Then the voice from heaven told John to take the open scroll from the angel who was standing on the sea and land. John went to the angel and told the angel to give the scroll to him. However, the angel said to John, “Take it and eat it. It will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” John then took scroll from the angel and ate it. Sure enough, it was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. John was told to prophesize about many people, nations, tongues, and kings. Have you ever eaten something that you did not know what it was?
Then John saw another mighty angel coming from heaven, wrapped in a cloud. He had a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun. His legs were like pillars of fire. He had an open little scroll in his hand with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. This angel shouted out like a lion roaring as seven thunders sounded. John was about to write this down, but a voice from heaven told him to seal up what the seven thunders said. This voice said “Do not write it down!” The angel raised his right hand to heaven. He swore by God that there should not be any more delay. When the seventh trumpet sounded, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, as he had announced it through his servants, the prophets. Have you ever been told not to write anything down?
As the sixth angel blew his trumpet, John heard a voice from the four golden horns of the altar before God tell this angel, “Release the four angels who are bound at the Euphrates River.” Thus, the four angels were released to kill a third of mankind. They had over 200,000,000 troops. John saw the horses in his vision. The riders wore breastplates of fire, sapphire, and sulfur. The heads of the horses were like lion’s heads with fire, smoke, and sulfur coming from their mouths. A third of all humans were killed. The power of these horses was in their mouths and in their tails. Their tails were like serpents with heads. Thus, they inflicted much harm. However, the survivors did not stop worshipping idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood. All those idols could not see, hear, or walk. They did not repent of their evil ways of murdering, sorcery, immorality, or thievery. Do you worship false idols?
John said that the locusts were like horses ready for battle. They had golden crowns on their heads, but their faces were like human faces. However, they had woman’s hair and lion’s teeth. They had scales like giant breastplates. They had noisy wings like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots going into battle. The power to hurt humans for five months came from their scorpion stinger tails. Their king was called King Abaddon in Hebrew and King Apollyon in Greek. However, the first woe had passed, with two more woes to come. Do you know anything about locusts?
John said that the fifth angel blew his trumpet. He saw a star fall from heaven to earth. The fallen star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. A great polluting smoke arose like a great furnace from the pit so that the sun and the air were darkened. Then locusts came out of the smoke, but they were like scorpions. They could not damage the grass or any tree, but only those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torture them for five months, but not kill them. Their torture was like the sting of a scorpion. Humans will long to die, but not find it because death will fly away from them. Do you know people who want to die?
John said that the seven angels got ready to blow their trumpets. The first angel blew his trumpet. Then hail, fire, and blood fell on the earth. One third of the earth and the trees with green grass was burnt up. The second angel blew his trumpet. A great big burning mountain was thrown into the sea. There was a destruction of one third of the sea with blood. One third of the sea creatures died along with one third of the ships being destroyed. The third angel blew his trumpet. A great blazing falling star called “Wormwood” like a torch fell on one third of the rivers and waters. One third of the waters became wormwood. Many people died because the water was bitter. The fourth angel blew his trumpet. One third of the sun, the moon, and the stars were struck, so that one third of all the light was darkened. One third of the day and the night were dark. Then John looked up and he heard an eagle crying “Woe! Woe! Woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets which the three angels are about to blow!” Have you ever seen one-third of anything destroyed?
Today is Christmas Day, the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the human infant who was the Son of God. Enjoy your way of celebrating.
Peace – love – joy
John said that when the lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for half an hour. Seven angels were given seven trumpets. Another angel with a golden censer stood at the altar. He had a lot of incense to mingle with the prayers around the golden altar. The incense smoke rose up with these prayers. Then the angel took the fiery censer and threw it on the earth that created thunder, noise, lightning, and an earthquake. Have you ever seen incense in a censer?
One of the presbyters asked John, “Who are these people clothed in white? Where did they come from?” John responded that he should know. Then the presbyter responded to John, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.” They worship God both day and night. God will shelter them. They will not be hungry or thirsty. No sun or scorching heat will strike them. The lamb will be their shepherd and guide them to the living water. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Would you like to be in eternity with God?
Then John saw a great multitude of people that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. They were all standing before the throne of God and the lamb in white robes with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne and the lamb. All the angels, the presbyters, and the four living creatures fell on their faces before the throne. They all worshipped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen!” Will you be among this multitude?