Summary: Angels released at the Euphrates; 200 million horsemen at war
The Trumpet Judgments Part III; 200 Thousand Thousand (Rev 9:12-20)
We return to our study in Revelation 9, discussing the Trumpet Judgments. So far, we have studied the first five of these Trumpet Judgments, and this week we will study the sixth, with the seventh in a few weeks when we reach Revelation 11.
These first five Trumpet Judgments are:
Hail and fire mixed with blood, destroying vegetation
Meteor strike, polluting the Mediterranean Sea or perhaps an ocean
Wormwood, perhaps a comet, making bitter a vast amount of the water
Darkening of the Sun, Moon and stars
Demonic locust/scorpions released from the "pit of the abyss", Hades (also Tartarus or Gehenna) by Satan, led by Apollyon (the destroyer). These demons will seek out the unsaved and sting them with a scorpion like sting and torture them for five months. Men will try to kill themselves because of the misery, and they will not die.
One woe is past. Behold still two more woes are coming after these things. Rev 9:12
As I have commented before, never--ever--say that things in your life cannot get any worse! No matter what you are facing in life, my friend, things can always get worse. I know that from experience, making that comment and later being in a severe automobile accident that put both my wife Kay and I in the hospital, and Kay in a wheelchair for 2 months. Things can, and sometimes do, get worse.
God has a plan and purpose for everything that happens in your life and mine. This only makes sense, doesn't it? God does nothing--not a single thing--without a reason. Even what appears to be the most mundane of events in our lives have a purpose; some are prominent in our lives some are not in the grand scheme of things. How many times have you experienced a life changing event--happy or sad--that you did not know was coming? I am sure you will agree that this occurs more often than not.
This week, we will see that things just keep getting worse for the unsaved masses during the Tribulation Period with two more "woe" judgments. As I had mentioned last week, God continually offers salvation to the unsaved during this period; however the great majority will continue to reject Jesus Christ.
Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Rev 9:13-15 NKJV
There are some people that either in ignorance or with full knowledge of what the Bible literally says have a belief that God is taken by surprise, that He has no design in our future, that all things happen "by chance". Many of these people do not like the idea that God has control, and either want to stay in ignorance of God's Word or, with the knowledge of what God's Word says, just abandon the literal meaning saying "that's not what God meant", "it is figurative" or some other reason. The idea that God does not have a design denies the supernaturality of God and the omnipresence (being in all places at one time) of God.
The scene here in heaven is at the altar of incense. This golden altar parallels the one in the Holy Place in the Temple, and the voice that is heard is not identified directly but is most likely God Himself being that this golden altar is "before God", and since God is in charge the orders come directly from Him.
As we discussed prior, God's angels are not bound, only some of the fallen angels or demons were (in Hades or Tartarus, in chains of darkness). In regards to these fallen angels spoken of here, they are not just bound during that time frame; "The perfect tense of the participle translated bound implies that these four angels were bound in the past with continuing results; they were in a state or condition of bondage until God's determined time came for them to be released to execute their function as instruments of divine judgment. (John MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Revelation 1-11)
The place where these four demonic angels are bound is "the great river Euphrates". The Euphrates River at one time established the eastern boundary of Israel, but also is the site of many events in Biblical history. This is one of the rivers mentioned as being in the Garden of Eden, where sin originated; it flows through the area where the Tower of Babel and later Babylon were built. Most people know this region as "the cradle of civilization". Essentially, the Euphrates River cuts right through Evil Central both in the past and in the future. That these demonic angels are bound at this location would seem to make a lot of sense.