To Slay The Third Part Of Men
n the book of Revelation, at the 6th, and most destructive of the trumpet judgments, we see a Scripture describing four powerful angels who are released to deliver a dreadful judgment on a Christ rejecting world. Like so many other of the mysterious texts in the book of Revelation, I erroneously spent years reading this verse in a straight line, linear fashion.
However, after decades of ongoing study into the realm of the prophetic, I've come to realize the imagery seen in Revelation's end time's descriptions is actually far deeper than I ever imagined. The text in question reads as follows:
"I heard a voice….Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men" (Revelation 9:13-15).
One of the problems humankind experiences when we receive supernatural communication from the throne of glory is related to our existence in this dimension. Yet the Scriptures plainly tell us that God is infinitely higher than we are, and His ways are so far beyond our finite perceptions that we routinely have difficulty stretching our thought processes to conform to His divine dimension.
When we read that a third of men will be slain, we naturally want to know just how and when such a horrifying fate will come about. When first encountering such a statement, many of us would quickly start to compute the world population to come up with the actual numbers of how many will die whenever this event comes to pass. For instance, with the world population now approaching 7 billion, one third would be a staggering 2.3 billion dead.
However, as is commonly the case in prophecy, most miss what the prophecy actually says. Look closer, for the precise statement renders something altogether different. The text does not say these angelic beings kill one third of mankind, it says they will kill "the third part" of men – and that is, as we shall see, something altogether different.
Most everyone knows that, at the time of the creation, God said "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26), and since the LORD is a triune being, it follows that man also has three parts. Actually, the word "image" imparts the idea of a copy, so many have already seen that man was made as a physical copy of God with three components: Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Theoretically, if these powerful angels were to kill the body portion of collective man, everyone would be physically dead. Similarly, man needs mental functions to even exist. Modern medicine declares that involuntary processes, such as breathing, heartbeat, and so forth can continue when someone is brain dead, but that person is either comatose or completely immobilized.
It is obvious that Spiritual death is what is in view and, we should realize that at the end of the cycle imaged as the trumpet judgments, it is the Spirit of unrepentant man that is to be completely extinguished. This is part of a larger understanding of events at the end of the age. What very few recognize is that this process is actually occurring now, and adjacent Scriptures have been telling us this all along – we just have tremendous difficulty in comprehending what I call Apocalyptic Linguistics – or the language of the Lord.
When these evil Spirits kill the third part of man as the text specifies, it is not incidental that it is the identical faction, described in Revelation, that we have previously dubbed theSerpent Spirit which is associated with the activity. To digress just a bit, here at Christian Media, we use certain terminology in order to help simplify what is, admittedly, a difficult concept.
In Revelation's bizarre imagery utilized in the finale of the trumpet judgments, we see two entities in the 5th and 6th trumpet judgments. We call the entities seen in the 6th trumpet theSerpent Spirit:
"For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt" (Revelation 9:19).
These devilish entities comprise the Serpent Spirit, and the language utilized clearly distinguishes that power from the 5thtrumpet imagery which precedes it. In that 5th trumpet, we are given a detailed picture of that which we call the Scorpion Spirit:
"And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power" (Revelation 9:3).
It is very important that we see these amazing verses are communicating there are two separate factions found in the evil, and this is consistent with volumes of prophetic material on the subject. In many books, videos, DVD's, articles, and literally hundreds of broadcasts, we've been articulating the truth of thetripartite structure of all things eternal.
There are many different terms for the same thing. Some call it the Mystery of Thirds, others the Spiritual Matrix. In two successive books, I call it the Triuniverse, as it's all about the Spiritual architecture of the heavens. The pivotal verse on the subject is in the writings of the prophet Zechariah:
"In all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God" (Zechariah 13: 8,9).
The third part, that which God is purifying, as Zechariah says by bringing them "through the fire," is the Seed of God. In parables, allegory, and point blank statements found in the Scriptures, we find that God is raising up a Seed unto Himself. Speaking of thisSeed of God, the New Testament speaks of it in mystical terms:
"But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body" (I Corinthians 15:38).
In hundreds of verses throughout the Bible, we find allusions to the "seed" as the seed of Abraham, the "son" of David, and the Word of God as the "seed" which is planted and grows through the grace of the LORD. It is self evident that the Devil has been working to destroy the seed from the earliest time.
Joseph was left for dead in the pit but was preserved, even as Moses was hidden in a basket, and floated down the river to hide him from the decree to kill the Hebrew infants. From Daniel in the lion's den, to the baby Jesus being smuggled into Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of the innocents, the story is always the same. But what almost everyone misses is the two fold nature of evil, and this is seen in the twin entities imaged asSerpents and Scorpions.
The Serpent Spirit, as previously noted is that which seeks "to slay the third part of men," while the Scorpion Spirit does notkill, it torments:
"And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months" (Revelation 9:10).
There is even a second witness to this amazing fact in that Revelation tells us when these hideous Spirits are allowed to hurt men, they do not kill them, but cause men great anguish:
"And to them it was commanded that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months" (Revelation 9:5).
Once we come to realize that these vivid descriptions are imaged in visually frightening terms as a way of describing the "principalities and powers" (Ephesians 6:12) which are arrayed against the believers, we will be closer to grasping the Spiritual formations which confront us at the end of the age.
A prime example of this is seen in the Gospels, when JESUS has empowered his disciples to go out to the larger masses, and spread the Word – the Seed of God – to those whom He has called. That the believers are seen as the Seed of God is found in dozens of New Testament verses, but what is truly amazing is how Christ specifically tells the disciples the Spiritual scope of the dominion He has granted them:
"And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits….Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:19).
[To be continued]
--- James Lloyd
Further study on the language of the LORD, as articulated here, may be found in the author's book APOCALYPTIC LINGUISTICS: The Language Of Prophetic Metaphor.