Thursday, March 31, 2016

Revelation, chapter 9, comments: the world system being judged

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.

Yet, another star falls from heaven. This star clearly represents a spiritual creature which points to stars previously referring to something other than physical entities. Remember that stars are angels in Revelation 1:20. This star is given a key to the bottomless pit. I believe that the bottomless pit is Hell itself.

What is a pit without a bottom? It is a sphere, like the center of the earth.

Matthew 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Deuteronomy 32:22  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Psalm 86:13  For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Revelation 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Isaiah 14:15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the 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.

Smoke from this pit comes up so thick that the sun is darkened even more by it. Locusts come through the smoke that have the power to sting like a scorpion. They are not to hurt anything other than people. They aren’t to kill them but just make them suffer for five months. Men wanted to die, the suffering was so horrible, but could not.

The description of the locusts shows that they are not ordinary locusts but creatures with faces like men, long hair, and lion’s fangs, wearing breastplates of iron, with wings that sounded like chariots and horses coming to battle. You can imagine the great noise of hooves and wheels this would create. The king over them when they appear, the angel of the bottomless pit, is named Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek.

Remember how Satan is referred to as a king over all the children of pride when God likens a dragon, the Biblical word for our modern dinosaur, to him in description?

Job 41:34  He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.

Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the prince of this world, and the god of this world.

Ephesians 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

John 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

2Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Paul warned that our warfare is against spiritual powers not with earthly rulers.

Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Both the names Abaddon and Apollyon mean destruction and destroyer, according to Strong’s dictionary. Paul referred to the Hebrews in the Exodus.

1Corinthians 10:10  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Remember who killed the firstborn of the Egyptians.

Exodus 12:23  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

John is seeing the spiritual world in a way that we cannot. The people suffering cannot see what is causing their suffering for real. This gives us a hint of what may be going on behind much suffering today. There is a physical cause for disease backed by a spiritual cause, perhaps. It is interesting to think about in light of modern materialism that only acknowledges the physical.

    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.

There are now said to be four angels bound in the Euphrates. When they are loosed they will kill a third part of mankind. This is effected by an army of, again, strictly spiritual or visible, a question we need to consider, creatures numbering two hundred million, although this has typically been applied to the invasion by the kings of the east in preparation for Armageddon, mentioned later. The suffering caused by these creatures that, perhaps, unleashes an invasion represented in spiritual terms is referred to as these plagues, so we know they are spiritual forces behind physical destruction. The destruction does not make mankind repentant. They still worships their idols and do not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their fornication, or their thefts. So we have five things here of which mankind is guilty.

Idolatry literally here referring to worshipping actual physical idols might include in our modern understanding the veneration of religious statues or icons. Murder, we know, is to kill innocent persons who have not harmed or are not harming you.

Psalm 10:8  He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.

Jesus defined the proscription against killing in Exodus 20:13 by His statement in Matthew 19:18.

Matthew 19:18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Sorceries, in Revelation only, is a word that comes from the root for our modern word pharmacy. In other places it is translated from a word for magical arts. It is important to understand the use of hallucinogens in ancient rites of magic. A study of ancient Central America is very helpful in understanding how such drugs were used in the practice of magic.(16)  A study of the use of drugs in ancient magic rites will expand our understanding of the use of pharmacological drugs in the end time, perhaps as modern medicine uses them today, to control behavior and make people more compliant. The Soviet Union was known for this as is America where many children are drugged for being considered hyperactive, a nuisance. I look for the use of drugs for control to expand greatly as history moves forward.

Fornication is any sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman and it is important not to confuse a government sanctioned license with an actual Christian marriage. You are not married before God just because you bowed to the state’s authority to get a license if there is no commitment before God in a covenantal relationship with your wife or husband for life. Fornication is translated from the word from which we get pornography, porneia. It is linked with lasciviousness, uncleanness, and adultery. 

Galatians 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Sexual immorality; homosexual and heterosexual temple prostitutes, and orgies as a part of worship, were an integral part of ancient religion so fornication is linked to idolatry.

Exodus 32:5  And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6  And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play…25  And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)

1Corinthians 10:7  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

This is the logical reason that the Corinthian church insisted on their women having long hair, to distinguish them from the short haired temple prostitutes in nearby Acro-Corinth’s Temple to Aphrodite. Read 1Corinthians 11:1-16. Aphrodite was the Greek version of Astarte and Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of prostitutes and liberty, who came down to us through the ages and stands in New York’s harbor as a beacon to the world. There are references to them thoughout the Old Testament.

Why is the word theft included in this list? The great city, Babylon, is very wealthy, as we will see later. Theft, stealing other people’s material possessions, can also include stealing their labor.

James 5:4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

This also applied under the Law given to Moses.

Leviticus 19:13  Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

I imagine you didn’t think you were being robbed by having your pay held back for a week, two weeks, or a month did you? Of course, our traditional use of the word, theft, is outright stealing.

Exodus 22:1 ¶  If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2  If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3  If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4  If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

Consider how powerful men in the past have preyed on the poor from the ancient world through the feudalism of medieval times, to the early days of capitalism’s abuse of the working poor, and into socialism where capitalists are just given government authority and power to back them up and the powerful men are also government, as in Red China today. God has always remarked heavily against the oppression of the poor, not the sluggard or slothful, but the working poor, as any eyes-open reading of Proverbs will show.

(16) Albert Hoffman, “Teonanácatl and Ololiuqui, two ancient magic drugs of Mexico,” Bulletin on Narcotics, Issue 1, 1971; 3-14 quoted on The Vaults of Erowid, (accessed 12.30.2015).

A wicked world system is being judged.

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