Bible Apocalypse ~ Welcome to the Future
Volume IV in the series introduces us to the Second Cycle of the Great Throne Visions. As the silence in heaven slowly faded away the Prophet saw Seven Angels who were given Seven Trumpets. The Seven Angels do not suddenly enter the scene at this point in the narrative. Like the other figures in John’s visions they were already in place, and merely waited the moment when the Prophet would “See” them. Led by “Another Angel,” the Angels of the trumpets announce the intensification of the comic storm. The cosmic convulsions begin immediately. Terrible unbearable thunder crashes amidst blinding flashes of lightning. The horror reaches it’s height at the onset of a great shaking of the earth, a disaster made fearful, indeed, by the frightening groaning of the earth itself. At this ominous and apocalyptic moment the Seven Angels raise their trumpets to their lips, take a deep breath, and prepare to blow. It is beyond the scope of this brief introduction to mention the actions resulting from the sounding of the Seven Trumpets. Instead we will offer the reader John’s description of two terrible scenes that accompany the sounding of the Fifth and Sixth trumpet.
The Creatures from the Bottomless Abyss.
“Then the fifth angel trumpeted, and I saw a “star” fly from heaven and alight on the earth. He was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. When he opened the shaft to the abyss smoke poured out of the shaft like smoke from a great furnace. The sun and the atmosphere were obscured by the smoke from the shaft. Out of the smoke and onto the earth came locusts with the capacity to sting like scorpions. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only those men who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill men out right, but only to torture them for five months, and the torture they inflicted was like the sting of a scorpion. In those days men will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die but death will flee from them. The locust resembled horses equipped for war. On their heads were something resembling golden crowns. Their faces were like the faces of men, but they had hair like the hair of women. Their teeth were like a lions fangs, and their scaly chests resembled breastplates made of iron. The noise of their wings was like the sound of many horse drawn chariots charging into battle. And they have tails with stingers like scorpions.
The Hellish Horsemen of the Euphrates
“Then the sixth angel trumpeted. And from the center of the four horns of the Golden Altar, which stands in the presence of God, I heard a solitary voice speak to the angel who had blown the trumpet. ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ And the four angels were released. This was precisely the hour, and day, and month, and year they were prepared for – to destroy a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I, myself, heard their number. This is how I saw the horses and their riders in my vision. The breastplates of the riders were fiery red, deep blue, and a flashing, sulfurous yellow. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths poured fire, and smoke, and brimstone. It was by these three plagues – by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone that poured out of their mouths – that a third of mankind was destroyed. For the horses deadly power to harm is in their mouths, and in their tails. For their tails were like serpents, having heads poised to strike…” Despite the impact of these terrible Judgments the earth dwellers refuse to repent. “….But the rest of mankind, those who survived these plagues, still refused to repent of their handiwork. They continued to worship demons, and images made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk. And they refused to repent of their premeditated murders, their magical, drug-induced spells, their sexually orientated idolatry,and their thefts.”