Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992. Click here to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site

Chapter 9 "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!"

Chapter nine is without question one of the most controversial passages of scripture throughout the whole Bible. This chapter is probably one of the major reasons why men have thought it necessary to spiritualize, or render into symbolism, the whole book of Revelation. The images that John saw were ghastly to say the least, yet he never once gives us any indication that they were not literal in nature. In fact, he even tells us exactly who some of these entities are.

When I was preparing this lesson, I wrestled long and hard as to which way to present it. It is obviously very frightening in nature and if indeed it is literal, and I will show that it is, then who would not be scared witless at the very prospect of demonic creatures being released upon the earth. But sadly, as we have seen in the previous chapters, this future time of judgment will be just that. Extremely frightening and no doubt very horrible, but still all part of God’s judgment on the rebellion of man.

I would do a great disservice to the Bible, and to you, if I went the route that so many before me have gone. To spiritualize or allegorize this next portion of Scripture would not be in line with the clear manner in which it is recorded by the beloved apostle John. As always, ACTS 17:11 applies here, as well as any other path that we go down. I will give clear textual support of the view I hold on this chapter, but you must still search the Scriptures to see if they are true. With that in mind, let’s jump right in.

You will recall that the last chapter dealt with the first four of the Seven Trumpet Judgments. We saw how a third of all the trees and grass were burned up by the fiery, bloody hailstones. Then a third part of the seas became blood and in turn, a third of all the life in the seas were killed. Then a star called Wormwood fell from the heavens, and it smote a third of all the fresh water on the earth, and many died because of it. Lastly, the sun, the moon and the stars lost a third of their light giving ability.

All in all, the scope of these last four judgments was pretty devastating upon the earth dwellers. But at the close of the chapter we were witnesses to a rather ominous pause before the remaining trumpet blasts. Let’s have a quick look at the close of chapter eight for review…

13And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

Right away we are called upon by the Holy Spirit to take note of what is about to come. Indeed, by the time we are through with this chapter you will have a pretty good idea as to why this angel makes this urgent plea for men to be ready for what is coming. As you will see however, even in the midst of all the horrors of the next phase of God’s wrath, the wickedness of man still rebels against him and refuses to repent. So sad, but is it not true today? Unfortunately, though God is ever willing to forgive man’s sins, we see that the rebellion continues.

1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.

2And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.

3Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 

5And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.

6In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

7The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold and their faces were like the faces of men.

8They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth.

9And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.

10They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.

11And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.

12One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Nice to know that this is only the first woe. So there you have it. Let’s move on. Right!
You should know by now that I am going to flog this horse (no pun intended) until it is completely dead.

What John saw here is nothing less than startling. This "star" that falls from heaven is referred to as a "him", so we know that this star is an angel. Remember the seven stars back in chapter one? They were referred to as the Seven Angels over the Seven Churches. However, this angel has a key to the bottomless pit. Not ‘a’ bottomless pit, but ‘the’ (definite article) bottomless pit. This means that we should know exactly what this pit is. The Greek word used is "ABUSSOS", or as we would put it, the Abyss. LUKE 8 tells us about this place.

26Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee.

27And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.

28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!"

29For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

30Jesus asked him, saying, "What is your name?"
And he said, "Legion," because many demons had entered him.

31And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

32Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.

33Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

There are a couple things about this passage that bear noting. The demons knew who Jesus was and they knew his power. No wonder, as we know from JAMES 2:19, "Even the demons believe--and tremble!" The key here though, is the fact that they begged not to be cast into the abyss. We know from other passages, and we will be looking at them, that there is a place where the demons are kept until the judgment, and apparently it is to be avoided if at all possible. That goes for us too. Apparently they know all to well the end result of their fall with Lucifer, yet they do not want to go to the abyss before the appointed time.

Now I am going to tread into some very controversial territory, but I think that it is necessary for us to see, in order to understand what is going on here. I believe quite firmly that the ‘locusts’ in this pit are demons, if not the very demons spoken of elsewhere in Scripture. To do this right we must start at the beginning, that’s right, ‘the beginning’, Genesis chapter six.

Also, I would like to add a little disclaimer if I may. The areas in which we are going to look at here are rather spooky, but not altogether unbiblical. While I will be discussing a lot of the New Age movement and the current UFO trends, you must remember that we are just having a little fun, or a small liberty if you will, and I am not presenting this as PURE BIBLICAL TRUTH. In fact, as you will see, the lies that permeate this realm are very complex. I just find it fascinating that the world is also being conditioned for the tribulation as well. Whatever really happens after the rapture, we will never know, and I for one do not plan on sticking around to find out. Let us read the text of Genesis six and go from there.

1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,

2that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

3And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

4There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

7So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Now I know that this passage is a source of many debates, but let’s get right down to the very core of the issue. We have absolutely no capacity to understand how this earth was pre-flood, and even more so, pre-fall. Things were vastly different in those days and as we have covered in the past, many today do not even believe in the flood, let alone what was going on prior to it. The apostle Peter brings this to our attention in II PETER 3:1-7

1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),

2that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 

3knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

4and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."

5For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,

6by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

7But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

I believe Peter was encompassing every aspect of the days of the great flood. As far as Genesis 6 goes, the "sons of God", or the "B’nai-Elohim", are the angels that sinned. The term "the sons of God" appears 5 times in the Old Testament, each time clearly referring to angels. (Genesis 6:2, 6:4, Job 1:6, 2:1 and 38:7) In the New Testament it appears 6 times, each time referring to the lost being restored back to God’s children. (John 1:2, Romans 8:14, 8:19, Philippians 2:15, I John 3:1 and 3:2) I will let you run those down yourselves, but let me just say that the meaning is clear on who the sons of God were.

The strange events recorded in Genesis six were clearly understood by the ancient rabbinical sources, as well as the Septuagint translators, as referring to fallen angels. They were procreating weird hybrid offspring with human women known as the "Nephilim." So it was also understood by the early church fathers. These bizarre events are also echoed in the legends and myths of every ancient culture upon the earth: the ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the South Sea Islanders, the American Indians, and virtually all the others.

It was in the 5th century A.D. that the "angel" interpretation of Genesis 6 was increasingly viewed as an embarrassment when attacked by critics and the Sethite view was born. This view teaches that the godly line of Seth became unfaithful to God, and began to marry the daughters of the ungodly line of Cain. I think that if this were the case, then the Holy Spirit would have said, "the sons of Seth and the daughters of Cain" in order to minimize the confusion. Also, there are plenty of times when the Bibles uses the term "sons of men" when referring to mankind.

While the early church writers, Celsus and Julian the Apostate, used the traditional "angel" belief to attack Christianity, Julius Africanus resorted to the Sethite interpretation as a more comfortable ground to view this passage of Scripture. Augustine also embraced the Sethite theory and thus it prevailed into the Middle Ages. Furthermore, the worship of angels had begun within the church and the "angel" view of Genesis 6 was feared as impacting these views. It is still widely taught today among many churches that find the literal "angel" view a bit disturbing.

Once again we see man and his attempt to change what he doesn’t feel comfortable with in God’s holy Word.

A small clue to this whole story may lie in this verse from GENESIS 6:9

"These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."

This is one of those verses that just flies right by you unless you take the time to dig deep into it. The word for "generations" in this passage is different each time. The first time is the word, towldah {to-led-aw'}, which means lineage or descendants. The second word is dowr {dore}, which refers to periods of time, or those living during a period of time. But the real key is the word "perfect" when referring to his generations. It is the Hebrew word, tamiym {taw-meem'} which means, "without blemish, perfect, upright, without spot, or complete". The emphasis of these three words is on the fact that he was genetically pure. Neither Noah, nor his family line, had partaken in the shenanigans that were going on in those days. They were untainted.

In GENESIS 3:15 God told Satan that through the seed of the woman, the Messiah would come. Satan then embarked on a quest to destroy the lineage, or the seed, of the woman. From that time forward, Satan has made many attempts to thwart God’s plan of redemption. The killing of Abel, this account in Genesis 6, the Egyptian Pharaoh’s killing of the Hebrew babies and the incident with Balaam for instance. This continued all through the time of the Judges and the Kings, right up to Herod and his attempt to wipe out Jesus when he was born. Once he was defeated at the cross of Calvary, the whole focus on mankind had to change. First the Christians were on the hit list, and now as the last days have began to unfold, the Jews are once again his focus.

You see if Satan can wipe out the Jews completely, then he will have proven God to be untrue. God has spoken and he has promised that he would preserve the Jews as a people until the end. This is once again that subtle lie that Satan has spread through the Church. The Crusades were aimed at bringing Christianity to the ends of the earth, by the sword. This is in direct contrast to Jesus’ words in MATTHEW 26:52 "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." Sadly, many Christians have no idea that the Crusaders murdered thousands of Jews when they reached Jerusalem.

You may be wondering why we have gone down this path. Well, let me tell you why. Jesus said something rather odd in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke about the days of Noah. Take a look at the account in LUKE 17:26-27

"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."

There is the obvious meaning of the passage, in that the world will be carrying on like everything is normal when Jesus interrupts history again. Another great pretrib proof. If the days before Christ’s Second Coming are characterized in this book, and many others, as a time of unprecedented horror upon the earth, then how could the people be eating and drinking and giving in marriage like it was before the flood? Funny that these three events are used; eating, drinking and marrying. If you go to REVELATION 18:22-23 you will find a description of what is going on right before Jesus Christ returns with all of the armies in heaven…

The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.

23The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore.

So was Jesus mistaken? I do not think so. Anyway, the less obvious aspect of Jesus’ words about the days of Noah would seem to indicate that what characterized those days would be the sign at the end of days as well. Genesis six records for us that the earth was filled with violence in those days, and that the goings on between the fallen angels and the daughters of men were enough to make God angry enough to wish that he had never made man to begin with.

Peter and Jude also make clear distinctions about the last days and the "angels that sinned" in conjunction with the flood of Noah’s day. Is it not curious that they also tie in the days of Noah and the last days, both with reference to the fallen angels? It would be helpful to look at these. The first one is in II PETER 2:4-5

4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

5and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

But the clearest passage is in JUDE

5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

6And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

7as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Well folks, the Nephilim have returned just as Jesus may have eluded too. Of course they are not running around saying that they are the fallen angels from the Bible. No, it is much cleverer than that. Occultism is on the rise today in unprecedented proportions worldwide. It permeates just about every aspect of our society in such innocent forms as Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, environmentalism, visualization and Holistic medicine. And, believe it or not, it has crept into the Church in the form of Positive Confession and the Word Faith Movement, labyrinths, as well as a host of other extrabiblical practices.

But do not be deceived friends, blatant occultism, such as the practices of Witchcraft and the black arts have also gained momentum in the last century. New Age channeling and the UFO cults are taken very seriously these days. You may scoff at them, but make no mistake Church; they are no longer scoffing at you. In fact, they are becoming very indignant towards Christianity and many teach that once the ‘intolerance’ is removed then can then live in peace. Well that intolerance is us, the Church, the moral influence and the salt of the earth. They cannot wait for us to be raptured out of here so they can enjoy life free of moral bounds.

That’s right folks, they also teach about the rapture of the believers in Jesus Christ. They just have a slightly different view than we do. I have read many of the quotes from the writings of these New Age teachers and the demons that they are channeling. The common thread is that the fundamentalist Christians are not ready to evolve into deity.

You see we believe in ONE GOD. They believe that in addition to many gods, they are also god. We are in their way of achieving godhood and I find it fascinating that, through channeling of the "Ascended Masters" or the "Pleiadians", the common theme is that we are going to be removed before they fully manifest themselves.

Never say that Satan doesn’t know Scripture. He fully knows that the Rapture is what will happen in order for him to carry out his plan. Remember that the "demons tremble-and believe" as well. They are very busy these days in preparing the world for the soon and coming event called the Rapture. There are actually four prevailing views of the world and where it is going, with the removal a mass amounts of ‘people’ (Christians) just prior to it happening being a very prevalent theme.

Here are the four basic views. I will expand on a couple of them in a bit.

The common theme here folks, is that Satan and his minions are systematically conditioning the world for the mass disappearance of people from the earth. These are not whackos, as you would think at first glance, but just very deceived individuals. Many of the people teaching this stuff are high profile celebrities and government officials, as well as scientists and prominent religious figures. Some have even come right out and stated that Satan is their teacher. The Luciferian Society for instance, and the Theosophy cults and such, openly proclaim that the World Teacher (the Antichrist) will soon come and he will remove all the Christians and Jews one way or another.

Let me share a few quotes from these people. Remember these are not just nuts, these people are influencing millions worldwide and as you will see, the governments of the world are also being drawn into the teachings as well. I love quotes, don’t you? I mean, what a great tool to show what the views of other groups really are, by showing you exactly what they are saying.

Barbara Marciniak is a very famous New Age author and channeler. In her book she documents what she claims extraterrestrials from the star system of the Pleiades have told her. In her book, Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians, she mentions the removal of a great number of souls,

"The people who leave the planet during the time of Earth changes do not fit in here any longer, and they are stopping the harmony of Earth. When the time comes that perhaps 20 million people leave the planet at one time there will be a tremendous shift in consciousness for those who are remaining."

And this one…

"If human beings do not change -- if they do not make the shift in values and realize that without Earth they could not be here -- then Earth, in its love for its own initiation, is reaching for a higher frequency, will bring about a cleansing that will balance it once again. There is the potential for many people to leave the planet in an afternoon."

Here’s an interesting one by New Age author Kay Wheeler. At least she is not mad at us for believing in one God…

"Many of these beings who are leaving this planet at this time have completed that which they came to do. It is a time of great rejoicing for them. Do not feel sad about their leaving. They are going home. Many are waiting to be with them again... Many beings must move on, for their thought patterns are of the past. They hold on to these thoughts that keep Earth held back."

I really like this one by Channeler Thelma Terrell, who goes by her spiritual name, "Tuella," in her book called Project World Evacuation. They are messages channeled from a being who calls himself Ashtar, the leader of an alien confederation.

"Our rescue ships will be able to come in close enough in the twinkling of an eye to set the lifting beams in operation in a moment. And all over the globe where events warrant it, this will be the method of evacuation. Mankind will be lifted, levitated shall we say, by the beams from our smaller ships. These smaller craft will in turn taxi the persons to the larger ships overhead, higher in the atmosphere, where there is ample space and quarters and supplies for millions of people."

She is so deluded with the belief that all is god and all will be spared from the dangers of Mother Earth, that the demon goes on to cover what happens when everyone is left behind…

"Do not be concerned nor unduly upset if you do not participate in this first temporary lift-up of souls who serve with us. This merely means that your action in the plan is elsewhere, and you will be taken for your instructions or will receive them in some other manner.

Do not take any personal affront if you are not alerted or are not a participant in this first phase of our plan. Your time will come later, and these instructions are not necessary for you at this time..."

"Much of this is necessary. Many of these beings [the Christians] have appointments to leave at this time. Earth's population needs to be decreased to bring forth the necessary changes upon this planet to move into the fourth dimension."

"The Lie" of II THESSALONIANS 2 folks, spoken by a devil and spelled out in black and white! Other channelers teach that those who are ‘left behind’, have been chosen to teach the rest of mankind how to take that final evolutionary step to deity. Many people are awaiting the [inevitable] contact with an alien race. Of course we as believers in Christ know fully well that any extraterrestrial contact will be by demons. But consider this news article that was ran on CNN in August of 1996. This was after President Bill Clinton had made the press announcement with NASA about possible life on Mars, from the evidence of the rock samples brought back.

This is out of Gary Kah’s book, "The New World Religion", page 275…

"…CNN Headline News revealed how humanity would ‘officially respond’ to alien beings should they decide to visit earth. According to this segment, which came only days after Clinton’s announcement, world leaders would follow a three step procedure: First, there would be an international consultation among world leaders – no nation would be permitted to respond unilaterally. Second, a united global response would be given. Third, this response to extraterrestrials would occur only through the United Nations.

"I sat stunned in front of my television as I learned of these details. I was even more astonished when the same CNN segment revealed that world leaders had reached this consensual agreement for a unified response more than two decades ago."

Like I said before, you may put these things up on the "kooks and nuts" shelf, but people that have major influence in the world governments today take this very seriously.

This whole world has gone after the pursuit of anything other than acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and right here, in Revelation chapter nine, we see them get exactly what they want. Whether or not the alien contact scenario will be the great lie, we have no way of knowing this side of the rapture. But you should know what the worldview is, in order to more effectively reach the lost. Many perishing souls are buying into the conditioning by the media and New Age movement gurus. No wonder that in I TIMOTHY 4:1 it says this…

1Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons"

They have cried out for the Christians to leave and they have refused to repent of their wickedness and they have pursued the New Age lies and the occult. Now Satan shows his true colors, in that he hates all that God has created and he will do everything in his power to kill as many as he can. Starting with the Jews and Christians and then he will move on to the very ones who were crying out for him to begin with.

Now that we have a better understanding of what the agenda is, what John describes here, in clear detail by the way, are some rather hideous creatures. Let’s take a look at their description again.

7The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.

8They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth.

9And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.

10They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails

11And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.

The imagery described here is interesting to say the least. Many teach that John was just trying to describe modern military equipment in idioms from his own day. I do not believe this is the case. It is too detailed and very clear about who is in charge of them. Whether or not this ‘angel’ is Satan we do not know for sure. I believe that it very well may be because the words "Abaddon" and "Apollyon" mean "the destroyer", a frequently used idiom of Satan. But the text here does not elaborate on who it is. In chapter 12 we are given a description of the heavenly battle and Satan is clearly denoted for us, so I will leave it at that for now.

This is not to be confused with the first angel who came down and opened the pit. Here we are simply being told that the demons have a king over them. There is another passage in the Old Testament that speaks of locusts as demons in prophecies of the last days. The famous passage in JOEL 2, which Peter preached on in Acts 2, has a beginning also. He picked it up at verse 28, but many do not realize that the whole chapter is clearly speaking of the Day of the LORD and it is eerily familiar when you lay it out in the light of New Testament revelation.

There is a Christian sect today that calls themselves, "Joel’s Army". Somehow I do not think that they have really read this passage in the clear context that it was written in. Keep in mind what we just read in REVELATION 9

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the LORD is coming,
For it is at hand:

2A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

3A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.

4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.

5With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

6Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.

7They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.

8They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.

9They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.

11The LORD gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

These verses are almost word for word the same as chapters 8 and 9. Just to make sure that everyone gets a clear picture of what is going on here, take a quick look at REVELATION 18:2. Here we see the judgment of Babylon the Great just prior to the Lord’s triumphant return…

2And he [the angel] cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!

Now take a look at ISAIAH 13:6-13

6Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

7Therefore all hands will be limp,
Every man's heart will melt,

8And they will be afraid.
Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them;
They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth;
They will be amazed at one another;
Their faces will be like flames.

9Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And He will destroy its sinners from it.

10For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.

11"I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

12I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,
A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.

13Therefore I will shake the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her place,
In the wrath of the LORD of hosts
And in the day of His fierce anger.

Again a passage speaking of the Day of the LORD, but verses 21 and 22 are interesting. I am going to read them in the original King James.

 21But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Note the references to satyrs and dragons in this passage. Now I am not going to go into major detail, but the idiom for a dragon comes from some basis of fact. All legends and myths usually do, and these ‘locusts’ in Revelation bear a striking resemblance to the satyrs and centaurs of Greek mythology. Take a look at JOB 41:1-34 sometime. I am not going to read it now, but people say that "Leviathan" is an alligator. Nonsense! They have never read the whole passage. Leviathan is described in great detail and it clearly parallels the ancient writings and pictures of dragons.

The Holy Bible is not going to speak in frivolous or mythological terms to make its point. The names of some of the creatures in the Bible are not based on myth. Otherwise the Bible itself could be relegated to mythology and Satan has worked long and hard to do just that, make people view the Bible as a myth. You need to decide for yourself. Either the Bible is 100 percent accurate, or it is full of myths and fables with some good morals for Christian living. I believe that these passages of Scripture are very clear, and that Satan has done his best to distort and render into mythology the Truth, just as God wanted it to remain. Every detail, every word is there for a reason and we can know these truths if we rely solely on the Holy Spirit for guidance.

In any case whatever is going to be happening during this phase of the wrath of God, it will be quite devastating none the less. While we are out in left field perhaps, one should not overlook the fact that left field is still in the ballpark. Remember "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" ROMANS 15:4.

Let’s move on…

12One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

13Then 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 who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."

15So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

16Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

17And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.

18By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed--by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.

19For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

I think that we have covered the main thrust of this chapter so far. Here is yet another release of demonic creatures upon the earth. Here is the second of the three "Woes" attached to the Trumpet Judgments. As you can plainly see, this judgment is no less horrible than all of the previous judgments released upon the earth. What makes this one stand out is that we see another specific number of deaths attached to it, as well as a specific number of horsemen. This is another reason why we need to interpret this literally.

These demonic hordes are allowed to kill one third of the earth’s remaining population. If you recall, the fourth seal in chapter six killed a fourth of the world’s population, now we see another third of them killed off by this judgment. I am not real good at math, but that would make the earth’s population less by about fifty percent. This number is conservative considering that millions will also have died as a result of the second and third seals. Remember Jesus’ words in MATTHEW 24 when he was speaking of the entire period of the time the end. He then makes this statement referring to the midpoint or the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation, denoting it as "The Great Tribulation"…

21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.

After reading these last few chapters, we now know exactly what he meant and he wasn’t being spiritual or allegorical in Matthew, so the Holy Spirit begs of us to not do so here.

As we wrap this chapter up, I would like to touch on a few items mentioned here. The reference in verses 14-16 is rather interesting. This is one of those areas that I do wonder about the application of.

"…the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."

15So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

16Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them."

What I mean is, there are certain prophecies in the Bible that have a near and a far application. This phenomenon occurs frequently in reference to the Day of the Lord, and is one of the main reasons why, 1) the Jews missed Jesus’ first coming, and 2) why many Christians do not understand His second coming either. Unfortunately, many are going to miss his Second Coming as well. The Bible is rather cryptic in nature, but not hard to interpret if you truly rely upon the Holy Spirit for understanding. This is what Jesus was speaking of in JOHN 14:25-27

25 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.

26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

What I am getting at is this. Remember back in chapter six how we talked about the Seal Judgments and how we see allusions to them even now? Jesus said when you begin to see these things, lift up your heads because He is coming very soon. First for His own, then in all His glory with His own after the Tribulation. Well, here is another example of this.

The Euphrates River is a real location and the Russians have actually built numerous dams along the northern end of it. The capability of stopping its flow is a very real possibility today. There is another reference to this in chapter 16.

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

We will cover this in detail later, but the mention of the Kings of the East is interesting. The common understanding of this in John’s day would have been the Far East, just as we see it today. This is most likely a reference to China and whatever nations have joined her during this time. China openly boasts of having an army of 200 million soldiers today and all this business with Taiwan is prophetically significant as well. Japan, Korea and India are also forging ties with China. This together with Russia being able to dry up the Euphrates is very significant. Could this be another way that God is telling us to lift up our heads? I believe so.

Just the other day I read a news brief from Discovery Earth Alert that proclaimed,


Do you see what I mean? Just another seemingly innocuous news headline to the world, but a Biblical buzzword, if you will, for those of us who are watching for Christ's return. If you are in tune to this phenomenon, you will see it every day. When I first began to take prophecy seriously, these type of headlines were about every 2 months. Now they are literally showing up every day or two. I believe my heavenly Father when He declared these words in ISAIAH 46:8-10,

8"Remember this, and show yourselves men;
Recall to mind, O you transgressors.

9Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,

10Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, "My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,'

If anyone ever asks you how you can prove that the Bible is true, show him or her this passage and then show them prophecies that read like today’s newspaper headlines. God is control friends, and nothing is happening, or will happen, that He is not aware of or is not directly a part of. This is a great comfort to us church. He knows every one of us and our situation, whatever it may be, and He is directly involved in it. What a truly, mighty God we serve. As bad as life can seem to get, do not ever forget this wonderful fact.

One last thing before I wrap this chapter up. In verses 20 and 21 we read this rather sad account…

20But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

21And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Here we see what is perhaps one of the saddest aspects of the Holy Scriptures regarding the true condition of mans heart. We have covered this before, so I will not go into great detail again, but God’s word reminds us in JEREMIAH 17:9 that,

9"The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
who can know it?

The Hebrew translation of "desperately wicked" actually means. "incurably sick". This is why Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, had to come and redeem us from the curse. There is no way that we can be cured of this disease known as sin. It is only by the Blood of Jesus that we are made new. In EZEKIEL 36:22-27 we see another example of a near and far application of prophecy. God is speaking to Israel about the final gathering of the Jews into the land and their ultimate redemption prior to entering the Millennial Kingdom.

22"Therefore say to the house of Israel, "Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.

23And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

24For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Let’s be very clear about this passage. It is for Israel. We however, as the Church that has been grafted in until the fullness of the gentiles is complete, have the unique honor of being among the first fruits of this remarkable prophecy. The apostle Paul shares this little ‘mystery’ with us in II CORINTHIANS 5:17-19

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

We have been given that "new heart" now, by believing upon Jesus Christ’s work of atonement on the cross of Calvary. The Bible is explicitly clear that Israel will also be given this same "new heart" when she is gathered together by Jesus Christ himself in ZECHARIAH 12:10

10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

All things in their proper order, just as the Word of God says.

Well, that is about it for chapter nine. Horrible, devastating images of God’s wrath have been laid out here folks. We do well if we consider them in our daily walk with this great and awesome God in which we serve. But do not be dismayed, for as Jesus Christ said in one of his last recorded statements in JOHN 14:1-4

1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

2In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

4And where I go you know, and the way you know."

This is our Blessed Hope church. That Jesus Christ WILL come again and receive us unto Himself BEFORE this terrible time of Judgment upon the disobedient. I do not know about you, but these images are very troubling. How could we not let our hearts be troubled at the things we have just looked at, unless our Lord and Savior had not promised to come and take us from this place prior to them occurring. I will close with these words from our Redeemer, Jesus Christ the Lamb of God in LUKE 21

34"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

35For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."