Revelation 9-12 The Message Bible

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9 1  The fifth Angel trumpeted. I saw a Star plummet from Heaven to earth. The Star was handed a key to the Well of the Abyss. 2  He unlocked the Well of the Abyss - smoke poured out of the Well, billows and billows of smoke, sun and air in blackout from smoke pouring out of the Well. 3  Then out of the smoke crawled locusts with the venom of scorpions. 4  They were given their orders: "Don't hurt the grass, don't hurt anything green, don't hurt a single tree - only men and women, and then only those who lack the seal of God on their foreheads." 5  They were ordered to torture but not kill, torture them for five months, the pain like a scorpion sting. 6  When this happens, people are going to prefer death to torture, look for ways to kill themselves. But they won't find a way - death will have gone into hiding. 7  The locusts looked like horses ready for war. They had gold crowns, human faces, 8  women's hair, the teeth of lions, 9  and iron breastplates. The sound of their wings was the sound of horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. 10  Their tails were equipped with stings, like scorpion tails. With those tails they were ordered to torture the human race for five months. 11  They had a king over them, the Angel of the Abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, in Greek, Apollyon - "Destroyer." 12  The first doom is past. Two dooms yet to come.

13  The sixth Angel trumpeted. I heard a voice speaking to the sixth Angel from the horns of the Golden Altar before God: 14  "Let the Four Angels loose, the Angels confined at the great River Euphrates." 15  The Four Angels were untied and let loose, Four Angels all prepared for the exact year, month, day, and even hour when they were to kill a third of the human race. 16  The number of the army of horsemen was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard the count 17  and saw both horses and riders in my vision: fiery breastplates on the riders, lion heads on the horses breathing out fire and smoke and brimstone. 18  With these three weapons - fire and smoke and brimstone - they killed a third of the human race. 19  The horses killed with their mouths and tails; their serpentlike tails also had heads that wreaked havoc. 20  The remaining men and women who weren't killed by these weapons went on their merry way - didn't change their way of life, didn't quit worshiping demons, didn't quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn't see or hear or move. 21  There wasn't a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.

The Angel and the Little Book

10 1  I saw another powerful Angel coming down out of Heaven wrapped in a cloud. There was a rainbow over his head, his face was sun-radiant, his legs pillars of fire. 2  He had a small book open in his hand. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on land, 3  then called out thunderously, a lion roar. When he called out, the Seven Thunders called back. 4  When the Seven Thunders spoke, I started to write it all down, but a voice out of Heaven stopped me, saying, "Seal with silence the Seven Thunders; don't write a word." 5  Then the Angel I saw astride sea and land lifted his right hand to Heaven 6  and swore by the One Living Forever and Ever, who created Heaven and everything in it, earth and everything in it, sea and everything in it, that time was up - 7  that when the seventh Angel blew his trumpet, which he was about to do, the Mystery of God, all the plans he had revealed to his servants, the prophets, would be completed.

8  The voice out of Heaven spoke to me again: "Go, take the book held open in the hand of the Angel astride sea and earth." 9  I went up to the Angel and said, "Give me the little book." He said, "Take it, then eat it. It will taste sweet like honey, but turn sour in your stomach." 10  I took the little book from the Angel's hand and it was sweet honey in my mouth, but when I swallowed, my stomach curdled. 11  Then I was told, "You must go back and prophesy again over many peoples and nations and languages and kings."

The Two Witnesses

11 1  I was given a stick for a measuring rod and told, "Get up and measure God's Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping in it. 2  Exclude the outside court; don't measure it. It's been handed over to non-Jewish outsiders. They'll desecrate the Holy City for forty-two months.

3  "Meanwhile, I'll provide my two Witnesses. Dressed in sackcloth, they'll prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days. 4  These are the two Olive Trees, the two Lampstands, standing at attention before God on earth. 5  If anyone tries to hurt them, a blast of fire from their mouths will incinerate them - burn them to a crisp just like that. 6  They'll have power to seal the sky so that it doesn't rain for the time of their prophesying, power to turn rivers and springs to blood, power to hit earth with any and every disaster as often as they want. 7  "When they've completed their witness, the Beast from the Abyss will emerge and fight them, conquer and kill them, 8  leaving their corpses exposed on the street of the Great City spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, the same City where their Master was crucified. 9  For three and a half days they'll be there - exposed, prevented from getting a decent burial, stared at by the curious from all over the world. 10  Those people will cheer at the spectacle, shouting 'Good riddance!' and calling for a celebration, for these two prophets pricked the conscience of all the people on earth, made it impossible for them to enjoy their sins. 11  "Then, after three and a half days, the Living Spirit of God will enter them - they're on their feet! - and all those gloating spectators will be scared to death." 12  I heard a strong voice out of Heaven calling, "Come up here!" and up they went to Heaven, wrapped in a cloud, their enemies watching it all. 13  At that moment there was a gigantic earthquake - a tenth of the city fell to ruin, seven thousand perished in the earthquake, the rest frightened to the core of their being, frightened into giving honor to the God of Heaven.

14  The second doom is past, the third doom coming right on its heels.

The Seventh Trumpet

15  The seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out, The kingdom of the world is now the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah! He will rule forever and ever! 16  The Twenty-four Elders seated before God on their thrones fell to their knees, worshiped, 17  and sang, We thank you, O God, Sovereign-Strong, Who Is and Who Was. You took your great power and took over - reigned! 18  The angry nations now get a taste of your anger. The time has come to judge the dead, to reward your servants, all prophets and saints, Reward small and great who fear your Name, and destroy the destroyers of earth. 19  The doors of God's Temple in Heaven flew open, and the Ark of his Covenant was clearly seen surrounded by flashes of lightning, loud shouts, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a fierce hailstorm.

The Woman and the Dragon

12 1  A great Sign appeared in Heaven: a Woman dressed all in sunlight, standing on the moon, and crowned with Twelve Stars. 2  She was giving birth to a Child and cried out in the pain of childbirth. 3  And then another Sign alongside the first: a huge and fiery Dragon! It had seven heads and ten horns, a crown on each of the seven heads. 4  With one flick of its tail it knocked a third of the Stars from the sky and dumped them on earth. The Dragon crouched before the Woman in childbirth, poised to eat up the Child when it came. 5  The Woman gave birth to a Son who will shepherd all nations with an iron rod. Her Son was seized and placed safely before God on his Throne. 6  The Woman herself escaped to the desert to a place of safety prepared by God, all comforts provided her for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7  War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, 8  but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. 9  The great Dragon - ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray - thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. 10  Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying, Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah! The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God. 11  They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren't in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.

12  So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there, but doom to earth and sea, For the Devil's come down on you with both feet; he's had a great fall; He's wild and raging with anger; he hasn't much time and he knows it. 13  When the Dragon saw he'd been thrown to earth, he went after the Woman who had given birth to the Man-Child. 14  The Woman was given wings of a great eagle to fly to a place in the desert to be kept in safety and comfort for a time and times and half a time, safe and sound from the Serpent. 15  The Serpent vomited a river of water to swamp and drown her, 16  but earth came to her help, swallowing the water the Dragon spewed from its mouth. 17  Helpless with rage, the Dragon raged at the Woman, then went off to make war with the rest of her children, the children who keep God's commands and hold firm to the witness of Jesus.

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