Revelation 9 - Hell is a Real Place
1And 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.
2And 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.
3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4And 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.
5And 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.
6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
7And 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.
8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9And 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.
10And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
11And 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.
12One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15And 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.
16And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
17And 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.
18By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
19For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
20And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Today's Scripture Meaning
The fifth trumpet is followed by a representation of another star as falling from heaven and opening the bottomless pit, out of which come swarms of locusts. (1-12) The sixth trumpet is followed by the loosing of four angels bound in the great river Euphrates. (13-21)
Verses 1-12: Upon sounding the fifth trumpet, a star fell from heaven to the earth. Having ceased to be a minister of Christ, he who is represented by this star becomes the minister of the devil; and lets loose the powers of hell against the churches of Christ. On the opening of the bottomless pit, there arose a great smoke. The devil carries on his designs by blinding the eyes of men, by putting out light and knowledge, and promoting ignorance and error. Out of this smoke there came a swarm of locusts, emblems of the devil's agents, who promote superstition, idolatry, error, and cruelty. The trees and the grass, the true believers, whether young or more advanced, should be untouched. But a secret poison and infection in the soul, should rob many others of purity, and afterwards of peace. The locusts had no power to hurt those who had the seal of God. God's all-powerful, distinguishing grace will keep his people from total and final apostacy. The power is limited to a short season; but it would be very sharp. In such events the faithful share the common calamity, but from the pestilence of error they might and would be safe. We collect from Scripture, that such errors were to try and prove the Christians, (1Co 11:19). And early writers plainly refer this to the first great host of corrupters who overspread the Christian church.
Verses 13-21: The sixth angel sounded, and here the power of the Turks seems the subject. Their time is limited. They not only slew in war, but brought a poisonous and ruinous religion. The antichristian generation repented not under these dreadful judgments. From this sixth trumpet learn that God can make one enemy of the church a scourge and a plague to another. The idolatry in the remains of the eastern church and elsewhere, and the sins of professed Christians, render this prophecy and its fulfilment more wonderful. And the attentive reader of Scripture and history, may find his faith and hope strengthened by events, which in other respects fill his heart with anguish and his eyes with tears, while he sees that men who escape these plagues, repent not of their evil works, but go on with idolatries, wickedness, and cruelty, till wrath comes upon them to the utmost.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Revelation with Chapter 9 and in today's text we see that the bottomless pit is referenced as the trumpet judgments continue. The reference to Hell and the demons are shown to John on the island of Patmos. The Lord then told John to pen this down this truth so we can see the events to come. In applying this text it is important that we not be overwhelmed by the details nor try to read more into Revelation that is there, but rather, see the majesty, power, and dominion of our Lord. In today's text we are reminded that Hell is real and is a real place where those who are lost will spend eternity. This again should motivate us to reach the lost. How about you? Are you Saved? If so, after reading the text today will you purpose in your heart to witness today to at least one person and share with them How the Lord Saved You and that He can Save them too.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.