16 The number of mounted troops was 200 million; I heard their number.
The four angels (demons) are going to muster up a huge army that will bring casualties never seen before in a war.
17 This is how I saw the horses in my vision: The horsemen had breastplates that were fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and from their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur.
First of all, we have to understand that the Apostle John described the best he could with what was being shown to him. He was looking at vehicles and machines that no one in his time could ever imagine men making, especially airplanes.
Now, careful interpretation is vital here with these symbols that John is describing. Look how John uses the word “like” meaning he is comparing it to what it best resembles. The phrase “their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur” most likely refers to a big barrel of either a tank or some powerful artillery because what comes out is fire, smoke, and sulfur which best describes when a big barrel fire’s off a shell and what follows it.
The color that John mentioned could be to identify the country by their flag.
18 A third of the human race was killed by these three plagues—by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came from their mouths.
A massive amount of human life will be wiped out by three plagues that could be a bombardment of rockets and artillery or a nuclear bomb.
19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails, which resemble snakes, have heads, and they inflict injury with them.
These horses must be some type of vehicle that can shoot from either the front or the back which a tank can do by moving its barrel.
20 The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk.
Those who survived the army’s attack and destruction still didn’t repent. It is interesting what John said next. He said that people are really worshipping demons and it is done through idols.
We know according to scripture that one of Satan’s greatest weapons is idol worship (Daniel 3) and it is a way to redirect the person’s worship to something else rather than God. Satan loves idols because it steals people’s heart away from the Lord.
One of the reasons that God brought judgment on the Israelites was due to idolatry or demon worship in the Old Testament (Psalms 106:37-38, Deuteronomy 32:17, Leviticus 17:7, 2 Kings 16:3, Isaiah 57:5, Jeremiah 19:5, Ezekiel 16:20). In the end times, Satan will do it again by setting up an ultimate idol or statue in the likeness of the antichrist and whoever does not worship it will be put to death (Revelation 13:14-15). So by bowing down to a statue, you are bowing down to demons which is considered worship.
I am convinced that an idol is a trojan horse. When you bring a religious idol into your home, you are also bringing with what’s attached to it, a demon. Demons according to verse 20 are worshipped even though the person will tell you that they don’t worship the devil but oblivious to them they really are, through the idols that are in their homes.
21 And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.
God’s judgment is like a wake up call to repent but these people still hardened their hearts and continued with their sinful lifestyle even after seeing the slaughter that took place.