to Chapter 9
The trumpet judgments in
Revelation chapters 8 and 9 take place in the first half of the
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 chapter 9.
In chapter 9, under the 5th
trumpet, John describes beings emerging from the Abyss as locusts, who
torment the lost for 5 months.
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 left
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- Locusts
Star from Heaven
1 Then 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 ajsthvr
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 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
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 their
29 For 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
31 And they begged Him that He
would not command them to go out into the abyss.
Two types of
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
known as “Tartaros”, distinct from Hades.
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
Although “Tartaros” is not
directly called the Abyss (a[busso
), 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.
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
2 And 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.
3 Then out of the smoke locusts
came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the
earth have power.
4 They 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
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
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 trumpet.
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.
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
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. (Epeshesians 1:13 4:30, 2
months of Torment
5 And 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 man.
6 In 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
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.
The 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.
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.
7 The 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 men.
8 They had hair like women's
hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth.
9 And 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.
10 They had tails like
scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men
five months. Revelation 9:7-10
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 detect light.
John 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.
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.
11 And 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.
12 One woe is past. Behold,
still two more woes are coming after these things.
Adding 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 imprisoned angel exercises 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 Euphrates
13 Then the sixth angel sounded:
And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before
14 saying to the sixth angel who
had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river
15 So the four
angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were
released to kill a third of mankind.
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..
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
Four angels bound
These four angels 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.
When 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
The Euphrates 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 kingdom of Nebuchadnezzer. The Euphrates river
was the eastern end of the Roman Empire.
On the 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
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 11;44-45
200 million Horsemen
16 Now the number of the army of
the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
17 And 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 brimstone.
18 By these three plagues a
third of mankind was killed-by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone
which came out of their mouths.
19 For 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
1. John’s description is what
will be taking place in the physical realm.
2. John is describing an event
taking place in the spiritual realm.
3. 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 200,000,000
John is reporting what he saw in
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” lwdg
meaning with “Great heat” many will be exterminated.
The rest of
20 But 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 walk.
21 And 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 Christ.
Did not repent of
…Five specific sins are given that men refused to give up and repent.
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.
violence were the same sins where God judged the Earth in Noah’s day
The word for pharmacy is derived from this word. Drugs will play a role in
spiritual seduction of mankind.
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.
With all the dead there will be an a great quantity to steal