Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement

“‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’”

Leviticus 17:11 NKJV

Welcome to the second Fall Feast, also known as Yom Kippur, which is celebrated on September 24th beginning at sunset through nightfall on September 25th. It falls at the end of the 10 days of Awe–a time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Yom means “day,” and Kippur means “covering,” so this feast means “the day of covering.” As the holiest day of the year in Judaism, people celebrate with fasting, prayer, and repentance.

Atonement in the Old Testament

‘Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’

Leviticus 23:27 NKJV

God can be in covenant with humanity only through a blood atonement. Each and every year, an atonement had to be made for the sins of the people, which required animal blood. On this most holy day, the high priest would take the blood of both a bull and a goat and enter through the veil into the Holy of Holies. Then he would pour out the blood on top of the Ark of the Covenant in which the Ten Commandments laid. When God saw the sacrifice, He would forgive the people’s sins for one year.

Fulfillment of Atonement in the New Testament

Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

Matthew 27:51 NKJV

The animal sacrifice was simply a harbinger of the permanent sacrifice to come through Yeshua’s crucifixion. As Jesus shed His sinless blood on the cross, the veil in the Temple was ripped in two. No longer will mankind be separated from God. The blood of the Lamb of God paid the price for the sins of every person on earth. Now we can have fellowship with God and know Him personally through the blood of Jesus Christ.

He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. 

Hebrews 9:26b-28a NKJV

The Meaning of Yom Kippur for Christians

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Ephesians 1:7 NKJV

For Christians, Yom Kippur means a time to give special thanks and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. We remember His sacrifice on the cross, His suffering in our place, and His forgiveness of our sins. We rejoice in His precious blood covering that delivers us from sin, hell, and the grave.

A Joyous Prophecy for Israel

‘And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.’

Zechariah 12:10 NKJV

This prophetic aspect of Yom Kippur has yet to be fulfilled. What a glorious day it will be when the Jewish people will understand and know that Jesus was always their awaited Messiah. The veil covering their eyes of understanding will be lifted, and they will have a glorious and emotional reunion with the Lord.

The Book of Revelation also describes this future event prophesied by Zechariah:

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Revelation 1:7 NKJV

Paul also predicts this future event:

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

Romans 11:26 NKJV

On that future day–not too far away–God will cover His Jewish people and bring His kingdom to earth where all believers will dwell forever with our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.

Dear Lord, we rejoice in Your sacrifice of sinless blood so we can be saved. Thank you for fulfilling Yom Kippur and being our permanent atonement for forgiveness of sins. We anxiously look for Your return and for the salvation of Israel. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Celebrating the Day of Atonement by Karen Jurgens Copyright © 2022 and 2023 All Rights Reserved.

Referenced from Discovering the Jewish Jesus by Rabbi Schneider, September, 2022 Special Edition

Yom Teruah–The Feast of Trumpets

“‘And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.'”

Numbers 29:1

Welcome to the first of the Fall Feasts! In modern Judaism, Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets is commonly called Rosh Hashanah. Shana Tova means “May it be a good year.” Beginning on September 15th at sunset and ending at nightfall on the 17th, the Jewish New Year of 5784 will be celebrated by Jews in Israel and around the world. This commemorates the sixth day of creation when God created man after the world had been established. It also marks the beginning of the ten Days of Awe–a time of repentance of sins–which end on Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.

From the Jewish perspective, I’d like to share a summary about Rosh Hashanah, taken from The Temple Institute. Click HERE to read.

Why do Christians celebrate the Jewish Feast Days?

The Jews celebrate their history, but Christians celebrate these days because they will ultimately be fulfilled by our Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ. Right now Jewish people are taking this time to repent of all known sin and to restore broken relationships. Do you see a connection to Christianity? Through the blood and resurrection of Christ, all men have access to salvation through repentance and belief in Jesus.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

We are also instructed to try to live in peace.

Romans 10:10

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18

The significance of the shofar or trumpet

Additionally, hearing the shofar is vitally important. In Exodus 19:16-20, about three million Jews camped at the base of Mount Sinai where God sounded a loud shofar from heaven and then spoke to the people. Christianity teaches that this sound precedes the Rapture at the time Jesus returns for His church.

Happy Rosh Hashanah by Karen Jurgens

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

1 Corinthians 15: 51-53

Studying the Jewish Feast Days completes and deepens our understanding of the Scriptures. The Old Testament mirrors the New Testament, fitting together perfectly. The Feast of Trumpets will announce the arrival of Messiah. Could it happen this year? Regardless, it is fascinating to live in such days when we wait and watch for their fulfillment to take place.

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.

A Thrill of a Lifetime

Who wouldn’t be enticed to experience a thrill of a lifetime?

That’s how former thrill-seekers described plunging two-and-a-half miles under the Atlantic to view the remains of the ship Titanic. Unfortunately, this enticement for a look at the ghostly grave recently resulted in catastrophe for the five men aboard.

The submersible, Titan, was about the size of a mini-van with cramped quarters. Previous adventurers described it as over two hours of diving into freezing black darkness that grew icier as it descended to the ocean’s floor.

After reaching Titanic, the submersible coasted for about three hours, allowing each person to take turns to look through a front porthole at what was left of that once-luxurious vessel. For the last one hundred eleven years, the salt water has eaten away at the famous ocean liner like termites. Now only rusted steel and gossamer blanket the haunted-looking skeleton yawning from its ocean grave.

In spite of extreme danger to their safety, everyone who has made the voyage agrees it is a thrill of a lifetime. Perhaps danger, only one step away from utter catastrophe, is the enticing lure.

How does this experience apply to our spiritual lives?

Satan baits us with the promise of a thrill of a lifetime that leads into sin and separation from God. If we sign up for a trip on Satan’s submersible, we’ll dive into deep, icy darkness. The dives may be short, falsely assuring us that flirting with sin isn’t dangerous after all–it’s thrilling. Each trip takes us a little deeper until we reach the bottom where death extends its skeletal hands in a welcoming embrace.

Is it too late to surface to the Mother ship and escape Satan’s kingdom? If we run out of oxygen or our submersible cracks and explodes, we’re doomed.

It may be too late for Titan, but it’s never too late to be rescued from Satan’s slick lies and deception. All we need to do is call on the Name that is above every name—JESUS.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;

Joel 2:32 NIV

How can we be rescued from spiritual death?

‘…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’

Luke 19:10 NKJV

Like the Mother ship, Jesus sits atop the ocean waves and calls us to safety. If we’re lost, He conducts a search and rescue operation to find us in the icy-black waters.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
‘This is the way, walk in it,

Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

If we call out to Him, He will rescue us from sin, hell, and the grave.

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.

Isaiah 55:6 NKJV

He teaches us how to walk in righteousness and watches our steps.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 32:8 NKJV

Jesus warned us about deception and to not follow false Christs.

He replied: ‘Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am he,” and, “The time is near.” Do not follow them.’

Luke 21:8 NIV

Whether you a deceived Christian whose ears have been tickled by false gospels or a person who wants to find salvation in Christ, Jesus is waiting with open arms. We need to repent of our sins and receive the forgiveness He freely gave us at the cross.

Rise up and out of the freezing black ocean of sin.

A true thrill of a lifetime is finding salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life in Christ.

The Sinner’s Prayer: Dear Father, I am a sinner, and I’m sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and come live in my heart. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Thank you for washing me in the blood of the Lamb and writing my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and for sealing my eternity in Your kingdom. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

A Thrill of a Lifetime 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