Revelation 9

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Read Revelation 9

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harmthe grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).

12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.

17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Go Deeper

Revelation 9 begins with the fifth trumpet sounding. Whereas the sounding of the first four trumpets brought judgements directly against the earth, the last three focus on the spiritual realm. After reading this text, we can be left with many questions: Who is the star that falls from heaven in verse 1? Where is the bottomless pit that was opened in verse 2? Are the locusts described as literal insects or demonic beings? These questions either peak our interests in wanting to understand and uncover more, or they make our head spin because it’s all too complicated to figure out. Regardless of which camp we find ourselves in, there are several truths found in this chapter that speak to the sovereignty of God. 

To be sovereign means to have complete rank, power, and authority. While there are multiple demonic forces that are presented within this passage, scripture proves to us that God is the ultimate power and authority over them all. In verse one of this passage, we know that “The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.” We confidently know that Jesus is the one who gave the key to this fallen angel because he boldly proclaimed in Revelation 1:18 “I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Jesus has power over the abyss.

Although we do not know where the Abyss that was opened is physically located, we can be confident that Jesus is sovereign over it. We find proof of this in Luke chapter 8.  As Jesus is casting out the many demons that had gone into a man, Luke 8:31 tells us that the demons “begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.” Jesus not only knows the location of it, but he’s in control of who enters it. Jesus outranks the demons of the Abyss. 

We are given many details and descriptions about the locusts between verses 3-12, but verse 5 tells us that they were not allowed to kill people, but only to torture them for five months. So instead of speculating about whether they are insects or demons, we can be certain that the purpose and the plan of the locusts is expressly governed by the one true God. Jesus has complete authority over all things in both the earthly and spiritual realm.

Revelation 9 reminds us that we serve a sovereign God who is supreme in his power, rank, and authority. We ultimately see his grace in this vision because the purpose of all that is described in this chapter is to give people yet another opportunity to repent and turn back to Jesus. Unfortunately, we read in verse 20 that people in John’s vision did not repent, but it’s not too late for us and is as simple as Acts 3:19 says “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.”


  1. What comes to your mind when you consider God’s sovereignty?
  2. Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Spend some time confessing to God things in your life that feel unpredictable or turbulent and ask Him to show his might.
  3. Is there anything you need to repent of and turn back to Jesus?

By the Way

If thinking about the end times make you feel unsettled, read Psalm 2:2-6 and be assured that God is in control:

“The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
‘Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.’
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
‘I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.’”

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4 thoughts on “Revelation 9”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Regardless of the terrors we read of in chapter 9, each one is under God’s control and authority. 2 Peter 3:8-13 gives us this charge,
    “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” We are tasked with living holy and godly lives and looking forward to his return. This is our assignment!

  2. My mind is blown over the fact that it states they choose death over repentace.
    Vs20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
    But then looking at the list which is so much like the list of our nation now, idols, murder, drugs, sexual immorality, and stealing. Even though this are such stongholds in our lives it does not change their minds! It is up to us as believers to be the Jesus people see and that they desire. It is only through humility, repentance, and the grace and forgiveness of Jesus that we are able to be free from any addictions today. We/I need to get right daily, minutely so that my thoughts are His thoughts, my actions are according to Him and His word. 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We have to keep a sound mind with His HESED love, according to His Word to have the power to be effective in our ministry.

    God to You be the Glory and honor and thanksgiving while crying Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty. I am thankful for strength to withstand the attacks of the enemy. God through You I can operate the power, love and sound mind to not be conformed to this world but be transformed into the likeness of Your image. God thank You for Your love goggles to see others as You see them, to speak Your words to them, and to be kind and generous for and to all in these minutes of this day in Jesus name amen.

  3. I am aghast by a couple of things in today’s passage:

    5 “They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months”

    20 “they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood“

    Why are we humans so stubborn? Why am I so stiff-necked? Just repent!

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    Temptation entertained today becomes sin tomorrow. God provides a way out. Repent daily, live a holy life that honors our Savior.

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