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 to the bottomless pit.
First of all it is impossible for a literal star to fall to the earth so either John saw something that looked like as if a star was falling from heaven or this is symbolic language. The word "star" is often used in the Bible to refer to an angel. And in this instance I believe it is referring to the fallen angel, Lucifer, better known as Satan, the devil, sometimes called the dragon and serpent. It can be seen in the Bible that Satan is the ruler, lord, king, head or leader over all the other fallen angels and demons of the underworld and principalities in heaven. Later on in the book of Revelation we will see more about this war in heaven where Satan is cast down onto the earth.
Remember the way that this book of Revelation is written. First we get a little glimpse and then it is magnified and we see a little more detail and then it is enlarged even more so we can see more detail. To say this another way the book of Revelation repeats itself saying the same thing in a different way and sometimes adding a few more details.
Rev. 9:2 "And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit of a great furnace; and the sun and air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit."
This tells me that what ever it is that Satan lets out of the pit is a very large number, so much so, that at the first they just appeared to be a cloud of smoke so thick and so dark that they darkened the sun and the air. It could be that John saw this pit from a distance and the locust looked like smoke and then getting closer the smoke began to take on the shape as locusts. Or smoke could have come out first and the the locust came out of the smoke. John may have been seeing the mouth of a volcano. Or the underworld may have opened up and John saw the literal pit were the fallen angels are bound. Or all of this language is figurative.
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."
Again John sees that out of this smoke or smoke like cloud coming out something that looks like a locust, and he tells us that these locusts are given power much like the scorpions have power to sting with their tail. So we can assume that these locusts carry some kind of venom or poison in them so that they have the effect on people that have been stung by a scorpion.
Or if the language is symbolic John may be describing modern war machines like fighter jets and helicopters using chemical warfare. When we interpret these verses in the book of Revelation we must keep in mind what Jesus said about his coming being like the days of Noah and the days of Sodom when Lot was delivered the same day when the city was destroyed. Jesus describes these days as men going about their daily lives as usual right up to the time judgement fell and they were UNAWARE. So whatever these verses mean it would seem that men are somewhat used to them. I mean if these locust were literal demons attacking them one wold thing that they would repent of their sins, because in verse 20 we see that even after all these plagues they repented not.
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 who have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads.
The characteristics of these locusts are are different than regular locusts in that they do not harm the grass or any green plant, not even the trees. But they are given power and commanded to only hurt men and women who do NOT have the seal of God in their forehead. This could mean that these locust only attack Muslims who have the mark of the beast. Or it could mean all who are not marked by God. We will discuss this a little later on in this study.
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 strikes a man."
We are told that these scorpion like locusts will not kill the man or woman who does not have the seal of God, but rather that they will be tormented for five months. Some thoughts are that this plague lasts for five months and then the locusts just disappear, while some think that the sting of these locust will produce pain that will torment the body for five months. BOTH points of view could be correct, or neither may be correct. I have heard some teach that these locust are war machines like helicopters, because of the following verses.
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."
Here we see that the pain and torment from these locusts are so severe that men seek to die, but death does not come. But it is still not clear whether it is the effect of the STING that last fives months or if the plague of the locust last five months.
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 a women, and there 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 the battle."
Rev. 9:10 "And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt five months."
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 has the name Apolyon."
All I can say for sure is that an angel fell from heaven to the earth and had the key or knowledge to open the bottomless pit, which I believe houses or holds devils and demons, and then releases what ever is in the bottomless pit upon the earth. They have a king over them, a leader, and his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, which means destruction, and in the Greek his name is Apollyon, which means DESTROYER. Which by the way Satan is also called the DESTROYER and adversary.
Verse 10 makes it pretty clear that THEIR, the power of the locust to hurt men, will last for five months as opposed t the effect of the sting lasting five months. And if you look at paintings on army war plains and helicopters have teeth and such this may be what John saw by seeing into the future things he could only describe by things that he knew. But Jon may have also saw into the spiritual world of the underworld. I mean we do not SEE Satan and demons oppressing people, but we know from the word of God that the devil is the one who oppresses mankind with sickness and disease.
Rev. 9:12 "One WOE is past; and behold there comes two woes more hereafter.
So the first WOE is the blowing or sounding of the fifth trumpet. Now it is past and two more woes are to follow. The next or second woe will be the sixth trumpet and the third and final WOE will be the WRATH of God or the seventh and final or LAST trumpet. Remember the first six, then the space of time where the rapture occurs, then the seventh, the WRATH of God.
Rev. 9:13 "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden alter 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 Eurphates.
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 a third part of men.
I want you to notice that these angels were PREPARED ahead of time for this plague, and the duration of this plague is to be 1 year, 1 month, 1 day, and 1 hour. And when we compare the blowing of this SIXTH trumpet with Revelation 16:12-14 where we see the pouring out of the SIXTH vial, then we see some very similar things, like the river Euphrates and armies preparing to make war.
"And the SIXTH angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the BATTLE of that great day of God Almighty."
Rev. 9:16 "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them."
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 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."
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, hear, nor walk:
Rev. 9:21 "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorcery, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
Now I do not know what this army of 2,000,000 is, or even if the number of this army is 200 million. But what we do know is that one third of mankind is killed and they still will not repent of their sins. If these descriptions are taken literally, then these verses seem to be describing a literal war.
One thing I do want you to notice is that BOTH scenes of WAR here are each the SIXTH; the SIXTH trumpet and the SIXTH vial. And as you will see BOTH the SEVENTH trumpet and the SEVENTH vial are the WRATH of God. Now in the seven vials it is very easy to see the SECOND coming of Jesus between the sixth vial and the seventh vial. Let us read the sixth and seventh vial and the coming of Jesus that is in between them before we get into chapter 10.
"And the SIXTH angel poured out his VIAL upon the great river Euphrates; (This is the same as the SIXTH trumpet, 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." Again both the sixth trumpet and the sixth vial speak of war in the middle east where drying up of the Euphrates river is a sign of key.) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the BATTLE of that great day of God Almighty.
Then in the next two verse that are in between the SIXTH and the SEVENTH we see the second coming of Jesus as a THIEF to execute the WRATH of God just like in Matthew 24:29-31.
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a THIEF. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Then is the next verses we see the SEVENTH vial being pour out, which is the WRATH of God.
Rev 16:17 And the SEVENTH angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his WRATH.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."
Now getting back to chapter 9 we have already seen the first SIX trumpets being blown, but then like the seven SEAL that is something that takes place BETWEEN the SIXTH and the SEVENTH trumpet. Now we already know that the rapture takes place between the SIXTH and SEVENTH seal, so let us see what takes place in chapter 10 and chapter 11 BEFORE the seventh and final trumpet or the LAST TRUMPET shall sound.
In other words, the first six trumpets are sounded and then something takes place before the seventh trumpet is sounded in Revelation chapter 11 verses 13-19 just like we have already seen in the seven seals where the first six are opened one right after another and then we saw the great multitude of saints who came OUT of GREAT TRIBULATION stand before the throne of God, THEN the seventh seal was opened.
This brings us to chapter 10.