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REVELATION 9

CHAPTER NINE:

v. 1 "bottomless pit"----better, 'pit of the abyss"; inner prison; lowest deep (Lu.8:31). The word "deep" describes the abode of the evil spirits. "This verse suggests a vast depth, approached by a pit or shaft, whose top, or mouth, is covered. The abyss is the lowest spring of evil, whence the worst dangers arise." (Bp. Boyd Carpenter; Hom. Com.)

THE FALLEN STARS----likened to those who once had high positions of dignity, authority, possessed the confidence of the public, yet fallen in disgrace.

1. In history, large number of prominent men who for a long season gave a brilliant light, and then all at once became eclipsed by their sins, being struck from the celestial skies.

2. Great cities and countries that have become extinct are fallen stars----Babylon, Nineveh, Tyre, etc., which once led the world in beauty, culture, commerce, and force, but which now are lost in the ahses that serve as their mausoleum.

All these chose their own ways rather than conform to their creator and His sovereignty, thus reaping their inevitable end, the law of the harvest, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Caleb Bradlee; Bib. Illus.; Bib. Muse.; Pulpit Com.; Hom. Com.)

LESSONS FROM THIS PARTICULAR TEXT:

I. In the departure from truth and righteousness error and evil become prevalent.

Every false doctrine is a cloud of darkness upon the path of the human life.

II. In the diminution of the heavenly the hellish powers prevail.

When darkness is let loose, at the expense of truth, hell gains ascendency.

III. In the departure from God's truth, the painful effects of sin are revealed.

IV. The broken allegiance to God issues in the triumph of the destroyer.

The authority of the Prince of peace being rejected, another king usurps his throne. (Pulpit Com.)

vss. 12-21 THE INEFFICIENCY OF JUDGMENTS TO LEAD ALL TO REPENTANCE.

I. The severities of judgment are insufficient to lead all to repentance.

That many are saved through the judgment is obvious. Yet there is a hardness of heart that seems to increase by the pressure of outward calamity. Like Pharaoh, they feign repentance under duress, but when the pain of punishment is alleviated, they revert back to their old sinful ways.

NOTE: Death-bed repentance is very seldom Bible repentance. "The rest of mankind, which were not killed with these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands." (v. 20)

II. One purpose of judgment is to get men's attention concerning their present life pursuit.

Sorrow, sadness, melancholy, sickness, afflictions; death, etc., are means God sometimes uses to get man's attention. Yet still this goes unheeded.

III. It is through devotion to evil that men are blinded to righteousness and continue on in sin.

2 Cor. 4:3, 4 "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost...." etc. (Pulpit Com.)

v. 6----THE EXTREMITY OF ANGUISH.

"And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."

1. Men seeking death implies that there is something about things and circumstances which they deem worse than death.

They cannot bear the discontentment, unhappiness, sorrow, etc., which is in their course of life.

2. Men sometimes death because of some great sin or scandal in their lives.

3. Few there are who seek death from the righteous standpoint as Paul, "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to abid in the flesh is more needful for you." (Phil.1:23, 24)

WHY DO MEN COMMIT SUICIDE:

1. They have a false philosophy of life.

2. This is caused by their sinful nature.

3. They look upon death as a state of unconsciousness rather than a state of conscious eternity.

NOTE: Many Christian people believe this demonstrated by the comments they make viewing a corpse----"They are at rest." "They look so peaceful." "He or she is better off."

4. They are anxious to get out of their present misery, thinking death is better than their present condition.

5. Most of the time it reveals their infidelity in that they disbelieve the Bible.

The Bible speaks against soul-sleep. The spirit of man never dies. At the cessation of death, he is immediately in torment or eternal bliss with Christ. (Ed.)

NOTE: "A beast escaped with a halter," says Thomas Manton, "is easily caught again; so a lust indulged will bring us into our old bondage." Nothing is harder to bury than the tail of a habit; but unless we do bury it, tail and all, the viper will wriggle out of its grave. A clear, clean, and complete escape is the only true deliverance from an evil practice which has long been indulged. A drunkard is not safe from the drink while he takes his occasional glass with a friend. A man who allows himself any one sin will be sure to allow another; where one dog comes into the room another may follow. A fish is not free for his life while a hook is in his mouth, and a line holds him to the rod. However thin the connecting medium, it will be the death of the fish, it if holds; and however slight the bond which links a man to evil, it will be his sure ruin. (C. H. Spurgeon; Bib. Illus.)

HOW DOES THE WORLD LOOK UPON GOD'S JUDGMENTS?

1. Those that are spared, look upon God's patience as weakness.

"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." (Eccles. 8:11)

2. Considering this, they see no need to repent.

They love their sins, although they are very miserable and hold on to them.

3. Their sin deadens their belief in God.

4. God's judgments are put down to secondary causes. (S. Conway; Bib. Illus.)

vss. 7, 8----LOCUSTS----These great, grasshopper-looking insects have been sad scourges to mankind, and the Egyptian plague of them has happened more than once, though perhaps not as intense as that plague, since that early date. Africa, especially that part near to Egypt, has been at different times infested by myriads of these creature, which have consumed nearly every green thing. In 1748 locusts invaded Europe, Charles XII, and his army in Bersarabia were stopped by them, they were four hours passing over Breslau, many reached England, and did great damage in Shropshire and Staffordshire." Paxton who adds, "The noise they make in browsing on the trees and herbage may be heard at a great distance, and resembles the rattling of hail or the noise of an army foraging in secret." In Africa it was stated that an area of near 2,000 miles was literally covered by them. It took four hours to fly over a spot where the observer stood. (Bib. Muse.)

vss. 11, 12 ABADDON----Look at Abaddon, the destroyer, with regard to:

I. WHAT HE HAS DONE.

The fall: the progress of error, etc.

II. WHAT HE IS NOW DOING.

Destroying souls, peace, hope, morality, etc.

III. WHAT HE CANNOT DO.

He cannot destroy:

1. Christ.----His saving power, or the efficacy of His blood.

2. Christ's people----"Satan hath desired to have," etc.

NOTE: DESCRIPTION OF HELL----Its locality is untold, its creation and date are left in obscurity, its names are various----but all rather vails the discoveries of what seems elaborately concealed. It is hell, the hidden or sunken place; it is Gehenna, Tophet; it is a smoke ascending, as if to darken the universe; it is a lake burning with fire and brimstone, but of which the interior is unseen; it is a pit bottomless, a fire unquenchable, a worm undying, a death----the second and the last; it is "without," yet not unvisited or unseen; they shall be tormented in the presence of the Lamb and the holy angels; they shall go forth, and look on the carcases of them that are slain, whose worm dieth not. This is all, or nearly all we know of it." (Giflillan; Bib. Muse.)

ILLUS: "Tiberius Caesar being applied to by an offender to hasten and despatch his punishment, replied 'Stay, sir: you and I are not friends yet.' Thus it is tetwixt Christ and the damned soul." (Spencer; Bib. Muse.)

ANGELS, MINISTERS OF VENGEANCE----They are sometimes sent from heaven as messengers of the Divine vengeance, to punish the sins of men. They destroy cities and nations (Gen. 19:13; 2 Sam. 24:16) "David saw the angel of Jehovah....having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem." (1 Chron. 21:16) Hence they are frequently represented as making their appearance in the shape of an armed host. (Gen. 23:1, 2). "

this is God's host." (Josh.5:15), "the captain of the host of Jehovah." (2 Kings 6:17), "the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire."

(Ps. 68:17), "the chariots of God are twenty thousand." (Lu. 2:13), "a multitude of the heaveny host." (Milton; Bib. Muse.)

vss. 20, 21 PERSEVERANCE IN EVIL.

I. THE PUNISHMENT OF SIN----These plagues."

II. THE PRESERVATION OF THE SINNER----"some were not killed."

1. They deserved death.

2. They were spared to repent.

III. THE PERSEVERANCE IN EVIL.

1. The worship of false gods in defiance of Jehovah.

2. The pursuance of a course in life, which implied a disbelief in any holy Deity. (Bib. Muse.)

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