An Unrepentant World


That the world stands in opposition to the divine is the heart of the vision of the sixth trumpet. An angelic voice gives the order for the warfare to begin. It is clear that the divine can use the armies of the demonic to accomplish its purpose. In this vision, the divine calls forth a military force of two hundred million cavalry that destroys one-third of humanity. It is also clear that this cavalry, the horses and the horsemen, represented the strength of the opposition to the divine, yet must obey the divine command to enter the fray. Fire, smoke and sulphur, the three plagues, are the instruments of warfare, all are reminiscent of what arise from the abyss, the abode of the demonic “destroyer.” The power of death comes from the mouth and the tails of the horses, that is, these powerful people are surrounded, behind and before, by the ones who wage the war. There is a hint of contrast here, that the Word that comes forth from the mouth of the divine is a word of life, and that this word was rejected. In spite of the destruction of one-third of humanity, the rest remained unrepentant, and did not turn to the divine for protection. The vision ends with a listing of the sins of humanity, which amount to idolatry, the substitution of the counter-divine for the divine. The meaning of this woe is that the church will continue to confront and challenge idolatry and unbelief, and will be prepared to face the consequences. The church will not surrender to the demonic. It will persevere in its call to repentance. That is its divine mission.
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