The Book of Revelation

Program # 12 
  

by: Ronald L. Dart


"And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, about the space of half an hour" (Revelation 8 verse 1).

Silence

Now this is an ominous silence. After all the seals that have been opened before, the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have thundered across the landscape. There has been religious confusion and persecution everywhere. There has been a rain of meteors, not a shower mind you, a rain and they have been hitting the ground. There have been earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and signs in the heavens.

And then, then, there is silence for a half an hour. Now half an hour is not a very long time, or it is a long time, if you are waiting for the next thing to happen. I wonder if it's long enough to bring a man to the mouth of his cave to see if all the calamities are past, that he's been fleeing from.

This is the book of Revelation. It is chapter 8, the Lamb of God has taken this book from the hand of Him, God the Father, that sat upon the throne and He has begun one at a time to open the seven seals of this book. The book is the story of the end of the age of man. We have had our time here, we've been mucking about on this planet for at least 6000 years now, making all of our mistakes and the time for us will draw to a close. It is the story of the end of the age of man and of the beginning of the age of the Lamb of God, a different world. The old song, "There's a New World Coming" is right, when finally, the seventh seal is opened.

There is an ominous silence for about half an hour, then in total silence, seven angels step forward.

Seven angels With Seven Trumpets

Verse 2 of Revelation 8, "And I saw the seven angels which stood before God, and to them were given seven trumpets, {3} And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne, {4} And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hands."

Now if you can imagine what John was seeing here and try to grasp the significance of it. Seven angels step forward and seven trumpets are placed in their hands. They are going to be blowing these trumpets, and I'll give you a little hint ahead of time, what's going to happen as they blow these trumpets is going to be terrible. Absolutely terrible, but before they are blown, there is a moment when an angel stepped forward, symbolically putting incense on the golden altar of incense before the throne of God and the smoke that comes up from this incense is called Ďthe prayers of all the saints,í

God Can Smell Our Prayers

So here in this moment, all of our prayers are brought up before God and the air around the throne of the Father is scented with our prayers like incense fills a room. He can smell our prayers. He is aware of our prayers, our prayers also are very quiet in this moment of silence when nothing is happening. Smoke doesn't make any noise. The scent in the room makes no noise, and yet God is aware of it, and He is aware of our petitions. Our prayers are quiet but there is power in them.

Verse 5 of Revelation 8, "And the angel takes the sensor then, fills it with the fire of the altar, and casts it to the earth, and there were voices, and thunderings and lightnings, and an earthquake."

All this from the altar where our prayers are made before God.

The 1st Angel Blew His Trumpet

"And the seven angels," {6} "who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. {7} The first angel" put his trumpet to his lips and blew with a great sound "and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth, and a third part of the trees was burned up, and all of the green grass was burned up."

Now there are some important questions to ask at this point, if I am a first century Christian, listening to this testimony, as it is being read in church. John has had a vision. He has written it down. A man has come to my church and he is standing up in front of us reading this right now. What he is reading in vision transcends my experience, it even transcends my imagination. I do not know what John saw. I can't even imagine anything like what John saw. For he was in a vision, far into the future. All I have is his description.

At the time John saw this, I listened to his description, that there was hail and fire mingled with blood, they were cast upon the earth, a third part of the trees are burned up and all of the green grass is burned up.

I can only think of this in terms of a natural disaster in the first century. But here I am in the 21st century reading this little passage of Scripture here, and now I realize that man is quite capable of creating this kind of destruction all on his own. We donít have to have natural disasters. We don't have to have God to burn up a third of the trees and burn up all the green grass. We can take care of that very nicely all by ourselves, thank you very much.

And so the question comes, are these acts of God or acts of man? Are they acts of war?

A Clue From The Olivet Prophecy

When you go back again and listen to the words of Jesus out of Matthew 24, the Olivet Prophecy, you get a little bit of a clue about what's happening here.

Jesus said in verse 15 of Matthew 24, "When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place. (Now whoever reads, let him understand.) {16} Jesus said, "There's going to come a time, when something very like what happened before, that was described by Daniel, historically, where someone actually came in and desolated the sanctuary, polluted the sanctuary of God, went right into the holy of holies and polluted it. Something like that He said is going to happen yet again in the future and when you see this happen, you have to be careful to understand.

"Then," {16} "let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."

The truth is that the destruction of Jerusalem is imminent. So just leave, get out, go, get away!

Jesus says in verse 19, "Woe unto them who are with child, who are pregnant, woe to them who are nursing children in those days, {20} Pray that your flight will not be in the winter. Pray that it will not be on the Sabbath day, {21} For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, no nor never ever shall be again."

Well, what we are going to read about and hear about from these seven trumpets as they are blown is surely great tribulation. It's big time trouble, such as the world will never have seen and hopefully never will ever see again.

Then Jesus said one more thing, He said, {22} "Unless those days are shortened, there would be no flesh saved alive, but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened."

No Flesh Saved Alive

Now I don't know what people thought who heard Jesus say that in his own time. You know, when you went out to fight a war, against another nation across the way, we lined our guys up on this side and you line your guys up on that side, we come charging out with spears and swords and shields, all that stuff and I fight one of your guys and you fight one of my guys, and generally speaking in the first few minutes of the war, half the troops are dead because it is man-to-man combat.

In the next half hour, another half of the remaining ones are dead, it's hand-to-hand combat, but the only people getting killed are out there on the field, it's bloody, lots of people die of the armies but the civilian populations are left alone. I don't know how I would've imagined in the first century that, unless those days, unless God intervened to shortened the days, there would be no flesh saved alive.

Now logic tells you, that this has got to be from something that man is doing, not what God is doing, because you know if God's object is to save man alive, He doesn't have to put him in the threat of extinction in the first place.

The plain statement is, as we head for the time of the end, the destruction is going to be so terrible, if God did not intervene and shortened the days, there would be no flesh saved alive. Now I never imagined, that such a thing would even be possible until the atomic age.

I was in high school in the 50s, the marvelous 50s, and all that good music and I knew about the atomic bomb, and all of that type of thing, but even with the atomic bomb, as we knew it then, it was not possible, it was inconceivable to, wipe out all flesh or take away the life of all flesh from off the planet. By the 70s, well you had to rethink that, it was starting to look possible, we would have to work at it, you would have to plan it, which we would not normally do. But we could have done it, in the 70s, and by the 80s, it would've been easy.

In fact, we got to where we were worried about doing it by accident, someone could make a mistake. We slip, we fire a missile, and oops, and the Russians say, "What you mean oops?" And they fire missiles back, and the next thing you know, we are into it, and the next thing after that, well, it's a new dark age, an extinction, a new nuclear winter and there's nothing left.

Who is this doing all this destruction? Well, we will come to that later, but the answer is in Revelation 11 verse 18, "And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear your name, small and great, and that you should destroy them, who destroy the earth."

So here's the message folks, God will intervene to stop man from destroying himself.

Events Described May Not Be Global

So, it is man, who is destroying the earth and would wipe out all life on the earth, if God did not stop him! Now another thing to remember, as we continue through these trumpets, the events that are described herein, may not be global. You read it and you think, "Oh my, a third of everything wiped out," and you can sort of visualize the earth, segmented like an orange and one third of everything on the earth is gone. A third part of all the trees everywhere on the planet. Is every third tree burned up? Well, no, it is probably total destruction wherever it takes place, but even then, it's not looking at this thing along global lines, you should understand that too.

For example, to anyone in the Middle East in the first century, the sea, (quote) "the sea" (end quote), was the Mediterranean. It didn't mean all the seas on all the planet. The "earth" was not the planet. It was the land, where these people were, so at some place, this type of thing is going to be taking place. It isn't necessarily global, because in fact, you get the impression in reading through the prophets and other places, that there are people who carried on life, much as they always carried it on.

The 2nd Angel Blew His Trumpet

"Then the second angel sounded," in verse eight of Revelation 8, "and as it were, a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, and a third part of the sea became blood, {9} And the third part of the creatures that were in the sea, and had life, died, and the third part of the ships were destroyed."

Now what's this all about? Do you mean real blood that you could actually take a pint of it, and give someone a transfusion from the sea? No, I think that's probably symbolic language. It simply means a third part of the sea became death, dead, all of the sea life died, all of the creatures died, all the lobsters, all the fish, the halibut, the flounder, it is all gone, in that part of the sea, wherever this (quote) "great mountain" (end quote) burning with fire was cast into it.

What's this? Another meteor? It's not hard to figure that if a great meteor smacks down in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, that yeah, probably every ship in the South Atlantic, if it hits the South Atlantic is going to be destroyed, and maybe a lot in the North Atlantic as well.

And sea life, Oh yeah, destroyed in their jillions, as a matter fact as a result of such a thing.

What Is It?

Is it another meteor? Or maybe it's a nuclear device, some giant nuclear device, some bomb or maybe it's something not yet invented, you know they're still building

(Continued on Page III of 4)

(Continued from Page II of 4) these things. There are people out there, even as I'm talking to you and you are listening to this program, who are in their laboratory somewhere on this planet working on weapons, new weapons that you and I haven't even thought about, have never even imagined. My, what is it that's over the horizon?

I used to read the book of Revelation and think, "Ah it is nuclear war, its bombs being fired back and forth at one another and all that!" I am not so sure of that anymore. I think this may be a post nuclear war, something new that we have not even seen yet.

Well this one, hits the sea. Perhaps it was a missile that had been aimed at the Israelis from Iraq and instead of hitting where it was supposed to, it went beyond and hit the Mediterranean and killed off the eastern third of life in the Mediterranean. The next missile hits the land.

The 3rd Angel Blew His Trumpet

"The third angel sounded," verse 10 of Revelation 8, "and there fell a great star from heaven, burning like a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters. {11} The name of that star is called Wormwood, and the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."

What's this? Well, Chemical Warfare! In the first century? Oh No, but in ours? That's a piece of cake isn't it? Wormwood is poison! A missile falls, it poisons a third of the rivers and a third of the waters and it goes all the way down and soaks through and gets into the waters down in the aquifers and the next thing you know, people are dying everywhere, as a result of what somebody has dropped in the water supply. Could it happen? Of course it could happen. Everybody was worried sick about it happening during the Gulf War.

The 4th Angel Blew His Trumpet

Verse 12 of Revelation 8, "And the fourth angel sounded. and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, so that a third part of them was darkened, and the day shown not for a third part of it and the night likewise."

Cloud covering? Worse than cloud covering? Smoke? Nuclear winter?

"And I beheld," {13} "And, heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe," to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, which are yet to sound!"

WOE

WHAT!!! These haven't been WOES up until now? As if all the things that happened before were not WOE enough? What follows, what the Bible calls the three woes. Now remember as we go into these three angels who sound their trumpets and what happens, is that John is telling us in the best language he can muster, what he saw in this vision.

Did he see giant locusts? Or did he see something else that he could only describe as locust? Perhaps he did see giant locusts and they symbolize something else. We have no way at this point in time of knowing, but it's also possible that he saw something he'd never seen before and said, "The best comparison is that there were like giant locusts."

The 5th Angel Blew His Trumpet

Chapter 9 of Revelation and verse 1. "The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit or abyss. {2} And he opened the abyss and there arose smoke out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. {3} And there came out of the smoke, locusts upon the earth, and to them was given power, like the scorpions of the earth have power. {4} And it was commanded that they should not hurt the grass, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads."

Now we talked about that before, that there are people who before any of these things ever begins to take place, it's that group of people who pray to God and whose prayers are offered before God and the altar of incense and the scent of these prayers that surround God's throne all the time, it is these people who have the seal of God in their foreheads, and they're not going to be hurt, nor are any vegetation going to be hurt.

Now this is a very singular type of warfare. It sounds a bit like something like nerve gas or maybe it's something beyond nerve gas.

Neutron Bomb

I remember sometime back that the United States was working on a thing called a neutron bomb, which they could explode it over a city, or hopefully what they intended to do was explode it over a battlefield, and the thing would destroy only human life. It would probably kill cows as well as soldiers. So it would kill all the soldiers along with the soldiers in their tanks who would die from the great wave of the radiation that went through their bodies. The soldiers would die on the ground, but all their equipment would be intact. If they were in a city all the people of the city would die, but all of the bricks would remain standing, all of the city would still be there.

Nothing physical in terms of rocks and bricks and mortar would be harmed at all. What a marvelous means of making war where we don't destroy anything. We just kill off all the life that is there. Well it sounds something very much like what is going on right here, as these locusts come rolling out of the smoke.

Now for someone living in the world at that time, plagues of locusts were really legendary.

Once in a while we will have a plague of crickets down here in the South and the roads will be paved with them, you can't get out of your car without crunching about a dozen crickets under your feet, it's a miserable mess and they're just everywhere.

Then the locust come through and they just eat up everything, they leave the trees bare and everything else.

Now you can imagine that kind of numbers rolling through, but instead of them being locust the things are flying scorpions because that's the description that's given of these things. It's horrible.

Tormented For Five Months

Now it says in this passage in verse 5 of Revelation 9, "And to them it was given that they should not kill these people, but that the people will be tormented for five months and the torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man."

Five months! (This period of time is mentioned twice in this passage so it is important.)

Verse 6, "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it, and shall want to die, and not be able. {7} And the shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared to battle, and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. {8} They had hair, like the hair of women, their teeth were like the teeth of lions.{9} They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of the chariots of many horses running to battle."

Now I don't know what John saw, but if I had seen from his perspective a horde of helicopters coming across the landscape, I might describe them this way, and if they had smoke coming out of them like hair, if their pilots had crowns of gold, which were like helmets. If the sound of their wings was like the "whop, whop, whop," of helicopters as they come, and many, many of them coming in there. And if I had never seen anything except the locust plague, I guess that's the best I would be able to do.

But it does seem that this first woe, is a war and what is happening is what men do.

It says in verse 10 that these locusts "had tails like scorpions, there were stings in their tails and their power was to hurt men for five months. {11} They had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue his name is Apollyon." Guess who that is? Yeap, it's the devil.

Two More Woes To Come

"One woe is past," Revelation 9 verse 12, "and behold, there come two more woes hereafter."

Well, if I survived the first woe, if I made it through the first one, I have a lot of sympathy for those guys in there who were seeking death and couldn't find it because I just as soon be dead, buried in the grave, as having gone through one of these woes, than to have to go through two more, but here it comes.

The 6th Angel Blew His Trumpet

Verse 13 of Revelation 9, "The sixth angel steps forward and sounds his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, {14} Saying to the sixth angel, which had the trumpet, "Now loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates."

Now angels that are bound in biblical terminology has almost have to be demons, and these great demons are loosed.

"And, {15} the four angels were loosed which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men."

They are going to kill off a third of the population. It sounds a little bit like some things back in the early chapters of Ezekiel, where one third of the population dies in war, one third with famine and pestilence and one third go into captivity. So here goes. One third of men!

Verse 16, "The number of the army of the horsemen were 200 million and I heard the number of them."

Now, admittedly we are in vision, and maybe some of these numbers are ideal and not real, and maybe they are spirit, and maybe they're not, but this thing sounds like a war. The first part of it sounded like a war and this sounds like a response to the war of the first part of it and the army is rolling back at these people doing this is 200 million and you know the way the end of the world could come is with one great force setting out and another great force opposing it and as the war escalates and goes out of control. Everybody dies.

That's the fear, in fact, it's long been the fear and one of those things that drives American foreign policy and that of other nations who hold nuclear weapons.

Revelation 9 verse 17, "And so I saw the horses in the vision, and they that sat upon them, had breastplates of fire, and of jacinth and brimstone, and the heads of the horses." (Well, they didn't look like horses.) "They were the heads of lions, and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone."

One wonders, is this some kind of engine of war, like the old flame throwing tanks, only a new generation of it, with a lion's head on the front of it, the Lionís Head Division.

"By these three" {18} "was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone that issued out of their mouths, {19} For their power was in their mouth, and in their tails, for their tails were like serpents, and they had heads, and they hurt with them."

This is bizarre. The visualization of whatever it is that he was seeing. I can't tell you what it is! All I can tell you is, I really don't want to be around when these things are going on. I would just as soon be buried somewhere or hopefully sealed and protected somewhere, because I don't want to see what's happening here.

They Did Not Repent

Then in verse 20 he says something strange, "And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues, still didn't repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood, which neither see nor hear nor walk, {21} And they didn't repent of their murders, or their sorceries, or their fornication or their thefts."

Well you know, one wonders, after all this, what it would take to bring about repentance, but you know I doubt that they saw the hand of God in any of the things that were taking place around them. When a man doesn't even believe in God, doesn't think God exists, then it's kind of hard for him to see the hand of God in the things that hit his life and the things that happen in his life or to think that maybe he should try to turn his life around. Maybe he should look to God. Maybe he ought to turn his eyes heavenward and raise up his hands and pray "God forgive me. I haven't understood. I haven't known." But once we have started down the road, sometimes it takes a long time to make the turn.

You know, I'll bet I have raised questions in your mind with some of the things we talked about in this Revelation series. If I have, drop me a line or give me a call. Our address is: Born to Win, P.O. Box 560, Whitehouse, TX 75791 and our phone number is: 1-888-Bible-44. And while you are contacting us, ask for a sample lesson of our Bible Correspondence Course. I think you'll really enjoy this course. It's free, and we will look forward to hearing from you.

This is Ronald Dart and remember you were Born to Win!

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This article was transcribed with

minor editing from a Born to Win Radio Program by: Ronald L. Dart

Titled: The Book of Revelation -Program #12

Transcribed by: bb 3-3-24


Ronald L. Dart was an evangelist and is heard daily and weekly on his Born to Win radio program. 
The program can be heard on over one hundred radio stations across the nation.

In the Portsmouth, Ohio area you can listen to the Born to Win radio program on 
Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. on WNXT 1260.

You can contact Christian Educational Ministries at
P.O. Box 560 Whitehouse, Texas 75791 
Phone: (903) 509-2999 - 1-888-BIBLE-44

 



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