Revelation Chapter 9
Verse 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. Verse 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.
So an angel is sent from heaven to earth with a key to the bottomless pit. "Fallen" here doesn't necessarily mean that the angel is evil. Only that he has been dispatched down to earth on a divine mission. He had a key to the bottomless pit. The term "bottomless" is a transliteration of abussos or abyss. The definition of abyss is "a bottomless gulf or chasm, a profound depth or void, the depths of the sea." Bottomless also gives the impression of "unending". So according to verse 2, there is a bottomless pit down inside the earth. If one was stuck there, you could picture one continually falling as the earth turned. You would never reach the bottom. As the earth turned, you would continue to fall.
Jesus often referred to Gehenna or The Valley of Hinnom. The english translation would be "hell." This is a valley s/sw of Jerusalem. In Jesus' time it was used as a dumping ground. Smoldering smoke and stench would fill the air around the dump. In ancient days, children were offered to the fire god Molech in this place.
These ancient people would give themselves to all manor of sexual indulgence and then conveniently dispose of the precious little one that was produced in the fires of Molech. In that time, it was acceptable social behaviour. The child was viewed as a choice, not a life.This place was later to be called "the valley of slaughter."
So the bottomless pit is opened and smoke comes out. It is compared to the smoke of a great furnace. There is so much smoke that the sun and the air are darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Verse 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. Verse 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. Verse 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. Verse 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.
Verse 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. Verse 8.. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as [the teeth] of lions. Verse 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. Verse 10.. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months. Verse 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. Verse 12.. One woe is past; [and], behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
Out of the smoke come locust-like creatures. They are under authority to do only what has been commanded. They are not to hurt the grass of the earth or any green thing or any tree; but only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. They will torment men for five months. During this time men will seek death and will not be able to find it. They shall desire to die and death will flee from them. Can you imagine so much pain and torment that you literally want to die in order to be free from it. But death is not possible during this time. For five months it will be impossible to die! How do we escape these things that will come upon the earth?
Now comes a detailed description of these hideous creatures with stings in their tails and power to hurt men for five months. I don't think that even Hollywood could come up with something like this. Locusts with crowns like gold, faces of men, hair like women, teeth like lions, breastplates of iron, wings that sound like chariots of many horses running to battle. They have a commander in chief. His name is Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in the Greek which means destroyer. Some would speculate that these are images of modern instruments of war. Helicopters with tails armed with nuclear weapons capable of inflicting five months of radioactive torment before death. Or what if it is a description of a nightmare bacteria which has become resistant to modern antibiotics?
The name "destroyer" is interesting. We find him at work elsewhere in scripture. In Hebrews 11:28 the destroyer was responsible for the death of the first born in Egypt just prior to the Exodus. Ex. 12:23 This destroyer is an angelic being committed to the task of destroying God's enemies. In verse 20 it says that men did not repent from worshiping demons. So if the destroyer is demonic in nature, he is destroying those that are worshipping him. Jesus said in Matthew 12:26 "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" It doesn't make sense that Satan would be destroying his own kingdom.
Verse 13.. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Verse 14.. Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
Verse 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. Verse 16.. And the number of the army of the horsemen [were] two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. Verse 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.
Verse 18.. By 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. Verse 19.. For 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.
Verse 20.. And 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: Verse 21.. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Destruction and not repentance is in view here. Those that are left upon the earth will not repent. The time of repentance is over. The time of resisting the beast and his mark is over. Those folks have all been slaughtered. Rev 7:14 and Rev 20:4. The directive here is to destroy and torment those that do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. (See verse 4).