Rev. 9:1 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.
Come Blow That Trumpet, Gabriel
This is not a literal star. This is not even a star that will fall, but one that has already fallen - Satan. Rev 9:2 refers to this star as a he. The prophet Isaiah said, How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star (Satan), son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth (Isaiah 14:12). Satan will be cast down indeed. He will be given the key to his subterranean home called the Abyss. An abyss is a place of torment where the worst of his demonic spirits are held and from where the Antichrist will come forth.
Some people think Jesus was referring to the Abyss when he said, for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).
Rev. 9:2 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.
Darkness Over The Earth
Satan will descend and open the Abyss. When he does, a thick black smoke will rush out, covering the earth in darkness. The shy will be blackened, and the sun will be obscured.
Rev. 9:3 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.
Locusts Will Come
Locusts will come out of the smoke, but not locusts as we know them. They will not be the short-horned grasshoppers that have plagued people around the world. Instead, they will be demon possessed and have horrible features - part animal and part human.
These locusts will be like scorpions. they will have stingers to stab and poison their victims with. Victims rarely die from the sting of a scorpion, but often turn black and blue and go into convulsions. The pain is unbearable. What could be worse than millions of demon-possessed locusts dive - bombing us like mosquitoes.
Jesus once visited the Gerasenes where he encountered a demon-possessed man living among the tombs. the demons begged Jesus not to cast them into the Abyss, so he cast them into a herd of pigs instead. The demons would rather be cast into the pigs than cast into the Abyss.
Rev. 9:4 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.
As intelligent as these demon-possessed locusts will most likely be, it's ironic that they will still be under God's control. They will only harm those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (144,000 Jews).
Even though locusts eat plants, God commands these locusts not to harm the grass, plants, or trees. We may wonder why but can only speculate how locusts would not eat their most staple foods. Perhaps it will be because the earth may be in such ecological chaos that any further damage by locusts would destroy it altogether. If the grass, plants, and trees were gone, the earth could no longer produce oxygen, and if there were no oxygen, God's people would not survive during the Millennium.
Rev. 9:5 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 Scorpion's Sting
These locusts will not kill but only torture for a period not to exceed five months. They will be the masters of suffering by inflicting pain similar to a scorpion's sting.
Rev. 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
Begging To Die
During these five months of the Tribulation Period, people will hurt so much they will want to die. Their nervous systems become infected, parts of their bodies will swell and hurt, and other parts will fail to function altogether, Some will suffer seizures and convulsions and others will lose consciousness. Many will take medicines that fail to provide relief. Because of this torture, many will try to commit suicide, but God will not let them find death to end their suffering.
Rev. 9:7 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.
Rev. 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
Rev. 9:9 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.
Rev. 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
A Grasshopper? No, A Locust
How would you describe a locust? I'm sure you wouldn't say it has a body shaped like a horse, hair like that of a woman, and two eyes like a man? Of course you wouldn't, but that's what John saw.
The word like appears seven times and the word resembled appears one time in these verses. Obviously, John is using comparisons and symbolic language to describe what these demon - possessed locusts will look like.
They will have bodies shaped like a horse with a breastplate of iron. Something similar to a crown of gold will adorn their heads, and their faces will resemble that of a human. Their manes will be long like a woman's hair, and their teeth will be small and sharp like a lion's. They will have tails like a scorpion, and their wings will sound like an army of chariots.
Italy and some other foreign countries locusts are called little horses and some resemble a horse. In Germany its called heupferd (hay-horse) and in Italian cavaletta (little horse)
Rev. 9:11 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 Demon Army
This uncatural army of locust will be under the direction of an angelic king. Some say this angelic king will be Satan, but it seems more likely he will be one of Satan's powerful assistants. Satan will not be one of the demons confined in the Abyss. He is the Fallen Star who opens the pit to let this angelic king and his ungodly army loose.Abaddon., meaning destruction, and his Greek name Apollyon, meaning destroyer. Since his name is given in both Hebrew and Greek, he will probably be permitted to attach both Jew and Gentile alike. His name is given twice, so it is a double warning of his destructive powers.
Rev. 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
One Down And Two To Go
This verse is further proof that Revelation is sequence-oriented. The trumpet woes will not overlap. They will come in sequence. It is obvious why the angel called them woes-tormented people, losing their minds and begging to die.
Rev. 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
The Sixth Trumpet Angel
This is the altar of Chapter 8. It is where the angel mixes the incense with the prayers of the Tribulation Saints. The mixture rises to God and kindles his wrath. Then the sixth angel will stand up and sound his trumpet, and a voice will be heard coming from the horns of the altar that will speak for the martyred saints.
The horns of the golden altar refer to horns like animal horns that were extensions of spires that were placed at the four corners of the altar of burnt offerings. Sometimes sacrificial animals were tied to the horns, and there are even two instances of men grabbing and hold of the horns when they thought they were going to be killed. they hoped to receive mercy.
Rev. 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river the Euphrates.
The Great River
The Euphrates River first appears in Genesis. It was close to the Garden of Eden where Adam sinned and Cain slew Abel. It is where the flood began, where the Tower of Babel stood, where Babylon was built, and where would the government and world religion began. It has long been associated with astrology, idolatry, demon worship, witchcraft, and other sorted sins. It is also widely recognized as the boundary between East and West.
Who are these four angels? The fact that they are bound indicates that they are four more fallen angels. Why they fell and are bound we are not told, but they appear to be powerful cohorts of Satan who may have had a part in the many sins committed along the Euphrates. In any case, the voice coming from the golden altar will tell the sixth angel to release these four angels.
Rev. 9:15 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.
Four Fallen Angels
These four fallen angels will be restrained and kept ready for the precise month, day, and year of God's choosing. God's precise timing for the seven-year Tribulation Period is laid out to the exact hour, minute, and second. When these four angels are released, the earth will lose one-third of its population. Since we have not witnessed such speedy and cataclysmic loss, it is safe to say Revelation has not yet been fully fulfilled.
Not since Noah has such a substantial proportion of the earth's population come under God's righteous judgment.
1.) A few hundred million will leave in the Rapture.
2.) One-fourth of those who remain on earth (more than one billion people) will die when the fourth seal (the horseman called Death) is opened (Revelation 6:8).Others Number unknown will die from war, natural disasters, and poisoned water.
3.) Then one-third of the remainder will die when these four angels are released (Revelation9:15).
This is why Jesus said, If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive. (Matthew 24:22).
Rev. 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
An Army of 200 Million
This army of mounted troops must be a future army since in numbers more than the entire population of the earth in John's day. It is significant to note that today only one nation has the capability of fielding a 200 million man army - China.
The leaders of this army will be seduced by the four angels that will be released from the Euphrates River. God will allow these evil angels to convince the army's leaders to go on the rampage and kill a third of mankind. However, without God's permission, these angels would still be bound at the great river.
Rev. 9:17 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.
Like Fire-Breathing Dragons
This great force will have 200 million mounted troops. These troops and their horses (possibly machines) will have breastplates that will be fiery red, dark blue and sulfur yellow. The heads of these forces will resemble the heads of lions, and out of their mouths will come fire, smoke, and sulfur(possibly explosions), projectiles, or missiles.
It is interesting to note that China's flag is red and yellow; that many of China's army wear blue uniforms; that China is commonly called the yellow peril; and that fire-breathing dragons with large heads are a favorite Chinese symbol.
Warning ----> No matter how much you learn about Revelation, never think you know it all. John's use of the words (like) and (resembled) indicate he is using symbols to describe the future, so how can anyone claim to know for certain when and how things will come to pass?