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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 9

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Verses 1-12

John Brown


Hell on Earth

Some minds are like finished concrete - thoroughly mixed and permanently set.


A. By nature, we as human beings have an incredible gift for not dealing with things!

1. When confronted with our sins we often "project" the blame elsewhere.

a) In the Garden, when the Lord confronted Eve, she said it was the serpent's fault.

b) When the Lord confronted Adam, he blamed the Lord for the wife HE had given him.

c) There's a stanza in one of Susan Ashton's songs that pretty well describes this nature:Marco found the orientGeppetto found his boyLincoln found a unityThat Lee could not destroyLindy found the other sideGershwin found the stageMe, I found a stubbornessThat seems to grow with age

d) In spite of all that has happened on the earth, during this tribulation period, the "earth dwellers" are still rebellious toward the Lord.

e) Their hearts are still hard and they refuse to repent and admit their sins!

f) You see, up 'till now, all of the devastation has affected man only indirectly!

(1) At the first trumpet, the trees and grass were consumed by the hail and fire and blood.

(2) At the second trumpet, the sea creatures and ships were destroyed by the mass from outer space.

(3) When the third trumpet blew, another missile poisoned the underground springs.

(4) And lastly, at the fourth trumpet, the sun, and moon, and stars were put on a dimmer switch!

(a) Their brilliance was reduced by 1/3.

g) Although these judgments brought fear, and pain and death to many, but most survived with little personal suffering!

(1) When things began to return to normal, the panic went away, and mankind resumed their sinful rebellious lifestyle!

(a) Not unlike most of us, who throughout our lives called upon the Lord when things got tough, only to forget the promises after the heat was off!!

(2) You have heard the saying, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!:

(a) Well, that was the message of the flying angel where we left off in Rev_8:13 And 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!" (NKJV)

(b) This time, every single person on the face of the earth will experience the wrath of God as He continues to judge the earth, and reclaims the title deed!!

(c) Now, on to the trumpet judgments!


A. Rev_9:1 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. (NKJV)

1. In order for us to better understand who or what this fallen star is, we need to take a look at the "pit", he has authority over!

a) "Bottomless" in the greek is "abussos" = translated "abyss".

b) So it is the "pit of the abyss" and it is located in a place called "HADES"!

(1) Scripture tells us that within hades there are different "compartments".

(a) The fallen angels are confined in a place called "TARTARUS".

(b) And evidently this other "nameless" compartment of the "bottomless pit" is home for many demons waiting for this 5th trumpet to sound!

2. This "star fallen" is none other that satan himself, a.k.a. "lucifer", a.k.a. "daystar"

a) Luk_10:18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (NKJV)

b) His time is almost up! He is given the key to pit of demons to torture mankind!

B. Rev_9:2 And 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. (NKJV)

1. When this pit is finally opened, subterranean smoke fills the earth's atmosphere. So much so that the sun is dimmed once again.

a) The first time smoke is mentioned in scripture was in the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, here it is also seen in judgment!

C. Rev_9:3-10 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4 They 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.

5 And 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.

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

7 The 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.

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

9 And 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.

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

1. Unlike the smoke at Sodom and Gomorrah, this is accompanied with "locust" like demons.

a) They are locusts unlike we've ever seen.

b) These "locusts" have been imprisoned for centuries and are prepared for battle.

(1) They have the power of a scorpion but hundreds of times larger and more venomous.

(2) They nave teeth that can rip and tear like lions; they have the face of men, with long flowing hair of women; and they look like and can run like horses horses!!

(a) I don't think I've ever seen and locusts like that !!!!!

(b) The prophet Joel had seen this before Joe_1:6 For a nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a fierce lion. (NKJV)

(c) Joe_2:2 A 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. (NKJV)

Joe_2:4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. (NKJV)

(3) Their target is any man or woman that is not God's!

(a) Please notice that these locust-like demons from hell are not allowed to kill them at this point only to torture them for 5 months

(b) People will want to die but will not be able to!

(i) Guns will misfire, knives will slip, poisons will be inaffective.

(ii) Many will mame and mutilate themselves, but none will be allowed to die!

(iii) Who knows, maybe the locusts will promise to leave people alone if they will sell their souls to satan and worship the beast!!!

D. Rev_9:11 And 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.

1. We are given his name in both Hebrew and Greek. The Holy Spirit wants there to be no mistake whom this is!

2. Both names are translated = "the destroyer"!

3. Is it satan himself, or one of his "principalities" or "powers" ( Eph_6:12 ) named Abaddon confined to the bottomless pit with the rest of the demons?

a) No one knows for sure, but one thing we can be sure of, he is fueled and commanded by satan!!!!


A. Rev_9:12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things. (NKJV)

1. Moses, in speaking for the Lord asked Pharoah, 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Exo_10:3

2. Num_14:11 . . .the LORD (speaking) to Moses: (asked of the children of Israel) "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? (NKJV)

3. And finally, Jesus said in " Luk_9:41 . . ."O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? . . ." (NKJV)

4. I have always been amazed at how stubborn and prideful man can be!

5. With all of this destruction and will all the pleading of the Lord, people still won't repent!

6. I will close with a stanza from the same song titled "INNOCENCE LOST" by Susan Ashton

Milton lost his paradise

Dorothy lost her way

Vincent lost his sanity

Thomas lost his faith

Hoover lost the second time

Sigmund lost his friend

Me, I lost my innocence

And I want it back again

7. If you've placed your faith in Jesus Christ, you've regained your innocence!

a) The Lord sees you blameless and you rest at His side during all of this.

b) Who in our live do we need to reach before it is too late?

Henry Nelson, of Wilmington, Delaware, was a veteran of WWII. He had served as an instructor in the Army Chemical Warfare Department, yet he ignored a warning by the superintendent of the Riverside Housing Development that the apartment he lived in was being fumigated with hydrogen-cyanide gas, tore down the barricade st the door and went in after two blankets. The neighbors saw him remove the sign and barricade and go in, and they called the Development office. But when employes arrived it was too late. Nelson lay sprawled on the living room floor with two blankets in his arms. Despite both written and verbal warnings, and despite his training in the Army, he had gone to his death.

Verses 13-21

John Brown


Hell on Earth Part 2

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. --Max Planck


A. Last week, in our study of the fifth trumpet judgment, we concluded that by nature we human beings have an incredible gift for not dealing with things!

1. And we saw that to be quite evident in our study last week.

a) Hordes of these "locust-like" demons from the pit of the abyss were allowed to torture men for 5 months and yet most of them blasphemed the Lord: instead of repenting!!

b) We found that In spite of all that has gone on, on the earth, the "earth dwellers" are still rebellious toward the Lord.

c) Their hearts are still hard and they refuse to get right with God!

(1) In the fifth trumpet judgment, men were not allowed to die, and in the sixth trumpet judgment approximately 2 1/2 billion people will die!!

(2) Yet those left on the earth will increase their occultic practices and demonic worship!

(a) They will become even more hardened against the Lord, and more set for destruction!

(b) Joh_1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (NKJV)

(c) All through the book of Revelation, the Lord is in the process of "taking away the sin of the world"

(i) For many it will mean salvation, as they admit their sins and accept the Lord's forgiveness.

(ii) For others it will mean destruction as he wipes the earth clean and prepares for new heaven and earth!!

(iii) Before we even begin our study, I must ask the question, "Where do you stand this morning?"

(d) Let's begin our study of the sixth trumpet of God's judgment on the earth!


A. Rev_9:13-14 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." (NKJV)

1. If we go back to Leviticus and look at Israel's earthly tabernacle, which is only a "model" of what it is like in heaven:

a) We remember that the priest was continually touching the four horns of the tabernacle with his fingers that were dipped in the sacrificial blood.

b) It was also his job to keep a perpetual fire going and to burn the fat of the sacrifice on the altar!

(1) These were symbolic of the divine requirement that sin must be judged by fire and redeemed by blood!

(a) In other words, if mankind will not allow the blood of Christ to "atone" for their sins, then they must stand in the fiery judgment of God!!

2. Notice that these 4 angels are "bound" indicating that they have wanted to carry out this destruction long before now!

a) But who are these angels? And what do they have to do with the river Euphrates?

(1) First, they are "fallen" angels (the good one need not be bound) = demons from the 1/3 that fell with satan shortly after God's "week of creation".

b) The river Euphrates was one of the tributaries flowing from the Garden of Eden!!!

(1) It was there that satan began his work on our first parents.

(2) It was there that the first murder was committed.

(3) It was by the river Euphrates that the ancient pagan city of Babylon was built!

(4) And under Nimrod, the greatest display of astrology, pantheism, polytheism, idolatry, spiritism, and man-made philosophy began to flourish!!!

(5) Somehow satan and his "host" communicated to Nimrod the occultic secrets of the universe in order to bring about yet another great rebellion against God!

(a) This was evidenced by the carved images at the apex of their temple shrine, representing the stars and constellations.

(i) Virtually every star and constellation was associated with pagan gods and goddesses taking the form of these demonic hosts!

(b) Thus we have the "mythological" creatures of old, such as pegasus, and the centaurs of old!

(i) Were they fable or real?? As we look at these demons in the book of Revelation, we begin to believe that they were real!!

(ii) Gen_6:1-4 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,

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

3 And 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."

4 There 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. (NKJV)

(a) These scriptures strongly suggest that fallen angels (demons) came to earth and cohabitated with women and produced giants called "Nephilim".

(b) Is it not also possible that some of these demons could not possess human bodies and did so with animals ( like they did with the pigs in the gospels) resulting in the dragons, and centaurs, and pegasus', and a host of other creatures our culture now calls mythological?

(c) As we take a look at these creatures, this possibility doesn't seem so far fetched!

(iii) It is important to me that you understand, the scriptures here in verses 13 and 14 does not make my above scenario clear!

(iv) Although it is based upon scripture, it is still only speculation as to the connection of these "fallen angels" and the Edenic river Euphrates in these verses!

B. Rev_9:15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. (NKJV)

1. The last plague lasted only 5 months and men were not allowed to die. This one will be for just over 13 months (a year, a month, and a day), and many will die!

a) When you add all the time up from the seal judgments and the 5th and 6th trumpets, it adds up to 3 1/2 years, THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIBULATION!!!!

C. Rev_9:16-19 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

17 And 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.

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

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

1. The number of these demons is almost equal to the entire population of the United States!!

a) They are horses, yet with the heads of lions, and tails like serpents, (with heads even on their tails)!

b) They are as deadly as they look!

(1) Out of their mouths come fire, smoke, and brimstone, or (sulfur)!

(2) All three of these are deadly to mankind as they come out of these creatures!

(3) It is ironic that many ancient nations describe a creature that formerly existed on the earth, that was able to breath fire and smoke! Even the Bible describes such a creature in Job_41:13-30 Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle?

14 Who can open the doors of his face, With his terrible teeth all around?

15 His rows of scales are his pride, Shut up tightly as with a seal;

16 One is so near another That no air can come between them;

17 They are joined one to another, They stick together and cannot be parted.

18 His sneezings flash forth light, And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

19 Out of his mouth go burning lights; Sparks of fire shoot out.

20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils, As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

21 His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes out of his mouth.

22 Strength dwells in his neck, And sorrow dances before him.

23 The folds of his flesh are joined together; They are firm on him and cannot be moved.

24 His heart is as hard as stone, Even as hard as the lower millstone.

25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.

26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.

27 He regards iron as straw, And bronze as rotten wood.

28 The arrow cannot make him flee; Slingstones become like stubble to him.

29 Darts are regarded as straw; He laughs at the threat of javelins.

30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds; He spreads pointed marks in the mire. (NKJV)

(4) The Bible calls this creature "Leviathan" (sea monster), cultures of old called them dragons!

(5) Whatever you want to call them, they will destroy over 1 1/2 billion people!

(6) What is the result? Fearful, repenting people? Quite the opposite!!


A. Rev_9:20-21 But 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.

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

1. They remain self-indulgent, paganistic, idol worshippers!

a) Crying out to their little dead gods of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood to save them. All the while refusing the only One and True God that could!

b) Because of their separation from God and all that is holy, they are thieves, murderers, sexual offenders, and drug users (5331 pharmakeia far-mak-i'-ah). Associated with witchcraft!!

2. This may seem like a sceen from STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION but it is not!

a) Data won't be there to calculate your odds!

b) Warf won't be there to take on your battles!

c) Jean Luc Picard won't be there to save the day!

d) And Number One, well, if you have made it this far into the tribulation, you're number one, so you're on your own!!!!

Bibliographical Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Revelation 9". Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jbs/revelation-9.html.
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