Revelation 9:1-12 Part 1


1)    Then the fifth messenger trumpeted, and I saw a star having fallen from the heaven into the land, and the key of the shaft of the abyss was given to it.

2)    And the shaft of the abyss was opened, and smoke as smoke from a great furnace arose out of the shaft, and the sun and the atmosphere was darkened by the smoke from the shaft.

3)    Then locusts came forth into the land from the smoke; and power was given to them the same as the capabilities the scorpions of the land have.

4)    And it was said to them that they should do no harm to the grass of the land nor any green plant nor any tree, but only the men having no seal of God on their foreheads.

5)    And it was given to them that they not kill them but that they should be tormented five months, and their torment as the scorpion torments when it has stung a man.

6)    Then the men will seek the death in these days and will not find it; they will long to die, but the death flees from them.

7)    The appearances of the locusts like horses having been made ready into battle; upon their heads as crowns like gold; their faces as men’s faces;

8)    they had hair as women’s hair; their teeth were as lions’;

9)    they had breastplates as iron breastplates; the sound of their wings as chariot sound from many horses running into battle;

10) they have tails and stings like scorpions, their ability to harm the men five months in their tails.

11) For their ruler they have the messenger of the abyss, the Hebrew name: Abaddon, the Hellenic name being Apollyon.

12) The one woe did go forth.  Lo!  It comes yet two woes after this.

13) Then the sixth messenger trumpeted.  Then I heard one voice from the four corners of the altar of gold before God

14) saying to the sixth messenger having the trumpet, ‘loose the four messengers having been bound at the great river Euphrates’.

15) And the four messengers having been made ready into the hour and the day and the month and the year were loosed in order that they might kill the third of the men.

16) The number of the armies of horses: two myriads of myriads.  I heard their number.

17) And thus I saw in the appearance of the horses, and those who sit on them, having breastplates of fire and hyacinth and brimstone, the heads of the horses as lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulphur went forth out of their mouths.

18) From these three plagues, the fire and the smoke and the sulphur going forth from their mouths, the third of the men were killed,

19) for the ability of the horses is in their mouths; and in their tails, their tails like serpents having heads, they do harm.

20) And the rest of the men, those not killed in these plagues, neither repented of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood (which neither can see nor hear nor walk),

21) nor did they repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their fornications nor of their thefts.


Please remember that we approach the Scripture in terms of the Covenant – one Covenant – just as God has revealed it.  It is the Covenant revealed to Adam and his wife in the garden; it is the Covenant revealed to Noah before and after the flood; it is the Covenant revealed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (and Jacob’s twelve sons); and it is revealed to Moses and Israel at Sinai.  It is the same Covenant.  And in the establishment of Israel, it is spoken by God and written by Moses in great detail.

And in every case the Executor and Mediator of the Covenant is revealed and prophesied and foreshadowed– especially to Israel, and by Israel, which was created in the “likeness” of God’s heaven and earth, with the throne-room/sanctuary of God right in its midst!  And God even called the nation His “son”, for in every way Israel itself was constituted a living, pulsating, fifteen-hundred-year-long prophecy of the Anointed One and His “household”!

If you read the Scripture as if there are two different covenants (one before the Anointed One, and the second after Him), then you make a terrible mistake… a mistake from which it is impossible to recover when reading the Scripture.  To be restored, therefore, you must loose yourself – extricate yourself – from the false and deceptive hermeneutic that’s been imposed upon God’s Word.  There is but one Covenant; and now it is “newer” and “better” than before, because the entire prophetic Word is now “filled up” in the Person and work of the Anointed One.  What you see in the text is that which has been previously decreed and prophesied.

Now.  Right in the text of Moses’ third book, and in other texts of Scripture, is the seven-fold sanction against Israel should she break God’s Covenant.  And what do we see in our Revelation text?  Seven trumpeters trumpeting the very voice of God as He brings a perfect and complete seven-fold covenantal sanction against Israel – just as He promised fifteen hundred years before!  The terms of the covenant and the language of the covenant right there in Leviticus twenty-six are still the same.  It’s God’s covenant and God’s language.  And we have to recognize it and learn it, instead of accepting some man-made system imposed on it, and instead of reading through the prism of how we say things here in the twenty-first century. 

And when we hear that same God-spoken language in the Revelation (the same language as in the older Scripture), the prophetic connection must be made!  You can’t just impose an interpretation on it out of a fertile imagination!

And as John sees and hears the seven-fold judgment of God upon Israel as the trumpeters sound, you can hear the same language as God spoke to Moses before Israel crossed the Jordan.  And, if you read the covenantal promises and sanctions closely, you can hear the complete three-fold judgment inherent in the seven-fold pronouncement from Yahveh, a thrice-promised judgment later “acted out” before Israel’s authorities by Ezekiel at God’s command.

Now.  Having once again focused on the unity and integrity and “singleness” of God’s covenantal Word, the prophecy of the “seven-fold” trumpeting voice of God, and the “three-fold” judgment of Jerusalem and all Israel, we can more easily understand the text of the Revelation.

God’s covenant didn’t change during that fifteen hundred years; nor did His purpose; nor did His language.  What God is saying and doing as John looks on is exactly what He said to His prophets.  And it is what His prophets were told to say to Israel.  And it is what Israel heard God say through the prophets!

But Israel would not hear.  Instead, they ignored, persecuted and killed the prophets for prophesying such things!  And then when Israel’s priests and elders and pharisees pursued, persecuted and killed many of Christ’s elect from the twelve tribes (as Jesus had said they would), then the blood of all righteous men in the history of this creation would be laid to their account in this generation.  (And just so everybody’s clear on it, when Jesus said “in this generation”, it had nothing whatever to do with our present generation here two thousand years later.  Any imposed system that concludes that it does, is beyond ludicrous and in the realm of the bizarre.)

And now in our text we see the plagues and pestilences of the wrath of God being mixed with the blood of those righteous men being poured out into the land that God had created as the likeness of His heaven and earth… a nation which He called His “son”, created as a new “heaven and earth”, created as a living prophecy of the Christ in union with His household… a living prophecy that had broken the Covenant.

Up to now in the text we’ve seen four messengers trumpet the voice of God and bring four of the prophesied plagues against the land.  And as prophesied through Ezekiel, the first “third” of God’s micro-cosmos (called Israel) ceases to exist.  That “decreation” continues, by the way, here in chapter nine.

You see, as God sees it (since He created it), and as He revealed it in His prophetic Word, the “land” of Israel is a living entity all its own.  It is His “heaven and earth”, created an actual living cosmos; and all prophetic in nature… prophesying the coming Christ and His redeemed household.

And as John writes, the Christ has finished His earthly work; and He has marked and sealed His elect of the twelve tribes; and He has established His Church in all the nations; and He is proceeding now to decreate the old (as He prophesied).

LO!  He is coming with the clouds (Revelation 1:7), Lo!  He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, all who pierced Him….

With the trumpeting, and thundering and the lightning, and the shaking, and the smoke and fire – all with the clouds of messengers – the Glory Cloud of Almighty God.  That’s what happened at Sinai as Israel was constituted “heaven and earth” by Yahveh.

And that’s exactly what’s happening in our text as all of those phenomena of the Presence of the Christ in the clouds of messengers appear before John.  It is the Parousia (Presence) of the One Who has all authority in the heavens and on the earth.  This is His Parousia!

And all who pierced Him are “seeing” Him as His every Word through the prophets is coming to pass in the famines and plagues and pestilences called forth by His trumpeting voice.  And they see Him in every phenomena that was seen at Sinai, and He makes His Presence clearly seen and known to them.  The Triune, covenanting God is tri-deconstituting all that which was constituted at Sinai, and doing so with all the same sights and sounds of the Glory Cloud.  And the Executor of the Triune Covenant is bringing the explicitly prophesied sanctions of the Covenant in plain view of all those who had pierced Him.

He had personally condemned them (you remember) for their inability to “see” what was going on around them, even though they could forecast the weather!  Tomorrow’s weather, however, was not revealed by God in His Word; but what was happening to them was revealed!  And they would not see it.

Even though the specific judgment in thirds by Triune God was revealed through the prophet Ezekiel, with the seven-fold trumpets of God, the remaining two-thirds of this prophetic cosmic entity called “heaven and earth” would not acknowledge it and repent – even though it was all in plain sight!  They could “see” His Parousia taking place as all His prophetic Word was coming to pass around them and to them.

Israel had been there during the plagues and pestilences of Egypt (all written for them in Moses’ book); and they had experienced the terrible Presence of Almighty God in His Glory Cloud at Sinai (all written for them in Moses’ book).  And as they looked upon these very same things happening in the “land” at the Parousia of Jesus Christ, their minds were closed shut, and their hearts stone cold in idolatrous rebellion.  The Risen and Ascended God the Son was constituting His “new Jerusalem” and filling His “new temple” – baptized in Holy Spirit at Pentecost; and at the same time deconstituting the “old”… all of it prophesied – none of it heeded.

As we begin chapter nine this morning, this is the God’s-eye view of all that’s going on; and it’s all in His Own language – which you and I have to learn and know.  First and foremost it is the Word of God in His prophetic language; and secondly what is going on here in the text is the “fullness” of that prophetic Word. 

So, how God sees it and reveals it (and how John therefore writes it) is as the disintegration and decreation of His apostate, living, organic cosmic entity called “Israel”, which was created by Him as a living prophecy of His coming Anointed One!

On the other hand, how those in Israel and Jerusalem saw it, being blinded to the Truth of their own Scripture, they would describe all of this in completely different terms.  And so is the case with many today who have a totally different hermeneutic starting point.  They describe what they think it says with their own language and out of their own imaginations.

But with our consistently covenantal approach to Scripture, derived from Scripture rather than being imposed upon it, we must see things from God’s perspective and how He has revealed it all.

It is what is happening, and what is about to happen, as our Lord brings to pass His Own covenantal decree.  It is a covenant made within Triune God (three Witnesses of its veracity); and therefore it will surely come to pass in its fullness and completeness.  And, in fact, it’s what we see in the text of John’s letter to the Churches.  God’s Own Word is being “filled up”.

But the questions that inevitably arise all seem to take their cue from man’s curiosity rather than from God’s Revelation.  And the questions all begin with “but, what’s really happening?”  Or, “what’s really going to happen?”  Or even, “when’s all this going to really happen?”

It’s as if “what God said” isn’t “the real”; that’s just “the code”!  “That’s all written in code; what’s real is what happens on the ground!”

And it’s when God’s Word is brought into question that the entire hermeneutic “shift” takes place, you see – from God’s Word to man’s perspective; and man becomes the questioner and the judge of Scripture!

It’s the same thing that happens in many endeavors – especially the scientific ones.  Take, for example, archaeology.  Archaeological scientists make “digs”; and they find things such as ancient communities or remnants of little known civilizations.  And they immediately make judgments about whether the things they found prove or disprove what’s in the Bible!  In other words, they “judge” God’s Word from their own perspectives.

Geologists do the same thing, don’t they?  They look at layers of sediment and rock formations, remove things from them, and then use those things to make pronouncements about the origins of the earth and the universe!  And from their own perspectives they “prove or disprove” the Bible.

But you see, the “beginning point” for them is finding what is “real” from man’s perspective.

However…!  What God said is what is real.  And the work of scientists is judged and proved by His Word.  Not the other way around.  The Word proves the meaning of scientific work to be true or false. 

So the geologist’s findings, for example, don’t judge the Bible; the Bible judges the geologist’s pronouncements-about-what-he’s-found, to be true or false.  The beginning point must be God’s Word; otherwise man’s perspective (as a starting point) will generate a false interpretation or conclusion.

Now, the point of all of that is, that curiosity and imagination and questions regarding our Lord’s Parousia, generated by what happened in the land (or what’s found under the land), or what could have happened in the land, or what might happen in the land, or what history books say about what happened, cannot be the starting point!  Forming conclusions from man’s perspective is a process of judging God’s Word.  That must not happen.  Forming conclusions about what happened, from our perspectives, is not only judging the Bible, but the conclusions will invariably be wrong.

Now, all that having been said, let’s continue looking at what God said was happening, and what was “necessary to be done in quickness… for the time is near” (Revelation 1:1-3).  This is all what John sees happening in the heaven, and what was in process of happening in Israel, and what was shortly to take place in Israel.  Remember John’s cry at the end of His letter!  “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

“Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others….”  Erik brought this passage up several weeks ago, and I told him that I would look into it and comment on it.  And this is the perfect place to do that; it’s Luke chapter ten.  It’s our Lord sending out His disciples to find some of the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And in this event, His prophetic Word includes much of what John sees and hears here in Revelation chapter nine.  Listen to it.


1)    Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself was about to come.

2)    And he said unto them, ‘the harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few: pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.

3)    Go your ways; Lo, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.

4)    Carry no purse, no wallet, no shoes; and salute no man on the way.

5)    And into whatsoever house you shall enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

6)    And if a son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall turn to you again.

7)    And in that same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8)    And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9)    and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10) But into whatsoever city you shall enter, and they receive you not, go out into the streets thereof and say,

11) Even the dust from your city that cleaves to our feet, we wipe off against you: nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh.

12) I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto you, Chorazin! woe unto you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment, than for you.

15) And you, Capernaum, shall you be exalted unto heaven?  You shall be brought down unto Hades.

16) He that hears you hears me; and he that rejects you rejects me; and he that rejects me rejects him that sent me.’

17) Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in your name.’

18) And he said unto them, ‘I beheld Satan having fallen as a flashing from the heaven.

19) Lo, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy.  And nothing shall in any wise hurt you.

20) Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

21) In that same hour he rejoiced in Spirit, and said, ‘I thank You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and understanding, and did reveal them unto babes: yea, Father; for so it was well-pleasing in Your sight.

22) All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knows who the Son is, save the Father; and who the Father is, save the Son and he to whoever the Son wills to reveal Him.

23) And turning to the disciples, he said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see:

24) for I say unto you, that many prophets and kings desired to see the things which you see, and saw them not; and to hear the things which you hear, and heard them not.


The prophets prophesied these things, but they didn’t see them happen.  The kings and princes and priests and elders of Israel heard these things from the prophets of God; most did not see them.  But now they were happening all around them, and still they would not see… neither did they believe them.

But in this generation the cities and towns and villages of Israel would suffer a far greater disaster than had ever before occurred, and that ever would occur again.  But God’s elect of Israel would hear the voice of the Christ and receive His Word; and they would be preserved through it all.

Listen once again to Jesus as He speaks these things to His disciples just before His crucifixion:


And then, during His sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately saying, “Tell us when these things shall be and what (shall be) the sign of Your coming and consummation of the age.”

And answering Jesus said to them, “See, lest someone deceive you,

for many shall come upon My Name saying, ‘I am Christ (anointed),’ and they shall deceive many.

But you are about to hear battles and reports of battles; see, lest you be terrified; for it is necessary to occur. But, it is not yet the end.

For there shall be raised up a nation against a nation, a kingdom against a kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes from place to place,

and all these ‘beginning of travails.’

Then they shall deliver you, and you shall be the ones detested by all the nations because of My Name.

And then many shall be entrapped, and they shall deliver one another and kill one another;

and many false prophets shall be raised up, and they shall deceive many;

And because of the lawlessness to be multiplied, the love of many shall be caused to expire.

But the one persevering to completion, this one shall be saved.

And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the habitable world in a testimony to all the nations, and then shall come the end.

When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, the thing spoken through Daniel the prophet, stand in a holy place (let the one reading understand),

then let those in Judea escape into the mountains;

the one on the housetop, let him not come down to remove things from his house;

and the one in the field, let him not turn back to remove his garment.

But woe to those having in womb [with child] and those giving suck in those days.

But pray that your escape shall come neither during winter nor in Sabbath,

for then there will be great tribulation such as has not happened from origin of cosmos until the present, nor shall there ever be.

And lest those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but because of the elect those days will be cut short.

Then should anyone say to you, “Lo! Here the Christ!” Or “There,” you shall not believe;

for pseudochrists and pseudoprophets will be raised up, and they will present great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Lo, I told you beforehand.

Therefore should they say to you, “Lo, he is in the desert,” you shall not go forth; “Lo, in the chambers,” you shall not believe.

For just as the brightness comes out from dawnings and shines until settings, so will be the Coming (Parousia) of the Son of Man.

Wherever be the fall, there the eagles shall be gathered.

And immediately with the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

And the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven will then be manifested; and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;

and He will send forth His messengers with a great trumpet, and He will gather His elect together out of the four winds from edges of heavens even to their extremities.


Once again, Jesus tells His disciples that all of this would occur in this generation.  And we hear the same themes and language that we heard in the Luke passage.  He has instructed His disciples to gather His elect from every corner (the four corners) of this “heaven and earth” and, as John saw (in chapter eight) He marked them and sealed them that they be not injured or harmed in that which was to come quickly.

That’s exactly what the “seventy” were doing in Luke chapter ten.  And all of what John sees here in the Revelation is that which was happening during that forty-year period after our Lord’s ascension.

In the Luke passage our Lord said that He had seen Satan “having fallen” from the heaven.  That’s John’s same language here in the first verse of chapter nine, isn’t it?  The word is a perfect participle in both cases.  And it means that Satan, as both passages refer to him (or it), was presently in a state of having fallen.

It’s hard to speak of “time” in the heaven; but that’s what John says.  He saw (Jesus calls it by name) he saw “Satan” in a fallen state.  He calls it a “star”.  He doesn’t see it “falling”.  He sees it “having fallen”.

Satan is a former “messenger” before the throne of God, having been “ejected” by God the Son.  We’ll see more about this event later in John’s Revelation, for with its great “tail”, the serpent swept a third of the messengers of God out of the heaven with it.

Up until this time they’ve all had free reign in the nations to do as they will.  But with the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of the Christ, they have been confined in the far reaches of God’s creation called the “Abyss”.

As the apostles explain these things to the Churches in their letters, they say that all these evil beings have been “chained” from doing as they will in the nations; their domain has been “invaded” by the Word of God; and the King of Kings has claimed the entire domain as His Own… to do with as He wills.  And the great serpent and the other evil beings can do nothing in all our Lord’s domain except what they are “given” to do!  The One given all authority in the heavens and on the earth is “taking” what belongs to Him… what has been given to Him.

John, later in the Revelation, describes the entire history of this serpent/dragon and its attempt to cut off the covenantal decree regarding the Anointed One (Christ) and His elect of the nations, and His ultimate victory over all the creation.  When we get there we will probably spend (at least) one, maybe two, whole sermons preaching God’s Revelation regarding this creature.

But here John sees the star (the one Jesus calls Satanos), the one having fallen, given a key.  Please be clear that Satan is given the key; the serpent doesn’t have the key; the serpent doesn’t own the key; the key doesn’t belong to it, but it receives the key for a purpose!

Remember Who has all the keys!  Listen as Jesus speaks to Peter as recorded by the apostle Matthew in chapter nineteen:


18) And I also say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

19) I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in the heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall have been loosed in the heaven.


Apostolic authority is the Word of Christ going forth to do His will in all His domain.  And, as Jesus said in the Luke chapter ten passage, by the Word of His Authority even His seventy “other” disciples would tread on snakes and scorpions and be unharmed by them, for those evil beings would obey the Lord’s commands.  That’s important to the understanding of the rest of our text.

But as the fifth trumpeter sounds the voice of God, the plagues and pestilence intensify as the serpent of old is given the key to the shaft of the abyss.  For although the “house” has been swept clean of evil things, it has been left unguarded by Israel’s princes, priests and elders.  And seeing it unguarded, seven times more evil things have occupied it (Matthew twelve, verse forty-five).  Here it is:


“Then he goes, and takes with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation.”


We’ll pick up again next Lord’s Day here at verse one… and beyond.