By Ken Blue |
November 15th, 2012. Filed under: Bible Study.
The Mutants from Hell
“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.” (Revelation 9:1).
At this point a new sphere is introduced. The three spheres in Revelation are heaven, earth and the pit. From this point on, the bottomless pit holds much of our attention.
Under the trumpets the underworld begins its invasion. These events are at the mid-point of the Great Tribulation and parallel chapter 12, where the devil is cast out of heaven.
We are not given the identity of this “star.” Obviously he is a living creature. Many assume it is Satan or one of his servant angels. Some writers take the RSV interpretation suggesting that John is saying he saw a star, which had fallen from heaven. They then cross reference to Luke 10:18, which says, “And he (Jesus) said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Although Satan did fall prior to Genesis 1:2, and will also be cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:9), there is no proof that is what John is talking about.
This star could be any angel carrying out the bidding of God. Men and angles are often called stars. The twelve sons of Jacob were represented as stars (Genesis 37:9). Jude speaks of the ungodly as wandering stars (Jude 1:13). A star was seen in the east at the birth of Christ and was no doubt an angel (Matthew 2:2-10). Stars are often spoken of symbolically (Numbers 24:17; Revelation 1:16, 20; Revelation 12:1).
This angel has the key to the bottomless pit and loosens its demonic inhabitants upon the earth. The fact that he has the key indicates that he is not Satan or one of his evil agents. This angel is the Lord’s servant. When he opens the pit the emergents ascend, and are described as incomprehensible creatures. They come from the pit that is, no doubt, located in the heart of the earth. If so, this would explain why it is called the “bottomless pit,” since the earth is constantly in motion.
Pits are often spoken of in Scripture, and they served many purposes. They were used to capture wild animals or to hold captives secure for judgment. Jeremiah was confined in such a prison-pit in the courtyard. “Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire” (Jeremiah 38:6). See Jeremiah 38:13 which says, “So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.”
These abandoned pits were a danger to travelers, and many times the careless would fall into them and remain there until help came, or until they died. David compared certain events in his own life as one hopelessly trapped in such a pit. “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalms 40:1-3).
Demons acknowledged Christ’s power when He was on the earth and feared He would assign and confine them to the pit. “And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29)
Luke 8:28-31 describes our Lord’s power over these creatures from the underworld and their plea not to be sent to the “deep” or the prison house of the underworld. The inhabitants of the bottomless pit are held captive until the angel with the key comes to release them.
“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. 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. 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. 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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:2-6).