“And a 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).
The stars that we see twinkling in the night sky do not fall to earth from heaven. Heaven is a particular place and is the abode of the Most High God and His Son and the 24 elders and myriads of spirit men we call angels. It is probable that this realm called heaven is outside our solar system. That is, we are in a sort of time bubble. The universe we inhabit is governed by time. But God is not.
Therefore I believe that heaven and God and the heavenly host who dwell there are outside the time bubble universe, of which earth is a part — along with the billions of stars and planets and other galaxies that make up our cosmos. So when Scripture speaks of a star falling from heaven to earth, it is referring to an angel falling to earth. When you see what we call a falling star, shooting across the night sky, that is not a star at all but a small body of matter known as a meteor. It is from outer space and becomes incandescent as a result of friction with the earth’s atmosphere.
“Angels are often referred to in Scripture as stars and also as the heavenly host.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know.
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone?
When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”
The sons of God are the angels and are here called the morning stars. Isaiah 14:12, speaking of another angel says; “How you have fallen from heaven, o morning star, son of the dawn.”NIV.
Most commentators believe this is speaking of Lucifer and his fall from grace. This is why he is called a fallen angel but here is named the morning star. By the way, Venus is the morning star and is the brightest of the stars and can still be seen early in the morning when all the other stars have vanished because of the light of the rising sun.
So when we read that John “saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth,” what he saw was an angel, which we know is a (spirit) man, fall from the heavenly abode to earth. Regular stars are not given keys to a prison. Whether this fallen angel is a good one or an evil one is moot. Perhaps we can figure this out later. Nevertheless he has the key to the bottomless pit otherwise known as Tartarus and the Abyss.
And when he opens the bottomless pit, “there arose a smoke out of the pit, as of a smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened, by reason of the smoke of the pit.” We will see that upon the opening of the bottomless pit, the inhabitants that have been incarcerated there are released into the earth once more. Now here’s a thought. Back several hundreds of years ago a volcano blew. It may have been Krakatau in Indonesia. The smoke that arose from it was so dense that it blotted out the sun from the earth for several days.
If we are to take these first verses in Revelation 9 literally, and I see no reason at this point to take them otherwise, then it may be that this is a similar eruption as Krakatau, and that the earth will be plunged into darkness by the smoke from the Abyss. As we shall see, the spirits or angels, who are locked up in Tartarus are then released. So it may be safe to assume that their emergence from the gloomy dungeons onto earth is preceded by the earth being plunged into darkness by reason of the black smoke of the Abyss.
“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” (Revelation 9:3).
Whereas many students of this book believe these locusts and scorpions are literal, I believe that these are figurative. For we have already seen that Jesus went and preached to the spirits that are held in this prison. We have concluded that these spirits are angelic beings who are men. We have noted that Satan is also called the serpent and the dragon and these names are figures of speech and thus the beast from the Abyss is also figurative. In the same way, the terms “locusts” is a figure of speech relating to angelic beings who are to come out of the Abyss.
To prove this point, we use a tool for interpreting the Bible which is to examine where similar words or phrases are used before. Very often the meaning of a word or phrase is defined in its previous usage. In Luke chapter 10 we have the record of Jesus sending out 70 of his disciples to preach and to heal. In verse 3 He says:
“Behold I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Here we have more names of animals to describe people: lambs and wolves.
And when the disciples return with joy, they proclaim;
“Lord, even the demons are subject unto us through your name.
And he said unto them: “I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven.”
Watch the context of these next few verses. They mention demons and He says he beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven. Here is another mention of fallen angels. I believe that this is a prophetic utterance for this scripture is still future and has yet to be fulfilled. But we will deal with that later. Listen to the next verse.
“Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that THE SPIRITS ARE SUBJECT UNTO YOU…”
Wow, wow, wow! Back up a minute. Read these last few verses again. The disciples mention that even the demons are subject to them. Then Jesus talks of Satan falling from heaven and tells them they have power to tread on scorpions and serpents, and over all the power of the enemy. Well who is our enemy? Who are the serpents and scorpions? He defines them in the next sentence:
“…in this rejoice not, that the SPIRITS are subject unto you.”
So the serpents and scorpions are spirits who are our enemy according to Jesus. And spirits are angels which are men, but of a spirit nature. So right here in these verses we are told that all these names; serpents, scorpions, lambs and wolves, are figures of speech for men. The disciples are the lambs while the wolves are their enemies which are also called serpents and scorpions. It is over these spirits that the disciples have power through the name of Jesus.
And of course the serpent who is the dragon is Satan and the Devil, twice so called in the Book of Revelation.
And it was the serpent who beguiled (seduced )Eve in the garden and caused what has come to be known as the fall of man. Not a snake. Nor a man with a serpentine or reptilian likeness. For some conclude that these evil angels look like serpents or lizards. If you follow this logic, then perhaps they can look like dragons also.
No. Serpent and dragon are figures of speech for Satan who is the devil. And he no more looks like a snake or a dragon as Jesus looks like a lamb or a lion. These names of animals are given as figures and also describe the personality of those to which they appertain. Thus we have lion and lamb referring to Jesus. The serpent and dragon who is Satan. The beast from the Abyss who is the Antichrist. Lambs among wolves talking of the disciples among demons. And scorpions and locusts referring to spirits. The locusts are the spirit men who will come out of the bottomless pit and they will be given power even as the scorpions (spirits) have presently got power on this earth (Revelation 9:3).
So these locusts and scorpions are as serpents and are men: spirit men or angels who are evil and who will be manifest on the earth once again as they were prior to the Flood of Noah. That these locusts and scorpions are spirit beings is provable in another verse further down in this same chapter and I will deal with this in the next installment. But why call these spirits locusts and scorpions? Well think about it. What are the characteristics of locusts? For a start, locusts wipe out everything in their path. As they descend and light on an area, everything is destroyed. Then they move on to the next patch. The sting from a scorpion usually means instant death.
Patrick Heron is bestselling author of Apocalypse Soon and The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse.