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Back To The Future – Sermon #22


Revelation 9:1-12


Intro:  There can be little doubt that the Book of Revelation contains some of the most frightening images in the entire Bible. This passage may be the most frightening of them all.

      We are in the midst of the seven trumpet judgments. The first four trumpets have been sounded and they brought forth horrible scenes of death and destruction. The earth’s environment has been shattered and mankind is writhing under the awful judgments of a holy God.  Chapter 8 closes with an angel flying through Heaven pronouncing three “woes” upon the “inhabiters of the earth”. This angel knows that the plagues unleashed by the sounding of the last three trumpets will be far more horrible than anything we have witnessed yet.

      Why does the Lord give us these graphic descriptions of what the world will face during the Tribulation? Why write about such tragedy, death and suffering? I think there are three very good reasons why these things are dealt with in the book of Revelation.

1.  These things are mentioned so the church will know what we have been saved from. It is exciting to know that God will deliver His people from this kind of judgment.

2.  He extends this glimpse of the future as a warning to those who have not trusted Jesus as their Savior. He wants them to know what they will face if they continue on in their sin and in their rejection.

3.  They are given so that those of us who know the truth might be motivated to share the Gospel with the lost.

      As we consider the judgment associated with the fifth trumpet, I would like to share some of the awful realities that are presented in these verses. Regardless of whether you are saved or lost there is a word here for you.

      We are living in a day when the subject of Hell is viewed with much skepticism. People just don’t believe in a literal place of torment. In fact, many preachers and church members reject the notion of Hell, as it is presented in the Bible. People joke about Hell and use the word as a byword in everyday language. But, these fact is, Hell is a real place! Real people are going to endure real torments for a real eternity in a real place called Hell. They can attempt to deny it is they wish, but Hell is still real. In these verses, Hell visits earth. I would like to take these verses and point out the terrible realities that will be visited upon the earth in the last days. I want to preach on the subject When Hell Visits Your House.


  I.  v. 1               A HORRIBLE PERSONALITY

(Ill. When the fifth angel sounds his trumpet, we are introduced to a horrible personality. It is my opinion that we are given a description of the Devil himself in this verse. Look at how he is described.)

A.  He Is A Famous Personality – He is called a “star”. Some commentators attempt to spiritualize this passage and link this being with the star of Rev. 8:10-11. I believe that “star” is a comet while this star is a literal person.

      When we think of stars, we often think of celebrities; of those who are famous in this world. There is a sense in which this person is famous. In fact, he is known in three worlds. He is known in Heaven; he is known on earth and he is known under the earth. He is a famous personality.

      Of course, the Devil has a name. His name is “Lucifer”, Isa. 14:12. The name “Lucifer” means “Brilliant star; Light-bearer or Shining one”. So, we are introduced to Lucifer, a famous personality.

B.  He Is A Fallen Personality – The word “fall” is a perfect tense verb. That means it refers to something that took place in the past which still has present results. In other words, the sense of that word is “fallen”. We are dealing with a fallen personality.

      Satan’s fall took place sometime in the past, Luke 10:18. As you know, Satan or Lucifer was a highly exalted archangel, but he was not content to be what the Lord created him to be. He wanted to be God, Isa. 14:12-17; Eze. 28:11-19. Pride was found in Lucifer and he was cast out of Heaven. He still has access to the presence of God where he accuses the brethren, Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7. In fact, he is the “prince of the power of the air”, Eph. 2:2. But, there will come a day when Satan will be eternally cast down to the earth, Rev. 12:10. So, here we see Satan, cast out of Heaven and forced to confine his activities to the earth.

      The thing that brought Satan down is the same thing that causes mankind his worst problems: Pride! Pride will cause you to think you are good enough without God. It will cause you to refuse to bow. It will cause you to walk in your own self-righteousness. It will take you to Hell.

      God says if you will humble yourself under His mighty hand, He will lift you up, 1 Pet. 5:6; but if you exalt yourself, He will bring you down, Luke 14:11. As the writer of Proverbs puts it, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Pro. 16:18.  

C.  He Is A Fearsome Personality – This famous, fallen figure is given a key to the bottomless pit. He is given the authority to unlock a terrible prison and unleash a horrific plague upon the world. We were told in Rev. 1:18 that Jesus has the keys of “death and of Hell”. For a short time, the power over a host of demonic spirits imprisoned in Hell is given to Satan.

      While we are on the subject of the devil, allow me to make a few statements about him. First, Satan is a real personality. He exists in this universe and his power is very real. He is not a myth; there is a very real Devil.

      Second, Satan has never been in Hell. He is not there today and he never wants to go there. He will be sent there one day, Rev. 20:10. When he goes, he will go as a victim and not as a ruler. He hates the thought of Hell, but he will be punished there throughout eternity!

      Third, Satan is one of the great mysteries of the Bible. Why would God allow a being like him to have the power that he does? Satan does have power! That is why we are told to be aware of him and of what he is doing, 1 Pet. 5:8. He has more power than you or I have, but praise the Lord, God is far more powerful than Satan will ever be!


  I.  A Horrible Personality


 II.  v. 2                     A HORRIBLE PLACE

(Ill. In this verse, Satan takes the key he has been given and he uses it to open the door to Hell. This verse tells us just how close men are to Hell. One turn of the key and Hell is unleashed upon the earth. This verse has some things to say about that place called Hell.)

A.  It Is A Deep Place – it is called a “bottomless pit”. The word “bottomless” gives us our word “abyss”. It refers to a very deep chasm. The word literally means “well”. When Satan turns his key and opens the pit, he is literally opening the shaft that leads into Hell itself.

      Science denies it; lost men deny it; human reason denies it; but there is a place under this earth called Hell. The souls of lost people suffer in the fires of Hell. It is clear from the verses that follow in this chapter that certain demons are being held in Hell awaiting their liberty, 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.

B.  It Is A Dark Place – We are told that smoke ascends out of this pit and the smoke is so great that it obliterates the light of the sun. There is an old saying that goes, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” The same is true in this case.

      Hell is a place of fire, Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 14:10-11; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. Yet, it is a place of darkness; and it is a place of anguish and torment Matt. 8:12. It is a place that no one should ever want to go. It is a place no one has to go!

      Men joke about Hell and try to pass it off as silly superstition, but Hell is real and wise people make their preparations to avoid its flames. You may not believe it, but a good, gracious God will allow you to go to Hell. My advice to you is that you should flee the wrath to come. Run to Jesus and be saved!

C.  It Is A Disturbing Place – Hell is disturbing to me simply because it even exists. I have to think about it, but it is a real place where people will go unless they are saved. So, as disturbing as it is, we must take the time to consider it. Allow me to share a few features of Hell that make it truly disturbing.

D.  It Is A Demonic Place – Throughout the New Testament, Hell is associated with demonic activity. Luke 8:31 teaches us the truth that the demons fear being sent to the abyss. Rev. 11:7 tells us the Beast, the Antichrist, will ascend out of this place. As I have already mentioned, fallen angels are bound there and Satan himself will spend eternity in Hell.


  I.  A Horrible Personality

 II.  A Horrible Place

III.  v. 3-12             A HORRIBLE PLAGUE

(Ill. When the abyss is opened a demonic plague spews out onto the earth. The demons that have been “reserved unto judgment”, 2 Pet. 2:4, are released to carry out their infernal mission.

      Imagine a world in which every prison door was suddenly opened. Murders, rapists, serial killers, the criminally insane, are all allowed to walk free. Can you imagine the chaos, the pain the suffering that would occur? Well, the prison doors of earth will not be opened, but Hell’s prison will be opened and emptied and a lost world will be thrown into a time of terrible judgment!

      They are described as locusts. But, these are no insects. The description probably comes from the greatness of their numbers. One locust swarm reported in 1889 covered over 2,000 square miles. The image here is of an innumerable host of demons being allowed to ascend out of Hell onto the earth. There are a couple of reasons why I say that these are not real locusts.

1.  v. 4  They do not harm plant life, but they torment humans.

2.  v. 11  They have a king. Pro. 30:25 tells us that locusts in the insect world have no king.)

A.  v. 3-4  The Power They Possess – These demons are described as locusts, but unlike locusts they will not harm the vegetation. A literal locust swarm will leave a green landscape looking like a desert in a short time. Locusts devour the leaf, the grain and the stalk. These locusts do not come for the plant life but for human life.

      They will have the power to sting like a scorpion. Scorpion stings are known to be very painful. They cause swelling and numbness, but they are rarely fatal in humans.

      So, these demonic beings are allowed out of Hell, they have the power to cause great pain to people. But, their targets are limited. They will only sting those who unsaved. The 144,000 and other believers are protected from the attacks of this great horde of Hell.

B.  v. 5-6  The Pain They Produce – When this attack comes, people will not be killed, but they will be tormented for five months. Five months, May to September, is the typical lifespan of a locust. These hellish locusts will torment men for five months.

      The pain inflicted upon men will be unimaginable. Every moment of every day that demon will be there, tormenting, stinging, causing pain and suffering. There will be no escape!

      Men will seek every way they can to escape the torment of these demons, but nothing will help them. No pills, no potions, no poultices will work. Alcohol and drugs will not deaden the pain. For five long months they will suffer and they will find no relief from their suffering.

      In our day, people flee death. They do everything they can to stave off his coming. Doctors are consulted, pills are consumed, and everything that can be done is done to extend life for a moment more. But in that day men will pursue death in an effort to be free from their pain. People will leap from buildings, crushing their bodies upon the ground and still not be able to die. People will drink deadly poisons and ravage their vital organs and not be able to escape. Others will place guns to their temples and attempt to kill themselves, but they will only succeed in adding more misery to their torment. People may try to kill their loved ones to help them escape, but to no avail. For five months there will be no funerals on earth. Death will take a holiday while men endure the pain and suffering inflicted on them by this demonic invasion.

      Some may say, “Preacher, I don’t think it will happen like that.” Read it again! “In those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” If you are not saved today, please come to Jesus and avoid this terrible time. It breaks my heart to have to preach these things, but they are real. They are true and they will be your future if you refuse to come to Jesus for salvation!

C.  v. 7-11  The Picture They Paint – Beginning in verse 6, these demons are described for us. Let’s take a few minutes to consider the vivid description John gives to this demonic army.

1.  v. 7  Horses prepared to battle – They resemble mighty war horses, prepared for battle, straining at the bit.

2.  v. 7  Golden crowns on their heads – They come to the earth as conquerors. No medicine or act of science that conquer them. For five long, awful months, these demons reign on the earth.

3.  v. 7  Faces like those of men – This speaks of their intelligence. The human face is so expressive. It reveals the emotions buried beneath the surface. These beings are intelligent.

4.  v. 8  Hair like a woman – They are attractive to people. It may be that they have some seductive charm by which they lure their victims to them. People have always been attracted to the occult. Just look at the popularity of so called psychics, the current fascination with angels, etc.

5.  v. 8  Teeth like a lion – Their bite is infectious and painful. A lion’s bite never really heals. There is so much infection and bacteria in the bite of a lion that the wound will rarely heal completely.

6.  v. 9  Breastplates of iron – They are invulnerable to attack and they are insensitive to the sufferings of humans. Men will try to kill these demons, but that will be impossible. Men will scream in their pain and will beg for mercy, but their pleas will not touch the hearts of their tormenters.

7.  v. 9  Wings that sound like chariots – This implies swiftness. They will be able to surround and capture their prey with ease. Men will attempt to run, but there can be no escape.

8.  v. 10  Stings in their tails – We have already touched on their capability to inflict pain. It is mentioned here to emphasize the fact that the pain and torment of men is their sole objective.

9.  v. 11  They have a king over them – They will be organized and united in their attacks upon humanity. The fact that this king’s name is given in Hebrew and Greek shows us that all unbelievers, both Jew and Gentile, will be targeted by this demonic invasion.


(Ill. What would it be like to awaken one morning to find this creature waiting for you? That day will come for multiplied millions of lost people. Don’t be one of them.)


Conc: People hear this talk about demons and they laugh it off and say, “How old-fashioned! No one believes in demons anymore!” Oh really? It would seem from reading this passage that God does! Just because you can’t see them does not mean they are not real.

      When the bubonic plague was ravaging Europe during the Middle Ages, men tried every way they could think of to cure the disease. They came to believe that the plague was caused by clean, fresh air, so they plugged up their chimneys, burned disgusting things in their fireplaces, sat in smoke-filled houses, believing they were going to be all right. Whole cities were clothed in foul-smelling, putrid smoke. They would fire their cannons regularly to blow away the fresh air. If you had walked into one of those towns and told the people that the plague was being caused by an invisible organism transmitted by tiny fleas, they would have laughed you out of town. We now know that what they couldn’t see was killing them.

      Modern man has adopted the same attitude regarding the spiritual realm. He can’t see demons, so they must not be real. Well, they are! Jesus believed in them and He even had confrontations with them in the Gospels. Paul had a run in or two with demons in Acts. They are real and they are coming to this earth.

      You do not have to be here for the day when Hell invades the earth. If you will come to Jesus, He will save you soul and that you to a wonderful place called Heaven. If you are saved, you will miss the violence and torment of the Tribulation. You can miss out on this terrible time, if you will come to Jesus Christ.  There is a way out! Don’t wait until Hell Comes To Your House to cry out for mercy. Cry out to God today and be saved by His grace!

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