Revelation 9:1-2

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Rev 9:1  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.
Rev 9:2  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.

Introduction

Before we begin to study the words of this fifth trumpet, let’s recall what is said of these last three trumpets in the last verse of the preceding chapter.

Rev 8:13  And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

As the life of any man of God, whether in the Old or the New Testament demonstrates, the trials we endure toward the end of our walk, in the lion’s den, in the fiery furnace or in the Garden of Gethsemane, could never have been endured without first having our hearts prepared for those trials, by enduring easier trials earlier in our walk. So it is with each of these last three woes. Each of the first six seals and each of the first four trumpets were preparation for these last three “woes” culminating in the seven last plagues upon all who are to become the temple of God’s holy spirit.

1Ch 29:18  O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
Job 11:12  For vain man would be wise, though man be born [ like] a wild ass’s colt.
Job 11:13  If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;
Psa 10:17  LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
Jer 12:3  But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.

Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

“Pull out” who? Who is “pulled out” like sheep for the slaughter? Who is the temple, and who enters that temple? It is those who are “keeping the things written therein.” It is all who are now being judged by these seven trumpets. Being ‘pulled out like sheep for the slaughter’ is the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon mankind.

Psa 44:22  Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Isa 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Act 8:32  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He [ Christ] was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

“As He is so are we”, and just as Christ’s flesh was first judged  for us, so must we “first be judged” for the sake of the church which is His body.

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Col 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what [ is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

With this reminder of the proper approach to this prophecy, let’s number the symbols of the first two verses of this fifth trumpet. 1) The first symbol is the angel that sounds the trumpet. 2) the second symbol is a star that falls from heaven to the earth. 3) The third is the heaven from which the star falls. 4) The fourth is the earth to which which the star from heaven falls. 5) The fifth is the key to the bottomless pit. 6) The sixth is the bottomless pit itself. 7) the seventh is the smoke of a great furnace. 8) The eighth is the darkened sun, which is darkened by the smoke of the pit, 9) and finally, the ninth is the air that is also darkened by the smoke of the pit.

Rev 9:1  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.
Rev 9:2  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.

Since we have already given the Biblical revelation of what the first four symbols are and since we have already given the Biblical, spiritual meaning of what the eighth symbol of the darkened sun is, we will simply list and briefly review what these symbols and their meanings are before getting into what the scriptures reveal about the remaining four symbols.

1) What is the angel?

1) The angel that sounds the trumpet, we have demonstrated is the symbol of the priests who alone are commissioned to blow the seven trumpets

Jos 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Go back to our earlier study on Rev 8:1-6 – Part 2- What Is Fire of The Altar Cast Into The Earth? to see all the scriptures which reveal who these seven angels symbolize. They tell us that they are “our fellowservants who keep the sayings of this book and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev 19:10 and 22:8-9)

2) What is the star?

2) This star that “falls from heaven to the earth,” is a messenger from the God who “dwells in the heavens.”

Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall [ Greek, pipto] from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

The use of the pronoun ‘he’ demonstrates that this ‘star’ is indeed a messenger from God, who is sent with a key to open up this thing called “the bottomless pit.” When the angel uses the key to open the pit, the sun and the air are darkened by the smoke from the pit.
This “key to the bottomless pit” appears again in the hand of an angel who is not “cast down” (Greek, pipto) from heaven, but rather “comes down (Greek, katabaino) from heaven” and binds Satan for a thousand years and casts him into the bottomless pit.”  But look at what this angel with this key is doing the next time we see him:

Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down [ Greek, katabaino] from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

We are told that this star here in Rev 9 “fell from heaven”, a phrase used elsewhere only of Satan and his angels.

Isa 34:4  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall [ Greek, pipto] from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Luk 10:18  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall [ Greek, pipto] from heaven.
Rev 12:3  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Rev 12:4  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

But in Rev 20:1 We are told “I saw an angel come down [ katabain] from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit.” Christ is certainly the preeminent ‘Star’ and as such it is He who sends both good and evil stars, or angels, both to “testify of these things” and to open the bottomless pit and let the smoke of that pit darken the light of the sun and darken the air.”

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

It is by the agency of this “star,” this angel, that the pit is opened” and the sun and air are darkened by the smoke from the pit.” God sends evil spirits to darken the sun and the air.

1Sa 16:14  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
1Sa 16:15  And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

This “star” in this chapter is “cast [ Greek, pipto] unto the earth.” and has the key to open the bottomless pit and releases evil and lying spirits out of the smoke of the pit which can darken the sun and the air.

3) Where and what is heaven?

3) The heaven from which the star falls and “the heavens” through which this angel is “flying”, we have established beyond question, are the hearts and minds of God’s elect.

Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [ the blood of animals – verse 22]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Exactly where is Christ? We just quoted the verse that tells us where Christ now is.

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Upon what throne is Christ seated? Where is the kingdom over which Christ is ruling? Into which “holy place” has He entered? Exactly where is the dwelling place of “the presence of God?” Wherever all this is taking place; wherever all of these things are to be found, that is where Christ will be found “Making known to us the things that must shortly be done, [ and] keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Here is exactly where the kingdom of God is located.

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

So where is the temple where God dwells in His heavenly kingdom at this very moment?

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

4) What Is the earth?

4) The fourth is the earth to which the star from heaven falls. Since we have seen in our previous studies that scripturally speaking, the “earth” is our physical bodies in which the spirit of God dwells in the heavens of our hearts and minds, we will gain much from the things which are written in the words of this prophecy, only if we keep all of these Biblical truths in mind, as we continue this study into the seven trumpets of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

We must not fail to remember that both the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as well as the tree of life, (Christ), both come out of the ground, the earth.

Gen 2:9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

8) What is the darkened sun?

8) The eighth symbol is the darkened sun, which is darkened by the smoke of the pit. We we have already covered this symbol in our study of a darkened sun in the previous trumpet where we saw that darkness is a word associated with lack of knowledge, and faith in the lies and false doctrines of Babylon. A darkened Sun is a deceived condition, with faith in the doctrines of “another Jesus… another spirit… and another gospel.” That darkness is the doctrines of the messengers of Satan who appear as messengers of light.

Joh 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Joh 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

That is the “darkness of the sun,” with which we will be dealing throughout this revelation of Jesus Christ. It is all a necessary part of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

What is the key to the bottomless pit?

5) The fifth symbol of this fifth trumpet is the key to the bottomless pit. What is this key? The answer is that this key unlocks those things which cause us to be blinded by the lies of the Adversary and His messengers.

Rev 9:1 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.
Rev 9:2  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.

It is needful at this point to remind ourselves that his prophecy is “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” which we are commanded to “read, hear and keep, for the time is at hand.”  It is also needful at this point to remember, and to once again recognize “the preeminence of Christ in all things.”

Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

“All things” includes Christ’s preeminence among the stars. Christ is the preeminent “Morning Star,” or angel of God, as we pointed out above when discussing the meaning of a star.

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

So while Christ certainly does not Himself “darken the Sun and the air with the smoke of the pit,” He nevertheless tells us that it is “He who has the keys of death and hell.”

Rev 1:18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

But just as Christ gave the key to the kingdom of God to Peter, likewise he gives the key to the “bottomless pit” to this “star”, and this angel opens the bottomless pit with this key.

Mat 16:19  And I will give unto thee [ Peter, and you, and me] the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

If the kingdom of heaven is within you (Luk 17:20-21) then we are all given those “keys to the kingdom of heaven.”
What does that have to do with the key to the pit? That key is given to an angel who is within each of us, just as the kingdom of heaven is within us. That which empowers us to deceive and be deceived and to confuse and lie to those who would enter the kingdom of God, is the key to the bottomless pit. Here is how this angel uses this key to the bottomless pit.

Luk 11:52  Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Having the key to the bottomless pit and opening that pit and darkening the sun and air, by reason of the smoke of that pit is “taking away the key of knowledge.” We have all been guilty of opening the bottomless pit, and darkening the sun and air, by reason of the smoke from that pit. We have all been guilty of “deceiving and being deceived.”

Where and what is the bottomless pit?

6) The sixth symbol of this fifth trumpet is the bottomless pit itself. Where and what is this thing called “the bottomless pit?” All of the commentaries think this pit and its smoke is speaking of some great false spiritual leader, and indeed it is. But this great deceiver is sitting on Christ’s throne within each of us, and it is there that this entire revelation is taking place. Here is Gill’s very typical take on what this bottomless pit is.

“Rev 9:2  And he opened the bottomless pit,… With the key that was given him; he made use of his universal power over all bishops and churches, enacted laws, issued out decrees, made articles of faith, and imposed them on men’s consciences, and obliged all to submit to his hellish principles and practices; and this, as it may be applied to Mahomet, the eastern antichrist, may regard the publishing of his Alcoran, and obliging all his followers to receive it as the infallible word of God:.”

If ever we need to remember that we are to “read, hear and keep the things written therein,” it is as we consider what the scriptures mean by “the bottomless pit.” All the comments and commentaries such as this comment by Gill serve only to further the function of the smoke that comes from this thing called “the bottomless pit.”  The last thing in the world the Adversary wants us to know is the correct location and the Biblical understanding of where this “bottomless pit” is.
Many of us have been taught that this bottomless pit doesn’t even really exist until the beginning of the millennium, when Satan is cast into the bottomless pit and restrained for one thousand years. Here are the verses which are most familiar to most Christians.

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

But we are not yet in Rev 20. We are in Rev 9, and an angel is given the key to this bottomless pit and is permitted to “darken the sun and the air by means of the smoke that arises out of the pit.”
If you search for the phrase ‘bottomless pit’, you will find it seven times in the King James Version, and all seven are found only in the book of Revelation. Here are those seven entries: The first is right here in this ninth chapter of Revelation.
1) Rev 9:1 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.
2) Rev 9:2 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.
3) Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [ Hebrew- Destroyer- Strong’s number 11], but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
4) Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
5) Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
6) Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
7) Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
What do we see here with these seven verses containing the words ‘bottomless pit?’ What we see when we go to our concordance, is that the Greek word for ‘pit’ appears only two times in these seven verses. Here are the only two times this word appears in this entire “revelation of Jesus Christ”, and it is used in conjunction with the word ‘abussos’ both times.

1) Rev 9:1 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 [ Greek, abussos] pit [ Greek, phrear.
bottomless [ abussos] pit [ phrear]; and there arose a smoke out of the pit [ phrear], as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit [ phrear].

The Greek word for ‘pit’ is ‘phrear,’ Strong’s number 5421. This Greek word is also found a total of seven times in the New Testament. Of those seven entries, four of them are found right here in verses one and two of Rev 9. They are all emboldened above. It is also translated as ‘pit’ in Luk 14.

Luk 14:5  And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit [ Greek, phrear], and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

The remaining two entries are found in…

Joh 4:11  The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well [phrear] is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Joh 4:12  Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well [phrear], and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

So the only time this Greek word ‘phrear’ or ‘pit’ or ‘well’ is used in this entire book of Revelation, is in these two verses of Rev 9, which we are now considering. There is no ‘pit’; the Greek word ‘phrear,’ Strong’s number 5421, mentioned in any of the other five verses here in this revelation of Jesus Christ, where we find the English phrase “bottomless pit.” The other five times this phrase ‘bottomless pit’ appears in the book of Revelation, it is translated from the single Greek word ‘abussos,’ Strong’s number 12.
But what is so interesting and revealing is that when we go to our concordance, we discover that the Greek word ‘abussos’ (Strong’s number 12, translated “bottomless pit”) appears more than seven times. This word ‘abussos’ actually appears nine times in scripture, and it is those two extra times where the meaning of “the bottomless pit” is made clear. Here is the first of those two very revealing entries.

Luk 8:31 And they [ the demons named legion] besought him [ Christ] that he would not command them to go out into the deep [ Greek- abussos, the sea].

Before we get to the last remaining verse where the word abussos is found in the New Testament, let’s take note of what this verse in Luk 8:31 shows us about the world of demons. This verse reveals to us that demons and all false spirits much prefer to be enthroned in God’s church rather than to be sent out into the deep sea of all the uncalled masses of mankind. What newsman wants to be stuck with reporting on the lives of Chinese peasants, when he could be at the United Nations reporting on the lives of the leaders of this world. Like all of us, demons want to be where the action is, the action is where God’s people are being deceived. Demons seek rest in dry places, places on ‘the earth’ which have been pushed up out of the sea. Demons really prefer to be in God’s very temple and sitting on the very throne of Christ:

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [ it] empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [ state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Luk 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Demons “walk through dry places” simply because they do not like ‘the deep’. They very much prefer ‘dry places’ where they can find rest and feel at home, just as Christ ought to feel at home within each of us.
Now let’s look at the only entry for this word abussos which we have not yet considered. It is this entry which will reveal to us where the ‘bottomless pit’ is located.

Rom 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [ from above]:)
Rom 10:7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep [ abussos]? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Now notice how this Greek word ‘abussos’ or ‘deep’ is translated when we go back to the Old Testament and read the verse from where Rom 10:7 is quoted:

Deu 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Deu 30:12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:14 But the word [ Christ] is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

So where is the abussos? Where and what is this thing referred to as “the bottomless pit?” The ‘abussos’, the bottomless pit, just like ‘heaven’, is not way out beyond the milky way. Neither is it in the depth of the physical oceans and physical seas. The ‘abussos’, just like heaven, is within each of us, “In your mouth, and in your heart.” That is where “the bottomless pit” is located and that is from whence comes the smoke to “darken the sun and the air” in this fifth trumpet warning which we are to “read, hear and keep.
So that when we read in Rev 20 that Satan is cast into the ‘abussos’ and is imprisoned with a great chain, he doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere. He is simply restrained and is under ‘house arrest’ until the time appointed to be released from the ‘abussos’ and be commissioned to go forth and deceive the nations again. According to Deu 30, both the abussos and heaven are “very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart.”

What is this great furnace?

7) The seventh symbol is the smoke of “a great furnace.” What is this great furnace? It happens to be “a furnace of both iron and earth,” as we will see. Both are types of the image of the first man Adam. It is in this “great furnace” that the fire of God’s Word does its purifying work of burning out all that will burn, and it is in this “great furnace” that God’s words are being purified and lived out. Here is the simple Biblical definition of this “great furnace.”

Gen 15:12  And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
Gen 15:13  And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
Gen 15:14  And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Gen 15:15  And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
Gen 15:16  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
Gen 15:17  And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

“When the sun went down and it was dark” is the “darkening of the sun and the air.” It is then that we enter into that “great furnace” and “a horror of great darkness, falls upon” us all. That is when that great furnace generates the smoke which darkens the sun and the air and keeps us in bondage to “that nation whom we shall serve”. But at the predestined, appointed and due time, “when the iniquity of the Ammorites” is filled up within us, “at the time appointed of the Father”, we will no longer be in bondage to the elements of this world, and we will come out of Egypt and do so “with great substance”.
It is no coincidence that “a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, are the symbols of both the third and fifth trumpets of the revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 8:

Rev 8:10  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
Rev 9:2  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.

Here is the “iron furnace” through which we all must pass before we can become the children of light and the sons of God.

Deu 4:20  But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

Iron is the symbol of the legs and feet of the great image of Nebuchadnezzar, which image was destroyed by the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands. The mystery of the bottomless pit, is no mystery at all when we know what the furnace is, out of which the smoke that darkens the sun and the air, comes. Great heat and a fiery combustion in a “furnace of iron” must precede any process of purification. The whole orthodox Christian world recognizes that Egypt symbolizes the world within us, and it is only through that “furnace of iron” that we are delivered from that world within.
Here is what a furnace accomplishes in our lives.

Pro 17:3  The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

Now notice where God’s fiery words are said to be purified.

Psa 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

We are that “furnace of earth” and every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God will be purified within us even as it purifies us. Here is this same message in the parable of the sower and the tares.

Mat 13:37  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Mat 13:38  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [ one];
Mat 13:39  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Mat 13:40  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

We are the furnace of iron through which Egypt is destroyed. We are the furnace for the gold through which God tries our hearts. We are the furnace in which those tares are burned up. An the “smoke of a great furnace” that darkens the sun and the air” are also within us.

What is the air?

9) Finally, the ninth and last symbol of the first two verses of this fifth trumpet is the air that is also darkened by the smoke of the pit. What scripturally is the air? I wondered for many years what this verse meant:

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Meeting the Lord in the air sounded fine. But shouldn’t we go somewhere and do something after that? “So shall we ever be with the Lord,” just sounded a bit anticlimactic.
There are two words translated as ‘air’ in the New Testament. Our word here in Rev 9 is the Greek word ‘aer’, Strong’s number G109. The other, far more common word is ‘ouranos’, G3772, heavens].
Here is how that word ‘ouranos’ is used by our Lord.

Luk 13:18  Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
Luk 13:19  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air [ ouranos, heavens] lodged in the branches of it.

To understand the true Biblical meaning of “the air” and the air being darkened by the smoke from the bottomless pit, we must as always, place line upon line and precept upon precept.
With that principle in mind let’s look at Eph 2:2, and notice that the Greek word ‘aer’ is translated into our English word ‘air’ in this verse.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air[ Greek, aer, air], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

So “the prince of the power of the ‘aer,’ is “the spirit that works in the children of disobedience.”  If we now carry the concept that the children of disobedience, are subject to the prince of the power of the air, over into the parable of the sower, we will find that it is “the wicked one” who “catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”
So now we know that whether the Greek word behind the English word ‘air’ is the word ‘aer’ or the word ‘oruanos’, it does not matter, because “the wicked one” is, at this time, in both the ‘aer’ and the ‘ouranos.’ We know that to be true because of this verse and many others which confirm this to be so.

Eph 6:12 for it is not ours to wrestle with blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world- mights of this darkness, with the spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials [ Greek, epouranios, the heavens].

The single most common phrase in scripture, containing the word ‘air’ in both the Old and the New Testaments, is the phrase “the fowls of the air.”
Here is the first appearance of this phrase “fowls of the air” from both the Old and the New Testaments respectively.

Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Mat 6:26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

While the dove is a “fowl of the air” which brings the olive leaf back to the ark and descends from heaven and rests upon Christ, nevertheless, what is it that Christ Himself tells us “the fowls of the air” generally represent? If we can discover the meaning of the fowls of the air, then even though there are two Greek words for ‘air’, we should be able to understand what “the air” that is darkened by the smoke of the bottomless pit, means, because Eph 2:2, among many other verses, has tied both of those Greek words together.
Here now is what Christ tells us is the meaning of “the fowls of the air.” It is found in His interpretation of the symbols which He used in the parable of the sower. Notice what Christ says happens to the “seed that falls by the way side.” Here is the part of that parable which mentions the fowls of the air.

Mat 13:1  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Mat 13:2  And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Mat 13:3  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Mat 13:4  And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Who does Christ say the fowl of the air symbolize?

Mat 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

By Christ’s own words “the wicked one” is symbolized by the fowls of the air. But what is the air itself? To whom has the “air” of this present world been given? Here are those who have been given the power of the air at this time.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The last vial of the seven last plagues, is not poured out into our earth, but into the air.

Rev 16:17  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [ and] so great.

It is in the air, that the most permanent changes are affected. It is in the air that we are ever with our Lord, because, as we have seen, “the four winds of the heavens” are nothing less than the air in motion, so that the air and the wind are both the symbols of the spirit world. That world, at this stage of our walk, is darkened by the smoke that ascends up out of the bottomless pit.

Summary

We have seen that the symbols of the first two verses of this fifth trumpet are:

1) The angel that sounds the trumpet. We have seen the scriptures which demonstrate that these seven angels which “stand before God of heaven” are defined by scripture as seven priests which blow the seven trumpets in Jos 6 and are the same seven angels that are in Christ’s right hand and are the same seven angels who are our brothers who keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
2) The second symbol is a star that falls from heaven to the earth and is given the key to the bottomless pit. Once again, we saw that this star is a spirit from heaven which darkens our understanding of spiritual matters and darkens our sun and air.
3) The third symbol is the heaven from which the star falls, and we have shown in depth that the heavens are the hearts and minds of the people of God, where every word of all the sayings of this prophecy must be read, heard and kept.
4) The fourth symbol is the earth to which which the star from heaven falls, and we have demonstrated that wherever we see the word ‘earth’, we are talking about the people of God who are called but not necessarily chosen.
5) The fifth symbol is the key to the bottomless pit, and we saw that this key is the means by which the smoke that darkens the sun and the air is released out into our heavens. This ‘key’ is given us to keep us from receiving the “key of knowledge” before we are able to receive that life saving knowledge.

Luk 11:52  Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

When the “key of knowledge” is taken from us, that is giving us the key to the bottomless pit which will serve to darken our sun and our air.
6) The sixth is the bottomless pit itself., and we saw that the bottomless pit is simply the sea of our flesh, and the flesh of mankind as the first deceived and rebellious Adam who cannot hear the words of Truth. We saw that the imprisoning of Satan in that bottomless pit is nothing more that restraining him within us during the thousand years, with a rod of iron. We all have our own “rod of iron experience” as we rebel against the things of the spirit as “carnal babes in Christ” (1Co 3:1-4).
7) The seventh symbol is the smoke of a great furnace, which we saw was the fiery trials that are now coming upon the house of God, as we are being brought out of Egypt, which is called “the furnace of fire” within us. We saw that this furnace of fire is a necessary part of our walk if we are counted worthy of being judged now instead of being judged at a later date.
8) The eighth symbol is the darkened sun, which is darkened by the smoke of the pit. The darkened sun is that time of our lives where we prefer lies over truth and the word that has been planted has been snatched away by the wicked one.
9) Finally, the ninth symbol is the air which is also darkened by the smoke of the pit, and we saw that the air typifies the struggles we must endure in the realm of the spirit. We saw that it is mentioned last simply because it is that spiritual struggle “against the powers and principalities of the heavens” which follows our struggles upon the earth. Each struggle is a matter of life and death, but we saw that our Father prepares our hearts for every trial into which He leads us.
Next week, Lord willing, we will examine more of the symbols connected with this first woe which we are commanded to read, hear and keep.

Rev 9:3  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.
Rev 9:4  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.
Rev 9:5  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.
Rev 9:6  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

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