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December 19 – The second woe! (The sixth trumpet)

“…saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”” – Revelation 9:14 

Scripture reading: Revelation 9:12-21

The fifth trumpet unleashed a force of demons, likened to locusts, who tormented unbelievers. The sixth trumpet unleashes a vast army led by four angels that does not torment, but kills many, but not most people. Notice, however, that the army is unleashed only at the permission of heaven, by a voice coming from the altar before God. The four angels are released from beyond the Euphrates, that is, from Babylon, the city of man opposed to God. The forces of torment and destruction can only operate by God’s permission and under His sovereign control.

We realize that this vision is not of natural creatures being released, but of a demonic visitation. These are destructive. You would think that those not killed would take warning from all those being killed and repent, but we read in v. 20 that they “still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols… nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.”

This woe is sounded to point out that unbelief can be so hard that despite their agony and torment, people will harden themselves and refuse to repent of their transgressions. That which is intended to bring repentance will harden them. We should anticipate a great hardening of hearts, resulting in anger against Christ and His followers. Those who refuse to repent, take warning! Remember, however, that all who do repent and believe in Jesus are saved!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank our gracious God for the saving mercy shown to us in Jesus. Pray that many sinners hear the gospel and flee to Jesus for mercy before the final day of judgment.

Rev. Calvin J. Tuininga has served in four churches and he retired in September 2019. He and his wife now reside in Washington, North Carolina. He presently serves as a relationship Counsellor with Coastal Pregnancy Centre, as the chairman of the Synodical appeals committee of the URCNA, and also enjoys helping in various churches when possible. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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