Revelation Chapter 9
We saw at the conclusion of Revelation chapter eight that three woes (great sorrow or distress) were coming "to the inhabiters of the earth" (Rev. 8:13). The sounding of the fifth angel's trumpet is pictured in Revelation 9:1-11 and is also called the first woe. "One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter" (Rev. 9:12).
"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" (Rev. 9:1).
This star is different from the star pictured in Revelation 8:10. This star is an angel, and he is also "a king”; "and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit." He is "a king”; a point to be remembered as we look at upcoming chapters.
“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 hath his name Apollyon" (Rev. 9:11, emphasis added). This "king" is "the angel of the bottomless pit."
The term "bottomless pit" could also have been translated as "deep," as was done in Luke 8:31. When the evil angels were going to be cast out of the men possessed by the demons, they did not want "to go out into the deep" (Luke 8:31, emphasis added). The Greek word for "deep" and "bottomless pit" is “abussos.”
So the being that is described in Revelation 9:1-11 is “a star fallen from heaven,” “a king,” “the angel of the bottomless pit” whose names mean the "destroyer," an example of this being Satan (Apollyon and Abaddon).
In Revelation 20:2-3, Satan is again associated with the bottomless pit, and in future chapters, we will see other instances where Satan is associated with the "bottomless pit."
In Revelation 12:4, stars are used to denote the angels who fell from heaven. In Revelation 9:1, Satan is “the star” that fell "from heaven unto the earth." Also, in Revelation 12:9, Satan is "cast out into the earth" from heaven. "And He [Yahushua] said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18, emphasis added).
Few at this time are aware of Satan's physical appearance on the earth during the last days. There is a growing tendency of humanity not to believe Satan even exists.
Up until the time of the fifth trumpet, Satan has chosen to remain in the shadows and not to expose himself. Four portions of Daniel and Revelation describe his literal, physical appearance on the earth during the last days. The fact Satan's appearance is discussed four times in these two prophetic books should give us some indication of the magnitude of this event.
Revelation 9:1-11 is the first portion to be examined. Satan has chosen to remain in the dark and have people believe he does not even exist. We are told he "deceives the whole world" (Rev. 12:9), and what better way to deceive humanity than to get us to believe he does not even exist and, therefore, there is nothing to fear from him? He will not be telling us who he really is when he makes his appearance.
Has he been successful in practicing his deceptions? You be the judge. Most people do not believe such a being exists, and if they do, they think he is a beast with cloven feet, two horns, and bat wings who lives in hell. The further from the truth in their understanding of him, the less they believe they have to fear him. But the Bible declares him to be a fallen angel of the highest stature, once beautiful and intelligent and becoming so deceptive he led one-third of the angels (two hundred million) in heaven into rebellion against Elohim's authority.
In a survey (The Barna Group) “of 1,871 self-described Christians, four out of ten (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten (19%) said they “agree somewhat” with that perspective. A minority of Christians indicated that they believe Satan is real by disagreeing with the statement: one-quarter (26%) disagreed strongly and about one-tenth (9%) disagreed somewhat. The remaining 6% were not sure what they believe about the existence of Satan.” (2009) Remember these are self-described Christians who profess that the Holy Bible is the basis for their beliefs.
Are we to be ignorant of such a foe? Apparently, the early church was not. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor. 2:11, emphasis added). Ignorance of such a subtle and deceptive enemy who could deceive a third of the angels in the very presence of Elohim cannot bode well for us. Elohim would not have us ignorant but alert and on our guard to all his workings in our lives and in this world. He is described as a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he can devour (1 Pet. 5:8).
There is much in Revelation that seems to be symbolic. John is doing his best to describe what is being shown him, and he clothes his description with language familiar to him. In Revelation 9:2-3, language is used to describe what appears on earth once Satan releases his confederate angels from “the bottomless pit.” Verses 4-11 of this chapter explain what they will be doing and what they cannot do because though Satan and his angels are permitted by Elohim to do certain things, Elohim puts limitations upon them just as He did when He allowed Satan to attack Job (Job 1-2).
"And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only [hurt] those men which have not the seal of Elohim in their foreheads. 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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them" (Rev. 9:4-6, emphasis added).
They are not allowed to "hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree," according to verse four. All the green grass was burnt up, as was a third of the trees during the sounding of the first trumpet, but grass can regrow if the roots are not destroyed.
What would happen if Satan's forces were permitted to hurt the grass, or any green thing and the rest of the trees? These agencies of nature generate oxygen by converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen (O2); without that, humanity's survival would be at stake, and Elohim will not allow that to happen.
But they are permitted to torment "those men which have not the seal of Elohim in their foreheads." The 144,000 were sealed in their foreheads before or at the time of the first global “earthquake,” but it does not mention any others having been sealed at that point in time.
How will we know that what is described in this chapter will occur? When what is described in the previous chapter happens, then you had better believe what is being foretold in this chapter, and the others you are yet to read will happen just as foretold in the Bible.
What the 144,000 have learned and experienced previous to “the time of trouble” will have to be learned and experienced by ‘the great multitude” (Rev. 7:9) that will have turned to Elohim during the “time of trouble,” and in a short period, to be prepared for what is coming upon the earth at the time of the fifth trumpet. They will have six hundred and thirty days in which to become sealed once the New World Order has taken control of planet Earth. You cannot put off this preparation without suffering the severest of consequences.
Satan, as we will discover in a future chapter, does not appear upon the earth until at least twenty-one months after the New World Order has come into control of planet Earth. Humanity will have had ample opportunity by then to become sealed. It is dangerous to put off the invitation of salvation with its provisions. Many will suffer because of their hesitation and indecision. "Wherefore as the Holy Ghost [Spirit] saith, Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness" (Heb. 3:7-8, emphasis added).
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of Yahuwah is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14). Many will suffer greatly through these five months of torment. Their indecision will bring about excruciating results.
Another limitation placed on Satan is that those who are tormented cannot be killed ("they should not kill them"), but the suffering they endure will be so severe that death would be preferred over what they are made to suffer. "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them" (Rev. 9:6, emphasis added).
Let me say this about indecision. If you have ever watched a video about squirrels and their ability to avoid an owl swooping in for the kill, you wonder why squirrels are lying on the road left for dead. Having watched a squirrel avoid at the last second the attack of an owl by dodging to the left or right just before the owl is about to grasp him makes one wonder why they end up as roadkill.
Many of us have seen the indecision of a squirrel as the car approaches; whether to run, whether to stay, whether to go to the right or to the left, and that is why that squirrel ended up dead. People are much like squirrels – indecisive! Some decisions require contemplation before being made. Reading this book will give you ample information and time to contemplate before making the decisions you will need to make to be prepared for what is coming. Not making a decision is not an option if you are to escape what is being shown in this portion of Scripture.
"One woe is past, and behold, there come two woes more hereafter" (Rev. 9:12).
"And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before Elohim, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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" (Rev. 9:13-15, emphasis added).
In all other translations referenced, we find this verse written about a specific point in time and not a length of time. "So the four angels who had been in readiness for that [specific] hour in the appointed day, month, and year were liberated to destroy a third of mankind" (Amplified Bible, emphasis added).
In the first woe, also called the fifth trumpet, Satan and his angels could not kill people, but in this second woe, they will "slay the third part of men." What made the difference between the fifth and the sixth trumpets? Just as there are four angels pictured in Revelation 7:1 "holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree," so there are "four angels . . . bound in the great river Euphrates.
And the four angels are loosed" (Rev. 9:14-15). The "four angels" pictured in Revelation 7:1 prevented what is pictured in Revelation 8:5-12 from happening. The "four angels," mentioned in Revelation 9:14-15a, are preventing what is seen in verses 15b-19 from occurring. How and when all this plays out will be seen when we come to Daniel 11:40. Daniel 11:40 will give us greater clarification of the timing of this war before the return of Yahushua and who will be involved.
"And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them" (Rev. 9:16). As in Revelation 7:4, it is stated here also: "I heard the number of them." This is a literal number just as the 144,000 is a literal number in Revelation 7:4. It appears from what is stated here, Satan took two hundred million angels with him when he was driven from heaven.
We are told: "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues [Rev. 9:17-19] 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 [please note: The image pictured in Revelation 13:15 is able to talk.]: Neither repented they of the murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts" (Rev. 9:20-21, emphasis added). We will see in a later chapter that an image to the beast will be able to talk (Rev. 13:15).
Humanity has become so hardened and calloused in their hearts that nothing Elohim can do for them or permit to come upon them can change them. They "repented not" sums up their condition. We will obtain a clearer picture of what is taking place here in the sixth trumpet when we get to Daniel 11:36-45 and specifically verse forty.
What you have been reading almost sounds like science fiction. Satan has been working to desensitize humanity, so when these things begin to happen many will not be able to correctly process what is taking place. They have allowed their minds to be filled with the lies, deceptions, fantasies, and fiction manufactured by the father of lies, Satan.
The conclusion of the sixth trumpet is seen in Revelation 11:7-13. Revelation 11:14-15 tells us, "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly. And the seventh trumpet sounded." The concluding events of the sixth trumpet will be discussed when we get to the study that contains Revelation chapter eleven.
The Bible does not paint a very pretty picture of what is about to take place, does it? It deals with the cold, hard facts for us to consider. Elohim has allowed things to go on as they have for the last six thousand years. At various times He has stepped in when it became necessary.
For the most part, humanity has had very little time for Elohim, even though we are the recipients of His love and grace every day, whether we acknowledge them or not. "He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). He has watched over this earth as if it were the only inhabited planet in the Universe. He has prevented us from being destroyed by Satan, whose only delight is in the corruption, degradation, and destruction of humanity. “The thief [Satan] comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).
There is much-professed religion in the world today, but very little of what Elohim requires of humanity. "He hath showed you, O man, what is good; and what doth Yahuwah require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy Elohim?" (Mic. 6:8).
Most have the attitude of Cain; that Elohim should accept whatever they bring Him, in spite of what He has clearly shown in His Word and what He requires of humanity. A few have always worshipped Elohim in "spirit and truth" because He is worthy. They have discovered, in spite of all the lies and deceptions Satan has perpetrated about Elohim, the truth about Him, what He expects of humanity, and what humanity can expect of Him. If someone has ever slandered your good name, you know how hard it is to regain the confidence and friendship of those who have been infected by the slanderer. It is no different with Elohim.
Someday, Elohim will establish His eternal kingdom, and He is longing for all of us to accept the salvation which He has made available by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son as our Substitute and the impartation of His Own Spirit so we can live according to His will.
We are just getting started in understanding the closing scenes of this earth's history before the grand and glorious day when Yahushua will return. It seems it is always the darkest before the coming of the day. "For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2, emphasis added). “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19, emphasis added). The fact Elohim has condescended to show us what will take place should encourage us that if what we have been reading thus far takes place, then the ending will be just as Elohim has pictured it also.
In the first four trumpets, Elohim removed His protection from planet Earth, and we are affected by a meteorite shower, followed by two asteroid impacts, followed by one-third of the atmosphere becoming clouded by debris that blocks the sun, moon, and stars for some time. The earth, as well as man, is affected by these first four trumpets.
In the fifth and sixth trumpets, Elohim extends His leash on Satan and his forces but still limits them as to what they can do. We are told that the three woes are to affect humanity (Rev. 8:13).
In the seventh trumpet, we will see another restraint Elohim has in place. This restraint is upon Himself and is seen in “the seven last plagues” pictured in Revelation chapter sixteen. The purpose underlying all that occurs during the final days of the earth before the return of Yahushua is to bring us to our senses so we will turn to Elohim for salvation.
No earthly parent enjoys inflicting punishment on their children or seeing them suffer, but there comes a time when you have exhausted all other means, and as a parent, you are left with no other alternative. When we get down to “the seven last plagues,” Elohim will be in earnest with humanity to turn to Him and will have exhausted every other avenue to get us to accept His plan of salvation for us before He does "His work, His strange work: and bring to pass His act, His strange act" (Isa. 28:21).
Elohim punishing His creatures is not an act He does lightly. The first six plagues of Revelation chapter sixteen will be Elohim's last means of getting our attention before it is too late. Yes, Elohim does get angry, but He does not let His anger control His actions. "Be you angry, and sin not" (Eph. 4:26).
The thief that was hanging on the cross made his decision just before the end of his life. The prodigal son came to himself when he had hit rock bottom. Many will be like that brand plucked out of the fire just before being consumed (Zech. 3:1-2). Our Elohim is a loving and merciful Being (Ex. 34:6) and takes no delight in losing even one soul for eternity. Even if people wait until the very end to make their decision for eternity, Elohim will accept them, which we will see when we look at “the seven last plagues” pictured in Revelation chapter sixteen!
There will be no elder brother, as pictured in the parable of the prodigal son, in heaven to criticize our heavenly Father, who resented his brother being brought back into the fold of his father's love after having lived a life of sin. Everyone that is in heaven will be filled with joy for every soul that makes it there no matter when in life that decision to come to Elohim for salvation is made.
There will be no second chance of getting it right. No purgatory to have your soul purified from sin. It is during the life we now live that this cleansing from sin must take place. Most only want to be forgiven of their sins. The fact is most people like their sins, and most people do not want to stop sinning. We have the promise given to us found in 1 John 1:9 that "If we confess our sins, He [Elohim] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (emphasis added). It is in this life we are to be cleansed "from all unrighteousness" and not when we get to heaven. Eternal life is promised only to the righteous. Eternal death is promised to the lost.
In all of these events pictured for us in the books of Daniel and Revelation, Elohim still exercises restraint. Elohim could destroy us in a moment. He could take back the breath of life He gave to humanity in the beginning, and we would cease to exist. "If He [Elohim] set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself His spirit and His breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust" (Job 34:14-15, emphasis added).
There is a purpose behind all Elohim does, and it is always for the benefit of His creatures and the eternal security of the Universe. "Turn us again, O Elohim, and cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved" (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19). Go, Tell the World of Their Danger!
1. Who is the king, from the bottomless pit, that fell from heaven?
2. How many angels did Satan take with him when he was thrown out of heaven?
3. How long will Satan torment those who have not the seal of Elohim in their foreheads?
4. How many of earth's inhabitants will be killed in the conflict with Satan and his fallen angels?