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The Angels from the Euphrates

The Apocalypse – Chapter 9 – Part 2

Yesterday we began Chapter 9 of the book of Revelation (or Apocalypse), today we finalise it – The Angels from the Euphrates

 Confession and forgiveness 
 From Psalm 32
 Happy is he whose sins are 
      covered
 Forgiven, his transgression.
 What joy when God absolves 
      the man
 Whose spirit has made 
      full confession!
 When I kept silent
 My body wasted away
 I was worn out from crying
 And groaning all the long day.
 Day and night Your hand lay 
     heavy upon me
 I was surely pained.
 As moisture is dried up by 
      the summer heat
 My strength was completely 
      drained.
 Until I finally admitted
 All my sins to You
 And stopped trying
 To hide them from Your view
 I said, ‘I will confess them 
      to the Lord’
 And You forgave me!
 All my guilt is gone
 Now I am free!
 So when he is aware
 Each believer should confess 
       to God his sin.
 Then he will not be touched
 When floods of trouble 
      come rushing in.
 From every storm of life
 You are my hiding place
 You surround me with 
      songs of victory
 I in turn sing of Your 
      wonderful grace.
  
 By the late Andrew Feakin 
 [passed away 16th March 2019] 

Keys – The Angels from the Euphrates

  • The power of the church’s enemies is restrained till God gives the word to have them turned loose.
  • These enemies go as far as they are a commission and they could go no further.
  • The purpose of these plagues is to lead people to repentance.
  • He who is the Lord of hosts has vast armies at His command, to serve His purposes.
  • The most formidable powers have limits set them, which they cannot transgress.
  • When God’s judgments are on the earth, He expects the inhabitants to repent of sin, and learn righteousness.
  • Unrepentance under divine judgments is an iniquity that will be the ruin of sinners; for where God judges He will overcome.

Release the four angels

Yesterday we began Chapter 9 of the book of Revelation (or Apocalypse), today we finalise it – The Angels from the Euphrates

Then 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 who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 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. 

Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 

They did not repent of their works

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. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

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. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Henry says – A voice was heard from the horns of the golden altarRev. 9:13, 14. The power of the church’s enemies is restrained till God gives the word to have them turned loose. When nations are ripe for punishment, instruments of God’s anger that were before restrained are let loose, Rev. 9:14. These four messengers of divine judgment lay bound in the river Euphrates, a great distance from the European nations. Here an Eastern army had its increase, which seems to be the story of this vision.

Their military operations are limited

And the four angels that had been bound in the great river Euphrates were now loosedRev. 9:15, 16. The time of their military operations and executions is limited to an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year. It may be difficult for us to understand prophetic events. But in general the time is fixed. When it shall begin and when it shall end and how far it shall extend. Here to a third part of the inhabitants of the earth. The Euphrates is the traditional boundary of the people of God and also of the Roman empire.

The army that was to execute this great commission is mustered. The number of horsemen totalled two hundred thousand thousand. In general, it tells us, the armies of this empire would be vastly great. The text describes their formidable equipment and appearance, Rev. 9:17. The horses were fierce, like lions, and eager to rush into the battle. Those who sat upon them were full of courage and zeal and clad in bright and costly armour.

They could go no further

There is to be a vast havoc and desolation made throughout the west, which had now become antichristian. A third part of them were killed. They went as far as they were commission and they could go no further. Their artillery, by which they made such slaughter, described by fire, smoke, and brimstone, issuing out of the mouths of their horses, and the stings that were in their tails.

It is an opinion that this is a prediction of great guns, those instruments of cruelty which make such destruction. These were first used by the Turks at the siege of Constantinople and they did great execution. However, here seems to allude that the antichrist has a force of a spiritual nature. Scorpions poisoning the minds of men with error and idolatry. The Eastern army were raised up to punish the antichristian apostasy. Their stings to hurt and kill the bodies of those who had been the murderers of so many souls.

The flagrant crimes

There was such unrepentance of this antichristian generation under these dreadful judgments (Rev. 9:20). The rest of the men who were not killed did not repent. They still persisted in those sins for which God was so severely punishing them. These include: their idolatry – they would not cast away their images, though they could do them no good, could not see, nor hear, nor walk. They would not repent of their murders (Rev. 9:21), which they had committed upon the saints and servants of Christ.

Popery is a bloody religion, and seems resolved to continue to be so. They have their sorceries; their charms, and magic arts, and rites in exorcism and other things. They allow both spiritual and carnal impurity, and promote it in themselves and others. They also have unjust means of heaping together a vast deal of wealth, to the injury and impoverishing of families and nations. These are the flagrant crimes of antichrist and his agents.

He had vast armies to serve His purposes

The purpose of these plagues is to lead people to repentance. The sad effect is the hardening of thier hearts. Though God has revealed His wrath from heaven against them, they are obstinate, hardened, and impenitent, and so they must be destroyed.

From this sixth trumpet we learn that He who is the Lord of hosts has vast armies at His command, to serve His purposes. We also learn that the most formidable powers have limits set them, which they cannot transgress. When God’s judgments are on the earth, He expects the inhabitants to repent of sin, and learn righteousness. Unrepentance under divine judgments is an iniquity that will be the ruin of sinners; for where God judges He will overcome.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

Prayer for the day

Prayer: Father, I come to You. Thank You for Your Word of prophecy. Thank You that You reveal what is to come to those who are willing to hear. May my ears to open to all that Your would have me hear. May my heart be humble and open to all that Your would reveal to me. I ask for Your gift of repentance that I may not be deceived and that my conscience be clear before You. Lead me in the ways of righteousness. In Jesus name. Amen.

The Angels from the Euphrates

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