Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 212

Revelation 7–12

Bible text(s)

The 144,000 People of Israel

1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so that no wind should blow on the earth or the sea or against any tree. 2And I saw another angel coming up from the east with the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels to whom God had given the power to damage the earth and the sea. 3The angel said, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we mark the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads.” 4And I was told that the number of those who were marked with God's seal on their foreheads was 144,000. They were from the twelve tribes of Israel, 5-812,000 from each tribe: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

The Enormous Crowd

9After this I looked, and there was an enormous crowd — no one could count all the people! They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood in front of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. 10They called out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who sits on the throne, and from the Lamb!” 11All the angels stood round the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures. Then they threw themselves face downwards in front of the throne and worshipped God, 12saying, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honour, power, and might belong to our God for ever and ever! Amen!”

13One of the elders asked me, “Who are these people dressed in white robes, and where do they come from?”

14“I don't know, sir. You do,” I answered.

He said to me, “These are the people who have come safely through the terrible persecution. They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb. 15That is why they stand before God's throne and serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will protect them with his presence. 16Never again will they hunger or thirst; neither sun nor any scorching heat will burn them, 17because the Lamb, who is in the centre of the throne, will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 7GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Seventh Seal

1When the Lamb broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets.

3Another angel, who had a gold incense burner, came and stood at the altar. He was given a lot of incense to add to the prayers of all God's people and to offer it on the gold altar that stands before the throne. 4The smoke of the burning incense went up with the prayers of God's people from the hands of the angel standing before God. 5Then the angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There were rumblings and peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

6Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

7The first angel blew his trumpet. Hail and fire, mixed with blood, came pouring down on the earth. A third of the earth was burnt up, a third of the trees, and every blade of green grass.

8Then the second angel blew his trumpet. Something that looked like a huge mountain on fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea was turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10Then the third angel blew his trumpet. A large star, burning like a torch, dropped from the sky and fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11(The name of the star is “Bitterness”.) A third of the water turned bitter, and many people died from drinking the water, because it had turned bitter.

12Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet. A third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that their light lost a third of its brightness; there was no light during a third of the day and a third of the night.

13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle that was flying high in the air say in a loud voice, “O horror! horror! How horrible it will be for all who live on earth when the sound comes from the trumpets that the other three angels must blow!”

Revelation 8GNBOpen in Bible reader

1Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet. I saw a star which had fallen down to the earth, and it was given the key to the abyss. 2The star opened the abyss, and smoke poured out of it, like the smoke from a large furnace; the sunlight and the air were darkened by the smoke from the abyss. 3Locusts came down out of the smoke upon the earth, and they were given the same kind of power that scorpions have. 4They were told not to harm the grass or the trees or any other plant; they could harm only the people who did not have the mark of God's seal on their foreheads. 5The locusts were not allowed to kill these people, but only to torture them for five months. The pain caused by the torture is like the pain caused by a scorpion's sting. 6During those five months they will seek death, but will not find it; they will want to die, but death will flee from them.

7The locusts looked like horses ready for battle; on their heads they had what seemed to be crowns of gold, and their faces were like human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair, their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9Their chests were covered with what looked like iron breastplates, and the sound made by their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle. 10They have tails and stings like those of a scorpion, and it is with their tails that they have the power to hurt people for five months. 11They have a king ruling over them, who is the angel in charge of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon; in Greek the name is Apollyon (meaning “The Destroyer”).

12The first horror is over; after this there are still two more horrors to come.

13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet. I heard a voice coming from the four corners of the gold altar standing before God. 14The voice said to the sixth angel, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!” 15The four angels were released; for this very hour of this very day of this very month and year they had been kept ready to kill a third of all humanity. 16I was told the number of the mounted troops: it was 200,000,000. 17And in my vision I saw the horses and their riders: they had breastplates red as fire, blue as sapphire, and yellow as sulphur. The horses' heads were like lions' heads, and from their mouths came out fire, smoke, and sulphur. 18A third of humanity was killed by those three plagues: the fire, the smoke, and the sulphur coming out of the horses' mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and also in their tails. Their tails are like snakes with heads, and they use them to hurt people.

20The rest of humanity, all those who had not been killed by these plagues, did not turn away from what they themselves had made. They did not stop worshipping demons, nor the idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic, their sexual immorality, or their stealing.

Revelation 9GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Angel and the Little Scroll

1Then I saw another mighty angel coming down out of heaven. He was wrapped in a cloud and had a rainbow round his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like pillars of fire. 2He had a small scroll open in his hand. He put his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3and called out in a loud voice that sounded like the roar of lions. After he had called out, the seven thunders answered with a roar. 4As soon as they spoke, I was about to write. But I heard a voice speak from heaven, “Keep secret what the seven thunders have said; do not write it down!”

5Then the angel that I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right-hand to heaven 6and took a vow in the name of God, who lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, earth, and the sea, and everything in them. The angel said, “There will be no more delay! 7But when the seventh angel blows his trumpet, then God will accomplish his secret plan, as he announced to his servants, the prophets.”

8Then the voice that I had heard speaking from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go and take the open scroll which is in the hand of the angel standing on the sea and on the land.”

9I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will turn sour in your stomach, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”

10I took the little scroll from his hand and ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey in my mouth. But after I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach. 11Then I was told, “Once again you must proclaim God's message about many nations, races, languages, and kings.”

Revelation 10GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Two Witnesses

1I was then given a stick that looked like a measuring rod, and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count those who are worshipping in the temple. 2But do not measure the outer courts, because they have been given to the heathen, who will trample on the Holy City for 42 months. 3I will send my two witnesses dressed in sackcloth, and they will proclaim God's message during those 1,260 days.”

4The two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and destroys their enemies; and in this way, whoever tries to harm them will be killed. 6They have authority to shut up the sky so that there will be no rain during the time they proclaim God's message. They have authority also over the springs of water, to turn them into blood; they have authority also to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.

7When they finish proclaiming their message, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will fight against them. He will defeat them and kill them, 8and their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, where their Lord was crucified. The symbolic name of that city is Sodom, or Egypt. 9People from all nations, tribes, languages, and races will look at their bodies for three and a half days and will not allow them to be buried. 10The people of the earth will be happy because of the death of these two. They will celebrate and send presents to each other, because those two prophets brought much suffering upon the earth. 11After three and a half days a life-giving breath came from God and entered them, and they stood up; and all who saw them were terrified. 12Then the two prophets heard a loud voice say to them from heaven, “Come up here!” As their enemies watched, they went up into heaven in a cloud. 13At that very moment there was a violent earthquake; a tenth of the city was destroyed, and 7,000 people were killed. The rest of the people were terrified and praised the greatness of the God of heaven.

14The second horror is over, but the third horror will come soon!

The Seventh Trumpet

15Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The power to rule over the world belongs now to our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule for ever and ever!” 16Then the 24 elders who sit on their thrones in front of God threw themselves face downwards and worshipped God, 17saying:

“Lord God Almighty, the one who is and who was!

We thank you that you have taken your great power

and have begun to rule!

18The heathen were filled with rage,

because the time for your anger has come,

the time for the dead to be judged.

The time has come to reward your servants, the prophets,

and all your people, all who have reverence for you,

great and small alike.

The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth!”

19God's temple in heaven was opened, and the Covenant Box was seen there. Then there were flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Revelation 11GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Woman and the Dragon

1Then a great and mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was soon to give birth, and the pains and suffering of childbirth made her cry out.

3Another mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and a crown on each of his heads. 4With his tail he dragged a third of the stars out of the sky and threw them down to the earth. He stood in front of the woman, in order to eat her child as soon as it was born. 5Then she gave birth to a son, who will rule over all nations with an iron rod. But the child was snatched away and taken to God and his throne. 6The woman fled to the desert, to a place God had prepared for her, where she will be taken care of for 1,260 days.

7Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, who fought back with his angels; 8but the dragon was defeated, and he and his angels were not allowed to stay in heaven any longer. 9The huge dragon was thrown out — that ancient serpent, called the Devil, or Satan, that deceived the whole world. He was thrown down to earth, and all his angels with him.

10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now God's salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now his Messiah has shown his authority! For the one who stood before our God and accused our brothers and sisters day and night has been thrown out of heaven. 11Our brothers and sisters won the victory over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the truth which they proclaimed; and they were willing to give up their lives and die. 12And so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left.”

13When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he began to pursue the woman who had given birth to the boy. 14She was given the two wings of a large eagle in order to fly to her place in the desert, where she will be taken care of for three and a half years, safe from the dragon's attack. 15And then from his mouth the dragon poured out a flood of water after the woman, so that it would carry her away. 16But the earth helped the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon's mouth. 17The dragon was furious with the woman and went off to fight against the rest of her descendants, all those who obey God's commandments and are faithful to the truth revealed by Jesus. 18And the dragon stood on the seashore.

Revelation 12GNBOpen in Bible reader
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