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. 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 9:13-16)
The command comes from Heaven, to “Loose the four Angels bound at the River Euphrates”. It is important to note this, that everything done in the Revelation, which is destructive, frightening, terrible and even awful in the truest sense, comes to pass at the command of the Holy God
Holy Angels pour out bowls and blow trumpets and loose seals which will cause mankind to howl in pain, to fear, tremble, die, and which will destroy cities, nations, and unprecedented destruction upon the earth. One Angel casts down to the earth a censor which is alit with Holy incense and the accumulated prayers of all of the Saints over the centuries, resulting in plagues, darkness, death and destruction.
Yet these Angels are described as wearing white linen, standing before God in absolutely purity, executing His will , which will cause suffering, misery, fear and death on a scale never seen before.
In pouring out these bowls of wrath, they are not doing anything sinful or evil at all, they are doing right…
And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.(Revelation 15:6-8)
But these particular Angels in the ninth chapter of Revelation have to be bound. Why would an Angel have to be bound? Are we talking about fallen Angels?
I have always just thought of these angels as Holy Angels, waiting to execute God’s command. But I have been looking at this a slightly different way lately; for example they have been “bound” for a specific time. Why would Angels have to be bound? We know Angels can be very destructive, as noted above.
Perhaps the book of Daniel will give us a clue to this mystery.
Daniel was one of the captives, taken out of the promised land, and force marched the 400 plus miles to the Euphrates river as a captive to the pagan Babylonian empire.
He makes a prayer to God , in Daniel 9 seeking a specific answer which comes to him, three weeks later. None less than the angel Gabriel brings the answer, explaining that he (Gabriel) was dispatched from day one of Daniel’s prayer but was hindered by ‘the Prince of Persia’.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.(Daniel 10:12-13)
Gabriel, the messenger of God, and of such importance that it was He whom the Most High sent to the virgin Mary and to the Priest Zechariah in the time of the incarnation, was actually hindered in his mission to Daniel, by a Prince?
Obviously this was no human Prince, rather this is a Prince of the same order which Jesus and Paul warned of ,
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.(John 14:30)
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.(Ephesians 6:13)
The “Prince’ was associated with a pagan nation, Persia.
Daniel was given a second mysterious glimpse into this world,
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.(Daniel 10:20-21)
We are only given as much as God wants us to know of this world, for the purpose is not to satisfy a morbid curiosity of the Dark world. But God would have us to see that there is a relationship between Pagan Nations and fallen Princes, and there is a special relationship with the nation of Israel, and an unfallen Prince, Michael.
But consider that subsequent human history reflects the activities of the ‘Princes’ Daniel was warned of. The World power at the time of Daniel’s vision was Babylon, but soon the pagan Persia gained the ascendency, becoming the World’s superpower for a season. ‘The Prince of Persia’ had come.
But against all human expectations, the behemoth Persian Empire was felled by an unlikely foe, the back water hillbilly confederation of Macedonians, notably King Philip and his Son Alexander the Great, ‘the Prince of Grecia’ came also.
At the end of time, when they are in a beleaguered state of siege, finally ‘the Prince of your people’, Michael shall arise, and the great Tribulation shall then commence.
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.(Daniel 12:1)
My point is that there evidently is a relationship between some fallen “princes”, principalities, powers and rulers of the Darkness of this Age…” and some pagan Nations. And history reflects these activities.
I believe that Jesus’ teaching on demons and empty houses, was a warning to his nation, Israel. Nations can become Demon possessed just as individuals can.
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.(Luke 11: 24-26)
Israel had been inhabited by God himself, when God descended to dwell within his Holy Temple in Jerusalem. As long as God dwelt in the Temple, Israel could never be demonized. But what would happen if God left the Temple? Hadn’t it happened before? Didn’ Ezekiel see a vision of that very thing?
Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.(Ezekiel 10:18)
What good is a Temple without God dwelling in it? What good is a Holy people without a Holy God? What do Priests do when there is no one to minister to or for?
Israel had been cured of crass idolatry in the Babylonian captivity, but what is idolatry? Isn’t it just a form of estrangement from God himself and God replacement?
Thus Jesus warned in his final speech to the nation, in the Temple of the LORD in his capacity as the Messiah of Israel,
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.(Matthew 23:38-39)
If nature abhors a vacuum, more so does the Spirit World. When a national house is left empty, swept and garnished, eventually seven worse spirits come to inhabit it to it’s own destruction!
The same can be said now of Europe. Germany once gave us the Reformation, Bach and Beethoven! The Moravians once thrived there sending missionaries across the globe and launching the greatest century of missions the world had ever known. But When higher criticism destroyed many people’s faith in the Bible, Germany became an empty house. One could say that the events which followed World War 1 were nothing less than the demonic transformation of a once civilized Christian nation.
World War 1 all but wiped out the faith of much of Europe. Before it most European nations would have charachterized themselves as the Christian world. One would be hard pressed to find a self confessed Christian nation in most of Europe(excepting Poland and Hungary).
The European house has been empty for quite a while but we are currently seeing the spectacle of “seven worse Spirits”flooding into Europe as people flock to the occult, spiritism, pre-christian paganism and yes Islam(Devil worship at its highest ecpression!).
The great metaphor for the empty house, would be the great Cathedrals of Europe, testament to a faith long since renounced.
Of course nations can be possessed of Evil Spirits.
It just so happens that since the reformation of the Middle East, crafted by French and English Diplomats after World War One, that there are currently four nations , all thoroughly pagan, which the Euphrates River runs through or borders.
Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Consider the horrors and carnage already unleashed upon these places just in the past thirty years. Look at the horrifying changes occurring in recently moderate and even modern Muslim nations such as Turkey.
Events are churning Like quickly gathering black clouds on a hot midwestern summer day, the light is dimming and the sky turns dark as the winds pick up. Something terrible is about to be unleashed from the Euphrates area which will end in the near destruction of all life on earth.