SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
8:1 Now 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 Another angel holding a golden censer came and was stationed at the altar. A large amount of incense was given to him to offer up, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar that is before the throne. 4 The smoke coming from the incense, along with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth, and there were crashes of thunder, roaring, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
6 Now the seven angels holding the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was thrown at the earth so that a third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain of burning fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were completely destroyed.
10 Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star burning like a torch fell from the sky; it landed on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 (Now the name of the star is Wormwood.) So a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from these waters because they were poisoned.
12 Then 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 them were darkened. And there was no light for a third of the day and for a third of the night likewise. 13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying directly overhead, proclaiming with a loud voice, “Woe! Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth because of the remaining sounds of the trumpets of the three angels who are about to blow them!”
9:1 Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. 2 He opened the shaft of the abyss and smoke rose out of it like smoke from a giant furnace. The sun and the air were darkened with smoke from the shaft. 3 Then out of the smoke came locusts onto the earth, and they were given power like that of the scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to damage the grass of the earth, or any green plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their forehead. 5 The locusts were not given permission to kill them, but only to torture them for five months, and their torture was like that of a scorpion when it stings a person. 6 In those days people will seek death, but will not be able to find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.
7 Now the locusts looked like horses equipped for battle. On their heads were something like crowns similar to gold, and their faces looked like men’s faces. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like iron breastplates, and the sound of their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. 10 They have tails and stingers like scorpions, and their ability to injure people for five months is in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.
12 The first woe has passed, but two woes are still coming after these things!
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a single voice coming from the horns on the golden altar that is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel, the one holding the trumpet, “Set free the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!” 15 Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour, day, month, and year were set free to kill a third of humanity. 16 The number of soldiers on horseback was 200,000,000; I heard their number. 17 Now this is what the horses and their riders looked like in my vision: The riders had breastplates that were fiery red, dark blue, and sulfurous yellow in color. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and fire, smoke, and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18 A third of humanity was killed by these three plagues, that is, by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses resides in their mouths and in their tails because their tails are like snakes, having heads that inflict injuries. 20 The rest of humanity, who had not been killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands so that they did not stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk about. 21 Furthermore, they did not repent of their murders, of their magic spells, of their sexual immorality, or of their stealing.