Revelation 8:The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,
4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.
5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
The Seven Trumpets
6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.
9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.
11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.
12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!"
1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.
2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft.
3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.
4 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 the seal of God on their foreheads.
5 They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone.
6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.
7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces,
8 their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth;
9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle.
10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails.
11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
12 The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God,
14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."
15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.
17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the colour of fire and of sapphire and of sulphur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulphur came out of their mouths.
18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulphur coming out of their mouths.
19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,
21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Things to think about…
1.Look at the effect of our prayers, Rev 8:1-5. After the seventh seal was opened there was silence. This symbolises something truly awful – full of awe and a fearful thing. It is the final judgement on the earth. But part of that judgement is the Lord's censer which is full of the prayers of the saints, Rev 8:3. Our prayers are used in the Lord's final judgement on the earth.
2.The first four of the seven trumpets, Rev 8:6-13 show that a decree in heaven has an influence on the earth. In this case, judgment. We see similar judgements in the seven trumpets as we do with the seven scrolls, seven angels and seven bowls as mentioned in yesterday's reading. The point of it all at this point in history is described thus "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth", Rev 8:13. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Heb 10:31.
3.Note that only one angel is needed to unlock the bottomless pit, Rev 9:1. He has authority to release a demonic onslaught on those who reject the gospel who live on the earth, Rev 9:2ff. These demons will torment those who 'don't have the seal of God on their foreheads', vs 4. Some believe the rapture of the church has occurred at this point and that these ones with a seal on their forehead are redeemed Jews. These judgements seem to be cyclical in nature and will occur as concurrent events. As such, those of us who are still on the earth at this time will all go through the tribulation as described yesterday in Rev 7:9-14. Although through this period it is likely there is a rapture of the church and only hardened people to the gospel remain. The demonic attack described here in Rev 9 will not happen to Christians. Look at how horrible it will be – "people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them", Rev 9:6. Truly horrible.
4.Aside from their description – how do we know these are demons? The answer is found in vs 11 "They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon." Satan knows his time is short as we will see in Rev 12 and this is one of the ways he will manifest his displeasure. In all of this Satan is shown to be less powerful than some angels. Consider that it is an angel that releases them from the bottomless pit, Rev 9:2.
5.Is the middle east significant in the judgement at this time? Yes, Rev 9:14. Angels waiting at the Euphrates who have been prepared for this very moment in history, vs 15. Look at how many demons are to be released at this time and place, Rev 9:16. That's 200 million folks. All this so that people would see that this temporal judgement leads to an eternal judgement. And yet, they will not "repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts", vs 21. This displays the hardness of the fallen human heart even in the face of the obvious evidence of the judgement of God. Pray that many are marked out for grace from our day and are spared from this fearful conclusion.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
The reading was from Matt 7:15-23. The sermon was called "Am I really forgiven."
1.When you read these verses have you ever thought that they may refer to you? Discuss.
2.Discuss your understanding about works and grace in Christ.
3.What is the evidence of someone who is saved in Christ.
1.The loss of 2 lives at Rappville in NSW. Pray for these families and the loss of properties in this rural community.
2.Family who lost their house to fire in Laidley this week. Pray for those dealing with loss of fire in SE Qld and NSW.
3.Ministries as they begin term 4 – PlayPatch, Kids@Church, Recharge youth.
4.Pray for drought breaking rain.
5.Pastor Andrew Otte as he preaches this Sunday morning from Revelation 7.
6.More Sunday school teachers
7.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
8.Sunday's messages. "Teach us to number our days"– Psalm 90 - Axiom 6pm.
9.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
10.Church finances to meet our expenses.
11.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
12.Ray of Hope Trivia night and Members meeting 3rd Nov.
1.Praise the Lord for rain that has fallen already in Qld and NSW. More forecast to come over the next 24 hours.
2.Quite a few new people on Sunday – Praise the Lord.
3.Those who serve on our worship teams and ministry teams.
4.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
5.A number considering baptism.
1.Hawkins group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.
2.Movie night for the ladies at the Beatty's house this Saturday night.
3.Playpatch – Returns this Friday morning.
4.Recharge – on break over school holidays.
5.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children – on break for holidays.
6.Andrew Otte preaching 13th Oct AM and 20th Oct PM.
7.Ray of Hope orphanage trivia night dinner to raise money for the orphanage Saturday 19th Oct 6pm.
8.Members Meeting 3rd November after morning service.
This month's catechism question...
Q. 5. How many petitions are there in The Lord's Prayer?
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3