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 Revelation Chapter 9 (Part 49) (Verses 1 – 11)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 9 (Part 49) (Verses 1 – 11)   Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:42 pm

Revelation Chapter 9 (Part 49) (Verses 1 – 11)

Today we are looking at Revelation chapter 9. Verse 1 says, “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.” The fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpet blasts are the three woes that we saw introduced last time by the eagle in Revelation 8:13, which reads, “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” These three trumpet blasts each include God using demons to inflict judgment. The first 2 (the 5th and 6th trumpet blasts) are obvious. The 7th trumpet blast also includes demons, but is not obvious. Please recall that the 7th trumpet contains the 7 bowl judgments, which includes demons. So this fifth angel sounds his trumpet and a star falls from the sky to the Earth. I quoted the NIV version. The verb construction in the Greek is really, “having fallen.” This clause is just a description of Satan, not depicting a time period. Satan is this star that falls from the sky to the Earth. He fell early on in post creation. Satan had already fallen by the time we meet him in the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Angels were created before mankind. They were also created before the Earth. Few realize that the actual time period when Satan fell is recorded in the bible. Satan fell to the Earth between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.” Verse 2 says, “Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…” The bible declares that God is light, and in Him, there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). The Earth was void, empty, and dark because Satan (formerly Lucifer) was kicked down there. Jesus witnessed this event because He was there. In Luke 10:18, Jesus says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.” Satan is called a star in Isaiah 14:12. It says, “How you have fallen from Heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the Earth, you who once laid low the nations!” This is repeated in Revelation 12:9: “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the Earth, and his angels with him.”

I believe we spoke about the Abyss before. The Abyss is a holding cell where God locked up some evil spirits even though He lets other evil spirits roam free about the Earth. It is a place of torment for demons. You recall, when Jesus was setting a man free from the demons that possessed him, they begged Jesus not to send them to the Abyss. Jesus agreed to send them into a flock of pigs instead; then the pigs committed suicide by jumping off the cliff into a lakebed. Since the Abyss is a holding cell for demons, it is naturally locked up. Jesus has the key to the Abyss and gives it to Satan (the star). Revelation 9:2 reads, “When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and the sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.” There’s the old saying: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The bible does not explicitly say that demons are burning in fire in the Abyss. All we know for sure is that it is a place that they really don’t want to go to as made clear when the demons begged Jesus not to send them there. But this verse implies that there is fire in the Abyss. There are many passages that state that there is fire in Hades, including the rich man begging father Abraham to send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue because he is “in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:19-24). And, of course, there is fire in Hell, as it is also called, “The Lake of Fire.” Please don’t get these 3 places mixed up. These are 3 separate, distinct places: the Abyss, Hades, and the Lake of Fire. Let’s stay on topic with the Abyss here. It is spoken of as being like a gigantic furnace when it is opened. I’m sure Satan was pleased to open it so that he could once again see his long time buddies that he hasn’t seen for eons since from when they fell from Heaven to follow Satan. So dark, gloomy, and smoky is the Abyss that when Satan opens it, it darkens the sun and the sky. The last time we spoke about the sun, the bible said that a third of it was struck, along with a third of the moon and a third of the stars. Now the whole thing is darkened again.

The Greek word for the Abyss is Abasas. The word itself in the Greek means very deep, or bottomless. It is a bottomless, fiery, smoky pit and jail cell that torments demons who are the worst of the bunch that God decided to lock away until the end times. Satan frees these demons and after the four demons who are bound at the Euphrates river are released in verse 14, all demons will be free at this time to roam the Earth. There are many demons roaming free today, but we can thank God that He chose to lock up the worst of the bunch for our sakes. Satan is the worst, but many of his top officials have been locked away for a period of time. Jude 6 says, “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these He has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” Before God punishes these chained demons with Hell fire, He is going to use them to punish man and then God is going to punish both man and demons with Hell fire.

Revelation 9:3 says, “And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the Earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the Earth.” We know from the context that these locusts are really demons who come out of the Abyss. They will behave like locusts. Locusts swarm and are destructive. Locusts, in their swarming, can turn a bright sky black. These are empowered demons, as it says they “were given power like that of scorpions.” Scorpions have deadly poison in their tails. These demons were given similar power. Interestingly, we learn that they were “given” power; they didn’t have this particular power innately. Not only were they given their destructive power, but they also have to act only within the confines that God allows. The next verse says, “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.” So these demons were let out of prison and put on a probationary period with rules to operate by. No demon can act outside of the confines of what God allows them to. God restricted what Satan could do when Satan wanted to harm Job. Job 2:6 says, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’” We also saw that demons had to obey Jesus. God tells the locust demons to not harm the grass or any plant or tree. We saw that the grass, plants, and trees were harmed by the first angel trumpet where a third of the trees, and all of the green grass was burned up. These locust demons are not allowed to attack those things any further. Also not protected from the locust demons is anyone who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Not only does this include non-Christians, but also Christians. Christians who have been converted by the 144,000 are not protected because only the 144,000 Jewish Christians have the protective seal of God on their foreheads. Only the 144,000 are guaranteed safety throughout the Tribulation.

We find in the next verse that these demons were not given power to kill. Revelation 9:5 says, “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.” These are not real locusts, but if they were, 5 months would cover the complete agricultural period for a year, lasting from spring through late summer. These demons were given power to torture man. Apparently, they were very successful, for the next verse tells us that the people desired death. One thing that many Christians aren’t aware of is that God uses demons for His purposes. Here, God frees imprisoned demons in order to torture wicked men for their judgment of rejecting Him. God even uses demons to correct His own people. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:7, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” God’s purpose for giving Paul a demon was to keep Paul humbled. Demons possess many people and often go unidentified. A person can have a temperament of being angry, but occasionally, the real cause could be that the person is possessed by an evil spirit of anger. A person could have a temperament of being fearful, but it could at times be a spirit of fear that torments them. Drug addicts are, through their drug addiction, inviting demons to possess them. Medical doctors simply prescribe medication to demon possessed people or counsel them. They never solve anything because they don’t understand the root of their problem. There is no such thing as a friendly demon. All demons seek to torment mankind because they know that they themselves have been sentenced with an eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, which they will one day befall; and they want mankind to suffer with them.

Revelation 9:6 says, “During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.” During these 5 months, God will fail people’s attempt to commit suicide. You recall, under the 6th seal, Revelation 6:16 says, “They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” We are studying the plight of people who reject God. These are people who lived life without fearing God; people who believed they were superior to anyone called God. God is a person to fear, both reverentially and literally. Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Our God of Love is also a God of wrath who is storing up His wrath for a Day of judgment on the wicked. Man cannot stand up to God; man cannot stand up to demons either. These people will long for death, but cannot find it because of the torment these demons bring. The text does not give us the details of how the demons will be torturing the people. Although mankind cannot stand up to demons, Christians can be thankful that we have Jesus who is on our side and protects us from them. Jesus gives us His power to stand up to demons. He gives us His grace. Jesus said that His grace is good enough for Paul. James says that Jesus’ grace is good enough for us too. James 4:6-7 says, “But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” The problem Christians often make is that they quote only the last part of that passage without the rest. Most have memorized, “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” But fewer have memorized, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God.” The only way to fight Satan is using the grace of Jesus Christ. The only way to obtain that is through humility, obedience and submission to Jesus.

Revelation 9:7: “The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.” This verse says that the demons looked dressed for war. Horses represent power, which we know demons are very powerful. The word “crown” here in the Greek is the word meaning “victor’s crown.” They will be successful in their divine undertaking, i.e., tormenting people. Their faces resembling human faces implies intelligence. They will not have the brains of locust; these are intelligent demons. These locusts have a king, as we will see in verse 11. According to Proverbs 30:27, regular locusts have no king. That Proverbs says, “…locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks.” Another proof that these are not real locusts, but rather, demons is that God made a promise in Exodus 10:14 regarding the plague of locusts in Egypt. It reads as follows: “Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.” God promised that He would never again send such a devastating plague of locusts as He did in Egypt. And the Egyptians didn’t seek death from their plague of the locusts. The people in the Tribulation period will seek death from the plague of locusts because those are demons, not locusts. Imagine a swarm of demons plaguing mankind—this will come to pass during the Tribulation. Revelation 9:8 continues: “Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.” Women’s hair is seductive; so too will these demons be seductive. These will be dangerous demons, as suggested by them having teeth like lions’; although, as we learned, they will not be given power or the right to kill anyone. Their bite will be felt nevertheless. And by the way, Joel describe his locusts in a similar way. Joel 1:6 says, “A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.”

Demons are always “seductive.” Satan seduced Eve and then Adam into eating the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was a direct infraction of the command of God. Demons use sin to entice. Our flesh naturally wants to sin. Demons also use lies to orchestrate their strategy. To get us with their lies, they often entice with some truth. We then use the “some truth” to rationalize the sin. To get us to sin, demons will try to keep our minds on what God is restricting us from and take our minds off of the freedoms He gives us. Demons try to make us act autonomously. Again, they use lies to try to trap us: “the bible is an old outdated book”; or, “we are all sinners, so what’s the use?”, etc. When we bite, the sin might be pleasurable for a moment, but it always reaps big consequences in the end. The pleasure of sin that demons are trying to sell you is a white lie. The consequences of sin are never pleasurable. The consequences often far outlast the length of time spent on the sin itself. Just because something sounds good, please first assess whether or not it is Godly. Not everything so-called “good” is from God because demons make bad things seem good.

Revelation 9:9 says, “They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.” These demons will seem indestructible, as they have breastplates like those of iron. They will be impressive. They will have wings, and with their great numbers, the flapping of their wings will cause a rumpus. Angels throughout the bible are depicted as impressive, majestic beings. These are demons, but demons are technically fallen angels. These fallen angels are described similarly to the cherubim that Ezekiel witnessed. Ezekiel 1:21 says, “When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army…” One may ask, “Will the people during the Tribulation period witness these demons flapping around them?” The answer is no. Angels and demons are and will be at this time invisible to the people on Earth. They are invisible because they are spirit beings. But one day we will be spirit beings and our eyes will be opened to seeing them. We will be worshipping side by side with angels one day in Heaven; and we have studied this point earlier in this series. The flesh (our eyes are flesh) cannot see spirit. I add a clause to the preceding sentence: unless God opens our eyes to see them. Some prophets saw them, because God opened their eyes to see them. Dear Reader, if you get some time, please check out chapter 6 of 2nd Kings. A servant feared the raid attempt by the King of Aram against the King of Israel. Elisha wasn’t afraid at all because he saw more than what the servant saw. The servant saw an army of men with horses and chariots surrounding the city. And in 2 Kings 6:17, it says, “And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” God opened the servant’s eyes to the army of angels that was around him the entire time. Although people will not physically see the demons flying about them, they are certainly real beings that will be let out of the Abyss and haunting mankind. We should often be reminded that there are spiritual battles of angels and demons all around us today that we cannot see.

We will close today with Revelation 9:10-11. Verse 10 reads, “They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.”—but not kill them, as we saw earlier. There are some metaphors that we read that describes these demons, such as “they looked like horses prepared for battle” and “their hair was like women’s hair.” But other statements are not metaphors or similes: they should be interpreted literally. The demons do have wings and they really do have tails. The description combines metaphors and the literal. The real tails that they have distribute pain like the sting of scorpions. The real wings that they have make sound like chariots rushing into battle. And, of course, they will literally torment people for a literal period of five months. Please note that the entire description of these demons in this chapter specified what these demons are not allowed to do and won’t do, but it did not specify exactly what they can and will do, except, we get a vague description that the demons will cause torment. Demons are described throughout the bible as having the ability to torment man in many ways. We did learn from this passage that whatever technique they will use, it will lead man into wanting to commit suicide, but not being able to.

Finally, verse 11 says, “They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is [A Bad Mon—oh, excuse me. I missed typed. The name in Hebrew is:] Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.” Abaddon in the Hebrew, and Apollyon in Greek mean Destroyer. This is a spectacular and insightful verse. We learn from this verse that there is actually a king in the Abyss. While Satan has his rule on Earth, within the demon prison, there is a head gangster demon, or a head don, if you will—the prison big boss, very similar to what we have in our prison systems. If I had an uninformed imagination, I might wonder if Satan and Abaddon will get along. Of course they will get along. Jesus said in Matthew 12:26, “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” Recall how willing Satan was to open the Abyss to let out his friends when he was given the key to the Abyss earlier in this chapter. Again, we should be thankful to God that He has such creatures locked away today. Things could be much worst today if these demons were never locked up. One day, they will be set free. Again, we should be thankful that when that day comes, the Church will have been Raptured up and not have to experience such suffering that they will cause. We will later return to this same Abyss king in future chapters. Revelation 11:7 says, “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” So at this later time, Apollyon will be given the “okay” from God to kill. We see Apollyon one more time in Revelation 17:8, which reads, “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction.” This verse is really describing the Anti-Christ, which is a man. But this man, the Anti-Christ is also possessed by Apollyon, so it is really describing both the man and the demon at the same time. From other verses in the bible, we see that Satan possesses the Anti-Christ. From this verse just quoted, we see that Apollyon also will possess the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ will be a really, really wicked dude, possessed by the top two demons: Satan and Apollyon.
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Revelation Chapter 9 (Part 49) (Verses 1 – 11)
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