As the End of the World unfolds, JUST BEFORE unleashing His Wrath, God deploys 144,000 Evangelists to share the Gospel. God so loved the world that He sends His only Son We who belong to Christ have been left to go into all the world as ambassadors of Jesus God has always had His servants who were to tell the world about Him God Himself: Genesis 1-2 Adam, Eve & Enoch: Gen 3-5 Noah: Gen 6-10 Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob): Gen 11-50 The nation of Israel: Exodus 1-Acts 1 The Church: Acts 1-Revelation 5 144,000 Witnesses: Revelation 7-14 Two Witnesses: Revelation 11 Gospel Angel: Revelation 14-19 Millennial Temple: Revelation 20 God Himself: Revelation 21-22
Welcome to our study of maybe the most encouraging of all the chapters. Chapter 7 reveals to us the 144,000 evangelists. As you see on the slide in front of you, I call them: God the Saviors Special Forces. The Lord sends them into the tribulation right after the launch of His wrath and produces, what we’re going to see in a moment, is probably the greatest revival of all. So, Jesus our Savior is showing His love in Revelation chapter 7.
Look at Revelation 7 in your Bibles. It says this, “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.”
So, it’s a silent moment. It’s unlike, probably, any moment on Earth. There’s probably never been a time that the wind hasn’t been blowing. It’s part of the whole atmospheric circulation. Hydrological system.
“I saw another angel ascending…” verse two, “from the east, having the seal of the living God. And…” in verse 3, he says, “Do not harm the Earth, or the sea, or the trees…”
So, what we see is a pause of this wrath, until this event takes place. The unleashing of God’s wrath is to be accompanied by this, “until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Now skip down to verse 9. “And 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…”
John, who is witnessing this as we saw in the last class, in a progression, it’s a complete orderly view of Heaven; he stops because it’s the first time he saw this. He said, what’s going on? See how he says that in verse 13? “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…” And then listen to this, ” ‘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.’ ”
The greatest single gathering in of people to salvation, occurs during the tribulation because God is a Savior. God so loved the world that He sent His son, the Lord Jesus. God so loves the world that He is pouring His wrath out, that He sends these evangelists to share the gospel and to gather in more people to come to salvation than any other time.
Let’s bow for word of prayer.
Dear Father, I pray that this 7th chapter, that this gathering together we have in this class will be a stirring of our hearts. That every time there is anything going on that is frightening, that is fearful, that is disastrous for the Earth, your heart always beats for salvation. You’re not willing that any should perish. You, so loved, that you sent your son, and you want these, even in the darkest hour, who will call on the name of the Lord to be saved. Oh Lord, I pray stir our hearts as we study your word today. In Jesus name, Amen.
Revelation 7 shows our Savior’s love. As you see in the next slide, Revelation 7 is just part of God’s plan. God has always had evangelists.
In the Old Testament God himself walked around, looking for Adam and Eve communing with them. When they fell into sin, He came looking for them.
- Adam and Eve shared the gospel with their sons. That’s the whole offering of sacrifice.
- Enoch walked with God.
- Then God worked with Noah from Genesis 6 to 10.
- The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob declared the truth of God.
- Joseph, right into Pharaoh’s court.
- Then of course, the nation Israel became the pathway for people to come to know the true living God.
In the New Testament,
- The church from Acts 1 to Revelation 5.
- Then the 144,000 evangelists. There’s never a time that God hasn’t had an evangelist. Right now, we’re the evangelists. After we’re taken to Heaven in the rapture the 144,000, the special forces are the evangelists.
- Then come the two witnesses right here.
- Then the gospel angel.
- After that, we’re going to see in a little while, the millennial temple. That’s in chapter 20. In chapter 20, the Lord actually puts up, and it’s going to be exciting in a few days to cover this, He puts up what I call a global visitor center. Where people can hear the gospel, even during the millennium.
Let’s look at a panorama of what’s going on. The seven sealed scroll is what we’re seeing, unfolding, in chapter 6 and 7. Now, in that graphic, you see how chapter 6 ends and chapter 7 starts with this sealing of the 144,000. The 144,000 are literally Jews. We’re going to see that in a moment, it’s even listed what tribe they’re from, but the 144,000 are only part of what God’s been doing since Genesis. He’s always had someone declaring the way of salvation. That’s just amazing to think about it. It just outlines the whole scripture. God is always looking to share.
Look at the chart, there are the:
- Four horsemen. The white. The red. The black. The green.
- Then, the martyrs.
- Then the cosmic changes, that cosmic quake.
Then Revelation 7 says that, God stops this unfolding that we saw in chapter 6 until He can deploy His special forces. This is something that’s curious about Revelation. There are these chronological events, and then there are these parenthetical explanations going on.
So, chapter 6 is this cosmic, unfolding the seals. 7 is this parenthetical look at this entire period of chapters 8,9,10, and then all of a sudden, we have another one in 11. Actually it’s 11 and 12. So, chapter 7 looks at the whole period of this wrath and says these hundred 44,000 evangelists are working during this time of unprecedented death. Then, all of a sudden, the two witnesses. They concurrently start. Then, here’s where the antichrist is all the way through the second coming of Christ. These two witnesses are here. The 144,000 are here, actually until right here, in chapter 14.
So, the structure of Revelation, although it is a continuous flow, there are these little parenthetical explanations showing God’s evangelistic heart.
Again, the seven clear events of Revelation, we’re in number three there, the tribulation events in Heaven and on Earth. What I want to remind you is, what happens up here in chapter 4 is different than what happens here in chapter 19. This is the second coming of Christ. This is what we call the rapture of the church.
Now, in the next slide, let me remind you of the difference. We are right now in chapter 6, 7, and eight, that we’re specifically going to cover the events of 7 and 8. We’re between two different events in God’s plan. Chapter 4 is the rapture. That is the taking off of the Earth the church and deploying these 144,000 Jewish evangelists.
What is that about? The translation of believers taken to Heaven. Earth is not judged in chapter 4. This was told us by Christ and Paul to be imminent at any moment. We don’t know when it’s going to happen, this rapture. It was not in the Old Testament. That means there are no signs for it. It’s only involving believers. It comes before, look at this, God says the day of His wrath. In fact, both in Revelation 3 and in 1 Thessalonians 5 it says that we’re not appointed to wrath. God does not want us to have His wrath poured out upon us. I didn’t write much here, when we get back together in our next class, it is the most horrible point of the tribulation. When the pit is opened, and those horrific creatures come out. God says, I don’t want my saints to go through that. I don’t want them to go through this. I don’t want them to go through more wrath. I don’t want them to go through all of the hailstones that are in 16. So that’s the rapture.
What’s happening right here in chapter 19? There’s no transformation of people, a translation of them to Heaven. Rather, the saints are already in Heaven and they’re coming back to Earth. Remember, that’s what Jude saw when he’s quoting Enoch. He said the Lord at the second coming comes with myriads of His saints. They’re already with Him and they come down. Earth is judged. Remember, in the rapture Earth is not judged. There are signs that are definitely, look at this, we know exactly when the second coming is. The second coming is after chapter 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. It’s not till 19. That’s about the clearest knowing exactly how to map it, signpost you could have. That’s not true for the rapture, no signs. Second coming, many sites. The second coming is predicted in the Old Testament. It affects everyone on Earth, and it concludes the day of wrath.
Before the Lord pours out the wrath that starts here, multiplies here, and crescendos here, look what He does here and here. He has these special forces, that these evangelists are sent in. Here they are in the chart. Judah 12,000, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. Wait a minute. Where’s the tribe of Dan? By the way, where’s the tribe of Ephraim? Have you noticed that the 12 tribes are actually 14? There were 12 sons of Jacob, but two sons of Joseph. Manasseh and Ephraim become part of the 12 tribes. So, what we see is, they’re never quite listed the same way because always God has a purpose.
Now what happened with Ephraim? Ephraim was not faithful in day of battle. They turned back. The Lord says, I’m not going to allow you to be one of the 12 tribes that are represented in the 144,000.
Also, if you remember Dan, one of the sons of Jacob went into idolatry and abandoned the Lord. If you remember the last two chapters of Judges.
So, for that reason, Dan and Ephraim are not part of these that you see on the chart. The 144,000 come from basically 11 of the sons of Jacob and one son of Joseph, which makes the 12th.
What does the Lord do to them? Let’s look back at what it says in chapter 7. It says in verse 3, chapter 7, “Do not harm the Earth, the sea, or the trees.” Remember, those seals caused all of this irreversible climate change. All the burning and death and destruction before all that happens. “Until we have,” what does it say in verse 3? “Sealed the servants of our God…” where? “On their foreheads.”
Now wait a minute, wait a minute. You could already tell me this because I’ve said it so many times in this class. Everything in the book of Revelation is pointing to earlier revelation of God, something God has already said. When we talk about being sealed on the forehead, some of you might think of Revelation 13, the mark of the beast. In one sense, what God is doing with the 144,000 is showing that, just like Satan seals his with the mark of the beast, God seals His before with, look up here, the Holy Spirit who seals the saints of God. It’s the Holy Spirit that saves us by the washing of regeneration. It’s the Holy Spirit that seals us and secures us to eternity, until we get to Heaven. He is the one who, while we’re on Earth, sanctifies us. By the way, the Holy Spirit always does that.
What we see is in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 9:1-4, God is pointing out, with these 144,000 evangelists, that He has been marking those who love Him, way back since the Old Testament times. Let me share with you what I mean, look in your Bibles at Ezekiel 9.
Ezekiel says, “Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.’ And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle axe in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.”
What is going on? This is one of the more exciting, special forces things in the scriptures. What’s happening is, the Babylonians are coming down to take the city of Jerusalem and Ezekiel is allowed to see what God does, prior to the invasion and attack. This is what He does.
Verse 3, “Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And he called to the man clothed with linen, who had a writer’s inkhorn on his side;”
Verse 4 of chapter 9 of Ezekiel, “And the Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem,” and look at this, “put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” Whoa.
He said the people, that on the inside grieve and hate. They grieve over their own sinfulness and they hate sin. Abominations. What God says is bad, they agree with. They are grieved at the abominations of the false worship and everything going on as the Babylonians were coming in, God’s people were faithless, and the Jewish people were facing judgment. There were a group of people, that inside God could see their hearts and they named the name of the Lord. They departed from iniquity and God sealed them.
What happens to them? By the way, Ezekiel 9 tells us, as you see, these are the sealed of Israel. These are the ones that survive the Babylonian siege and get carried off to the land of Babylon. Which by the way, guess what they carried with them? That’s why we have this. Do you know why we have our Bibles? They carried off the scriptures with them as the Babylonians ravaged the city. Burned and destroyed everything they took with them. God allowed them, the ones who were sealed, the ones who we would say were saved, those who were God’s servants, they were preserved. God didn’t let them get killed. Whoa.
Did you know where right in the middle of a global pandemic? There are a lot of people that think that the only way to live is to wash your hands and wear a mask. It’s very important that you wash your hands and wear a mask, but do you know the real reason why you survive or don’t survive? COVID-19 depends on what God’s plans are for you. God seals and secures His servants until their work for Him is done. Wow. I think I wash my hands 50 times a day. We had to open a new bar of soap today, here at home, because we’re going through it so fast. We’re just washing our hands constantly. I do not think that I am surviving the current pandemic because I’m doing so well with my bleach wipes and soap and mask. I believe that I am not going to live one extra day or miss one day that the Lord has planned for me.
The 144,000 evangelists are invulnerable through the tribulation till God’s through with them. By the way, He finishes up with them right here. He launches them right here and for seven chapters, they go through literally, hell unleashed on Earth. We see them up in Heaven reporting back to Christ, why? Because the Holy Spirit sealed them, just like we see in the old Testament, secures them. They’re His invulnerable evangelists, just like the two witnesses are until God’s through with them and just like us, until God’s through with us. Do you realize that no one is going to end your life prematurely? Not even yourself. Do you understand that God has a plan, and He wants to sanctify us so that we fulfill it?
The Holy Spirit, it says in Revelation 7 the end of verse three, is signing His servants. He’s putting that Mark on their forehead.
The Holy Spirit sealing us reminds us of what Paul explained. Now, again, every part of Revelation goes back to some other portion of scripture. 2 Corinthians 1:22 tells us this, He “has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” The Holy Spirit seals us. That’s how we’re saved. Secures us.
Boy, that’s an interesting word. The word secure is a part of this, as it says at the very end of verse 22, “our hearts as a guarantee”. It’s actually the Greek word is arrabōn. Now, some of you were really perk up when you hear this, especially those of you that are in the Bible institutes. This word in Greek, in the English is called an engagement ring. That’s what an arrabōn was, an engagement ring or a down payment if you were buying something.
- So, if you were buying something, the money you put down to make sure you got it was the arrabōn.
- If you’re getting married, the engagement ring that you gave to the one you’re going to marry, to have a mark that you were coming back for them and that they were yours.
That’s what the Holy Spirit is to us at the instant of our salvation. He seals us. That means the devil cannot enter us, we are unable to be indwelt by demons. He gives us this down payment, which means He’s going to keep us to the end.
Let me ask you real quickly. If you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and secured by the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit wants you to fulfill God’s purpose (we’re all like, His special forces). What happens when sometimes we don’t want to do that?
Look at the next slide. Grieving the Holy Spirit. We touched on this a couple of days ago. Now I want to dive into it because the 7 chapter is tied to the Holy Spirit coming on these 144,000, sealing them, and securing them so that they could do, for all of the horrors of the tribulation, God’s plan. All of God’s plan is just a reflection of what the Lord does. Every time someone gets saved, when you got saved, when I got saved the Lord sealed and secured and began to sanctify us. What harms our sanctification? What verse is on your screen? It’s Ephesians 4:30. Starting in verse 25, this is a list of things that grieve the Spirit, that sealed and secures and is sanctifying us.
This is vital. This is like how to avoid COVID-19. Do you know how to avoid spiritual COVID-19? Verse 25, “put away lying.” Who’s this written to, this is written to the church. Put away lying. It’s so easy, we don’t want to disappoint anybody, we don’t want to get in trouble, and our flesh just always defends itself and doesn’t tell the truth. The Lord says no, “…’speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” Verse 26, ” ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”
Now look what the very next verses says, “nor give place to the devil.” Wow. “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor…” Verse 29.” Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification,” Verse 30,”And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Now look at verse 31. Get rid of “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
How is it that sometimes I don’t feel like getting into the word? That leads us to this question. Are you at the moment, this moment, Spirit led or flesh led? Did you know, every moment what I’m doing is determined by what is leading me. Either the Spirit of God is leading me or my own flesh that I was born with. What I’m surrounded by, is leading me. It’s one or the other. We have only two choices on the shelf, pleasing God – that’s being Spirit led or pleasing myself – that’s being led by the flesh.
How do we know? Look at the chart in front of you, Galatians 5 right here and if you want to turn there, the Bible says the way you know you’re being led by the Spirit is by your attitudes and actions. Galatians 5 says the attitudes of a Spirit led person, pleasing God are: love, joy, peace. What do we call those? The fruit of the what? The fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
The actions are: We want to eat the word of God. We want to boldly witness. We’re a generous giver. We have personal disciplines. Like this, do you want to see one of my disciplines? This is my cell phone. What’s that? Those are my verses. Those are the verses I’m memorizing. I put a whole chapter taped on the back of my cell phone so that it’s always in my pocket. Every time I pull it out, I have to make a choice. Which side of it I’m going to look at, catch up with the latest whatever, or spiritual disciplines with God.
What are the works of the flesh? Look back at your slide. The attitudes of anger, wrath, anxiety, fear, loss, selfishness, irritatedness, bitterness, actions of lying and stealing, being immoral, lazy, sarcastic, erratic, restless, self-focused. Those are all evidences that the flesh is running my life.
What’s the Spirit led life? Look at the next slide. When I’m filled and led and controlled by the Spirit. How do I do that? All I have to do is surrender to the one who’s already moved inside. When He sealed me, the One who’s already given me the down payment engagement ring for Heaven, the One who wants to sanctify me.
By the way, do you remember what sanctification means? Sanctification is a great big theological term. It’s like justification. Sanctification, those are big. Sanctification equals, usefulness to God. That’s what sanctifies is. Do you what the Holy Spirit every day, every hour, every moment wants to do? He wants to sanctify me, which means He wants me more and more useful to God. When I’m filled by the Holy Spirit, if I had a glass here and it was full of water and I wanted to fill it with milk I would first have to dump the water out to put the milk in, to be filled with the Spirit I have to be emptied of myself.
There are only two choices, pleasing God – being full of Spirit, pleasing self – being filled with myself, my flesh, my ways. These attitudes and emotions are revealed when I surrender to the Holy Spirit. I have peace. I have joy. I have hope I have love. All of a sudden, a boldness. Holiness is growing my passion for Christ. I’m sensitive. I’m self-sacrificing. I hunger for God’s word. I hate sin.
Look at the next slide. What does the flesh led life look like? We just saw the Spirit led life and the attitudes and the actions that come. How do we know when we have started resisting the sanctifying work and we’re grieving the Holy Spirit of God? How do we know?
When I’m filled, led, and controlled by the flesh here are the attitudes, actions, and emotions that start showing up. Number one, anxiety, fear, selfishness, lethargy. Do you ever feel like you’re walking through some type of resistant mud and it’s just like, you can’t go forward? Lethargy, disinterest in the word. Are there mornings when you wake up, that you would rather play a game or watch some video or listen to music or just do nothing. That’s a sign of the flesh taking over. Spiritual lethargy, disinterest in the word, no passion for the lost. In fact, you don’t even start looking at people as either saved her loss. You just don’t care. That’s an evidence of the flesh. When we get irritable. People say what’s wrong with you? What are you so irritable? That’s the flesh. That’s not the Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not make me irritable. The Holy Spirit does not make me bitter or moody or selfish or lethargic. It’s the flesh.
Here’s another way to look at it. The Spirit led life starts with a Spirit led mind. It always starts with the mind. It continues with Spirit ruled emotions, love, and joy, and peace, and gentleness, and kindness. Those are the test. You can get a blood test to find out if you have COVID or they’ll stick that swab way up into your sinus cavity and do a little test to see whether you’re sick or not. Do you know what the test is of? Whether we’re spiritually sick. Is love, supernatural love coming out of me? His joy, His peace, His gentleness, His kindness, His patience, and boldness and long suffering. What happens to my body when my spirit is secured and sealed and sanctified? My emotions change and look what my body does. I deny ungodliness. I avoid sin. I focus on God. And I’m serving.
What does the flesh led life look like? The first thing is, my Spirit clenched mind no longer has the word of God as pressing down, it’s not pushing on all of my thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, I don’t have stability. I’m not bold. I have no insights when I see the Bible. I have no hunger for the Lord. I have no joy. I feel aimless. I lose confidence. I start feeling empty. Then this whole sheltering at home thing just drives me crazy because I’ve got to go and do. I feel so restless. Then my flesh driven emotions are volatile. They’re lethargic. I quit. I give up. I’m anxious. I’m angry. I’m troubled. I’m distracted. And guess what? Impure.
Do you know what Bloomberg the news service said? That pornography consumption in America is up 202% this morning. How come? Everybody’s getting their stimulus checks and they said they’re using their stimulus checks to stimulate their flesh. That’s a flesh driven emotion. They’re impure.
A flesh driven body, look on your slide, is restless. Undisciplined. Sleeps in. Has no time for God. No time for the spiritual disciplines. Is appetite driven. Is lust filled. Never satisfied. And the bottom line, is defeated by sin. Now, which one describes you?
Next slide. See what it says? Our emotions betray what’s leading us, the Holy Spirit or our fallen flesh.
Back to chapter 7, look at verse 17. Now in Revelation 7:17, we see Jesus Christ comforting His servants.
- These are the ones, that the Bible says, that are coming out of the tribulation.
- They’re the ones that all this wrath has been poured out on, and in the process they succumb because the antichrist is martyring them.
- That’s why they’re called martyrs. That’s the fifth of the seals. The martyrs, that was in chapter 6.
They’re being killed by the antichrist but look what Jesus does. “The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them…” These, that had been saved out of the tribulation, “…and lead them to living fountains of water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Christ comforts His servants.
Chapter 8 starts a whole new section. We’re going to more wrath. We’ve seen the greatest revival in history, 9 to 14, the 144,000 special force evangelists. We see God’s love, His desire for salvation but look, the wrath. It’s more wrath and it’s time for us to see what God does with all of our prayers.
Look at verse 3 of chapter 8, and it says “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 angel’s hand.”
Now look back at chapter 5 for just a minute, in verse 8 it says, we already covered this – up in the last section, but it says, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and a golden bowl full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
Did you know what the scripture basically tells us, that right in front of the throne of God is where all the action is unfolding, right in front God’s throne. If I was drawing what’s going on… here is the pavement, here’s the throne of God, and here is God in His glory, seated on the throne. Right here at the edge they’re looking over and here’s the Earth. This is where all of these seals and trumpet judgements are taking place. Where are they launched from? It says, there’s this giant bowl right here. The bowl has all the collected prayers of every saint of all time. God has collected and heaped up prayers from every saint. That’s what it says in Revelation 5:8 and 8:3. That God has these bowls in front of His throne. What He does is, He answers them. The answers, a lot of them, come down with His judgment upon sin, on the Earth.
Wow, did you know God answers every prayer? He answers every prayer – yes, no, or wait. Every prayer. Yes – then He responds. No – James 4 says, you consume upon your lusts and you don’t have because you ask & receive not, because you ask a myth that you may consume it on your lusts. Or God says wait – until it’s time. That’s the patience of God.
Let me review with you what we’re looking at. See this chart. There are seven seals. We went through these, the seven seals. I’ve repeated them each to you. The seventh seal is what we see opening in chapter 8:1. Look what it says in Revelation 8:1.
“When He opened the seventh seal…”
Remember it’s the nested doll kind of things. That the first seal leads to the second, to the third, but the seventh opens a whole new group of trumpets and launches what it says.
When you “opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God” The seven angels in verse 6, “had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded:”
Let’s go through these trumpets.
- Number one, one third of the grass is burned. That’s the first trumpet look at verse 8.
- The second trumpet sounds. The sea is struck. You see, a mountain of fire pollutes and destroys and kills one third of all the sea life.
- The third trumpet. The waters, that means the rivers and the lakes and all of that in verse 10 and 11 are struck.
- The fourth trumpet in verse 1., the heavens are struck.
- Then of course, when we come back next time, the fifth trumpet. Unleashes the worst of all, a third of all humans die. Let’s just stay within our section were looking at right now. By the way, you can see the rest. These are three woes, the fifth trumpet, the locust.
- The Euphrates angel and
- The mystery of God finished. All of that is coming in the succeeding chapters.
What’s the first lesson, Revelation 8:1-2. What does that say? When you “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.” Now we’re back at this throne scene. There are seven angels that always stand before God, they’re each given a trumpet. They’re each going to step forward. They’re each going to sound. These horrors are going to unfold. But before all that, what happens? Silence. Lesson one God waits.
Unlike us, God is patient before the judgment actually starts in Revelation 8. Verse 7, God waits a long time. We’re a people of action. Waiting is hard for us, but God says the greatest action we can perform is being still before Him and what’s going in this bowl, praying. The silence of God reminds us that God waits. Why is He waiting? He’s giving time for all of these evangelists to do their work. He’s giving time for the greatest revival in history. He’s giving time for the Savior’s special forces to share the gospel. He’s waiting. Wow.
Look at verse 3, second point. God waits, time to repent. God listens, time to pray. Wow. God Himself is collecting our prayers, He has a bowl in front of Him right now. Have you put anything in your bowl today? The scripture says pray without what? Ceasing. Are you praying all the time? Do you pray to start your day? Do you pray that the Lord would open His word to you? Do you pray that you’d have boldness? Do you pray that you resist sin? Do you pray that you just want to give something precious to the Lord?
When my children were little, they used to come up to me. I even have some of them right here in my Bible, just little notes and cards. I collected everything they made for me. If they drew a picture of me, I saved it, it was so special. I’m an Earthly father, a fallen father. I’m the most sinful person I know personally, up close because I know myself. If I collect my kids’ stuff, can you imagine how much God the Father wants to collect your prayers? God listens, time to pray.
Prayer to God is a sweet-smelling sacrifice. When I pray, it rises up before His throne from me on Earth and it’s so precious. God hears it. The Holy Spirit, Romans 8 says, makes intercession for us, tells God the Father. The Spirit tells the Father the intercession we need. God collects it right there.
Now, look at verse 6. God responds. The God who waited, time to repent. The God who listens, time to pray. Is the God who responds and it’s time to flee. What do we have to flee from?
Looking at the next slide. There are solar instabilities ahead with that fourth trumpet. By verse 12 we find the Lord saying the sun will be darkened. The Earth will become scorched and yet the sun will get darker. What this could be is, we know it scientifically as what you see on the screen. Solar flares come from dark sunspots. When those solar eruptions take off toward the Earth, they are so powerful. Now you can look up and Google under, the Carrington Event in 1858. A solar flare so big came toward the Earth that it caused the Telegraph lines, the metal lines between wooden poles that were strung across America, it caused the polls to start on fire because the wires conducted so much of the radiation that came from the sun. The Carrington Event was a disaster for the Earth. That is probably what it’s talking about. On May 15th, we had the highest magnitude G5 solar storm. It’s like an F5 tornado. God says that’s coming so much that, Revelation 16:8-9 says that the sun is going to scorch people. So, solar instabilities are ahead. Here’s another thing that it says. It also says that in chapter 8, that the heavens, verse 12, we’re going to be struck. A third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, a third of the stars. A third of them were darkened. It talks about this kind of cosmic earthquake.
Look on the screen. Did you know that, now that our telescopes are getting better and better in the last 20 or 30 years, amateurs have been detecting that gigantic extinction level event, rocks are whizzing by the Earth all the time. Some of them actually, look at this… here’s the moon, here’s the Earth, these near-Earth objects wiz between the Earth and the moon. It’s only 240,000 miles here. Some of these space rocks, asteroids, they’re called N.E.O.’s (near-Earth objects) whiz around. Matthew 24:29, you can see it on the screen there.
“Immediately after […] those days, the sun will be darkened.” I just read that in Revelation 8. “The moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven,” And listen, “The powers of the heavens will be shaken.” On the right side of that slide is asteroid Florence. NASA’s map shows the largest near-Earth object ever approaching. Now, that was last year, but guess what? During the tribulation, they don’t whizz by. There are going to be hits, strikes of near-Earth objects. That’s what we already saw in chapter 6. Basically, the Lord says this, the heavens will shake.
Luke 21:11 tells us that “there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; there will be fearful sites, great signs from Heaven.” Not only will the sun be darkened and the moon and the stars, but the powers of heaven will be shaken.
Why. Do you remember? We already learned this. Why? Because God wants to remind us, life is fragile. God wants to remind us, death is inevitable. That’s why look at the next one, Christ is the answer.
That’s what we opened with. God sends the 144,000 evangelists because God wants us to know that He is going to precipitate the greatest revival in history. Before He pours out His intense wrath, He deploys those who point to Christ. Did you know the tribulation has not started? COVID-19 is not part of the tribulation but it’s a reminder. Our lives are fragile. Death is inevitable. Christ is the answer and we’re engaged to Jesus Christ.
Now why today would one of you that’s attending, just joining us because you found this on YouTube, or maybe you’re enrolled in a class and you’re actually taking this course and you’re in your 13th lesson, and yet you’re finding it hard to read the whole book of Revelation. You’re finding it hard to do those devotional studies, those few for credit – it’s 60% of your course, the summary and the lessons and the prayer of application, you don’t want to do that.
Why would you not want to do it? Yeah, because you’re grieving the Spirit. We’ve got a lot of free time during sheltering. Is the flesh dominating or the Spirit? I showed you the test, go back. You can stop this video and back up and look at that slide. The Holy Spirit, when we were saved, He sealed us. He secures us by giving us the down payment. Him moving inside is the down payment. We’re engaged to Jesus Christ. He wants to make us useful.
How do we get useful? Why don’t you take a minute during this closing prayer and remember that God, the Savior has you as a Special Forces person. You’re one of His soldiers. Paul said we endure hardness as a good soldier. Why not take this closing prayer as a time to surrender again to the Holy Spirit.
Father in Heaven, I pray that we would stop right now and examine our attitudes and emotions and the actions that flow from our lives. Are those reflecting a work of the flesh or work of the Spirit. I pray that where we’re standing or sitting, right this moment, would become an altar and that we would renew the giving of ourselves back to you as Romans 12 says you want us to do. Then we would present ourselves as a living sacrifice so that you can, again, continue, to sanctify us. Forgive us when we grieve your Spirit. May we repent, lest we quench Him. Give us again that hunger and that holy boldness to serve you today. In the name of Jesus, we pray. All of God’s people said, Amen. And God bless you.