Revelation 9:13-21 - Trumpet 6 (2nd woe)

 

 13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said 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 kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.

 17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

 20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.  

Revelation 9:13-21

The culmination of the cosmic conflict, known by some as the War in Heaven and by others as the Great Controversy, is finalized on earth and recorded in Revelation 9.  It is fairly apparent that the first army is pure evil and intent upon doing harm to the inhabitants of the earth.  The identification of the second army is not as apparent.  However, we have the assurance that the descriptive words will paint us a picture if they are aptly applied.  We will let the Word of God reveal the image to us as we take a look at all we know about the following:

  • The voice from the horns of the golden altar.
     
  • Four angels bound at the Euphrates River.
     
  • Four angels ready for a moment in time.
     
  • The size of the army.
     
  • The attributes of the army.
    • breastplates
    • lion heads
    • serpent tails
       
  • Lack of repentance from the falling plagues.

 

 

The voice from the horns of the golden altar:

 

 13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God.

Revelation 9:13

  

The tabernacle built by Moses but patterned after the one in Heaven, was partitioned and furnished in very specific ways.  The temple was divided into two parts.  The first part occupied 2/3 of the temple and was called the Holy Place.  The second part occupied 1/3 of the temple and was called the Most Holy Place.  The two compartments were separated by a curtain (veil) that would be ripped into at the crucifixion of Christ.  When visiting Israel, God resided behind the veil as He sat enthroned upon the mercy seat that covered the ark of the covenant.  In front of the veil in the holy place was the golden altar of incense.  This altar has great significance in Revelation requiring us to consider its importance to the final generation.

The golden altar is known as the altar of incense and resides in God's holy temple in Heaven right in front of His throne.  There is no veil in the Heavenly temple because the way is now made open to all as we seek the presence of God.  The only thing giving us this pleasure is the presence of Jesus, our great high priest as he intercedes on behalf of humanity all day long.  When we enter the most holy place, our presence is odorous because to the inhabitants of Heaven, we have the scent of death and decay.  Fragrant incense is placed upon the altar every morning and evening as it mingles with the prayers of the saints providing a sweet savor to the Lord. 

Each day the priests of Israel would begin their long day of sacrificial intercession for the nation of Israel with the daily.  Every morning would be opened with the daily, and every evening the sacrificial system would be closed with the daily.  Each morning and evening a lamb would be placed upon the altar.  This sacrifice is different from the sin sacrifice.  A sin sacrifice was brought to the priest by the patriarch of a family because someone in their household sinned and they wanted forgiveness.  The daily is a sacrifice that was offered for the entire nation of Israelites even when they did not seek forgiveness.  The daily represents the benevolence God has for all the sons and daughters of Israel.

Today, Jesus is in the Heavenly temple offering the daily on our behalf because He and the Father loves the whole world.  The sacrifice Jesus offers is not that of sheep, bulls and goats.  Christ offered Himself once and for all.  The sacrifice He made on our behalf just keeps on giving as it perpetuates the graciousness of God.  The daily is the reason that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.  God loves all nations and people of every notion even while we are yet sinners; therefore, he provides intercession even when we do not seek it. 

The golden altar plays a big role in the daily because a special blend of frankincense and myrrh are offered on the golden altar during every morning and evening sacrifice.  This fragrance blends with our ascending prayers and covers the foul-smell of our breath as we pray.  The sweet, Spirit of God breathes on us changing our pitiful efforts into acceptable sacrifices.   As intercessory prayer warriors, we bring our loved ones into the presence of God pleading with Him to claim them as His own.  Our prayers move God to exercise His right to be merciful and long suffering toward our loved ones while they are still in their sin.  Satan thinks this is just ridiculous because if this processed is allowed to continue without interference, the whole world will be saved!  Humanity has violated the law and are unworthy of such nonsense; therefore, Satan hastens the ceasing of the daily without fully understanding what the daily means to him.

Israel had six cities of refuge that were regulated by the Levitical priesthood.  The cities were places of safety for someone that had killed someone else.  They could come to the city and grab the four horns of the altar demanding protection from the dead person's relative seeking vengeance.  During the trial, the priesthood was obligated to provide protection for this individual until it could be determined if he committed murder with violent intent or if it was an accident.  If it was proven that it was an accidental death, the person should go free.  However, if he was found that he committed premeditated and intentional murder, he was supposed to be pried from the horns of the altar and killed.  Exodus 21:12-14; Numbers 35:9-34; Deuteronomy 4:41-43, 18:1-13; Joshua 20:1-9

When Adonijah tried to usurp the throne from Solomon, he grabbed the horns of the altar and refused to let go until Solomon swore that he would not put him to death.  1 Kings 1  Adonijah did not kill anyone, but the scriptures make it very clear that he had predetermined to kill Solomon and Bathsheba when he became king proving he had a heart of a premeditated murderer.  Solomon's answer was in accordance to the law regarding the horns of the altar at the cities of refuge, "If he shows himself to be a worthy man, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, but if evils is found in him, he will die."  I Kings 1:52 

Adonijah was spared that day, but he later made a request knowing he was not worthy.  This specific request revealed the evil in his heart that made him desire to be king instead of one more worthy than him.  His heart revealed that he was still an usurper and a murderer by nature.  Adonijah was struck down and killed by the king's warrior.   Those that served Adonijah in his evil intent ran and grabbed the horns of the altar when they head about Adonijah's fate.  However, they were also struck because of their guilt in shedding innocent blood.  They were murderers from the core of their heart and their bloodlust would continue to reign over them as long as they lived preventing the establishment of the kingdom into the hands of the rightful heir to the throne.  1 Kings 2

 14 It said 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 kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.  

The voice we hear from the horns of the golden altar is declaring that it is time to slay the murderers.  The time of trial has been delivered and all have revealed the state of their hearts.  The guilty and the innocent have been revealed.  The innocent were revealed by their faith and the guilty are revealed by their blood lust.  Through the ages, the guilty have slain the prophets of God beginning when Cain slew Able.  When the voice from the horns of the golden altar is heard, we know it is now time to hold the murderers of the final age accountable.  "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"  Revelation 6:9-11

During the fifth trumpet Satan falls to earth after being denied access to the horns of the golden altar in Heaven.  Satan and the demons are kicked out of Heaven and cast to earth where they bring their murderous hearts to our planet.  By their influence, they convince men and women to deny God and slay the prophets.  They, like their forefathers, will shed the innocent blood of the prophets to keep them from prophesying.  This is the abomination of desolation that fills their cup of iniquity making them worthy of the seven last plagues and closes the testing time.  When the sixth trumpet sounds, Heaven and earth know that the final generation of earthly inhabitants have committed the last act of shedding innocent blood.   The door of probation has closed and the plagues of God will be poured upon them.  Their refusal to repent even after the plagues fall indicates the corrupt condition of their hearts.  Revelation 9:20, 21; 16:8-11  They refuse to repent of their murders and all other crimes against humanity.

They are like their father, the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning.  John 8:44  They are without remorse clearly vindicating God's destruction of them.  Yet, they cling to the horns of the golden altar demanding a stay of execution.  The loud voice from the horns of the golden altar declare their guilt and the rightful reigning monarch sends his warriors to slay them.  How do we know this army belongs to Christ, the rightful heir to the throne?  Our first clue is found in the size of the army.  Other clues are found in the attributes of this army (breastplates, lion heads, serpent tails) which are excellent descriptions of the mighty Heavenly warriors that follow Christ.

 

The size of the army:

16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number. 

Revelation 9:16

The host of all the angels that God created is like the hairs of our head.  God knows how many there are, but it is too much information for the human mind to conceive and track.  Therefore, humanity finds them innumerable.  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  Hebrews12:22  How can God convey the size of His army to people of finite minds?  He can share this information by comparison.  Even very young learners can determine if one group is less than or greater than another group.  The scripture reveals to us is that the army of Revelation 9:13-21 is twice the size of the first army in Revelation 9:1-12.

Since we know it is twice the size of the other army, we know this army belongs to the Lord.  When Satan and Michael fought in Heaven, 1/3 of the Heavenly host were followers of Satan.   This left 2/3 of the host to follow Christ.  Revelation 12:4  Therefore, we know that the host of righteous angels is twice the size of the unrighteous.  Since this army is twice the size of Satan's army, it is the army of the Lord. 

 

The attributes of the army:

17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury. 

Revelation 9:17-19

He   The

Breastplates

The breastplates of the first army are made of iron indicating their strength; however, the breastplates of this army are indicative of their righteousness.  On the Day of Atonement, the great high priest wore a breastplate and an ephod as part of the special garments worn only behind the veil.  These garments were not worn every day by the great high priest, but were worn only on the tenth day during the Feast of Trumpets.  Christ, our great high priest, puts on these garments of vengeance to do his strange act of destruction.  He is a creator God by nature and to destroy is not in His nature.  However, the kingdom will never be secure unless He destroys evil intent within His holy mountain.

15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
   and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.The LORD looked and was displeased
   that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
   he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
   and his own righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
   and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
   and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.

18 According to what they have done,
   so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
   and retribution to his foes;
   he will repay the islands their due.

19 From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD,
   and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood
   that the breath of the LORD drives along.
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
   to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
            declares the LORD. 

Isaiah 59 

The breastplate worn by the great high priest on the Day of Atonement is a breastplate of judgment.  It is woven with threads of scarlet, blue and purple interwoven with gold and fine linen.  It is indicative of the right to judge given only to the great high priest.  On the Day of Atonement, it will be Christ that will judge the final generation.  He will separate the sheep from the goats, as only He can.

The colors described by the New International Version of the bible are red, dark blue, or yellow.  In other versions of the bible, they are described as scarlet, jacinth (hyacinth) and brimstone.  The scarlet is red, the jacinth is a purplish blue and the brimstone represents burning sulfur which burns with a bright blue flame unique to burning sulfur.  The colors in the breastplates worn by the righteous saints of Heaven match in colors worn by the great high priest on the day of judgment when Christ comes in righteousness and vengeance.  6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 1:6-8Thessalonians 1:6 

 

Lion Heads

The lion is used as a symbol for both Satan and Jesus.  Peter uses the lion to describe Satan. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   1 Peter 5:8  A lion represents a worthy adversary.  God desires peace with each of us and wants to be an advocate to humanity.  He wants to save us from our adversary.  However, because of Satan's deceptions, we feel enmity toward God turning our savior into an adversary.  Of the two adversaries, God is more worthy than Satan.  God can destroy both body and soul; Satan can not.  Matthew 10:28  Also, God is the only adversary that desires peace with us.  Satan does not want peace with God or with mankind.  He only desires to destroy and subjugate. 

Satan is the keeper of the prison, it is our Creator that will set us free.  However, just like Pharaoh, Satan will not willingly release us.  We need a warrior king that will war on our behalf.   God is all things, and will do this amazing thing for us.  The Creator God will do His strange act and destroy any and all that prevent the freedom promised to those that love Him.  The battle will continue until the bitter end, and we must each choose our captain.  Many will choose the Devil, an adversarial lion.  As for me and my house, our choice is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  

Jesus is of the tribe of Judah and is a descendent of the Davidic monarchy that reigned from Jerusalem which means an abode of peace.  This lion is the rightful Prince of Peace and offers to make us all heirs to the throne through Him.  He knows that we are not a match for Satan and his army of angelic beings; therefore, The Lion of the tribe of Judah will come as a conqueror bent on conquering.  He will break the power of the kingdom of darkness that wars against the light and we will know war no more.

The fire, smoke and sulfur comes out of the lion heads.  God is the only true fire bender.  He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire.  Elijah called fire down from Heaven.  The disciples could call fire down.  The scriptures make it very clear that the world will be destroyed by fire in the end.  God is the only one that can bend all of the elements.  The scripture very carefully demonstrated that Jesus could control the winds and the waves.  The earth quaked at His crucifixion.  Of all of the elements, the scripture says that fire best describes Him.   May our God come and not keep silence; Fire devours before Him, And it is very tempestuous around Him.  Psalm 50:3  Psalm 18:6-8; 21:8-9; 97:1-6; Isaiah 66:14-16; Nahum 1:2-6; Zephaniah 1:18; 3:8; Zechariah 2:4-5; Malachi 3:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2 Peter 3:7,10-12; Heb 10:26-31

 

Serpent Heads

Satan is the old serpent that deceived Eve and tempted Adam in the garden.  The serpent has become the symbol that represents Satanic influence in the world.  Revelation 12:9; Genesis 3  Therefore, it is very difficult to accept the serpent as a symbol for our Lord and Savior.  I will attempt to explain why this army has serpents tails.  These serpent tails are the fourth plague following the fire, smoke and brimstone.  Finally, these serpent tails represent God's divine judgment upon sin.

John records Jesus speaking to Nicodemus.  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  John 3:14-15  Nicodemus was an Israelite.  He was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.  He was instructed in the teachings of the Jewish nation regarding religious matters.  He had a great deal of pride regarding his heritage.  Therefore, when Jesus told him he must be born again, it was puzzling and even insulting to think that his Jewish genealogy was not enough to prepare him to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.  When Jesus spoke to him about the serpent being lifted up in the desert by Moses, He was speaking about a passage that had been mysterious to the leadership in Israel.  The nation never fully understood why the serpent had to be lifted up in order for the Israelites in the desert to receive healing.  It was just as mysterious for him to hear that the Son of Man would also be lifted up just like the serpent. 

Jesus had turned the attention of Nicodemus to his words by referring to this passage in Numbers.  He was full of questions, and Jesus greatly desired to answer the one that was the most pressing about the Son of Man being lifted up.  He told him the reason that the Son of Man would be lifted up is because of God's great benevolence toward mankind.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16  When the Israelites gathered at the cross to observe the crucifixion of Christ, many did not make the connection between the serpent on the pole and Christ on the cross.  Nicodemus knew that by beholding Christ in our sins, he was healed from the death that resulted from his own

The Israelites were crossing the desert.  It was not a walk in the park; therefore, they were grumbling and complaining.  They had been given the freedom to walk away from slavery, yet they were complaining about the journey.  This scenario describes the tendencies of each of us.  God sent venomous snakes that bit them and many people died from the snake bites.  This was a plague against the people because of their sin.  The only redeeming thing the Israelites did was repent.  They said, "We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you.  Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us."  Numbers 21:7  I want to point out that the Israelites in the wilderness repented, but the people that are plagued by these serpent tails do not repent.  Revelation 9:19-21; Revelation 16:9  The fire, smoke, brimstone, and serpent bites in Revelation 9 are the first four plagues of the seven last plagues.  They do not move these people to repent because they have no remorse for their deeds.  Revelation 16:10-11

Beholding the serpent on the pole indicated repentance and remorse for their deeds resulting in the salvation of the Israelites in the wilderness.  If you will look to the cross, no matter your deeds, you will find saving grace.  God reads the hearts and minds of the people of the final age and determines the very day, hour, minute and second that every heart and mind has made their final choice  He then sends the plagues. The fact that the ungodly have no remorse and will not repent indicates to the cosmos that God is a righteous judge. 

Satan became sin to destroy us.  He is the old serpent and his followers have partaken of his poison to embrace his powers.  Those that follow and practice sin become satanic and serpent-like in their character.  Moses knew this and was afraid of Pharaoh.  He asked God for a sign.  God told him to throw down his staff.  It became a snake and Moses ran from it.  The Lord told him to grab it by the tail, and when he did, it turned back into a staff.  "This," said the Lord, "is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers--the God of Abram, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob--has appeared to you."  Exodus 4:5  Satan appeared to Eve through the serpent, but God appeared to Moses through the serpent.

In the midst of Pharaoh's wise men and sorcerers, God again demonstrated his mighty powers through the image of the serpent.  Pharaoh demanded that Aaron perform a miracle by throwing down his rod and turning it into a snake.  The wise men of Pharaoh's court did the same thing demonstrating the power of Pharaoh and the Egyptian gods.  However, Aaron's staff ate the others  When Jesus comes, His rod of iron that He rules with will swallow up the powers of Satan, the old serpent and all who have partaken of these powers will also be consumed.

The breastplate of Christ is stronger than that of Satan.  Satan's is made of iron, but Christ's breastplate is righteous judgment.  The Lion of the tribe of Judah is mightier than the lion that seeks to devour and destroy.  Satan, is the old serpent and his hiss is exceedingly frightening; however, when the Son hisses, those that heed that call will behold Him and live.  I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased  Zechariah 10:8.   .  Z

25Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

 26And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:

 27None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken: 

Isaiah 5:25-27

20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. 

Revelation 9:20-21

The plagues of God have a certain attribute.  They will cause those that are seeking God to turn from their wickedness desiring righteousness.  At the same time, those that do not want to find God or be found of God will only harden their hearts as a result of the plagues just as Pharaoh did in Egypt.  The seven last plagues will only fall at the end of probation and will only fall upon those that did not respond to the final altar call.  The seven last plagues reveal God as the Creator of all things exposing the darkness and the lies of Satan's kingdom.  The reaction of the people to the plagues also reveals the righteous judgment of the Living God.  They do not repent nor forsake their deeds; therefore, they are deserving of their reward.

  “Yes, Lord God Almighty,
   true and just are your judgments.”

 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.

 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.  

And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

 Revelation 16:7-11, 20
 

Let us continue with our study and discover the great preparation that God and His Son completed to insure that no one partakes of the plagues or the lake of fire made for the Devil and his angels.  God is merciful and longsuffering.  Anyone that will can be saved.  Learn more. . .

Post a Comment