And the number of the mounted soldiers was two hundred million. I heard the number of them. And this is the way I saw the horses and the ones sitting on them in the vision: They had breastplates the color of fire, hyacinth and sulphur. The heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulphurous fumes. Rev 9:16-17.
This is the numbering of Satan's army which can only be numbered at the time of the end. They are the counterpart of God's end-time people, the 144,000. The book of Revelation contains many parallels between the wicked and the people of God. The wicked call for the rocks and mountains to fall on them (Rev 6:15-17), the great multitude stands safely before the throne (Rev 7:9). 200,000,000 surge forth in the sixth trumpet. They are in contrast to the 144,000 (Rev 7:1-4) and the two witnesses (Rev 11:3-6). The wicked are represented by a beast from the sea (Revelation 13), and the righteous by a remnant (Rev 12:17).
It is as if there were no sharp distinctions between good and evil in the visions of Revelation, even though such distinctions are made in the seven letters. The reason for the ambiguity in the visions of Revelation is the role of deception and counterfeit in the central part of the book. The line between truth and error will be hard to distinguish toward the End.
I know a man who went out Ingathering one evening (raising funds door to door for charity). At the corner of one street he noticed a large and angry-looking dog guarding the yard of a house a few doors down. He expressed his concern to a companion and indicated that he wanted to skip that house.
The companion offered a piece of advice. "No dog will ever bite you if you stare right into its eyes! It shows them you are the boss. Go ahead! Try it! You can do it. It isn't hard."
The first man was a bit dubious about the advice but decided to go ahead and try it anyway. He banished his fears and approached the house. As he passed through the gate the large dog came charging toward him. He fixed his eyes on the eyes of the dog and followed them as the dog veered off course and circled behind him. He kept on staring at the dog's eyes as the dog continued circling in closer and bit him in the back of the leg!
So much for the advice, "No dog will ever. . ." It turns out all the facts were not in. The dog was found to have a brain tumor which prevented normal behavior. Sometimes things are not what they seem. As we approach the End, Satan will do all he can to deceive us. Just because something is religious doesn't mean it is right or honors God. The Word of God is our best safeguard against Satan's deceptive advice.