In the Revelation chapter of Jehovah Himself Has Become King the idea was put forward that the opening of the seventh seal and the blowing of the first four angelic trumpeters has to do with the judgment upon the house of God, after the final sealing has taken place. That all of the chosen ones have been sealed and the calling and choosing is over before the blowing of the first trumpet is evident by reason of the fact verse three makes mention of the prayers of all of the holy ones.
It is especially noteworthy that after the blowing of the first four trumpets an angel flying in mid-heaven then declares: “Woe, woe to those dwelling on the earth because of the rest of the trumpet blasts of the three angels who are about to blow their trumpets!”
“Those dwelling on the earth” are all the people of the world who had not been affected by the first four trumpets that heralded God’s judgments against Christ’s congregation. The blowing of the fifth trumpet unveils the star that had fallen from heaven and he has been given a key to the abyss. He unlocks the abyss and a billowing cloud of smoke blackens the sky and darkens the sun, and from the midst of the smoke bizarre, locust-like creatures emerge, prepared for battle. Although they partly appear as a locusts, they also resemble horses running into battle. But unlike any ordinary horse, their tails sting like a scorpion. They are said to have the faces of men though, with crowns of gold and hair as long as a woman’s. They have over them a king who is called the angel of the abyss. In Hebrew his name is Abaddon.
Who is Abaddon? The Watchtower Society says it is none other than Jesus Christ. Is their interpretation correct? Yes, it is. How may that be determined? For one thing, at Luke 8:31 the demons themselves entreated Jesus not to send them away into the abyss, indicating that they recognized that Jesus had authority over the symbolic abyss of desolation. Furthermore, the opening words of the 20th chapter of Revelation reveal that a righteous angel has the keys of the abyss and he hurls Satan into it to commence the 1,000 year reign of Christ. Since Jesus is the seed of the woman who will ultimately bruise the head of the serpent it is unthinkable that anyone other than Christ will take the decisive action against the Devil, as portrayed in the 20th chapter of Revelation.
Abaddon means destroyer. Translated from Latin his name is Terminator. That is a most fitting name for Jesus Christ, as he is the one designated to break up the works of the Devil and to destroy every vestige of his evil world. That being the case, the angel who opens the abyss at the blowing of the fifth trumpet must be Jesus Christ as well. But why is he portrayed as a fallen angel?
Elsewhere in scripture the sons of the kingdom, as well as angels, are symbolized as stars. For example, the eighth chapter of Daniel portrays the holy ones of the kingdom as the stars of heaven that are thrown down and trampled by a king fierce in countenance. The king is also said to overturn the sanctuary of the great prince; the prince being Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace; the sanctuary being his congregation. So it is, when the holy ones have been sealed and given the kingdom, but yet are trampled underfoot by the earthly king and thrown down from their place in heaven, it is as though Christ is thrown down too, since what is done to the least ones – Christ’s brothers – is done to him. But after the holy ones are trampled underfoot and disrespected, Jesus will enter into their midst as a mighty god and infuse into them the power of Christ himself.
The book of Micah portrays the chastened sons of God as becoming like lions among the lambs. That is what is portrayed by the ferocious, locust-like warriors. Their having crowns of gold indicates that they have indeed become kings in God’s kingdom, even though still upon the earth. They are the kings from the rising of the sun who will supplant the earthly kings at the battle of Armageddon.
Their having hair like that of a woman may well symbolize their subjection to Christ as his bride, but it ought to also call to mind the Nazarite, Sampson; who performed superhuman feats and was virtually unconquerable before his Philistine foes until he was betrayed and shorn. But unlike Sampson, those under the command of their king of the abyss, Abaddon, do not literally kill men, they only sting those who have received the mark of the beast and make them wish they were dead. After the opening of the seventh seal there is no more salvation available any longer. By then those who are to receive salvation are in one camp and those who are doomed to destruction are in another camp. Apparently, Abaddon’s warriors vigorously proclaim the doom and destruction that is coming with the blowing up the sixth trumpet heralding the second woe coming upon those dwelling on the earth.
With the sounding of the sixth trumpet, the angel is told: “Untie the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
What is signified by the four angels bound that the great Euphrates River? Reasonably, the Euphrates River this is a symbol of Babylon – that ancient city having been situated between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The armies of the Babylonian Empire were used by Jehovah to accomplish his judgments, not only in bringing God’s vengeance upon Judah, but upon many nations round about, including Egypt and Assyria. The four angels who are bound at the Euphrates resemble the previous vision of four angels holding back the four winds of destruction. But with the blowing of the sixth trumpet the angels are no longer bound with restraint and the Terminator leashes his destructive agents upon the world.
Although the initiation of Jehovah’s day will begin with the unsealing of the first seal, when Christ is given a crown and sets out to conquer all of Jehovah’s enemies, that being the day of which no one knows its precise beginning – not the day, nor the hour – interestingly, the armies unleashed from the great river Euphrates are said to “have been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, to kill a third of the men.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe there will be no more world wars or large-scale use of nuclear weapons. However, it is no insignificant thing that presently there are more scientists involved developing weapons of war then are involved in any peaceful pursuits. The production of weapons of war is one of the main engines of the economies of both America and Great Britain. There is no part of this earth that is safe from the reach of the great military war machine built up by the leading nations of the world. But the American military war machine is by far the most powerful and lethal. There is no question that the men who run this world fully intend at some point in the not-too-distant future to turn their mighty military power against one another. But regardless of their intentions, they may not use their weapons until the day and hour and month and year that has already been predetermined by Jehovah.
Of course, the apostle John did not envision any modern weaponry. He did not see any hovering helicopters blasting hellfire missiles at targets below, or ironclad tanks racing at 50 miles an hour across an open field, shaking the earth beneath their giant treads, flattening everything in their path, shooting armor piercing projectiles miles into the distance and ejecting streams of flaming napalm from a swiftly swiveling cannon barrel. Nor did John see any nuclear-tipped cruise missiles screaming over the earth at treetop level or the now-operational space-based “rods from God.” Instead, what he saw is recorded at Revelation 9:16-17: “And the number of the armies of cavalry was two myriads of myriads: I heard the number of them. And this is how I saw the horses in the vision, and those seated on them: they had fire-red and hyacinth-blue and sulphur-yellow breastplates; and the heads of the horses were as heads of lions, and out of their mouths fire and smoke and sulphur issued forth.”
In contrast with the locusts from the abyss, this cavalry has no crowns upon their heads and there is no indication that they only merely sting men and cause them to want to die. No, the fire and smoke-belching cavalry literally kill men. Their brightly colored breastplates of red, blue and sulfur-yellow may symbolize the flags of an international coalition of armies from various nations. The fire-red may put us in mind of the red Chinese Army, which literally numbers 1 million men. The blue may call to mind the blue-helmeted armies of the United Nations.
To fully appreciate and understand this portion of Revelation a vital key is provided in the 11th chapter of Daniel. The time of the end mentioned at Daniel 11:40 coincides with the opening of the first seal. The flooding over by the king of the north and the subjugation of all the nations, including the king of the south represented as Egypt in that context, parallels the successive horsemen of the apocalypse, bringing war, famine and pestilence, at which point the land of declaration, Christ’s congregation, is also laid low, paralleling the first four trumpets.
But Daniel 11:44 foretells the final developments that will bring the king of the north to his end. That verse reads: “But there will be reports that will disturb him, out of the sunrising and out of the north, and he will certainly go forth in a great rage in order to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. And he will plant his palatial tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration; and he will have to come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him.”
What are the disturbing reports from the north and from the sunrising that will drive the last king into a genocidal rage? They will be the reports of Christ’s presence among his holy ones – the kings from the rising of the sun. No doubt the revealing of the sons of God will be a miraculous phenomenon observed by the great crowd and reported far and wide; coupled with their powerful denunciation of the condemned world, the sons of the kingdom will strike terror into the heart of the last king. Those “reports” coincide with the stinging work of the locusts under command of the angel of the abyss.
The king of the north going forth in a great rage “to annihilate and to devote many to destruction” is also the work of the Destroyer – pictured in Revelation as the second woe. But when the enraged king destroys the sons of the kingdom – moving into their holy domain, as if planting his official “palatial tents” where the vacated sons of Zion had resided will on earth, then he will have come to his end and the Terminator will also destroy him.