This is Episode #362 and today we’ll read Revelation chapters 9-12 together. In those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.
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Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #362 and today we’ll read Revelation chapters 9-12 together. In those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.
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 9:
The Fifth Trumpet
The fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. The key for the shaft to the abyss was given to him. He opened the shaft to the abyss, and smoke came up out of the shaft like smoke from a great furnace so that the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the shaft. Then locusts came out of the smoke on to the earth, and power was given to them like the power that scorpions have on the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green plant, or any tree, but only those people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads. They were not permitted to kill them but were to torment them for five months; their torment is like the torment caused by a scorpion when it stings someone. In those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.
The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. Something like golden crowns was on their heads; their faces were like human faces; they had hair like women’s hair; their teeth were like lions’ teeth; they had chests like iron breastplates; the sound of their wings was like the sound of many chariots with horses rushing into battle; and they had tails with stingers like scorpions, so that with their tails they had the power to harm people for five months. They had as their king the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
The first woe has passed. There are still two more woes to come after this.
The Sixth Trumpet
The sixth angel blew his trumpet. From the four horns of the golden altar that is before God, I heard a voice say to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels who were prepared for the hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of the human race. The number of mounted troops was two hundred million; I heard their number. This is how I saw the horses and their riders in the vision: They had breastplates that were fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and from their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. A third of the human race was killed by these three plagues — by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came from their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, because their tails, which resemble snakes, have heads that inflict injury.
The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.
Revelation Chapter 10:
The Mighty Angel and the Small Scroll
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun, his legs were like pillars of fire, and he held a little scroll opened in his hand. He put his right foot on the sea, his left on the land, and he called out with a loud voice like a roaring lion. When he cried out, the seven thunders raised their voices. And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders said, and do not write it down!”
Then the angel that I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. He swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, “There will no longer be a delay, but in the days when the seventh angel will blow his trumpet, then the mystery of God will be completed, as he announced to his servants the prophets.”
Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take and eat it; it will be bitter in your stomach, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
Then I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I ate it, my stomach became bitter. And they said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”
Revelation Chapter 11:
The Two Witnesses
Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count those who worship there. But exclude the courtyard outside the temple. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. I will grant my two witnesses authority to prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies; if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. They have authority to close up the sky so that it does not rain during the days of their prophecy. They also have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want.
The Witnesses Martyred
When they finish their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war on them, conquer them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the great city, which figuratively is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And some of the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will view their bodies for three and a half days and not permit their bodies to be put into a tomb. Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.
The Witnesses Resurrected
But after three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. At that moment a violent earthquake took place, a tenth of the city fell, and seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
The second woe has passed. Take note: The third woe is coming soon!
The Seventh Trumpet
The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.
The twenty-four elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, saying,
We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty,
who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
The nations were angry,
but your wrath has come.
The time has come
for the dead to be judged
and to give the reward
to your servants the prophets,
to the saints, and to those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and the time has come to destroy
those who destroy the earth.
Then the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant appeared in his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.
Revelation Chapter 12:
The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven crowns. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth it might devour her child. She gave birth to a Son, a male who is going to rule all nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be nourished there for 1,260 days.
The Dragon Thrown Out of Heaven
Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out — the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say,
The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ
have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night,
has been thrown down.
They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
for they did not love their lives
to the point of death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them!
Woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has come down to you
with great fury,
because he knows his time is short.
The Woman Persecuted
When the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent’s presence to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, times, and half a time. From his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river flowing after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth helped the woman. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. So the dragon was furious with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring — those who keep the commands of God and hold firmly to the testimony about Jesus.
The Beast from the Sea
The dragon stood on the sand of the sea.
One thing is certain…the days of tribulation will be an awful time to be alive, full of terror and death and famine and hopelessness for those who turn their back on God. And yet they will.
At first, it seems odd than anyone would refuse the free gift of grace from Jesus Christ and turn to worthless idols for comfort and salvation. But a quick glance through the pages of the Bible reminds us that this is a common theme throughout history.
The Jews during the time of the exodus had the presence of God in their midst yet turned away from Him repeatedly. Remember the golden calf that Aaron created when Moses was long in coming down from Mt. Sinai? King Solomon was blessed by God but turned to other gods in his later years due to the influence of his 700 wives. Later on, Jeroboam doubled down on Aaron by making two golden calves, telling the people of Israel, …here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
I could go on and on, but you’ve now read the history for yourself and I’m sure you get the picture. There is nothing new under the sun, so we should not be surprised that people will turn away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ to pursue worthless things. Sad, but not surprised.
Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for caring enough about sinners like me to send Your Son Jesus Christ to die on that cross for our sins. Forgive us when we forget and wander off to pursue worthless things. Help us to keep our focus on you and eternity. Thank you for giving us hope, no matter what our circumstances. 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.