ROK-30 - How Can Our Understanding of Almighty God, Angels, and Demons Transform Us as Followers of Jesus Today?

As we open to Revelation 9 this morning we come asking God to meet with us, and speak to us from His Word. That is what the Bible means when it is called the Word of God. So for each of us, for every day of our lives, we are to live not just by eating food, but by also listening from our hearts to these:

Words to Hear from Almighty God

The Bible is the Almighty God of the Universe Who desires to speak to us, and desires that we respond to Him. The Bible was sent to us by God; and God is the Subject of every part of this Book. 

As we invite God to speak to us through His Word, what would be the first truth that should confront us, and that we could respond to about the God of the Book that we are holding and reading from? Look down at verse 1. 

What is the first four words of this verse? They are: “Then the fifth angel”. 

So this morning the first point we will study from Revelation 9 is the Doctrine of the creation of angels.

The Doctrine of the Creation of Angels

God uses this first verse to introduce us to these spirit-world creatures, that are unimaginably powerful, called angels in the Bible. 

God created all the angelic creatures. God is worshiped and served by some of the angelic creatures. God uses all of them, controls all of them, and as we will see in this chapter: God actually imprisons some of these angels that He created. A simple diagram of angels would be:

God created all angels: then they split into two types as some rebelled and are fallen angels or demons + and some angels did not rebel and they are God’s servants. 

The rebellious angels are further divided into two groups as in this chapter we see that some of the rebellious angels are imprisoned in the Abyss, and others are not.
With that in mind, pause with me and look at the entire Bible’s contents about angels and think of this:

Each of the angels we read about in God's Word has power that exceeds anything we can humanly understand as possible by the laws of the physical world that we know. 

Knowing that we are surrounded by amazing, supernatural beings so powerful, but that are opposed to God and in rebellion against Him could make us fearful. But before we look at the power of these demons, think about where they came from. So, this morning the first application from this doctrinal truth about the creation of angels we can see and hold onto is about the One who created all things including these angels. 

Here is the comforting doctrinal truth:

God is Absolutely, All-Powerfully Greater Than Everything that is Anywhere

God shows us His absolute power reflected by the creatures He made to surround Him in this Universe. Here in v. 1 we are looking at an angel. The concept of angels is not rare or uncommon to our lives. 

But the understanding of just what we are talking about with the existence, power, and abilities of angels should be. They are beyond anything any of us have any comprehension of.

There is so much we don’t know about what else is in the Universe besides us humans; but what we do know is overwhelming, if you pause to think about it. That is exactly what happens as we think about angels.

Angels are Supernatural & Super Powerful Creatures

We are surrounded at all times by supernatural creatures that dwarf us in every way. 

They are powerful, mobile, and intelligent: beyond anything we can comprehend. 

As far as we know the angelic creatures are indestructible, they can’t be killed or destroyed. 

They travel the universe effortless, with no spaceships. 

They seemingly never rest, or sleep, or even need to eat. 

Almighty God is the originator, the Creator of angels. 
Our Creator God spoke and billions of angels appeared from nothing.  
So the truth that all of us this morning need to hold onto is the power of our God. 

Today, tomorrow, and every tie we face any uncertainty or any fear we need to grasp tightly to this truth: God is greater than anything He created. 

Our God is Greater than the Sum of All He Created

First, in your mind add together the vast Universe around us, made up of all forms of matter and energy, much of which we can only faintly comprehend. God made all of that.

Then, to that vast and distant Universe, add all of the known forms of physical life you have ever seen, read about, or heard of that live on Earth. Our world still has so many plants and animals that are not even fully understood, and more are found each year: the further and closer we look. God made all of that.

Then, to all that astronomical universe that overflows with energy and matter of all forms, and geophysical world that teems with life, add the spiritual world. 

There is as we who trust God’s Word know, a whole world that exceeds the physical world, and the physical Universe. The Bible portrays this entire Universe as a tent rolled out in front of God’s Throne. But around that Throne are innumerable, uncountable myriads of spiritual creatures that God calls angels. Those angels that God made from nothing, have powers that exceed our comprehension. God made all of that.

Angels & Demons

There are the two types of angels revealed by God: the good angels and the rebel angels. So, it is very clear from the divisions of the angels that God doesn’t tolerate any rebellion at all.

There are many orders of both good and bad angelic creatures. On the good side there are at least five orders of good, or holy, angels:

1.    Lucifer The Guardian: there was an anointed/covering cherub (Lucifer’s, lit. “light”, role before he fell to become Satan) in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14;
2.    The Cherubim: found around God’s Throne and other places (Genesis 4, Ezekiel 1, Revelation); 
3.    The Archangels: (Gabriel and Michael are named); 
4.    The Flames/Seraphim: there are seven angels that seem to always stand like flames of fire around God’s Throne (Rev. 1:4; 4:5; 8:2); they are possibly the Seraphim of Isaiah 6:2, 6, that are “burning” ones.
5.    The Angels: (by the billions it seems), all through the Scriptures.

Now remember again that these:

Angels Created by God Have Power that Exceeds our Comprehension

The power of the good angels is clear, but very little is told us about them. But when we look at the other, or dark side of the angel spectrum, several orders of bad, or unholy angels begin to test the limits of our minds as we see the scope of their powers. 

There are possibly seven orders of evil angels:

1.    The Angel of Light: as the former Lucifer, now as Satan is called in 2 Cor. 11:14, he is also called the ruler of this world (John 12:31), as the fallen formerly highest and most powerful of all the angels (Genesis 3, Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28).
2.    The Destroyer: this is a specific, named angel that is also referred to as the one sent from the Lord that brings death. “The destroyer was the same angel who had slain the firstborn of the Egyptians before Israel left Egypt (Ex. 12:23), who would kill 70,000 men because of David’s census (2 Sam. 24:15–16), and who, in response to the prayer of Isaiah and Hezekiah, would destroy the entire Assyrian army that was besieging Jerusalem (2 Chron. 32:21). ” This is probably he angel we see released again in Revelation 9.
3.    The Horrible Monsters under The Destroyer—Abaddon: these are the horrific creatures in the Abyss, awaiting their deployment into warfare during the Tribulation. Rev. 9:1-11 contains a chilling description of them.
4.    The Doomed Angels: these are described as evil angels chained by God, and imprisoned in the place called Tartarus (“prison” 1 Peter 3:19; “Tartarus” in 2 Peter 2:4), awaiting final judgment (also Jude 1:6-7).
5.    The Nation Princes: these are like the Prince of Persia, and the Prince of Greece that Daniel learned about in Daniel 10:13-20
6.    The Others: Paul describes what may be various other demonic orders of fallen angels, in Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV), where they are called: “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
7.    The Demons: or also called “fallen” angels who seem to be the bulk of the 1/3 of the heavenly hosts who rebelled with Satan (Rev. 12:4). We find demons everywhere: from the lying spirit that got Ahab to go into battle and be killed, to the constant demon pests Christ deals with in the Gospels.

Note Just The Power of the Destroyer

Just one angel, under God’s direct control, was able to kill every first born of Egyptians and their animals, in Egypt, on a single night in Exodus 12:23 (the angel is differentiated from God, and named the destroyer).

This angel is so powerful, God keeps him locked up in the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 9, and looses him only for tasks like the death of the first born, and the slaying of 70,000 Israelites at David’s census (II Samuel 24).

Paul refers to this angel as the “destroyer” in I Corinthians 10:10; and the writer of Hebrews does so also in Hebrews 11:28. 

Finally, John explains in Revelation 9:11 that this angel’s name is actually Destroyer (in Hebrew: Abaddon; and in Greek: Apollyon).

To know during one night, under darkness, in an ancient non-electronic world of 3,500 years ago who and which was first born among humans and animals is impossible to know in human terms. The Destroyer did.

Then to locate only the first born living within the Land of Egypt, not standing behind blood marked doorposts, in the darkness, and then to kill only them on the spot, without collateral civilian casualties is absolutely humanly impossible. 

To do anything like this would have taken an army of night vision equipped commandoes, a fleet of helicopters, plus jeeps, and other transportation logistics, plus constant real time access to a biometric and geographic database no one presently possesses even today.

The Big Picture: God is Absolutely Powerful. 

We can make some personal application: fear not but resist the powers of darkness. The battle is already won. Christ as triumphed. We are more than conquerors through Christ. 

The sword of God’s Spirit is the Word. We need to believe it, memorize it, have it ready, and use it by quoting the truth we know when we are tempted, fearful, discouraged, and weary. 

Paul said: Be strong in the Lord, depend on the power of His might; but always be sure you are wearing the armor He left for us to use (Ephesians 6:10-17)! 

Ephesians 6:10-17 (NKJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

So, angels are real, demons are horribly evil, but God has given us:

The Armor & Weapons to Stand
 
Now look back at our text for the second point, which comes from the next word:

Revelation 9:1-2 (NKJV) Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.  

The next truth is:

The Doctrine of the Redemption of Humans

The “fifth angel sounded” the Fifth Trumpet, which is a reminder of the whole unfolding drama of redemption that we see all the way through this book of Revelation. 

God is a Savior as we saw in Revelation 8. 

The trumpets are each a partial (one third) judgment to awaken sinners to their plight and to call them to repent. 

Chapter 9 is an artificial division in the text. When God sent this for Jesus to give to His Church, and when Jesus came to John on Patmos and had him write this down, it was one continuous message. It was only after 12 centuries that the Archbishop of Canterbury (Langton of the Church of England) divided the Bible into the chapters we now have. Then, three centuries later the verses came from Robert Estienne, a printer in Geneva.

So, to separate Revelation 9 from the rest of the book blurs the message God sent. 

If you look at these words in v. 1, we see that this is the fifth trumpet. That means there were four prior trumpets. Look back in chapter 8 at what those trumpets declared.

Trumpet One warns: Repent, Only God is the Giver & Sustainer of Life

Revelation 8:7 (NKJV) The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

God says to the world, you don’t worship Me, but worship the Earth, your food, your life, your comfort, and your security? Then I will show you that I am the giver of all green flourishing life. I am the only One that can give and sustain life. You have no hope apart from Me.

Trumpet Two warns: Repent, Only God Holds the Breath of Life  

Revelation 8:8-9 (NKJV) Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

God created the oceans teeming with life, plus overflowing with life-sustaining oxygen production. But how has mankind repaid their gracious Maker? With an idolatrous belief that humanity’s earliest evolutionary ancestors, crawled from the seas and onto the land.

Trumpet Three warns: Repent, Only God Controls the Water of Life

Revelation 8:10-11 (NKJV) Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Trumpet Four warns: Repent, Only God is the Light of Life

Revelation 8:12 (NKJV) Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

Almost everything we know is somehow tied to light. From photosynthesis, meteorology, hydrology, and energy transfer to the Earth, all are tied to the Sun’s light. Our atmosphere is warmed, the great engines of weather and wind are all powered in part by the Sun. So God says, if you refuse My Light, I will send darkness.

Trumpet Five warns: Repent, Only God Protects from the Devil, Destroyer, Demons & Hell

Revelation 9:1-2 (NKJV) Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.  

Here God gives humanity a clear choice, just like Deuteronomy 30 says: Choose this day who you will serve. 

Choice one: the devil, the demons, and the destroyer, all of which lead to endless death.

Choice two: the Almighty God who came to seek and save His lost creations.

The choice is simple, always has been, but so few want to repent and submit to God.

This morning:

•    Words to Hear from Almighty God
•    Our God is Greater than the Sum of All He Created
•    Angels Created by God Have Power that Exceeds our Comprehension
•    Repent, Only God Protects from the Devil, Destroyer, Demons & Hell

Which reminds me of a great hymn: 
 
There is a Redeemer