Rev. 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
When the fifth angel blows his trumpet, a “star” that has been given the key to the bottomless pit falls from heaven to earth. Obviously, this is not a normal star, but an angel since “he” is given a key to the bottomless pit (the abussos). Later in Revelation John also used the term stars in reference to the angels that joined Satan’s rebellion.
Revelation 12:3–4 & 9 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The bottomless pit (“abussos” in the Greek) is the place to which a legion of demons begged Jesus not to send them.
Luke 8:30–31 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Since he falls to earth, I would assume the bottomless pit to be in the center of the earth, a sphere, a place with no “bottom.”
My notes indicate that the word “fall” is past tense in the original Greek. Could this indicate that this fallen star is a reference to Satan or one of the other fallen angels?
Rev. 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
The star evidently unlocks the pit, which implies that the beings in residence have been deliberately imprisoned until this time. When these beings escape from the pit, there are so many that they look like smoke coming from a big furnace. There are so many that “the smoke” darkens the sun and the air.
Rev. 9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Rev. 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
Rev. 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
Rev. 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
Creatures that John calls locusts emerge from the smoke. These are obviously not normal locusts, as the following verses will show. These locusts are given power to pierce and sting like a scorpion, but their power is limited. They cannot hurt the grass of the earth, any green thing, or any tree. They can only torture and inflict pain on those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. They are not allowed to kill men; they are only allowed to torment men for five months. Men will seek to die for relief from the pain, but they will not be allowed to die.
“The idea of ‘death as an escape’ is a demonic deception,” D. Guzik.
In my research I found this note in an article, “Iran in Bible Prophecy,” by Darrell Young of Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry. It will reference Amos 7:1, so I am showing it as stated in the KJV to preface his quote.
Amos 7:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.
“…an earlier translation of the OT into Greek, known as the Septuagint, embodies a different rending of Amos 7:1, “thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming and behold one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the King.” [OT = Old Testament]
This fits in with my belief that these locusts are demons (as stated below). It also connects the demon Gog referenced in Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20 to Abaddon/Apollyon identified in verse 11 below as the king of the locusts.
This brings up the question of the men with the seal of God in their foreheads. Up to this point we have only been told of 144,000 that are sealed by God in their foreheads (Rev. 7:4). The number of those sealed and the time of the sealing were specific. You would like to think that anyone that turned to Jesus in faith during this terrible time would also be sealed, but I don’t think you can find proof for that in the revelation given to John. How do these “locusts” identify the mark?
Who is giving the power to the locusts? Obviously, the one who is in control of the judgments befalling the inhabitants of earth—Jesus, the righteous Judge.
Rev. 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
Rev. 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
Rev. 9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
Rev. 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
Now John tries to describe these locusts. They are shaped like horses prepared for battle. On their heads is something that looks like a crown of gold. Their faces resemble that of man. They have long hair like a woman, and their teeth were similar to those of lions. They have breastplates that look like they are made of iron, and the sound of their wings remind you of a group of chariots and many horses running to battle. Their tails look like a scorpion’s and their sting comes from their tail. They have the power to hurt men for five months.
I’ve read and heard men that make comparisons to modern day weapons of war. The problem to me is that they are very specific beings that emerge from imprisonment in the bottomless pit. The weapons of war that are used today inflict death—not just torment. These “locusts” only have power for 5 months; I don’t believe the weapons on earth will be destroyed until Jesus comes to reign. I believe this is a very specific group of demons that were imprisoned by God. Maybe they are the angels that are referenced in Jude 6—“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Peter seems to confirm this to be the case.
2Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment….
The wording used by Jude and Peter is practically identical. I’m convinced they are referencing the same group of beings. However, they could just be saying that the angels are imprisoned until finally being cast into hell.
If, however, they do comprise the cloud of locusts, it is hard to imagine that many fallen angels engaged in that kind of intimacy with the women on earth. Evidently, the numbers were huge if Noah was the only man who found grace in the eyes of the Lord and who was “perfect” in his generations.
Genesis 6:8-9 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
The word for “perfect” means without blemish, complete, without spot, undefiled. In other words, Satan almost succeeded in destroying the line of descent necessary for the Messiah by corrupting human DNA. Isn’t it interesting that we are once again on the road to corrupting the DNA of man through genetic engineering? It sort of casts a new light on Jesus’ statement comparing end times to the days of Noah.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Rev. 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
John next informs us that these beings have a king whose name is Abaddon, Apollyon in Greek, both of which reference a destroyer, a fitting title of Satan and any who follow him. This also affirms that these are not normal locusts since scripture informs us that they have no king.
Proverbs 30:27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands….
The wording does not necessarily mean that the king came out of the pit; he is, however, the undisputed ruler of these demons (which lends more credence to him being Satan or his chief assistant, possibly Gog).
I’ve printed out a portion of Joel 2 below to show the similarities between that passage and this one in Rev. 9:1-11. There are enough similarities to make one try to tie them together, but I am still not sure that this is the right thing to do. Verse 3 gives me the most problem in this respect. The “locusts” in Revelation have as their purpose to harm men—not the land; they are only to harm—not destroy.
Joel 2:1-11 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, (cf 9:2) as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; (cf 9:7) and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains (cf 9:9) shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained (cf 9:6): all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: (cf 9:2) And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
Note: Verse 8 indicates that these beings are different from man as are the locusts from the bottomless pit with the phrase “when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.”
Rev. 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
The wording indicates to me that the people on planet earth will consider these three judgments to be the worst yet.
Rev. 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
Rev. 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
When the sixth trumpet is blown, John hears a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar before God. There must be a connection between the four horns and the four angels. When I looked up the number four, it had to do with creation pertaining to planet earth and things terrestrial. (Which again brings to mind the 4 angels that had control of the wind.) The voice from the altar tells the angel that blew the sixth trumpet to let loose the four angels bound in/at/upon the great river Euphrates.
Who are the 4 angels? Why were they bound?
I had a thought that maybe the four angels were associated with the “principalities or powers” connected to the countries bordering the Euphrates—but my map only shows Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It’s hard to tell from the maps I’ve seen, but it looks like one end of it is at the Iranian border where it connects with the Tigris and flows into the Persian Gulf, so maybe that could be number 4. We know from Daniel that there are evil spiritual forces associated with nations.
Daniel 10:12–13 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Rev. 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
The four angels were “prepared” - 2090. eJtoimaņzw hetoimazo, to prepare:—prepare, provide, make ready. Compare 2680….whereas 2090 refers rather to internal fitness)….
Interesting—the Greek seems to indicate that this refers to internal fitness for the task at hand. They will relish the task. What is their task? To slay a third part of men at this specific point in the history of man.
Rev. 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
It sounds as though these angels are being “loosed” to go beyond their boundaries to gather a military force 200,000,000 (the number is specific) strong that are empowered to kill a third of the men on earth. Emphasis is made that the timing for this slaughter had been determined for a specific “hour, day, month and year.” The wording indicates that this army is actually on horses, but verses 17-19 are going to indicate that John is just using terms he knows to try to describe things that are unknown to him.
I do think that the fact that he is comparing these forces to horsemen means that they are advancing by land. Again, this number is specific (200,000,000).
The more I think about this, it seems to give credence to the angels being associated with world powers in some way. I automatically thought of the word “bound” as being in literal chains or something. The original Greek implies binding “literally or figuratively.” Maybe it just means that they haven’t been allowed to leave their specific territories until this specific point in time. They obviously have armies at their ready through the leaders that the forces of Satan are empowering/possessing; they don’t seem to have to go and recruit. This must be an army of demons or demon-possessed men.
Rev. 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
Rev. 9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
Rev. 9:19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
Breastplate = 2382. qwņrax thorax, thoę-rax; of uncertain affinity; the chest (“thorax”), i.e. (by implication) a corslet:—breast-plate. Webster: 1. A plate of metal covering the breast as defensive armor.
Fire = 4447. pu/rinoß purinos, pooę-ree-nos; from 4443; fiery, i.e. (by implication) flaming:—of fire.
Jacinth = 5191. uJaki÷nqinoß huakinthinos, hoo-ak-inę-thee-nos; from 5192; “hyacinthine” or “jacinthine”, i.e. deep blue:—jacinth.
Brimstone (middle of v17) = 2306. qeiwņdhß theiodes, thi-oę-dace; from 2303 and 1491; sulphur-like, i.e. sulphurous:—brimstone.
Sulphur = Webster: 1. (Chem.) A nonmetallic element…..and is obtained as a lemon- yellow powder…… It burns with a blue flame and a peculiar suffocating odor.
Fire = 4442. puvr pur, poor; a primary word; “fire” (literally or figuratively, specially, lightning):—fiery, fire.
Brimstone (last word of v17 & v18) = 2303. qei√on theion, thię-on; probably neuter of 2304 (in its original sense of flashing); sulphur:—brimstone.
I was hoping that looking up all the words would give me more insight regarding what John was trying to describe. This is definitely a section that could give speculation to his trying to describe modern day weaponry. John sees an army going into battle. The connecting factor in the words used to describe the breastplates seems to be color/appearance. He is seeing these armies in action. As the warrior on horseback came toward you, you would obviously see his breastplate. John describes the breastplates first I think because they were the dominant part of the picture, the part that draws your eyes first. He seems to see an army approaching with vivid color/presence (flaming, deep blue, lemon yellow). The head of a lion would indicate danger and something to fear (not usually associated with the head of a horse). Their mouths are not just biting; they are projecting fire (that looked like lightning), smoke and brimstone (flashing). This could be representative of gunfire/explosion. As John continues his description, he makes it clear that this “horse” can attack from his rear as well as head on. These “horses” have tails with heads of their own that can inflict death as well. Once again, that could be describing modern weaponry and machinery that allow the soldier to fire in many directions. There is obviously much room for speculation here, but I believe those that are searching the scripture during that time will have no problem connecting these verses with the reality.
Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
Rev. 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
It would appear to me that since these armies are coming by land and seem to originate around the Euphrates, the third of men slain by them would be in that broad general region. The rest of men (left on the earth), the remaining 2/3, that were not killed still did not repent of their evil deeds. This would even make more sense to me in that we tend to think—those things may happen in that part of the world, but that could never happen “here.”
They continue to worship devils/demons/false gods. They continue to worship idols of their own making. These idols represent material wealth and they are available to every strata of society—from the wealthy to the poor (gold ----> wood). These idols are lifeless and powerless.
Good thought from Dixie—“Those who make idols and those who trust in them are like them—no understanding, no life in them.”
Psalm 135:15-18 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
These unrepentant men continue to kill each other without guilt or conscience. They continue to use drugs, magic, sorcery and witchcraft. I believe that Satan and his demons will be empowering more and more people in this area as time goes by. They continue in all kinds of sexual immorality thinking only of pleasing themselves. They continue to take what they want, by theft if necessary. The motto of these men/people seems to be “Whatever makes me happy is OK,” or “It’s all about me.”
This of course brings to mind the verse concerning the days of Noah.
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
I read some thoughts from Jack Kelley at www.gracethrufaith.com that I thought were worth considering at this point.
“There is a belief floating around that's as old as mankind but in the last days will become a religion that deceives almost everybody. It's called the Luciferian Doctrine and understanding it helps explain why the world won't turn to its Creator in this, the worst time in human history.
The Luciferian doctrine is named of course after Lucifer, a Latin name meaning, "light bearer." It holds that Lucifer is the good guy trying to enlighten the people of the world in preparation for the spiritual evolution necessary to bring peace to all mankind.
According to Luciferian Doctrine our physical evolution is finished and all we need to do now is throw off the bonds of Judeo-Christian thinking to complete our spiritual evolution and enter into our long awaited Utopian Era.
But Lucifer's being hindered in all this by the evil Adonai (Hebrew for Lord) Who, along with His followers, is working to thwart Lucifer's grand plan by requiring everyone to adhere to His reactionary religion, effectively preventing our spiritual evolution. In order for humanity to achieve Utopia those who insist on clinging to their obsolete Judeo-Christian faith have to be eliminated. The Great Tribulation is characterized in Luciferian Doctrine as the evil Adonai's last great effort to destroy mankind's "light bearer" and prevent our ascension into Utopia, keeping us in bondage to Him. Following the church's disappearance the Truth will become pretty scarce on Earth and the whole world will be deceived into believing the Luciferian Doctrine just as Paul warned would happen (2 Thess. 2:9-12). So naturally, thinking the Lord is the bad guy, they became even more intense in their worship of Lucifer, hoping that he'll prevail and bring an end to their suffering. (There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is death ... Prov. 14:12) Lucifer, of course, is also widely known as Satan or The Devil.”