An Army Flowing like a River
Strong parallels exist between the sixth trumpet and two other scenes in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 7:1-4 has four angels, a form of restraint and the comment “I heard the number.” The 200 million-strong army of Revelation 9:16, 17 stands in contrast to the 144,000—God’s end-time people.
We can observe a parallel to the sixth bowl (see Revelation 16:13-16) in which we also see the River Euphrates, military language and a demonic horde.
The river Euphrates, in Old Testament times, was the great river which was the boundary that separated God’s people from their enemies.
Their attacks were frequently described as the waters of the Euphrates overflowing its banks and sweeping the land of Judah (see Isaiah 8:7, 8).
The sixth trumpet’s sounding portrays the gathering of Satan’s army for the end-time battle of Armageddon.
This trumpet imagery is not to be taken literally. John hears the number of this invading army as 200 million mounted troops in Revelation 9:16.
The four angels that were holding back the winds of strife let go.
There is now no restraint on demonic forces.
Things become as they would have been if satanic forces had not been held back by God.
This is how this world would have been if Jesus had not come and defeated the powers of evil.