A Study of Revelation

Rev. 9:5
5* And 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.

Again limitations are placed on the locusts which forbids them to kill their victims. They only have power to hurt or torment, but this torment could be severe because it is like the sting of a scorpion.

When sin is given an opportunity to rule in someone’s life they suffer tremendously. Think of the poor souls who are in prison for the sins they committed which were against the laws of the land. Think of the suffering they have caused for their families and for their victims, think of the suffering they endure each day because of their addictions, the physical suffering, the mental suffering because of their sins.

These locusts have the power to torment sinful men for a period of 5 months. The number “5” signifies incompleteness. It means that the locusts’ control over mankind is incomplete. If they had complete control, man would have no way of avoiding their torment, but this is not the case. Man can avoid the consequences and torments of sin by turning from them and leading a Christian life. The time that a person allows sin to control their life is determined by the person himself. The time the devil is allowed to control a person’s life is incomplete. The moment a person renders obedience to God’s will the Devil loses his control and Christ becomes the focal point of his life.

 

Rev. 9:6

6* And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

Sin has its consequences. Both mental and physical anguish cause people to want to die. Many try to take their own lives to escape the conditions they have created for themselves. Christians need to be reminded that a Christian life will not only find reward in eternity, but here on earth as well because it will spare us from the many miseries in this world caused by sin.

Rev. 9:7
7* The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.

These are the descriptions of the followers of Satan. These descriptions are showing us the characteristics of those who spread the evil ways of Satan.

The horse was the symbol of war, this simply means that Satan’s followers are prepared to wage war upon mankind. Satan is not passive. He’s very active in our world today. He is constantly waging war through his followers who advocate the pleasures of sin as being the answer to man’s needs and desires.

On their heads you will find crowns like gold indicating that they appear to be figures of authority whose actions and leadership are correct in every way, but in reality they are leading men to the depths of torment.

The faces of the locust are like the faces of men. This should warn us that these locusts are actually people of this world who are following Satan and seeking to lead others along the same road of sin.

 

Rev. 9:8

8* They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.

This is another characteristic of those who practice sin in the world today and lead others to do the same. Since in the first century long hair displayed in public was the sign of a prostitute it is likely that this represents the promiscuous practice of all types of sexual sins such as prostitution and homosexuality. Many people today are living lives of torment and mental anguish because of the practice of such sins.

These locust also have the teeth of lions. Remember 1 Pet. 5:8?

1 Pet. 5:8
8* ¶ Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan and his servants are devouring all those who will follow them. This simply means to be overcome by sin. These locusts have the ability to devour anyone with whom they come in contact. If anyone listens to their false teachings and follows their ways, they will be devoured by sin.

Rev. 9:9
9* They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.

Iron breastplates indicated strong defenses. These forces are extremely hard to destroy. Remember Eph. 6:14?

 

Eph. 6:14

14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,

The sound of the wings are like the sound of Chariots and many horses rushing to battle. This indicates (as does verse 7) that the followers of Satan are vast in number and are constantly waging an aggressive war against mankind

Rev. 9:10
10* They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.

This is similar to verse 5. They have incomplete power to hurt men.

Rev. 9:11
11* They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

Here we have the clear identification that the one behind all of these evils is Satan himself. He is identified in three ways. First he is referred to as the angel of the abyss, and we know from Rev. 20:2,3 that this bottomless pit is the dwelling place of Satan. Secondly he is referred to as Abaddon which is the Hebrew word for destruction. The devil is responsible for the destruction of all who follow him. He is the ultimate destroyer. Christ offers us eternal life, but the devil has nothing to offer but eternal death and destruction.

The entire fifth trumpet has dealt with the effects the devil and his followers have upon mankind. Following the devil and his ways will cause many agonies in this present life and eternal destruction in the hereafter. The warning being sounded by this trumpet is that the devil leads many well-armed follower into constant battle against the people of all nations. Those who are overcome by these sins are tormented because of them, even to the point of seeking death. God’s people are not affected by these torments because they live righteous lives and do not participate in the sins which cause these torments.

Man has the power to choose whether to serve the devil or not because his control over man is incomplete. The devil controls only those people who choose to follow him. Anyone who seeks to avoid this woe can do so by becoming a Christian and leading a Christian life.

Rev. 9:12
12* The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets are referred to as three woes. The term “woe” seems to place special emphasis on the last three trumpets as being especially severe. This verse announces that one of the terrible woes is finished but two more are yet to be described.

Rev. 9:13
13* ¶ Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

With the sixth angel we have the releasing of forces which will destroy the spiritual part of man. The fifth and sixth trumpets sound alike, and they are except for one very important distinction. The devil was given the power to inflict the torments in the fifth trumpet, but God releases the forces which act in the sixth trumpet. The sixth trumpet pictures the final destruction of the “spiritual” part of man. The sixth plague will describe the final plague which will be poured out on those who oppose God.

John hears a voice coming from the 4 horns of the golden altar which is before God. In Exodus 29:12 the blood of a bull, which was given as a sin offering was put upon the horns of the altar. In Rev. 8:3 the golden altar is used symbolically to represent man’s ability to commune with God through prayer. In Rev. 6:10 the martyred saints under the altar were asking “How long, O Lord” wanting to know how long God was going to allow the unrighteous to persecute the righteous. This sixth trumpet must be the beginning of the answer to that prayer. The altar symbolizes man’s prayers and the horns of the altar symbolize the blood sacrifices many Christians have been required to make for the sake of their faith.

This sixth trumpet affects only those who are not Christians because they are the ones who indulge themselves in the practices of sin. God turns them over to the ways of sin to follow the devil, they lose the spiritual part of their being and will eventually spend eternity in hell. Remember 2 Thess. 2:11-12?

2 Thess. 2:11-12
11* For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
12* in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Rev. 9:14
14* one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”

The river Euphrates is certainly not the literal river Euphrates. The Bible has used the river Euphrates numerous times to illustrate a boundary between the ways of righteousness and ungodliness. Adam and Eve lived by the river Euphrates until they sinned. Jeremiah was told to bury the waistband near the river Euphrates where it became rotten which was used to illustrate the sin of the Israelites.

When God looses the forces symbolically bound in the great river Euphrates they will overtake and destroy the spiritual part of any individual who is following the ways of the devil (see 2 Thess. 2:11-12 above). Euphrates means literally, “that makes fruitful or grows.” When people become so evil that they no longer desire to grow spiritually or become fruitful, God will turn them over to the ways of Satan.

Rev. 9:15
15* And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.

The angels are released and they kill “1/3” of mankind. This is a reference to the spiritual part of man. When man gives himself over to sin there will come a time that God will let him be completely overwhelmed. The spiritual part of man is then destroyed. Remember Romans chapter one?

Rom. 1:18-32
18* For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19* ¶ because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20* For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21* For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22* Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23* and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24* Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
25* For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26* For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27* and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28* And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
29* being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
30* slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31* without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
32* and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

This is the warning being sounded by the sixth trumpet. “The hour and day and month and year,” refers to the time when an individual completely turns from God and God turns him over to Satan. It can happen at any time. There are four angels here. As you remember “4” is used to describe events which happen on this earth. The angels are set loose to destroy the spiritual part of those who are indulging themselves in a life of sin.

Rev. 9:16
16* The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

This is similar to the symbol used in the fifth trumpet. These horsemen are those forces of evil on earth who attack men and overcome them spiritually. The difference in the warnings of the fifth and sixth trumpets is that the locusts which looked like horses in the fifth trumpet were only allowed to torment the physical part of men, but in the sixth trumpet God allows these horsemen to destroy the spiritual part of men also.

These horsemen are not directed against Christians because they were not allowed to hurt Christians in the fifth trumpet. Those people who would be destroyed spiritually are those who have been attacked by the forces of the devil in the 5th trumpet and overcome by them. If a person remains faithful to the Lord, he will not suffer the torments of sin (5th trumpet) neither will the spiritual part of his being be destroyed (6th trumpet). His spiritual part will remain alive in service to the Lord.

The number of these horsemen is “two hundred million.”

17* And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
18* A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.
19* For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.
20* The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
21* and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

CHAPTER 10

This chapter comes between the sixth and seventh trumpets. Chapter eleven continues with the trumpets. Remember the 6th trumpet takes us to the Second Coming of Christ, the 7th trumpet takes us into eternity. This story is an interlude.
We will briefly consider it together.

This “little book” represents the New Testament. This must be true because of the following reasons:

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This chapter is the story of the “little book.”

10:1* ¶ I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;
2* and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land;
3* and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.

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the cloud takes us back to Chapter one:

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the cloud reminds us that the message of the gospel is righteousness

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
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second, we have the symbol of the rainbow

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
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this takes us back to chapter four and the emerald rainbow around the throne:

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
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this rainbow takes us back to Genesis:

the rainbow signifies that the New Testament is God’s covenant with man:

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God has never failed to keep his covenant, he will never fail to keep the New Covenant.
Next, attention is called to the face:

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this again takes us back to the first chapter:

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The New Testament provides spritual light in the world today.

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next attention is called to the feet:

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again this takes us back to the 1st chapter:

this indicates that the message of the gospel is firm and lasting

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2* and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land;

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1) The “little book” is always open in this story. God’s Word is always open to anyone who is willing to read and obey it’s teachings.

4* When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”
5* Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven,
6* and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer,
7* but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.

8 ¶ Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.”
9* So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he *said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
10* I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.
11* And they *said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

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2) John was told to take the book from the angel (vs. 8). He asked the angel to give it to him, but he was again told to take it. God’s Word is always open and available to us, but we must take it. No one can obey the Word for us. It is the responsibility of every individual to open God’s Word and study and obey it for himself.

3) John was told to eat the little book. This shows that we are to study and consume the teaching of the Bible. We are to digest the Word of God.

4) After John ate the book he was told he must prophesy again. To prophesy means to teach God’s Word, and in order to do that, we must first study and digest it.

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5) This vision comes between the sixth and seventh trumpets, the trumpets warn of events which could cause one to lose his spiritual life, but we may prepare ourselves to overcome these events by studying God’s Word.

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