A vision: ecological catastrophe

I saw another great sign in heave: seven angels were holding the seven last plagues – last, because with them God’s wrath will be brought to completion.

I saw before me what seemed to be a sea of glass sea mingled with fire and standing beside it were those who had been victorious over the beast and its statue and the number which represented his name. They all held harps which God had given them and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the Lamb: “Great and marvellous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. Who would not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations shall come and worship before you, for your righteous actions have been revealed.”

Then I looked and saw that the doors of the temple in heaven – the tabernacle of the testimony – were thrown wide open. As I watched, seven angels holding seven plagues came out of the Temple. They were clothed in spotless white linen with gold sashes across their chests. Then one of the four living beings handed each of the seven angels a gold bowl filled with the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and his power. No one was able to enter the temple until the seven angels had completed pouring out their seven plagues.

Then I heard a mighty voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”

So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and ugly, festering sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped its statue.

Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.

Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they too became blood. And I heard the angel who had authority over the water say, “You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was, because you have sent these judgments. Since they shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is their just reward.”

And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just.”

Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues. Yet they refused to repent of their sins and give glory to God.

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But still they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God.

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and it dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They were demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle on that great day of God Almighty.

“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Happy are those stay awake and remain clothed, so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”

Then the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers together to a place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”

Lightning flashed and thunder rolled, and a great earthquake struck—the worst since man dwelt on the earth. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of many other nations collapsed into heaps of rubble. Thus Babylon the Great was remembered before God, she was given the cup filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. All the islands disappeared and every mountain was levelled. There was also a terrible hailstorm, with hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds falling from the sky. And people cursed God for the hailstorm, because it was so terrible.

John

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