Revelation 9:13-10:1

“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.’” Revelation 9:13-14.

Once again this is the golden altar of incense which is before the lord so it is not to be confused with the brazen altar at the entrance of the outer court of the tabernacle.

The brazen altar which was used for the sacrifices is no longer necessary since Jesus Christ has paid for sin through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross.

This voice from the altar is probably the delayed response to the petition of the martyrs from under the altar in chapter 6:9-11.

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’” Revelation 6:10.

Here the sixth angel who has sounded his trumpet is instructed to release the four angels who are bound; good angels are not bound, but these fallen angels are. Their release only further reveals their malevolent nature.

They are bound at the river Euphrates, and while it is not stated here, it should be noted that the river Euphrates runs through the ancient city of Babylon.

There are a lot of confusing prophecies about this city which is where idolatry had its beginnings and though it was abandoned long ago and many of these prophecies were thought to be fulfilled at that time it is likely that Babylon will again rear its ugly head.

One thing is for certain, the rebuilding of the city was started by the late Saddam Hussein some years back and the UN is now funding a large portion of this task, as well as a report that the United States State Department donated some 700 thousand dollars towards the project.

There are expositors who suggest that Satan’s throne was once located in Babylon. This may be a correct assumption considering that nearly all, if not all idolatry can be traced back to Babylon. Then at some time the throne was moved to Pergamos.

“I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” Revelation 2:13.

Again the throne was moved, to Rome where the site of the apostate world church will be located; here is what the Lord calls this church.


After the destruction of this church in the middle of the tribulation the beast will declare himself god and the throne of Satan will be relocated to the city of Babylon.

The upshot of all of this is that Babylon seems to be a favorite location of demons of all kinds and that these fallen angels are now bound someplace on the river Euphrates for a practical or symbolic reason of some sort.

When Revelation takes up the destruction of Babylon later in chapter eighteen it says this of these malevolent demonic beings.

“And he [an angel] cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!’” Revelation 18:2.

“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.” Revelation 9:15.

With the first woe, men who were attacked by the demon locusts long to die; in this second woe, they get their wish.

The hour, day, month and year, known only to God, is precise, unwavering and decided before time began. Men like to scoff and say:

“…Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4.

But God is not mocked, the time, whether near or far is continuing to draw closer. The train is on time and whether you are in it or in front of it is entirely up to you.

“Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million, and 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; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 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.” Revelation 9:16-18.

John tells us first that the army is 200 million strong, and confirms this by telling us that he heard the number, so it is not a guess.

More than forty years ago Red China stated that they could field an army of 200 million. With a country of a billion inhabitants, the boast seemed real enough and was believed without any real corroboration and many prophecy buffs grabbed hold of this.

They shoehorned the number two hundred million into Scripture by saying that this was the kings of the east spoken of in Revelation 16:12-16, which is the sixth bowl judgment.

This throws everything out of whack because the sixth trumpet judgment and the sixth bowl judgment are approximately three and a half years apart. It is things like this that make Revelation much more confusing than it already is.

This is not Red China, nor is it any other country or group of countries. It would be difficult to train this motley crew to ride horses and more difficult to come up with 200 million horses to put them on.

The note in the Ryrie Study Bible, New King James Version, speculates that this supernatural army could be either demons, demon possessed men, or men. However, the greatest likelihood is that they are demons.

The mode of transportation is the main difficulty with any other riders than demons; horses do not have the head of a lion.

Some who wish to take this literally speculate that these are horses in something like medieval armor, with head protection fashioned to resemble a lion’s head with some sort of gun or cannon mounted on it.

This would give the impression that the fire is coming out of the animal’s mouth. Once again we come up against the problems of expense, training, skill and availability.

Then again this may be some type of motorcycle fitted with highly advanced mechanisms; yet again we run into expense, training, skill and availability, and now fuel and logistics.

The breastplates are interesting in that one commentator thought that they may be like chain mail with a brilliant shine and of course in the colors mentioned.

The colors fiery red and sulfur yellow are not difficult; they are just that, very bright red and yellow.

The hyacinth blue is problematic, while this color is given in several different Bible translations the King James Authorized Version substitute’s jacinth, a gemstone which has been described as dark red or the color of smoke.

While it is for each individual to search out the answer for themselves, the logical answer may be the smoke colored jacinth because the colors on the breastplates are possibly the same, and given in the same order as the description of the weapons when fired.

That is to say that the breastplates are “of fire, and of jacinth [smoke], and brimstone”, Revelation 9:17, “and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone”, end verse 17.

“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.” Revelation 9:19.

With the addition of these bizarre tails a new dimension is added to this demonic cavalry in that even if a person gets around the horseman the tail will harm that person if they come too close.

The tails though do not seem to be deadly for it says that they do harm (literally, to do hurt), but does not mention kill.

“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. “ Revelation 9:20-21.

Men have been warned of things like this from the books of Moses through the New Testament, with words such as these penned some 2700 years ago.

“To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble.” Isaiah 46:5-7.

And God reaffirms His words.

“…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me…” Isaiah 46:9b.

Though the inhabitants of the earth have been horribly tormented for five months by demons and one third of all mankind has been killed by a demon army, yet they continue to worship these unclean creatures who energize the occult.

If you talk to anyone who is demonized or oppressed by them, anyone who lives in a home where things go bump in the night, it is likely that every one of them has opened a door to these evil creatures.

It does not take much to let these foul creatures into your life, consulting a medium, playing with an ouija board, dabbling in witchcraft or spiritism; all of which may seem like harmless fun, but it is as dangerous as Russian roulette.

“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [marginal; Be burned as an offering to an idol], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12.

The demons who work behind these different practices are called deceiving spirits, and rightfully so, for they draw people away from God and into occult hellishness and enslavement.

Seeing how hardened men’s hearts are toward God, it is not surprising to see that they are unrepentant of their murders, which we have already seen will multiply at an incredible rate, especially with the continuing breakdown of law and order.

Their sorceries, the Greek word for sorcery is pharmakeia, from which we get our word pharmacy, and in the context of the verse refers to the mixing of drugs and poisons for use by the sorcerers.

Legal and illegal drug use is pandemic in our society today and will continue on through the tribulation with the added problem of sorcerers using, perhaps, lethal drugs to accomplish their purposes.

Sexual immorality is any sex outside the marriage bed, so it is not just limited to adulterers, and perverts, but to all of the wanton fornication that characterizes this age; but in the next it will explode to degrees of rape, sexual slavery and degradation that would make the average person cringe today.

This is the way of the demonic whenever they are involved, as they will be, the horror, even in sex, will be one of defilement. Demons hate beauty, intimacy and love, so this too will be destroyed.

Thefts will grow more and more, and the violence which often goes with it will surely increase.

Godless social engineers today are trying to impose their ungodly twisted filth on the entire earth. People deserve better than this.

No matter how often they repeat their mantras and their inane feel-good politically correct teachings, the world is only becoming more violent, heartless, and without hope.

The tribulation will prove that when you move away from God, the only direction to go is into the darkness.

“And I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.” Revelation 10:1.

Many try to say this is the Lord Jesus, and while it is true that He appeared in the form of an angel or a man (theophany) a number of times in the Old Testament, I know of no instance where He appeared as an angel after His incarnation.

“Then the Lord appeared to him [Abraham] by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, ‘My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.’” Genesis 18:1-3.

“So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.” Genesis 18:33.

This mighty angel is coming down from heaven to the earth. The fact that Scripture calls him another angel probably means that he is next after the angel mentioned in Revelation 9:14 who came to the earth to release the four fallen angels at the river Euphrates.

While this mighty angel’s description is hard to decipher a couple of things stand out; the rainbow on his head would be a reminder of the promise that God would not destroy the earth with water, yet at the same time it does speak of judgment, it happened once in Noah’s day, it will happen again.

“For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:5-7.

The angel, being “clothed with a cloud” and having a rainbow on his head, with a face shining as the sun, has an aura of heaven to him, while the “feet like pillars of fire”, are feet of yet more judgment set to come upon the earth.

“He had a little book open in his hand.” Revelation 10:2a.

Revelation 9:13-10:1 taken from posted on 12-12-16, updated on 7-22-22.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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