The Fifth Trumpet Brings the First Terror
9 Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.[a] 2 When he opened it, smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air turned dark from the smoke.
3 Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. 4 They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting. 6 In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. They had what looked like gold crowns on their heads, and their faces looked like human faces. 8 They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like the teeth of a lion. 9 They wore armor made of iron, and their wings roared like an army of chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails that stung like scorpions, and for five months they had the power to torment people. 11 Their king is the angel from the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer.
12 The first terror is past, but look, two more terrors are coming!
The Sixth Trumpet Brings the Second Terror
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice speaking from the four horns of the gold altar that stands in the presence of God. 14 And the voice said to the sixth angel who held the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River.” 15 Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. 16 I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops.
17 And in my vision, I saw the horses and the riders sitting on them. The riders wore armor that was fiery red and dark blue and yellow. The horses had heads like lions, and fire and smoke and burning sulfur billowed from their mouths. 18 One-third of all the people on earth were killed by these three plagues—by the fire and smoke and burning sulfur that came from the mouths of the horses. 19 Their power was in their mouths and in their tails. For their tails had heads like snakes, with the power to injure people.
20 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Things are certainly taking a major turn for the worse. First we see an angel open the door to the abyss, what i would assume is the door to hell. Out pours smoke and darkens the world. Then these horrifying creatures seem to immerge and are sent to torment all those unsealed. Now this could be the literal 144000 or it could mean all people who are saved on the earth, I’m just not sure. Whatever the case, it will be a terrifying time in the world. The darkness alone would be quite scary, ever watch a movie where terrible world events are happening and its in the darkness? It really adds to the level of fear.
Next we see the second terror. Wow, is that an appropriate word here, terror. It’s dark and scary creatures are flying around stinging people and tormenting them, now we have an army of two hundred million horsemen unleased to kill one third of the earth.
It again makes me wonder just what is John seeing. Is it literally exactly what he described, or is it the best possible description he could give, considering it was so far in the future. I tend to lean towards it is exactly how it is described just because it is very detailed. 2 terrors have been unleased, 1 to go.
It says the people still did not repent. Now I’m sure there were some crying out to the Lord, but I think the heart of this passage means that the majority of people were just not understanding the urgency of what was happening, and just refused to believe the truth. But I would say this, could you imagine how hard it would be for anyone to understand what was happening and come to the Lord if they didn’t previously know the bible and particularily the events of the end times? This is reason enough that we need scripture in our hearts. And as we know God’s plan through His word, our faith and understanding and trust grow.
The people who John wrote to in the book of Revelation were facing physical persecution and possibly death. (which could be all of us, really) They desperately needed endurance. Jesus wants to give us that kind of staying power whatever we are facing on our spiritual journey. Now, we may never face the end time events that are described in Revelation, but it’s a quality that we will need if we are going to be the people he wants us to be and it will produce miracles. It will gradually develop the strength, endurance and faith we need to face whatever trials we will encounter in our lifetime.
When we looked back on our lives, we will see that through receiving his endurance our lives are miracles because we couldn’t have become the person we are now in our own strength. Receiving God’s patient endurance requires us to trust God and to open our hearts to receive.
Thank you for your never ending patience with us. Thank you for your Word and for increasing our faith each day. Help us to stay strong during times of trial.