What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 14

October 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM 1 comment

Trumpet Judgments of Revelation

Trumpet Judgments of Revelation

It’s time to get back to the Tribulation after setting it aside to deal with some other issues. Of course, when the Tribulation begins, it won’t be set aside until everything in God’s plan comes to fruition.

In our last article – What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 13 – we talked mainly about the locust-like creatures who rise from the Abyss to inflict terrible pain on humankind for five months. The creatures are not allowed to kill, nor are they allowed to damage the grass, trees, or bushes (which normal locusts would do). Their focus is on those who are not sealed with God’s seal. The pain will be so intense that people will wish to die but even death will elude them. Sounds bad if you ask me. Revelation 9:12 refers to this judgment as the first woe. There are still two other woes that those of earth must endure.

Revelation 9:13 begins describing the next phase of the Tribulation; the Sixth Trumpet that brings the army of the east into view.

Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 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. 16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

It is incredible to think that all of the things described in this series of articles related to the final upcoming seven years of human history, prior to the return of Jesus and His 1,000 year reign, will happen. If people would simply take the time to learn what God’s Word says and concentrate on these facts, more would likely turn to Him in true repentance. Unfortunately, as we see in numerous places throughout the Tribulation, even amid all of these terrible judgments, people refuse to repent. They refuse to recognize their own sinfulness, which would allow them to turn to Him. Instead, they soldier on, devoted to their own arrogance and eventual destruction. It’s not as though they will be able to claim they were not warned either. These seals, trumpets, and bowls are sent by God for the deliberate purpose of purifying Israel and for drawing the world to Him. The absolute arrogance that is on display by people who live through the Tribulation is astounding. We need to remember that God allowed the apostle John to see the future as it was going to unfold. He saw it, just as Isaiah saw what God revealed to him. These were not dreams. They were true visions of events that would take place.

In this Sixth Trumpet, four angels are released. These angels are “bound” at the Euphrates. Since they are bound – literally “in chains” – we know that they cannot be unfallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). They are undoubtedly fallen angels who are objects of God’s wrath and because of that, He uses them for this purpose. In fact, the text tells us that these four particular angels “had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year…” At the exact moment in time specified by God, these four “bound” angels were released in order to kill 1/3 of all mankind. The four angels will marshal a force totaling 200 million individuals. John even states that he heard the number itself. He wasn’t approximating based on what he saw. He saw and then heard the exact number that makes up this deathly army. Two hundred million individuals who appear to march across the earth taking 1/3 of mankind from the face of the earth through death.

Years ago, when I first began studying the subject of the end times, I recall in certain books, it was taught that this 200 million man army was made up of Asians from the east. The author would then note that China already had (at that time) an army of 200 million soldiers. It’s really a very large number and if we consider that the total “Allied and Axis forces at their peak in World War II totaled about 70 million,” it makes it difficult to believe that the 200 million number represents human beings. It is more likely that it represents demons, though it could be a mixture of demons and humans. In the end, we should take the 200 million number literally.

By the time these troops led by these four angels are finished with their task to kill 1/3 of humans who have rejected God, a total of roughly one-half of the earth’s entire population will be gone. Other judgments have taken 1/4 of the world’s population in death since the start of the Tribulation. That 1/4 added to the 1/3 gives us a total of roughly 1/2. Right now, there are over 7 billion people on the earth. After the Sixth Trumpet, 3.5 million will remain if the Tribulation were to begin today.

The next portion of Scripture describes these creatures to us.

17 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. 18 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. 19 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.

After reading this section of Scripture, it is fairly easy to understand these 200 million as being of supernatural origin. John is not describing human beings here, is he? He is describing creatures that carry riders. These creatures have heads like lions instead of heads like horses. These lions are able to shoot fire, smoke, and brimstone. They almost sound like dragons. The “horses” not only have power in their mouths, but in their tails as well. Their tails are like snakes including heads. These creatures have the ability to kill what is in front of them as well as what is behind them.

While it is certainly possible that the riders of these creatures will be human and it is also possible that John’s figurative language here is just that – figurative. The real point though is that this army of 200 million will kill 1/3 of the world’s population. That is the Sixth Trumpet.

When the Seventh Trumpet sounds, the Seven Bowls will be released and we’ll talk about that next time!

 

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

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