From Eden until now, we have always had two choices.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19).
“The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus Christ] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
The trumpet judgments sound because the majority of mankind has chosen to reject Jesus Christ. It is what 2 Thess. 2:3 calls the falling away. And now, in Revelation 9, we see the consequences. The sixth trumpet echoes through the heavens and to the earth. The reverberation releases four angels—spiritual beings, but they do not belong to God. They belong to Satan. They’re fallen angels who have been bound there.
They are the four spiritual princes behind the evil empires that have occupied the river basin of the Euphrates over the centuries, including the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The world reaps what it has sown. The seeds of strife and division reap a world war like no other. Another one third of mankind is killed.
Still, they stubbornly cling to their lord, the one who brings death and destruction. Revelation 9:20-21 is their indictment. “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
The second woe is passed. They are like sheep going astray, for they have not returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls. Their souls shall not find rest for all eternity.