The Sixth Trumpet or The Second Woe

 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Revelation 9:12 NKJV

The second woe unleashes another terrible judgment on mankind. This one involves a vast demonic force that will kill one-third of earth’s remaining population. How so? An invisible army of two hundred million horsemen will inflict three plagues upon mankind. God’s purpose is to cause the wicked to turn to Him and repent of their worship of false gods, murders, witchcraft, sexual immorality, and thefts.

Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.

Revelation 9:13-14 NKJV

The Golden Altar

Let’s first look to the Old Testament to understand the Israelites’ altars. The brazen altar sat in the court outside the temple where sacrifices were offered. The golden altar of incense stood inside the holy place in front of the veil. The chief priest would put animal blood on its horns for a sin-offering, especially on the Day of Atonement. (Read more about the golden altar HERE.)

The altar is a symbol of true worship, whose incense of Christ’s sacrifice ascends to God. On the other hand, Satan’s altar of worship demands horrific rituals of prostitution, human sacrifice, immoral orgies, blood-drinking, and satan-worship. Therefore, this second woe decrees judgment on all apostasy and false religions that worship Satan, demons, and idols.

The Four Horns

Just as the golden altar is a symbol of worship, the four horns represent the powerful enforcement and execution of its judgments. Note how God’s judgment comes from the four horns to fall on the world’s four primary religions: Brahmanism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism and Christianity. God has doomed each one because of its Godlessness and Christless Christianity.

The Four Fallen Angels Lead Demonic Armies

So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 

Revelation 9:15-17 NKJV

These four angels, who have been bound up until this particular moment in time, are demonic. Once freed, they lead an army of two hundred million demons who go forth to kill one-third of the people who practice false and satanic religions. These verses describe an invisible army pouring out from the abyss.

Why are the horses’ heads like lions? To create fear. Nothing terrifies people nor animals more than a lion’s roar. Scripture describes Satan as as a roaring lion, roaming about and seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The implication here is that great fear accompanies these plagues.

Mortal eyesight…

What is the literal explanation of this army, two hundred million strong? We see them plainly in the spiritual dimension, but what do they look like in the physical dimension? Let’s observe them by examining the following microscopic picture of a virus taken by the CDC:

Do you recognize it? Isn’t it interesting that its colors are the same as the breastplates described above. Another interesting fact is that fire, smoke, and brimstone are also red, blue, and yellow, respectively. Additionally, Scripture tells us these three things–fire, smoke, and brimstone–are in hell and the lake of fire.

By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their [the horses’] mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

Revelation 18:19 NKJV

The horses’ tails look like serpents’ heads, whose bites are lethal. The serpent reminds us of Satan in the Garden of Eden who deceived Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, resulting in spiritual death. So, deception may also play a big part in these plagues, just as fear does.


We may conclude that the four fallen angels have unleashed deep fear and deception regarding three deadly plagues via two million invisible “horsemen.” These affect the entire world, killing one-third of the earth’s population. Could they be future virus strains that cannot be killed with medicine or vaccinations?

The Rest of Mankind Who Did Not Die Nor Repent

But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Revelation 9:20-21 NKJV

It’s hard to imagine that some will choose to suffer and perhaps die worshiping false religions rather than repent of their sins and turn to God. However, man will still have a chance to find salvation in such days as these. But, accepting Jesus as Savior now is the only certain way to avoid these terrible judgments. If you don’t know Him, you can meet Him today.

Dear Heavenly Father, may those who seek You repent of their sins, turn from their wicked ways, and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. Thank You for Your protection from the fear and deception of these three plagues that will sweep the earth. As we wait for Your glorious appearing, may we purify our hearts and proclaim Your gospel of salvation to a lost and dying world. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

The Sixth Trumpet or Second Woe by Karen Jurgens copyright ©2023 All rights reserved.

The Fifth Trumpet and First Woe

“And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’

Revelation 8:13 NKJV

Beginning with the blast of the fifth trumpet, the earth enters into the first of three woes. In our last post, we defined woe as a condition of deep suffering or trouble leading to calamitous ruin. God has steadily increased his judgments, from social upheaval and death (Rev. 6:1-8) to harm upon the earth and the seas (Rev. 8:6-12). Now His judgments of wrath will physically affect people on earth.

What is the reason for these judgments?

God’s purpose is to wake people up, cause them to turn from their wicked, sinful ways and be saved. For example, God did the same thing to the Jews–who didn’t heed the warning– when He allowed the Babylonians to conquer Jerusalem in 597 B.C. In the book of Ezekiel, this prophet wrote at least fifty times of God’s purpose–to make them know that He is the Lord.

And they shall know that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.

Ezekiel 6:10 NKJV

Now let’s continue with Revelation 9 and first define some terms to give us more understanding.

Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 

Revelation 9:1-2 NKJV

The Bottomless Pit

We’re likely familiar with the term bottomless pit, but what exactly is it and who is kept imprisoned there? We read in Jude 1:6, The angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; and also in 2 Peter 2:4, ...God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment. Thus, we know that there is a special place reserved just for fallen angels until the end of the age when God casts them into the Lake of Fire, the final Hell, which burns forever.

Hades or Hell

When the wicked die, where do they go? The term Hades or commonly, Hell, is where people wait for final judgment. You can read the story of the rich man and Lazarus HERE, which enlightens us about this terrible place. So presently, two places of Hell exist–one for fallen angels and the other for sinners–but all of them will be cast together into the Lake of Fire at the White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).

The Nephilim

A demonic race of mighty men appeared on the earth, known as Nephilim. Genesis 6:1-4 explains their origins as fallen angels or demons who, against God’s natural order, sired children by women (read HERE). Included in its ranks were giants of great renown, including Goliath.

As a result of their sinfulness, God punished these demons by casting them into a special place reserved for them alone: the bottomless pit. They will remain there until the final judgment when they will be cast into the Lake of Fire. However, some of them will be loosed for a specified time, appearing as locusts.

The Fallen Star

The fallen star has been given a key to the bottomless pit, so we know that this is either an angel or a high-ranking demon–perhaps Satan– to whom Jesus has given the key. Note the smoke pouring out of the pit, indicating that it’s an extremely hot place, perhaps from unquenchable fire. The smoke’s volume is so great that both sun and air will be blacked out, hosting clouds of locusts that will spread across the earth.

Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

Revelation 9:3-6 NKJV

God’s Limitations

These locusts appear to be demons since they come out of the bottomless pit. Unlike real locusts, they are muzzled by God’s strict rules for a duration of five months. They are forbidden to harm grass, trees, or any other green plants on the earth, proving that they are not real locusts. God gives them only one assignment: to sting people who don’t have God’s seal on their foreheads. They can torment but not kill mankind for five months.

So, the 144,000, as well as others who have accepted Christ as Savior during this time, will be safe from this judgment. The torment of their sting must be unimaginable since men will want to die to escape the pain. Although God prohibits escape by death, He again offers escape from the Lake of Fire through repentance and salvation.

A Description of the Locusts

The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.

Revelation 9:7-11 NKJV

John uses similes (using like) to compare these demonic forces to familiar analogies. Are they physically real or spiritually invisible? Are they a description of military helicopters? Several theories exist. Regardless, we know that these are vicious hordes of demons released from the bottomless pit whose king, Apollyon, means Destroyer. It’s now obvious why this fifth trumpet judgment is aptly termed a woe.

One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Revelation 9:12 NKJV

Dear Father, thank you for Your plan to bring the wicked to You. May all men repent of their sin and accept Christ as Savior and Lord. In His Name we pray, Amen.

The Fifth Trumpet and First Woe by Karen Jurgens Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved.

The Seventh Seal: The Sounding of the Trumpet Judgments

“When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

Revelation 8:1 NKJV

Why would God command silence in heaven for thirty minutes?

As we saw in earlier chapters, heaven is loud with praise and worship to the Father and Son. During the sixth seal (click HERE to read), we witnessed multitudes too numerous to count–angels, people delivered from the tribulation, the four living creatures, and twelve elders–all worshiping and giving thanks to God.

Silence: What does it signify?

But now absolute silence falls throughout heaven. Perhaps it signifies the gravity of the next judgments about to descend upon the earth. Everyone waits in reverent attention to see what God will decree.

Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.  And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.  Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:2-5 NKJV

Did you realize our prayers have a special part to play during the seventh seal judgment? How wonderful to learn they are combined with incense, which is offered up to God from the angel’s hand upon the golden altar before the throne. What tremendous encouragement for us to keep praying and not lose heart!

Next, the angel takes the golden censer filled with fire from the altar and throws it onto the earth. Thunder, lightning, and an earthquake follow. After these things, the seven angels prepare to sound their trumpets.

The First Trumpet: The Vegetation

The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Revelation 8:7 NKJV

The Second Trumpet: The Seas

Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Revelation 8:8-9 NKJV

The Third Trumpet: The Waters

Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Revelation 8:10-11 NKJV

The Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens

Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

Revelation 8:12 NKJV

What do the judgments of these first four trumpets have in common? In each one, one-third of something is struck and killed or destroyed. We can only guess why God allows two-thirds to survive. Perhaps it’s His mercy that restrains complete annihilation at this point. These catastrophes come in part to warn the wicked to repent. They may not know it yet, but God’s wrath will soon increase.

A Pause to Mourn

And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!

Revelation 8:13 NKJV

What does WOE mean? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, it’s a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief; ruinous trouble: calamity, affliction, economic woes.

How sad that an angel declares three separate woes upon the earth’s inhabitants. These next three trumpet judgments will be extremely hard to bear.

What happens during the fifth trumpet blast? Continue with me to the next post to find out.

Dear Father, We know that Your judgments are just and true. We pray Habakkuk 3:2: “In wrath, remember mercy.” May the wicked repent and turn to Christ to be saved. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

An Interlude Before the Seventh Seal Judgment

Vintage picture of martyrs in heaven dressed in white robes and waving palm branches of victory, occurring during an interlude before the seventh seal judgment.

Just as the audience at a Shakespearian tragedy would welcome a lighter scene to counter heavy drama, so does John after the sixth judgment. An interlude, devoid of judgment, occurs before the seventh seal judgment.

“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.'”

Revelation 7:1-3 NKJV

Interestingly, this interlude occurs between the sixth and seventh seal judgments where John witnesses two important events. The first vision takes place on earth and the second in heaven.

The First Vision: Interlude On the Earth

The first vision focuses on four angels stationed at the earth’s four corners who stop the winds from blowing. However, before these angels have permission to harm the earth, the seas, or the trees, a special angel with the seal of God ascends from the east to interrupt their mission. The 144,000 have to first be sealed.

Who are the 144,000?

These are Jews who will enter into the New Covenant with their eyes and hearts open to accept Jesus as Messiah, which is the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31-34 (read HERE). God has chosen 12,000 from each tribe to be saved and sealed before more judgments are allowed to continue. Here are the names of the sealed tribes:

From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,

from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,

from the tribe of Gad 12,000,

from the tribe of Asher 12,000,

from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,

from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,

from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,

from the tribe of Levi 12,000,

from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,

from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,

from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,

from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

Revelation 7:5-8 NIV

A few discrepancies exist in this list where the exact names of Israel’s sons don’t fall in birth order. When Israel was lying on his deathbed, he called his twelve sons to him and prophesied over each one. Here is what he said over Judah, the tribe from which Jesus comes:

‘Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

Genesis 49:8-10 NKJV

Levi is included in the 144,000, which is also unusual. This tribe of priests led praise and worship. They had their own inheritance from God and were exempt from the duties of the other eleven tribes.

Most interesting is that the tribe of Dan is missing. Why? Let’s read Jacob’s prophecy over this son:

‘Dan shall judge his people
As one of the tribes of Israel.
Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
A viper by the path,
That bites the horse’s heels
So that its rider shall fall backward.
I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

Genesis 49:16-18 NKJV

Several theories exist about who the Anti-Christ will be. Some believe that he will come from the tribe of Dan since he is called a biting viper and is not included in the list of the sealed Jews during the Tribulation. (For the complete list of prophesies over the twelve sons of Jacob, click HERE.) Could the Anti-Christ be a Jew from this tribe?

One thing is certain: God’s promise to save the Jews is fulfilled at this time (Read all of Jeremiah 31 HERE). The Church will never replace Israel, as some teach. These Messianic Jews will function as end-time evangelists on earth who will be protected by God through the coming judgments of the Great Tribulation.

The Second Vision: Interlude In Heaven

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.

Revelation 7:9-12 NKJV

Next, John enters heaven’s throne room where he witnesses a glorious service of praise and worship to God and Christ. Let’s take the time to fully imagine what this scene will be like. Picture people from every nation and ethnicity from around the world, too numerous to count, standing before God’s throne and waving palm branches of victory. Added to this huge multitude is ALL the angels plus the elders and four living creatures who will fall on their faces in deep and reverent worship to God. It’s almost impossible to imagine millions upon millions around the throne!

Who is this multitude?

Could this multitude be the ones who were given white robes and told to wait patiently until the rest of the martyred ones joined them? (see Revelation 6:9-11 HERE.) John asks one of the elders speaking to him to explain who they are.

So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Revelation 7:14-17 NKJV

So, these may be the rest of the martyred ones who accept Christ as Savior during the Great Tribulation. Their punishment for rejecting the Anti-Christ and not taking his mark will be facing the guillotine. They will suffer from hunger, thirst, intense heat from the sun, and will shed many tears. But, their reward for refusing to deny Jesus will be wonderful. The temple of God will be their new home where they will serve God day and night, and He will dwell among them. As mentioned in Revelation 20, they are part of the first resurrection and will reign with Christ for 1,000 years (read HERE).

The Seventh Seal

After witnessing this glorious vision, John comes back to earth where the seventh seal awaits. However, this last seal is different from the other six. How so? Join me in the next post where we’ll find out.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for Your promise to save all of Israel during the tribulation. You rejected them for a time because of their disobedience, but You are gathering them again to Yourself. We praise You for gloriously saving and comforting those who will be martyred during the reign of the Anti-Christ. May those who don’t know You as Savior be drawn to the cross of Christ today before those days of judgment come upon the earth. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

An Interlude Before the Seventh Seal Judgment by Karen Jurgens Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.

The Sixth Seal Judgment

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”

Revelation 6:12 NKJV

The sixth seal judgment opens with severe cosmic disturbances that affect the earth. Following a great earthquake, the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood (v. 12b). This describes a lunar eclipse, commonly referred to as a blood moon. These eclipses can portend judgments that God is sending upon the world, specifically to Israel.

Let’s look at a definition and explore some history about tetrads.

The History of Blood Moon Tetrads

A Blood Moon Tetrad is a series of four lunar eclipses (minus any other partial eclipses in between) that fall on Passover and Sukkot. Lunar eclipses are warnings for Israel (on a lunar calendar), and solar eclipses are warnings for the rest of the Gentile world (on a solar calendar). Since the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago, this has happened eight separate times, each time with important significance for Israel.

  • In 1493-94, a tetrad appeared after King Ferdinand of Spain ousted the Jews in 1492 from his country. Christopher Columbus, a Jew, left Spain to find a new land where his people could move. That land today is America.
  • In 1949-50, a tetrad appeared after Israel became an independent state in 1948, signifying its miraculous reestablishment after its destruction in 70 A.D.
  • In 1967-68, a tetrad occurred following the Six Day War of 1967. For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem was reinstated as the capital of Israel during a miraculous six-day war.
  • In 2014-15, the eighth tetrad happened with a solar eclipse in the middle. (A solar eclipse bodes warning for the rest of the non-Jewish world. Some predict that it means war is coming to the world.) This coincides with President Trump’s pre-presidency campaign in 2015 and election in 2016. Later, in 2020, the Abraham Accords established peace and diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and potentially, Sudan.

The next tetrad will not happen for another 500 years. The most recent blood moon (not a tetrad) occurred during the midterm election in the United States on November 8, 2022. The next one will fall on March 14, 2025, at the end of Purim.

The Fig Tree in Scripture

And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 

Revelation 6:13 NKJV

What does the fig tree symbolize in scripture? Let’s look at some references.

  • Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to make coverings for their nakedness (see Genesis 3:7).
  • Malachi envisions the universal benefits of the New Covenant by referring to every man “sitting under his vine and under his fig tree” in Micah 4:4.
  • Nahum compares the devastation of Nineveh to a ripe fig falling from a tree that is shaken (see Nahum 3:12).
  • Isaiah compares the destruction of the enemies of God’s people to a fig falling from a tree (see Isaiah 34:4).
  • Jesus uses the cursing of the fruitless fig tree to refer to the Jews’ rejection of Him as Messiah (see Matthew 21:19).

The Wind of Divine Wrath

Some interpret this wind as a symbol of destruction to those who persecute the followers of Jesus. They are symbolized by the falling of late figs from the tree “when she is shaken of a mighty wind”–the wind of divine wrath.

  • Jeremiah prophesied that a “full wind” would come upon Jerusalem, “not to fan, not to cleanse,” but as a judgment to execute “sentence against them” (see Jeremiah 4:11-12).
  • Jeremiah refers to a great whirlwind rising up from the farthest parts of the earth and disaster going from nation to nation (see Jeremiah 25:32).

So, will stars literally fall to the earth like ripe figs shaken by a mighty wind? Perhaps asteroids might fall to the earth, but one thing is clear from the comparison to the fig tree. The corrupt and lawless governments on the earth at that time will be judged and destroyed when this seal opens.

The Heavens and Earth Shaken

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

Revelation 6:14 NKJV

This great earthquake will be so powerful and severe that the sky will appear to tear in two and roll up like two ends of a scroll. The earth will also be torn apart, from the highest mountains to the smallest islands. Some commentaries surmise that this physical destruction will also tear down pagan and false religious beliefs–everything and everyone who deny Jesus and persecute believers. This is evident in the following verses that conclude the sixth seal:

And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?

Revelation 6:15-17 NKJV

One thing is sure: from the richest and most powerful down to the weakest and poorest, people on the earth will understand that God’s judgment has arrived. There will be no place to hide, and they will have to face God’s wrath. The sixth seal judgment will be a terrifying day on the earth for those who are left behind after the Rapture of the church.

One more seal judgment remains. Don’t miss this very important seventh seal in our next blog post.

Dear Father God, we praise You for loving sinners enough to send these righteous judgments to wake them up. On the day when the sixth seal opens, people will still have a chance to be saved. May they repent of their sins and run into the saving arms of Jesus. In Your holy Name we pray, Lord Jesus, Amen.

The Sixth Seal Judgment by Karen Jurgens Copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.

The Fifth Seal Judgment’s Cry of the Martyrs

“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.”

Revelation 6:9 NKJV

What happens to martyrs who would choose to die instead of renouncing their faith in Christ?

The fifth seal judgment shows us a very special place in heaven where these people are waiting patiently for God’s justice. This seal reveals God’s abounding love, mercy, and grace toward anyone who has loved their testimony and the word of God more than life.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

Revelation 6:10-11 NKJV

Let’s begin with understanding the term martyr.

Merriam Webster defines a religious martyr as a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion.

Jesus Himself prepares us in Matthew 24:9  for the possibility of facing persecution, hatred, and death for our testimony and our faith in Him. A commitment to follow Christ is a serious decision, and not one to take lightly. As wonderful as the free gift of salvation and assurance of heaven are, wisdom flags us to heed Christ’s warning. In our present day, the church and the world are rapidly falling into Satan’s traps of deception and apostasy, including Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christ sentiments.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.’

Mark 8:35 NKJV

Have any of us suffered as martyrs for our Christian beliefs?

Although not yet common in the United States, martyrs exist in other places around the world, such as the Middle East and Communist countries. This topic is unfamiliar in America and one we don’t often hear preached from the pulpit. Although we pray for innocent Christians around the world who are captured and killed for their faith , we can hardly grasp making a choice between renouncing Christ or losing our own lives. We can’t because we haven’t taken a walk in the shoes of these precious martyrs. However, a day may soon be coming upon the entire world where martyrdom becomes commonplace.

What would we do if we found ourselves in this situation?

Only God knows the number of martyrs who have been killed for their testimony and the word of God. Probably millions fall into this category, beginning with Abel in Genesis, to prophets and all of the apostles, and continuing down the centuries to 2023.

Let’s look at the biblical account of a well-known martyr for powerful inspiration.

Stephen’s Witness

Stephen, one of the most famous Christian martyrs, was stoned to death by a synagogue who claimed he had blasphemed. After delivering a defense that cut them to the quick, Stephen summed up their resistance to the Holy Spirit:

‘You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.

Acts 7:51-53 NKJV

Upon Stephen’s witness of the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of God in heaven, the brutal crowd cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. Stephen’s response as he died was, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (see Acts 7:54-60).

Jesus’s witness

Jesus predicted His own suffering on the cross. His blood had to be shed to forgive our sins. When God looks on a believer washed in the blood of the Lamb, He sees us through the blood of Christ’s righteousness (see Colossians 1:13-14).

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Matthew 16:31 NKJV

The Apostle Peter’s encouragement

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.

1 Peter 3:14 NKJV

Future martyrs will join those waiting under the altar in heaven. God will give each one a white robe and encouragement to wait patiently for that day when He will avenge the blood of all who have been killed for their testimony and the word of God. What a wonderful promise!

For more stories on Biblical martyrs, click HERE for Jewish Martyrs for Christ.

Let’s conclude with the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to Timothy.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

2 Timothy 1:8, 12 NKJV

Dear Father God, thank you for your promise to avenge the blood of every Christian martyr. Let us follow in Your sufferings and glorify Your Name in all the earth. Give us courage and boldness to never be ashamed of the gospel and the Name of Jesus. In His Name we pray, Amen.

The Fifth Seal’s Judgment Cry of the Martyrs by Karen Jurgens copyright ©2023 All rights reserved.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

“’Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!'” 

Matthew 24:32-33 NKJV

What exactly will happen during the Tribulation? A comprehensive study includes passages from several books in both the Old and New Testaments. Our survey will concentrate mainly in Revelation with occasional biblical references to deepen our understanding of future events. We may not understand everything we are about to read, but it is enough to prepare us for what is coming. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:25, ‘See, I have told you beforehand‘ (NKJV).

Before we begin, let’s remember some comforting words: DO NOT FEAR. The Bible declares this 365 times–once for every day of the year. For those who already know Jesus as Lord and Savior, there is no reason to fear the coming Tribulation. The wrath of God will be poured out only on the wicked as a final call to salvation and punishment for evil.

Do we know when the Rapture will happen?

No, we don’t know exactly when the Rapture will happen, but even if the church is on earth for the beginning of the Tribulation, God will protect us. Remember how God protected the Israelites in Egypt when He poured out judgments on Pharaoh and the Egyptians? We can trust God to protect us in the same way. God is in complete control, no matter what may happen.

On the other hand, those who aren’t saved need to pay close attention to what they will have to face on the earth during those seven years. Salvation will still be available, but the price paid to gain heaven at the hands of the Anti-Christ will require facing a guillotine. However, the ultimate price for following the Anti-Christ and taking the mark of the beast will be far worse: eternity in the lake of fire. For all of us, the time to accept Christ as Savior is NOW, before the Tribulation begins.

Now let’s examine the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and begin with a definition.

What does Apocalypse mean?

In Greek, this word means a revelation of things not previously known, or an unveiling of future events. This last book of the New Testament is the unveiling of Jesus Christ, who is coming again to the earth.

In our last post of this survey, we left John in the throne room of God, rejoicing with all of heaven. Jesus, the Lamb who was slain, was found worthy to take the scroll from God’s hand and open its seven seals.

The First Seal

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Revelation 6:1-2 NKJV

Who is the rider on the white horse?

Although some claim it is Christ, there are several reasons why it couldn’t be Jesus. If we look at Revelation 19 when Christ returns at the Second Coming, He wears many crowns; He will rule with a rod of iron; and He comes to judge and wage war against His enemies (see Revelation 19:11-16). Most agree the rider on the white horse may be the Anti-Christ or an Anti-Christ spirit working through men that conquers by taking away political and personal freedoms.

The Second Seal

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

Revelation 6:3-4 NKJV

Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 24:6-7 about wars and killing in the last days. He said: ‘And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (NKJV).

But one interesting detail about the rider on the red horse is that he holds a sword to take peace from the earth. Even in our present day, a certain Middle Eastern religion still kills by the sword as its people wage vicious, interminable wars. Could that coincidence point to the rider on the red horse? Or could people killing each other be the logical result of losing political and personal freedoms?

The Third Seal

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.

Revelation 6:5-6 NKJV

What follows political oppression and violence? Economic depression and famine. The black horse represents death caused by starvation, and its rider measures out just enough food for one person per day. Will farms be obsolete? Will people be hoarded into crowded cities and their daily ration of food be controlled by the government?

Wheat and barley will cost an entire day’s wage, but barley will be a cheaper bargain at three times the amount. Consequently, runaway inflation will result in a huge amount of money necessary to purchase one loaf of bread. Although olives for oil and grapes for wine will still be plentiful, they will be luxury items only affordable to the very rich. Such will be the results of a worldwide economic depression and food shortage.

The Fourth Seal

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:7-8 NKJV

After war and famine, riots and lawlessness result, creating barbaric people. They will take the law into their own hands and kill each other for food. Pandemics and plagues will also wipe out vast populations on earth. As protective infrastructures dissolve, wild beasts will be able to attack the population.

A pale horse refers to the color pale green (coloris), the color of rotting flesh. The rider, Death, takes the body, and Hades takes the soul of one-fourth of the world’s population. As of 2023, the number of dead would be one-fourth of eight billion, equaling two billion people.


The effects of the four horsemen described in Revelation 6 are evident today. However, what is described here will be far worse than what the world is experiencing in 2023. As God releases these horses to gallop across the earth in the future, He is doing so to call all unbelievers to repentance. Some will wake up and heed the call to salvation, while others will not.

Have you heeded the call? If not, come to Jesus today. If you are a believer, witness to the lost. Let’s pack the ark of salvation so that when the clouds part and the trumpet sounds, we will all be with Jesus.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV

Dear Father, thank you for revealing what is to come in the future. Draw those who want to know You to the cross of Christ. May they repent of their sins, receive Your forgiveness, and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Karen Jurgens copyright ©2023 All Rights Reserved

Who is Worthy to Open the Book?

Who is worthy to open the book? Revelation 5 ushers in one of the most important prophetic climaxes in heaven. John sees God seated on His throne, and in His right hand is a book (like a scroll) with writing inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.

 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?

Revelation 5:2 NASB

Much to John’s chagrin, no one is worthy–whether in heaven, on earth, or under the earth. John’s hopelessness breaks into devastated weeping until one of the elders intervenes.

…and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.’

Revelation 5:5 NASB

Jesus, the Overcomer

Only one person in all of creation has overcome to be worthy to open the book. Jesus, the Lion from the tribe of Judah and the Root of King David, appears as the sacrificial Lamb of God. The Lamb has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God He sends into all the earth. After He takes the book from God’s hand, glorious praise and worship crescendos in heaven.

Where does God keep our prayers?

When the four living creatures and elders fall on their knees before the Lamb, each elder holds a harp and golden bowls full of incense. Inside these golden bowls are the prayers of the saints–yours and mine. Isn’t it amazing that our prayers are collected and will be presented to Jesus on this day? How reassuring to know that God keeps and safeguards every prayer we pray in heaven.

Sing a new song

At the Coronation of King Charles III, a new song was composed for that happy occasion. On the other hand, Elton John composed and sang a new song at the funeral of Princess Diana. As great ceremonies call for new songs, it’s the same in heaven. Here are the lyrics we will sing to the Lamb of God when He takes the scroll from God’s hand:

‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.

Revelation 5:9-10 NASB

Following this, John witnesses a vast number of angels around the throne, described as “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.” These continue worshiping the Lamb, saying with loud voices, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing’ (Revelation 5:12 NASB).

All creation joins in mighty praise

Finally, all the rest of God’s creation–in heaven, on and under the earth, and on and under the seas–join in praise, saying,

‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’

Revelation 5:13b NASB

And worship

The four living creatures said, ‘Amen,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Revelation 5:14 NASB

We are anxiously awaiting that glorious day. All of heaven and earth will lift loud voices of praise and worship to both Father God and His Son. The breaking of these seals signifies the beginning of the Tribulation on Earth.

Thank you, dear Father God, that Your Son is worthy to take the scroll and break its seals. We praise You and give You all the glory, for You are worthy of worship and of our praise. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Who is Worthy to Open the Book? by Karen Jurgens copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.

A Glimpse into God’s Throne Room

How amazing to actually see what God’s throne room looks like–and who is there! That’s where John takes us in the fourth chapter of Revelation. His experience will banish any childhood fantasies about heaven. Aren’t we thankful that we catch a glimpse of what our future holds? We believers will actually see, hear, and experience what we are about to see through John’s eyes. Wow!

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ “

Revelation 4:1 NASB

Is this the time of the rapture of the church?

Although there are other theories, great evidence supports the rapture of the church occurring between Revelation 2 and 3. Let’s explore a bit of the evidence, beginning with Revelation 1:19.

Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.’

Revelation 1:19 NASB

Since Revelation 4:1 begins with the words, after these things, we know that John, standing in heaven, is watching the future unfold on earth.

Additionally, John enters heaven through an open door, and no one leaves heaven until the church returns with Christ at Armageddon. We know that the trumpet will sound to announce this event as told in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, and the voice in Revelation 4:1 was “like the sound of a trumpet.”

Interestingly, after Jesus instructs John to write a letter to each of the seven churches, the church isn’t mentioned again until Chapter 19. Since the church has vacated earth, so will the Holy Spirit who lives inside believers. No longer is the Restrainer present to hold back the evil Satan unleashes through the Anti-Christ and False Prophet.

Hence, God allows the seven-year Tribulation to begin, whose purpose is to bring His judgment and wrath upon the wicked, not upon the righteous (see Romans 8:1).

Our glorious God

After John wrote the letters to the seven churches, he finds himself in the spirit and transported to heaven. The first thing he focuses on is God seated on His throne.

And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.

Revelation 4:3 NASB

Isn’t it interesting that this is our only glimpse of God? We know man is made in God’s image, but John describes Him in relation to the colors of precious stones.

A jasper stone here was probably clear white, and a sardius is red, perhaps like a ruby or a red jasper stone. The rainbow around the throne is green like an emerald stone–not as the many-colored half-rainbows we see in the sky after a rain storm. This soft green light encircles the throne of God in one complete circle, perhaps signifying His mercy and grace. Suffice it to say that God and His throne are bathed in beautiful colors of transparent lights, which is the glory of God.

The twenty-four elders

Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.

Revelation 4:4 NASB

Next, John sees twenty-four thrones in a circle around God’s throne where twenty-four elders sit. No one really knows who they will be, although speculation abounds. Many surmise that they represent those from the church because they wear white clothing and golden crowns.

The seven lampstands

Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God; 

Revelation 4:5 NASB

As a child, I still have vivid recollections of severe summer storms. They could be quite frightening as bright flashes of electricity in a dark sky preceded pounding, deafening thunder. Yet, John describes these same things as coming from God’s throne. Not terrifying, but witnesses to the power and divine majesty of the holy God we serve.

And in the midst stood seven lamps–the seven spirits of God–burning with fire and positioned in front of the throne. But what exactly are they? We know there is only one spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. So, these spirits may refer to the varied ministries of the Holy Spirit: the Spirit of the Lord, and wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of the Lord (see Isaiah 11:2).

The four living creatures

and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature like a calf, the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.

Revelation 4:6-8 NASB

These creatures may be an exalted order of angels whose sole purpose is to worship and glorify God. To John, they resemble a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle in flight, all having six wings. These also parallel the descriptions in Ezekiel 1:10 and Isaiah 6:2. Night and day, forever and ever, they will continually give praise to God the Father. We’ll see in the next chapter that they also worship Jesus, thus proving that Jesus is separate yet equal to God.

A concert of praise to God

And when the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.

Revelation 4:9-11 NASB

At the conclusion of this chapter, we see the creatures and the elders joined in agreement as they worship God together. The creatures cry holy, and the elders cry worthy. As the elders fall on their knees, they cast their golden crowns before God’s throne and praise Him for His creation, giving Him all glory, honor, and power. What a powerful time of worship and praise to our holy God!

I don’t know about you, but this glimpse into God’s throne room gives me goosebumps.

How wonderful to look forward to that day when we will be in His presence, praising and worshiping our God along with the rest of heaven.

Dear Father, thank You for allowing us to glimpse You and Your throne room in heaven. We give you all the praise, all the glory, and all the honor both now and forever. We worship You, for You alone are worthy. We anticipate the day when we will worship You in heaven. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

A Glimpse into God’s Throne Room by Karen Jurgens copyright 2023 All rights reserved.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John.”

Revelation 1:1 NASB

As we prepare to return to our survey of the book of Revelation, let’s begin by remembering Christ’s words to John, which frame the purpose for this book of prophecy:

Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.

Revelation 1:19 NASB

Jesus directed John to write things that were past, present, and future, beginning with the messages to the seven churches in Asia. Each letter outlines specific commendations of excellence and warnings of failure, but concludes with a promise of rewards for overcomers. In fact, the purpose of these seven-fold messages is to overcome. Let’s review Christ’s encouragement to each church.


To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God‘ (Revelation 2:7 NASB).


The one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death’ (Revelation 2:11b NASB).


‘To the one who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows except the one who receives it’ (Revelation 2:17b NASB).


The one who overcomes, and the one who keeps My deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are shattered, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star‘ (Revelation 2:26-28 NASB).


‘The one who overcomes will be clothed the same way, in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels‘ (Revelation 3:5 NASB).


‘The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name‘ (Revelation 3:12 NASB). 


‘The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne‘ (Revelation 3:21 NASB).

Notice that Jesus concludes His message to each church the same way. ‘The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

As we prepare to delve into the fourth chapter and beyond, let’s be aware that we’re entering a realm of spiritual mystery. There will be fantastic, wonderful descriptions of heaven and what it’s really like. But there will also be a description of the wrath of God poured out upon the earth, and at times it will be very dark and troubling.

Keep in mind that through it all, God is in complete control. We don’t have to fear what we read, neither do we have to understand every detail. At some point, God will send Jesus to rapture the Church out of the Great Tribulation because the wrath of God is only for the wicked (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The bottom line is to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to escape what is coming on the earth. We can rest assured that God will protect us through it all.

Our survey will glean the surface and hopefully bring encouragement to dig deeper in a Bible study on Revelation. Why should we read this book of prophecy? The answer is here:

Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3 NASB

Dear Father, thank you for blessing us as we read this great book of prophecy. Let us listen closely to Your words and be obedient to its instruction. May we be overcomers in Your kingdom. Come quickly, Lord Jesus–we anxiously look for Your return. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Karen Jurgens copyright © 2023 All rights reserved.