REVELATION CHAPTER 9
THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (Trumpets 5-6)
THE FIFTH TRUMPET
THE FIRST WOE: DEMONIC LOCUSTS FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star (an angel) that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. (This angel is on a divine mission to unlock this shaft, which has been kept under lock and key until this time. The Abyss is a place of confinement, separate from hell, reserved for exceeding wicked supernatural demons. See Luke 8:31. Rev 20:3 tells us that Satan will occupy this same prison for 1000 years after the Second Coming of Jesus, after he is defeated by Christ). 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. (Visualize a dormant volcano like Mt. Vesuvius instantly coming to life). The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. (In Genesis 6 we learn that a group of fallen angels co-habituated with humans in a Satanic attempt to corrupt the human race. These demons were assigned to the abyss, or the bottomless pit.) 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. (These demonic monsters fly like locusts and sting like scorpions inflicting extreme pain upon men. Joel connected this demonic locust plague to the Day of the Lord. See Joel 2:4.). 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, (the judgments have shifted from the land to the people) but only those people who did not have the seal of God (The mark of protection from God. See Rev. 7:3) on their foreheads. (The plagues are directed on those who do not have the seal of God. The locusts will NOT sting the 144,000 Jews who have been sealed to protect them from the plagues of God’s wrath during the Day of the Lord. God’s wrath will fall only on the worshippers of the Beast. God’s people will be protected from this demonic activity. See Rev 16:2.) Notice the parallels between this judgment and the Passover judgment when God’s death angel “passed over” those homes marked with blood). 5 They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. (This torture will last 5 months) And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. (Men will long to die in order to be relieved of their intense agony. The pain will be intolerable, but it will not be fatal)
7 The locusts looked like (Here, we are given 10 distinct, terrifying characteristics of the Biblical locusts) horses prepared for battle. (1. Locusts look like horses lined up to do battle). On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold (2. The heads of the locusts shine like gold), and their faces resembled human faces. (3. The creatures have the body of a locust and the face of a human). 8 Their hair was like women's hair (4. The locusts have long hair) and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. (5. The locusts have sharp lions’ teeth, though it is their sting that harms). 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron (6. The locusts have a protective covering on their chests), and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. (7. The locusts have wings that make a thunderous noise that terrorize people). 10 They had tails and stings like scorpions (8. The locusts have tails like scorpions), and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. (9. The sting of the locusts results in excruciating pain, but not death. This torment is for a fixed time – 5 months). 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon (Destroyer), and in Greek, Apollyon (Destroyer). (10. The locusts have a king. The identity of this king is uncertain, but will doubtless be a horrible lieutenant of Satan. This episode is a vivid picture of the spiritual warfare that will exist in the Day of the Lord. As described above, the Abyss is opened, causing smoke to flood the earth, darkening the sun and sky. Unbelievers will be tortured by demonic locust-like creatures for five months. This will perhaps be the first time mankind is permitted to see demons, which is why John provides us with such a thorough description of the creatures. These demons manifest the true character of Satan, who delights in destroying all mankind).
12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come. (The last 3 of the 7 trumpets are looked upon as 3 woes, because they are so horrific).
THE SIXTH TRUMPET
THE SECOND WOE: FOUR DEMONIC ANGELS, ARMY OF HORSEMEN
13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. (This altar is the same altar we saw in Rev 8:3. It symbolizes the prayers of the saints, which are crying our for God’s vengeance) 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” (Four Demonic Angels that have been bound in the area of modern day Iraq - for what reason we are not told. Under God’s direction they are released.) 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. (These four demonic angels were placed in confinement in anticipation of their role in the End Times; they are instruments of divine wrath and once released, they will kill one third of all mankind.) 16 The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. (The four angels lead a demonic army whose size is inconceivable -- 200 million) I heard their number. (This is the Second Woe — the release of the Four Demonic Angels and their army of 200 million horsemen, who will destroy 1/3rd of all mankind with fire, smoke, and brimstone. Note that this army is of such size that John couldn’t count them. He has to be told its number).
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: (John gives us a description of the Four Demonic Angel’s army of 200 million riders and their horses.) Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. (Fire, smoke and sulfur) The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. (These could be 3 separate plagues of fire, smoke and brimstone) 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur that came out of their mouths. (Just how these plagues inflict death we are not told) 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury. (These demonic forces have additional weapons; Tails like snakes and heads that inflict horrible injury, leading to death.)
20 The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands (1/3rd of mankind is killed by this plague, but those that survive, still refuse to repent!) they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk. (The downward spiral of moral breakdown and godlessness in the Last Days will reach the point of full-blown demon worship. As the last of the Seven Trumpets are blown, and Daniel’s 70th Week draws to a close, the world is completely and openly infested by demons. At this point, the worship of Antichrist will overtly involve the worship of demons and idols.) 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts (Perhaps these demons will indwell the idols, giving them supernatural powers.), their sexual immorality or their thefts. (In the Day of the Lord, the wicked will not repent. God’s wrath in the seven trumpets is designed to drive men to repentance while the time for decision still remains, before it’s too late. God’s patience is running out and the final trumpet is about to sound. Although some will accept Christ, the world as a whole will not repent, See Revelation 9:20, and God's final, undiluted wrath will be released in the form of the bowl judgments. See Rev 16)