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Exploring Revelation
4024
“Revelation 9: 12-15”
by Art Sadlier   
October 26th, 2008

This week we come to the second woe or the sixth trumpet, "One woe is past; and, behold, there come two two woes more hereafter". verse 12. In verse 13 we read, "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God". The altar, from which the voice comes, is the place where mercy is normally dispensed. The altar is also a place of prayer, but now it becomes a place of judgment. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, the time of reaping has now arrived. All down through the long history of man God has held back His judgment. All through that time, man has for the most part, rejected God's provision for salvation and has gone on in his sin and rebellion against God. Now God holds back His judgment no longer.

The first woe was the judgment of demon possession to torment men upon the earth, those men who did not have the seal of God upon their forehead, undoubtedly to persuade men to repent. This second woe releases demons upon the earth to kill men. Failure to repent always brings judgment!

The command comes from the altar to initiate this slaughter. One of the great blind spots in our society is the failure to understand that God is a God who has an infinite hatred for sin, he has an infinite capacity to forgive sin, but only on the basis of repentance. Again, where repentance is not found God will judge sin without mercy, John 3:36.

"Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels (demons) which are bound in the great river Euphrates." Verse 14. The question arises, why were these angels (demons) bound in this spot?

This is very signifigant place. The garden of Eden was located in this area, the place where God's program for man began. This is the place where Cain murdered his brother Abel. This is also the place where Nimrod began his rebellion against God and introduced false religion, it has been the fountainhead of idolatry. This is also the area from which God called Abraham to begin His program to redeem fallen mankind, through the nation of Israel, through whom the Messiah would come. It is also the area to which Israel was carried captive, it is the centre of God's program and Satan's rebellion. So the Lord chooses this area to pour out judgment on man.

"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", verse 15. Notice they are loosed at His command, God is in control. They are also released on God's timetable. God has a time and this is zero hour for the earth. All through scripture we see God has a time for everything, He is never too early or too late. God has a time for you to be saved, "Behold now is the accepted time", the scriptures say.

Notice their purpose is quite clear, "to slay the third part of men". In Rev. 6:8, one fourth of the earth was slain, in total now one half of the population has been killed over and above those who have died in the plagues, we get another glimpse of God's anger against sin. We are reminded of Matthew 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". If the Lord had planned the tribulation period to be more than seven years, no one would remain alive at the end. Remember, when the tribulation began there was not a living believer alive on the earth, after the rapture, and when it shall end, at the Lord's coming, there will be no unbelievers alive when the goat judgment takes place.

Oh, if only the world could understand the awful judgment that awaits it in the tribulation period! That awful time could begin at any moment, do not take lightly God's offer of salvation through faith and repentance toward His Son.

Next week we will see this judgment unfold.

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