We are still within the seventh seal, and we are up to the sixth trumpet.
THE SIXTH TRUMPET BRINGS THE SECOND TERROR
Revelation 9:13-15 AMP Then the sixth angel blew [his] trumpet, and from the four horns of the golden altar which stands before God I heard a solitary voice, (14) Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Liberate the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. (15) So the four angels who had been in readiness for that hour in the appointed day, month, and year were liberated to destroy a third of mankind.
“Liberate the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
After you sit under some of the teachings out there, you begin to develop at least the hope that Satan and his cohorts were put out-of-the-way. I know I did. But, if that were the case we wouldn't be having most of the troubles we have. Spend some time in the Word, sorting these out, and you will find out that Satan still runs around deceiving, and he has helpers in the form of fallen angels. (These are what many call demons. If you watch any of those ghost chaser shows, you know that these angels will throw stuff around the room. This is very real.)
The number of angels is an unknown to us, but Satan convinced a third of them to follow him. Four of those have been chained in Euphrates river. Remember, it only took one angel, working on behalf of God, to kill all the firstborn of Egypt in one night.
“So the four angels who had been in readiness for that hour in the appointed day, month, and year were liberated to destroy a third of mankind.”
The Greek word for readiness is hetoimazō (het-oy-mad'-zo), and means to prepare. Are the angels preparing for the time they would be freed, or is it that God has placed them there because of their destructive capabilities, while he awaits the proper time to release them?
Try reading some of Frank Peretti's books, such as This Present Darkness; Piercing the Darkness, or The Visitation, and you will get a fairly accurate picture of how these fallen angels operate on the earth. We seem to forget that they are extremely powerful even if they have fallen, but we - those who follow Christ and have his name, have all authority in the name of Jesus. And, every knee will bow before that name, even if it does not seem like it now.
So, four angels get released and destroy a third of mankind. Are they selective in whom they kill? It does not specify. I feel safe in saying that they will not be able to harm those sealed by God. And, if you are paying attention, they are not excluding their own followers. Isn't that a strange irony. Satan does not care about anyone, not even his followers.
What is this sudden transition?
Revelation 9:16 NASB The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
In verse 15 we see four angels, held in chains for years, now released upon the earth. But just that quickly we are looking at 200 million horsemen.
Where did 200 million horsemen come from? Are they human or inhuman?
When I was younger I heard that this would be a Chinese infantry. The impracticability of mounting 200 million horses becomes more evident when you see some practical numbers. The IVPBB Commentary gives us this: “Two hundred million” would be a huge standing army even today (nearly the entire population of the United States, almost four times that of Great Britain, over twice that of Nigeria, and eight times that of Canada); in the first century it may have represented more than the population of the entire world.” Is it impossible for God? No, but it seems highly improbable, especially after you read the description in verse 17.
Revelation 9:17 NASB And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
It seems easy to associate passages like what we see in Ezekiel. However, because there is an undeclared quantity of people and horsemen I do not believe we should be looking for a physical, mounted force.
Ezekiel 38:1-6 NASB And the word of the LORD came to me saying, (2) "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him (3) and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. (4) "I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; (5) Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; (6) Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops--many peoples with you.
The visuals we see in verse 17 do not sound like anything from reality, horses with heads like lions, and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. Seeing as there is nothing like this on earth, then it has to be spiritual, even demonic, and they come out of the pit with these fallen angels.
By these three plagues.
Revelation 9:18-19 ESV By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. (19) For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.
By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed. We are within the seventh seal and the sixth trumpet. When I paid attention to what this said, I found myself saying, what plagues?
Coming out of the horses mouths are:
“For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.” So, one-third of mankind dies because of them.
I was recently asked, what about the survivors of the time of wrath? It is hard to imagine anyone surviving. This tells us that they did not repent nor give up worshiping demons and idols.
Revelation 9:20-21 ESV The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, (21) nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The Greek word translated repent here, means to think differently. All this is being done to get hardcore fools to think otherwise, change from their own way of doing things, and turn toward God. This shows a special kind of arrogance, as these people just continue the godless lives they were living.
In what ways do we worship demons? Idols I can understand, but unless you joined yourself to a Satanic cult, what else could this mean? The word worship here is proskuneō and means (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand). Hasn't the world's ways taught us that money and the pursuit of it, is the only way to go? In living like this haven't, we enslaved ourselves almost in worship to the ways of the world?