Revelation 9 Commentary - Part 1 (verses 1-5)
By Brother Mike (5-22-14; 56 minutes)
Revelation 8 is centered around the judgment of God upon the New Testament churches, which began on May 21, 1988. Revelation 9, on the other hand, is focused upon the judgment of God upon the entire world including the churches, which began on May 21, 2011 and continues until the end of the world. It is a period symbolized by 5 months in which salvation has come to an end, and the world is becoming increasingly evil at an alarming rate. It is a time in which the elect are present, but they are not permitted to be spiritually hurt, but the unsaved people of the world are spiritually hurt, for they can no longer be saved. Although many of them seek for salvation during this time, there is none to be found. And, they are tormented - bothered - by the proclamation that Judgment Day has come, and that there is no hope for them unless they were saved prior to May 21, 2011.
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 .
In this verse, we first read, And the fifth angel sounded. This fifth angel is the fifth angel of the seven angels which are mentioned back in Revelation 8 where we read,
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound .
We then see in Revelation 8 that the first four angels sound their trumpets, which brings the judgment of God upon all the churches. Then, we read in the last verse of Revelation 8,
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound !
This reveals that the three remaining angels are identified with the three woes. The 5th angel sounding represents the first woe; the 6th angel sounding represents the 2nd woe; and the 7th angel sounding represents the 3rd woe. Furthermore, whereas the first 4 angels sounding in Revelation 8 represented the judgment of God upon the New Testament churches, the last 3 angels sounding, starting with the 5th angel, represents the judgment of God upon the whole world beginning on May 21, 2011 and running until the end of the world. So when we read that the fifth angel sounded, what follows this sounding will be a description of the judgment of God that began on May 21, 2011, and this is the first woe brought upon the inhabitants of the earth.
Now when the 5th angel sounded in Revelation 9, we read, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. Who is this star which fell from heaven? The answer is, Christ. We see Christ represented as a star, for instance, in Numbers 24 where Christ is described as a star out of Jacob:
Nu 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob [Christ], and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth .
We also see Christ described as a star in Revelation 22:
Re 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I [Christ] am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star .
And, again, in Revelation 2:
Re 2:28 And I will give him the morning star [Christ] .
So it is clear that a star can represent Christ, but why does the scripture speak of Christ as a star that fell from heaven? I mean how can Christ be spoken of as someone who fell from heaven? We can understand this when we remember that on May 21, 2011, the stars, including Christ, are declared to have fallen from heaven to symbolize the putting out of the gospel lights and the end to salvation. We read of this in Matthew 24:29:
Mt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days [on May 21, 2011] shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken . . .
We also read of the stars falling after the tribulation in Mark 13:
But in those days, after that tribulation [after May 21, 2011], the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken .
So the reason why Christ is said to have fallen from heaven is because salvation came to an end on May 21, 2011, and His fall from heaven symbolizes that the light of salvation is no more - this is what the star falling from heaven to the earth represents.
But, now, we read, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. It is interesting to first note that He was given (in the past) the key of the bottomless pit. This would have to be referring to the time in the past when
Christ conquered hell and death at Calvary in 33 AD through the payment of sin on behalf of His elect
But, let's now attempt to try and get a better understanding of this bottomless pit. We might think that this bottomless pit is just that: a large pit that has no bottom. If so, then we would expect that someone placed in such a bottomless pit would be completely incapacitated and unable to affect anything outside the pit. But that is not what we see in the Bible. For instance, we read that Satan was bound in the bottomless pit in Revelation 20 where we read,
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years ,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season .
Here Satan was cast into the bottomless pit, and we know from other studies that this took place at the cross. This means that Satan was in prison during the church age from 33 AD to May 21, 1988, and he should not have been able, therefore, to do anything during this time. But that is not what we see, for even though Satan was cast into the bottomless pit, we read that he was still able to go about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour as we read in 1Peter 5:
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour . . .
Now, if Satan was bound in the bottomless pit during the church age, how is it that he was able to walk about, seeking whom he may devour during that time? Obviously, for Satan to have been cast into the bottomless pit does not mean that he was cast into a literal pit without a bottom. No, rather, for Satan to be cast into the bottomless pit meant that he was put into a state or condition of constraint that he should deceive the nations no more in that he could no longer keep the elect from being saved from every nation; it did not mean that he was cast into a literal bottomless pit in which he was completely incapable of doing anything. So what we see, then, is that the bottomless pit cannot be taken literally as a place of confinement, but it is condition or state in which someone or people are placed. In our case here of Satan, that he was cast into the bottomless pit meant that he was put into the condition or state of NOT being able to frustrate the salvation plan of the Lord in every nation.
But if Satan who was cast into the bottomless pit at the cross meant that he could not frustrate the Lord's plan to save a people for himself from every nation, it also, in principle, put Satan into a state or condition of death, for it was at the cross, when Satan was cast into the pit, that the eventual death of Satan was guaranteed to take place; that is, when Satan was cast into the bottomless pit, his eventual death, or annihilation, was guaranteed, and it was guaranteed to take place after the Lord saved all His elect in the world, which as of May 21, 2011 He has done, and, finally, once the last day of Judgment Day has come. In other words, the bottomless pit is identified with death and destruction in that everyone who is identified with the bottomless pit, which now includes every unsaved person in the world ever since May 21, 2011, are guaranteed to die and be destroyed on the Last Day when they will all be annihilated forevermore. This is the sense in which the pit is bottomless: namely it is endless. Yes, the death which those who are identified with the bottomless pit will undergo on the Last Day is endless ; it is forevermore.
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 .
Here we find that he [Christ] opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace. The term bottomless pit can be literally translated as the well or pit of the abyss. It can carry in it the notion of being immeasurable, or extremely deep, so the King James translators translated the well of the abyss as the bottomless pit. It is used to signify the place of death or hell as we see in Luke 8:
And Jesus asked him [the demon], saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep .
The deep here are the same words translated as the bottomless pit in our verse, and it is clear in the context of this verse that the deep or bottomless pit relates to the place of hell or death. We see this also in Romans 10:
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead .)
Notice how the deep in this verse is associated with the place that Christ went in order to pay for our sins. Once again, it is the place of hell and death. So from these two verses, we come to understand that the bottomless pit has to do with death and hell.
Now returning to our verse, which says, And he opened the bottomless pit, we can know that this means that Christ opened up death and hell to the world. This means that the whole world has been now put into the condition of death and hell ever since May 21, 2011, and, as was mentioned previously, this means that every unsaved person in the whole world no longer has any eternal hope; they are each guaranteed to die in the normal course of their life, and, if not then, then on the Last Day when all people who are identified with the bottomless pit, including Satan, will be forever annihilated. Of course, the elect will not be annihilated since, although they are in the world, they are not a part of the world; they are not identified with the bottomless pit. They shall receive their new spiritual bodies, and will be planted in the new heaven and earth, which will be created for them at this world's end. Amen!
This brings us to the next statement in our verse: we read, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace. The phrase the smoke of a great furnace remind of the judgment that God brought upon Sodom and Gomorrah. We read of this in Genesis 19:
Ge 19:28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace .
Yes, smoke in the Bible is here representing the glorious judgment of God, which can be seen in many passages. We see it not only in Genesis 19:28, which was just read, but we see it, for instance, in Psalm 37:
Ps 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away .
And, again, we see it in Psalm 18:
Ps 18:8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it .
And, as one more example, we read in Nahum 2,
Na 2:13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard .
So what we can conclude from all this is that when the scripture says, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace, it is saying that judgment has now come upon the world ever since May 21, 2011. The pit has been opened, and the Lord's judgment like smoke has filled the world. The Day of Judgment has come!
But, not only was the world filled with the judgment of God on May 21, 2011, but the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. The sun is a representation of Christ Himself as we read in Psalm 84:
Ps 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly .
And, again, in Malachi 4:
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall .
The Sun in the phrase Sun of righteousness in this verse is spelled the Sun [spelled s-u-n] of righteousness, which obviously identifies the Sun as being Christ Himself. We see also that the sun is a representation of Christ in Revelation 1:
Re 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength .
And, finally, in Revelation 10:1, we read,
Re 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel [Christ] come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire .
So we can clearly see how the sun is symbolic of Christ Himself.
But, now, what does the air represent in our passage. We are told that the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. The sun represents Christ, but what does the air represent? We read in Ephesians 2,
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience ...
From this verse, we see that Satan is referred to as the prince of the power of the air. In that the air normally refers to the lower atmosphere around us, this is saying that Satan is the prince of the atmospheric zone particularly in which the whole world lives. This is just another way of saying that Satan holds sway over the whole world, and to say that this rule of Satan was darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit is to say that his kingdom was made all the more sinful; that is, it was darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. What this means is that realm of Satan's kingdom was darkened all the more by sin every since May 21, 2011. It was on this date that the Lord lifted His hand of restraint to sin to a degree, and is now letting the world drift further into their own sin. Yes, the Lord has given the world over to its own devices, and this is why we are seeing a multiplication of sin everywhere like never before in history. Indeed, the air has been darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
But if the air being darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit means that the world has become darkened by its own sinfulness ever since May 21, 2011, what does it mean that the sun was darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit? Since we have already found that the sun represents Christ, for Christ to be darkened is teaching that the light of the gospel (Christ) has been darkened, and there is no more salvation available to the world. This is the same thing that we read of in Matthew 24:29 where we read,
Mt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken ...
We also read of this in Mark 13:24 where we read,
Mr 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light ...
In these verses, we are told that immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened. And, since we know that according to the
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 .
Here in this verse we are now told that there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. Since we already had learned that the smoke is symbolic of the judgment of the Lord, we are being told here that locusts came out from the judgment of God. In other words, these locusts are associated with the judgment of God. But what could these locusts represent? Many have been taught that these locusts are actually the elect who have been unleashed on the world to torment them with the words and teachings of the Bible, but there are good reasons to say that this is not the case, and that the locusts simply represent the very judgment of God itself (click on Who Are The Locusts of Revelation 9?
Now we read, and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. The word translated as power can just as well be translated as authority, so we are being told that the locusts; that is, the judgment of God was given authority, as the scorpions of the earth have power [authority]. Now the term scorpions are symbolic of false prophets or demonic powers. For instance, we read in Ezekiel 2:
Eze 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions [false prophets or brethren]: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house .
And, in Luke 10, we see that scorpions symbolize demonic powers:
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils [demons] are subject unto us through thy name
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven .
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions [demons], and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you .
So what our verse is revealing is that the judgment of God (the locusts) has power and authority as the false prophets and demonic forces have power and authority. But how do the false prophets and demonic forces have power and authority? Well, they have power and authority to lead people into false gospels that cannot save. So how is it that the judgment of God has this same power? Well, because the judgment of God is that salvation has come to an end ever since May 21, 2011. So, just as false prophets and demons cannot save anyone, so, too, the judgment of God cannot save anyone. This is, indeed, how the power of the judgment of God (the power of the locusts) is the same as the power of false brethren and demons (the power of scorpions): neither can save anyone during this time in the Day of Judgment.
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 .
Now, in this verse, we read that it was commanded them [the locusts] that they [the locusts] 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. Now, since we know that those men which have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads are referring to all the unsaved people of the world, we also know that the grass of the earth, any green thing, and any tree must be referring to the opposite of this, which are all the saved people in the world. So what we are being told by this verse is that the judgment of God (represented by the locusts) is commanded to NOT hurt any of the elect, but only all the unsaved people in the world. And just why does the Day of Judgment hurt the unsaved people of the world, and not the saved? Why, because there is no longer any salvation ever since May 21, 2011. This hurts the unsaved people of the world because they no longer have any hope for eternal life, and are, therefore, guaranteed to surely die, but this does not hurt the saved people now in the world because they have already been saved before May 21, 2011, and are, therefore, guaranteed eternal life during the Day of Judgment, so they will surely live. Judgment Day, then, hurts the unsaved, but the saved, it does not hurt at all. Yes, the locusts, which symbolize the judgment of God, have come upon all the unsaved as a dark cloud ever since May 21, 2011, and this hurts them because it means that they cannot be saved, and so must surely die, but to the saved, the elect, Judgment Day does nothing to remove salvation from them, so they remain unhurt, and they will surely live.
But, let's now see why the grass of the earth, any green thing, and any tree can symbolize the elect who are not hurt by Judgment Day. First, we can see that the grass can represent the elect in Matthew 13, where we read,
Mt 13:26 But when the blade [grass] was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also .
In this verse we find that the blade (grass) is identified with the fruit, for we read that when the blade [grass] was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. The tares, of course, represent the unsaved (Mt. 13:8); so the blade (grass) from which springs up the fruit must represent the saved. Hence, we see that the grass symbolizes the elect, the saved. We see this also in Mark 4:
Mr 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade [grass], then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear .
Once again the blade (grass) is identified with the fruit, for we read, first the blade [of grass], then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. So it all starts with the blade of grass, which then becomes the ear of corn, from which comes the full corn. So we see that the blade of grass is clearly identified with the final fruit, which represents the elect. Therefore, the grass is here identified with the elect.
But, now, how does any green thing identify with being the elect? Well, to simplify this whole topic, something that is green is symbolic of having spiritual life, and the elect have that spiritual life, so any green thing can represent the very elect themselves. For instance, we read about the feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6, where we read,
Mr 6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass .
Now why did He have them sit down upon the green grass? He did this because the green grass represents the elect, and what Christ was about to do by the feeding of the 5,000 was to reveal how the elect as symbolized by the 5,000 would be spiritually fed. Therefore, he had them sit down on the green grass to identify them with being a symbol of the elect, and then He fed them to symbolize how the elect would be spiritually fed. First, the bread is broken to symbolize the death - broken body - of Christ for the sins of His people, and then Christ distributes the bread to His disciples who then distribute the bread to the others. The result is that the bread is miraculously multiplied and gets distributed to all of His elect who are represented by the 5,000 being identified with the green grass.
Okay, now that we have gotten an idea of how the grass of the earth and any green thing can represent the elect, how can any tree represent the elect? This is probably the easiest question to answer because trees are symbolic of people throughout the Bible, and so there is no wonder as to why trees can represent the elect. For instance, we read about trees being symbolic of either true or false prophets in Matthew 7: