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Lyn Mize

(Rev 9 KJV)  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall (i.e., fallen-ASV, 1901 and NIV translate this correctly) from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. {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. {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. {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. {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. {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. {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. {8} And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. {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. {10} And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. {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. {12} One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. {13} And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, {14} Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. {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. {16} And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. {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. {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. {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. {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: {21} Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.  

Thus far the trumpet judgments have only involved the objects of physical nature.  The effects of these judgments have been wrought in the material world.  The first trumpet smote the land, the trees and the grass.  The second trumpet smote the waters, the fishes and the ships of the sea.  The third trumpet smote the fountains, wells and rivers, or the fresh waters of the world.  The fourth trumpet darkened and obscured the sources of light and heat to the world.  The upcoming fifth trumpet is about to open the doors of separation between the earth and the evil spirits imprisoned in the abyss for their extreme wickedness.  

1. And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall (i.e., fallen-ASV, 1901 and NIV translate this correctly) from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.  

a. The context is clear that this is not a literal star since the verse refers to this star as "him."  The word star is often used figuratively in the Bible to refer to angels which is the case in this verse (See Job:38:7).  

b. This fallen star is Lucifer (i.e., Satan).  We read of the "angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" (Jude 6).  These angels are of various orders and degrees, "principalities and powers" (Eph. 6:6; Col. 2:15).  They are the "angels that sinned," whom God did not spare (2 Peter 2:4).  The leader and prince of all of these angels is "the great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan."  During the present time they have possession of the aerial or heavenly (i.e., first heaven) spaces (Eph. 6:12).  Satan is particularly called "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2).  Their abode is currently the atmosphere above the earth, but in the middle of the tribulation period, they will be cast down to earth.  It is at this time that Satan will indwell the Antichrist, and he will turn his attention from Christians who have been caught up to heaven (Rev. 7:9-17; Rev. 12:5) to the Jews who are confined to the earth.  This time of persecution of the Jews is called the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7)  

c. There is a dark underworld called the abyss or bottomless pit where a particularly wicked class of demons are held.  This abyss is called "the deep" in Luke 8:31 and Tarturus in 2 Peter 2:4.  Satan will be given the key to this pit, and these extremely evil beings will be loosed upon unregenerate mankind.  There will still be bonds and limitations upon these evil spirits.  

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.  

a. Satan opens the abyss and a thick blackness issues from it that fills the air and obscures the sun.  

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.  

a. Out of the smoke proceed living things horribly shaped with malignant dispositions.  They are armed with the power to afflict and torment men's bodies analogous to the sting of a scorpion.  

b. John calls them locusts, but they are supernatural, infernal beings, and not earthly locusts.  This is clear from the context.  John obviously calls them locusts because they swarm and obscure the sun in the same way that locusts do.  

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.  

a. God is still sovereign so He places limitations on what these evil beings are able to do.  Even though they are called locusts, they do not harm the vegetation upon the earth.  Their sole mission is to torment unregenerate men.  

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.  

a. Another limitation placed upon these evil spirit beings is that they are not allowed to kill anyone.  They are only allowed to torment men with the severity of the sting of a scorpion, and they are also given a time limitation of five months.  The time limitation is literal.  

b. A scorpion was an instrument of torture in the Old Testament made of lashes and spikes.  It is analogous to the scourge used upon Jesus (1 Kings 12:11,14)  

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.  

a. The torment of these evil spirits will be so severe that men will desire to die, and they will even expect to die from the pain and suffering, but they will not die from it.  This was a limitation placed on these evil spirits in verse 5.  

b. To interpret this verse to mean that a person will not be able to commit suicide goes beyond the meaning of the words.  Many people today suffering from crippling and painful afflictions desire death, but they do not commit suicide.  This is the thought in this verse of Scripture.  

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.  

a. This is simply a description of these supernatural creatures, and it is unnecessary to attempt to identify some earthly creature or some manmade object such as helicopters.  These are clearly supernatural beings so they will not resemble anything that mankind today has ever seen.  

b. They will apparently be visible to man since John gives a detailed description of them.

c. It should be noted that angelic beings can appear to mankind in various ways.  Christian literature abounds with angel stories where angels appeared as normal human beings in normal dress.  The fallen angels could just as easily appear as the hideous creatures described by John.

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

a. John continues the description of these creatures.  It appears certain that these creatures have purposely chosen to appear in a form that would be exceptionally frightening to man.  The terror instilled by these creatures is most certainly part of their torment.  

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.  

a. Their description continues.  The breastplates seem to have the purpose of showing how invincible these creatures are and how mankind is unable to fight against them.  The wings show their mode of travel is not confined to earth.  The sound of their wings also appears to have the purpose of instilling fear into man.  

10. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.  

a. This completes the description of these demonic beings.  The Greek word for power means "delegated authority," and this means that the "hurt" or suffering that these beings cause is a judgment or punishment from God.  They are acting under the authority and limitations of God.  

b. It is noted that these spirit beings or a sort of infernal cherubim or antipodes of the Living Ones.  The horse, the man, the lion and the scorpion are combined in these evil beings.  

c. Many and great minds have attempted to make an allegorical or historical interpretation out of these locusts, but the account given is that of literal realities.  The facts in the account should be taken just as they are written with the figurative language being clearly identified as figurative.  Everything not identified as figurative should be taken literally.  

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.  

a. This verse identifies the angel who is king over the abyss.  Both the Hebrew Abaddon and the Greek Apollyon mean destroyer or destroying angel.  This angel is not Satan, but he is one of the fallen angels under Satan's authority.  Satan opened the pit, but this angel is in immediate authority over these beings.  The abyss is a prison where these evil spirits are kept incarcerated.  This is the same place where Satan will be chained up for the millennium.  It is not the same as the lake of fire.  

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

a. This ends the fifth of the trumpet judgments, and there are two left.  

b. It is significant that this trumpet judgment has introduced the very torments of hell upon the theater of this world.  The worst is yet to come.  

c. As of now the judgments of God are coming.  They will not be delayed until this life is over.  They will come upon unregenerate men while they are standing on their feet in these earthly bodies of flesh and blood.  

13. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,  

a. The sixth Presence Angel sounds his trumpet, and a voice comes from the four horns of the golden altar.  

(1) The golden altar was in the Holy Place before the veil and the Ark of the Covenant.  Incense was offered on it daily.  It typified the Lord Jesus Christ in his role as intercessor.  The brazen altar on the outside typified the death of Christ while the golden altar typified his resurrection.  

(2) The golden altar was made of shittim wood and covered with pure gold.  The wood symbolized the human nature of Jesus and the gold symbolized the divine nature of Christ.  Jesus is his human name and Christ is His divine name.  

(3) The High Priest sprinkled blood shed at the brazen altar at the door of the tabernacle on the four horns of the golden altar once a year.  This showed that the prayers and intercession of Jesus Christ on behalf of His people received their value completely and exclusively from the blood shed at the brazen altar (i.e., the cross).  If Christ had not died for us at the brazen altar, He would not have been able to intercede for us at the golden altar.  The blood sprinkled on the horns of the golden altar pictures the continual cleansing that believers must have through Jesus as intercessor.  The greatest privilege that Christians have is prayer and intercession (i.e., worship), and it is also the one most neglected.  Martha was not reproved because she was serving, but because she failed to worship first in preparation for service.  

b. The voice comes from the horns of the altar where the blood was sprinkled in order to obtain mercy and forgiveness.  Therefore, the normal cry from the horns of the golden altar was for mercy.  The horns are now about to cry out for judgment and vengeance.  

14. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in (i.e., over or near) the great river Euphrates.  

a. The command is to the Angel who sounds the trumpet.  This confirms that the angel-trumpeters are of a superior order.  Other angels are concerned yet this particular angel has binding or loosing power over them.  

b. The command itself comes from the contemned Savior.  The One who has served as Intercessor is now calling for judgment for those who have rejected and despised the divine system of gracious atonement.  

c. The four angels are normally thought of as good angels, but good angels are not bound.  These angels are bound.  Good angels would only destroy men at the direct command of God.  These angels only have to be loosed and given permission in order to embark upon their mission of destruction.  The implication is that they would have been bent on destruction all along, if they had not been bound.  

d. These angels are most certainly four of the apostate angels whom God had "delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto the judgment of the great day." (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6).  Now has come the time for their bonds to be relaxed, and for them to be used by God as instruments of judgment.  This is not unusual for God since He will use Antichrist to punish the Jews for their disobedience.  God even ordained Hitler as a means of getting Israel to return to the land of Israel.  

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.  

a. These four apostate angels are loosened from their chains.  They had been prepared for "the hour, and day, and month, and year" in order to slay one third of mankind.  

b. "The hour, and day, and month, and year" has been interpreted two different ways by two of the greatest scholars on the book of Revelation.  Joseph A. Seiss stated that this is the length of time that will be utilized in the process of slaying one third of mankind.  Walter Scott stated that this is the length of time that will elapse before the slaying commences.  It appears that Scott is correct in this, since the slaying of one third of mankind will occur at Armageddon when the kings of the East are released under the sixth vial or bowl judgment by the drying up of the Euphrates River.  

16. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.  

a. The fact that China bragged back in the 60's that they could marshal an army of 200 million men confirms that this verse relates to the commencement of this slaying under the sixth vial judgment in Rev. 16:12.  Thus, the sixth trumpet is the preparatory stage for the sixth vial which is to take place 13 months, one day and one hour later.  

b. Seiss believed that these 200 million horsemen would be supernatural beings like the locusts, but there is nothing in this passage of Scripture that would mandate that the horsemen be supernatural.  On the contrary, we should take the horsemen as being literal unless the context clearly shows them to be figurative or supernatural.  

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.  

a. John proceeds to describe what he saw in his vision.  He calls them horses, but they are not proper horses.  The head's are like lion's heads, and their tails were serpentine (Vs. 19).  These horses have riders, but the riders are parts of the horses, and no separate action is ascribed to the riders.  It is not the riders but the horses that do all of the mischief.  It is difficult to identify what John saw in his vision, but it would have to be some kind of launcher for nuclear missiles.  

b. Out of the mouths came fire, smoke and brimstone.  It appears certain based on this description and the devastation of these three plagues that nuclear missiles are described.  The fire and smoke would describe the missiles on their way to the target, and the brimstone would be the bright flash that occurs upon detonation.  The word for brimstone means bright flash.  The fire could also be the aftermath of the burning that takes place after the bright flash, and the smoke could be a description of the nuclear radiation that kills people after the flash and the resulting flash.  John specifically lists all three with each one being a plague in and of itself.  The smoke from the missile would not actually kill anyone, but the nuclear radiation definitely would, so the smoke is most likely a description of the radiation.  The word for brimstone originally denoted fire from heaven.  The word for fire also pertains to the holiness of God, which consumes all that is inconsistent with this holiness.  

c. Other passages of Scripture appear to confirm that these final judgments of God are through the agency of nuclear devastation.  This is consistent with fire, smoke and brimstone as described in this passage.  

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.  

a. The three plagues kill a third part of men.  Even in His divine wrath, God shows His mercy in sparing two thirds of mankind.  

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.  

a. John emphasizes that the power is in their mouths and in their tails.  

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:  

a. Even with the destruction of one third of mankind, the remainder will still not repent of their evil deeds.  They continue in their demonic activity, and their idolatry.  The idols of gold and silver would pertain to the wealthy while the idols of brass and stone pertain to the middle class.  The idols of wood would pertain to the poor people of the earth who continue in their sins.  Depravity does not restrict itself to any one class of people.  

21. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.  

a. The four primary sins of today are listed, and mankind refused to repent of these sins. 

b. The crime of murder has become commonplace, and murderers are frequently released from prison after serving only a few years.  

c. Sorceries pertain to the use of drugs.  Drug use has become rampant throughout the world, and it is especially rampant in America (i.e., Babylon the Great).  Sorceries also include the excessive use of alcohol.  

d. Fornication pertains to any sexual sin, so it includes fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, pedophilia, and all other sexual perversions that have become rampant throughout the world in these last days.  

e. Thefts pertain to the act of stealing for the purpose of illicit gain.  It is a direct result of covetousness and greed, which has become so commonplace in today's world.