their heads.
Flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne.
Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were around the throne on each side. The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like an ox; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying,
Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God, the Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is to come.
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the one seated on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say,
Our Lord and God,
you are worthy to receive
glory and honor and power,
because you have created all things,
and by your will
they exist and were created.
Revelation Chapter 5:
The Lamb Takes the Scroll
Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He went and took the scroll out of the right hand of the one seated on the throne.
The Lamb Is Worthy
When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:
You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slaughtered,
and you purchased people
for God by your blood
from every tribe and language
and people and nation.
You made them a kingdom
and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the earth.
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands. They said with a loud voice,
Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing!
I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say,
Blessing and honor and glory and power
be to the one seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb, forever and ever!
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Revelation Chapter 6:
The First Seal on the Scroll
Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a conqueror in order to conquer.
The Second Seal
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse went out, a fiery red one, and its rider was allowed to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And a large sword was given to him.
The Third Seal
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a black horse. Its rider held a set of scales in his hand. Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, but do not harm the oil and the wine.”
The Fourth Seal
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following after him. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.
The Fifth Seal
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, the one who is holy and true, how long until you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” So they were each given a white robe, and they were told to rest a little while longer until the number would be completed of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters, who were going to be killed just as they had been.
The Sixth Seal
Then I saw him open the sixth seal. A violent earthquake occurred; the sun turned black like sackcloth made of hair; the entire moon became like blood; the stars of heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a high wind; the sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved from its place.
Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?”
Revelation Chapter 7:
The Sealed of Israel
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel rising up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were allowed to harm the earth and the sea, “Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed:
144,000 sealed from every tribe of the Israelites:
12,000 sealed from the tribe of Judah,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 sealed from the tribe of Benjamin.
A Multitude from the Great Tribulation
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!
All the angels stood around the throne, and along with the elders and the four living creatures they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying,
Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people in white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
Then he told me: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the throne of God,
and they serve him day and night in his temple.
The one seated on the throne will shelter them:
They will no longer hunger;
they will no longer thirst;
the sun will no longer strike them,
nor will any scorching heat.
For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne
will shepherd them;
he will guide them to springs of the waters of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Revelation Chapter 8:
The Seventh Seal
When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, with a golden incense burner, came and stood at the altar. He was given a large amount of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel’s hand. The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
The Seven Trumpets
And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
The First Trumpet
The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire, mixed with blood, were hurled to the earth. So a third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
The Second Trumpet
The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain ablaze with fire was hurled into the sea. So a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The Third Trumpet
The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from heaven. It fell on a third of the rivers and springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood. So, many of the people died from the waters, because they had been made bitter.
The Fourth Trumpet
The fourth angel blew his trumpet, 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 was without light and also a third of the night.
I looked and heard an eagle flying high overhead, crying out in a loud voice, “Woe! Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts that the three angels are about to sound!”
According to David Guzik’s excellent commentary on the book of Revelation, the scroll with the 7 seals is the history and destiny of mankind and creation, and only Jesus – the Lamb – had the right to loosen the seals on this scroll.
The opening of the 7 seals marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation on earth. The first 4 seals unleash the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first horseman, riding on a white horse, is the antichrist, the agent of Satan who takes control over the earth and sets himself up as God. The second horseman represents war; the third famine and the final one, death.
Are we nearing the time of the Great Tribulation today? Some people believe we are very close to the end and are preparing for it to come. Others counter by saying, the earth has always experienced war and famine and death, what makes today any different from yesterday and the day before?
I don’t know when the end times will come, but I can say that we are living in a time when things that have happened throughout history are intensifying in a noticeable way. Wars have always existed, but in the 20th century we managed to kill off over 100 million people.
When I was born, there were no cellphones or personal computers. The internet was unknown, the European Union did not exist and most of the nations of the earth were very autonomous.
But today, the world is interconnected in ways that are good and bad at the same time. The internet allows for incredible access to information, while at the same time allowing a few oligarchs to control the flow of information to the unwashed masses. International travel has allowed commerce and leisure travel to flourish and made the world a very small place. But it has also provided channels for the rapid world-wide spread of diseases like COVID-19.
I could go on and on, but my point is that the world has changed greatly since I was born, and the rate of change seems to be speeding up as time goes by. We now live in a time when the establishment of a world leader may not be imminent but is certainly possible. I say again, I do not know when the end times will come, but it is in our best interest to be prepared spiritually.
Let’s pray. Lord, your timing is not our timing. And we are so curious, we want to know what is going to happen and when. Help us to be patient, to know that all will happen in Your time. Help us to stay alert in these uncertain times. Thank You for Your mercy and grace, and for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to save us from the hopelessness that would cause some to wish the mountains to fall on them. Amen.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.