Sixth Trumpet Four Angels Released to Bring Punishment
Revelation 9:13-end
r09d
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The sixth trumpet angel
.Re 9:13 ¶ And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,   Sixth angel What about the horns is significant? See note below.
.14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
  Loose the four angels In chapter the winds held by four angels were held. Note.
  Loosed ... hour ... day I do not see this as a time period. See note for v15.
.16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.   [200,000,000] horsemen But angels will hold them back. See note.
.17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.   The symbols are described below.
.18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.   Third part As for the preceding trumpet calls. See the note.
.19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.   Mouth ... tails Could they represent deception and physical oppression? See note.
.20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:   Rest, not killed The 2/3. See re0807a. And see note,
 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.   Murders The fruit of idolatry. re2108, re2215, ga0519.
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Note 9:13
A voice from the horns (second woe because verse 12 says one is past and one coming)

   ^   And 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 which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. (Rev. 9:13, 14).

   Do you remember our view of the golden altar at the introduction to the trumpets re0805? Prayers ascended and incense representing the merits of Christ is added as He ministers for us in the heavenly sanctuary. We saw that the "much incense" indicates a time of special need during the oppression by the end-time religious movement. Probation closes at the end of the fourth trumpet time. The fifth trumpet then announces the time of Elizabeth's seclusion (the "five months") also called the time of Jacob's trouble, or the time of silence in heaven. In our verse here, that time is over and the punishment of the wicked begins. The blood of Christ, symbolized by the blood of the sacrifical animal was put on the horns of the altar ex2912. I see the altar horns, like animal horns, representing power. Here it is power to avenge the blood of the righteous whose prayers have come up to the altar re0609a.
   The voice from the horns is from the blood representing the sacrifice of Christ. The blood that saves the repentant sinner also calls for the wages earned by those who refuse to repent. Here, as in the seventh plague, Christ, represented by His blood, says, "It is done" re1617. It is time for punishment.
   I developed the altar image from an old illustration removing the poles used for carrying it. That was probably an error since they were apparently to remain in place. When the tabernacle was replaced with a permanent temple, there would be no more wandering in the wilderness and the poles were likely removed. Okay to copy.

Note 9:14
Unleash the four angels!

   A voice from the horns of the altar tells the sixth angel, "Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates." Who are these four angels? We saw them in chapter 7 re0701:
  

   And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (Rev. 7:1-3).
   The angels held the winds for the sealing. At this point in the story, the faithful have been sealed and it is time to release the angels allowing them to release the winds of fury.

Chain of command
   This is not a casual decision. Christ, who ministers His blood for us, stands in the heavenly sanctuary at the altar, in the presence of God. He tells the sixth trumpet angel to authorize the angels to release the winds.

What are the angels doing in the river?
   Do you remember the story of Belshazzar's feast? Babylon fell because of its great wickedness (re1408d, re1408a). The river Euphrates ran through the city and the enemies, who had diverted the river, marched under the walls and conquered Babylon.
   In chapter 16 we see the preparation for the release of the winds. The sixth plague angel "poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet." (Rev. 16:12, 13) re1612. End-time Babylon is a religious coalition.

Note 9:15
The angels released
   "And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men." (Rev. 9:15)
   As with the five months described under the blowing of the fifth trumpet re0905, I do not see the primary meaning of these time elements as representing a length of time or the addition of lengths of time. A more accurate translation of the verse is: "And the four angels were released, those having been made ready for the hour and day and month and year that they should kill the third of men." We have come to a significant time in God's great plan of redemption. It is time to punish the end-time wicked. It is the seventh plague, the battle of Armageddon, but with a different outcome than the kings of the earth had planned. And, in Babylon symbols, it is the time God permitted the armies to march through the riverbed to take the city of where the Jews had been taken captive.
   In the symbols of chapters 17 and 18, it is time to destroy the evil woman on the beast. Listen to the voice from heaven: "Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." (Rev. 18:6-8).
   Although the intent of the passage may not be to refer to specific mentions of these time periods, we can see them in various places including the following: On "day" and "year" see is3408. For "month," re0905, and "hour," re1810. This is the great day of the Lord the moment when the fire is thrown to the earth 8:5. It is the time for Christ to punish the wicked.

Note 9:16
Cavalry of 200,000,000
   "And the four angels were loosed . . . to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them." (Rev. 9:15, 16)
   Why specifically this many? I have an idea to propose. Do you remember how many angels stood around the throne in the preadvent judgment? "I  beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:9, 10).
   Are those who ministered, different from those who stood before Him? We are not told, but I expect so. In any case, the specific number of 10,000 times 10,000 (also in re0511) comes to 100,000,000. In the final battle or earth, we see double that number who go into battle against Satan and his wicked host. Maybe you remember the text we just read from Revelation 18. "Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double" re1806. For this double punishment, God sends a double number of angels.

I heard the number
   Where have you heard, "I heard the number?" It was in chapter 7 when the number, 144,000 was announced. Here John hears the number of horsemen, then he sees them. We see a similar situation in re1110ff.
   "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision. . . ." (Rev. 9:16, 17). We assume there are 200,000,000 horses if there were that many riders.
   The reason for the "hear" and "see" in our passage may simply be that Jesus told John how many there were because he could not know the number by looking at them. In a prophetic vision, God may cause the prophet to see, hear, feel, and so on. All sensory input and the feelings are part of the message re1010ta.

Note 9:17
Horses and riders, powerful in battle

    "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not. . . ." (Rev. 9:17-20)

   You have likely noticed several comparisons between elements of the descriptions under the fifth and sixth trumpets. They are noted in a table 9T2.

Armies of heaven
     We may see the same horses and riders described a little differently in chapter 19. There they are identified as "the armies which were in heaven." They are the angels which accompany Christ in the punishment of the end-time wicked. In our present chapter, we see the horses when the four angels are released 1re1917. 

   And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
   "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev. 19:11-16)

Breastplates
   We looked at the biblical significance of the breastplate in our study of the fifth trumpet re0907+. Those who ride the horses here have breastplates of fire, jacinth (redish-blue) and brimstone. The breastplate worn by the high priest carried twelve stones representing the tribes of Israel just as Jesus bears our names on His heart. It was also used as divine direction for judgment (Ex. 28:15). Jacinth was a stone for one of the tribes and also an element in the breastplate. Here, jacinth plus fire and brimstone, gives us a sense of the divine judgment of punishment. The third angel's message is another description of this final punishment. See if you can identify the three elements of the breastplate. 
  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev. 14:8-12)
   You saw the fire and brimstone. The jacinth can represent God's people, the saints. So, in the three elements of the riders' breastplates, we may see the scene of the third angel, punishment of the wicked and perseverance of the righteous! "And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone."

Lion heads
   ". . . and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone." (Rev. 9:17). The three elements are not quite the same. Smoke has replaced jacinth. A different truth is being emphasized.
   Again our attention is drawn to the warning of the third angel. "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark . . . The same . . . shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:"
   Fire and brimstone for the wicked and permanently ascending smoke, as assurance for the righteous of relief from oppression. Incidentally, "forever" in this passage is symbolic re1410.

   We may praise God for His justice in putting an end to the problem of sin and suffering on this old planet.

Note 9:18
Mouth power

    "By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their [the horses'] mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt." (Rev. 9:18, 19)

Consider the following for comparison.
   "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19:11-16).

Deceptive spirits
   We cannot help but expect a relationship between the three elements from the horses mouths to those from three evil forces in the description of the gathering of the kings for the battle of Armageddon.
  

   And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
   And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
   And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Rev. 16:12-16)
   As I see it, the fire, smoke and brimstone represent God's punishment of the seven last plagues. They are reflected by the horse riders' armament seen in verse 17. Those on the horses battle against the three unclean spirits 1re1613. They help us keep our garments which are the righteousness of Christ re1615 . We must note that the horse riders in chapter 19 are angels. Perhaps they are angels here, too.

Issued out of their mouths
   The unclean spirits use false miracles to gather the kings. These teach falsehood thus are from the mouths of the frog-spirits. The horses respond by pronouncing judgment on the kings and the end-time religious coalition that directs them.

Armageddon
   We conclude that the scenes of the sixth trumpet are another description of Armageddon or the great day of the Lord.
  

   Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. (Isa. 13:9-11)

Note 9:19
Mouths and tails

    "By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt." (Rev. 9:18, 19)

   In examining the earlier trumpet calls, we concluded that the harming or destruction of a third part of various elements represented those lost in apostasy that it is not a mathematical fraction re0807a. All the living wicked actually die by the time Christ takes over the kingdom under the seventh trumpet. We know that some are left alive after this, the sixth trumpet call, because, in verses 20 and 21, they do not repent.

Tail power
   We have discussed the mouth power above. The locusts had scorpion tails that hurt but didn't kill. The horses, by contrast, have snake tails.


Note 9:20
Sadly the rest did not repent

     And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (Rev. 9:20, 21)

   The text divides the evil behavior into two general categories. How would you summarize them?

Picture of God
   Sin is simply illogical. If all we read in the Bible is the story of the sixth trumpet, we could get the wrong idea about God. He does not punish the wicked just to get them to change. They are punished here in justice and to clarify that nothing will change their hard hearts.
  

   For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. (Lam. 3:31-33)


   Here under the sixth trumpet we are looking at the case of those hardened in sin, those who have committed the unpardonable sin not pardoned because pardon is not wanted. Those not killed by the plagues still did not repent. A clear contrast to the faithful ones.
  

   Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev. 14:12)
     Dear friend, I pray that you and I will be faithful. A lot of voices out there are preaching a partial gospel advising compromise but complete commitment is the only way of pure happiness.

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