There are times in
scripture when a large number is used to generalize simply that, a large
number. And there are times when the
number is exact and intended to be clear as being precise. This is one of those times.
John gave the number of
the army of demons, and then he reinforced the number when he said, ‘I heard
How did he hear the
In the military counts
are always done for one reason or another.
In morning assembly, squads report to platoons, platoons report to
companies, companies report to battalions, battalions report to divisions,
divisions report to corps, and corps make up the army reporting to the general
They report, ‘All present
or accounted for. X number present. X number
reported sick. X number on leave. X number here or there.’ The total number of men and women who belong
to the entire group are always accounted for.
John heard the number, ‘arithmos,’ which means reckoned count, calculation, record
And it was two-hundred million,
under the command of the four demons we studied earlier. We presume by
inference that they are divided up equally in fifty-million members for each
army. That may or may not be the case,
but there is no indication otherwise that there is some imbalance in the
In human militaries there
might be engineering battalions, or artillery battalions
and so forth that might cause one corps to have more units than another. However, this is not an army of human beings,
nor is this an army with specialties.
This is a demon army of which each member is a fighter, requiring no
support for logistics, or cover fire or anything else.
Back in World War Two,
the United States had an army of eleven million men and women at the end of the
war. That has been the largest standing army
in history. And even though today, both
China and India can boast of the ability to call up far greater armies, neither
country has the economic capacity to support huge armies.
This army of demons does
not require support. They do not require
food or ammunition or transportation or wages.
They are a self supporting, self sustaining force, that no human, no
human organization can oppose.
This demon army is going
to travel around the world, presumably in the four directions of the compass, unopposed,
and they are going to kill (with great violence) at will, anyone and everyone that
they find. And with great violence
simply means that they are going to enjoy their killing and the process of the
Back in the days of
Isaiah, Jerusalem was surrounded by a large force of the Sennacherib army from
Babylon. Everyone in the city was in
terror because of the reputation of the enemy force that was surrounding the
city. One of the games that they played
with their captives, was to see how far they could
skin a prisoner, before they actually died.
So being taken captive was not a good thing. Other atrocities occurred as well.
This is the type of great
violence and probably worse, that will occur when the killing begins. Likewise, the size of this force implies a
much larger human population in the world which would be sufficient to fill the
killing frenzy that this force is going to be capable of. Remember that this demon force cannot be
opposed. And each individual demon is
capable of killing hundreds if not more.
There will be no defense,
no escape, for anyone, except for one, and that is Gods control over how many
will die – one-third of humanity, no more and no less. There will be no innocent victims, no
The next two verses will
describe in terrible and dramatic detail, the slaughter that is going to take
although this event is future and from our perspective, if you are a believer
in Christ already, you are not going to see any of it. But for those who have rejected Christ, and
presumably may never read this study or any scripture from any source for that
matter, then this event may very well be a part of their life, assuming that
the Rapture and tribulation will occur within our generation.
Personally I believe that
it is still set for a distant generation, but that is just a personal opinion,
What we today should make
note of, for our own lives, is that God is extremely loving and generous, and
You have a phenomenal opportunity
for your life right now, and that means you have to grow up spiritually in
order to obtain it. But, if you choose
not to or do not quite see the importance of the application of these
principles to your own life, then there will come a time in your life, when God
will pull the plug, and your opportunity will cease.
You will not go to heaven
with great trepidation, of course, but when you get there and all of the
realities of truth come rushing at you and then you really see the truth, then
your attitude will turn to great embarrassment — for being such a dummy. And of course you will be a great loser in
what could have been a far better eternal destiny.
But, you have to figure
that out for yourself. Hopefully sooner, than later.
End of study