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Back from hiatus with Revelation 9: trumpets, locusts, and 200,000,000 horses August 27, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bottomless Pit, Day of the Lord, Demons, Joel, Judgment, Religion, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Seven Churches of Revelation, Seven Trumpets of Revelation.
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Since we have been on hiatus, we need to remind ourselves to whom this chapter was written. It was written to seven churches (not individuals). This chapter as well as the whole book was written to encourage the faithful, warn the unsaved deceived, and call the believers with significant spiritual problems to repentance.

What is the primary difference between the first four trumpet judgments in Revelation 8 and the second two here in Revelation 9?

The first four can definitely be taken literally. The second two have obvious symbolic elements.

Who will not be hurt by this judgment (compare with Revelation 7:3)?

The 144,000

What similarities does this army of locust have with the army described in Joel 2:1-11 (See also Joel 1:1-7 for the context of Joel 2)? Could they be the same? Why or why not?

The sky is darkened in connection with this plague. They are described as locusts with the appearance of horses. They cause people to experience great pain but not necessarily death. They are likely the same event when Revelation 6:17 is compared to Joel 2:1.

Which is more likely (keep in mind the nature of apocalyptic literature): these are literal locusts, this is a symbolic vision of a terrible plague, this is a description of something literal that John could not adequately describe? What challenges are presented by each view?

  1. If they are literal locusts, they are still unlike anything that has ever been seen and some elements seem to be using the qualities of either the locusts or the army descriptively.
  2. If this was totally symbolic, there is little way to know where the symbol begins and ends.
  3. If this is a description of something literal that John could not adequately describe, how do we interpret the plague.

Why is it generally believed that the army out of the bottomless pit is demonic (Luke 8:31, Revelation 11:7, 17:8)?

These verses seem to indicate that the bottomless pit is a special place where demons and their cohorts might be imprisoned.

What era is being ushered in by the three woes (Revelation 8:13, 9:12, 11:14, 15:1; see also 6:17)?

The day of the Lord.

What is the significance of the altar in the book of Revelation (6:9, 8:3-6, 9:13, 14:18, 16:17)?

Judgment is often connected with the altar.

What seems to be the basis of the reoccurrence of the number four in the book of Revelation (four living creatures, four horsemen found in both Revelation and Zechariah, four prepared angels in both 7:1 and 9:14)?

World wide events.

What does this sixth trumpet judgment have in common with the first four?

Only a third of human kind is affected.

In what ways are the locusts and the horses in this chapter similar? How are they different?

  • Their appearance is described in either a symbolical way or in a literal fantastic way.
  • The locust did not kill, the horses only kill.

How do you think the church at Thyratira should have understood verses 20-21?

They were in danger of facing this judgment or something equally as horrible.