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 Prophetic Times To The End - Part Sixteen

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PostSubject: Prophetic Times To The End - Part Sixteen   Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:18 pm

HELL ON EARTH

The chapter that occupies us now contains prophecies of dreadful activity to take place on the earth. The fifth and sixth trumpets sound, and the next in order of judgments are unleashed upon the rebellious and unrepentant race of men. These are referred to respectively as the first and second “woe” judgments [Ref. Rev. 8:13). This added description of the three trumpets yet to sound suggests the seriousness and solemnness of those judgments which are to follow. There will be “woe” on the earth when these trumpets sound.

The Fifth Trumpet:

Rev. 9:1 At the sound of the trumpet, John writes, “I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth.” It is definitely a personage, the use of the masculine pronouns “him” and “he”. But who is the Star? The tense of the verb “fallen” tells us that the star had already fallen from heaven. Jesus said to the seventy disciples, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven “[Ref. Luke 10:18]. By this He meant, the fall of Lucifer from heaven, through which he became Satan [Ref. Isa. 14:12-15]. Interpreting Scripture with scripture reference, then there seems to be little doubt that the “star” is Satan, the great enemy of God and man, and that the reference in Revelation 9:1 is to his original fall. The fallen star is given the key to the bottomless pit and permission to open the pit. We may be certain that the pit is a literal place, in as much as beings can go there. Moreover, Christ has authority over the abyss [Ref. Rev.1:18], so it must have been our Lord who gave the key of the “bottomless pit” to Satan. The location of the abyss is said to be in “the lower parts of the earth,” [Ref. Eph. 4:9), the place into which Christ went at death when He paid the full price of redemption from the penalty of sin. We see here that a day is coming when upon the earth the prison house of demons (the bottomless pit) will be opened, and evil spirits who prefer to inhabit human bodies [Ref. Gen. 6:1-7), but who have been imprisoned, will be released to inflict torment upon unrepentant men. In that day men will experience a sample of hell on earth. Ordinarily the abyss is “the place of no return,” but for a brief season Satan will be permitted, by divine authority, to lead forth to the earth some that have been held captive there. A place when “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [Ref. Mt. 25:30, a place originally “prepared for the devil and his fallen angels [Ref. Mt. 25:41], will release many strange and wicked things upon the earth.

The Unprecedented Punishment:

Rev. 9:2-10 As the bottomless pit is opened, a cloud of smoke is emitted, a strange and awesome blackness fills the air and blots out the sun from view. These terrors are more than human; they are demonic. Out, of this darkness comes forth from the pit of the abyss Satan’s demons to do their fearful work of tormenting the souls and bodies of those who have willfully rejected the Son of God. The plague of darkness that God sent to Egypt, “even darkness which may be felt” [Ref. Ex. 10:21-22], and which lasted only three days, was mild compared with the darkness of hell let loose on the earth during the time of the Great Tribulation.

Coming out of the blackness of hell is seen a host of locust shaped like horses. They come to inflict punishment, to torment as a scorpion’s sting would leave its victim in torture. These demons from hell, who have been imprisoned for centuries, are prepared for battle. These demons have combined in them the horse, the man, the woman, the lion, and the scorpion. These are not ordinary locusts such as plagued Egypt [Ref. Ex 10:12-15], for these had no king over them [Ref. Pro. 30:27], but they are intelligent beings who take orders from Satan [Ref. Rev. 9:11]. The duration of the torment is “five months.”

The victims become so weary of the agony that they long to die in order to get released from it, but death eludes them. The day when men shall choose death rather than life is predicted by God through Jeremiah the prophet [Ref. Jer. 8:3]. Oh, the misery of waiting for death when it cometh not! [Ref. Job 3:21]. Such will be the state of men that even death would be a relief. What mercy in our present age of grace that these demons are locked up in the abyss?

The Prince of Destruction

Rev. 9:11 The king over these demons is Satan, who is described in both Hebrew (Abaddon) meaning destruction, and Greek (Apollyon) meaning exterminator. Taking both words to mean, “The destroyer.” The name being given in both Hebrew and Greek indicate that the judgment will come upon both Jew and Gentile, the only ones escaping being those who have the seal of God in their foreheads [Ref. Rev. 9:4]. Paul states that the gospel of Christ is for both Jew and Gentile [Ref. Rom. 1:16], but that either who reject God’s Son must suffer [Ref. Rom. 2:8-9]. The purpose of Satan, namely to destroy, is the opposite of God’s purpose in Christ, which is to save, this prince of destruction of the demons is called by our Lord “the prince of this world” [Ref. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11]. After the Church has been caught up to be with her Lord, both apostate Jews and apostate Gentiles will suffer at Satan’s hands.

Rev. 9:12 There has been no exaggeration of the horrors of the coming judgment upon the earth, which judgment is but a foretaste of an eternal hell to follow. Oh, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ at once!


The Sixth Trumpet:

Rv. 9: 13-21 The fifth and sixth trumpet judgments are successive without any overlapping. Now we are not to be surprised at the increased “woe” to be poured out upon unbelievers in the day being described here. We are assured that evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse” [Ref. 2Tim. 3:1], therefore we can expect that God will step up the tempo of divine judgment matching the wickedness in men’s hearts.

The voice John hears as the sixth angel sounds the trumpet comes from the four horns of the golden alter which is before God:

It was from this same alter that the prayers of the saints ascended for vengeance upon those who martyred their brethren [Ref. Rev. 8:3]. The horns of the alter were always available for the sinners sacrifice, but in the days that John saw there is no more room for sacrifice. The “one sacrifice for all sins” was offered by Jesus Christ [Ref. Heb. 10:12, 13]. Now His enemies must be made His footstool. God will speak to men in His wrath and vex them in His sore displeasure [Ref Psa. 2:5]. We see that the alter of divine mercy will one day put forth divine judgment.

The Released Personages:

The voice was heard to say set loose the four angels. These angels are bound, therefore they are fallen angels who followed Lucifer in his rebellion and revolt against God [Ref. Isa. 14:12-14]. These four fallen angels are loosed for the purpose of executing judgment, and their activity commences at the very seat of Satan’s empire. It is all under divine control of the Father. God uses Satan’s own hosts to bring to naught the powers of evil.

God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” [Ref. Gen. 15:18]. This coveted land of inestimable wealth is the desire of nations, but God has promised it to Israel His people, and He will protect it for them [Ref. Ex. 23:31; Deut. 1:7; 11:24; Jos. 1:4].

Greedy and hateful hands will be prepared to siege Palestine about the time of these predicted judgments, but God will intervene in behalf of the Jews.

These four demonic personages go about to slay the third part of the human race. The population will be in the billions, the terrible scourge will reduce it by one third. Just as vegetation and water will be reduced one third [Ref. Rev. 8:7-10], here also the human population will be down by one third. God has set the date for all of this to happen; only He knows when He will bring the events to action. Even now the four angels are being prepared for “the” hour, day, month and year [Ref. Rev. 9:15]. God has a program, and it is being carried out on schedule.

The Unrestrained Power:

A huge army of two hundred million horsemen appears. It is the combined power of the devil and men acting in their own interest, and yet, at the same time, they are ignorantly carrying out God’s judicial will. There is no power on earth able to restrain these hellish horsemen.

The weapons of this mighty army are fire, smoke, and brimstone. While they are weapons of hell, they are the emblems of God’s judgment. Brimstone is the stifling and strangling gas that God sent down from Heaven upon the city of Sodom when he destroyed it [Ref. Luke 17:29]. The coming judgment of Babylon will take on a similar form [Ref. Rev. 14:10], as will the judgment against the beast and the false prophet [Ref. Rev. 19:20], Satan [Ref. Rev. 20: 10], and eventually all unbelievers [Ref. Rev. 21:8]. What a ghastly place this earth will become when hell is let loose! It is but a sample of the torment that unbelievers must endure in hell forever.





The Ones Who Rejected Christ:

We should notice here that there are those who “were not killed.” God will suffer only one third of the race to die under this tremendous “Woe”. He will spare two thirds of mankind, not because they deserve to be spare, but because in wrath, He remembers mercy. God has never delighted in the death of the wicked.

Here God permits us to look into the future and see to what extent wickedness will prevail. More people than ever will be “worshiping devils.”
No such idolatry has been in the world since the fall of man. These invisible, wicked spirit beings, unholy in character, and belonging to Satan’s evil kingdom, seek to control the minds and bodies of living men. When all restraint (Holy Spirit) is taken from the earth after the church is raptured, and man has had an opportunity to repent, we can well imagine the staggering world-wide influence of demons over men.

There will be the revival of idolatry. People will cling to their “idols of gold and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk.”

There follows a list of evil practices which correspond to the period of the tribulation. The first of these is “murder,” God’s absolute and eternal law which says, “Thou shalt not kill” [Ref. Ex. 20:13], will be totally ignored.

Then follows “sorceries” impure practice with evil agencies. This is by means of drugs, potions, intoxications, and often with magical arts and incantations. “Fornication” mentioned here is the flagrant disregard for the sacred institution of marriage. In the day described in these scriptures restraint (The Holy Spirit) will be withdrawn and human passion for evil will break loose. We shudder to think of our human race in the days ahead. “Thefts,” honor and honesty will be obliterated. There will be no regard for another’s rights. May God grant that these solemn and inspired words from the Holy Scriptures call sinners to repentance and summon Christians to a life of total dedication to Jesus Christ?
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Prophetic Times To The End - Part Sixteen
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