13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power[a] is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.
20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries[b] or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 9:13-21
The sixth trumpet is sounded and with it the four angels who have been bound at the great river the Euphrates for this hour in history are released. These are demonic beings who will bring forth the 200 million horsemen army who shall go forth and kill a third of man kind that is upon the earth.
The description of the beast that are ridden by these horsemen are demonic in nature. A person reading this account of the horsemen and the beast they ride would seem fanciful to someone who doesn’t know Christ or someone who lives in this day and age. But the judgments during the seven year tribulation period will be terrible because of the wickedness of humanity. They are not made up fairy tales or stories but will one day come true and God’s judgment will be poured out upon the earth.
Some will ask that if God is full of love, grace, and mercy than why does He bring judgment. The Lord is also holy and righteous and He would be unrighteous if He did not pour out His judgment for the wickedness of humanity. The severity and intensity of the judgments that are coming simply match the wickedness of humanity.
Daily as we look at the news and see what is happening around the world we see that wickedness and darkness are increasing. As humanity opens their hearts more and more to the things of darkness they become desensitized by sin and it causes them to commit greater sin.
A person involved in great wickedness does not happen over night. It is a progressive process in which along the way the person continually rejects the conviction and warning of the Holy Spirit. Even those who are not in Christ have a conscience and as they reject all that is right and embrace that which is wicked their nature within them is changed and their hearts are hardened.
A person who follows Christ and has a heart that is sensitive for the Lord may read this account and wonder how could those on the earth refuse to repent. The answer is that they will be so consumed with wickedness that it will have hardened their hearts and they will want nothing to do with God and His ways.
Every ounce of wickedness upon this earth is simply the result of humanity rejecting God and His ways and simply indulging in the things of sin. Sin appeals to our fallen sinful nature and when we sin initially it feels good and seems satisfying. But it carries with it a very great price. Those who indulge in sin are hardened by it and if they fail to repent there comes a point when their heart has become hard and they will no longer turn to the Lord and His ways.
God has so designed all things that even the wicked works of the enemy and His schemes upon the earth are part of God’s sovereign will. The Lord uses the wickedness of Satan to separate those who truly desire God from those who do not. God never tempts anyone or does anything wicked, but He allows Satan limited room to operate. A person’s actions will reveal the true condition of their heart. There are some who claim to follow Christ, but their actions and their choices tell a much different story.
When we examine the book of Revelation it should sober us and develop within us not only a desire to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, but a desire and passion to share the gospel where ever we are able to. God has given us a picture of things that are coming to the earth. It is a great blessing and simply by the grace and mercy of God to be a part of the bride of Christ. For the bride shall be removed before the judgments of the Lord begins upon the earth.
Let us take every opportunity to advance God’s kingdom. Let us be faithful people of prayer and seek the face of God throughout the day. It is through faithful unceasing prayer that the purposes of God are fulfilled and poured out upon the earth. The hour of the church age is drawing to a close and the time of tribulation is coming soon. May we diligently seek Him daily and continue to do all things to glorify and magnify the name of Jesus Christ.