REVELATION CHAPT. 9
THE 5TH ANGEL-A STAR
This chapter continues the judgments of the trumpets. A trumpet sounds and something happens. Trumpets declare an important announcement in the Revelation, so our first thought is, Now what?? Now, remember – think literally and logically as we look at this. The 5th angel sounds his trumpet.
9:1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.
2. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened y the smoke from the Abyss.
This star is called a “him” – who is this star? It’s a different kind of star from, the ones before, they were meteors. This one is called him and acts with intelligence. It has gender and therefore, must be a personality.
First of all, he “falls” from the sky, he doesn’t fly down. Then, when he reaches earth, he is given a key to the abyss. The proper meaning of a bottomless pit is a long shaft or well that reaches to the abyss. To decipher this, we need to go to scripture. Look at Isaiah 14:12,
“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!
And Luke 10: 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Could this be Satan? Satan can no longer accuse before God. He is given keys – This means he is given authority. Satan and his demons are not released without God’s permission.
Later on in chapter 12 we will be told that Satan is put out of heaven and thrown to earth. Keys denote authority and power, the permissive will of God. The abyss and hell are not the same. The abyss is a holding place of the unsaved dead souls. Hell is the lake of fire. No one is in hell yet. II Peter 2:4 tells us that the demons are imprisoned there in the abyss. Also in Luke 8:30-31 we read that thee demons begged Jesus that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. The abyss is a very literal place.
When the pit (or shaft to the abyss) is opened, smoke billows out from this house of evil. Millions of demon creatures are loosed. Their appearance is as locusts swarm out to torture the people without the seal of God.
John uses symbolic language to describe what is so frightful that this is the only way he could describe them. Some look like animals, horses, lions, scorpions. Some like men, hideous, powerful, indestructible, intelligent.
What would a swarm of demons be like when released from hell where they have been chained for thousands of years? Read Revelation 9:3-12 first, then read the parallel in Exodus 10.
3. And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.
4. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
5. They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
6. During those days men would seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
7. The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.
8. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.
9. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron and the sound of their wings were like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.
10. They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.
11. They had a king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.
12. The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
Now read Exodus 10:1-20 and compare the two passages. Look at them. They do not eat vegetation. Proverbs 30:27 tells us locust of the earth have no leader. The ones in Egypt were so unusual that Moses said there was none like them nor ever would be again. (Exodus 10:14). Yet they are literal creatures. Joel prophesied about a coming plague of locusts in Chapter 1 of the Book of Joel. The difference here is the object of their destruction. They sting as scorpions, and the object of their attack is evil men.
They are released by Satan yet look who they attack – Satan’s own army. This siege lasts 5 months. Men cannot die, they will attempt suicide, but it will be impossible. In the Hebrew, Abaddon means destruction, and in the Greek, Apollyon means destroyer. But look, this is only one of the woes, there are two more to come.
In verse 12, a warning is given that the worst is yet to come.
13. The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God.
14. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates”
15. And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.
16. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.
Verse 13 – the 6th angel sounds his trumpet from the golden altar where all the activity of heaven has been originating. This angel not only blows a trumpet but is also given a command. The voice is that of Christ. There are two kind of angels – good and bad. The 6th angel is a good angel and has been told to release the bad angels. They are vicious and have been bound, held for a specific time and purpose. Chapter 16 will tell us more about this later so we will come back to it then. However, think about this for a moment. Why this spot, why here at the great river Euphrates? The Garden of Eden was located somewhere nearby. The First sin of man occurred here. The Euphrates River marks the division between East and West. Napoleon made the statement: “China is a sleeping giant, and God pity the generation that awakens her”. Well, she’s awake and very much alive today. China represents ¼ of the world’s population. Just suppose they start moving. They Will. It is only a
matter of time. By the way, the Euphrates River is very much in the news these days. It is located in Iraq. In Zechariah 5 we are told that Babylon is the last stand of false religion and where Satan’s last stand will take place. Ancient Babylon was located near the Euphrates River.
Remember that the Pale Horse of Revelation 6:8 killed ¼ of the world’s population. At the blowing of the 6th trumpet 1/3 of those remaining are killed. This leaves only about ½ of the original population alive. The size of this army is tremendous. It is now possible to stop the flow of the Euphrates River. The Ataturk Dam has been built which can literally cut off the River entirely. This army is 1 mile wide and 87 miles long. Their role in the battle of Armageddon is crucial. Look at Revelation 9:17-19
17. The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur.
18. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.
19. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
Now, look back at verse 17. What is this? These are weapons of a future war. Probably demon controlled. These are demonic forces at work during this period. Sound impossible? Simply believe it because God says it will happen. The 3 plagues mentioned here are literal. They are fire, smoke, and brimstone. This has already happened once before. The same thing took place at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God took care of those two evil cities and He will take care of this situation here, as well.
20. The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
21. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The saddest of all is v. 20. Wouldn’t you think the rest would fall before God and beg mercy? Well, they don’t. There are four rampant sins mentioned here: They are murder, sorceries (drugs and the occult practices), sexual immorality, and thefts. Are we seeing a prelude to this now? Will we ever return to a nation of unlocked doors, or agreements sealed with a hand shake? That was the way things were done when I was growing up. My grandparents went out of town for a week but did not lock their front door. Grandma said someone might need something. That’s just the way life was back then. And no one had to write out an agreement and have it witnessed. They just shook hands and no one thought any more about it. We are seeing here in chapter 9 a small glimpse of eternal hell. A place of pain, place of dying, yet no one can die. They will beg to die but will not be able to. They will be living in eternal death. Vance Havner has said “The real test of how much we believe of prophetic truth is what we are doing to warn men to flee from the wrath to come”. Someone else has said “Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.” If we don’t stand for the word of God, we are easy pray for the cults of this world.
Friends, this is real. This is God’s Word, and this will all happen, just like He says it will. Don’t be fooled by things you don’t fully understand. Just believe it because God said it, and that will settle it.
Next time, we will be in an interlude between the 6th and 7th trumpets, but it won’t be boring, I can promise you that.
See you then, precious ones, read ahead and study up, get excited about what God will do. Think of the hymn with these words:
“Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King”
Love and blessings,