Rev 9:16                   Two Hundred Million Horsemen                        9/18/2005      ßà   

  • The Fifth and the Sixth Trumpet (Rev 8:13, 9:12-21)

 

 

 

 

#1.       Loose the Four Angels (Rev 7:1-3, 9:13-15, Matt 24:29)

 

 

 

 

  • To Slay the Third Part of Men (Rev 9:15, Zech 13:8-9)

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Last Battle (Matt 24:22, Rev 9:16-17, 16:12-16, 21:20, 1Thes 5:2-3, Luke 17:26-30)

 

 

 

 

  • Two Hundred Million Monsters (Rev 9:17-19, Isa 9:15)

 

 

 

 

#3.       They Repented Not (Rev 9:20-21, Heb 10:26-27, 2Tim 3:1-5)

 

 

 

 

  • Turn Away From Such! (Eph 1:13, Matt 10:28, John 16:33, 1Pet 5:4)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 8:13 (2X). Before we are continuing in Rev chapter 9 we must keep in mind the relation between the blowing of the 6th trumpet and the blowing of the previous 5 trumpets. Since Christ is has opened the 7th seal of the Book He took out of the hand of Him that sitteth upon the throne in chapter 8, we know that the blowing of the 7 trumpets concerns events close to the end of time, and thus the 7 trumpets are blowing simultaneously during the Final Tribulation Period (FTP). The first 4 trumpets belong together, which we have discussed in chapter 8. The first 4 trumpets describe the events in terms of all relating to the visible universe outside of man, like the trees, and the sea, and the rivers and lakes, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars. But the last 3 trumpets refer directly to the world of man. We know that the last trumpet sounds when Christ returns, which means that the end of time has come, and thus Judgment Day has come. But:

  • The Fifth and the Sixth Trumpet Belong Together (Rev 8:13, 9:12-21)

We can see that clearly from the words written in the last verse of Chapter 8. And there we read,

Rev 8:13, And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

We saw in the beginning of chapter 9 the cloud of locusts coming out of the Bottomless Pit, which represents a cloud of evil spirits coming out of the Abyss. This army of locusts is transformed into an evil army of people who are overrunning the church, and through them the church is destroyed; much like events in the prophecy of Joel, where an army of locusts is transformed into an evil army of the kingdom of Babylon, which army destroyed the kingdom of Judah, representing the visible Kingdom of God on this earth. The character of the invading army of Babylon was that they were a people whose language the children of Israel did not understand. Likewise, the character of the evil army of people who will overrun the church in the last days is that they are a people whose language the church does not understand. It is a people who bring the heresy that God is still speaking today, and thus they bring back the phenomenon of speaking in tongues, as if God the Holy Spirit is bringing messages through tongues, and dreams, and visions, and angel visitations. But through them the church is destroyed. And so we see that the 5th trumpet is entirely spiritual in character, bringing an army through which the church is destroyed. This occurs during the FTP. And then we read in Rev 9:12 (2X),

Rev 9:12,  One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

Re 9:13-14  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.

Re 9:15-16  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.                 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

Re 9:17  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.

Re 9:18-19  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.

Re 9:20-21  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.

Here again, when the 6th trumpet is blowing, we see an evil army that is let loose on that fraction of mankind which have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads. But the 5th and the 6th seal go together. This army of horses and the army of locusts are operating simultaneously during the FTP. It sounds like it is the last battle before Judgment Day. And that is indeed what it is. The last battle and the FTP are the same event. The last battle is an entirely spiritual battle. Hear what God says in this chapter,

#1.       Loose the Four Angels (Rev 7:1-3, 9:13-15, Matt 24:29)

These four angels were already mentioned in chapter 7. Please turn to Rev 7:1 (2X). There we read,

Re 7:1 ¶  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.

Re 7:2  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,

Re 7:3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

These four angels were told not to act until all of God’s elect have arrived in this world. It means that the FTP must be done and over during the lifetime of the last of God’s elect. Who are these four angels? Please turn again to Rev 9:13 (2X), and there we see that these angels were bound. It means that they are fallen angels whom Christ will use to unleash this evil army upon the unsaved world. Yes indeed, it is not the devil, but it is Christ who does this. The Devil cannot do anything without approval from God. Christ is preparing for judgment the apostate church and the world that does not know God.

Re 9:13-14  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.

Re 9:15  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.

What is God saying in these verses? First of all look at the precise timing of this disaster. God does

not bring this horrible army because the calendar says so. If that were the case then God would be responsible for the state of sinfulness in the world. But God cannot be the author of sin; that is a given in any case we look at sin. But God in His wisdom and omniscience has set the stage, and God knows that sinful man will commit those heinous sins as described in verses 20-21 whenever the opportunity arises. And thus God knows that this will be the right timing for unleashing this horrible army upon all the unsaved in the world living in those days. This is the beginning of the FTP, just like the cloud of locusts was released at the beginning of the FTP. It is the same event described in different terms. Why do I say it is the same event? Both these events described in Rev 9 refer to the Last Battle before the 7th trumpet sounds, and thus it is the Last Battle before Judgment Day. But the Last Battle is also the FTP, because the Lord Jesus said in Matt 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”. And so, you see, the FTP is the Last Battle, but it is a spiritual battle, which not out of control but is totally under the control of Christ. This is how we must understand all those passages in the Bible dealing with the Last Battle. Again, this disaster does not come upon churches because the calendar says so, but because those churches have gone apostate. Our God is a righteous God. This means that God will not punish faithful churches for the sins that go on in apostate churches, because each local congregation is an independent entity. The apostate churches will be judged for bringing back the sins preceding the flood of Noah’s days, and the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah preceding their destruction in the days of Lot, and the sins of Egypt preceding the Exodus in the days of Moses, and the sins of the Canaanites preceding the days of Joshua, and the sins of the nations of Israel and Judah preceding their destruction by the hand of the Assyrians and the Babylonians, and the nation of the Jews by the hand of the Roman Empire. Our God is righteous!

Secondly, we read that “a voice is heard from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God”. That must be the same altar that was mentioned in chapter 8:3. The preeminent idea there was  that on the basis of the atonement of Christ the prayers of the saints could be offered to God. Both the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense had four horns. These four horns were the most sacred part of the altar. Upon them was sprinkled the blood of atonement. Therefore these horns stood for the idea that the blood of atonement was shed. And now we read that it is from these same horns, representative of the blood of atonement, that a voice proceeds, calling for a terrible judgment upon the world. It is the voice of the blood of the Lamb that cries for this judgment. It indicates that the time has come when the world has trodden under foot and despised the blood of the Savior, and He now cries for revenge. The world rejects Christ and despises the blood of His atonement. Whatever form of godliness the world may have heard in the past, they have always stubbornly refused to acknowledge that there is salvation only in the blood of Christ. And now it is this blood that must be avenged and that cries: “Loose the four angels that are bound in the great river Euphrates”.

  • To Slay the Third Part of Men (Rev 9:15, Zech 13:8-9)

Re 9:15  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.

Here you see the difference between the 5th trumpet and the 6th trumpet. The army of locusts, or the army of demons, was not allowed to kill men. They were commanded only to torment the unsaved of mankind for 5 months. But this army, released by the blowing of the 6th trumpet, was commanded to kill one third part of men. What does this killing and this one third part refer to? Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Zechariah, Zec 13:8 (2X). As I have already indicated three weeks ago, the one third part refers to that fraction of mankind that throughout the ages has given all the glory to God. They are the fraction of mankind that has been truly saved. Even though the true fraction of mankind that will be saved may be smaller than one third, God uses the fraction of one third as a symbol to indicate the church that has been honoring Him throughout the centuries. We read in Zec 13:8-9,

Zec 13:8-9  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.              And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

But in the FTP even that one third fraction goes apostate to a certain extent. The army of Satan will be allowed to infiltrate even those churches. Only those who have the seal of God in their foreheads will not be deceived. But can you see the focused all out effort by the army of Satan to destroy that one third fraction? This is the difference between the 5th trumpet and the 6th trumpet. Here at the call of the 6th trumpet the entire army of Satan is focused, not on all of mankind, but on specifically that group of churches that have been relatively faithful throughout the centuries. This army of 200 million horsemen outnumbers the saints by far. And are they successful? Today we see indeed that the conservative denominations are surrendering to the charismatic movement as well as to the liberal pressures of the 20th century. For example, marriage and divorce and remarriage are now common as grass in most churches, even among the clergy. Homosexuals are achieving equal rights even in the ruling bodies of the churches. Women are ordained as deacons, and elders, and pastors. Doctrines which have a solid foundation in the Bible are up for debate, even though they should never even be debated; such as: the Virgin Birth, the theory of evolution, abortion, euthanasia, sex before marriage, keeping the Sunday holy, and all the doctrines of grace. And even though we should not look out into the world to explain the Bible, nevertheless we sense that if we are today in the FTP, the army of Satan has made a great deal of progress. God warns us here in Rev 9 that these things would come. This is:

#2.       The Last Battle (Matt 24:22, Rev 9:16-17, 16:12-16, 21:20, 1Thes 5:2-3, Luke 17:26-30)

Please turn again to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 9:16 (2X). This Last Battle is an all out effort by Satan to win control of the world. Christ has loosed him and his armies from the Abyss, and if given enough time, 70 years or longer, he will win this battle. But Christ is in control, and Christ will not allow Satan enough time, for the Lord Jesus said in Matt 24:22, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”. Look now at this immense army that Satan has at his disposal. We read in Rev 9:16,

Re 9:16-17  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, 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.

Two hundred million horses plus two hundred million horsemen are spearheading this army, and many more that are assisting them in the supply lines. John writes, “And I heard the number of them”. This piece of information is solid proof that we are not dealing with a physical army, which is waging a conventional war. First of all, no nation in the world can bring up such a great army. Secondly, with today’s advances in technology horses are useless in any war. Thirdly, the peculiar appearance of these animals does not qualify them to be called horses. Fourthly, animals that breathe fire and smoke and brimstone would not be called horses but dragons. Fifthly, fire breathing dragons never existed on this planet. This is not a physical army. This is a spiritual army. And the outward description of these animals specifies the evil work that they do in the spiritual realm. Let me repeat again: This is the Last Battle. There are not two last battles. This army in Rev 9:16-19 consists of the same evil spirits as the army in Rev 9:3-11 that were loosed out of the Abyss. The same spirits are described in two different ways to indicate all the evil works they are going to do. And since this is the Last Battle, this spiritual battle will be fought during the FTP. Please turn in your Bibles to Rev 16:12 (2X). Again we have here a description of an army that is invading the world by coming from across the Euphrates River.

Re 16:12 ¶  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.

Re 16:13  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.

Re 16:14  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.

Re 16:15  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Re 16:16  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

The Battle of Armageddon is pictured here as the Last Battle. Satan and the kings of the earth and of the whole world are gathered to do battle against God Almighty and His saints. This is the same Last Battle as that described in Rev 9. This is not a physical battle like many are led to believe but a spiritual battle. There are more than 10 of such Last Battles described in the Bible, but they are all the same.

Let us now look at the outward appearance of the riders on these animals. God says that they have “breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone”. We understand the fire and the brimstone. These riders are messengers from Hell, and the fire and brimstone characterizes them as such. But what about “jacinth”? The only other place in the Bible where we find “jacinth” is in Rev 21:20. Please turn to Rev 21:20 (2X). Here God describes the foundations of the wall of the city of God, which is the New Jerusalem. The first four are listed in verse 19, and then God says in verse 20,

Re 21:20  The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

Here this precious stone “jacinth” is said to be one of the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ. And thus “jacinth” is directly identified with true believers and with the Kingdom of God. That these horsemen have breastplates of jacinth underscores that Satan will come as an angel of light, and that the gospels that will be offered by his messengers when they come as false teachers and preachers will be gospels that will closely resemble the true Gospel.

Another reason why the character of all these Last Battles must refer to the same spiritual battle is that all these battles are fought in the absence of shedding of blood. There will not be great upheavals on the earth, like in a physical war. There will not be great persecutions by the Antichrist with shedding of blood of the saints, upsetting almost everyone on the earth. Instead, Satan comes quietly as an angel of light, and his ministers as ministers of righteousness. They will plead the blood of Christ for their actions and for their doctrines, and they will bring gospels that are very close to the true Gospel. For example, God says in 1Thes 5:2-3, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape”. The character of the time just prior to the Lord’s return will be “Peace and safety”. No one will expect the Lord’s return and no one will expect that Judgment Day will be upon them. For example, in the Gospel according to Luke 17:26-30, Christ speaks about the relative calm before the storm on Judgment Day. Christ says:

Lu 17:26  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Lu 17:27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Lu 17:28-30  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Lu 17:30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

You see, it will be business as usual right unto the day of Christ’s return. The Last Battle will be fought silently by messengers of Satan who will deceive many, Then suddenly the day of the Lord comes upon all the world, unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Let us now return to Rev 9:17 (2X).

  • Two Hundred Million Monsters (Rev 9:17-19, Isa 9:15)

Re 9:17-18  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.

Re 9:19  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.

These horses don’t look like horses at all. They had heads of lions. The locusts from the 5th trumpet had the teeth of lions. What do lions have to do with the locusts and with these horses? God is warning us herewith for false prophets, and false teachers. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. But the messengers of Satan are imitating the appearance of Christ by putting up heads of lions so that they will look much like true servants of Christ. But the words that come out of their mouths are suggestions out of the pit of Hell. That is why their words are characterized by fire, and by smoke, and by brimstone. And whosoever swallows these words that the false teachers proclaim, will be killed. Will one third of mankind be really killed during the FTP? No! They will be spiritually killed. This passage is saying that, as a result of God’s judgment on them, many in those congregations will be spiritually killed by the false gospels coming out of the mouths of the false teachers and the false prophets. Many will think that they have become saved, when in fact they have entered the broad way that leads to eternal destruction. And then we read that these horses had tails like unto serpents. We find in Isa 9:15

Isa 9:15  The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

And thus the figure of tails is used by God to represent “the prophet that teacheth lies”. These tails are like serpents, and they have heads also. Therefore this passage says that the messengers of Satan will victimize the unsaved by using false prophets that speak so authoritatively that they sound like true ministers of righteousness. And they will be successful because they speak as Satan does, who is the Master-Deceiver. These tails have heads. Even as the head of the true church is Christ, so the head of these false prophets is Satan. They will be as clever and cunning as Satan. And they will entice people to seek the supernatural gift of speaking in tongues, saying, “Once you are baptized by the Holy Spirit, you will have supernatural power to gain health and prosperity”. It sounds like the Devil saying to Eve, “You will be like God”. Then we read about these tails, “And with them do they hurt”. Yes, with these deceptions the false Christs will indeed hurt a lot of people. The growth of their churches may be phenomenal, and they will be widely praised for their effective evangelism programs. But all the time they will be hurting the unsuspecting, who swallow their lies hook, line and sinker. Like the false prophets of the days of Jeremiah, they will be telling people that they have peace with God, when in fact they have been allied with the Devil. Then we read of the rest of mankind that:

#3.       They Repented Not (Rev 9:20-21, Heb 10:26-27, 2Tim 3:1-5)

Re 9:20-21  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.

How could they repent? They have been deceived by the Master-Deceiver, and thus they do not know that they have been deceived. They remain unsaved, and thus inwardly there has been no change. They live in a world steeped in sin; everyone is doing it, so why should they be any different? Not all the unsaved will be joining false churches and become pseudo Christians. A large part of mankind will continue to follow other religions, including atheism. And they remain unrepentant. These unsaved will persist in worshipping man made religions, which means that they are worshipping devils and idols. You see, when we are not worshipping the God of the Bible, the only living God, we are engaging in idolatry, regardless what our religion is. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 10:26 (2X). This world is left hopelessly hardened. Have they heard what the truth is? Yes they have, but they were offended by the true Gospel. They did not want to hear about salvation only by grace. They did not want to hear about a salvation that was outside of their control. They did not want to hear about an atonement of Christ that was only for the sins of those whom the Father had given Him. And they did not want to hear that no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws that person to Christ. It does not matter what the Bible says. It does not matter that the Bible is God’s voice speaking to us. It does not matter that there is Hell to pay. This Gospel of grace alone makes them very uncomfortable. They want to enjoy life now, and they do not want to wait till later. And so, since they have squeezed God out of their life, God now applies to them this rule found in Heb 10:26-27,

Heb 10:26-27  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,               But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

It is as if God says to the world at large: “Have it your way”. Please turn in your Bibles to the 2nd Epistle to Timothy, 2Tim 3:1 (2X). You find 2Tim shortly before the Epistle to the Hebrews. Here in 2Tim chapter 3 God describes the hardened heart of mankind in the last days, and particularly in the last of the last days, referring to the FTP. This is the condition of the unsaved at that time. We read in:

2Ti 3:1 ¶  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2Ti 3:2-3  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,                    Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2Ti 3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2Ti 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

They will have a form of godliness, they will claim to be Christians, but they deny the power of God

to save through the cross of Christ and to save 100%. They will claim to have chosen to follow Christ by their own free will. That is why they shall be lovers of their own selves, and they shall be despisers of those that believe the doctrines of grace, that God saves by grace alone. The great lesson for the people of God in this chapter of Revelation is this: “Turn away from such”. Please turn to Eph 1:13 (2X)

  • Turn Away From Such! (Eph 1:13, Matt 10:28, John 16:33, 1Pet 5:4)

Have nothing to do with the world that tramples under foot the blood of Christ, except in as far as you are called to be the light of the world. Have no communion with their idolatry and murders and thefts and fornication that is so abundant around us, especially as it is displayed on television. Take courage that the people of God are in no danger whatsoever. We read in:

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The people of God are sealed. If we believe the whole Bible, including all those passages that we do not like, then God has saved us and has given us this faith, by grace, and has given us the love of Christ. It then follows that we love to hear the voice of our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, which means we love to read and study the Bible. If such love is not in us then we are not saved. Therefore we should not fear those scary passages in Revelation, because we should not fear “them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather we fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell”. Be not afraid! Be of good cheer! The Lord Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. Even in the darkest night the eternal morning of glory shall surely dawn. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away”.           AMEN.

Let us turn to the Lord in prayer

------------------------------------------------------------------------------