Revelation 9

 

 

In Revelation ch. 9, the fifth and sixth trumpets are described. The fifth trumpet brings  a five month

period of torment on the unbelievers of the earth.  In vs. 1-12, John employs the image of a pit seven

times to describe hell. Each time the pit is closely associated with demons; it is also associated with the

unsaved. (Romans 10:7)  This image of hell may also imply darkness and imprisonment since pits

were often used as prisons in ancient cultures. Obviously, the pit appears as a place of suffering.

If you have trouble believing God could ever make a hell, remember it was prepared for the Devil

and his angels. (Matthew 25:41). (The humanity that is there was drug into it by taking the offer that

Satan offered to, but was denied by Jesus, “All these things I will give thee, if thou wilt fall down and

worship me.”  Matthew 4:9 – CY – 2015) Those who go to hell are in essence choosing to spend

eternity with Satan rather than with Christ.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

 

1 “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.”

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from

heaven unto the earth; a star from heaven fallen unto the earth (Revised

Version); not saw a star fall. (For the distinctive character of the last three

judgments, see on ch. 8:2.) “A star” sometimes signifies one high in position.

Thus Numbers 24:17, “There shall come a star out of Jacob;” Daniel 8:10,

And it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground.” In ch.1:20

“the stars” are “the angels of the seven Churches;” in Job 38:7 the angels are

called “stars;” in Isaiah 14:12 we have Satan referred to thus: “How art thou

fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” It seems, therefore, that Satan

himself is here referred to under this symbol. The trumpet visions hitherto

have portrayed troubles affecting the outer man; now begin to be set forth

these yet more terrible visitations which, affecting his spiritual nature, are

seen more directly to emanate from the devil. He has fallen “from heaven

unto the earth;” that is, whereas formerly heaven was his abode, the sphere

of his work while yet obedient to God, he now has no office or power, or

entrance there, but is permitted to exercise what influence he possesses on

the earth (compare Luke 10:18, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from

heaven”). And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit; of the

pit of the abyss (Revised Version). That is, of the aperture by which there is

no egress from or ingress into the abyss. Christ holds the key (ch.1:18), but

for a season Satan is permitted to exercise power. (ch. 20)  The abyss is the

abode of the devil and his angels; the present abode, not the lake of fire, into

which they are subsequently cast (ibid. v.10).

 

We know that Jesus Christ holds the key to the bottomless pit. He took the key away from Satan

when He (Jesus) went there, preached, and brought captivity captive out with Him, Ephesians 4:8

The Fifth Trumpet - The expulsion of Satan from heaven. The identification of Satan in this passage

is not hard to make. Isaiah foresaw this development in exactly the same manner described by John.

"How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down

to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12)  Many people mistakenly believe

that throughout human history, Satan has already been banished from heaven, or that he reigns in

some kind of kingdom in hell. That isn't true. Satan has always had access to the Throne of God,

where he serves as the principle accuser of the saints of God. "Now there was a day when the sons

of God came to present themselves before the Lord,  and Satan also came among them." (Job 1:6)

Satan's entry into God's presence changes here. Now he is kicked out of heaven, and he is furious.

Note also that he carries with him the key to the bottomless pit.  He didn't have it before; it was given

him by the One who holds the keys to heaven, hell and to death.  (ch. 1:18)  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

                                                The Opening of Hell

 

For ages Satan ahd his host of fallen angels have hated mankind.  Man, in fact, was the

very occasion of their fall and awful fate awaiting them.  Satan had once been the highest

of all the angels, “the anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14), “the son of the morning” 

(Isaiah 14:12).  He was “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12) and was in

a place of privilege at the very throne of God, his Creator.  Satan was not an eternal being

like God, but indeed had been created.  (ibid. v. 13)  He and all the angelic principalities and

powers under his oversight had been created for the specific function of serving as ministering

spirits, sent forth to “minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”  (Hebrews 1:14)

Man, unlike the angels, was to be made in the very image of God, with the ability to

reproduce his own kind.  Although the angels were “innumerable” (Hebrews 12:23),

their number was fixed and finite, whereas there was no limitation of this sort placed

on man.  (The Lord God told man to “replenish the earth” [fill it with people] – Genesis

1:28;  God formed the earth “to be inhabited” – Isaiah 45:18 – CY – 2015)  Whether for

these or other reasons, Satan was not content with his exalted position for which he had

been created.  He wanted to exalt his throne above the “stars of God”  and to “be like the Most

High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).  Satan was able to incite a third of the angelic hosts to rebel with him

against God.  (here, ch. 12:3-4,7)  Satan and all his hosts could not prevail and God cast them

to the earth.  (ibid. v. 9; Ezekiel 28:17)  Satan got involved with man from the start through his

temptation of Eve and Adam.  Then, at the time of Noah, the sons of God  possessed women

and they bare to them mighty men (Genesis 6:2-4)  A race of ungodly men and women became

easy prey to demonic possession, and the satanic spirits controlled the progeny of such unions,

developing them into monsters in both size and wickedness.  Again he failed as “Noah found

grace in the eyes of the Lord” and though all others perished in the Flood, the line of the

promised seed to Eve at Adam’s Fall was preserved.  To see how the demons were dealt with

see Jude 1:6 and II Peter 2:4.  Satan continuously tries to thwart God’s purpose with man,

yet God in His mercy, again and again, gives grace, healing and protection against Satan’s

devices, thus the great enmity between the Devil and mankind (Genesis 3:15)who trust

God through Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son!  Now the restraints on Satan

are being removed and he goes forth unleashing torments toward men because of

his frustrations and resentments.  Satan looses again as he is used of God as a means

of judging rebellious men under Satan’s influence.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

The judgment of the fifth angel is more fearsome than all before it and will involve giving

demons their freedom from the abyss to torture the men who are still on the earth.  The star

seems to be Lucifer, the fallen, as the perfect tense of the verb translates πεπτωκότα –

pepiokota – having fallen.  Since Christ alone possesses the keys to death and Hades,

the key must be obtained from Him!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

2 “And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of

the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air

were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

And he opened the bottomless pit; pit of the abyss, as above.

This phrase is omitted by a, B, Coptic, AEthiopic, and others. It is inserted

by A, B, many cursives, Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas. And there arose a

smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace. The smoke of the

incense (ch. 8:4) purified the prayers of the saints, making them

acceptable before God; the smoke which ascends from the abyss clouds

men’s minds and darkens their understandings. And the sun and the air

were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. The air, becoming

filled with the smoke, obscured the light of the sun, so that both appeared

dark. This darkening of the atmosphere may have been suggested by the

description of the locust plague (Exodus 10:15), or by the account in

Joel 2. But it is the smoke, not the locusts, which is here said to cause the

obscurity; the locusts issue forth out of the smoke. It is doubtful whether

we ought to seek any particular interpretation of the smoke; it is probably

only accessory to the general picture. If we may press the meaning so far, it

is perhaps best to regard the smoke as the evil influence of the devil, which

darkens men’s understandings, and from which issue the troubles which are

the result of HERESY and INFIDELITY, portrayed by the locusts (compare

II Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of

the unbelieving, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image

of God, should shine unto them.”).

 

Jesus gave Satan the keys so that he could be released to carry out this punishment. Just as

Satan had to have permission of God to afflict Job, Satan brings all of these terrible things

on the earth and his people by permission of God.  The physical smoke that comes up surely will

obscure the sun and diminish the light. In the spiritual, it will diminish the Light, as well.
The abyss is the home of Satan and the demons. When Satan opens the abyss, here come the

demons in force to deceive and destroy. They have such a vicious nature that God had to bind

them to keep the human race from being annihilated before the appointed time, but now the

restrains are off.  "And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was

given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And they were told that they should

not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do

not have the seal of God on their foreheads.  The appearance of these locusts is both frightening

and repulsive (vs.7-10), and they do not act in an unorganized way; in fact, John says, "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" (v.11) Both names mean "Destroyer". This seems to be

one of the plagues that God sends on the followers of Antichrist to hinder them from proselytizing

among the uncommitted of the world. It may also give Tribulation saints some time to prepare

themselves for the horrors of the soon to come Great Tribulation.  If any religious activity is still

going on at this time, there will be a flood of false doctrine and defaming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It would be a kind of religion of the flesh, (anything goes religion). It sounds very much like what

is going on today in most churches.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The word “abyss” comes from roots meaning “without depth” and so is properly

translated “bottomless.”  It is apparently at the very center of the earth and so, in

truth, has no bottom.  Its boundaries in all directions are all ceilings; one cannot go

“down” in any direction.  The pit of this abyss of Hades is apparently one of its

imprisoning cells, and it is only this one to which Satan actually receives the key.

When he opens the gate, an amazing phenomenon occurs.  Great billows of

subterranean smoke pour forth on the earth, spreading around until it darkens the air

worldwide, even dimming the sun’s light.  This indicates that there must be somewhere

on earth an opening leading to a great shaft, leading down from the earth’s surface,

through the crust, the mantle and the core, all the way to Hades and the pit itself.

Man has never discovered this shaft because it is blocked at its exit, but this does

not mean that it doesn’t exist.  It has been “ordained of old” by God and its walls are

impregnable, from within or without, designed by the Creator to withstand all

rupturing pressures, natural or supernatural.  But when the key is finally turned, great

billows of smoke, presumably from the earth’s internal heat and pressure, flow toward

the surface and finally out to surround the earth itself.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth.

The locust is constantly referred to in the Bible, and various illustrations

are drawn from their characteristic features. In the East they appear in

great numbers and men are helpless against their devastating power.

Sometimes an attempt is made to check their progress by lighting fires, and

this practice may have suggested the above description of the locusts

proceeding from the smoke. The irresistible destruction which they cause is

alluded to in Deuteronomy 28:38; Joel 2:25; II Chronicles 7:13;

their number in Psalm 105:34; Nahum 3:15. The air is sometimes

tainted with their dead bodies (Joel 2:20). The natural features of the

locust are fully dwelt upon in vs. 7-10. As an illustration, we may quote

Niebuhr, who gives an Arab’s description of the locust: “In head like the

horse, in breast like the lion, in feet like the camel, in body like the serpent,

in tail like the scorpion, in antennae like a virgin’s hair.” Three out of these

five points of resemblance are mentioned in vs. 7-10. The locusts here

symbolize heretics and infidels. Some writers (e.g. Wordsworth) apply the

symbol to the Mohammedans (see Wordsworth, in loc., where the parallel

is very fully worked out). But though this may be, and probably is, a

fulfillment of the vision, it would be wrong to thus restrict our

interpretation. Scarcely any one cause has contributed more to the trouble

and destruction of men than the violence which is the result of religious

hatred. Whether it be the heathen idolater, the warlike Mohammedan, or

the Christian bigot, who is the agent, the effect is the same. It may be said,

too, that if the minds of Christians also had not been darkened by the

prejudicial influence of Satan, who is the cause of their unhappy divisions,

heresies, and apostasies, these troubles could scarcely have fallen upon

mankind. The innumerable occasions of such violence may be well

illustrated by the countless number of the locusts; and the effect lives after

the death of the authors, tainting the moral atmosphere. It is true that the

true Christian sometimes suffers also; but that is an aspect which is set

forth in the visions of the seals. Here another view is set forth, namely, that

the ungodly are themselves punished, and punished severely, by means of

this evil influence of the devil. Many other interpretations have been

suggested.  And unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have

power. That is to say, just as the natural scorpions of the earth have power

to cause suffering, so these allegorical locusts of the vision appeared to

possess the means wherewith to plague mankind. The scorpion is

“generally found in dry and in dark places, under stones and in ruins,

chiefly in warm climates.… The sting, which is situated at the extremity of

the tail, has at its base a gland that secretes a poisonous fluid, which is

discharged into the wound .... In hot climates the sting often occasions

much suffering and sometimes alarming symptoms” (Smith’s ‘Dictionary of

the Bible ‘).

 

 

 

                                    Moral Evil in the Universe (vs. 1-3)

 

“And the fifth angel sounded,” etc. We take these verses to illustrate moral

evil in the universe. Moral evil is a “pit.” A pit is a scene of confinement

and darkness. Moral evil, or sin, wherever it exists in the spirit, imprisons

the faculties and blinds the vision. Socrates has well said, “No man is a free

man who has a vice for his master.” All corrupt souls are reserved in chains

of darkness. Sin is slavery, sin is midnight. In relation to moral evil as a

“pit,” four things are suggested.

 

  • IT IS EXPOSABLE. “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.”

            Moral evil, in its incipient state, so stupefies the faculties and blinds the

            conscience that the subject only becomes aware of it by the advent of a

            messenger from heaven; an angel from heaven uncovers it, makes it bare to

            the soul. How do the savages, how do the millions whose souls are buried

            in sensuality, become conscious of sin? Only by a special message from

            heaven. What says Paul? “I was alive without the Law once, but when the

            commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”  (Romans 7:9)  That is, Paul           

            fancied he was alive — that is, all right — until the Divine message came.

            Every genuine gospel minister may be said to be a star from heaven with the

            “key of the bottomless pit,” that key with which he opens it and exposes it

            to the consciences of his hearers. Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, was such an

            angel; he uncovered the pit of moral evil within his hearers, and they

            exclaimed, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  (Acts 2:37)

 

  • IT IS FATHOMLESS. “Bottomless pit.” It is an abyss without a

            bottom. Moral evil is fathomless.

 

Ø      Who can fathom its origin? We can account for sin in this world on

      two principles.

 

o       On the principle of internal tendencies. The human being,

      from the very commencement of its existence, seems to have

      a disposition to go wrong.

 

o       On the ground of external influences. He comes into a world

      where all human beings are more or less minted with sin; the

      moral atmosphere which he breathes is more or less corrupt.

      But in the case of the first sinner neither of these conditions           

      existed; all his propensities were toward the right, and all

      external influences tended toward the right.

 

o       Who can fathom its issues? What are its bearings, ramifications,

o       ultimate results? Problems these which the highest created

      intellect could, perhaps, never solve. Moral evil is, indeed, a            

      “bottomless pit.”

 

  • IT IS BURNING. “A great furnace.” Sin, or moral evil, is fire; like all

            fire it exists in two states, latent and active. Where it becomes active it is

            consuming and transmuting; it consumes the good and transmutes its

            embers into evil, and in all it inflicts agony on the soul:

 

Ø      the agony of moral regrets for the past, and

Ø      terrible forebodings for the future.

 

            Every sinner has a “furnace” within him, a furnace that must break forth into

            awful activity sooner or later.

 

  • IT IS OBSCURING. “A smoke and the sun and the air were darkened

            by reason of the smoke of the pit.” How great the obscuration of moral

            evil! It clouds all the moral stars of truth in the soul, and mantles the moral

            heavens in gloom.

 

Ø      How benighted men are on the eternal question of right! The

                        foundations and laws of moral obligation are, in the daily course

                        of human action, buried in darkness.

 

Ø      How blinded men are to the eternal conditions of well being! Men look

                        for happiness:

 

o       without instead of within;

o       in the senses, not in the soul;

o        in matter, not in mind;

o        in the creature, not in the CREATOR!

 

                        Thus, in truth, our moral heavens are starless and our path is a

                        wilderness. We walk in darkness and have no light.

 

  • IT IS ALARMING. “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon

            the earth, and unto them was given power.” It is here represented that from

            the fathomless abyss, burning and smoking, there issued a host of scorpion-

            locusts resembling war horses, with crowns like gold, with the face of men,

            the hair of women, the teeth of lions, having breastplates as of iron, and the

            sound of their wings like the sound of chariots and of horses charging to

            battle. In Oriental lands and distant ages nothing was regarded with greater

            horror than an army of locusts; their numbers darkened the heavens, their

            wings rattled as thunder, and their mission was to devour What hellish

            squadrons, to terrify and destroy the soul, issue from the fathomless abyss

            of moral evil! Terrible armies come in the memories of the past and. in the

            apprehensions of the mysterious future.

 

  • CONCLUSION. Do not ask — Where is hell? Place it not in some

            underground region, or in some burning planets far away; the fathomless,

            burning, and tormenting pit is in the soul of every morally unrenewed man.

            THANK GOD,  there are remedial means on this earth for the quenching of its

            fires, and the annihilation of all the squadrons of tormentors it sends forth.

 

The description of the locusts indicates that they are demons who are given physical forms

in order to manifest their destruction and torment. Horses show their warlike character.

Their crowns depict them as conquerors. Human faces show intelligence. Their feminine

hair perhaps makes them seductive and attractive. The teeth of lions shows them to be

destructive and hurtful. Breastplates of iron make them indestructible. Wings symbolize

swiftness. The stings in their tails give them the power to hurt. Fortunately for mankind,

their period of torment is limited to five months. But the next judgment is even worse.

Notice, these have to be demons as they had no power in and of themselves. It was given

unto them.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Out of the smoke, the inhabitants of the earth see wave after wave of hideous flying

creatures like locusts.  John must call them locusts as there were no other comparable

creatures in his vocabulary but they were not locusts in the entomological sense.  Never

were such creatures seen before on earth although Joel had apparently seen them in a vision. 

(Joel 1; 2:25)   They swarmed and darkened the sky like locusts, they had emerged from

the earth like locusts and they left misery in their wake like locusts.  They had come out

of Hades itself and how long these creatures wreak their vengeance on men is not revealed.

Unlike ordinary locusts, they had the ability to inflict tormenting stings on men, stings so

painful that they are compared to scorpion bites.  They can hardly be newly formed creatures

as God does not create creatures that are not good (Genesis 1:31).  Satan could not have

created them as he is not the Creator, nor can he create anything.  There seems to be no

escaping the conclusion that these locusts from hell are demonic spirits long confined

in the pit of the abyss but now released for a little season.  Men surely were aware

that Christ and His raptured saints are in heaven, they had seen the holy angels flying

through heaven, and were aware that THE WRATH OF THE LAMB was being

visited upon earth.  Yet they persisted in their hatred of God, choosing Satan instead,

and so they now are allowed to experience a little direct fellowship with their future

co-inhabitants of the lake of fire.  (Hell was originally designed for the fallen angels

and men have become eligible for it through their following Satan – CY - 2015)

This malignant swarm possibly hoped, with Satan, that they could still somehow gain

victory over God and seized the opportunity to vent their long-pent-up rage by

tormenting men as long as God would allow them.  Thus their attempt to once again

control the bodies of men by possessing them as they had long ago.  They could at

least torment their bodies and perhaps even destroy them before Christ could save them!

                                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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 which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the

grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree. The force

of this plague is to fall directly upon mankind, not, as in the former

judgments, upon the earth, and then indirectly upon men. This appears to

be stated with the greater plainness, because it might readily be inferred,

from the nature of locusts, that the immediate object of their

destructiveness would be the vegetation of the world. But only those men

which have not the seal of God in their foreheads; but only such men as

have not, etc. (Revised Version; compare ch. 7:3, to which this is an

allusion). Here, by proleipsis, the servants of God are described as “those

that have the seal of God in their foreheads.” It is not stated, nor is it

necessarily implied, that the seal is visible to man at the time of the

infliction of this judgment upon the ungodly. In a similar way our Lord

speaks of the elect (Matthew 24:22), not thereby implying that there is

any visible manifestation by which the elect may be known to men, though

known to God (so also Titus 1:1; Mark 13:22, etc.). Thus also it is

said in II Timothy 2:19, “The foundation of God standeth sure, having

this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” The frequent use of the

term to denote those who were sealed by baptism may have led to the

employment of the expression in this place, as being equivalent to “the

servants of God” (compare Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; II Corinthians 1:22).

The locusts may not hurt God’s servants (see on v. 3). Thus we are

taught that God in reality preserves His own, though it may sometimes

appear to man as though the innocent suffer with the guilty.

 

This is an attack on the person, which makes us take another look at it spiritually.

They have orders not to hurt the vegetation or the 144,000 who have been sealed in their

foreheads. Real locusts would eat every green thing that they could find, and they do.

Looking at this from the spiritual standpoint, these locusts are demon spirits turned loose

upon this earth. The devil, or his demons, cannot really hurt anyone covered in the blood

of Jesus.  They were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their

torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man." (vs.3-5) God's instructions

are in essence, "You may torment those who have the Antichrist's mark, but you may

not kill them." Also, "you may not touch those who belong to Me." Satan's power is under

strict control over those sealed by God - both now and in the Tribulation. Though this will

be a period of great anguish, it is really the grace of GOD at work. I'm sure that the LORD

is seeking to make mankind think because of this terrible torment and to decide to come to

Him.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

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 striketh a man.”  and it was given them [i.e.

the locusts] that they [the locusts] should not kill them [the unsealed], but

that they [the unsealed] should be tormented five months. The devil and his

agents have not unlimited power committed to them; they are restrained

within limits by the will of God. The evils which follow in the train of

heresy and infidelity are not as yet permitted to kill (compare Job 1:12), for

this judgment extends only to the natural life of man. God reserves the final

killing to himself at the great judgment day.  (Luke 12:4-5)This is shown in the

limitation, “five months.” This apparently meaningless period becomes explicable,

when we remember that the usual duration of a locust plague is five

months, viz. from April to September. The visitation is for the natural

period of such occurrences; the torment is to extend to the natural period

of man’s sojourn on the earth. It does not extend into the next life; other

and special means are adopted for man’s punishment then, as set forth

under the seventh trumpet.

 

Here again, whether this is physical pain and torment from fallout causing sores and torture,

or whether this is spiritual and terrible suffering, it is brought on by constant attack from the

devil for five months. It is terrible. As at Hiroshima, those who survived the bomb, wished they

were dead. Great sores, deformities and torment beyond our comprehension took place. In many

cases it took five months to die. A terrible burn would have the pain of a scorpion's sting.

At this point, let's look at something we've studied before. Remember the 144,000 where the

four angels held back the winds until they had been sealed in ch. 7:1?  Not only were the

144,000 sealed but also those who turned to Christ during the Tribulation. Those are the

Tribulation Saints and they too were sealed by God just as all true Christians of today have

God's seal on them.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

A five-month limitation was placed on these demons’ freedom.  Presumably,

when the five months had expired, they would be swept back down to their

deep rison to be locked up again until the Last Great Judgment.  Five months

(150 days) was significant as it was the duration of the rising Flood waters in

the days of Noah (Genesis 8:3).  Men had once suffered and all died during this

former five-month judgment.  Now, as in the days of Noah, men would again suffer

five months, but none would die this time.  In both cases, the agents of their suffering

were these rebellious sons of God.  Formerly, had not they appeared as “angels of light”

(II Corinthians 11:14)?  But this time they appeared in a manifestation more appropriate

to their character, as agents of cruelty, locusts of darkness, scorpions of torment,

striking men with their stings instead of deceiving men with their lies.

                                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.” shall in no wise find it

and death fleeth from them (Revised Version); οἱ ἄνθρωποι – hoi anthropoid –

the men; that is, the unsealed, who suffer this judgment. This is a characteristic

biblical method of expressing great anguish. Thus Job 3:20-21, “The bitter in

 soul; which long for death, but it cometh not” (compare also Jeremiah 8:3;

Job 7:15; Luke 23:30; and ch.6:16). The description portrays great anguish of

mind, and should not be pressed to a literal interpretation, though many have

tried to illustrate the passage by pointing to actual occurrences of the kind.

 

 

                        The Extremity of Anguish (v. 6)

 

“And death shall flee from them.” It is miserable to seek relief in the most

deeply felt evil, but to seek it in such an evil in vain adds wondrously to the

misery of the case. Fatigue, disappointment, the consciousness of lost energy,

add to the anguish. Earth runs from death, hell runs after it and runs in vain.

In conclusion, I infer:

 

  • That the fact that men are exposed to such a state of being implies that

            some sad catastrophe has befallen our nature. Could Infinite Goodness

            have created beings designed and fitted by their nature for such a state?

            Nay; deep within us God has planted the love of life, and to seek

            death is to go against our nature. Sin explains it.

 

  • That there is something in the universe to be dreaded by man more than

            death, and THIS IS SIN!   Death, though an evil, is not to be compared to sin.

            Sin, though robed in beauty and adorned with a thousand attractions, is the

            evil of evils.

 

  • That Christianity should be hailed as the only means to deliver us from

            this extremity of anguish. It destroys sin, it “condemns sin in the flesh.”

            (“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing

            their trespasses unto them” (II Corinthians 5:19)

 

 

Death would be a welcome relief to all this suffering. These forces of evil turned loose

(unrestrained) upon the earth, whether physical or spiritual, will be so terrible that men  will

beg to die but will be unable to during this punishment.  This was the first of the three Woes!

                                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The plague is so dreadful and the pain so fearful that people will utterly despair.

They will seek death, futilely hoping that the grave might relieve their suffering,

even though they should know by now that Hell is waiting for them and these

very creatures of torment will be there with them!  But they cannot even commit

suicide.  (This is off the wall, but food for thought.  What if gun control by the

powers that be were a factor in this? – CY – 2015)  Satan could use this to gain

converts of his own.  When he cannot deceive men for his own ends, he can always

frighten them into submission.  By this time, surely people will have come to realize

that there is a great cosmic conflict between the Serpent and the Savior, Jesus Christ!

God is still calling men to repentance through His judgments, but Satan is active also,

seeking recruits that are completely committed to him, in preparation for the soon

coming BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON.  That people today are being prepared for

an irruption of demons seems very probable. The plethora of movies, television

programs, and books with demonic themes, the growth of occult religions and

practices (obsession with drugs – CY – 2015) are all conditioning men to a wide-

spread belief in Satanism and demons.   Also, none of these judgments are driving

men to a refuge in Christ, as they should!  Just the opposite as they seem to drive

men away from Him!  (v. 20)  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”And the shapes of the locusts were like

unto horses prepared unto battle; rather, the likenesses of the locusts; that is to say,

the general appearance. This similarity is brought out in Joel 2, and is

alluded to in Job 39:20.. In what way they appeared “prepared unto battle,” is

shown in v. 9. And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold; crowns

like unto gold. The language is carefully guarded so as to make it understood

that this feature is altogether supernatural. The crowns of gold probably denote

the conquering nature of the locusts, and thus they add to the power with which

the locusts have already been invested. They may also signify the exalted temporal

position of those symbolized by the locusts. Some writers believe the helmets of

soldiers are typified, and others the turbans of the Mohammedans. And

their faces were as the faces of men. Notwithstanding the general

resemblance of the locusts to horses, which resemblance is most clearly

shadowed forth in the structure of the head, yet their faces gave the seer

the idea of the human countenance. How this was brought about we are

not told. Probably John himself in his vision received the impression

without knowing by what means. The circumstance seems to point

decidedly to the fact that human agents are denoted by the locusts..

 

John is merely describing what he saw, and seems to be searching for words capable

of conveying the amazing sight to his readers.  The demon locusts were shaped like

battle horses; there were appendages on their heads that looked like crowns; their faces

had humanlike features, thus expressing the intelligence and purpose in their malignant

behavior.  These were not just a strange new variety of insects that had swarmed out from

some hitherto breeding ground but demon spirits from hell!  The prophet Joel had long

ago a vision of devouring locusts (Joel 1:4) which had apparently a partial fulfillment in

his own time in an actual plague of locusts.  Many Old Testament prophecies have

dual purposes of then and the future.  Note Joel’s dire warning”  “A day of darkness

and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon

the mountains:  a great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither

shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  The appearance of

them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.”  (Joel 2:2,4)

The demonic invaders can fly like locusts, can run like horses, and sting like scorpions.

The terror which such creatures could generate is easily imagined.  No wonder men

seek death.    (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

8 “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the

teeth of lions.” And they had hair as the hair of women. This (like the

succeeding clause) seems merely the enumeration of an additional feature,

in which these creatures resembled locusts, and which helped to establish

their claim to the name. The antennae of the insect are probably referred to.

And their teeth were as the teeth of lions. The powerful nature of the teeth

of the locust is a remarkable feature of the insect; and it is here more fully

referred to in order to enhance the general terror of their aspect (compare

Joel 1:6).

 

Here John describes the locusts (demons) as he gives a detailed description of their appearance

in his vision. They are described as locusts as they will bring massive and devastating judgment

from God.  This demon host will be virtually unstoppable and man will have no weapon that can

harm them or cure for the terrible torment they will inflict.  Their faces of men indicate they are

intelligent and rational beings, not insects. Having hair as being like the hair of women emphasizes

their seductiveness, perhaps to lure unsuspecting unbelievers to come close to them before striking

them.  Having teeth like the teeth of lions means they will be more fierce, powerful and deadly

than lions.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Compare Joel 1:6 – “For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without

number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a

great lion.”    (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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 battle.” And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron.

Again, a natural feature of the locust is specifically alluded to, in order to

portray the terrible nature of their appearance. The horny substance which

appears behind the face of the locust is not unlike the plates of iron with

which the breast and shoulders of war horses were protected. And the

sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses

running to battle; the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to war

(Revised Version). The sound of the two things together, viz. that of

rushing horses, and that of the chariots which they draw. The same simile

is used in Joel 2:5.

 

Breastplates of iron symbolizes their invulnerability.  In short, they will be impossible to resist

or to destroy. There will be no escaping their worldwide onslaught as there will be nowhere to

run or hide from them.  In a metaphor drawn from a battlefield, John compares the sound of

their wings to a moving army, noting that it was like the sound of chariots, of many horses

rushing to batter. The sound alone will be enough to put fear into the hearts of the unbelievers.

                                                                                    (discoverrevelation.com)

 

“……a strong people set in battle array.  (Joel 2:5)  The army is invincible, immune

to weapons.  “When they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.”

(ibid. v. 8)   These can only be hordes of demonic spirits, released from Hades, yet

are they embodied in fearful locust-like, horse-like,lion-like, scorpion-like, woman-

like, manlike forms!  It seems like God allows the age-long desire of these wicked

spirits to possess bodies of their own with a demon-like appearance and character.

                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

10 “And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their

tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.”

And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were

stings in their tails; and they have tails like unto scorpions, and stings

(Revised Version). The next words are included in the following clause.

Not that their tails possessed the appearance of scorpions, that their tails were

like the tails of scorpions in respect of having stings in them. Compare

II Samuel 22:34; Psalm 18:33, “He maketh my feet like hinds” (omit “feet”); also

here, ch.13:11, “Two horns like a lamb” (see the description of the

scorpion quoted above, under v. 3). And their power was to hurt men

five months; and in their tails is their power to hurt, etc. (Revised

Version) (see the preceding clause). As no Greek manuscript gives the

reading of the Textus Receptus followed by the Authorized Version, the

probability is that this is an example of a passage in which the Greek of his

edition was supplied by Erasmus, by the simple process of retranslating

into Greek the Vulgate Version. By the possession of the noxious sting, the

locusts here described are represented as being yet more terrible than the

natural locusts. (See the description of the locusts given under v. 3. For

the signification of the “five months,” see on v. 5.) They limit the period

of this judgment to the time of man’s existence on this earth.

 

As these demons are compared to scorpions, it is clear that their mission is to hurt men.

The very nature of this full scale demonic torment that drives men to seek death and not

find it, or to pursue death and not catch it, is not described.  Their are references in the Bible

where demons possessed people such as found in Matthew 8:6,28, 4:23-24, and Mark 9:20-27.

These demons are given the power to torment unbelievers for five full months with no relief

for the tormented. This stresses God's sovereign power over the timing of their assault.

Eventually God will return them to the abyss with their evil master, then send them to the

lake of fire. (ch. 20)  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The plague was to last for five months only.  These grotesque beings were to

vanish as suddenly as they had come, giving mankind another brief respite in hope

that some would repent.  As in the ancient plagues of Egypt, this would merely result in

most people “hardening their necks” more stiffly than ever when the demons were

departed, forced back into their infernal pit.  Nothing availed to deal with the

locust-like beings until their time was  up.  Then as suddenly as they had appeared, their

attacks ceased, and their carcasses littered the ground.  “His stink shall come up, and

his ill savor thall come up, because he hath done great things.”  (Joel 2:20)

                                                                                 (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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 hath his name Apollyon.”

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the

bottomless pit; they have over them as king the angel of the abyss

(Revised Version). Most commentators contrast with the condition of the

natural locusts, who have no king (Proverbs 30:27). “The angel”

evidently, points to the star of v. l, who is Satan himself. Some think a

particular angel, not Satan, is intended. Whose name in the Hebrew tongue

is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. Abaddon is

the Hebrew אֲבַדּון, a noun representing the abstract idea “destruction” (Job 31:12),

but more frequently employed to designate the netherworld (Job 26:6; 28:22;

Proverbs 15:11; Psalm 88:12). Apollyon (ἀπολλύωνapolluon - present participle)

is the Greek ἀπώλεια – apoleia - (by which the Septuagint renders אֲבַדּון)

destruction personified. It is in conformity with John’s usual practice to give the

two forms of the name (compare John 1:38,42; 4:25; 9:7; 11:16; 19:13, 17). In the

name we have summed up the character of him who bears it. He is the “destroyer,”

the one who causes “perdition’’ to mankind. Compare the words of our Lord

given by John (John 8:44), “He was a murderer from the beginning.”

 

You can call him any name you care to. This is Satan. Lucifer was one of the angels close to

God in heaven. He was a very beautiful angel before his fall. All of the demons were angels in

heaven until a third of the angels followed Lucifer and became demons.  Angels, as we have said

before, are ministering spirits. These fallen angels (demons) are ministering pain and suffering.

Their mission is to destroy. Their leader, Lucifer, is the epitome of evil. He has been their king

since they were cast out of heaven by God. Their abode, when they are not on a mission of

destruction, is in the abyss. This is where they were loosed from in v.2. They are continuously

causing war, both spiritual and literal. Their mission is to destroy any way they can.

This "king" is the star we saw in v.1, which was thrown out of heaven and has hell for an abode.

Just as he led these angels out of heaven, he leads them in this mission of destruction. Satan,

even though fallen, must do every thing the Lord commands him.  Remember all of this happens

because God's wrath is kindled. God alone can stop Satan. This time God does not want to stop him.

God allows, and even orders, this to happen. Satan, Apollyon, Abaddon, Lucifer, the devil, or

whatever you care to call him, is still obedient to God. He, as we, or any other being, or angel,

are created and subject to the desires of the Creator. God alone could stop this destruction. "

Apollyon" and "Abaddon" mean destruction.  Jesus had and has many names. Satan is a

counterfeiter, so he has many names, as well. People throughout history have tried to put

names of modern conquerors to these, but I do not believe that is intended here.

                                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

The bodies of the invading army of demon locusts perish but their spirits are

destined for residence in the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

(Matthew 25:41)  So they must be, for a time, herded back into the abyss.  This host

of fallen angels is under the command of one mighty angel named Abaddon or

Apollyon (both Hebrew names meaning “the destroyer.”   Abaddon is also

incarcerated with them, since the days of Noah.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 

 

            The Triumph of Evil through Unfaithfulness (vs. 7-11)

 

Satanic power is encouraged by human unfaithfulness. The utmost power

of evil is let loose, and with destructive energy works only evil, and the

direst evil, amongst the children of men. The evil character of the effects of

unfaithfulness is represented by figures which suggest the greatest

painfulness, and which are repulsive in the extreme. The sun and the air are

darkened by “smoke” issuing from the opened “pit of the abyss” — the

smoke “as of a great furnace.” The power of “locusts” and “scorpions of

the earth” reveals the most painful and repulsive effects, for “their torment

was as the torment of a scorpion when it striketh a man.” So great is this

that men “seek death,” though unavailingly. They are as “horses prepared

for war,” crowned with kingly power, having faces as of men, and hair as

of women, and teeth “as the teeth of lions,” covered are they with

“breastplates of iron,” and the sound of their wings as “the sound of

chariots of many horses rushing to war;” they have “tails like unto

scorpions, and stings,” and in these is “their power to hurt men.” The

whole are leagued together under the leadership of “the angel of the

abyss,” whose name “in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon, i.e.

Destroyer.” Thus is set forth the evil, repulsive, and deadly power of those

forces which are called into play by unfaithfulness and degeneracy. One

falls, but he lets loose many forces of evil, which he, once having called

into activity, cannot arrest. It is a bitter woe to the earth, such as it has

suffered many, many times in the great history. The lesson is for all times;

for in many times the sad scene has been enacted. This section of the

“revelation” declares to us:

 

  • THAT IN THE DEPARTURE FROM TRUTH AND GOODNESS

            ERROR AND EVIL BECOME PREVALENT. Every false doctrine is a

            cloud of darkness upon the path of the human life.

 

  • IN THE DIMINUTION OF THE HEAVENLY THE HELLISH

            POWERS PREVAIL. Finally, darkness shall be held back as in chains. But

            here it is let loose, and in the loss of the heavenly power the earthly, rather

            the hellish, gains ascendancy.

 

  • IN A DEPARTURE FROM THE PEACEFUL OBEDIENCE OF

            RIGHTEOUSNESS THE DESTRUCTIVE AND PAINFUL EFFECTS

            OF SIN ARE PROVED. The ways of pleasantness and the paths of peace

            forsaken, there are only the hard ways of the transgressor to walk in.

            (Proverbs 13:15)

 

  • THE BROKEN ALLEGIANCE TO GOD ISSUES IN THE

            TRIUMPH OF THE DESTROYER. The authority of the Prince of peace

            being rejected, another king, even Apollyon, usurps His throne. So:

 

Ø      men carelessly exchange good for evil, and

Ø      sell life for an empty world.

 

12 “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”

One woe is past; the one woe, or the first woe. “Woe” (ἡ οὐαί -

hae ouai – the woe) is feminine; perhaps because expressing the idea of tribulation,

such words being generally feminine in the Greek. Some have thought that these

words are a further announcement by the eagle of ch.8:13; but

there is nothing to lead us to suppose that they are not the words of the

writer. And, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. Omit “and:”

behold, there cometh yet two woes hereafter. The verb is singular in א, A,

and others; the plural is found in a, B, P, and others.  Oὐαί, although written

as a feminine in the preceding clause, being really indeclinable, is treated as a

neuter; and thus the singular verb is made to agree with the neuter plural,

in conformity with the rules of Greek grammar. The second woe extends

from this place to ch.11:14, and the third woe is contained in ch.11:14-19,

especially v.18.

 

As if this is not terrible enough that we have been hearing about, there are two more woes.

The open warfare on the streets of Lebanon and Israel remind us very much of the things we

read about in the last lesson. A mother in that area of the world has no idea when her family

leaves the house whether they will return alive or not.  The descendents of Ishmael and Isaac

(the flesh and the spirit) are still in mortal combat after all the thousands of years that have passed.

Just as there is a spiritual battle of the flesh and the spirit that we must face each day, there is a

physical battle in Israel between the Arab and the Jew. Ishmael was told that his descendents

would live around the Jews and would be fighting continuously.  THE BIBLE IS TRUE!   

A woe is a terrible calamity.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

After the fourth trumpet, the flying angel had warned of three great “woes”

that were coming.  The first one had prevailed on the earth for five long months

and woefully indeed had been the experience.  Though the swarms of devilish

scorpions are dead and gone, a great voice from heaven warns of two more woes

about to come, and THESE WILL BE EVEN WORSE!  The first two were

painful; the second would be LETHAL!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

13 “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four

horns of the golden altar which is before God,”  And the sixth angel sounded,

and I heard a voice; I heard one voice, perhaps in contradistinction to the four

horns next mentioned. From the four horns of the golden altar which is before

God; the golden altar before God. The balance of authority seems in favor of

retaining τεσσάρων – tessaron – four - although the Revisers omit it. It is inserted

in B, P, Andreas, Arethas, Primasius, etc., but emitted in א A, Syriac, Coptic,

Bede, etc. Many commentators (eg. Vitringa, Hengstenberg) lay special

stress upon it; and some represent the horns as the four Gospels, which

speak with one voice. The voice issues from the altar, as in ch.6:9-10; 16:7.

The voice, issuing from the resting place of the souls of the

martyrs, denounces the impending woe. The altar is the golden altar of

incense (ch.8:3) which is before (the throne of) God, and

which, in the earthly temple, stood before the veil (Exodus 40:26). This

altar had four “horns” projecting at the corners (Exodus 30:2; see also

Smith’s ‘Dictionary of the Bible,’ art. “Altar”).

 

The number six indicates man or mankind. "Horns" mean power and strength.

The number four means worldwide. This "golden altar" is where God is. God is

never associated with other metals.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The second woe is the sixth trumpet.  Each time the trumpet sounds, the

judgment that follows is more severe than the previous one.  Isaiah had prophesied

that “when thy judgments  are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will

learn righteousness.”  (Isaiah 26:9)  Those that remain unconverted remain stubborn

and thus each visitation must increase in severity.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

14 “Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four

angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.”

Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet. . Here the angel is represented

as directly causing the incidents which follow; in the other cases, we are only

told that each angel “sounded.” Loose the four angels which are hound

in the great river Euphrates. This vision has led to a great variety of

interpretations. Whether the angels here described are good angels or bad

angels makes no material difference to the main part of the vision, which is

to set forthpunishment for the ungodly, SANCTIONED OR ORIGINATED

BY GOD!  The object of the punishment is to bring men to repentance, but it

largely fails to do so (v. 21). We therefore conclude that the whole

judgment portrays the spiritual evils which afflict the ungodly in this life,

and which give them, as it were, a foretaste of their doom in the life to

come. Sin frequently brings unrest and trouble immediately in its train;

seldom, if ever, peace and satisfaction. The stings of sin are, perhaps, none

the less potent because their effect is frequently unseen by the general

public.

  • The terror of the murderer,
  • the shame of the thief,
  • the abasement and physical suffering of the impure,
  • the delirium tremens of the drunkard,

 

ARE VERY REAL TORMENTS!  The number of such inflictions is, indeed,

great enough to be described as “two myriads of myriads” (v. 16): they destroy

a part, but not the greater part (. 15, “the third part”) of men; and yet

how largely they fail to bring men to repentance! Such punishment is a

foretaste of hell, as seems to be foreshadowed in the “fire and smoke and

brimstone” of vs. 17, 18. Wordsworth and others contend that the “four

angels” are good angels, who have been hitherto restrained. As remarked

above, the point is not a material one, but it seems more probable that evil

angels are intended. Their loosing does not necessarily mean that they are

loosed at a time subsequent to this vision, but only that they are under the

control of God, Who allows them freedom to carry out this mission. Thus

also, in the case of the other judgments, it has been pointed out that the

period of their operation may extend throughout all ages, from the

beginning to the end of the world. They arise from the Euphrates. Many

writers point out that this river was looked upon by the Israelites as the

natural source from which sprang their enemies (see Isaiah 7:20; 8:7;

Jeremiah 46:10). Indeed, the Euphrates was looked upon as the

boundary of the Jewish kingdom (Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24;

Joshua 1:4; II Samuel 8:3; I Chronicles 5:9); hence those

coming from out of the Euphrates were frequently enemies. The expression

may be merely accessory to the general filling up of the picture, or it may

teach us that the punishments which follow flow from their natural source,

viz. men’s sins (compare ch.16:12, where the Euphrates is certainly

alluded to as the source from whence arise hostile hosts).

 

The Sixth Trumpet - The Four Angels Released - At the blowing of the sixth trumpet,

the second woe is released: the release of "the four angels who are bound at the great river

Euphrates."  The angels apparently lead an army of two-hundred million "horsemen" (demons)

who kill a third of mankind through the plagues of fire and smoke and brimstone.

God views the Euphrates River as the dividing line between East and West. In fact, the

old Roman Empire also saw it that way. Everything east of the Euphrates was called the Far East

or Asia. The region just to the west of the great river was known as the Near East or Asia Minor.

                                                                                    (discoverrevelation.com)

Here we are  introduced to four more angels who have been bound and thus restrained

from carrying out their subversive desires.  The command from God to one of the

angels of His presence is to unleash these other rebel angels so that they also can

take their long awaited vengeance on mankind.  These four angels seem to have charge

of still another great demon horde distinct from those captained by Abaddon in the

great abyss.  Since his fall, Satan has attempted to corrupt all mankind.  He was around

prior to the Flood.  Those demons involved (Genesis 6:2) were consigned to Tartarus,

in chains of darkness, awaiting the Final Judgment (Jude 1:6).  These could have been

some of those temporarily unchained for five months, and used by God to implement His

judgment under the Fifth Trumpet.  But here is another horde, two-hundred million strong,

bound with their four captains in the river Euphrates, of all the odd places.  Their temporary

release is later than that of Abaddon and his band, and so may have been their rebellion and

incarceration.  The primeval Euphrates  emerged from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10-14)

drawing its flow from vast underground reservoirs (ibid. vs. 5-6).  At the time of the Flood

this “great deep” broke up (ibid. ch. 7:11) and it greatly affected earth’s pristine geography.

(II Peter 3:6)  After the Flood there arose entirely new continents, and vast open oceanic

reservoirs replaced the subterranean reservoirs where the Euphrates originally flowed.  Now

a new river Euphrates was formed with its source high on the slopes of Mt. Ararat, derived

from water in a permanent ice cap that soon formed at its summit.  The river wound its way

down the slopes and emerged with its sister, the Tigris, on the great Mesopotamian plain.

It is here that the descendants of Noah settled.  (ibid. ch.11:2)  It is here that the great city

of Babylon was built under the leadership of the mighty Nimrod.  (ibid. ch. 10:8-10)

The Cainitic civilization which developed near the Euphrates soon became intolerably

corrupt, as did the Nimrodian civilization (Sumerians).  A great Tower of Babel was erected

to worship the host of heaven (ibid. ch. 11:4)  Their temple shrine at the apex of the Tower

was emblazoned with the great signs of the heavens, representing the stars and constellations,

which in turn were identified with the pagan gods and goddesses who, in reality, were none

other than the demonic hosts they soon began to worship and follow!  THIS PAGAN

EVOLUTIONISTIC COMPLEX OF RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHIES AND CORRUPTING

BEHAVIOR EVENTUALLY WAS TRANSPORTED TO EVERY REGION OF THE

WORLD, AND HAS DOMINATED HUMAN THOUGHT EVER SINCE, so that Satan’s

host had acquired almost as much control over the thoughts and actions of men as they had

in the days prior to the Flood!  As the result of Nimrod’s rebellion, God judged the people

of Babel and confused their language and scattered people all over the earth (as it was His

will – Genesis 1:28 – CY – 2015)  The Euphrates River had been the locale of this most

recent rebellion against God and it would seem likely that God would also punish the angels

that had instigated this rebellion, in the manner analogous to His imprisonment of the ante-

diluvian angesls.  This could be the origin of these demonic hordes who are here implied

to be bound in the Euphrates River.  It is a mystery how that disembodied spirits could be

chained for four thousand years in a flowing river.  There is the possibility that the Euphrates

mentioned here is the antediluvian Euphrates rather than the Babylonian Euphrates.  Could

it be that deep in the earth, there remains the underground storage chamber which controlled

the primeval flow into the Garden of Eden?  Though most of those caverns broke up when

their fountains erupted to help produce the Flood?  If this is the case it would be an

appropriate prison for these fallen angels.  In any case, wherever they were, they were

summoned forth by their four captains when God’s holy angel calls them with his trumpet!

                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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 the third part of men.”

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.

The alterations in the Revised Version make the meaning much plainer:

which had been prepared for the hour, and day, and month, and year, that

they should kill, etc. That is to say those “which had” in God’s

foreknowledge “been prepared” in order to operate at the exact period

required — the exact year, month, day, and even hour. Each knew his

appointed time. Four is the number used to denote universality in things of

this world (see on ch. 4:6). The number, therefore, seems to imply that the

power of the angels is of universal extent. The third part are destroyed; that is,

a great part, though not the larger (compare ch.8:7, et seq.).

 

When these angels are loosed, they immediately inspire the great population centers of Asia

to launch an attack on the Western and Middle Eastern strongholds. These demons are effective,

because they cause one and a half billion people, a third of the remaining population, to be killed

in short order.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The previous plague had lasted five months but this plague will continue for just over

thirteen months. The definite article in the original, “the hour,”  indicates that the time

had been set long before, and the imprisoned spirits were chafing to be released, long

awaiting their chance for partial vengeance on mankind.  Under the fifth trumpet judgment,

men had sought death but could not find it.  NOW THEY CAN HARDLY ESCAPE IT!

A third of all men and women on earth (around a billion people) will be killed by this

terrible army.  The fifth and sixth trumpet plagues will occupy a total of eighteen

months.  The first four trumpet judgments, plus those of the six seals, would surely

encompass nearly an additional two years, so the sixth trumpet will presumably bring

the world to the middle of THE GREAT TRIBULATION. (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

16 “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred

thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.”

And the number of the army of the horsemen; and the number

of the armies of the cavalry. No horsemen have hitherto been alluded to;

but they are apparently the destroying host under the direction of the four

angels. The symbol is, no doubt, chosen to signify power, of which

horsemen or cavalry are an emblem. Were two hundred thousand

thousand; or, twice myriads of myriads (compare Jude 1:14-16, which is a

quotation from Enoch; also Daniel 7:10). The number is, of course, not

to be taken literally, but as signifying an exceeding great multitude. And I

heard the number of them. Omit “and.” John “heard the number”

possibly from one of the elders, who had before instructed him (compare

ch.7:13). He states this, since so vast a multitude would be innumerable.

 

Now in addition to the demons who have roamed the earth throughout history, spiritual forces

of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12) recently cast to earth (v.1 and ch.12:4)

and the numerous demons recently released from the abyss at the sounding of the fifth trumpet,

comes a new demonic army that is two hundred million strong.  Some have suggested that the

two-hundred million will come from the Chinese who can currently field an army of that size.

However it is very doubtful this could be a human army due to the inability to equip, feed,

transport, not to mention the water it would take to support that size contingent. Those things

taken into consideration strongly suggest this will be a supernatural rather than a human force,

especially as the four angels (demons) are commanding this force.  When you combine this third

with the quarter of humanity killed in the seal judgments, by this point in the Tribulation half of

the world's population (after the rapture) already has been destroyed. Tim LaHaye makes reference

to the Chinese army which can raise a two-hundred million man army now. That has prompted some

interpreters to suggest the two-hundred million would come with the kings of the east to do battle

with Christ at the consummation of the end of this age, known as the Battle of Armageddon. While

there is no question that the armies of the Orient coming to that battle at the very end of the Tribulation

will be enormous, due to the incredible population of those countries, they definitely are not the army here.

Consider the following reasons:

 

  • This army goes out during the sixth trumpet, which occurs near the middle of the Tribulation;

        the ch.16:12 army goes out at the end of the Tribulation.

  • The two-hundred million here are not humans but demons, doing things men cannot do.

        These "horsemen" have a supernatural  effect on the earth.

  • The Chinese army would include all the men and women under arms in China, including

        their local militias or defense forces. There is no way the communist government could risk

        committing all its military and armament to the Middle East, for they know their freedom

        hungry citizens would revolt before they returned. Besides, the logistics of moving an army

        of two-hundred million from the Orient across the Euphrates and the Arabian Desert to the

        little land of Israel seems impossible.

 

Tim LaHaye states that the two-hundred million are not to be taken as humans. They are a literal

unnatural, demon like evil spirits that come out of the abyss, advancing under the leadership of the

four bound angels.  Only the unrepentant will be killed by this judgment.  For these and other

reasons not mentioned, it is not  realistic to assume that the armies of ch.16:12 (Armageddon –

CY – 2015) are synonymous with those here.  The two-hundred million horsemen who come

on the scene will obviously be supernatural, creatures that are so awesome to look on

that they actually frighten some people to death. And their sting "is in their mouth and their

tails", and with them they kill one third of the world's population of those who reject Christ

and commit themselves to Antichrist.   (discoverrevelation.com)

 

This is not an army of human horsemen, although it might be possible to assemble an

earthly army of this size.  The description which follows cannot legitimately be equated

to anything human.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat

on them. That is, according to the description following, not “thus, in such

numbers as I have described.” Having breastplates of fire, and of

jacinth, and brimstone. Ἔχοντας,- Echontas - having, probably refers to both

horses and riders, though it may refer to the riders only. The Revised

Version renders jacinth more exactly as hyacinth. Alford translates,

“breastplates, fiery red, fuliginous, and sulphureous.” It seems to be rightly

concluded that the hyacinhine hue answers to the “smoke” further on in

the verse. “The expression, ‘of jacinth,’ applied to the breastplate, is

descriptive simply of a hyacinthine, i.e. dark-purple color” (Smith’s

‘Dictionary of the Bible’). The description intensifies the terrible nature of

the vision, and it is doubtful whether these details should be pressed to a

particular interpretation. If they bear any meaning at all, they seem to point

to the doom in wait for the wicked, whose portion is fire and brimstone

(compare Psalm 11:6). And the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions;

and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone;

proceedeth fire, etc. (Revised Version). Here, as in the preceding clause,

the intention is evidently to enhance the terrible appearance of the vision.

The “smoke” corresponds to the hyacinth hue, mentioned in the previous

part of the verse (vide supra). The horses, in accordance with a well known

poetic figure, are said to breathe out “fire and smoke.” Brimstone is

mentioned in addition, in order to set forth plainly the fact that their acts

are directed against the wicked (compare Genesis 19:24; Job 18:15;

(see homily below) Psalm 11:6; Ezekiel 38:23; Isaiah 30:33; Luke 17:29).

Lions’ teeth are mentioned in the description of tire locusts, with the same

purpose (v. 9)..

 

 

                        The Home of the Wicked Insecure (Job 18:15)

 

The blessing of the Lord is upon “the habitation of the just” (Proverbs 3:33).

This is the reward of righteousness. But the Divine judgment against the wicked is

shown in permitting his house to become desolate. One of the oft-repeated

promises to Israel is the blessing of the Lord upon the habitation. But “the

curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked.” The PRACTICE OF

INIQUITY TENDS TO DESTRUCTION!   It has no element of stability

in it. The habitation of the wicked is insecure because:

 

  • IT LACKS THE DEFENSE OF RIGHT PRINCIPLES. The

            righteousness which EXALTETH A NATION  establishes a house.

            On the health, the pursuits, the habits, the business, the family, right principles

            exert a beneficent influence. The absence of them is the precursor of evil

            of all kinds. The wall is broken down; protection is wanting. The home is a

            PREY TO EVIL!

 

  • IT LACKS THE PROMISE OF THE DIVINE PROTECTION AND

      BLESSING. It is as a field unwatered. There is no spring of hope within it.

            In the blessing of the Lord lies hidden the secret germ of all true

            Prosperity, and all safety and PERMANANCE.  Where that blessing

            is not, the house is as a tender plant unsheltered beneath a scorching sun.

           The Divine providence cannot be expected to work for the promotion of

            ends directly contrary to its own. The whole world, with its innumerable

            laws and its wise administration, is on THE SIDE OF RIGHT, on

            THE SIDE OF VIRTUE and GOODNESS!  The blessing of the Lord,

            which makes the field to be fruitful, makes the abode of the righteous to be

            an abode of safety, of peace, and of blessing.  The home of wickedness

            has none of these things.

 

  • THE HOME OF THE WICKED FINDS NO ENCOURAGEMENT TO

            ITS PROSPERITY IN THE GOOD WILL OF MEN AROUND. The evil

            companions are not trustworthy. They turn aside as a deceitful bow. They

            are as likely to rejoice and make sport out of their companion’s downfall as

            to pity him under it; while the ungodly, having separated himself from the

            righteous, can find no sympathetic spirit amongst them. That the home of

            evil should be broken up is rather a cause of rejoicing, for it is the putting

            aside a cause of evil. This is the portion of the man that maketh not God

            his trust. He fights against his own best interests. He forsakes the only true

            and safe way. He puts himself in opposition to the great forces of

            righteousness which ever IN THE END PREVAIL!   He links his

            interests with that on which the withering curse of God rests, and “brimstone

            shall be scattered upon his habitation.” “His roots shall be dried up

            beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off.”  (Job 18:16)

 

Horses have been often associated with warfare in scripture. It is clear these are not actual horses

judging the heads were as the heads of lions. Many have tried to associate the meaning of this

scripture with weapons of war, but this can't be. John would have no problem with associating a

lion's head with what these appeared to look like. John saw three ways the demon horses killed their

victims and all ways depict the violent and devastating fury of hell. They:

 

·         incinerated them with fire,

·         then asphyxiated them with smoke and brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.

 

                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Like the scorpion-locusts under the preceding trumpet, this will be a demonic legion of

nightmarish animals indwelt by evil spirits, hitherto bound up in the Euphrates with their

four evil overlords.  These demon-possessed creatures whose bodies seem to be

especially created by God for the awful judgment which they are enabled to inflict upon

mankind.  Their bodies are real physical bodies, capable of generating fire and brimstone

and causing physical death of the men and women whom they attack.  This suggests that

the bodies are created at the time of their release from prison and are taken over immediately

by the ascending spirits.  They spread over the earth to wreak vengeance on mankind, whom

they regard as responsible for their miserable circumstances.  No longer constrained by the

lack of a physical body, they are now able to use their newly secured bodies to destroy men.

Their bodies are fearful looking, designed for the malignant spirits to use for thirteen months

and will also be destroyed when their functional use has been served.  They are not horses, but

their bodies are “like” horses and their heads are said to be “as” the heads of lions.  It is a

fearsome sight and must strike terror into the hearts of men as they watch them swarm forth.

This fear is well justified, for the creatures are as deadly as they look.  Armored with

breastplates of jacinth (a hard gemstone, probably zircon) they have the appearance of

burning fire and brimstone (usually interpreted as sulphur; however, its Hebrew root is

related to the resin from the gopher wood used in Noah’s ark, and θειώδεις  - theiodeis –

brimstone like; yellow sulphur - its Greek form seems to come from roots meaning “divine

appearance”).  Evidently sulphur is considered the natural substance whose burning most

nearly fits such apocryphal specifications, but its exact composition is unknown.  (I highly

recommend studying about Sodom and Gomorrah [which were destroyed by brimstone]

and the properties of brimstone and actual remnants of the brimstone that God rained

on Sodom – this can be found at arkdiscovery.com – CY – 2015)  The lion-faces actually

breathe out fire and smoke and nauseous brimstone, as though clothed in the very aura

of hell itself.  Skeptics who deny the existence of a literal hell often are heard to rationalize

that men make their own hell right here on earth.  They don’t realize how true such

sophistries will become.  With two hundred million creatures, all arrayed in fire and brimstone,

sweeping over the earth, it will indeed APPEAR THAT THE FIRES OF HELL HAVE

ENVELOPED THE EARTH!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

18 “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by

the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.”

by these three plagues (as in Revised Version)... the brimstone,

which proceeded. Although the last clause technically is attached to

“brimstone” only, yet the description applies to all three of the things

mentioned. “The third part” again a large, but not the largest, part of

mankind (see on ch. 8:7). The locusts were forbidden to kill (v. 5);

these horsemen are permitted to do so. Each judgment of the trumpet

visions appears to increase in severity. We may here see portrayed

the terrible and destructive character of THE RESULTS OF SIN!   

Such results are experienced to the full by the third part of men, the large

class who “repent not of their murders, nor of their sorceries,” etc. (v. 21).

 

The end result of this demonic two-hundred million was that a third of the remaining mankind

would be killed. Note that a quarter of mankind was killed during the seal judgments, leaving

three quarters of the remaining population. As one third is now killed, 50% of mankind now

has been killed. (one third of 75 that was remaining is 25%)  The death of one third of the

earth's remaining inhabitants will be the most catastrophic disaster to strike the earth since

the flood during the days on Noah.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

All three of these deadly exhalations of the roaring mouths of the lion-like heads

of these creatures are lethal.  Men will be consumed in the flames, suffocated by the

smoke, poisoned by the sulphurous gases.  As the panic-stricken citizens of the world’s

nations, hardly redcovered from the plague by the locusts, hysterically flee and seek to

hide, multitudes will be slain.  The scene will be like the monster movies dreamed up by

science fiction writers and Hollywood moguls, BUT IT WILL BE REAL!  The jacinth-

stone breastplates are essentially bullet-proof and it will take many powerful weapons

to defeat them, if God allows their demise in this manner.  Once the animals are dead,

their carcasses will deface and pollute the landscape, and their demonic occupants will

again be bodiless.  Whether they are headed back to some pit in Hades or allowed to roam

the earth as disembodied spirits through the remainder of the Tribulation has not been

revealed.  The human carnage left in the aftermath is incredible.  One-third of the world’s

population at that time will be dead.  This means about 1.2 billion people are slain,

averaging about six victims per horseman.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails; for the

power ,f the horses is, etc. Another example of disagreement between

Erasmus and all the Greek manuscripts (see on ver. 10). For their tails

were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. “Are

like,” and “have heads,” in the present tense. Here (unlike v. 10) the tails

are like serpents themselves. The image is not uncommon among the

ancients. We may paraphrase the passage thus: “Their power is for the

most part in their mouth; but also, to some extent, in their tails; for their

tails are like serpents,” etc. An endless variety of interpretations have been

given to these details, which are probably not intended to bear any distinct

signification.  (I would think that John did not have the vocabulary to

describe what he was seeing.  As mankind has developed new and

technological savvy weapons, it is not hard in the 21st century to imagine

what John is talking about! – CY – 2015)

 

Not only were these demonic horses able to kill with their mouths, but also death was in their tails.

Their tails are like deadly poisonous serpents. The horses tails were not actual serpents as the

horses were not actual horses.  But these images are describing the supernatural deadliness

of this demon force in terms that one would normally understand in the natural world.

Unlike the demonic scorpion stings of the Fifth trumpet judgment, the bites of these

demonic creatures will be fatal.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

These grotesque animals, like the demon scorpions which had preceded them, can

inflict tormenting pain with their slashing tails as well.  But in this case they are

likened unto a serpent instead of scorpions.  They have fangs instead of stingers.

No animal like this had ever been observed before (and it is good for mankind)

that they had not.  Apparently they are a new creation of God.  They were

created for the purpose of judgment, and energized by wicked spirits, and soon

became the objects of man’s fear and dread.  The plague ends around the middle of

the Tribulation and the other two-thirds of mankind who survive can now enjoy

another brief respite.  One would think that this experience, on top of the other

judgments, would understand that this cosmic conflict should drive all men to their

knees in repentance and submission to God!   Not so!  Human ingenuity and power

had once more conquered, they will rationalize.  The invasion had been stopped and

they think they are now secure.   (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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, nor hear, nor walk:”

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these

plagues; the rest of mankind (Revised Version). That is, the two thirds

(v. 18). Some understand “these plagues” to refer to the first six

trumpets. It may be so, but it seems more correct to limit it to the sixth, as

the same phrase, which occurs in v. 18, must be so limited. Mankind

must be taken to mean the worldly only. Of the ungodly, some are killed

(the third part), the rest yet do not repent. The vision is not concerned with

the fate of the righteous. 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. The works of their hands” refers to idolatry, as shown by the

succeeding words. This verse begins to prepare us for the seventh

judgment. MEN WILL NOT REPENT,  therefore THE LAST FINAL

JUDGMENT BECOMES NECESSARY.   The absurdity of idolatrous

worship is frequently thus set forth by Old Testament writers (compare

Psalm 115:4-8; 135:15-18; Isaiah 2:8; Ezekiel 22:1,4; Hosea 13:2). See also

the description in Daniel 5:23 which seems to have suggested the wording

of this part of the vision.  It has been well remarked that in this verse mention

is made of sins against God; in the following verse man’s sins against his

neighbors are detailed.

 

           

                                    Man’s Stubborn Will (v. 20)

 

“And the rest… yet repented not.” The fatal obstinacy of wicked men, the

dreadful hardness of the human heart, sin’s searing of the susceptibilities of

the soul, — such is the mournful fact that the text, repeated again in the

next verse, as if to summon our special attention, vividly reveals. Implied

or stated in it are such truths as these:

 

  • ALL MEN NEED REPENTANCE. The judgment fell only on some,

            but all deserved it; all had sinned, and all should have repented. When we

            see God’s judgment falling on any one, our reflection should be not, “How

            evil he must have been!” but “How merciful of God to spare me!”

 

  • GOD PLEADS WITH MEN TO BRING THEM TO REPENTANCE.

            These judgments of which we read are not God’s primary dealings with

            men. He does not begin in this manner. There has been much that has

            preceded this. God has pleaded with men:

 

Ø      by His Spirit in their consciences.

Ø      by His goodness, giving them all manner of providential mercies.

Ø      then, more especially by His Word, delivered by revelation, through

     His messengers, etc.

Ø      And in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, in

                        the message of the gospel.

 

            Men always knew that their deeds were evil; the sense of sin was everywhere;

            and they knew that God would have them repent. And there were some who

            did, and therefore held aloof from the abominations of the rest. And since

            Christ has come the Divine pleadings have been more than ever heard.

            (Especially in these days of technological marvels!  - CY – 2015)

 

  • BUT THESE MILDER METHODS OFTEN FAIL. All history shows

            this, as well as the Bible, and our own experience confirms it. See our

            Saviour weeping over Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41-44)  That sorrow had been

            known before, and has been since.

 

  • STERNER METHODS ARE THEN TRIED. In these Apocalyptic

            visions we have portrayed over and over again these more awful means

            which God employs to bring men to repentance. In Israel’s history how

            often they were tried! and they often succeeded, as, blessed be God, they

            often succeed now. This is their purpose.

 

  • BUT EVEN THESE, AT TIMES, AND FOR LONG TIME, FAIL.

            This is the declaration of our text (compare also Jeremiah 5:3; 8:6;

                        Romans 2:4-5). So was it with Pharaoh, when the plagues one after

            another, which in many respects resembled these trumpet plagues, came

            upon him. The invariable effects of the Divine law, which ordains that sin

            persisted in becomes fixed habit which cannot be shaken off, and of which,

            therefore, the writer of the Book of Exodus says, “The Lord hardened

            Pharaoh’s heart;” this Divine law was illustrated in him. So again and again

            in Israel’s history, “until the wrath of the Lord arose against them, and

            there was no remedy.”  (II Chronicles 36:16)  In men, too, like that wicked

            King Amon, of whom it is said, “But Amon sinned more and more.”  (ibid.

            ch. 33:23)  True, the psalmist says,“Before I was afflicted I went astray,

            but now have I kept thy Word.”  (Psalm 119:67)  But though it might have

            been true of him, it is as often as not, if not more often, true that men go

            astray after affliction just as they did before. “Though thou bray a fool in a           

            mortar, yet will not his folly depart from him.” (Proverbs 27:22)  So, with

            equal, if not greater truth, does the proverb assert that opposite and most   

            melancholy fact of which the Bible, all life, and our text here say so much.

            “God’s visitations pass lightly over souls asleep in sin.  Which of us has

            not lived through a thousand of them, and never seen, never noticed, never

            given heed to, one? Death, sudden death, coming into our street, or into our

            home, — which of us has not hardened his heart again, after a very brief

            pause, against lessons which this ought to teach, and sinned on as before?

            Oh the desperate hardness of the human heart!  (Jeremiah 17:9)  What can

            melt it save OMNIPOTENT GRACE?”

 

  • WHAT IS THE REASON OF THIS? The answer is manifold, as, for

            example:

 

Ø      Those that are spared argue from that fact that they need not repent.

                        The Jews thought that those on whom the tower of Siloam fell must                                  

                        indeed have been sinners. Our Lord told them that was not the case,

                        and, said He, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke

                        13:3)  And no doubt “the rest of mankind” told of in our text                                            

                        congratulated themselves, not only that they were spared, but that

                        they did not deserve what had befallen the others. There was, therefore,

                        no need for them to repent — so would they argue, as do and have

                        done their successors ever since.

 

Ø      Sin deadens belief in God. It makes men practical atheists. God,

                        therefore, is not recognized in aught that occurs.

 

Ø      God’s judgments are put down to secondary causes. Everything can

      be explained; they know how and why things fell out as they did. They     

      look not beyond or above those causes which are close at hand and can

      be readily understood. Hence their own sin and God’s displeasure

      thereat, being far too abstract and remote factors, are not even

      considered.

 

Ø      Perfect love casteth out fear.” (I John 4:18)  This is true in a sense the

      apostle never meant. Let the heart love sin, as it is so prone to do, and

      that love will utterly cast out the fear of God.  (Is this not what is

      happening in the secular world when they criticize fundamental

      Christianity by accusing them of not being loving?  The wicked have

      no concept of what they are talking about and perform what Peter said

      “speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly

      perish in their own corruption” (II Peter 2:12);  and of the things

      “in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that

      are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other

      scriptures, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION!”  (ibid. ch. 3:16)

      And some sins, especially, will do this; those that are named in these          

      verses will.

 

o       Idolatry, which lulls the conscience whilst it gives free license

      to sin.

o       Gain gotten in ungodly ways “thefts,” as they are here

      called. Who does not know how the petty pilferer develops

      into the professional thief, embezzler, robber, and forger,

                                    until he has graduated in all such villainy?

o       Lust — “fornications,” as it is here termed. Let those who

                                    have known its hell and have told its dark dread secrets be                                                 

                                    believed, when they affirm that, indulged, IT BECOMES                                                  

                                    UNGOVERNABLE! Against it the fear of God has no chance.     

           

Ø      Cruelty “murders” is the name given it here; that, too, grows with

      deadly speed and force. The Herods, Neros, and Henry the Eighths,

      Duke Alvas, and the entire spawn of the Inquisition, — they were

      once tender, humane, gentle hearted. But, like the tiger that has

      tasted blood, it will have blood whenever it can. (And let us not

      forget their twentieth and twenty-first century equivalents.  CY –

      2015)  And:

 

Ø      The law of habit. We spoke of this just now. Character ever tends to

                        become permanent. “He that is holy” to be “holy still” — blessed

                        be God for this! — but “he that is unrighteous,… he that is filthy,”

                        to be “unrighteous,” to be “filthy still.”  (ch. 22:11)  You may

                        bend the sapling, but not the tree.

 

  • HOW INTENSELY SERIOUS ARE THE TEACHINGS OF THIS

            FACT! Is it true that, though God sends judgment after judgment upon

            men, they will yet not repent? Then:

 

Ø      More judgments and worse will come. Assuredly it will be so. We

                        cannot imagine God allowing Himself to be for ever baffled by the

                        unruly wills and affections of sinful men. “Our God is a consuming                                 

                        fire;” (Hebrews 12:29) and until the dross be separated the fire will

                        burn on. HOW AWFUL IS THE PROSPECT FOR UNGODLY AND

                        IMPENITENT MEN!

 

Ø      How we need to watch and pray lest we be hardened through the

                        deceitfulness of sin! Ah, what fools they are, “who make a mock at sin;”

                        (Proverbs 14:9) who dally with it, count it a trifle! Better play with

                        vipers and scorpions.  (Below is an excerpt from Charles Haddon

                        Spurgeon in a sermon that is listed as # 6 – this website – CY – 2015)

 

            What an awful thing it is to be bitten by a serpent! I dare say some of you

            recollect the case of Gurling, one of the keepers of the reptiles in the

            Zoological Gardens. It happened in October 1852, and therefore some of

            you will remember it. This unhappy man was about to part with a friend

            who was going to Australia and according to the wont of many he must

            needs drink with him. He drank considerable quantities of gin, and though

            he would probably have been in a great passion if any one had called him

            drunk, yet reason and common-sense had evidently become overpowered.

            He went back to his post at the gardens in an excited state. He had some

            months before seen an exhibition of snake, charming, and this was on his

            poor muddled brain. He must emulate the Egyptians, and play with

            serpents. First he took out of its cage a Morocco venom-snake, put it

            round his neck, twisted it about, and whirled it round about him. Happily

            for him it did not arouse it so as to bite. The assistant-keeper cried out,

            “For God’s sake put back the snake,” but the foolish man replied, “I am

            inspired.” Putting back the venom-snake, he exclaimed, “Now for the

            cobra.” This deadly serpent was somewhat torpid with the cold of the

            previous night, and therefore the rash man placed it in his bosom till it

            revived, and glided downward till its head appeared below the back of his

            waistcoat. He took it by the body, about a foot from the head, and then

            seized it lower down by the other hand, intending to hold it by the tail and

            swing it round his head. He held it for an instant opposite to his face, and

            like a flash of lightning the serpent struck him between the eyes. The blood

            streamed down his face, and he called for help, but his companion fled in

            horror; and, as he told the jury, he did not know how long he was gone, for

            he was “in a maze.” When assistance arrived Gurling was sitting on a chair,

            having restored the cobra to its place. He said, “I am a dead man.” They

            put him in a cab, and took him to the hospital. First his speech went, he

            could only point to his poor throat and moan; then his vision failed him,

            and lastly his hearing, His pulse gradually sank, and in one hour from the

            time at which he had been struck he was a corpse. There was only a little

            mark upon the bridge of his nose, but the poison spread over the body, and

            he was a dead man. I tell you that story that you may use it as a parable

            and learn never to play with sin, and also in order to bring vividly before

            you what it is to be bitten by a serpent. Suppose that Gurling could have

            been cured by looking at a piece of brass, would it not have been good

            news for him?  (John 3:14-16) 

 

                        (If you are involved with murder, real or contemplated – a la – abortion,

                        drug usage, sexual promiscuity, or thievery – YOU ARE PLAYING

                        WITH SIN AND NO DIFFERENT THAN MR. GURLING IN THE

                        ABOVE STORY!  TAKE HEED! – CY – 2015)

 

 

Ø      What imperative need there is of THE POWER OF THE

      HOLY SPIRIT!   The disciples were in despair about their work.   

      However should such as they persuade and convert men? The

      Lord promises to send the Holy Spirit, and “when He is come He

      shall convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”

      (John 16:9-11)  The baptism of the Holy Ghost — that is the need

      of the Church if she is ever to win the world for Christ.

 

Ø      Surrender to Christ, prompt, complete, abiding, that He, according to

      His Name, may save us from our sins, — this assuredly is our

      bounden duty, our true wisdom, because our sure safeguard, and

                        our ONLY ONE!

 

It is so unimaginable that after many years of suffering and death by this time from

the horrible judgments of God, combined with the 144,000, the two witnesses, an angel

who gives the Word of God to humans, not to mention the countless number of Tribulation

Saints, that the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plaques, did not repent.

These "men" are not just males, but all of mankind. Women will have to answer for their

 own actions, as well as the men. What in the world has to happen before they will repent?

All of these things worshipped in v.20 describes our day. These are things of the world.

Trying to out do the neighbors with: a bigger house - "wood or stone", finer jewelry –

"gold and silver", expensive ornaments -"brass" and worship of the devil - "worship devils"

All of these things listed are inanimate objects and have no power to accomplish anything.
Anything or anyone who does not elevate Jesus Christ to deity is in error and worshipping the devil.

Jesus said Himself that "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me

 scattereth abroad." Matthew 12:30.  We are either on the side of Jesus or the devil. There is no

middle ground. We are not to worship God's creations. WE ARE TO WORSHIP THE CREATOR!

                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Those men and women who were not converted through the testimony of God’s two

witnesses (ch. 11:3), the 144,000 Israelites (ch. 7:4-8) and the great divine judgments on

the earth (Isaiah 26:9), and all the great wealth of literature, especially Bibles, left behind

when the pre-Tribulation saints were called into heaven (ch. 3:10; 4:1), had become so

hardened against God that they were UNREACHABLE “vessels of wrath fitted to

destruction” (Romans 9:22).  They continuously treasuring up to themselves “wrath

against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will

render to every man according to his deeds.  (Romans 2:5-6)  They will have seen

the angels flying across the sky proclaiming judgment (ch. 8:13; 14:6), but still reject

God as the true Creator while still pretending to be atheists and glorying in their

humanism.  They openly acknowledge the demonic leadership of “the prince of the

power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”

(Ephesians 6:12; I John 5:19)  Prior to Christ’s return, there will have been a revival

of occultism, astrology, spiritiism and “doctrines of devils”   I Timothy 4:1-2; II Timothy

3:13), preparing the minds of mankind for a worldwide (the term today is “global”

CY – 2015)  return to pagan idolatry.  (Easy pickings for Satan – CY – 2015)

Modern philosophers and scientists, with all their arrogant intellectualism, are

proponents of the ridiculous fantasy that inanimate matter in an imaginary primeval

formless state has somehow evolved into “ALL THE COMPLEX INANIMATE

AND COMPLEX LIVING SYSTEMS OF THE UNIVERSE!  How absurd!

How can it be that intelligent men, created in God’s image, can put their faith in

lifeless matter, “Saying to a stock, Thou art my father, and to a stone, Thou hast

brought me forth” (Jeremiah 2:27)?  They, in time, will find that neither

evolutionary humanism nor evolutionary superhumanism – neither matter nor

men nor angels can save them.  “But where are thy gods that thou has made thee?

Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of trouble” (ibid. v. 28)

                                                                        (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 

 

21 “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor

of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”  Sorceries; magic,

witchcraft, and enchantments; e.g. the magic of the Egyptian magicians

(Exodus 7:22). Sorcery is mentioned in Galatians 5:20 (where it is

described as “witchcraft” – [the Greek word is φαρμακεία  - pharmakeia –

drugging – I find it pertinent that in modern American culture that all

these sins are playing A MAJOR ROLEmurder, drug use, sexual

promiscuity {normal and ABNORMAL}, THIEVERY AND ROBBERY –

CY – 2015]) in connection with idolatry.  Other crimes are perpetrated by men

at intervals; but there is one continual fornication within those who are

wanting in PURITY OF HEART!

 

 

At that future point in history, idolatry, mysticism, spiritism, satanism and all forms of false religion

WILL BECOME THE NORM as demons lead people into more wicked and vicious behaviors.

Violent crimes like murder will be absolutely rampant. Without any sense of morality, the evil,

unrepentant people will imitate the demon horde's murderous blood lust. Of course, believers in God

will doubtlessly be their prime targets.  Once again, people will refuse to repent of their sins as the world

of unrepentant people compete for the scarce supplies of food, clothing, water, shelter and medicines.

Under the influence of the massive demon forces that has been unleashed upon the world, false religion,

murder, sexual perversion and crime will be unparalleled in human history.  (How is it going to get any

worse? – CY – 2015)  The Big Four Sins – v.21 lists the four most prominent sins of the Tribulation period.

The significance of these sins is great in light of present trends in the world. It's no coincidence that the

four major sins listed here are today four of the most serious problems facing LAW ENFORCEMENT 

(The Justice Department of the United States, headed by a Presidential appointed Bureaucracy stands

not on the side of law and civility – CY – 2015)

 

(1)     The first of these characteristic sins is murder. For whatever reason, societal permissiveness,

        lack of punishment or lack of faith, there has been an alarming increase in murder throughout

        the US and the world. One factor is the rejection of absolute standards of right and wrong.

        When a judge who posts the Ten Commandments in his courtroom is sued, you know society

        has its priorities upside down. Anyone who was awake in the latter part of the 20th century

        could see the violence around us. I don't think I need to elaborate on this point.

                The murder of unborn children in our day is A STENCH IN GOD’S NOSTRILS!   

                Women and men should repent of these murders. Murder with a deadly weapon is not

                always with a gun or a knife. One of the most useless murders in our day is drunk drivers

                killing people with their automobiles. Some are drunk on alcohol and some on drugs.

                All of these are useless killings that do not accomplish anything.  President Clinton vetoed

                a bill, passed with bi-partisan support in both the house and the senate, that would have

                prohibited partial birth abortions.  (And that was a couple of decades ago – I recommend

                # 8 – Abortion Rationale 2012 and #9 Abortion Statistics as of  2004 – this website – CY –

                2015)

 

(2)   The second prominent sin of the Tribulation era will be drug related occult activities. The word

                sorceries is used here.  It comes from the Greek word meaning pharmacy, and refers here to the

                practice of the occult tied to the use of drugs.  Drug use in the 1990's doubled from the 1960's

                and early 70's. In 1997 more than 11% claimed to use drugs every month. According to a

                study by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York,

                today's daughters are 15 times more likely than their baby boom mothers to have begun illegal

                drug use by age 15.  Another category of skyrocketing use is in so called designer drugs, such

                as methamphetamine.  Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. stated when Bill Clinton was president that

                "I have never, never, never seen a president who cares less about this issue."   (A lot has

                negatively changed since this was written, not the least of which is Colorado legalizing

                marijuana in 2014 – CY – 2015)  There is A STRONG LINK BETWEEN DRUG USE

                AND DEMON POSSESSION!   As far back as 1971, the International Journal of Social

                Psychiatry dealt with the reality of demon possession and how to diagnose it.  There is

                a need to ascertain if there is any involvement in drug addiction, as it is common that

                addicts, especially with heroin and alcohol, become involved with black magic

                and vice versa. Some have been known in some cases to have been very religious

                people who defaulted, and thus left themselves open to some power other than GOD

                to control their lives.  Sorceries can also be anything associated with the occult: palm

                reading, horoscope, etc. So many people in our society today are playing around with

                mind control, transcendental meditation, and other false religions. All of this type of

                activity is to undermine our belief in God.  (God will require this of all three branches

                of government in the United Staters, THE LEGISLATIVE, THE JUDICAL AND

        THE EXECUTIVE!  (CY – 2015)

(3) The third prominent sin of the Tribulation will be rampant immorality. Pορνείαςporneias

        fornication; prostitution -the Greek word used in this verse, refers to all kinds of sexual

        activity outside of marriage. Apparently, there will be a complete breakdown in the

         institution of marriage. (The Supreme Court of the United States legitimized gay marriage –

        I read in the paper tonight that Kentucky has one court clerk that refuses to marry gay people

        and she is under great attack.  I am praying for her and God will be with her in the end.  Those

        on the other side will give account also, likely going through these plagues we have studied

        thus far in Revelation.  Are they not described in v. 20?  - CY  -  August 14,2015)  Well, folks,

        as anyone can plainly see, we're almost there!  More than 70,000 women are sexually

        assaulted every year in the US. (1 every 45 seconds) It is the most rapidly growing violent

        crime in the country.  Domestic violence is more widespread than ever. Each year between

        2 and 4 million women are battered; 1,500 women are murdered by their intimate partners;

        1.8 million elderly are victims of maltreatment; 1.7 million child abuse reports are filed.

Ø       Fornication (Pορνείας) covers living with someone before you are married.

Ø       Fornication Pορνείας covers being married and dating someone else.

Ø       Fornication Pορνείας covers all homosexual and lesbian acts.

                The US Supreme court rules as unconstitutional Colorado's Amendment 2 to the state

                constitution, a simple and popular attempt to prohibit local governments from turning

                homosexuals and other sexual deviates into the latest protected political class. By the

                court's reasoning, as dissenting Justice Antonio Scalia pointed out, any state that bans

                polygamy is also in trouble.  It's actually a matter of debate in the House of

                Representatives and US Senate, whether men should be allowed to marry men and

                 women marry women. (1997)  (Not no more! – CY – 2015)

 

         (4) The fourth characteristic of the Tribulation will be thievery of all kinds. Crime in all of its

                manifestations is on the upsurge today. The experts say a youth crime crisis is right around

                the corner. (Not no more as it is HERE NOW! – CY – 2015)  At the current growth rate, there

                will be nearly one half million more adolescent boys in the year 2010 than there are today.

                (Well – it is 2015 now.  Wonder if the statistics bears this out? – CY – 2015)  That trend

                would mean there will be 30,000 more chronic juvenile delinquents on the streets in 15 years.

                (from 1997) Though representing only 7% of all male teens, these chronic offenders commit

                70% of all serious crime in their age group.  (Political leadership, via. the Judicial Branch,

                acts like they are an endangered species, with little discipline allowed!  - CY – 2015) 

                When a nation, founded as one nation under God, gives up its sovereignty under God in favor

                of "INTERDEPENDENCE “ ON THE WORLD, , you can see where the future lies. To be a

                friend of this future system in the sense of compromising God's viewpoint of life and letting

                the world squeeze you into its mold is to commit adultery, spiritually speaking. Remember,

                also, that in a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ, believers are viewed as being

                the "Bride" of Christ (II Corinthians 11:2)  That's another reason that playing around with

                false religion is viewed throughout the Bible as spiritual adultery. For the last 30 years (now

                50 – CY – 2015) , America has been engulfed in a culture war that threatens the nation's

                very foundation, ITS VERY SURVIVAL! God's word tells us in Luke 12:48 that "For

                 everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has

                 been committed, of him they will ask the more."  In the history of the world has any nation

                been more blessed than the US? Yet THE IS A COST TO IMMORALITY!  . And today we

                are beginning to pay it. In the past 30 (50) years there has been a 560% increase in violent crime.

                Illegitimate births have increased 419%. Divorce rates have tripled. The number of children

                living in single parent homes has tripled. The teen suicide rate has increase 200%. Student

                Achievement Tests have plummeted 80 points.  It should not surprise us that Billy Graham

                said years ago that if God didn't judge America soon, he would have to apologize to Sodom

                and Gomorrah. But it's not just the US. The entire world is in a headlong plunge into the

                morality of Sodom and Gomorrah and unfortunately into the same judgment. 

                (AND THUS THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS STUDY – CY - 2015)

                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

A sad reality!  These people are idolatrous demon worshipers who are also  murderers,

drug users, sexual profligates and thieves and THEY DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE!

Ever since the beginning of the tribulation, there had been violence and anarchy.  The

red horse rider (ch. 6:4) had been sent forth to “take peace from the earth, and that they

should kill one another.”  Forces for the maintenance of law and order had become ineffectual

at best, and men were free to rob and steal and kill as they would, and they took full advantage

of such license.  The religious restraints on sexual freedom had likewise been removed,

so that adultery, fornication, orgiastic revelries, sodomy, and lesbianism, and every other

form of sexual perversion, had become commonplace.  Associated with all these forms of

wickedness, and helping to dull any pangs of conscience which they might engender, there

had been A TREMENDOUS UPSURGE IN THE USE OF DRUGS.  The word translated

“sorceries” is the Greek word  φαρμακεία  - pharmakeia – which basically means druggings.

It is the source of our word “pharmacy” (who would have thought a few years ago that the term

“drug store” could have a sinister connotation?)  (Well, they have a new name now in Colorado,

Washington state, Washington, D. C., Alaska and Oregon – and others considering it for the

2016 election.  I wonder why that the Supreme Court has not struck down these laws as they

have on those who banned gay marriage, unless it is a sign that preparations are being made

for THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE END OF TIME! -  CY – 2015)  The word is

translated “witchcraft” in Galatians 5:20, where it is inserted in a long list of fleshly sins right

between “IDOLATRY” and “HATRED!”  Drug usage/users forfeit the control of their own

minds, making them easy targets for possession and control by such evil spirits as are mentioned

in this chapter with the opening of the fifth and sixth seals. The Scriptures have repeatedly warned

against such (and there is a correlation between America’s separation of church and states stance

and the rise of drug and sexual abuses!  The judiciary, the legislative, and for the first time

recently, the executive branch of the United States Government has been party to this and

God’s people “love to have it so”- Jeremiah 5:31.  They have been egged on by The ACLU,

college professors, lawyers, the court system, Hollywood, and the general populace. 

WHO WILL MAY KNOW IT! – CY – 2015)  During the Tribulation, there will be a breakdown

in law and order.  This means there will be no more restraints on drug use and the fearful

judgments coming on the earth will drive many to drugs as a form of ESCAPISM.  The

merchants of the earth will gladly cooperate because of the great profits involved.  The same

word is used in connection with the sales activities of these international profiteers in ch. 18:23:

“For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all the nations

deceived.”  (It is my belief that drugs will play a great role in Satan’s deception of the earth –

ch. 12:9; 20:8 – CY – 2015)  Satan “deceiveth the whole world” (ch. 12:9) and the merchants do

not care:  their profits are enlarged and they ever traffic in the souls of men” (ch. 18:13)  It is

highly likely that many of the murders and thefts of these people (especially during this time of

unprecedented famine and want) are the result of the need to pay for the “druggings.”  (In fact,

we already have a taste of this with the burglaries, street shootings, and the like in our own

community.  Television shows like The First 48 give us a preview of what I am talking about.

I talked to a man who once lived in Memphis who said that the city had banned The First 48

from filming there because of the black eye Memphis was getting.  Also in the so-called

War on Women you may rest assured that fornication is a integral part! – CY – 2015)

If there is any reader of these lines who is undecided about his or her eternal future, perhaps

a time of meditation on the implications of his/her choice may help his/her DECIDE!

If the gracious love of Jesus Christ and His death on Calvary for each and every one of

us, is not sufficient to draw him/her to repentance and faith in the SAVIOUR, the perhaps

a REALIZATION OF THE COMING WRATH OF CHRIST WILL.  It is against humanistic

philosophy today but perhaps, a touch of Tribulation can restrain you enough to come!

“And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling

them out of the fire.”  (Jude 1:22-23)  “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the

LIVING GOD!  (Hebrews 10:31)  “For our God is a consuming fire!” (ibid. ch. 12:29) 

                                                                        (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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