The Coming Great Demonic Invasion!
According to the Book of Revelation, at God's future appointed time Satan will be given the authority to unleash two waves of demonic armies that will invade this planet and terrorize humanity with destructive power unparalleled in the history of man (Revelation 9).
It is at the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets inside the “trumpet judgments” during the tribulation that John sees these two diverse waves of demons arrive.
The tribulation is a future period of time consisting of seven years filled with calamity and chaos brought upon this world by the judgment of God. It will result in the utter destruction of all kingdoms of man and consummate with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The tribulation unfolds in response to three specific calls for judgment; and as each judgment is triggered, the destructive and devastating forces brought upon the earth become increasingly more severe.
- The seven-seals
- The seven-trumpets
- The seven-bowls.
These demon armies will come in two distinct waves, each separately in response to the sounding of fifth and sixth trumpets.
The First Wave
At the sounding of the fifth trumpet Christ will hand over to Satan "the key to the bottomless pit" (Rev 9:1). Thereby giving him the authority to release the disembodied spirits long incarcerated inside the abyss that they dread (Luke 8:30-31).
This will result in a volcanic eruption of dark smoke arising out of the pit from which these demons, like a stampeding horde of insanely brutal beasts, are set free upon the earth to hurt, injure, and destroy (Rev 9:2).
They are signified to John as locusts given power "as the scorpions of the earth have power" (Rev 9:3). But they have "limited authority".
They are commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree. They can only hurt the unsaved (Rev 9:4). They are given five months to inflict pain upon man's flesh equal in torment to the venomous sting of a scorpion, but not given the authority to kill man (Rev 9:5).
They will be lead by a king; a fierce, powerful, and severely lethal king. He is called “the angel of the bottomless pit” and named in two languages. He is “Abaddon” (which in Hebrew means destruction) and “Apollyon” (which in Greek means destroyer) (Rev 9:11).
The result will be five long months of excruciating physical pain so severe that men will want to die but can’t. "In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them" (Rev 9:6).
The Second Wave
At the sounding of the sixth trumpet God commands the angel with the trumpet to release “the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates” (Rev 9:14); thereby unleashing a second wave of demonic activity that includes just four demons.
But these are not ordinary demons. These four are released from the floor of the Euphrates River (not from the bottomless pit). Their release is not ordered by Satan, but from a direct command given by God. They are specifically said to have been bound in preparation for the "hour and day and month and year" of this judgment and are granted the Sovereign license to kill a "third of mankind" (Rev 9:15).
Who are they?
Both Jude and Peter seem to refer to them (Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4). Both writers identify fallen angels bound in chains, under darkness, and “reserved” for the judgment. And gleaning from both, we learn also that these diverse four demons “did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation” and therefore were cast down to “Tartarus”, which is the Greek word for "the deepest abyss of Hades” (a word used nowhere else in the New Testament).
So both writers allude to creatures far more threatening than average demons for having committed crimes so vile to get abolished to an uncommon place called "the deepest abyss of Hades”. And this seems consistent with the same diverse four demonic creatures that John heard ordered for release from their bounds in an uncommon place called "the great river Euphrates" for this specific judgment.
The result is war. These four will inspire war in a magnitude unlike any other war ever fought; global warfare with a death toll of one third of mankind.
We can’t assume that the world will actually see these demons; or that their form is meant to reveal what demons look like. Demons are warring spirits invisible to man (Ephesians 6:11-12), and are only "signified" to John in this vision by the Holy Spirit to indicate their dreadful and ferocious nature.
The destruction engineered by these demon invasions will probably appear only as “natural” occurrences brought about by various plagues, disasters, and war. As in all things spiritual, I don't believe that unrepentant humanity during the time of the tribulation will comprehend the evil and destructive devices of Satan levied against them any more than they do currently.
"But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent" and will continue in their blasphemous worship of false gods and rebellious sinful behavior (Rev 9:20-21). For them awaits the impending outpouring of the more severe "seven-bowls" judgment that delivers the full "wrath of God on the earth" (Rev 16:1).
About the Author
James Kobzeff is an evangelical born-again Christian who has long had a passion for the Church to know the Revelation. Having studied and taught the vision many times over the past thirty years he has written a commentary for those who care to learn.
You can read his commentary freely on his blog Learn the Revelation