“The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from the sky which had fallen to the earth. The key to the pit of the abyss was given to him. He opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke from a burning furnace. The sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke from the pit.”
The star falling from heaven is the Son of the Morning, the Lord Jesus Christ. The keys of death and hell belong to Him alone, and He has the power and authority to open and close the abyss of hell.
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.”
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss, holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he threw him into the Abyss, shut it, and sealed it over him, so that he could not deceive the nations until the thousand years were complete. After that, he must be released for a brief period of time.”
The angel opens the gates of hell and Apollyon comes forth, the leader of the armies of destruction. They are not given power to kill the inhabitants of earth, but to sting them, so that they wish they were dead. These beings from the pit are limited and Apollyon does not have sway over the earth. The earth is the Lord’s and He hold the authority say what will happen and for how long. Those people who are sealed for God, do not have to suffer like the unbelievers, who refuse to give up their sin and worship the Living and true God. The people of God are sealed with the mark of the angel.
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, with the seal of the living God. And he called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
People will live for self and will follow their own pathway of life, but it leads to pain and suffering. The people of God are protected through faith. Their sinful selfishness is conquered by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in them. The seal is the outward sign of their faith and love towards God. They are marked out by the attribute of love and kindness toward other people, and will persist in the ways of God to death. This is the spirit of the martyrs, who are killed for the sake of the gospel and for the right to love the Lord their God and serve Him.
The smoke of anti-christian doctrine and worship have been brought on the world and people are being led astray by it. The church is infiltrated by the effects of world orientated culture and practice and become sullied by the error of secular thinking. The sun of Christ the righteous one and the daylight of Christian doctrine is gradually and persistently rejected as the world of human endeavour becomes more and more morally evil and opposed to the Lord.
Those who believe in Christ are safe from this destruction of life and soul. They have the mark of the angel on their foreheads, as a sign that they belong to God and are safe from the sullying power of the enemy of human souls. Those who chose the way of anti-christ are not safe.
The description of the armies from hell conjure up pictures of modern day warfare machines that spew out fire and death and scorch but do not kill. They maim but do not terminate the lives of the unbelievers. Is this more time to repent? God is merciful to those who hate Him and live lives that are against His holy commandments. These “beasts” are from the pit of hell and inflict terrible suffering on humanity, so much suffering that people long to die to be free of it, not realising that the worst is yet to come. This is the reality of death and hell. This is played out through the generations of history, as the forces of evil come against the power of God to destroy and kill mankind, so that they never see the truth of God and truly believe.
Rather than face the miserable life they lead, people will choose death. False religion will be rife with the attractiveness of show and religious words that will deceive many and bring many into a place of being duped by the outward appearance of godliness, according to this world. People will follow the outward forms of religion, but there is no work of grace in the heart and no outworking of the love of God in the life. Even churches will be filled with people who are only concerned about their own lives and with no love for sacrifice and the saving of souls. Religion will be dying and stung so badly that it is rendered useless.
The move against God will be great and deceive many who are duped by their own selfish and conceited words and ways. Yet, the people who belong to the Lord will not be harmed. The grass and the trees will not be hurt, denoting the people who are sealed for God. They will thrive and live and their souls will not just be saved, but protected against the folly of the spirit of the age, which is the antichrist.
“Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in law of the LORD. On his law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper. The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.”