Rev. Chapter 9
In chapter eight we saw something like a great mountain burning with fire thrown into the sea causing great havoc in the oceans of the world. Next we saw a great star falling from heaven and burning like a torch and poisoning one third of the earth’s drinking water. Now we see another star, but this is not a mountain or an asteroid! This star is an angelic being, but by his very description he is a fallen angel, maybe even Satan himself!
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Christ, who has the keys of Hades and of Death (Rev. 1:18) has apparently given this unholy angel permission to possess these extraordinary keys, only temporarily, so as to open the bottomless pit and release this deluge of demons!
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
What is to be released from this dark place rivals even the mind of Steven King!
2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
When I was just a child I would eagerly wait for the scary movies that would appear every Saturday night on our wonderful old RCA black and white TV (yes, I’m that old!) in our family room. We would sit and listen to the eerie music as we watched what we now call the classic horror movies! Movies like The Wolfman, Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dracula! Inevitably, as the movie progressed you were sure to find the cast in a remote cemetery where the mood was set with fog or smoke. Hollywood was not even coming close to the heart stopping fear that will await anyone who would ever witness the entrance to hell!
3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Exodus chapter ten is a record of the eighth of ten plagues God poured out upon Egypt in order to free His people from the bondage of slavery to Pharaoh. The plague of locusts was devastating to Egypt! However, it paled in comparison to what these demonic creatures were given power to do to unbelieving mankind for a period of five months!
4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
These are not like any locusts that have swarmed the earth before! Although a demonic angel, possibly Satan is responsible for the release of this devastating swarm, much like the conditional attack on Job’s life by Satan, God has commanded certain limitations on the attacking creatures of this fifth trumpet judgment! Contrary to the nature of locusts, they may not see the grass here as greener. They have been given a taste of human pain and suffering and they are programed to inflict as much as they can within a specified period of time! Interestingly, they are also programed to inflict their punishment only on the unbeliever!
5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
Why five months? I would have understood six, or seven, but five? I found that the average lifespan of locusts is five months! Okay, I’ll go with that. God doesn’t leave any question unanswered, does He?
Wow! Can you imagine the excruciating pain of being stung over and over again by scorpions? I believe it would drive a man insane! Maybe even to the point of suicide! But guess what?
6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
During the time of the ten plagues poured out on Egypt, God continually hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Who was actually hurt as a result of Pharaoh’s actions? You got it! Pharaoh and his armies! God’s purpose? To glorify Himself! The mind of God, although never really understood, is perfect! His plans for those who seek His face are perfect indeed!
7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.
Some will say; “These are not demonic creatures! Anyone can see that John is struggling to describe futuristic machines of war!” One could make a good argument for that conclusion, but it doesn’t require much faith to credit man with these wicked apparitions! I believe that this is one of those passages of scripture where we need to let God be God and believe that His creation is what it is! He certainly doesn’t need us to qualify His use of demons to carry out His will and His wrath!
In another time, another prophet saw something very much like this;
5 With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color.
7 They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks.
8 They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down.
9 They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness.
The Prophet Joel has described with incredible imagery the “Day of the Lord!” Although this reference to the Day of the Lord may not refer to the eschatological events described in Revelation chapter 9, he certainly employs similar imagery! He refers to four seasons of a locust development and applies their totally destructive appetites to our need of repentance! However, as we will see in Revelation chapter 9, men’s desire will be to die rather than to repent!
11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Both names means the same thing, destroyer!
1 Peter 5:8
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
The three woes represent the three final trumpet blasts! The first four trumpet blasts pale in comparison to these final three! We have just looked at the horrifying events of the first woe, now brace yourself as we study the next two woes or trumpet blasts!
Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
A trumpet blast and someone speaks! As God has designed the golden alter, or the alter of incense in Exodus 30:2, horns were added at each corner. This is considered a place of mercy. It is here that God would respond to His people’s prayers, but now Jesus Christ is speaking from the alter and commanding the sixth angel to release four angels from the great river Euphrates. Why are angels bound in this place? Are these holy angels? No, these four angels are fallen angels who have now been released from their prison by the word of Jesus Christ! Imprisoned there by God to be used for His wrath at such a time that He decides! God is fully in control of all things!
The River Euphrates is a very significant landmark in Biblical history. According to Genesis 2:10-14, the Euphrates was one of four rivers which flowed through the Garden of Eden.
15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
Four fallen angels are released to kill one third of the earth’s population! Do you remember the forth seal, the pale horse who’s rider is Death? Remember how by sword he would kill one fourth of the population? Now another third! Add that to the many who died from the poison water due to wormwood, as well as all of those aboard the third of the ships destroyed when something like a mountain burning with fire struck the ocean! It seems that more than half the earth’s population are dead by now! God is not kidding around when He brings forth His wrath! Warning after warning can be found in the scriptures, yet we won’t hear!
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Who will listen? Who will?
16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.
Here again some will say that John is attempting to describe a human army marching forward with an arsenal of man made weaponry! But human armies don’t march out of rivers, nor are they set in motion by four fallen angels! If I could say anything to John, it might go something like this; “It is what it is John!” What John is witnessing is a massive army of demons who are on marching orders to kill one third of the world’s population! Arrayed in the finest uniforms of war that hell can provide, they march on!
Will we learn from this? Well, let’s see….
20 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. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
God named five things that He really hates! Idol worship, murders, sorceries, sexual immorality and thefts. These five and more can be found in Galatians.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I want to say this; It is not our job to judge, it is God’s! Our job is to love each other as we love ourselves. With all of this demonic killing going on, we ought to realize by now that God is deadly serious about His desire that we turn from our self destructive ways! We have our lives as the window of opportunity to turn away from sin and to turn towards Him. Won’t you consider Him today? Salvation is free for the asking and there is no other way to receive His free gift of grace but through His Son, Jesus Christ!
If you would like more information, or if you would like to know just how to begin your new life with Christ, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org