Revelation Chapter 9
We saw at the conclusion of Revelation 8 that three woes were coming “to the inhabiters of the earth.” 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” (Revelation 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 to bottomless pit” (Revelation 9:1).
This star is different from the star pictured in Revelation 8:10; this star is an angel, and he 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” (Revelation 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 didn’t 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 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 which fell from heaven. In Revelation 9:1, Satan is the star which 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 lightening fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18, emphasis added).
Few at this time are aware of Satan’s physical appearing on the earth during the last days. There is a growing tendency of mankind not to believe that 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 that Satan’s appearance is discussed four times in these two prophetic books should give us some idea of the magnitude of this event. Revelation 9:1-11 is the first portion to be looked at. Satan has made brief appearances on the earth in the past, but he has chosen to remain in the dark and having people believe he doesn’t even exist. We are told that he “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9) and what better way to deceive mankind than to get us to believe that he does not even exist and there is nothing to fear from him?
Has he been successful in practicing his deceptions? You be the judge. Most people do not believe that such a being exists, and if they do, they believe he is some kind of 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 that he led a third of the angels (200,000,000) in heaven into rebellion against Elohim’s authority.
Are we to be ignorant of such a foe? Apparently the early church was not so. “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Ignorance of such a subtle and deceptive foe that could deceive a third of the angels in the very presence of Elohim cannot bode well for us. Elohim would not have us to be 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 Peter 5:8).
There is much in Revelation that truly seems to be symbolic. John is doing his best to describe what is being shown him, and he clothes his description with language that was 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 3-11 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 gave Satan permission 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” (Revelation 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 4. All the green grass was burnt up as was a third of the trees during the sounding of the first trumpet, but grass has the ability to regenerate if the roots are not destroyed. I usually burn the ditches in the late fall or early spring so the new growth has an easier time getting started in the spring of the year.
What would happen if Satan’s forces are permitted to hurt the grass, or any green thing and the rest of the trees? These agencies of nature supply oxygen by converting CO2 into oxygen; without that, mankind’s survival would be at stake, and Elohim will not allow that.
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 prior to 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? If what was described in the previous chapter happens, then you better believe what is told us in this chapter and the others you are yet to read will happen just as foretold. What the 144,000 have learned and experienced previous to the time of trouble will have to be learned and experienced by the multitude which will have turned to Elohim, and in a very short period of time, in order to be prepared for what is coming upon the earth at the time of the fifth trumpet. You cannot put off this preparation without suffering the severest of consequences.
Satan, as we will discover in future chapters, does not appear on the earth until at least twenty-one months after the New World Order has come into control of the earth. Mankind 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 saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Hebrews 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 through this five-month period of torment. Their indecision will bring about extremely painful 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 them” (Revelation 9:6).
Let me say this about indecision. Having watched a video about squirrels and their natural ability to avoid predators such as an owl swooping in for the kill one wonders that there are squirrels lying on the road left for dead. Having watched squirrels 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 them makes one wonder why they end up as road kill. We have all 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 in order 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” (Revelation 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” (Revelation 9:13-15, emphasis added).
In nearly all other translations referenced, we find this verse written in reference to a specific point in time and not a period 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 “slay the third part of men.” What made the difference between the fifth and the sixth trumpet? 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” (Revelation 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,” pictured in Revelation 9:14-15a, are preventing what is seen in verses 15b-19 from occurring. How all this plays out will be seen when we come to Daniel 11:40.
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Revelation 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 that Satan took 200,000,000 angels with him when he was driven from heaven.
Just as there were four angels pictured in Revelation 7:1 holding “the four winds of the earth,” there are four angels here “bound in the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:14). When they are loosed “the third part of men” are killed (Revelation 9:15). The war pictured here is also shown in Daniel 11:40. Daniel 11:40 will give us greater clarification to the timing of this war prior to the return of Yahushua and who will be involved.
We are told: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues [Revelation 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: Neither repented they of the murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21). Mankind has become so hardened and calloused in their hearts, that it seems like nothing which 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 40. What you have been reading almost sounds like science fiction. Satan has been working to desensitize mankind so when these things begin to happen, many will not be able to correctly process what is taking place because they have allowed their minds to be filled with the lies and deceptions and 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 cometh quickly. And the seventh trumpet sounded.” The concluding events of the sixth trumpet will be discussed when we get to Revelation 11.
The Bible does not paint a very pretty picture of what is about to take place, does it? It deals out 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. But for the most part, we have had very little time for Elohim even though we are daily the recipients of His love and grace 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” (Matthew 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 mankind.
There is much professed religion in the world today, but very little of what Elohim requires of mankind. “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?” (Micah 6:8). Most have the attitude of Cain; that Elohim should accept what they bring Him, in spite of what He has shown clearly in His Word and what He requires of mankind. But 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 that Satan has perpetrated about Elohim, the truth about Him and what He expects of mankind. 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 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 that grand and glorious day when Yahushua will return. It seems that it is always the darkest before the coming of the day. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but Yahuwah shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:2). The fact that Elohim has condescended to show us what will take place should encourage us that if what we have been reading takes place, then the ending will be just as Elohim has pictured it also.
In the first four trumpets, Elohim removed His protection from the 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 and moon and stars over a third part of the earth for a period of 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 mankind (Revelation 8:13).
In the seventh trumpet we will see another restraint Elohim has in place. This restraint has been upon Himself and is seen in the seven plagues pictured in Revelation 16. The purpose underlying all that occurs during the final days of the earth prior to the return of Yahushua is to bring us to our senses so that we turn to Elohim for salvation. No earthly parent enjoys inflicting punishment on their children or to see 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 plagues, Elohim will be in earnest with mankind 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” (Isaiah 28:21). Elohim punishing His creatures is not an act that He does lightly. The first six plagues will be Elohim’s last means of getting our attention before it is too late. Yes, Elohim gets angry, but He does not let His anger control His emotions. “Be ye angry, and sin not” (Ephesians 4:26).
The thief that was hanging on the cross made his decision just prior to 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 prior to being consumed (Zechariah 3:1-2). Our Elohim is a loving and merciful Being (Exodus 34:6) and takes no delight in loosing even one soul for eternity, even if that soul waits until the very last second to make his decision for eternity, which we will see when we look at the seven plagues pictured in Revelation chapter 16! There will be no elder brother as pictured in the parable of the prodigal son in heaven to criticize our heavenly Father as was pictured for us in the parable of the prodigal son who resented his brother being brought back into the fold of his father’s love after living 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 is made.
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 mankind in the beginning, and we would cease to exist. 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” (Psalm 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 the earth’s inhabitants will be killed in the conflict with Satan and his fallen angels?