End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 12 w/AnswersRevelation Chapter 9
In our previous lesson (Revelation Chapter 8), we encountered images of a burning mountain being hurled down into the sea, the destruction of ships, the loss of light from the sun, moon and stars, a star that fell from heaven, and so on. We determined during our study that this possibly represented the casting out of Satan, and his time on earth beginning to come to an end.
We also learned, based on our earlier End Times lessons, that peace has been taken from the earth. There is great unrest on a worldwide scale, war is raging, famine and disease are present and growing, and one-fourth of the earth will die from these judgments.
In our current lesson, we will see that man has not changed, even in the light of these judgments. His heart does not turn to God, but rather follows after all manner of evil desire. At the end of Revelation Chapter 8, three "woes" were declared. Now, in this lesson, we will examine the first one, as the fifth trumpet sounds.
Read Revelation Chapter 9, and consider the following questions:
- In order to understand why God is about to bring such harsh judgment upon the inhabitants of the earth, consider first what was happening on the earth before, and by the time of, these judgments. Read specifically Revelation 9:20 and describe what was going on by the time of these judgments. Also describe the people’s reactions to God’s judgment.
- ANSWER: The "work of their hands" was evil and required repentance. The passage asserts that mankind did not stop "worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts."
- After reading Revelation Chapter 9 completely through at least once, read Joel Chapter 2:1-10. How does the passage in Joel compare to what we have read in Revelation Chapter 9?
- ANSWER 1: Both passages refer to armies of what appear to be locusts. Notice in Revelation Chapter 9 how many times the phrase "something like" appears. This indicates to us that the chapter is full of symbolic language.
- ANSWER 2: We have progressed from observing the effects of judgment on the material world described in Revelation Chapter 8 to observing the effects of judgment on the spirit world described in Revelation Chapter 9. In this chapter (Chapter 9), we are being introduced to demons who have never been seen before, nor will they be seen again; they are symbolized by the locusts that have stings like a scorpion.
- ANSWER 3: These locusts, marching straight ahead and destroying everything in their paths, accomplish the judgment that God intends; attacking everyone "who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads". (Rev. 9:4)
- Now read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. How does this passage relate to Revelation Chapter 9?
- ANSWER: The smoke from the abyss (representing the confusing and delusional effects of Satan’s lies) is unlocked from the abyss and is carried throughout the earth. It represents the "powerful delusion" that God is subjecting them to. The demons, symbolized by the locusts, carry forth this delusion like a scorpion — appealing and enticing at first, it attracts its prey. Then, once the prey is mesmerized by its attraction, it stings the prey to death. Such will be the fate of all those who succumb to Satan and his demons, as they spread lies and delusion like a thick black smoke, blocking out and/or greatly diminishing the light from the Gospel that is being proclaimed by the 144,000. This will only happen after the "the one who now holds it back", i.e., the Holy Spirit, "is taken out of the way". (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
- What is the state of the star mentioned in Revelation 9:1? Is it falling? Or is it to fall sometime in the future? Or has it fallen from the sky already?
- ANSWER: It has already fallen. Could this be the star that fell, as described in Revelation Chapter 8? I believe that it is. There is some debate regarding whether this star is Satan or the Antichrist. My personal belief is that its Satan himself, who has been given the key to abyss that holds the demons, and who releases them to spread lies and delusion across the face of the earth.
- What do these locusts look like and what is their mission?
- ANSWER: They look like horses prepared for battle, with human faces and also something that looks like a crown.
- Who do they attack? Is it the followers of Christ?
- ANSWER: No. They attack those who are not following Christ. The delusion and confusion that they employ as their weapons have no affect Christ’s followers, because they know the truth. They are not fooled by the lies and deceit of the locusts because God is protecting them.
- How many people die from the attack of these "horses dressed for battle"?
- ANSWER: No one. Their purpose is to inflict agony and torment; but they are prohibited from killing anyone.
- What is the difference between the horses and riders described in Revelation 9:7-11 and those described in Revelation 9:13-19?
- ANSWER: The group described in the first set of verses cannot kill; they can only inflict confusion, agony and pain. The group described in the second set of verses can kill, and actually do kill one-third of mankind.
So, described for us in this chapter is some of the most unbelievable and unimaginable evil ever released on unrepentant and unrighteous mankind living on the earth. All manner of evil will be common everyday life at that time. Truth will have been abandoned for lies, and the truth of the Gospel will be hard to recognize because of this thick cloud. Satan, through the Antichrist, will be doing all that he can to deceive and mislead millions upon millions; and he will succeed, resulting in the death of at least one-third of the world’s population. And two more "woe"s are still coming.
Thanks for studying with us.