Revelation 9:1-7
(Rev 9:1 KJV)
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.

Here we have the fifth angel sounding the fifth trumpet. Now this angel is not one of the good angels but this angel is an evil one. It may be Satan or it may be another one. There is no evidence either way. The reason that this angel is different from the others is because of the way he is described. The word “fall” in the Greek means “having fallen” and is a verb in the perfect tense. The perfect tense is a the tense of completed action. Therefore this angel has already fallen. The word “fall” carries with it the meaning of “fall in ruins, go astray, or perish.” These words never describe the Holy Angels of God who did not rebel with Satan. Therefore this angel is a fallen angel. Some believe that this angel may be Christ because he has a key but this will not stand the scrutiny of Scripture. Again, a key phrase in this verse is “and to him was given the key.” Do you remember how we touched on this a while back that the angels meting out the judgments on earth “were given” authority to do so. It is the same principle here. This angel was given the key and was not a possessor of it as an owner. The word “bottomless” in the Greek is the word for “abyss.” It is a place where evil angels are gathered together. Of the nine New Testament references to the abyss, seven of them are here in the book of Revelation.

(Rev 9:2 KJV)
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.

The angel now opens the abyss and out of it arises a great cloud of smoke which is so opaque that the sun was darkened by it plus the air was also polluted to the point of it also being darkened. I am sure that we have all seen fires which have given off black smoke which is so dark, it darkens the sun plus it darkens the air it fills. John makes this allusion so we can understand that the smoke which is rising out of the pit is not coming from heaven but from the place of the abode of the fallen angels. We will see that the smoke seems to be some type of carrier of the devils as we will see in the next verse.

(Rev 9:3 KJV)
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.

As the smoke pours out of the abyss, within the confines of that smoke John sees locusts. These locusts were also “given power.” This power given to them was that of “authority.” When we look at the Scriptures we find two notable places where locusts are mentioned. Locusts was one of the ten plagues on Egypt and Joel also mentions locusts. In both cases, the locusts had done great damage. In Exodus the locusts devoured the land of Egypt.

(Exo 10:14-15 KJV) And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. {15} For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.

In Joel a similar situation had occurred.

(Joel 2:25 KJV) And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

When looking at the locusts of Revelation 9:3, we need to look at the fact that these are devils who are commissioned to cause havoc and destruction just as the locusts destroyed the lands that they have attacked, these demonic beings are going out to destroy. These demonic forces have now been unleashed on the earth and their main objective will be to destroy the unbelievers, yet they are not to kill them. We are seeing here an army of devils who have the ability to destroy but their destruction will be of a spiritual nature since literal locusts are not be in view here. This authority that these devils are given will use it to further deceive the unbelievers as they are further driven into unbelief and false teachings while simultaneously causing much distress to the body of Christ which is still on earth.

(Rev 9:4 KJV)
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.

Locusts will normally attack all the green vegetation in its path. If one sees the before and after photos of a locust swarm, they will see full trees before and only bare trees after. Here these locusts are told to withhold themselves from hurting anyone who has the seal of God on them. The believers are also known by the following descriptions:

(Isa 61:3 KJV) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

(Luke 23:30-31 KJV) Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. {31} For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

True believers are described as trees of righteousness and also they are described as green trees.

(Psa 1:3 KJV) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 1:3 teaches us that a man who walks in righteousness will be like a tree planted by the waters and will bring forth fruit in season. Only a green tree will bring forth fruit because the green is an indicator that the tree is alive. A dry tree shows that it has died and will never bring forth any fruit. So this is why in Rev. 9:4, we are told that these devils have no authority over the true believer because Satan no longer has any authority over the true believer.
(John 14:30 KJV) Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. The Lord stated that Satan has nothing in Him and that applies also to the true believers who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Those who do not have the seal of God are all the unsaved in the world and they will be affected by these judgments. The problem attached to this is that the body of believers are on earth which means they will be persecuted by those who are in authority who are being judged by the devils. Satan’s primary target on this earth has always been the church and Christians. Even though the unbelievers are directly affected by these judgments, they will in turn blame Christians and this will result in still more martyrs for Christ.

(Rev 9:5 KJV)
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.

These demonic forces are now all over the earth but their time is limited just as all these judgments are in the first and second vision. Limitations of scope and time is now added to these judgments. The word “tormented” carries with it the meaning of “examine by torture” which has an underlying meaning of “testing.” These devils are going to be testing those unbelievers on whom they are sent. The test that they are being given is unclear but we do know that the result will be that those who are tested will either prove that they belong to God or to Satan. A test sometimes brings a person to the Lord but in this case these who are tested are the idolaters and unbelievers of the earth. A scorpion strikes a person without warning and swiftly, so this judgment will also be a swift judgment. That is because it is intense as it is being compared to a scorpion’s sting which can be fatal. Up to this point this is the only judgment with a time limit imposed on it. The five months here should not be taken literally since it is an apocalyptic number which teaches us that this judgment and the one in verse 10, has a time limitation on it. This may be because of the severity of this particular trumpet judgment. We will see in Revelation 20 that the one thousand years is also not a literal number.

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

The persecutors will be under severe demonic oppression and some may seek death to avoid any more oppression but the problem is that they will not be able to seek death during this time. They must be tested for the full five months or the duration which God has set for the time limits on this judgment. This does not mean that all of those who are to be tormented will be tormented at the same time. It will happen to different people at different times in their lives. This is why God placed a time limitation on this judgment because it sets them up for the next judgment to come. They are not to be killed because God is not done testing them yet. Remember how Joseph was with his brothers? It was not just one test but he tested them for a length of time. Then something else will happen, the oppressors will then afflict the body of Christ and make more martyrs.

The church and Christian will be under severe satanic attack and it will be the Christians who will also seek death but for a different reason. Why would they seek death? First of all the persecution has become very intense.

Secondly, the Christian knows that to be home with the Lord is better than being here. 
(2 Cor 5:8 KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

(Phil 1:21-24 KJV) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. {22} But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. {23} For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: {24} Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

As with Paul, it was necessary for him to stay on Earth, even though his desire was to depart and be with Christ. It is during the time of increased persecution that it is necessary for the Christian to remain here on Earth for a testimony. How many times have you wished that the Lord would return? That means that you too, have wanted death since the Lord is coming back on an appointed day and you can’t wait.

We see this is paralleled in the sixth chapter of Revelation.

(Rev 6:9-11 KJV) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: {10} And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? {11} And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

(Rev 9:7 KJV)
And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

Here John begins to describe the locusts. The word “shapes” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “likeness or appearance”. The word “like” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “similar or resembling.” Now these two words give us insight into the description. John is unable to describe them perfectly so he uses the term “they are like or have the appearance of.”

(Joel 2:1-5 KJV) Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; {2} A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. {3} A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. {4} The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. {5} Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

In these verses Joel is giving a description of what is going to happen when the day of the Lord is approaching. Joel uses the locust as a metaphor of the approaching day of judgment. He sees them as horses and horsemen and as a result of their fierceness nothing or no one will escape. What Joel is basically saying here is that when the day of the Lord comes, it will come with the fury of a locust swarm and it will come with the strength of the horse which is prepared for battle.

In Revelation 9:7, John gives the best description he can. The horses represent the strength and swiftness that these demonic forces will be coming in. Remember, these forces have been dispatched by God Himself so there is going to be no relenting on part of these devils. They had on their head crowns of gold which tells us that they have the authority to perform the duty which they have been dispatched to do. The gold crown also tells us that they have rule and they will be ruling over the unbelieving element of this world and will succeed in their mission. They also had the faces of men which means that they will not only come with fierceness and swiftness but they will come with intelligence. God gave man intelligence and the face of the man on these devils tells us that they will use the intellect of men to further deceive them in their idolatries. How many billions believe in evolution? Countless numbers believe in UFO’s and extra-terrestrial life. The intellect of the unsaved is Satan’s playground.
(2 Cor 4:4 KJV) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  Based on Revelation 9:7, it seems the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbeliever by divine decree.