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: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.

:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

:3 And there came out of the smoke locust upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

:4 And it was commanded them that they should not to 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.

: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.

: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.

:7 And the shape of the locust were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the the faces of men.

:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

: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.

:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

:11 And they had as king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is A-bad'don, but in the Greek tongue, hath his name A-pol'ly-on.

:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two more hereafter.

:13 And 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 which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Eu-phra'tes.

: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.

:16 And the number of the army of horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: And I heard the number of them.

: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.

: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.

: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.

:20 And the rest of 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:

:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.


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Statement of Faith

Revelation of Jesus Christ


The Fifth Angel Sounded

Verses 1

"...a star fall from heaven..."

In verse 1 of this chapter, John sees a star which had fallen from heaven to the earth, and to it was given the key to the bottomless pit (abyss). The King James Version of the Bible uses the personal pronouns "him" and "he" when speaking of this star. The Greek text however, refers to the star as "it":

"...to it was given the key to the bottomless pit..."

This clarify the point that the key was not given to the angel which sounded the fifth trumpet. Here also, we see the first of the three great "woes" which are about to be unleashed upon the earth. Previously, God had smote the natural elements (i.e. grass, trees, waters, sun, moon and stars). Now it is about to become more personal. First, affliction will be brought directly to bear upon the people of the earth through the unleashing of a horde of demonic spirits.

Going back to Rev. 1:20, we can understand that stars are sometimes used as a symbolic reference for angels. They have a certain amount of knowledge and therefore represent a certain type of light in God's creation just as natural stars do.

Studying the Book of Revelation can help us understand which angels in the prophecies of this book are godly and which are not. From the book we can learn that there are three basic ways by which angels come down from heaven to the earth.

Firstly, an angel may be forcefully cast down from heaven to the earth. Speaking of the initial fall, Jesus said in Luke 10:18 that He, "...beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven".

Another example of this is found in chapter 12 of Revelation, where war breaks out in heaven between the forces of the archangel Michael, and those of Satan. The war ends with Satan and his angels being forcefully expelled from of heaven for the final time. All of those thrown down at that time are wicked angels.

Secondly, angels can come down from heaven with controlled descent, as shown in chapters {Rev. 10:1} and {Rev. 20:1-2}. The context of these verses shows us that these are holy angels executing the will of Almighty God against the wicked.

Thirdly, an angel may come down from heaven to the earth because the elements, or conditions, which had sustained his position in the heavens have been removed, causing him to fall to the earth. In a manner of speaking, the rug was pulled from under his feet.

That is the case with the star (or angel) of chapter 9. In Scripture, it is no where apparent that God deals with holy angels in such a fashion. So it is clear that the star (or angel) of chapter 9 is not a holy angel. Exactly who he is, or may be, will become more clearly understood as we continue this study.

The "key" which is given to the star (angel), may simply represent the words necessary, when spoken, to cause the bottomless pit, to be opened. Jesus stated in Rev. 1:18 that He has the "...keys of hell and of death..."

In I Thess. 4:16 we are told that the dead in Christ will be raised with a shout. That shout (or word) is the key which will open the graves (Hades) at that time; and the blast of the trumpet, which follows, will summon those in the opened graves to come forth.

This same terminology may be applied to the angel of chapter 20, who is charged with casting Satan into the bottomless pit and closing it up for a period of one thousand years. Evidently the pit will remain open during the tribulation period, as the Beast (Antichrist) will go into it briefly, only to ascend from it and begin his absolute reign of terror and conquest.


Verses 2-6

"...he opened the bottomless pit..."

The abyss, or bottomless pit, is a place of captivity reserved for fallen angels and demonic spirits. There is no indication in Scripture that it is a place of human captivity. The story of Lazarus and rich man makes it clear that when a person dies, they are destined for one of two places: Paradise, or Hell.

The chasm, or great gulf, fixed between these two {Luke 16:26}, which no man can cross, appears to be the abyss spoken of here in chapter 9. Not so wide that the rich man cannot see Lazarus on the other side; but bottomless, so that no one can climb down from one side, then across and up to the other. The pit is filled with fallen angels and demons.

The reality of the rich man's fate is set. His resignation to that fact, then turns him to plead for his family still living upon the earth; but in hell there is no consolation for its occupants, as pleas to help his wayward family are rejected.

The abyss was understood by the Jewish people to be a large cavity in the earth with a narrow chimney-like entrance way. Its shape resembled that of a cistern, or a large vase with a long slender neck.

Once the abyss is opened (verse 2), thick dark smoke ascends up from it, in so much that sunshine is blotted out on the earth in that vicinity. Out of this smoke comes a horde of locust-like creatures (demonic beings) who are commanded to harm none of the vegetation of the earth, but only those who don't have the seal of God in their foreheads (chap. 7).

They were not given authority to kill people, although it is implied here that, with permission, they have that ability. Their mission is to torment the inhabitants of the earth for a period of five months in a very discomforting and worrisome manner (like the sting of a scorpion).

People will be so perplexed and disillusioned during those days, that they will wish for death itself to come to them, but it will not, for God is here pleading with them to repent and turn back to Him.

Verses 7-10

Here is describe the appearance of these creatures, which may be how they actually appear in the spiritual realm. The emphasis placed on their appearance is that they are fierce creatures with a relentless drive to carry out their mission, just like locust in the natural world.

They may not be visible in the natural world, but the effect of their presence will definitely be felt by those to whom they are sent to torment.


Verses 11

"a king over them"

In the natural, locust go about in a swarm without a leader over them (unlike a swarm of bees which follow their queen). Proverbs 30:27 states:

"The locust have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands."

Verse 11 however, states that these demonic, locust-like creatures, had a king set over them, which is the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is "Abaddon", and in Greek is "Apollyon". Abaddon is translated as "destruction", while Apollyon is translated as "destroyer". The Hebrew name represents his chief attribute, the Greek name represents the personification of that attribute.

In studying the traditional Jewish viewpoints, we find that in the Talmud, it is stated that there are seven names for Ghenna (what we commonly call Hell). These are: Sheol, Abaddon or Destruction, Corruption, Horrible Pit, Miry Clay, Shadow of Death and the Nether world.

It is also stated that Gehenna has "seven stories", or levels, which are named as: Sheol, Abaddon, Shadow of Death, Nether world, Land of Forgetfulness, Gehinnom, and Silence.

Furthermore, it is said that Gehenna has three entrances: one in the wilderness, one in the sea and one in the Valley of Hinnom in Jerusalem. We find, in the Book of Revelation, that the Beast or Antichrist, who ascends out of the pit, does in fact, appear at those three locations {Rev. 11:7-8} ; {Rev. 13:1} ; {Rev. 17:3}.

Here in verse 11 of the 9th chapter, we find an angel, named Abaddon, as king of the abyss. To correctly identity him and keep this verse in proper context, we have to go back to verse 1, where we find the star (angel), who had been given the key, with which he opens the abyss.

This can be interpreted as, he who opens the pit and frees its captives, is set as king over them, and is received as a sort of Messiah. It's reminiscent of Jesus descending to Paradise, after His death, and leading forth those who had been waiting there for their Messiah {Eph. 4:8-9}.

When we get to Rev. 11:7, we find the first mention in the Book of Revelation, of the Beast (Antichrist); and we see him ascending out of the abyss to kill the two witnesses of God which shall come down from heaven. As stated earlier, the abyss is not a place of human captivity. Therefore, we can understand that it is the angel, Abaddon, who is the one spoken of there. He will make war with, and prevail against the two witnesses.

In Rev. 22:16, Jesus likened Himself to, "...the bright and morning star...": the star whose presence continues at the dawn of the day, when all others have faded out of sight. So, in bringing forth the great deception, the star (angelic being) which fell from heaven (9:1) will seek to emulate or copy the one who proclaims himself to be "the bright and morning star".

"because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.... God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." (II Thess. 2:10-11).

The traditional or prevailing viewpoint in the Church is that the Antichrist will be a human who is posessed by Satan. Here however, we are seeing something quite different.

In chapter 9, we see Abaddon's fall to the earth, followed by his opening of the abyss. At some point following this, he will be dealt a death blow which will hurl him into the pit which he had opened. Shortly afterwards however, he will ascend out of the pit (Rev.13:1) and make war with, and prevail against, the two witnesses at Jerusalem (Rev. 11:7). He will then enter the newly built temple, set up an image of himself, and proclaim himself to be God.

It will be said of him, in that day, "Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:4) In all the world, no one could prevail against the two witnesses, but this one has succeeded. The question however, doesn't go unanswered; for three and a half days later, God will breathe life into the witnesses, causing them to stand upon their feet, and ascend up to heaven. Who can make war with Him? God Almighty can make war with him, and prevail! The deadly wound which sends him into the abyss and his subsequent rise from it will be covered further in chapters 12 and 13.

It may be argued that neither the names Abaddon or Apollyon have the numerical value of "666", as required in Rev. 13:17. This is true. The numerical value of the name Abaddon, in the Greek language, in which the New Testament was originally written is, 862. The value of the name Apollyon is 1,461. However, we must understand here, that the Beast (Antichrist) is the second person of the "Satanic Trinity", which is composed of the Dragon (Satan), the Beast and the False Prophet (Rev. 13).

The satanic trinity seeks to emulate or copy the Holy Trinity in an effort to make itself acceptable to the world. Its motives however, are entirely sinister. The Holy Trinity is one God expressing Himself as three persons. The Satanic Trinity is three persons attempting to express themselves as one god: a sort of mirrored effect.

Naturally speaking, it appears that the moon gives forth light of it's own; however, we know that in reality it is simply reflecting the light of the sun. There is no real light being produced by the moon. There is only the perception that light is coming from it. In fact, without the sun, the moon can only give forth darkness. The perceived light of the moon is inferior in every way to the true light which is produced by the sun. The same is true in the spiritual realm. The true light which comes from God is superior in every way to the false or perceived light which comes forth from Satan.

This is said to make one point. If Satan emulates God the Father, then Abaddon (the Beast) would be emulating the Son of God. Revelation 19:12 tells us that at the Revelation of Jesus Christ, He will have "...a name written that no man knew, but he himself."

Conversely, when the angel Abaddon is revealed from the abyss as the Antichrist, at the mid-point of the tribulation period, he too will have a new name. It will be that name which will have the numerical equivalent of "666", and will be applied to the foreheads of his followers, just as the name of God is applied to the foreheads of the chosen ones of chapter 7.

Try as they may, no one will be able to learn this new name of the Antichrist, until he makes it know at his revelation, midway through the seven years of tribulation.

It might be noted here too that angelic beings have the ability to manifest themselves in human form. There are numerous passages in Scripture which verify this point (i.e. the angels which came to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah; the angels which were at the tomb after the Resurrection of Jesus, and those present with the believers when Jesus ascended up to heaven.). Hebrews 13:2 states that, "...some have entertained angels unawares." This seems to be the case with Abaddon, who will manifest himself this way.

So the stage is now being set for the battle to end all battles: THE CREATOR {John 1:10 ; Rev. 19:13} versus THE DESTROYER {II Thess. 2:3-4 ; Rev. 9:11}. Two contenders for the Throne of Glory: the Son of God, against the son of Satan. It's the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 : the seed of the woman, versus the seed of the serpent. The outcome is certain. The "bright and morning Star" (Rev. 22:16), will prevail to out shine the "star fallen from heaven" (Rev. 9:1). When the latter has faded into oblivion, the former will still be shining bright!

Verses 12

The judgments of God are now about intensify with the coming of the second great woe.


The Sixth Angel Sounded

Verses 13-14

"Loose the four angels..."

In verse 13 we see the sixth angel sounding the trumpet, and a voice from the golden altar in heaven tells him to release four angels, "... which are bound in the great river Euphrates..."

Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament states that the Greek word which is translated as "bound" in this verse, means, "to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains".

So we are seeing here, four evil angels who are being restrained. Bear in mind that the abyss, the place of confinement for such angels, was opened by the angel Abaddon (verse 2).

In Jude, verse 6, we read that God has reserved some angels in "everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." This may be construed to mean that these fallen angels are to be held in chains until these days of the tribulation period. Those days have now arrived and they are about to be released upon the earth again, to carry out part of that judgment.

In Revelation 20, Satan himself is bound with a "great chain" and thrown into the abyss for a thousand years.

Jesus glorifies His Father in all that He does. The Beast disgraces his father, in that he opened the pit (Rev. 9:1) into which his father (Satan) will be thrown and held as prisoner.

Verse 15

Here we are told that it has been predetermined that these four would be equipped with what was necessary, to kill one-third of mankind. The timing for this to happen however, is an exact time: "...for an hour, and a day and a month and a year..."

The indication here is that if they, having been given this power, were not restrained, they would kill that part of mankind in advance of God's timing.

Whether they are to kill a third of mankind in the region of the river Euphrates, or if it is to be a global decimation, is not clear in this passage.

The fact that a specific location is given where they are being restrained, may support a regional destruction. The requirement, of course, could be satisfied either way.

Verse 16

John hears, in this verse, that these four angels are in charge of an army of 200,000,000 horsemen. The four angels are, in effect, acting as Generals of this satanic army. Some believe this army represents the coming of "kings of the east" mentioned in Rev.16:12 (China in particular, which could field an army of that size). That verse however, is a part of the vial judgments of the "...seven angels having the seven last plagues..." The seven angels with the seven trumpets, are a seperate group and do not release the seven last plagues, of chapter 16, upon the earth.

Verses 17 -18 here, give a description of these horses and their riders similiar to that of the locust creatures in verses 7-10. The difference seems to be that the locust creatures represent demonic spirits, whereas the army of the four angels represent fallen angels.

The point is made in verses 17-19 that it is the horses, and not the riders which bring about the death of the third part of mankind (by the fire, smoke and brimstone which comes out if their mouths).

They also have power in their tails to do harm; indicating a secondary cause of the deaths of mankind. The greater part of third of mankind will die from the initial effects of their attack (fire, smoke and brimstone); others will die from the lingering effect of their invasion, after it is finished (tails with serpent heads).

Verses 20-21

"...repented not of the works of their hands..."

These two verses tell us that even though a third of mankind was killed, the people continued on in their sinful pursuits.

Five sins are listed here, as the cause of the previous plagues falling upon mankind. They are: Idolatry, murder, sorceries, sexual immorality and thefts.

All of these sins are rampant in the earth even today, but they will escalate to an unprecedented scale in that day. Because they refuse to repent of their deed and turn to God, He will send a greater woe than these upon man. That woe will be released in chapter 12.

 


CHAPTER SUMMARY

Chapter 9 covers the first two of the three great "woes", which are yet to be released against the defiant inhabitants of the earth.

A fallen star (angel) opens the great abyss, or bottomless pit, to release a horde of demonic beings which are to go forth and afflict those on the earth who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads (chapter 7). They are likened to a swarm of locust, which have a fierce countenance. They however, are not allowed to harm the vegetation of the earth; only those who don't have the seal of God. Power is given to them to act for five months.

The locust beings have a king set over them, whose name is Abaddon in Hebrew, but Apollyon in Greek. These names mean, "destruction", and "destroyer". He is called the "angel of the bottomless pit" and appears, as the liberator of the locust creatures, to be the one who also ascends from the pit in chapter 11, to make war with the two witnesses of God.

The chapter ends with the second woe being unleashed. An army, 200,000,000 strong, under the control of four angels bound at the river Euphrates, is released to kill one-third of mankind because they will not repent of their gross sins.

Five sins are named at the end of this chapter, which have brought these judgments upon man. Failure to repent will result in the final and greatest woe, to be released in chapter 12.

 

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