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The Golden Censer

When the lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, lasting about half an hour. I saw the seven angels who were standing in front of God; they were given seven trumpets. Another angel came and stood before the altar. He was holding a golden censer, and he was given a large quantity of incense so that he could offer it, along with the prayers of all God’s holy people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose up from the hand of the angel in front of God. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There were crashes of thunder, loud rumblings, lightning, and an earthquake.

The Plagues Begin

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets got ready to blow them. The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire, mixed with blood, were thrown down on the earth. A third of the earth was burnt up, a third of the trees were burnt up, and so was every blade of green grass. Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, flaming with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of all living sea-creatures died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star, burning like a torch, fell from the sky, falling on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Poisonwood: a third of the waters turned to poison, and many people died because of the waters that had become bitter. 12 Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light would be darkened, with a third of the day losing its light and a third of the night as well. 13 Then I looked, and I heard a lone eagle flying in mid-heaven, and calling out loudly. ‘Woe, woe, woe to the earth-dwellers,’ it called, ‘because of the sound of the other trumpets that the last three angels are going to blow!’