Religion is a word cherished by many but vilified by the irreligious, and there is a reason for this.
Once again, things will only become clear when we get to later chapters of Revelation, so before I state what I believe to be the second Woe, let’s follow a few clues.
- The second demonic plague of Revelation Chapter Nine, pictured as grotesquely mutated horses, is connected in some way to the Altar of Incense (Revelation 9:13). We know from Revelation 8:3-4 that this altar is a symbol of prayer and worship and Revelation 9:20 strengthens this connection by declaring that the victims of these invading demons are caught up in idolatrous worship.
- The hosts of hell were released from across the great Euphrates, a river that provided a natural divide between the West and the East. In ancient times great invading powers like Babylonia and Syria were to the East of the Euphrates. In later ages the major ‘invading’ religions, such as Islam, came from east of the Euphrates.
- The colours of the demon horses were red, blue and yellow (Revelation 9:17). Why did John record this seemingly insignificant detail? Because it is not insignificant – the three prime colours of pure light are Red, Blue, and Green but the prime colours of reflected light are Red, Blue, and Yellow, which when mixed together form Black. This represents the exact opposite of the beams of refracted light coming from the throne of God which I described in and earlier post.
So, this second Woe has to do with demonic prayer, worship, eastern religions, and the ‘throne’ of Satan. We encountered in the letter to Pergamum (Revelation 2:13). Let’s give this Woe a name … RELIGION.
This might shock many of you because the word ‘religion’ is usually used in a positive or neutral sense. However, I see religion in an entirely negative light. An origin of the word is the Latin religare: to restrain or bind, and that is just what I believe it does.
I see religion as the sum of The Occult, New Age Mysticism, World Religions, Cults, and Apostate Christianity.
Religion is in essence the enthronement of satan and the denial of God. It is man’s attempt to make a god in our image and then to prescribe a way of worshiping this idol.
The first four in this list are obvious, but Apostate Christianity needs some explanation. It is the religious system of rites, rituals, teachings, and sacraments that masquerade as ‘Christian’ but is in effect Christ-less. In this system Jesus is honoured as a Prophet, but not as God Incarnate, the Bible is regarded as instructive but not truly inspired, and salvation is believed to be attained through learning, intellectual ascent, and good works.
Religion has plagued our world for millennia and has caused endless destruction. Just consider the crusades, wars, bigotry, enslavement, oppression, and terrorism perpetrated in its name. What you will see in later chapters of Revelation is that Religion always partners with Humanism and together they form a formidable trinity of evil. Trinity, because the third ‘woe’ in the upside-down triangle of terror is Satan himself.
I have more to write concerning Chapter Nine of Revelation, but that will have to wait until the new year. In the meanwhile, please take a look at the following depiction of some of the southern constellations in the night sky (from the vantage point of Jerusalem) and see if you think they relate to the revelations of Chapter Nine.