Introduction to Chapter 9
The trumpet judgments in Revelation chapters 8 and 9 take place in the
first half of the tribulation. The first four trumpet judgments involve
catastrophes to the physical earth. Burning hail, asteroids and smoke
devastate the earth in the four trumpet judgments of chapter 8. These
plagues strike the earth at the direction of the “Two witnesses” in
Jerusalem, calling down
God’s judgments. Following these physical judgments in chapter 8, spiritual
judgments take place in the 5th and 6th trumpets in
In chapter 9, under the 5th trumpet, John describes beings
emerging from the Abyss as locusts, who torment the lost for 5 months.
Following this, in the 6th trumpet, John describes the release of
four bound angels, who then allow 200 million horsemen to kill 1/3 of those
John, in the book of Revelation reports what he literally sees. John
describes events taking place in Heaven and on earth, both spiritual and
physical. Here in the 9th chapter, John describes two groups of
beings unlike anything seen on earth, locusts and horses and horsemen. Are
these being in the physical world or the spiritual world? This is one the
issues that need to be addressed in understanding this chapter.
The Fifth Trumpet-
A Star from Heaven
the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth.
To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. Revelation 9:1
After the fifth angels sounds John sees a star fallen from
heaven to earth. One of the hardest aspects in understanding Revelation is
distinguishing between metaphor, literalism, and symbolism. In Revelation
8:10, after the Third Trump, John describes a falling star or
that poisons 1/3 of the drinking water. In Revelation 8 the
word was used in a literal sense. However, here the word “Star” is used in
a metaphorical sense like “Sports star”, “Movie Star”. In Revelation 12:4,
angels referred to symbolically as “Stars” being cast to earth.
The star from heaven is given a key to the bottomless pit, meaning “Star”
here is a personification of an angel. This angel from Heaven has
authority to open the bottomless pit.
Some have argued this angel is a Satan, since we see a star “Fallen”, the
meaning here is one of descent to accomplish the task assigned to the angel,
not a fall in position.
Key The key is the source of authority. This same angel seems to
maintain the key of the bottomless pit, during the tribulation period. In
Revelation 20:1-2, this same angel takes hold of Satan and binds for 1000
years in the same bottomless pit.
Then I saw an
angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a
great chain in his hand. Revelation 20:1
The Greek word
also known as the “abyss”
is a separate compartment from Hades. Hades is where the
un-saved go after death (Luke
16:23). The “Abyss” seems
to be prison for angelic beings. The demons dwelling in the man from
Gadarenes, called “Legion” begged Jesus not to send them to the abyss before
He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often
seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and
he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. 30
Jesus asked him, saying, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," because
many demons had entered him.
they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
Two types of demons
Scripture list two types of demons or fallen angels, one type has the
freedom to operate in the physical earthly realms as specified in Ephesians
2:2,6:12 and Matthew 12:43-45. They are over earthly kingdoms and vie for
control of men. The second type of demon are imprisoned, demons which are
restrained and held back. They are referred to in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6,
as being chained in darkness, reserved for the day of judgment. The word
used by Peter was
Tartaroo known as “Tartaros”, distinct from Hades.
For we do not
wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of
wickedness in the heavenly places.
For if God did not spare the
angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell ( Tartaroo) and delivered them
into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 2 Peter 2:4
According to Jude 6, these angels left their first estate (Genesis 6:2-7)
causing them greater judgment then the rest of angels. These imprisoned
demons are released in the 5th and 6th trumpet. They
plague men, rather then the physical earth.
Although “Tartaros” is not directly called the Abyss
), both are clearly identified as a prison for fallen angels. So its very
likely the judgments of chapter 9, both the 5th and 6th
trumpets are the release of these imprisoned demonic forces on the earth.
The source of demons
When God created the heavens and the earth, he created living spiritual
“Freewill” beings known as angels. Amongst the highest order of angels were
the Cherubs, which surround the throne of God. One of these Cherubs, known
as Lucifer, choose through freewill to rebel against authority and establish
himself as God (Ezekiel 28:14-16, Isaiah
14:12-14). Along with
Lucifer, 1/3 of the angelic host joined in his rebellion against God
(Revelation 12:4). These fallen angels, known today as demons, operate in
the world today until judgment.
Satan and his fallen angels test those who dwell on the earth. They
oppose God’s plan and attempt to keep the world in darkness. There sole
desire is destruction of man’s soul in an attempt at revenge against God.
Locusts from the Abyss
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.
out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power,
as the scorpions of the earth have power.
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. Revelation 9:2-4
Smoke arose John reports what he sees, to the reader. The smoke
arising corresponds to the events taking place in the fourth trumpet, when
the darkness (Revelation.
8:12-13) blocked a third of
the Sun, moon and stars. Joel referred to this day of darkness and gloom.
A day of
darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the
morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.
During this period, the volcanic smoke from underneath
the earth signals the visible signs of this judgment.
Next John describes a type
of “Locusts” which are unlike any being yet known to man. These being have
one purpose and function to torment humanity. The question is, are these
locusts in the physical or spiritual realm? John, is describing what he
sees, in Revelation he describes the physical and spiritual realms. His
descriptions are offer vivid real pictures in both realms.
There are several views according to the literal
understanding of scripture just what is taking place in the 5th
1. John could very well be describing a physical
locusts dwelling in the sub terrain earth, now released for the sole purpose
to torment lost humanity for 5 months.
2. John is describing what he is sees in the spiritual
realm. These locusts are demonic and are literally taking place in the
spiritual realm but not seen in the physical.
These beings described as
locusts were limited in what they could do while they were on the earth.
John compares their effect to that of a scorpion. Scorpion stings can cause
death, but for the most are more painful then deadly. John is comparing the
effect they have to the power of scorpions.
Commanded The fact that these “locusts” are commanded and have a leader
over them lends argument to them being spiritual and physical in nature.
They are also able to distinguish the saved from the lost, those who have
God’s seal will not be stung by these creatures.
Seal of God The
identity of those sealed would include the 144,000 and those who have come
to Christ during this period of the tribulation. The Bible is clear, when
someone finds Christ they are “Sealed” until the day of redemption.
4:30, 2 Corinthians 1:22).
5 months of Torment
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
those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to
die, and death will flee from them. Revelation 9:5-6
Authority The locusts operate under God’s authority. They are only
permitted to torment the lost. What would be the purpose of this torment?
Even in torment, the purpose and plan of the tribulation is evident. The
locusts are only permitted to sting and not kill the lost. Here, God extends
His mercy to those who are still alive to choose Christ and avoid an
eternity of pain.
lives of the saved will be made evident to the lost, those who know Christ
will not be under the torment of the lost. Five months of torment is short
when compared to eternity. The whole purpose of the torment is to help the
lost make a descesion for their eternity.
Seek death Again
God in His mercy does not allow people to die and make a quick descision.
They pain and suffering are intense and those suffering think death is their
escape. Death removes them from the hope of salvation. Those who seek
death will comprehend their own mortality. This will make them more open to
the need for salvation.
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
had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth.
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.
had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power
was to hurt men five months. Revelation 9:7-10
Locusts John describes what he sees, the question is if John saw
physical being in the physical world or spiritual beings. For example
John’s description of Heaven and what he sees is spiritual. Our natural
senses are limited by the physical limitations of the degree which our eyes
who was caught up into heaven was shown all these things. What he saw was
not limited like our eyes. So John’s description of these being could be
confined to the spiritual realm and not the physical.
Crowns John’s description is unlike anything ever seen in the
physical world. John is using terms to best describe what he sees. John
language is limited to what he understands his reader will understand..
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.
woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
further to the argument the being described here are spiritual is the
spiritual authority of a fallen angel translated as “Destroyer”. Even the
fallen angels operate under authority. These beings are limited in just
what they can do. Another imprisioned angels excersises authority over
these beings. Ephesians 6:12, demonstrates the principle of spiritual
authority in the heavenly realms.
The Sixth Trumpet- Horsemen
Four Angels at the
the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the
golden altar which is before God,
saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who
are bound at the great river Euphrates."
the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and
year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
Voice: The voice
commanding the 6th angel is probably God ordering an angel. This is the 6th
of the 7 angels who stand before God’s throne..
Four horns The golden altar is the altar before the throne of God
referred to in Revelation 8:3. The coals from the altar were combined with
incense which represented the prayers of the saints.
Four angles bound
These four angles are part of the host of angels who rebelled
against God following the fall of Satan. These are four commanding angels,
who will command a demonic force numbering 200,000,000. These fallen angels
are no friend of man. They want to take as many men to Hell as possible.
Here, they are given the opportunity to do their work, by killing 1/3 of
humanity. Angels work on command structure much like the angelic realms.
these angels first rebelled against God at the creation, they were held for
the day of judgment. They are finally to be released to take command of
demonic force of fallen creatures.
river has always been a very strategic area both militarily and
spiritually. Along the “First” Euphrates river, was the Garden of Eden.
After the flood, man as one tribe settled near the river and began
construction of the tower of Babel, only to be scattered throughout the
earth. On the Euphrates river was the greatest city of the ancient world, the city of
Babylon. The capital city
of the Neo-Babylonian
The Euphrates river was the eastern end of the Roman Empire.
Euphrates, in the city of Baghdad, was the was where the Caliphates
(Successors) of Islam located the center of their power. And on the
Euphrates, the city of Babylon will one day be rebuilt. (Revelation 18).
Third of mankind
During the 4
seals ¼ of the Earth population is killed. Many more die before we reach the
6th trumpet. However, the 6th Trumpet judgment alone, kills 1/3 of the
earth’s remaining population. If the earth’s population is 7 billion at the
start of the 7 years tribulation then one quarter or 1.7 billion die in the
opening of the first four seals. Here in the 6th trumpet, another 1.7
billion die from the 200 million
These 200 million demonic warriors, must in some way urge humanity toward
war. Causing a continuation of hostilities in the first half of the
tribulation to continue, leading to 1/3 of humanity death. Daniel indicates
the hostility towards the Antichrist will arise from the North and East.
44 "But news from the
east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out
with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 "And he shall
plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy
mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. Daniel
200 million Horsemen
the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the
number of them.
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
these three plagues a third of mankind was killed-by the fire and the smoke
and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like
serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.
Like the question about the Locusts in the 5th trumpet, the question here is
the same. Is John describing events in the physical world or spiritual
world? The fact these horsemen are headed by four angels bound at the
Euphrates river, indicates John is describing events taking place in the spiritual
John’s description is what will be taking place in the physical realm.
John is describing an event taking place in the spiritual realm.
John is describing the demonic influence on the physical world where 1/3 of
men are killed
Resulting from the war destruction released as a result of this force of
saw John is
reporting what he saw in the vision.
Plagues The 1/3
of man is killed by the fire, smoke and brimstone. Indicating the potential
of another nuclear war, taking place in the earth. Literally the words
used in Daniel 11:44, “Great Fury”
meaning with “Great heat” many will be exterminated.
The rest of mankind
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
they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual
immorality or their thefts.
Rest of mankind
If the population of the Earth was 7 billion at the start of the 7 years.
At this point the population would range from 3 to 3.5 billion. The people
left are given time and opportunity to repent, and turn to Christ. The
hardness in the hearts of humanity prevents many from turning from sin to
not repent of
…Five specific sins are given that men refused to give up and repent.
Idolatry The who did not die up to this time will be forced to submit, the
system the Antichrist will set up to control the world economies.
Murder…and violence were the same sins where God judged the Earth in Noah’s
Pharmakeia) The word for pharmacy is derived from this word. Drugs
will play a role in spiritual seduction of mankind.
Porneia) The pace of sexual sins is increasing and lines being
crossed that were unthinkable 10 years ago. Print, Television, Satellite and
the Internet have removed any barriers to limits. Homosexual marriage is
fast approaching the nations of the world.
Thefts With all the dead there will be an a great quantity to steal