This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Revelation. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.
You can listen to the study by clicking here
The trumpet judgments continue with the releasing of demonic beings from the Abyss. The first wave of these beings torments but does not kill the inhabitants of the earth for a five month period. Then, another wave of demonic beings are released and they destroy a third of the human beings who have survived the earlier judgments.
Revelation 9:1-21 (NIV)
1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five 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. 7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. 12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come. 13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 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. 16 The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number. 17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 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. 20 The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The fifth angel sounds his trumpet.
The star being referred to has been thought to be Satan, a fallen angel, Christ, or a good angel. This star is probably a good angel because it has been given a key to the Abyss which is normally held by Jesus.
Revelation 1:17-18 (NIV)
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
The Abyss or “Bottomless pit” is a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and, especially, as the abode of demons.
At the beginning of the millennial reign, the Abyss is the place where Satan is bound. At the end of that thousand years he is released and promptly leads an unsuccessful revolt against God.
Let’s talk about some of the terms used in the Bible for heaven and hell: paradise, Abraham’s bosom, sheol, hades, gehenna, and the lake of fire.
The prophet Joel talks about a plague of locusts that will foreshadow the “day of the LORD.”
Joel 2:1-10 (NIV)
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand– 2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. 3 Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste– nothing escapes them. 4 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. 5 With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. 6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. 7 They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. 8 They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks. 9 They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. 10 Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
In the Old Testament, locusts were seen as a symbol of destruction because they destroyed vegetation. Here, in Revelation 9, they are an invasion of demons that torture people who do not believe for five months. They have a leader whose name in Hebrew and in Greek means “Destroyer.”
The first of the three woes the flying eagle talked about in the previous chapter is now over.
The sixth angel sounds his trumpet:
The four angels being referred to here are fallen angels because they are bound. They do not have the power to release themselves to carry out their evil work.
One third of the population will be killed. In Chapter 6, one fourth of the population had been killed, so now over half of the population will have been killed by these judgments.
There is some speculation that the massive army led by these four demons has some human components, but I believe this is a demonic army.
And the people who survive this are still so hard hearted that they refuse to repent.