Revelation 9

So fearful and unbearable will conditions be in the Great Tribulation days when Satanic powers are unrestrained, that men shall long for death and even try to commit suicide, but will find the power of self- destruction taken away from them. Happy are they who shall escape all these things, that shall come to pass, through true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

13 And 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 which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

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

21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Revelation 9:1-11 – ​“A Smoke Out of the Pit”

   This chapter reminds us of the prophet Joel who, under the imagery of a swarm of locusts, depicted the coming invasion of hostile nations. Whether these warriors are intended for barbarian hordes which swept over the Roman Empire previous to its fall, or whether they represent the Saracens, between whose appearance and the details of this vision there is much in common, is not within our province to determine. The point which specially concerns us is that only those escaped who had received the imprint of God’s seal. Of old the destroying angel passed over the houses, on the lintels of which the blood was visible.
   But there are spiritual foes, against whose invasion we must seek the sealing of God’s Spirit. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption”, Ephesians 4:30. What is impressed with the royal seal is under special protection; and when temptation assails you, you may assuredly claim that divine protection, which shall surround you as an impenetrable shield. “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them”, Psalm 34:7. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against wicked spirits in heavenly places, and only the spiritual can secure for us immunity against the spiritual. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 9:4—Only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

​   This reference carries us back to chap. 7, with its sublime description of the angel ascending from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He had cried with a great voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea (Revelation 8:3).
   The seal of God! Whatever that means in this pictorial or hieroglyphic book, we know what it means throughout the Epistles. The sealed have no doubt about their personal acceptance with God. They have set their seal to God, and He to them. They realize that they belong to Him in bonds of ownership which neither life nor death can dissolve. They bear upon their lives the impression of his image and superscription. They go to and fro about the world under the protecting escort of his high angels, who are commissioned to bring them safely to their Father’s home. They have been anointed as kings and priests.
   What a remarkable inference may be derived from the prohibition of the previous chapter, and the immunity accorded to the sealed ones in this! If the hordes of horsemen are withheld from touching the servants of God, whom the Angel sealed, we may infer, when no such caution is uttered about our lives, and no such immunity secured, that God has allowed pain, and sorrow, and death to hurt us for some sufficient reason—one which we shall be able to appreciate when we stand in his light. If He who has power to withhold the power of the adversary does not withhold it, the assaults which make our frail craft tremble from stem to stern must be his appointment and choice for us, and we must dare to look up into his face, and say, It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good. —Our Daily Homily

Revelation 9:12-21 – ​Impenitent in Spite of All

   The river Euphrates possibly stands for nations and hordes of men emanating from that region; and these verses are held by a large number of expositors to foretell the invasion of Europe by the Turks, who have desolated and held the sacred places of the Jewish faith. The Church of that time was eaten through with idolatry. Image worship had become almost universal, and the invariable consequence of this relapse from the noble spiritual ideals of the Jewish and Christian dispensations was materialism, sensuality, and the greed of the priest. On the other hand, the Turks were fierce iconoclasts, and their progress everywhere was marked by the demolition of Christian emblems.
   Demons contrive to get themselves worshiped under the effigies of idolatry; and murders, sorceries, fornication, and theft infest their temples. There is perpetual controversy between the spirit of truth and these perversities; and this conflict must continue, not only in the Church, but in the heart, until everything that opposes the reign of the Spirit is overthrown, and every thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, II Corinthians 10:5. Is this supremacy of the Spirit secured for thee, my reader? —Through the Bible Day by Day