Revelation Chapter 9- Fifth And Sixth Trumpet Judgments – Demonic Attacks

I. Introduction.

A. The opening video of this article tells us about the trumpet judgments that accompany the sounding of the fifth and sixth angels. In this article, we will consider those who will be left behind from the rapture, which are those who will be tormented by demons that appear as locusts. It must be noted that the previously sealed 144,000 Jews of Rev 7:3-4, will not be hurt, and that none of them will lose their lives during the fifth and sixth trumpets. We will see that the pain of the unsealed people of Rev 9  will be so severe that they will attempt suicide, with death not being successful for them. All scriptures will come from the New American Standard Bible.

B. Already introduced by the eagle’s proclamation in 8:13, the fifth trumpet sets the tone for the last three trumpets through its specificity and independence of the two to follow. This feature marks the last three seals too. The seventh trumpet also resembles the seventh seal in the way it solemnly concludes the whole, and contains the next series within its scope. As with the seals also, two episodes intervene between the sixth and seventh members. In so doing, the episodes set the stage for the seventh trumpet ( R, L. Thomas, Revelation Commentary).

II. Examination.

A. Text: Revelation 9:1-12.

The Fifth Trumpet—Men Smitten.

1 Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

B. Comments. Ryrie Study Bible (Rev 9:1-12) (Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D.)

1. 9:1. “a star” represents an intelligent creature, apparently “the angel of the abyss” (v 11). Notice the “he” in verse 2. “the bottomless pit.” Lit., the shaft of the abyss. For other uses of this phrase, see Luke 8:31; Rom 10:7; Rev 9:11, 11:7, 17:8, 20:1,3. Luke 8:31 indicates that this is the abode of the demons.

2. 9:3. “locusts.” That these creatures come from the abyss and are described in unusual terms in verses 7-11 indicate that they are demonic. 

3. 9:4-5. The limitations that God places upon the activities of these creatures show that He is still in full control of these events. Only the 144,000 will escape the torment on people.

4. 9:6. “Suicide,; though desired, will be impossible.

5. 9:7-10. In describing these creatures, John often has to use the word “like.” 

6. 9:10. Two glands in the tail of a scorpion emit a poison that produces a painful, but usually not a lethal wound.

7. 9:11. “Abaddon…Apollyon.” Both words mean “destruction.”

C. Text. Revelation 9:13-21.

Sixth Trumpet – Army From The East – Men Killed.  

13 Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying 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 prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 for the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm. 20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

D. Comments. Ryrie Study Bible (Rev 9:13-21). 

1. 9:14-15. These four angels (demons) are released in order to kill one-third of the remaining population of the earth. Added to the one-fourth who were killed under the fourth seal judgment (6:4) these two judgments, alone, destroy one-half of the population, not including those who are killed by wars, famines, and diseases (v 15). Lit., this particular hour.

2. 9:16. “the armies.” The 200,000 creatures who compose this supernatural cavalry may be human beings or demons or demon-possessed  humans. For other supernatural armies, see 2 Kings 2:11; 6:14; Rev 19:14. 

3. 9:18. “by these three plagues.” I.e., by the fire, smoke and brimstone.

4. 9:20. The religion of many will involve demon and idol worship. 

5. 9:21. “sorceries.” I.e., magical arts, potions, and poisons (see Gal 5:20; Rev 18:23; 21:8; 22:15) from the Greek word, we derive the English word, “pharmacies.” This chapter shows (1) the reality and some of the activity of the unseen world of Satan and demons, and (2) the hardness of human hearts.

E. Comments. John F. Walvoord, Th. D., Revelation Commentary.

1. The rising crescendo of judgments on the earth now introduces the first woe, a dramatic event described by John in the first twelve verses of this chapter. In 9:12, John records that the first woe is past (vs 1-11), and that two woes are still to come. In 11:14, John records that the second woe is past, and the third woe is coming quickly.

2. Rev 9:1. As the trumpet of the fifth angel is sounded, John records that he sees a star fallen from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit. The star here mentioned seems to refer to a person rather than a literal star or meteor. The person referred to as the star is given the key of the bottomless pit, or the pit of the abyss, as it is better translated. No explanation is offered in the passage itself concerning the identity of this person, but the occasion may be the aftermath of warfare in heaven mentioned in Rev 12:7-9, where the devil is cast out into the earth; this act of God was probably at the beginning of the great tribulation. 

3. Rev 9:1. The pit of the abyss is none other than the place of detention of wicked angels. It is here that Satan himself is confined for a thousand years during the reign of Christ on earth (20:1-3). The opening verse of this chapter, therefore, presents Satan as having the key to the pit of the abyss with power to release those who are confined there.

4. Rev 9:2. The second verse records the use of the key (9:1). The pit of the abyss is opened, and out of it comes a smoke as the smoke of a great furnace which darkens the sun and the air. It is evident that this event causes that which is contained in the pit of the abyss to erupt, polluting the air and darkening the light of day. It seems to portend the spiritual corruption which will be caused by these demons released from their confinement, and it identifies the character of the judgment involved in the fifth trumpet as that of demonic and satanic oppression.

5. Rev 9:15-18. Having declared the purpose of the army, John now gives details. Most impressive is the astounding number of the army of horsemen, 200 million, or literally “twice ten thousand times ten thousand.” Considering the millions of people in the Orient, the literal interpretation is not impossible, especially in view of the population explosion.  It may be that the army here described continues to fight until the time of the second coming of Christ, and the number slain is the total number involved in the conflict. Per Time (May 21, 1965, p. 35), Red China alone claims to have a man-and-woman militia of 200,000,000, exactly the figure of  Rev 9:16.

6. Rev 9:20-21. The trumpet judgments clearly grew in escalation, becoming worse and more devastating. In spite of the clear evidence of God’s power to judge the world, no evidence was given to John (writer of Revelation)  that there would be any change of heart on the part of the great mass of humanity. Though the sixth judgment produced fear, it did not produce repentance .

F. Comments. Robert L. Thomas Revelation Commentary (Th. M., Th. D.)

1. Rev 9:16. God’s use of human armies of heathen nations to fulfill His purposes in the OT accords with this understanding (cf. Isa 10:6-7, 25-26; 44-27-45:7; Hab 1:6-11, Jer 51:11, 28) [Hailey]). 

2. Rev 9:18. It is through these three plagues that a third of mankind perishes (fire, smoke, brimstone).

G. Comments. J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., “Things To Come.

1. The fifth trumpet judgment, which is the first woe (9:1-2), pictures an individual energized by hell who can let torment of unprecedented dimension loose on the earth. It is generally accepted that these are not literal locusts, in that they do not feed on that which is natural to the locust. The sixth trumpet judgment, which is the second woe (9:13-19), is seen to be a great army turned loose to march with destructive force across the face of the earth (p 362).

2. Concerning the two woe judgments:  “First of all, a tormenting Woe falls on the land, but not on those sealed of the twelve tribes of Israel.” (William Kelly, The Revelation Record, P 104, printed in Things To Come, p 362).

3. From Kelly’s complete article (see 2 above). “This suggests that the two woes will be great marching armies, one against Israel and one against Gentiles, which will destroy a third of the earth’s population. Since Satan’s weapon against Israel is the northern confederacy, it may be depicted by the fifth trumpet and Gentile warfare depicted by the sixth ( “trumpet,” mine added). The seventh trumpet, and the third woe judgment (11:15). brings about the return of Christ to the earth and the subsequent destruction of all hostile powers at the conclusion of the Armageddon program (p 362).

4. “The destiny of the lost.” The  destiny of the lost is a place in the lake of fire (Rev 19:20; 20:10, 14-15; 21:8). This lake of fire is described as an everlasting fire (Matt 25:41; 18:8), and as unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43-44, 46, 48), emphasizing the eternal character of the retribution of the lost.” (p 555). In this connection, Chafer well observes: (para 5. below):

5. In attempting to write a comprehensive statement of the most solemn of the Bible, the term “retribution” is chosen in place of the more familiar word “punishment,” since the latter implies discipline and amendment, which idea is wholly absent  from the body of truth which discloses the final divine, dealing earlier and broader meaning, the term “retribute” was used for any reward, good or evil. The word is used … of the doctrine of hell only as reference is made to the eternal perdition of the lost (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, V, 361). 

6. Concerning the retribution of the lost, it is important to observe that the lake of fire is a “place,” and not just a state, although a state is involved (p 555).

7. As heaven is a place and not a mere state of mind, in like manner those reprobated go to a place. This truth is indicated by the words “hades” (Matt 11:23; 16:18, Luke 10:15; 16:23; Rev 1:18; 20:13-14) and gehenna (Matt 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; James 3:6) — a place of “torment” (Luke 16:28). That it is a condition of unspeakable misery is indicated by the figurative term to describe its suffering: “bottomless pit” (Rev 9:2) (and others, mine). (Chafer, op. cit., IV, 429-431; Printed in Things To Come, p 555).

8. The Person And Ministry Of The Beast, The Head Of The Empire. Scripture has a great deal to say concerning the individual who will appear in the end time as the head of the Gentile powers in their ten kingdom confederation. He is a Gentile. Since he arises from the sea (Rev 13:1), and since the sea depicts the Gentile nations (Rev 17:15), he must be of Gentile origin. Many names are given to him in Scriptures: the Lawless one ((2 Thes 2:8,) the antichrist (1 John 2:22), “the angel of the bottomless pit” (Rev 9:11), the Beast (Rev 11:7)  (pp 333-334).

III. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

IV. My Websites To Follow. Equipping The Saints Web Site Israel Web Site Israel, History And Prophecy Eternity


Author: Equipping

The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible.

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