A message summary from February 21, 2016 by Pastor Gus Brown:
As we start into Revelation Chapter 9, we will be looking closely at what occurs with the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets. In the midst of all of this, God is in control.
In these trumpets, we will see man at his worst in his stubbornness–they will resist submitting to God.
Free will is what was given to each of us to consciously make a choice as to how far we will go in serving the Lord.
The fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. The key to the shaft of the abyss was given to him.
John witnessed this. The star is different from the one who sounded the trumpet.
Satan will afflict man because God allows it, but he allows it with limits. Satan and God do not share an equal amount of power. God is more powerful than Satan. Our power is derived from the power of God to defeat Satan with the living Word.
The star that fell from heaven was given the key to the abyss. Stars also refer to false gods (Acts 7:43; Amos 5:26; Jeremiah 19:13).
He (Jesus) said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash.”
Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground.
Satan has the key to the abyss just for the moment. Just because he has the key, it does not mean that he has control of it.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look–I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the 1,000 years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time.
Satan is not going to bound himself–Jesus is in control. Whoever has the key is still under the control of Jesus.
What comes out of the abyss and what instructions are given to them?
Then locusts came out of the smoke on to the earth, and power was given to them like the power that scorpions have on the earth.
They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green plant, or any tree, but only people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads.
They were not permitted to kill them but were to torment them for five months; their torment is like the torment caused by a scorpion when it strikes a man.
In those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.
The appearance of the locusts was like horses equipped for battle. Something like gold crowns was on their heads; their faces were like men’s faces; they had hair like women’s hair; their teeth were like lions’ teeth; they had chests like iron breastplates; the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses rushing into battle; and they had tails with stingers like scorpions, so that with their tails they had the power to harm people for five months.
They had as their king the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Demons can disguise themselves to look different. The locusts that emerge from the abyss are demons with the power of scorpions to inflict pain. John described the demons to the best of his ability.
God did not allow them to have the power to kill people, but they could cause pain and torture for a period of five months (Revelation 9:5). They were instructed not to harm the grass, trees or people who had God’s seal on their foreheads (v. 4).
In the same way, God has allowed a person to experience pain and suffering, but for the purpose of the individual, or even those around the person, to see the power of God’s deliverance through healing and comfort. When you begin to rely upon God and obey Him, He can change your life for the better.
God’s seal may or may not be visible, but the Lord will know who these people are and the angels know who they are. Angels can see things that we cannot see.
2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, having this inscription: The Lord knows those who are His, and Everyone who names the name of the Lord must turn away from unrighteousness.
Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to build up the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.
Unless those days were limited, no one would survive. But those days will be limited because of the elect.
For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and well perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect. And you must watch! I have told you everything in advance.
When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession to the praise of His glory.
Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherub where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side.
“Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem,” the LORD said to him, “and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the detestable practices committed in it.”
He spoke as I listened to the others, “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare them! Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the older women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out killing people in the city.
The elect of God are those that have accepted Christ as Savior.
The point here is that the locusts cannot hurt God’s people; yet, the ungodly are tortured for five months (Revelation 9:5, 10). It reveals that God preserves His own and limits the others.
The leader of the locusts is described as a king (Revelation 9:11). The angel’s name over the abyss was named Abaddon (Hebrew), or Apollyon (Greek). Apollo was a Greek god and was also a demon. Each of these names mean “destruction.” Satan is his leader, and Satan’s mission is to kill and destroy (John 10:10).
The first woe has passed. There are still two more woes to come after this.