Revelation 9:13-21 The Sixth Trumpet Judgment (2nd Woe)

Revelation 9-13-21

One-third of mankind will die! Woe! Woe to the earth!

Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” Revelation 9:13-14

John saw the sixth angel sound his trumpet and then he heard a voice (literally the text says “one voice”). The voice came from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. The voice was speaking to the sixth angel who had the trumpet. It said, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”

This is so very interesting… Revelation 8:3-5 referred to the golden altar, as well. It told us about the “voice” of the saints (through prayer) calling for God to judge the earth. Here we see the golden altar again and “one voice” coming from it calling for the four angels to be released so they can be the catalyst for judgment on the earth. The voice of the saints, through their prayers were the catalyst for the set of seven trumpet judgments to commence—it is not surprising to see their voice once again in this sixth trumpet.

Specifically, what angels will be released? If they are bound, does that mean they are fallen angels? Are there angels right now in our present time who are bound at the great river Euphrates?

Think for a minute and ask yourself these questions, “Where are all the angels that God created? Where are they? Are all angels good; do they all still serve God? Are some bad or fallen? Have some rebelled against God? Where are the good angels right now? And where are the bad angels right now?”

Most people think of angels as either being in heaven or in the air around us. When people think of angels as being in heaven, they sometimes picture them as next to God around His throne or they simply think of them as floating around in the clouds for some reason. Other people think they are in the air around us, but think they just sort of float around doing whatever. Hmmm… Some of these ideas are goofy, while others hit pretty close to the truth. We, of course, do not have time to do a study on angels during this read-thru of Revelation, but I feel I need to address the issue just a little bit…

Let me say first that angels do not simply float around aimlessly wherever they might be—that is as far from the truth as you can get. Secondly, while it is true that some angels are around the throne of God in heaven and others are somewhere, in the spirit world, around us, that does not account for all of them.

We will see later on in Revelation that one-third of the angels that God created were swept away by the tail of the dragon—Satan (who was simply an angel himself, although a very high ranking angel) took all the angels who defected with him when he was kicked out of heaven for his own rebellion. The destinies of each and every one of those angels, Satan included, are sealed. They were not (and will not be) given a chance to repent. It also appears that the destinies of the angels who remained true to their God are also sealed—they will never be able to defect. Interesting, don’t you think?

Let’s talk about the third that defected and followed Satan. Did you take the time to answer the questions above? Where do you think those angels are? Many people think of them as floating around in the air, following Satan, or having a meeting with him around some fiery throne in his lair (where that is). Although a major portion of the angels who followed Satan (I’ll just call them dark angels from here on in) are indeed free to move around in the spiritual atmosphere surrounding us, some even indwelling people, others are not loose at all. Jude and 2 Peter tell us about an interesting group of angels that God has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. The Bible has other bits of information concerning the whereabouts and the goings on of angels, but that is not our purpose here. The point is that we need to listen to what God says in His word very carefully and believe every single thing He says—let’s not have presuppositions about angels that came from… well… anything other than the very Word of God.

Revelation tells us about four angels, four lone angels, that have been kept chained at the River Euphrates for all these centuries and they are still there. Wow! The Euphrates is in modern day Iraq. In the Bible, we first hear about the Euphrates in Genesis where the garden of Eden was located. Hmmm, very, very interesting! There is so much we could talk about on this subject too, but, as usual… we don’t have time in this series—we are going to stay on the mountain tops. Let’s suffice it to say that there are four angels, right now, at this very moment, chained by the Euphrates.

And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. Revelation 9:15

Wow! Think about the implications here! Four angels have been, or are being, or will be prepared to kill one-third of mankind! They are vessels of wrath! They were created to execute this judgment!

The exact year, month, day, and even the very hour has been determined for them to be released—they will not be released one moment late or one moment early. And when they are released they will kill one-third of mankind! We know they will be released at the beginning of the sixth trumpet judgment. No wonder the sixth trumpet is called a “woe”!

The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. Revelation 9:16

Think with me here… It says, “The number of the armies of the horsemen…” Is John switching to another subject? No. This is evidently the method the four angels will use to kill one-third of mankind.

What sort of military campaign will the four angels mount? Two hundred million (that’s 200,000,000) horsemen! John heard and he understood…

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. Revelation 9:17

John describes to us what he saw. The riders of the 200,000,000 horses will have breastplates that are the color of fire, hyacinth, and brimstone. John is describing the color of the breastplates—he is not saying they are made of real fire. The heads of the horses are like the heads of lions. Fire, smoke, and brimstone comes out of the mouths of the horses. The heads of the horses are not actually lion’s heads, they are like the heads of lions—perhaps in their ferocity? But… real fire, smoke, and brimstone actually will come out of the mouths of the horses. This is one formidable and frightening army!

A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm. Revelation 9:18-19

The fire, smoke, and brimstone that will come out of the horses’ mouths are three different plagues. But the power of the horses will not be limited to the plagues they will inflict upon mankind with their mouths—their tails will also be menacing. Their tails are like serpents (not real serpents) and have heads on them. Yes, their tails will have heads on them and they will do great harm to mankind—many will be killed.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.” Revelation 9:17–21

How many men will die from this army under the direction of the four angels who will be released? One-third. So how much of mankind will survive these plagues? Two-thirds, but that will be two-thirds of what was left of mankind after the last great death toll—remember, that men have been dying in great numbers through the breaking of the seals.

For instance, think about the second seal when men killed one another, or the fourth seal where one-fourth of the earth was killed by the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts of the earth, or the fifth seal where men were murdered because of the Word of God and their testimony, or the cataclysmic events of the sixth seal. And more recently, in the fourth trumpet many men died because one-third of the earth’s waters were made poisonous by the star called Wormwood. All in all, their will be an unprecedented death toll throughout the final judgments of God. As we progress through the book of Revelation it will increase until finally… well…

The two-thirds of mankind which are not killed by these plagues will not repent of the works of the hands. How foolish! There's enough knowledge that God gives you in your conscience and in His creation to make you aware and recognize that He is God and deserves to be honored and thanked as God and Creator. Think about the warnings and the message that He will have given mankind by this point, but they still will not repent.

Instead, they still choose to worship anything and everything other that the true God. They worship demons. They worship idols made out of gold or silver or brass or stone or wood—things which can’t even see, hear, or walk! They continue to murder. They continue to cast useless spells, and try to magically control life through witchcraft and drugs. By the way, there is a lot of sorcery going on inside the visible church, or the professing church, today… a lot of sorcery… Those who are not killed by the four angels also will not repent of their immorality—can you think of anything that runs more rampant than immorality, even today? And the last in the list of things people will not stop doing, even after one-third of the world is killed, is theft.

Amazing! How much more does God have to do to get these peoples’ attention! Unfortunately it will take a lot more… but by then it will be too late…

© Sharon Jensen 1999-2017