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A Bible Study:

The Revelation to John

May 30, 2006


A Study of the Revelation to John


A Study of the Revelation to John

By Bernie Parsons - May 30, 2006

A Study of Revelation Chapter 9:1-21

 

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Revelation 9:1: 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.

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.

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Why is this being represented as a star, and not an angel? Is this a heavenly being, who has charge of the bottomless pit, or is it some emperor, or king, who had achieved great power, and was now about to unleash terror upon the earth?

 

The result is the same, regardless of that truth. Smoke of a great furnace denotes tribulations to come. A furnace is used to smelt ore, such as iron, silver, and gold. This furnace will be used to smelt the righteous, to bring fire to the impure, and purity to the people of God.

 

Genesis 19:28: “And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.”

 

Exodus 19:18: “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”

 

Psalms 12:6: “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”

 

Proverbs 17:3: “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”

 

Isaiah 48:8: “Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

9: For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.

10: Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

11: For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted?  and I will not give my glory unto another.

12: Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

13: Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

14: All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things?  The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.

15: I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.

16: Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17: Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

18: O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments!  then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

19: Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.”

 

Ezekiel 22:17: “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

18: Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.

19: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

20: As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.

21: Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.

22: As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.”

 

Psalms 68:2: “As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

 

Psalms 97:5: “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”

 

Isaiah 13:4: “The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

5: They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

6: Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

7: Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:

8: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

9: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

10: For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

11: And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

12: I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

13: Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”

 

Isaiah 64:1: “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

2: As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!

3: When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.”

 

Jeremiah 9:5: “And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.

6: Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.

7: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

8: Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.

9: Shall I not visit them for these things?  saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10: For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.

11: And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.

12: Who is the wise man, that may understand this?  and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?

13: And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;

14: But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:

15: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

16: I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.”

 

Ezekiel 21:3: “And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.

4: Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north:

5: That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more.

6: Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.

7: And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou?  that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.

8: Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

9: Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished:

10: It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth?  it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.

11: And he hath give it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer.

12: Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.

13: Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod?  it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.

14: Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers.

15: I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah!  it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter.

16: Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set.

17: I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.”

 

Amos 9:1: “I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

2: Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

3: And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:

4: And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.

5: And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.”

 

Nahum 1:1: “The burden of Nineveh.  The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

2: God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

3: The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

4: He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

5: The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

6: Who can stand before his indignation?  and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?  his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

7: The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

8: But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

9: What do ye imagine against the LORD?  he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

10: For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.”

 

Hebrews 10: 24: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

26: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

27: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

 

1 Peter 4:12: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

13: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14: If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

15: But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

16: Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

17: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

18: And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

 

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Revelation 9:3: 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.

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Out of this fiery pit come locusts with the power of scorpions. Scorpions have a poisonous sting in their tails—locusts devour by destroying plant life. Yet, these locusts are commanded not to destroy the greenery! They shall be many in number, such as when locusts invade. They are only to hurt those without God’s seal in their foreheads. In other words, they are to hurt the wicked and unrighteous. Even so, they are not yet to kill, only to torment and terrorize. The pain of this occupation and its accompanying torment will be such that death will be desirable.

 

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Revelation 9:7: 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.

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A description of the locusts ensues. Are these actual locusts? Apparently not! They look like horses ready for battle, but have the faces of men. They have crowns. They have breastplates like iron, and make the sound of chariots. The description is that of vast armies that flow over the land like a plague of locusts. These locusts do not destroy the greenery, but they torment the people with their poison.

 

Joel 2:1: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

2: A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

3: A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

4: The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.

5: Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

6: Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.

7: They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:”

 

Isaiah 66:12: “For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

13: As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14: And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

15: For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16: For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.”

 

Jeremiah 4:10: “Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD!  surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

11: At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,

12: Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.

13: Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles.  Woe unto us!  for we are spoiled.”

 

Jeremiah 46:7: “Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers?

8: Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof.

9: Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow.

10: For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.”

 

Ezekiel 26:7: “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.

8: He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.

9: And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.

10: By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.

11: With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.”

 

Joel 2:1: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

2: A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

3: A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

4: The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.

5: Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

6: Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.

7: They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:”

 

The “locusts” of Revelation 9:10 are clearly armies.

 

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Revelation 9:11: 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.

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In Hebrew and in Greek, the name is “Destroyer”. Many commentators have attempted to identify this destroyer king. While looking at Roman history, it is quite telling to note that those who later actually became emperors of Rome, in the persons of Vespasian and Titus Flavius, were the destroyers of Jerusalem and Judća, and of all who opposed them.

 

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Revelation 9: 12: One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

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.

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Remember that these are the three worst woes to be pronounced by the trumpeting angels. First, there are armies of warriors who have come to destroy, along with the torment and terror that accompanies occupation by a foreign army. It is now followed by a preparation for killing.

 

Jeremiah 13:3: “And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,

4: Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.

5: So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.

6: And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.

7: Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.

8: Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

9: Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.

10: This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

11: For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”

 

Jeremiah 51:49: “As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.

50: Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.

51: We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD's house.

52: Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.

53: Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD.

54: A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:

55: Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered:

56: Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite.

57: And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

58: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

59: The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign.  And this Seraiah was a quiet prince.

60: So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.

61: And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;

62: Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.

63: And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

64: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.  Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”

 

Mark 13:24: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25: And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26: And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27: And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

28: Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30: Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

31: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32: But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

33: Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”

 

Man does not understand the timing of God. God does things according to His schedule. When the time is right for an event to occur, He intervenes. When He was ready to judge Judah and Jerusalem, He unleashed the armies of Rome to do His vengeance.

 

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Revelation 9:16: 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.

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Again, it is obvious that vast armies are under discussion. Comparing the heads of the horses to those of lions indicates that these were armies of the emperor, or king. Fire, smoke, and brimstone indicate utter destruction. What is left in their wake is a smoking wasteland, burned to the ground. After all, these are the armies of the Destroyer.

 

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Revelation 9:18: 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.

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Unlike the first armies, who tormented, but did not kill, these will kill large numbers, even to a third of the population. They kill front and back, coming and going. They are the armies of the Destroyer.

 

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Revelation 9:20: 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.

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Those not killed by the armies nevertheless did not change their ways. They continued to worship idol gods and goddesses, the work of their hands. Besides this, they continued in other wickeness, such as murder, sorcery, fornication, and thievery. The destruction was a call to righteousness—a call that went unheeded. When things go badly, humans need to look to their Creator, to seek Him, and to obey Him. Many do not.

 

2 Peter 2:9: “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

10: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

11: Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

12: But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

13: And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

14: Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

15: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16: But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

17: These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”

 

1 Peter 4:1: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

2: That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

3: For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

4: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

5: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

6: For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

7: But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 

 

Peter knew that Jerusalem and Judah (Judaea) were about to fall.

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