You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Jesus is more powerful than any demon, and He can help you overcome whatever struggle you're facing right now. Maybe it's an addiction. Maybe it's a lifestyle you can't break free from. You see, there's no way out. There is a way out. It's through Christ. It seems our culture has lost its way.
Right is wrong, and wrong is right. What's the answer? Will believers know that Jesus is the answer? And Pastor Greg Laurie will bring that good news a week from Sunday at SoCal Harvest, live at Angel Stadium of Anaheim and live around the world at harvest.org. Pass the word to someone who needs to hear Pastor Greg's message of hope. Today on A New Beginning, important insight on the dark days ahead, described in Revelation. This is the day, the day when life begins.
The title of my message is When All Hell Breaks Loose. Let's pray together. Now, Father, speak to us through Your Word. We know Your Word is true.
We know that the Bible is the one book that dares to predict the future, not once, not twice, but hundreds of times with 100% accuracy. So as we take a glimpse into the future, and as we also look behind the veil of the world of angels and demons, we pray that we'll gain insight that will help us to walk closely with You in this life. So speak to us from Scripture, we pray. In Jesus' name we ask it. Amen.
Let me start with a question. Have you ever been in a restaurant and maybe your booth is close to the booth next to you and you hear people talking and one is speaking a little loudly so you can't help but overhear what they're saying? By the way, my wife always says to me in restaurants, Craig, don't speak so loudly. And I'll say, I'm not being loud. Shh, lower your voice. Anyway, so you hear someone in the booth next to you and they say to their friend, now listen, this is a secret and I don't want you to share it with anyone. Now here's the question. Do you put your hands over your ears or do you lean over and listen in? You know the answer. We all listen in.
Why? Because we all like to know secrets. Even if we don't know these people and it has nothing to do with us and we've never heard of the people they're talking about, we love to hear secrets.
Listen to this. The Bible says the secret of the Lord is with those that fear him. Christians see and understand what is happening in this world far better than non-believers.
Jesus made this statement in a prayer to his father in Matthew 11. He says, Father, thank you for hiding these things from people that think they're wise and revealing them to people who have childlike faith. God reveals to us, his followers, what is happening in the world because we've taken the time to read the book and it unveils the future for us. And we look at this world and many are just confused and frankly, they're kind of alarmed and even freaking out because they're thinking, what does this all mean?
For instance, a continuing conflict in the Middle East, the moral meltdown in America. What does this all mean? What is happening, people ask? What is happening, folks, is these are signs of the times and these signs of the times are all pointing up and they're saying to us, pay attention because Jesus is coming. But as we see this turmoil in our world, as a Christian we should not despair because God has told us what is going to happen. Now we're looking at this great prophetic puzzle revealed in Revelation chapter 8. And at this point in our study, chronologically, we're right in the middle of what is called the Great Tribulation period. It will last for seven years. It will be inaugurated by the emergence of Antichrist and it will be ended by the return of Jesus Christ.
The first three and a half years of the tribulation period are relatively calm and peaceful. As Antichrist comes on the scene looking like a good guy, a man with solutions, economic solutions, many other things that he brings to the table. He's a charismatic leader. In fact, some will even think he's the very Christ because as I've told you before, the prefix anti doesn't just mean against.
It also means instead of. He'll be a false Christ that will be embraced by many. But at the last three and a half years of the tribulation period, Antichrist shows his true colors and the wrath of God is unleashed and demons are unleashed and all kinds of crazy stuff is going on. And that's where we're at in Revelation chapter eight, verse one.
Let's read together. Reading from the New King James Version. When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about a half hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets. 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. He filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
We'll stop there. Now a series of judgments fall on planet earth. A third of the trees are burned up. A third of the sea becomes blood.
A third of the living creatures in the sea die. Look at verse 13. 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 which are about to sound. Woe, woe, woe.
It's repeated three times. This judgment is coming on you right now. We start with a silence in heaven. Sort of like the silence in the courtroom when the verdict is about to be read. When the jury foreman stands up and says, we the members of the jury do fine. And we're all waiting to hear what the verdict is.
There's a silence. And that's what's happening here. And the fact that it lasts for a half hour shows us that God is in no rush to bring judgment. You've heard the expression, a rush to judgment. It's the very opposite with God who knows all things.
He does not want to do this, but because He is righteous and because He is just, He must do this. Judgment must come. And the Lord knows that once that first domino falls, it's going to be like the others are hitting the other dominoes. And they're going to fall in rapid succession.
So a whole series of events are about to unfold. Verse 2 shows us some high ranking angels are overseeing this epic operation. Revelation 8, 2. I saw the, notice it's the seven angels who stand before God and to them were given seven trumpets. It doesn't just say seven. It's the seven. So these are high ranking angels.
The magnificent seven, if you will. And now the seventh seal brings the seven trumpet judgments. And the seven trumpet judgments progress into the seven bowl judgments. Now these seven trumpet judgments can be divided into two groups. The first four are directed by God against the environment. Reminiscent of the plagues that came upon Egypt during the days of Moses. The other judgments are spread over the next three chapters and they fall on humanity.
One thing is clear. Global warming is indeed coming. Because the first trumpet targets earth's vegetation in verse 7. And we see that it will decimate crops and forests and the air will be filled with smoke and ash. The second trumpet targets the ocean.
Verse 8 says something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Who do you know that needs a message of hope? Bring them with you to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for SoCal Harvest Sunday night, October 3rd. A compelling interactive experience. A message of hope from Greg Laurie and music from For King and Country.
And Phil Wickham. SoCal Harvest with Greg Laurie, October 3rd at 7 p.m. Get more information at harvest.org slash SoCal. Well you joined us for Pastor Greg's riveting study series in the book of Revelation. And today we're exploring John's unveiling of the great tribulation in chapter 9.
Ok now we shift gears. And we get to the title of the message. Which is when all hell breaks loose. So we've seen God pouring his judgment out. Now we see the bottomless pit open up and all this demonic activity. Revelation 9 verse 1. And the angel of the bottomless pit whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon.
But in the Greek he's called Apollyon. Ok so we've all heard these stories of great actors and great singers that have massive success. And then they get strung out in drugs or alcohol. Some even taking their own lives and we say wow they're a fallen star. Here's the original fallen star. Lucifer himself. That is who is being referenced here in Revelation chapter 9 when he says, I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. And notice to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. You see Satan was once a high ranking angel. Sometimes people ask the question how could a god of love create someone as wicked as Satan.
Answer. He didn't. Satan was originally this magnificent angelic being that worshipped the Lord. But the problem with Satan is and he wasn't called Satan. He was called Lucifer.
Son of the morning. But the problem with Lucifer or Satan was he wanted to be worshipped instead of being a worshiper. Don't forget when Jesus was tested in the wilderness what does Satan say to Jesus? He says, worship me and I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world.
See that's what he's wanted all along. In fact the Bible says in Isaiah 14 12 how you are fallen from heaven. O shining star son of the morning. Jesus said I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven. Luke 10 18. So Satan wanted this exalted position. So he was rejected from that authoritative position he held as a once high ranking angel. Revelation 12 9 we'll get to this later says that great dragon was hurled down.
That ancient serpent called the devil or Satan who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him. So when Satan fell he led some of the angels with him. One third of the angels went with Lucifer. And those fallen angels are now what we would call demons. And you say well that's really scary. Yeah but remember he took one third. The other two thirds are still on our side.
So we're still on the winning side aren't we? But look at what is happening here. This bottomless pit is being opened up and out of it come what is described as locusts. These are demonic creatures that are unleashed upon the planet. Apparently there are some demons and I don't know why they're in this place that have been put in the bottomless pit. Not all demons are there.
Many are just roaming about doing what they do. But some of these demons are in this bottomless pit. Jude 1 6 says I want to remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of their authority. God gave them up and when they left the place where they belonged and God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness waiting for the great day of judgment. In fact you'll recall when Jesus healed the one demoniac who was bound in chains the demon said don't send us to the bottomless pit.
So this is a bad place. This is for the worst of the worst angels. They're led by Apollyon or Abaddon.
And Abaddon is one bad dude I'll tell you that much. High ranking horrible wicked demonic powers doing all these awful things. So Satan is sort of whipping up this frenzy.
And they've been doing this for a long time but now they're going into overdrive. The purpose of demons seems to be twofold. Number one they seek to hinder the purposes of God. And number two they seek to extend the power of Satan. Listen if you're taking notes here's three things you need to know about demons.
I know you don't want to talk that much about this but it's good to know these things. Three things you need to know about demons. Number one they're real and aggressive. They're real and aggressive. They're not all bound in this bottomless pit.
This will happen later. Right now many are roaming freely in sort of a search and destroy mission. Remember when the angels of the Lord appeared before God in the book of Job. And Satan was among them. And God says to Satan what have you been doing?
Where have you come from? And Satan responds in Job 2 too. Well I've just been going back and forth across the earth watching everything that's going on. Wow that's creepy. He's just walking around checking things out.
Looking for opportunities. Looking for ways to bring misery and destruction. That is why the Bible describes the devil as a blood thirsty lion seeking his prey.
1 Peter 5 says be careful watch out for attacks from the devil your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for some victim to devour. Some years ago I read an interesting book with the title Death and the Long Grass.
Written by Peter Hathaway Capstick. He was a lion hunter. And apparently there was a group of lions who got a taste for human blood. And they would sneak into the camps very late at night. And they would choose their prey. They would step over sleeping men and find the person they wanted and drag them out. And none of the people would even know a lion had been in the tent. So they woke up in the morning and found them gone. When it was all said and done over 100 men were hunted and killed by these blood thirsty lions.
And this book pointed out that a charging lion can cover 100 yards in just three seconds. So I don't say this to freak you out. I just say this that the devil is poised and ready to strike. So put your spiritual armor on and be careful. That's what the Bible says.
That we're in a spiritual battle and we must put on the whole armor of God. Now having said that demons are aggressive. And demons are trying to create destruction.
Let me add this. Number two. Though powerful demons and the devil himself have clear limitations. Let me say that again. Though powerful the devil and his demons have clear limitations. Let me tell you something that Satan does not want you to know.
His power is considerable but it is still limited. Remember this is all allowed by God. We already read in Revelation.
To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. This is temporary and God has given his permission for a period of time. So all these demons are out and about according to Revelation 9. Like scorpions with the power to sting but not to kill.
But notice that they can't attack everyone. Revelation 9 4 says, They're commanded not to harm the grass of the earth or any green thing of any tree. But only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Remember I pointed out last time that when you become a believer.
When you put your faith in Jesus Christ. You become his property which is a good thing. The Bible says you're not your own.
You've been bought with a price. And God effectively puts his ID tag on you. Which means you're under his protection. And the devil can read. And he sees that ID tag and knows that he can do nothing in the life of the Christian.
Without the express permission of God. So these servants of God in the tribulation period who have the seal are not affected by these demon powers. Third thing I want to say about demons that I've done. Demons flee at the name of Jesus Christ. They flee at the name of Jesus Christ. I remember that story that I already referenced about those demons that were in that man. And there was a lot of them.
Because they identified themselves as legion for they were many. They said don't send us to the bottomless pit. So Jesus sent them into a herd of pigs. Poor pigs. And the pigs went over the side of a cliff and committed mass suicide.
You might say. It's a first case of devil ham in history. The cliffs filled with demons went over the side of the cliff. Again they're begging us because they know the power of Christ. He was in control. Jesus is more powerful than the devil. Jesus is more powerful than any demon.
And he can help you overcome whatever struggle you're facing right now. Maybe it's an addiction. Maybe it's a lifestyle you can't break free from. You see there's no way out. There is a way out. It's through Christ. You have to come to him and say God I've tried to do this on my own and I've failed. Help me and he will help you.
But you must call out to his name. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2. At the name of Jesus Christ every knee will bow and every tongue will confess.
Of things in the earth and things under the earth. That Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father. Pastor Greg Laurie with some poignant insights today on those forces of darkness that are aligned against us. Good counsel from our study series in the book of Revelation here on The New Beginning. And hopefully you heard the entire program. But if there were any interruptions in the last half hour you can get a replay by going to harvest.org. Just look for the title When All Hell Breaks Loose.
Or subscribe to our podcast by going to Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. Let me ask you Pastor Greg, what are some things that might surprise people in a study of Revelation? One thing that occurred to me is we think of eternity as being timeless. But part of God's plan is a timed event. The millennium is a thousand years. So I guess we'll track time in some form.
Am I wrong? No, I think that's accurate because the word millennium actually means a thousand. It's the one thousand year reign of Christ. But we are aware of the passing of time when we enter into eternity. In the book of Revelation we read about those who were put to death for their faith and they know that was an unjust thing. And they say to God, how long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood and those that dwell on the earth. So they're aware of the passing of time. They're aware of the injustice of what happened to them on planet earth. And they're praying and asking God to intervene. They're aware of what has happened and will happen on planet earth as well. Yeah, there's a lot of surprises in the book of Revelation that shatter stereotypical ideas that have been passed on from generation to generation that quite honestly are simply not biblical. But I think the more we learn about heaven, the better we will be enabled to live here on earth.
You know it was C.S. Lewis who said, loose paraphrase, those who think the most of the next world do the most in this one. And so Revelation is where the apostle John is found banished on the island of Patmos. He had faithfully preached the gospel. He was the last of the apostles and people probably never thought they would hear from John again. But as he's sitting on this island, Jesus Christ comes to him and takes him into what we might describe as a spiritual time machine, if you will.
I don't think it was a DeLorean. But John is suddenly hurtled into the future and he's seen what is going to come. He's given an overview of the history of the church. He's taken into the presence of God in heaven. He's taken over to the great white throne judgment.
He's taken back to earth during the millennial reign of Christ. He gives us a front row seat at the battle of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ, and much, much more. The word revelation means unveiling.
And so this is an unveiling, a revealing of things that are to come. God wants us to understand these things. You know Paul, when he's talking about the rapture of the church of First Thessalonians, he says, brothers, I don't want you to be ignorant.
Why would he say that? Because there's a lot of ignorance about Bible prophecy. So Paul is saying you need to understand these things because it will affect you and the way that you live. So we're teaching on the book of Revelation here in The New Beginning. But I'm very excited to tell you that we have a brand new resource, a beautiful hardcover book, commentary on the book of Revelation that I just wrote. And it's simply called Revelation, subtitled A Book of Promises. I want to send you this book, hot off the press. This will be a resource that you will use in the years to come that you can go to again and again as you study this great book and let it have its impact on your life. By the way, there's a special promise in Revelation for the person who reads and hears and keeps the words found in this book.
So get a copy of this new book, Revelation, A Book of Promises, that will help you understand this very important book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. And we will send this book to you for your gift of any size. Now, some can only give a little. We'll send you a copy. Some can give a little bit more. Of course, we'll send you a copy.
Whatever you can do, don't hesitate. I really want you to have this book because I think it's going to be a blessing to you. The book of Revelation, A Book of Promises, available from Harvest Ministries right now. Yeah, that's right. And we should point out we're including a custom bookmark that shows the timeline of last day's events.
So you can see what comes first, what comes next, and so on. It's laid out very clearly. The bookmark is included when we send you this significant book, a hardcover of more than 400 pages, called Revelation, A Book of Promises. So send your donation today to A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. And then be sure to join us a week from Sunday for So Cal Harvest at Angel Stadium, Pastor Greg's first live evangelistic event since the pandemic. On October 3rd, he welcomes Phil Wickham and For King and Country and presents a powerful gospel message. If you're here in Southern California, be sure to join us in person and, of course, bring someone who needs to meet the Lord. Elsewhere, be sure to tune in online and invite someone who needs to meet the Lord to watch along with you.
You can get all the details at harvest.org slash So Cal. Well, next time we'll wrap up our studies of the trumpet judgments of Revelation and glean some important insight on answered prayer. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner at harvest.org.
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