Episode #247. Today we’ll read Revelation chapter 9 together. John explains the fifth and sixth trumpets.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #247. Today we’ll read Revelation chapter 9 together: John explains the fifth and sixth trumpets.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Since Day One of this podcast, I have had a faithful listener tuning in from the region of Paris, France. Bonjour! I want to thank you for your support this year and pray the podcast has been a blessing to you.
We Fell in Love with France
My husband and I visited France in April of 2019 and over the course of that 2 weeks, we fell in love with the country. We spent much of our time in Paris, though we did take a 3-day side trip to Normandy to explore the WWII landing beaches and to tour Mont Saint-Michel.
We always try to attend church on Sunday when we are in foreign countries. We were in Paris on Sunday and decided to attend mass at St. Sulpice, a Roman Catholic church in the Latin Quarter. No, we are not Catholic. And no, we did not participate in communion, because we do not believe in the Transubstantiation. But we did pray with the other believers there. And we listened to beautiful singing by the choir and even more impressive music from the grand organ there. Also, the priest gave a sermon in both French and English, which was an extra bonus!
St. Sulpice is the second-largest church in Paris, only slightly smaller than the Notre Dame Cathedral. Mitch and I were fortunate to have rented an apartment on the south bank of the Seine River. We had a magnificent view of Notre Dame, especially spectacular at night when it was all light up by floodlights.
We toured the cathedral together on the first full day of our visit. It was magnificent inside, more glorious than I had imagined. And it was filled to the gills with throngs of visitors, all gawking at the massive columns and high stained glass. My husband went back a second time early in the morning the day we were to leave for Normandy and had the place practically to himself for over an hour. He said it was a solemn and moving experience.
Notre Dame on Fire
On Monday, April 15th, we had just returned from Normandy to Paris and were shopping on the Champs-Élysées and we received a text message from our daughter, who informed us that Notre Dame was on fire. We looked to the east and saw the black smoke rising from the cathedral. It was heartbreaking. The next day, we joined the thousands of others on the south bank of the river to view the grey, smoldering shell of the church. There was almost a hush on the crowd, as if we were all in shock…and mourning.
Of course, the cathedral will be rebuilt. My husband and I hope to be present when it re-opens to the public. I suppose it is easy to say that it is just a building, and the “Church” of Christ is the body of believers who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I understand this completely and believe it with all my heart. Still, Notre Dame is a beautiful symbol of Christianity that has stood for almost 1000 years. It is my hope that, after the renovation, it endures until Christ comes again.
Do you listen to my podcast from a country other than the United States? Are you my treasured listener in France? Please take a moment to let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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.
First things first. Let’s acknowledge right now that this chapter – and a few others like it – is terrifying. But if you have accepted God’s gift of grace by believing in Jesus and what He did to pay our sin debt, you are sealed from the death described in this chapter. This chapter is a taste of how much God hates sin. This is the judgement of sin that Jesus took on Himself for us on the cross. It was a debt we could never pay. And as you can see, those who reject God’s grace will suffer that judgement by themselves.
Matthew 22:29 states, Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. This is a clear indictment against those who do not know what the Bible actually says. I hope that after we finish the New Testament, that you will continue to read the Word systematically every day. However, I believe that we need to be careful that we don’t get so twisted up in trying to figure out what John is describing here, that we overlook what we have been tasked to do. And that is, making disciples, as instructed in Matthew 28:19-20.
Regardless of the Mysteries
The fact is that, regardless of all the mysteries in the book of the Revelation – and Daniel and Isaiah and Ezekiel and myriad other Old and New Testament passages – the greatest promise we have is in Christ. And if we have prayed to accept His gift of grace, believing that He has redeemed us from the judgement of God for sin, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 says, In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed.
We will suffer for Christ’s name. How God will call each of us to do that is up to Him. However, none of the horror we read about here in Revelation chapter 9 applies to us who have called on His name. However, it does applies to those who have not. And you and I both have friends and relatives who have not. And we should be driven to preach the Gospel to every single one of them. Let’s pray about that right now.
Heavenly Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit – I am reminded of Joshua 1:9 where You said, Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Please forgive me, Lord, for the times when I’m such a wimp, when I shy away because of the fear of rejection from others. Fill all of us with Your courage and Your strength. Remind us, Lord that You are always with us and we do not need to be afraid. Keep us ever mindful of the terror that awaits the lost, causing us to double-down on our efforts to tell as many as possible. Use us to build Your Kingdom. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
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.
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