Revelation 9:13-21 / The Sixth Trumpet

Posted on August 23, 2015

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This is the twenty-fifth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hilcrest Baptist Church on the morning of August 23, 2015. This message will look at the sixth trumpet judgment, and the unrepentant attitude of the non-believers. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.

SERMON AUDIO:

Rev. 9:13-21

SERMON NOTES:

v.13:

The altar is a place of mercy, and it is here that God responds to the prayers of the saints, as they cry out for vengeance.

v.14:
As God answers the prayers for vengeance, an angel is instructed to release the angels who are bound at the Euphrates river. By this we know that they are demons, as holy angels are not bound. Clearly, these angels were being held captive.

There is a question as to why the demons were bound at this particular area. It must be noted that this region is very significant in Biblical history. 

The Euphrates was one of the rivers marking the Garden of Eden. This is not actually the same Euphrates as existed in the pre-flood world, because the flood completely destroyed and reshaped the landscape. It is now impossible to know where the Garden of Eden was actually located. Nonetheless, this river shares the same name, and its certainly no coincidence. The Garden of Eden was where sin was first introduced, and the first murder was committed in the same vicinity.

In the post flood world, this marks the spot of the Tower of Babel. It is here that the Israelites were brought into Babylon captivity, and Babylon was a hotbed of idolatry. And it is here that we see one more overwhelming surge of sin.

v.15:
The release of these four is precisely timed at a particular hour and day and month and year, and they kill a third of the world’s population. God’s timing is always perfect, and always precisely planned. God has pre-appointed times, for everything there is a season.

  • Acts 15:18

Though we are not made privy to the timing of God’s future plans, rest assured He has a plan that is already timed precisely down to the second.

  • Matthew 24:36
  • Acts 1:7

Here, one third of the remaining people will be killed. When we combine that number with those who have already been killed during the tribulation, we see that half of the world’s population will have fallen to the wrath of God once the mission of these demons is complete. Had God not set limits on the destruction, surely it would be far worse.

v.16:
These four demons that are let loose, obviously have great influence and power because they are able to marshal their armies by the millions the moment they are released.

Some have postulated that 200 million is not a literal number, but that would make this number unique in the entire book of Revelation. All other numbers in this book are literal, so we should view this in the same light.

The vastness of this army speaks to the overwhelming nature of God’s judgment. An army of this magnitude has never been been assembled in one place before. As with all of God’s judgments. it will overwhelm all whom it comes upon.

vv.17-19:
As we look at the description of these horsemen, clearly they are a demonic army. Again, these will be another terrifying sight, and they will kill mercilessly.

v.20:
The real story; however, is the attitude of the survivors. This shows both the extreme hard heartedness of mankind, and the futility of our own works. After all this, they refuse to repent.

Certainly the world is making huge strides in that direction today. Repentance is a key theme in Scripture. It was the message of the prophets. It was the message of John the Baptist, and it was the first message of Jesus Christ when He began His earthly ministry. Yet today, the message of repentance is rarely heard. Instead, today’s church preaches a less offensive gospel.

There is no call for change, and people are assured that God loves them just as they are, no change necessary. People are made to feel good about themselves, all the while they are taking a feel good joy ride to hell.

Some will say that our salvation is based on faith in Christ, not our works. True enough, but if you want to be a follower of Christ, then you must repent. If you don’t turn away from your sins, you can’t follow Christ. They are headed in opposite directions. 

We must also remember that salvation brings a changed life. Therefore, if one refuses to repent then we can infer that there has been no true salvation experience. This is not to say that we won’t sin after we are saved, we certainly will. But we won’t stay in that sin, we will repent from it. 

Lastly, if the the call for repentance is never heard, then people won’t see any need for salvation. This feel good preaching is dangerous business indeed.

These people have faith in the works of their own hands, rather than the work of Christ, which is why they are in this position to start with. They worship demons and idols, which the Bible very clearly warns against.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:19-20

Idols, the works of man’s hands, are completely useless, as are their makers.

  • Psalm 115:4-8
  • Psalm 135:15-18

v.21:
Murders, sorceries, sexual immorality and thefts. What a grip these sins have on people. They ease their way in a little at a time.

When you watch TV and movies, murder is now commonplace, and many have grown indifferent to the thought of it.

Sorceries is actually derived from the word for pharmacy. Drugs in the ancient world were used to dull the senses and induce a state suitable for experiences such as seances, witchcraft, incantations, and communicating with mediums. Thus it refers not only to these new age practices, but also to drug use. Drug and alcohol abuse is also very common in our society. The use of them destroys lives and families. It leads one to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Alcohol and drug use open the door to all kinds of evil practices.

Sexual immorality drives our culture. Adultery, fornication and homosexuality have all become normal in our society. We have become accepting of it, and therefore only a step away from falling prey to it ourselves.

Theft is rooted in covetousness. We live in a society where people are never satisfied. They want more and more, and will do anything to get what they want, including theft.

We can look around us and see the path we are on, and it leads right to this place we have just read about. The only answer is Jesus Christ. Change only comes through Him. The longer a person waits to place their faith in Christ, the less likely it becomes. Time usually tends to make an unbeliever harder. Today is the day of salvation.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:2
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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons