Revelation 8-10

Revelation 8

Rev. 8:1:  the opening of the seventh seal is followed by a ½ hour of silence in heaven.  This dramatic pause of silence and suspended activities following reflect the reluctance of God to judge as He gives again opportunity to repent. He is long-suffering, His mercy and grace He wants to extend to those who would repent. He is not willing that any should perish.  When we last saw mankind after the opening of the sixth seal- we saw mankind both great and small hiding in fear from God’s judgment. This lull, this parenthesis is to give them opportunity to repent and turn to the Lord.

As we read about the coming judgments we will find a similarity between the plagues of Egypt in Moses’ day and the trumpet judgments. These judgments, sometimes referred to as the judgments of 1/3rd’s  are a systematic destruction of the ecology. Just as we read of God’s systematic and orderly creation of the earth and the heavens we will now witness the orderly destruction of that same system. It will not be utterly destroyed as God continues to offer mankind every opportunity upon seeing His power and wrath to repent.  But just like the Pharaoh of Egypt, many will continue to harden their hearts.

Let’s recap the order of events:

1.    First seal releases the world dictator, the Anti-Christ who the world follows.

2.    Second seal opens and the fiery red horse of war comes forth in a devastating war.

3.    Then follows the black horse of famine and world wide economic collapse.

4.    The fourth seal brings the pale horse of Death and Hades as famine, war, disease and even wild beasts destroy ¼ of the population.

5.    The fifth seal marks the beginning of the greatest persecution of Christians of all times.

6.    The sixth seal unleashes a worldwide nuclear holocaust.

7.    Now the seventh seal is opened – after ½ hour of silence a pause before the devastation begins- there appears seven angels who are given seven trumpets.


When God released the plagues on Egypt, He would pause  and give Pharaoh an opportunity to repent. Each time the plagues ceased, Pharaoh would return to his original intent. Remember God is slow to anger, He is quick to forgive- but His Judgment is sure, His wrath is awesome.

These seven angels are a special group of angels. Angels are by nature- messengers of God.  We do not know the names of many angels, but one angel we know is Gabriel.  Gabriel appeared to Mary and Zachariah – and each time he made an appearance he brought important messages. He stood in the presence of the Lord.

Seven, of course if the number of completeness. These seven trumpet have a special meaning. As I said earlier, there are many similarities between these plagues the Lord is sending and the plagues upon Egypt recorded in the book of Exodus. If there is any book that is well known by all Jews it is the book of Exodus. It is the story of their deliverance from bondage. Moses is one of their great heroes. God worked mighty works and miracles on behalf of his people to free them.

Once they were in the wilderness- God began to establish order in this mass of almost 2,000,000 people.  The tribes of Israel were divided into four groups of three tribes each which camped around the four sides of the tabernacle.  In addition there were three separate families of Levites. The Levites were the priests who took care of the tabernacle. It was not only an important job – it involved moving the tabernacle and all its furniture and elements of worship in a specific manner. So there were 4 groups of 3 tribes each and three groups for the Levites- making a total of seven. Seven trumpets would be blown with each group knowing when they were to move out, so there was no confusion and everything was done in an orderly manner.

Who can forget the taking of Jericho? When the wall came tumbling down.  They marched around the city for six days. On the seventh day , they marched around the city seven times; seven priests carried seven trumpets made of ram’s horns in front of the ark. When the priests blew the horns and the people shouted on cue, the walls came tumbling down.

In verse 3, another angel, who had a golden censer came and stood at the altar. In the tabernacle and later the temple, the high priest always carried a censer with him when he entered the Holy of Holies with the blood to be sprinkled on the ark.

The incense represented the prayers of the people going up to God. These prayers were for the forgiveness of sins accompanied with the offering of blood.

Verse 4 tells us the prayers of the people went up before God from the angel’s hand. What were the prayers of the people?  What were the prayers of the people on earth who were suffering great tribulation?  Look back in Chapter six in verse ten:  “ How long Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Their prayers are about to be answered in the next verse:  “Then the angel  took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar and hurled it on earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”  The prayers of the people had come up to God requesting Him to judge the inhabitants of earth and avenge their blood…God’s answer is hurled down on earth and the great tribulation gets under way.

In verses 6-7, we see the first angel sound the first trumpet. Hail and fire mixed with blood are hurled down to earth. 1/3 of earth is burned- a 1/3 of all botanical life- trees, plants, grass are destroyed. In chapter one of Genesis, vegetation and plant life is created first after God has created the planets, separated the waters and given light.

In Egypt during the time of Exodus, hail came down and destroyed all the crops in the land. Joseph, who was a type of Christ, had made  Egypt flourish and it was a bread basket to the world in a time of great famine.  400 years later, Exodus tells us the Egyptian leaders no longer remembered Joseph. Now in the future, we will see a world that has turned its back on the God of the Bible and leaders who no longer recognize Him. God will get their attention as he got the Pharaohs as He unleashes a series of  plagues unlike anything ever seen before.

In Genesis 8, after the flood, God vows: “ As long as earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  Times and seasons created by God will endure until the end of history.  What we are seeing here in Revelation 8 is the beginning of the end of history- as God systematically destroys the earth which He created.

Let me say at this point- that God has revealed Himself to be Supernatural in 3 ways.

1.    Creation. Romans 1 tells us God has revealed Himself to man through His creation.

2.    God has given us the sign of His Supernatural self thru the life, death and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus.

3.    God has given us His Word- which is powerful, alive and absolutely true. Filling prophecy 100%.


In verses 8-9, the second angel sounds the second trumpet and John describes what he sees as “ something like a huge mountain all ablaze thrown into the sea.” The result is 1/3 of the seas are turned into blood, killing 1/3 of the creatures in the sea and destroying 1/3 of the ships.  Imagine the economic disaster following these first two trumpets, world wide famine and economic collapse due to the destruction of crops as well as the foods provided from the seas.

If you follow the news – you know that Iran continues with its nuclear program. Last week they launched a rocket with a telecommunications satellite. Not only does this reveal their ability to launch strategic long range missiles, there is also something else going on.  (the following information is not from a kook website- it is from the Wall Street Journal.)

You have heard Iran’s president invoke the name of the “12th Imam.” This is a reference to Muhammad Mahdi, a prophet born in 800 AD, who is also called the Hidden One. The religion of Islam has two major divisions- Sunni and Shiite. The Shiite are the dominant group in Iran and Iraq.  They believe the 12th Imam will return in the end times during a time of great chaos. He will be recognized by Jews and Christians alike as a messianic figure.

A group within the Shiite believe, that they can hasten the 12th Imam’s return by creating chaos. The current president of Iran is a member of this group.

Other beliefs are during the time nearing his return- a sign and part of the chaos will be the seas turning to blood.  It was reported by all the Iranian newspapers in the last few days, the Persian Gulf is turning red due to an unusual large amount of red seaweed.

The Shiite also believe their responsibility is to spread the news of the return of the 12th Imam to the four corners of the world prior to his return. Sound familiar? Remember the Koran was written after Jesus’s time on earth- in fact it was written in the late 7th century after the Bible as we know it today was canonized in 300+ AD.

The rocket that carried the telecommunications satellite that was launched last week was named – Message; the satellite was named Hope. This will allow them to broadcasts into different parts of the world.

Iran is in a desperate time politically and economically.  90% of their revenues come from oil, which have gone from almost $150 per barrel to less than $40 per barrel. In addition they have spent great sums of money supporting Al queda and the ongoing attacks in Israel

In verses 10-11, the third trumpet sounds and a great star falls into the rivers and on the springs of water- the planet’s fresh water sources.  The star is called Wormwood and turns the water bitter and poisonous killing many people. Possible explanation is a nuclear bomb with radioactive fallout that poisons many.

If you want to learn about the effects of a nuclear bomb go to the website of Homeland Security and you will find some very sobering information.

The blast force alone of a megaton nuclear bomb that creates 20psi will create winds of over 500 mph.  Radioactive fall out stretches the kill zone and is dependent on whether the enemy wanted the bomb to explode on earth or in the atmosphere.

Now realize you have a country in the mid east, Iran, with this type of capability. Furthermore this country has vowed to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Factor in these religious zealots are looking to create chaos in the world to hasten the return of their messiah, the 12th Imam.  In creating chaos they must also take the message of hope to the four corners of the world.

Next up is the fourth angel with the fourth trumpet. 1/3 of the sun, moon and stars are turned dark.  Freezing weather, lack of oil, food, commodities and basics of life create a nightmare that is scarier than any horror movie ever imagined.   Jesus said in Matthew 24:28, “ Immediately after tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

The laws of nature which God set in motion at creation will be radically altered. Never has the earth known such a time.   Flowers fade and the grasses wilt, but the Word of Our God stands forever.

After this, God sends an angel flying midair calling out in a loud voice- Woe! Woe! Woe! To the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels.

Woes in the Bible mark the deepest, darkest and most painful intensity of the great tribulation period.  As horrible as this has been up until now- it will grow more terrible. These will be the darkest, blackest day of human history.

Once again- God is sending a message to mankind..that judgment is coming.  But you do not have to go before the Great White Throne Judgment which will be too late, you can settle out of court. Your advocate, the Lord Jesus will pay the penalty for your sins and you will be declared not guilty.

When we read these horrible things to take place- we cannot help but be frightened – for just reading about the wrath and judgment of God is scary enough… but can you imagine having to face it.

Chapter 9- the Fifth Trumpet.

The fifth trumpet sounds and John describes what appears to be a star fallen from heaven.  What or who is this star?  For it is not a star, a meteor or a missile- it is a person for we read to ‘him is given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.

Is this ‘star-person’ the Lord Jesus? No, we know the Lord Jesus is in a glorified body. He is now on the throne executing judgment in His capacity as Judge and Ruler.  We know the Lord Jesus controls the keys to death and hades, so whoever has this key was given the key by Jesus.

The ‘star-person’ could be either a messenger angel or satan himself. It is mentioned in Revelation 12 that the devil will be cast out of heaven.  And Jesus told us in Luke 10- ‘I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” But in either case- this is all done under the control of the Lord as we will see.

What is the Abyss?  There are three places referred to as places of judgment:

1.    Hades. Mentioned in Luke 16, we read that Hades is a place for the unsaved dead. It is a place of torment, fire, conscious memories and thirst. This is where the dead unsaved go to be held until released for their appearance and judgment before the Lord at the Great White Throne.

2.    Hell or the Lake of Fire.  The final destination of the devil and all the angels who followed him. Also the final destination for all the unsaved who did not accept Christ. They will all be cast there with punishment and judgment fitting their sins.

3.    The Abyss.  The bottomless pit used as a holding cell for evil, powerful demons (fallen angels), also where Satan will be locked during the millennium.  Peter refers to it 2 Peter where he says if God did not spare angels when they sinned but put them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.  And you will recall in the Luke 8, when the Lord Jesus cast the demons out of the man in Gadarene, the demons begged not to be sent into the Abyss.


Now this shaft is opened that has held back these fallen angels, these evil powerful monsters who have been held there for eons are about to roam the earth and inflict torture so painful- death will be welcomed.

We will see that the Lord is in complete control of what is about to take place.


Revelation 9

We looked at this abyss from a scriptural context and believe it to be a place where evil fallen angels were secured after the fall until this time. Now what is released from this abyss is something hideous that John attempts to describe.  We can speculate if these are mutant locusts or John’s description of some type of modern implement of warfare.  Helicopters have been suggested…but we do see the following:

·     These are not normal locusts.

·     They eat no vegetation.

·     They are led by an evil demon, Apollyon.

·     They have a powerful sting in their tails similar to a scorpion.

·     The sting is not fatal, but creates great pain and agony. Those stung will seek to die but cannot.

·     These monsters are forbidden from stinging those with the seal of God on their forehead; they also cannot harm the grass or trees.

·     The period of torture is 5 months.


Again we see the similarity of plagues upon Egypt and these judgments of God- in that God protected the Hebrews from the plagues just as here he protects those He has sealed.

This is the first woe of the three woes that comes from the sounding of the 5th trumpet.

Let’s pause for a minute to get an idea of where we are in the tribulation period. The characters and what is happening.  Make no mistake the Lord is in control even though chaos seems to be the norm of the day and times.

We must remember what the Lord has said:  I am the Lord and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I create prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord do all these things.  I am God, and there is no other . I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end  from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand and I will do as I please. ( Isaiah 45: 7; 46:10)  God has the right to do anything He wants, and He always does what is right.

The start of the Tribulation period begins with the rise to political power of one who is called The Anti-Christ. He will falsely set up a covenant, a peace treaty with Israel. He will lead the world and come at a time of chaos and confusion. His power will extend to every area of life in every area of the world. His will be a dictatorship which will be religious, political and economical in nature.

He will appear to have amazing abilities- even to the working of miracles as we will see in later chapters.

This time of peace and prosperity will last only three and ½ years. The beginning of the last three and ½ years began with the onset of war. This was the opening of the second seal.  Because of the powerful weaponry- these wars will be brief but devastating as we see in the opening of the 3rd and 4th seal.  These occur in rapid sequence. The persecution of the saints- those sealed 144,000 and the ones saved from their preaching and teaching begins as we opened the 5th seal.

The sixth seal’s opening revealed a great earthquake, the sun turning black, the moon red and the sky rolling up like a scroll. Many believe this describes the effect of a nuclear holocaust.

When does the Rapture occur?  There are three schools of thought:  pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post tribulation.  The post tribulation believe the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus corresponds with the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the rapture of believers on earth.  This contradicts what the scripture says in I Thess. 1: 10 that clearly states:  “ and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” Also so in Revelation 3: 10- “ Since you have kept my commands to endure patiently, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come to the whole world to test those who live on earth”.  It also contradicts a careful illustration and comparison the Word of God has drawn in describing the relationship of the church as the bride of Christ. The betrothal is the official contract drawn between the bridegroom and the bride prior to the consummation of the wedding. It is followed by the bridegroom’s return to his father’s house to prepare a place for his bride. The father of the bridegroom gives the final word as to when everything is ready and tells his son he may go get his bride. What follows then is a return to the home of the father for a wedding feast and celebration.  This post tribulation defies not only the scripture saying we will be saved from the wrath- it does not allow the proper time for the wedding feast and celebration.

So this school of thought does not seem to line up with Scripture.  The other two can both be lined up and it is a matter of timing and when the Day of Wrath officially begins.  If we are saved from the wrath of God could that be defined as the point of time in the 7 year period that comes with the opening of the second seal?  Note in verse 17 of chapter 6- “ the great day of His wrath has come.” As it was in the days of Noah- Noah was not there when the rain and storm began- he was put in the ark 7 days prior to the time the storm started.  So we can make arguments for the mid-trib or pre-trib depending on when the wrath of God is officially begun. If we are raptured mid-trib when the war breaks out- it will be easy to explain our disappearance.
We will not receive the wrath of God, of this scripture is sure.  However, as we move toward a time that will be ripe for the coming of the Anti-Christ – it does not mean we will not suffer from the hands of what is becoming an ever increasing anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-God world and society. To take your stand for Christ and the Word of God will expose you to adversity- more than ever before.

The key to freedom from worry is to know you are ready. Remember- heaven is a prepared place for prepared people.

The coming of Jesus, however, it might be timed will be a happy event for believers. God is warning of His coming judgment, He always has.  We must warn others and prepare ourselves.

In the parable of the ten virgins- the wise virgins were the ones who were prepared, their lamps were filled with oil. Oil is a symbol for the Holy Spirit. If you have the Spirit, you have Christ and you are prepared.  The parable is clear- you cannot borrow this “oil”- you can only get this by a personal transaction with the Lord Jesus.

When we study prophecy, we wonder why the USA is not mentioned specifically. The Bible makes no mention of most nations in the modern world. Most nations mentioned in prophecy have to do with those nations in the Mid-East surrounding Israel.  The reason we are not mentioned in prophecy might be the USA may be one several nations in a coalition with a global entity, such as the European Union, as global problems bring about global alliances to encourage free trade.  America has prospered as no other nation on the face of the earth. God has blessed America for the following reasons:  we have honored Him as God and Lord for most of our history and the Bible tells us-“ blessed is the nation whose God is Lord; God’s priority of reaching the lost has been the priority of America who has the distinction in the last century of providing 75% of all missionaries to the world; God blesses those who make His priorities their priorities; America has been a friend of the Jews and the nation of Israel.  And America has been a welcome home for all the immigrants of the world because of our freedom and love for freedom.  Do you know why we have enjoyed so much freedom? There is a simple reason and explanation. Because Jesus said ‘ you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” We began our remarkable history as a nation under God who recognized the truth that we were endowed by certain inalienable rights by our Creator. It was a nation whose presidents knelt and prayed to God with an open Bible as did George Washington. It was a nation who in forming their government and writing a constitution opened their sessions in prayer at the insistence of Benjamin Franklin.  It was Franklin who said, “the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of the truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And without His aid, we shall succeed no better in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”   So we read in the Bible and in history books of the rise and fall of civilizations. The course is always the same- from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage.

Back to Revelation 9- the first woe that came with the 5th trumpet is passed.  Two other woes are yet to come.  These horrors that John describes lasted for five months. In this first woe, those who bear the seal of God are not touched- for He is able to protect His children, just as they were protected from the plagues in Egypt.

The Sixth Trumpet.

The sixth angels sound his trumpet and orders are given from heaven to release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. These fallen angels or demons were evidently powerful and evil and they had been bound there since the fall. Interesting thing about the Euphrates River- it is first mentioned in the Book of Genesis and we know the Garden of Eden was in this area.  We also know this is where the first sin occurred when Adam and Eve sinned. It is also the site of the first murder when Cain murdered his brother Abel; it is where the flood began, the Tower of Babel was constructed and where Babylon, the fountainhead of idolatry was located.   The Euphrates River is also considered the dividing line between East and West. It is some 1700 miles in distance, the longest river in Asia. It marks the boundary between Israel and her historic enemies- Assyria and Babylon.

These angels were kept bound until this very day, and hour and month and year. God is very exacting in accomplishing his will. He is on a time table and schedule that is sure.  These were released to kill 1/3rd of mankind.  The number of their mounted troops is 200 million.  Chinese army?  20% of believing Muslims?  Either one can muster 200 million.  The amazing thing is over 2000 years ago when John recorded this number, there were not that many people in the whole world.

As John describes their appearance, we once again can speculate about the similarity to weapons of modern warfare; however, the results are the same.200 Millon troops energized by this demonic force of four powerful demons kill 1/3rd of mankind with fire, smoke and sulfur.

Now over ½ of the population has died in this tribulation. But verse 20 reflects the sad condition of the earth.  Just as it was in the days of Noah, when God looked upon earth and saw how great man’s wickedness had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. And God was grieved and wiped out mankind except for Noah and his family.  And yet mankind in this period of great tribulation still refuses to repent.

Verse 21 tells us : “ Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” These are the four prominent sins of this time.

1.   Murder- no absolute truths, making up your own right or wrong it will lead to no regard for human life. First  in the womb, then in the last years- the old. Abortion and euthanasia. The slippery slope of “situational ethics” in which  mankind can rationalize and justify the taking of lives with less value for the welfare of others. Since Roe Vs. Wade in 1973 when abortion on demand became legal in USA, over 49 million abortions have taken place. It is one of the most common surgical procedures in this country. It continues at a rate of 1.3 million abortions per year. Statistically the greatest burden and greatest costs of health care come in the latter years, especially the last few months of life. Assisted suicide or euthanasia could well become the solution to controlling health care costs.

2.   Sorceries- KJV- magic arts( NIV)  the word sorcery comes from the Greek word pharmakia which we get our word pharmacy. The practice of using drugs. WE are a nation addicted to drugs- both prescribed, legal ( alcohol) and illegal.  Drugs can open the doors to all types of troubles. Three of which are: sexual immorality, murder and thefts.

3.   Sexual Immorality- the word fornication comes from the Greek word –porneia ( pornography.)  This word refers to all types of sexual activity outside of Biblical marriage. The non-belief in the absolute truths of the Bible and situational ethics where any behavior can be justified lead to an attitude toward sex of anything goes and anything is acceptable. Homosexuality is not a new sexual sin- it is as old as Sodom and Gomorrah, where it was accepted and celebrated. Jesus said as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah so will it be when the son of man returns.

4.   The fourth sin of the Tribulation is thievery of every kind. Not just burglaries, armed robberies, but also an increase of white collar crimes of embezzlement, exorbitant bonuses and pay-outs that rob shareholders and businesses of assets and worth.. and fraudulent schemes like Madoff’s gigantic Ponzi scheme…where it appears one  man stole 50 billion dollars from people.



Chapter 10

Between the sixth and seventh trumpet there is an interlude in chapters 10 & 11 where we will meet three personalities- a mighty angel and the two witnesses.

In verse 1 of Chapter 10- John describes this heavenly being. His uniform was a cloud- denoting his heavenly origin, with a rainbow above his head. The rainbow was a reminder of God’s covenant with man that He would not destroy the earth by water again. ( it is interesting to note when we speak of war and the weapons of war such as nuclear bombs, missile, aircraft, etc.,.  we forget that God does not have to come up with such weapons for He can use nature which is under His control to destroy His enemies. And we have witnessed the destructive force of nature before.)  The angel’s face was described as being like the sun as the angel’s face shone as did Moses’ face after being in the presence of God. The angel’s face is shining because he has come from the presence of the Lord. His legs are described as pillars of fire. Fire speaks of judgment and this angel brings a message of soon coming judgment.

In verse 2, John continues his description as he tells us the angel  has a little scroll in his hand and plants his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and gives a mighty shout like the roar of a lion.  This is a picture of a conqueror- a victor claiming what belongs to his King.  Like an explorer who stands on the shores of a newly discovered land and lays claim to this for the kingdom he represents. “ The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it, for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” ( Psalms 24:1-2)

God created it all- and gave man dominion over it. Gave it to him to be a steward of His creation. In the fall, mankind forfeited the deed to earth to satan who took the title deed and became known as the prince of power of the air.

It was the custom in the days of John, if a Jewish family lost their property due to hardship or death or any other reason, it would not be lost permanently. Their possessions were carefully documented and sealed. On the outside of the document were written the requirements to redeem the possessions within.  Most often a family member, a kinsman, would rescue the family by paying the necessary amount to redeem the lost possessions. No one was found worthy or qualified to redeem the title to earth until the Lord Jesus our Kinsman Redeemer came and paid the price. I believe this little scroll is the title deed to earth, the Lord took back when He arose and took with him the keys to death and hades. Because when you receive the title deed, you also get the keys to the property.

Following this mighty angel’s shout, the voices of seven thunders spoke and John was about to write what they spoke but was told not to seal up what they said and not write it down.

In verses 5-7, we see the angel standing on the earth and the sea raise his right hand to heaven, as in the taking of an oath. And swears by the Lord God Almighty who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them- there will be no more delay.  Judgment is coming with the blowing of the last trumpet and the mystery of God will be accomplished.  Remember what Paul wrote in Ephesians 1: 9-10?  “ And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” The sure prophecies of God’s judgment and return to earth are now imminent. There will be no more delay.

Then John is instructed to take the little scroll and to take it and eat it and is told it will taste sweet as honey in his mouth, but turn sour or bitter in his stomach.

Quite often through scripture ‘tasting and eating’ are used to portray hearing and believing the word.  The part of the word that John was digesting, ruminating on was the judgment of God.  It was bitter –sweet- sweet because the future of God is sweet to believers, but bitter in the judgments that will fall on earth and unbelieving mankind should upset us and motivate us to tell unbelievers of the coming judgment and the horror that awaits those who do not believe.  Yet so often we do not warn others for fear they will laugh at us or be offended that we should question their goodness or their lifestyle.

Even now we are beginning to see how quickly situations and circumstances can change and become fearful.  But God has not given us as believers a spirit of fear. In fact He has through His spirit and His Word given us three things to overcome the spirit of fear. They are listed in 2 Timothy 1:7:  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of sound mind.”

1.   Spirit of power- God has enabled us with His Power thru the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me. When I am weak, I am strong.

2.   God has enabled us through His love. “How great is the love of the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.” (IJohn 3:1) Do you remember what it was like as a child to believe your parents could take care of any and all problems? “There is no fear in love –but perfect love drives out fear.” (I john 4:18) This perfect love drives out fear- enables us to master fear.

3.   God has enabled us by giving us a sound mind.  Enlightened our minds. If we continue in His word, we are His disciples indeed, and we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free.  We will have our minds transformed not conformed by the world.