The Sixth Trumpet

One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. (Revelation 9:12)

The fifth trumpet, the first of “three woes,”[1] brought a swarm of demonic locusts to torment people not protected by the “seal of God in their foreheads,”[2] suggesting that these were none of God’s elect. Their sting inflicted such excruciating pain that people wished they could die, but death eluded them for a period of five months. Things are about to get worse.

“And 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 which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:13-14). John does not identify the “voice” that he heard, but considering that it comes from “the golden altar which is before God,” we can presume that it is the voice of God. We saw this altar in Chapter 8 upon which incense burned and whose smoke represented the prayers of the saints rising before God. The voice instructs the sixth angel to “release” the four angels bound in the “great river Euphrates.” That the four angels are “bound” tells us that these are demonic angels. Since the Tower of Babel and its offshoot Babylon, the Euphrates has been the source of demonic, pagan worship, and these “angels” are the “principalities”[3] that rule over these demonic powers.

“And 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” (Revelation 9:15). What we see here clearly reveals that it all falls within God’s plan. It is no accident, nor is it a capricious reaction of a wrathful God. Note the precision with which this judgment is carried out. They “were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year.” Their purpose is “to slay the third part of men,” which at this point (without going into a detailed explanation) is about 2-Billion people. Since the beginning of the Tribulation, Earth’s population has been reduced by almost half at this point.

“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:16). There are some students of Revelation and end-times prophecies that suggest that these are human armies from east of the Euphrates River. They probably arrive at this conclusion from a reference in Revelation 16:12 where the Euphrates River is dried up to make way for “the kings of the east.” Because China already boasts a standing army of over 200-Million soldiers, it makes sense that this might refer to that. In addition, India and Pakistan also have large standing armies. However, John’s description of the horsemen in the following verses precludes the possibility of this being a human army.

“And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” (Revelation 9:17-19). Of this horde of 200-Million, Clarence Larkin said, “This army of 200,000,000 horsemen is a supernatural army. It is not composed of ordinary men and horses. The fact that these ‘Four Angels’ were bound at the Euphrates, where Satan’s seat was in ancient times, and where it is to be again the City of Babylon restored, and from whence he sallied forth to do his diabolical work, makes it clear that this army is a part of Satan’s forces.”[4] Their appearance resembles nothing the human eye has ever seen. These cannot be human, and John’s language gives no indication that these are symbolic of something else. These are real, ugly, and destructive. Even so, I am gobsmacked at the reaction of those that survive the assault.

“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21, emphasis mine). Later in the book, we learn that these “men” (the term includes women) recognize that these “plagues” are judgments from God and rather than repent, they become even more rebellious. It is interesting that they “worship devils.” There is an ever-increasing interest in the occult and Satan worship these days. Abortion, sexual perversions (LGBTQ+), drug abuse (“sorceries”), murders and fornication all have demonic origins, and all of these things, including “thefts,” are all increasing exponentially these days. Yet, rather than repent of these sins, our society lashes out against Christianity, the only source of salvation. As evil as things are getting today, they will be a thousand times worse when all restraint (i.e., the Rapture) is removed from the earth, and the men of earth will curse God rather than repent.

One “woe” remains, but before the last trumpet sounds, John will give us a parenthetical look behind the scenes. I will cover that in my next article.

Reader, are you prepared for what is coming to the world? You do not need to go through the Tribulation, God’s wrath, that is coming upon the world. Read my page on “Securing Eternal Life,” and ask Jesus to save you from the wrath to come.


[1]  Revelation 8:13

[2]  Revelation 9:4

[3]  Romans 8:38; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:15

[4]  Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation Illustrated, (Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, Philadelphia, 1919), p. 78,


Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Eschatology, Heaven, Rapture, Religion, Theology

2 responses to “The Sixth Trumpet

  1. Thank you for sharing your Trumpet series Ernie,
    You help break down prophecy so it is better understood.
    Thank the Lord we will not be here to face this destruction..

  2. Hey Ernie,
    Love the way you’re presenting this series!
    Very powerful in its simplicity and understandability.
    God Bless You,
    Tim 🙂