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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Plague from the Bottomless Pit


< Revelation 9:1-21 >

"Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth.And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.'So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed-by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts."



Exegesis

Verse 1: Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.

That God gave the angel the key to the bottomless pit means that He decided to bring a plague as terrible as hell on the mankind.

The bottomless pit is also called as the abyss, meaning a place of endless depth. To bring suffering to the Antichrist living on the earth, his followers, and those who stand against the righteous, God will open the bottomless pit. The key to this bottomless pit was given to the fifth angel. This is a terrifying plague that is as horrendous as hell itself.


Verse 2: And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.

When God allowed the opening of the bottomless pit, the whole world was filled by dusts like volcanic ashes, bringing in the plague of darkness. This plague of darkness is reserved for those who love darkness. God is the God of light who shines on us, giving the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone. To those who believe in this truth, God gave the grace of salvation and allowed them to live in His bright light. But those who do not accept the truth face the righteous retribution of God, for He will bring on them the plague of darkness and His just judgment.

People are fundamentally born as sinners, and they prefer darkness over light in their lives. They thus deserve to receive the plague of darkness from God for rejecting and not believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord.


Verse 3: Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

God will send locusts to this earth and punish the sins of those who oppose the truth of God in their instinctive thoughts. This plague of locusts is capable of bringing a pain as excruciating as that of a scorpion's sting. Therefore all the sinners of this world must believe in the true love of God. And those who do not, they must get the first-hand experience of seeing just how big and painful the sins of their rejection of the love of God and their stand against Him are.

God sent the locusts to this earth and made the people pay the wages of their sins in standing against the God of truth with their instinctive thoughts. This price of sin is their suffering from the plague of the locusts.


Verse 4: They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

When God brings the terrible plague of locusts, He does not forget to show His mercy for those who are sealed by Him. He also commands the locust not to harm the nature.


Verse 5: And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.

In Song of Solomon 8:6, God speaks of His love and wrath, saying, "For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame." Likewise, this plague tells us just how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who reject God's love shown through His gospel of the water and the Spirit. This plague will torment people for five months.


Verse 6: In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

The plague of locusts will bring such great sufferings that people will prefer to die than to live in this pain, and yet they will not be able to die no matter how much they so desire. This plague came because people ignored God. Thinking that the end of the life of the flesh is the end of all, they ignored God, who reigns over both life and death. But through this plague of locusts, God shows us that even death cannot come but by the permission of God.


Verses 7-12: The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

The tails of the locusts from the bottomless pit have the power to hurt people for five months. Although in their appearance they look like women, these locusts are extremely fearsome and cruel beings. This shows how big of a sin men have committed by pursuing women more than God. We must not forget that Satan seeks to make us fall into sexual immorality and tear us away from God by bringing such sins of the lust of the flesh deep into our lives.


Verse 13-15: Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

God's judgment of sin, which He had long waited in patience for the sake of the mankind, has finally begun. Now is the time of the plague of war that will kill a third of the mankind at the Euphrates River.


Verse 16: Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

Here, the number of the army of the horsemen is spelled out. This war refers to a modern electronic warfare. Though a third of the mankind is killed in this war, the surviving people will still continue to worship idols, stand against God, and refuse to repent of their sins. This shows us just how hardened everyone's heart will be with his/her sins in the end times.


Verse 17: And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.

What the Apostle John saw were the terrifyingly destructive weapons of the 21st century, such as tanks, fighter planes, and other modern-day arms.


Verse 18-19: By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed-by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

A huge warfare fought with modern weaponry will come at the end times. And a third of the mankind will die from the plague of the fire and the smoke and the brimstone came out of such weaponry.


Verse 20: But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

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Despite these plagues, those who survived the war worshipped idols even more and continued to bow before them, for these people were set to be destroyed.


Verse 21: And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

This shows us that in the end times, the mankind will never repent of their sins before God. God will therefore judge these sinners, but permit a new and blessed world to the righteous.

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