Morning Bible Study
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals. As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further,
events begin to take place on the earth and the time that we call the
Tribulation begins to unfold.
The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving
world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.
the seventh seal are seven trumpets.
We are now looking at the last three trumpets. The
last three trumpets bring such terrible things to the earth that they are
called the three “woes”.
It’s possible that as we’ve gotten this far, some of you are a little
queasy about how bad things are going to be on the earth during the
tribulation. Brace yourself because it’s
only going to get worse.
9:1-12 Trumpet Five:
:1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the
earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.
:1 a star fallen
When the third angel blew his trumpet (8:10), there was a “great star” that fell from heaven and
it was burning like a torch. It polluted
the fresh water. It’s name was Wormwood.
We talked about different possibilities of what that might be, but we
didn’t mention one other possibility – that the star might be a person, like an
At the beginning of Revelation John saw a vision of Jesus with seven stars
in His right hand. It was symbolic:
(Re 1:20 NKJV) …The seven
stars are the angels of the seven churches…
Here we see a star that is acting like a person – it’s given a key and it does
something with the key.
– pipto – to descend from a higher
place to a lower
It’s a perfect
tense – it had fallen in the past and continues in a “fallen” state.
This gives us a clue as to the identify of this “fallen star”.
We believe this “star” is Satan, also known as Lucifer, also called at the
end of the paragraph the “Destroyer”.
has to do with a change in his status, not his address.
Some people are mistaken in thinking that Satan no longer has access to
heaven because they think he lives in hell.
Satan’s status update was about a change of attitude, not address.
Satan was no longer working “for” God, but “against” God.
Satan used to be
one of the worship leaders in heaven (Eze. 28:14-15). But He rebelled against God and became an enemy of God.
Currently, Satan still has full access to heaven where he works as the
“accuser of the brethren” (Rev.
Isaiah describes Satan’s “fall”:
14:12–15 NKJV) —12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How
you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in
your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars
of God; I will also
sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the
heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be
brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
Notice the emphasis on the word “I”.
new “status” is all about being self-centered.
Be careful when your life becomes self-centered. Paul wrote,
(1 Ti 5:6 ESV) but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.
In contrast, Jesus said,
(Lk 9:23 NKJV) Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after
Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
:2 And he opened
the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great
furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
:2 the sun and the
air were darkened
We get some of that effect when we have fires fueled by the Santa Ana winds. The sky is darkened with the smoke.
:2 the bottomless
There is a place on earth, whether it’s in the physical realm or in the
spiritual realm, known as the bottomless pit or “abyss”.
The Greek word
for “bottomless” is “abussos”,
meaning “no bottom”
It is thought to be the place where the unrighteous dead go.
(Ro 10:7 NKJV) or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to
bring Christ up from the dead).
So it was that the
beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man
also died and was buried.
It is considered a prison for demons.
was about to cast out the demoniac’s demons…
(Lk 8:31 NKJV) And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into
Peter speaks of this demonic prison for rebellious angels:
(2 Pe 2:4 NKJV) …God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down
to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness…
It will one day be a temporary prison for Satan (Rev. 20:3)
and he cast him into
the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should
deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after
these things he must be released for a little while.
In our text (Rev. 9), we are going to see
demonic creatures being released by the one with the key.
NKJV) The beast that
you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to
Whoever the antichrist turns out to be, there is going to
be a connection with the demons of the abyss.
More when we get further in Revelation.
:3 Then out of the
smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the
scorpions of the earth have power.
– akris – a locust
We’re going to see that these aren’t your everyday brand of locusts (think
grasshoppers). There’s something demonic
about these creatures.
:3 as the scorpions
We’ll see that these locusts will be able to sting like a scorpion.
:4 They were commanded
not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only
those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
:4 grass … green …
Regular locusts eat green stuff, not humans. These only target humans.
:4 the seal of God
on their foreheads
Who has the seal of God on their foreheads?
It’s our Jewish
evangelists, the 144,000. We met
them back in Rev. 7 when
an angel announced:
NKJV) —3 saying,
“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants
of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and
forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were
While apparently all the humans on earth will be affected by these locust
creatures, the evangelists will be protected.
And in that day I
will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of
flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land.
:5 And they were
not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five
months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes
:5 five months
The normal lifespan of an insect locust is about five months (May to September).
This might mean that these locust creatures will be around for five months,
or it could mean that the pain caused by the locusts will last for five months.
:5 like the torment
of a scorpion
There are 1400 species
of scorpions, but only 25 of them have venom that is toxic to man.
Scorpion venom is a mixture of compounds like neurotoxins and enzyme
inhibitors and it works to kill or paralyze the prey.
:6 In those days
men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death
will flee from them.
:6 death will flee
This could be talking about people wanting to die who have been stung by
these locust creatures.
Some have theorized that nobody dies during a period of five months.
:7 The shape of the
locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of
something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
– homoioma – a figure, image,
As John describes these creatures, the best he can do is tell us what they
is a 1st century man describing things from the 21st
:7 horses prepared
We might think
of a medieval knight’s horse, or a horse in the Light Brigade.
John is probably thinking more along the lines of the Egyptians horses used
with ancient battle chariots.
:7 crowns of
something like gold
John is careful to say that these “crowns” on their heads weren’t exactly
gold, but “something like” gold.
:7 faces were
like the faces of men
The faces are only “like” men’s faces.
Perhaps eyes, nose, mouth?
:8 They had hair
like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.
:8 hair like women’s hair
Probably meaning that they had long hair.
:9 And they had
breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was
like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.
:9 breastplates of
These creatures are armored.
:9 sound of their
wings … like … horses
These are flying creatures, but they make a lot of noise that sounds like
Listen to the sound of horses running (Play “horses stampede” mp3 clip)
:10 They had tails
like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to
hurt men five months.
:10 tails like scorpions
These are not like regular locusts.
Regular locusts do not have stingers.
:7 The shape of the
locusts was like
So what do you think these locusts are?
Some see these
are purely demonic beings coming from the abyss. There are all kinds of versions of drawings
from John’s description.
Some see these
as being some sort of modern weapon, like an Apache attack helicopter, maybe swarms of them –
not a perfect description, but kind of close.
We don’t really know.
:11 And 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.
The locusts have no
king, Yet they all advance in ranks;
:11 the angel of
the bottomless pit
This is the “fallen star” that had been given a key.
:11 Abaddon …
Both the Hebrew and Greek words mean the same – “Destruction” or “Destroyer”.
This seems to be another reference to Satan who is a destroyer:
NKJV) The thief
does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have
life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Here’s another strange thing to ponder about the “Locust King”. In our English version, based on the Hebrew
text, Amos writes:
NKJV) Thus the
Lord God showed me: Behold, He
formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop; indeed it was
the late crop after the king’s mowings.
But the ancient Greek translation (LXX) translates into English a bit
"…a swarm of locusts was coming and behold one
of the young devastating locusts was Gog the king"
:12 One woe is past.
Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
Things on the earth will continue to get worse from this point.
When it comes to subjects like demons, things can get kind of scary. And I think that sometimes people go a little
overboard in attributing everything to demons.
I’ll warn you – this next clip might look pretty scary, but you’ll see
it isn’t …
we give the devil too much credit, and sometimes we need to be a little more concerned
about what he can do.
Ready for battle
We have spiritual weapons
6:10–11 NKJV) —10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His
might. 11 Put on the
whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the
When our military goes out to battle, they are equipped
for war. We are constantly developing
weapons to neutralize the enemy.
We actually have many weapons in our warfare against Satan
– I want to look at two of them.
Did you notice that these demonic locusts couldn’t touch the 144,000, those
with God’s seal on them?
(1 Jn 5:18 NKJV) We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has
been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
I think it’s interesting that in the same sentence that
John is encouraging his readers to not sin, he connects it somehow to Satan’s
powerlessness against us.
I think that when we yield ourselves to sin, we are giving Satan places to
grab onto us – it’s like we’re attaching handles to us, not that he can possess
us, but that he gains influence over us.
When we learn
to say “no” to sin, it’s like coating ourselves with Teflon – Satan can’t get a
When we get to Revelation
14, we’re going to see that 144,000 had a reputation for purity,
and the demons couldn’t touch them.
Specifically, I want to talk about the authority Jesus gives us to “bind”
the devil in prayer.
Jesus said to Peter:
(Mt 16:19 NKJV) And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever
you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will
be loosed in heaven.”
I think that one of the ways these “keys” are used is when
we face the demonic with the authority of Jesus and “bind” it. We “bind” it here in the natural realm (on
earth), and it affects the spiritual realm (in heaven).
see Jesus demonstrating this authority
(Mt 12:22 NKJV) Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and
mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
see the disciples using this same authority after Jesus gives it to
(Lk 10:17–18 NKJV) —17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons
are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan
fall like lightning from heaven.
I think Jesus is describing that as Satan was being bound on
earth by the disciples, it temporarily affected him in heaven.
may be times when we come face to face with the demonic (like Daniel Grant shared a few weeks ago), many times our
battle is in prayer.
The demonic realm cannot stand against the power of the
name of Jesus Christ. They have to yield
And when we learn to walk more and more in purity, Satan
has less and less of a chance to trip us up.
Best of all, we have Jesus on our side.
(1 Jn 4:4 NKJV) You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He
who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
your cell phone rings and you see Satan’s caller I.D. on the screen, you don’t
really have to be scared. Just answer
the phone, and yell out, “Jesus,
the call’s for you!”
We don’t need to be afraid of what’s ahead.