Welcome to a revelation of Jesus. As we continue our series on the Seven Trumpets, we are ready to look at one of the most consequential and earth-shaking developments in the Book of Revelation: the appearance of the angel from the bottomless pit. But first, let’s take a moment to review what we have learned so far in order to put this into context.
In videos 14-26 we studied the Seven Seals, which detail the investigative phase of the judgment that is taking place now in the heavenly realm. Videos 22-25 in particular focused in on the sixth seal which describes the judgment of those who will be alive at the time of Christ’s second coming. These include the people who reject Jesus, the 144,000 who are God’s special messengers, and the Great Multitude who will be saved during the Great Tribulation. John saw four evil angels about to release the four winds of war and disasters, but an angel from God restrains them until the 144,000 could be sealed.
In video 26, the seventh seal introduces the Seven Trumpets by announcing that there will be silence in heaven for half an hour. The trumpets themselves are the first half-hour of the “hour of trial,” also called the Great Tribulation. During that time God will be silent, in other words, he will not intervene to prevent Satan from bringing about the strife and chaos that he has long wanted to use as an opportunity to overthrow God’s followers.
This theme is confirmed as the Seven Trumpets begin.
In video 28 we saw an angel, symbolizing Jesus, standing at the golden altar interceding to save and protect sinful humanity. But then he takes fire from the altar and throws it to the earth, showing that He will no longer protect the world from the consequences of their disobedience. With this the narrative switches from the heavenly judgment to disasters taking place on earth as the four winds are released.
In video 27 we reviewed the evidence that the Trumpets are last-day disasters. In video 28 we saw that they are brought about by Satan and his followers who have been permitted to carry out their evil plans.
In video 29 we learned that the disasters described in the Seven Trumpets are not highly symbolic metaphors as in many other parts of Revelation, but rather a literal description of a terrible war that takes place during the Great Tribulation. The fiery hail, fiery mountain, falling star, and darkening of the skies of the first four trumpets are probably a description of nuclear attacks.
In video 30 we saw that the resulting chaos is called the opening of the bottomless pit. The fifth trumpet sounds and John sees an army emerging from the smoke that he describes as looking like locusts. We compared the symbols used and found that this is the same army and battle that is described in the book of Joel, and also the same as the last battle in the long war between the king of the north and the king of the south in Daniel 11 and 12.
In video 31 we looked at the highlights of that war in the book of Daniel and concluded that the 7 Trumpet war will most likely begin with a nuclear attack by radical Islamic forces against northern forces consisting of the United States, European countries, and their allies. The fifth trumpet with its locust army describes a counterattack by the northern forces.
If you are new to this channel I would encourage you to watch these videos to see the scriptural support for these interpretations. With this background in mind let’s continue our study of the fifth trumpet.
In Revelation 9:7-10 John describes the appearance and destructive power of the locusts. In verse 11 he identifies their leadership: “They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon” (Revelation 9:11). Although this verse does not give very much information about this important individual, there is enough to correlate with other passages of scripture.
First of all, He appears during the fifth Trumpet, which sets him chronologically in the last days and specifically, during the great tribulation. He is an angel. We have seen in previous videos that the Book of Revelation uses the word angel to refer to supernatural heavenly beings, evil fallen beings who are allied with Satan, and humans who share God’s messages.
Since this angel is “of the Bottomless pit” which is associated in Luke 8:31 with the realm of demons, we can conclude that this is an evil angel who opposes Christ and his followers. Both the Hebrew name Abaddon and the Greek name Apollyon mean “destroyer”, just the opposite of God the Creator.
There are several passages in Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible that can tell us more about this evil angel.
Let’s look first at the end-time antichrist, as identified in 2Thessalonians 2, who plays a crucial role during the Great Tribulation. “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ… let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2Thessalonians 2:1-4).
We notice first that the chronological context is “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, in other words, the same time frame as the angel from the bottomless pit.
There have been antichrist individuals, systems and institutions throughout history. In fact, the apostle John wrote that many antichrists had appeared even in his time (1 John 2:18-22, 4:1-3, 2 John 7). But this passage in 2 Thessalonians 2 describes the final and ultimate manifestation of “the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:3).
The end-time context is confirmed by the fact that he will be “destroyed with the brightness of [Christ’s] coming” (2Thessalonians 2:8).
We see that “the man of sin… exalts himself above all that is called God,” just like Satan who wanted to “exalt [his] throne above the stars of God” and “be like the most high” (Isaiah 14:13,14).
We also notice that he is “the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). The Greek word for perdition is apoleias, which means destruction, and is closely related to the name Apollyon, destroyer, which is the name of the angel from the bottomless pit.
Continuing on, “You know what is restraining that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).
Here we see that there is some restraining power that will hold the “man of sin” in check until the restraint is removed.
This reference to a restraining influence should ring a bell from our previous videos.
Clear back in the sixth seal we saw that four evil angels want to release the winds of destruction, but are restrained by “an angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God” (Revelation 7:2). He restrains the evil angels until the 144,000 are sealed in their foreheads, but when the sealing is finished and the angel with the censer throws his fire to the earth, the angels are released and the trumpets begin.
Continuing, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9,10). In these verses we see that Satan will be intimately involved, producing false miracles to deceive the people of the world who have not accepted “the love of the truth”.
To summarize, these verses in 2 Thessalonians 2 show that just before the Second Coming of Christ God will remove a restraining influence, which will allow Satan to manifest himself as a personality, the “man of sin”. He will use miracles to deceive the people of the world who have not accepted the love of the truth. But the man of sin will be destroyed at the Second Coming by “the breath of [Jesus’] mouth and the brightness of His coming”.
We would expect that such a crucial personality, appearing at around the time of the Second Coming of Christ, would be included in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 19 is the chapter that presents the Second Coming. Jesus, the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” is portrayed as a rider on a white horse who “judges and makes war… [having] a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations” that oppose Him (Revelation 19:11-16,21).
Furthermore, there is an individual in Revelation 19 who opposes Jesus. He is called “the beast” and he is the leader of “the kings of the earth and their armies” and together they “make war against Him who sat on the horse” (v. 19). He uses signs and miracles by which “he deceives those who had received the mark of the beast,” but he is defeated by Jesus at His coming—“The beast was captured… and cast alive into the lake of fire” (Revelation 19:20).
A comparison of the beast of Revelation 19 and the “man of sin” of 2 Thessalonians 2 show remarkable similarities. Both are present when Christ returns. Both are warring against Christ. Both use miracles to deceive the unbelievers, and both are destroyed at Christ’s Second Coming. From these comparisons, it is obvious that “the beast” and “the man of sin” are the same individual—the last day antichrist.
In Revelation 19 the beast is shown leading “the kings of the earth” in the last great battle against Jesus.
In chapter 16 the same beast is shown organizing the battle, sending out miracle-working evil spirits to the same “kings of the earth… to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:13,14).
In chapter 17 an angel comes to help John understand more about the beast. He is shown a vision of a seven-headed scarlet beast ridden by a harlot. This will be explained in more detail in later videos, but briefly, the scarlet beast is a global political entity that is controlled by an apostate religious entity, the harlot.
But as the explanation proceeds, the angel who is explaining the vision focuses attention on the seven heads of the scarlet beast. These heads are a series of seven kings, followed by an eighth king who is also called “the beast” (Revelation 17: 9-11).
This beast “will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition” (Revelation 17:8,11). Here we see that the beast is both a political entity, the scarlet beast, and an individual, the eighth king, the same individual who organizes and then leads the final battle when Jesus comes.
We see in Revelation 17 another link to 2 Thessalonians 2: one of the titles for “the man of sin” is “the son of perdition” (2Thessalonians 2:3). Likewise, “the beast… shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition” (Revelation 17:8,11).
We can also find in chapter 17 confirmation of what we saw in chapter 19. There we learned that “the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and his army” (Revelation 19:19), in other words, against Christ. In chapter 17 there are 10 kings who “will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb” (Revelation 17:14), in other words, against Christ.
It seems unlikely that there will be military forces aiming their weapons at Jesus as He descends from heaven.
In Revelation 11 we get another view of the beast and see how he makes war against Christ. Chapter 11 portrays the faithful followers of Christ as “two witnesses” who will give the final invitation to accept Jesus during the Great tribulation.
“When [the two witnesses] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Revelation 11:7). This is a highly symbolic section that we will cover in a later video, but the point, for now, is that the beast from the bottomless pit will lead the kings of the earth and their armies to make war against Christ by making war against His faithful followers.
Now we can come full circle back to the fifth trumpet: “[The locust army] had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek, he has the name Apollyon” (Revelation 9:11). Here, as with the beast of Revelation 16, 17, and 19 we have a king who organizes and leads an army.
Like the beast in Revelation 11 and 17, he is intrinsically linked to the bottomless pit. His name, Apollyon, is from the same root word as perdition, which is the destination of the beast in chapter 17 and the title of “the man of sin, the son of perdition” in 2 Thessalonians 2. The obvious conclusion is that all of these passages refer to the same individual, the final antichrist.
Why would he be called an angel in chapter 9 and a beast in chapters 11, 16, 17, and 19?
One reason is that the chapters that talk about the beast are highly symbolic, but as we saw in video 29, the description of the first 6 trumpets in chapters 8 and 9 are more literal. But another reason may be that with his introduction God wanted us to know that this powerful, charismatic, miracle-working individual is more than human.
I already mentioned that the “man of sin” in 2Thessalonians “exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2Thessalonians 2:4).
This language parallels that of “Lucifer…[who] said in [his] heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation… I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14). This shows that the ambitions of the individual called the man of sin, the angel of the bottomless pit, and the beast from the bottomless pit are identical to those of Satan.
We can also learn from 2Thessalonians that the signs and miracles that this individual works are more than magic or sleight of hand. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all powers, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
My conclusion is that Satan himself will fully possess a human being to personally direct the final stages of his master plan to win the whole world for himself.
This is supported by Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).
It would be just like Satan to pretend to be Jesus. The signs and miracles that he works will convince multitudes that the counterfeit Christ is the real thing.
With the angel of the bottomless pit at the helm, the trumpet war kicks into high gear. “Then the sixth angel sounded: and [John] heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:13,14).
This is the second time we have seen “the golden altar which is before God”. Remember that the trumpet disasters began when John saw an angel who had been offering incense and prayers on the golden altar take fire from the altar in his censer and throw it to the earth.
When we studied this passage in video 28 we saw that the censer symbolizes Christ’s mediation, intercession, and protection. With the casting down of the censer Jesus signals that He is going to allow a brief period in which He will no longer protect sinful humanity from the chaos and destruction that Satan would like to inflict upon them.
The result is the releasing of the four evil angels with their winds of destruction, bringing on the first stage of the trumpet war.
Now we hear a voice from the same altar, calling for the release of four more angels who “are bound at the great river Euphrates”.
We will look more carefully at the waters of the Euphrates when we study chapters 16 and 17. We will see that they are the “many waters” of Babylon and are identified as “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:1,15).
When the evil angels who have been “bound at the great river Euphrates” are released they will be able to mobilize “Peoples, nations, and multitudes” in unprecedented numbers: “The number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million… and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed” (Revelation 9:16-18).
The unrelenting torrent of carnage and destruction described in the first six trumpets is unlike anything we have ever seen. It is no wonder that so many Christians are hoping that the preterist or historicist interpreters are right and this description is a symbolic depiction of past events, or that the dispensationalists are right and we will watch the great tribulation unfold from the safety of heaven after the rapture.
But Daniel 11 and 12, which also describes this war, show us the big picture. “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book… those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:1-3).
These verses highlight our top priorities as we approach the time of trouble: to make sure that we and our loved ones are secure in the book of life, to become wise in our understanding of the scriptures, and to help the people in our sphere of influence turn to the righteousness that is in Jesus. In the next video we will begin the story of how the faithful followers of God will share a powerful witness in the midst of the Great Tribulation.
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