We find that Chapter Nine is introduced by the last verse of the preceding chapter: Revelation 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!”
We have had the first four trumpet judgments, and we, now, come to the last three trumpets and three woes. Each one of the last three trumpets is also a “woe.”
- The Fifth Trumpet: is the First Woe, fulfilled in Revelation 9:1-3.
- The Sixth Trumpet: is the Second Woe, fulfilled in Revelation 9:13-21.
- The Seventh Trumpet: is the Third Woe, fulfilled in Revelation 11:15-19.
“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” (Revelation 9:1).
“I saw a star fall from Heaven...” The star is nothing more than an angel, referred to here as “a star.” It is just another angel, he is not the Lord Jesus Christ. The angels are the messengers of God. The word “angel” is from the Greek word “angelos,” and means “messenger.” They are the ones that carry out the will of God, and carry his messages from Heaven to Earth. In this particular time, the Tribulation Period, they are going to execute the judgments of God upon the Earth. This is one of those severe judgments.
“The Bottomless Pit.” The bottomless pit does not appear in the Old Testament. It is found seven times in the New Testament and, in all cases, it is translated from the Greek word "abussos" or abyss. It is properly translated, as the Greek word means, “depthless, deep or bottomless.” It is a separate place of its own. The exact location is not given, but many scholars believe it is an extended compartment of the Torment side of Hades. Vine's Expository Words of The Greek New Testament states “It describes an immeasurable depth, the underworld, the lower regions, the abyss of Sheol.”
Here is where it is found in the New Testament, and, all are in
the Book of Revelation: Revelation 9:1,2,11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1,3
The Bottomless Pit is Locked and Controlled by God. In Revelation 20:7, this bottomless pit is also called a prison. This pit is locked and controlled by God, who sends His angels to unlock it at His discretion. It contains smoke, as of a great furnace, ungodly creatures called locusts, and Satan, himself, when he is confined there a thousand years.
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand" (20:1).
It is difficult to imagine a bottomless pit that, when uncapped, darkens the sun and the air like smoke and ungodly creatures pour out, but the nightly migration of the Carlsbad bats can give us a mild idea of what John literally saw. Each night in summer, the skies at Carlsbad Carverns in New Mexico are blackened for about two hours as several million bats pour out. Thousands of bats follow thousands of bats into the air, at twilight, for their nightly food-gathering. It resembles “smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace.” The “pit” is an abyss, translated from the Greek “abyssos,” and it is defined as a great shaft, like a well. “Abyssos” means literally “bottomless,” and that is why it is translated “bottomless pit.” The Bottomless Pit is also described as a “prison” in Revelation 20:7,
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,”
Revelation 20:2, 3, 7. Satan in the Bottomless Pit.
When Christ comes back at the end of the Tribulation Period, He judges the nations in Matthew 24, and 25, in preparation for setting up the earthly, Messianic, Kingdom for 1,000 years. At this time, He, Himself, confines Satan in chains to the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. After the 1,000 years, Satan is loosed for a short season, and then cast into the Lake of Fire. Here is the record.
"And he (the angel) laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years (2), 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 (3). And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison" (7).
A man told me once that he thought Satan was chained today. If that is true, it must be an awful long chain! Another person was kidding me, and said he thought Satan was chained to him! No, he will not be chained (confined) until the end of the 7-Year Tribulation Period.
“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 (2). 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 (3). 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” (4).
We find out that God will have his servants, the 144,000, sealed, so that they are not subject to any of these plagues. Only those who have taken the Antichrist’s Mark, 666, will be afflicted by these creatures. Now the Apostle John views the opening of the bottomless pit, and sees a mass of smoke pour out. This is a visionary glimpse into an unseen underworld, which is much different than the one recorded in Luke 16:24, where the rich man was in Hell (Greek- Hades).
“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame
It is immediately obvious that the Bottomless Pit is not the same place as described in Luke 16:19-31. When the Bottomless Pit is opened in Revelation 9:2,3, it only spews forth only smoke, however, it is a smoke that darkens the sky. When we view the torment of the rich man who is being punished on the Torment side of Hell (Greek-Hades), he says, “I am tormented in this flame.” We, also, find that the rich man in Luke 16:19-31, does not share his torment with the Devil, or any of his demons. The Lord, Himself, declares in Matthew 25:41 that,
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
These creatures are released to torment people on the Earth for five months during the Tribulation Period. These locusts are not to kill (Verse 5), only torment those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads (Verse 4).
"And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them" (Verse 6).
We would have no idea what is in the underworld, or what the future holds, but God has been gracious enough to reveal to us about this place, and these creatures.
We find that in Luke 16:19-31, the torment is heat and fire. Here, in Revelation 9:2, it is only smoke. In Luke 16:24, it is “flames.” The “sun and the air being darkened by smoke” demonstrates to us that this shaft of the abyss is an extremely awful place which may not have been opened for a long time, but what comes out? Only smoke. Let us read Verses 3 and 4 again:
“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” (3). 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” (4).
Now, amid the smoke, John beholds locusts, “akris” in the Greek, meaning locusts or grasshoppers, any insect of that sort, pouring out of the now open shaft. These are given the power of scorpions.
The largest scorpion in the world is the Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus imperator. It is native to rainforests and savannas in West Africa, and lives for 6–8 years. Its body is black. It averages 7.9 inches in length, and, like other scorpions, it glows pastel green, or blue, under ultraviolet light. It is a popular species in the pet trade. Due to that fact that some irresponsible owners tire of the work, and simply turn their scorpions loose, they can now be found world-wide.
However, some species of forest scorpions are fairly similar to the Emperor Scorpion in size, and one scorpion, Heterometrus swammerdami, holds the record for being the world's largest scorpion at 9 inches in length. The large pincers are blackish-red, and have a granular texture. The front part of the body is made up of four sections, each with a pair of legs. The tail is long, and curves back over the body. It ends in the large receptacle containing the venom glands, and is tipped with a sharp, curved stinger. Their sting is categorized as mild (similar to a bee sting) to severe on humans, depending on the species. Sensory hairs cover the pincers and tail, enabling the emperor scorpion to detect prey through vibrations in the air and ground. Their young are born live.
|28. Vintage Scorpion Illustration|
However, as dangerous as these scorpions are, nothing exists in creation that would compare to the locusts that John sees swarming out of the bottomless pit. These have a fierce sting and are gravely feared because of this. Therefore, these infernal locusts have the mobility of a grasshopper, and the sting of the dreaded scorpion. These will be locusts, “like no other,” just as Exodus 10:14 describes the locusts which God had Moses send upon the nation of Egypt.
“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.”
“Not hurt the grass of the Earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree...”
|29. Nymph - Project Gutenberg - wikipedia.org|
We see the strange command given to these locusts. Locusts survive by devouring, ravenously, any green growing thing. But here, these infernal locusts are not to eat grass or trees. God puts a limitation on what they can eat. What is amazing to me is the Australian Koala that can only survive by eating the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. Many animals only eat certain foods, and they cannot live on anything else. It is amazing that God made different animals to eat just certain things, so that all animals do not eat the same thing. If they did that, the food would soon be gone.
“Hurt...only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”
They are now to sting and bite humans like mosquitoes. Even though they seem to bite everyone, there is an unseen discrimination. They will, in some miraculous way, not be able to bite God’s servants who have been sealed. Bible believers will not be surprised at this, because, if you remember, in the fourth plague that fell upon the Egyptians, the flies swarmed all over the Egyptians and not on the Israelites. God will have mercy, even in this awful Tribulation Period, on those who trust Him as their Savior. Yet, in spite of all of this, most of the people will harden their hearts, as did Pharaoh.
While the locusts described in these verses may appear strange, I think a person must remember that, even today, scientists are baffled by some strange new breeds of insects and animals. In the summer of 1969, for example, suddenly, the seventeen-year locusts emerged four years ahead of schedule. In some areas of Chicago, there were some million and a half locusts discovered per acre. A plague of locusts can go on for some twenty years, until it is killed off by being blown into a cold climate. Now, we see God using an insect to bring judgment on ungodly sinners.
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.”
Isn’t it amazing how God puts His protection upon His servants during the Tribulation Period. God also seals believers for eternal life, as we are told in Ephesians 1:13:
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Did you know that, if you are a Christian who is serving the in will of God, death cannot come to you until it is permitted by God Almighty? If you are not in the will of God, then, you are susceptible to many things that you would not ordinarily be susceptible to. Yes, you can die out of the will of God, if you are a Christian. Yes, you will go to Heaven, but you might get there sooner than you expected. God does protect the physical life of a Christian who is serving the Lord. In Matthew 10, He sent out the twelve apostles and he gave them all their instructions. He tells them all the things they are going to experience.
“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death (21). And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 10:21-22),
This is not talking about salvation, but rather, service. It is not “enduring to the end” to have salvation. The twelve men He sent out were already saved, except for Judas, who was the counterfeit. “He that endureth to the end shall be saved (alive),” meant they would be “protected or delivered” physically, not spiritually. They were already saved. “Enduring to the end” meant being faithful unto their ministry until it is finished.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (16). But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues”; (Matthew 10:16, 17).
The Lord encourages them to go on. If you serve the Lord, all Hell cannot lay a finger on you. You are under the protective will of God. Only when you take yourself out of the will of God, do you make yourself susceptible to satanic attack and, even, death. This can happen prematurely, even to the Christian, if they do not keep themselves under the protective will of God.
“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 (5). And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” (6).
We have more teenage suicides, today, than you have ever seen in your life. It is no wonder teenagers commit suicide, as they think there is no Hell. Some will believe in the falsehood of reincarnation. They, vaguely, know there is probably a better life somewhere else, but they are not taught what happens to people, of the age of accountability, who die without Christ. They have no idea what happens after death, but if they die without trusting Christ, they will plunge into the flames of torment. If they really knew the truth, they would never think of committing suicide. Some teenagers have had more sex, by the time they are seventeen, than most people have in two or three years of being married. They have experimented so much with sex and drugs that there is no thrill anymore. They think, “If this is all there is to life, what is the use of living?”
Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs, with his spiritual mind, when he was walking with the Lord. He wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes when he was in a backslidden state, and he was under the judgment of God. He had tried everything. He had sinned against God. He had many, many wives. He did many things contrary to what God had instructed him to do, as he reveals in Ecclesiastes 2:3; 24:
“I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life” (3).
“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God” (24).
He came to this conclusion:
“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 12:8).
When the parents disobey the Lord, the children have nothing at home to follow.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
If the children are not trained in God’s Word, what do the children have to follow, but the sinful nature they are born with? In Jeremiah 22:21, we find that Jehoiakim, the King of Judah, was rebuked by the Prophet Jeremiah for the reason that he would not obey the Lord. He was rebellious, as a child, and never stopped rebelling.
“I [the LORD] spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my [the LORD’s] voice”
The Prophet Isaiah experienced the same response from Israel.
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12).
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
“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 (7). And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions” (8).
These will be ungodly, horrible creatures that are hard for our minds to comprehend, but, now, God describes them for us. These will be creatures such as we have never seen before. One of my professors at Bible College, Dr. Mark G. Cambron, related the experience of a missionary returned from India. “India has creatures that resemble the creatures described in Revelation, Chapter Nine. Some are up to 12 inches long, yet, those were not those described in Chapter Nine, but some do exist that are similar.”
These creatures will be altogether different, as they are special creatures that God has created to torment men. This is part of God’s judgment upon the ungodly men of Earth who do not want anything to do with the Lord. These are the atheists, and agnostics, who have laughed at God all their lives, and, now, judgment is coming. The same ones that deny God, will cry out to God not to send judgment. They are like the Pharoah, who hardened his own heart, and refused to let God’s people go. Yet, after the death of his firstborn son, he relented and sent them, but said, “Bless me also.” He changed his mind later, pursuing Israel through the Red Sea which God had rolled back for the Israelites, but, then, allowed the waves to roll back again, drowning Pharaoh’s chariots and men.
“And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle (9). And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months (10). And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon (11).”
“They had a king” whose name is “Abaddon,” meaning “Destroying Angel.” It is the same word that appears for the personification of “Destruction” in Job 28:22, where his name is “Destroying One.” Given in the Greek, his name is “Apollyon,” and that means “Destroyer.”
“One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”
This scene takes place in the throne room of God in Heaven, which the Tabernacle and the Temple were patterned after. When God gave Moses the pattern for the Tabernacle, according to Hebrews 8:1,2, it was patterned after the Tabernacle in Heaven.
“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,” (13). Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates” (14).
These, no doubt, are angels that God has confined in the River Euphrates, just as He has bound the most wicked angels in Tartarus, as 2 Peter 2:4 states:
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”
Take the time to look up the word “hell” in 2 Peter 2:4, and you find that it is from the Greek word “tartarus.” It is the only time it appears in the Greek New Testament. When these angels are bound in Tartarus, it is a special place for them, just as the angels here, in Revelation 9:14, have been confined to the River Euphrates. When Christ was healing the demonic man, the demons cried out to Him in Matthew 8:29:
“What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”
They begged Christ not to “send them away out of the country.” They were having a “heyday” in that country! They asked to be put into the herd of swine that was feeding nearby, and Christ honored their request. Unfortunately, the swine ran immediately “down a steep place in the sea,” and drowned. I wonder if they did not outsmart themselves, and Christ just confined them to the lake where the swine went down. These angels, for whatever reason, were confined to the River Euphrates, but now, the Sixth Angel “which had the trumpet” releases them.
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an [THE] hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”
As you study the book of Revelation, you will find that God will go along, chronologically, and then, all of a sudden, there will be a wave of truth that goes clear on out to the end of the Millennium. It will cover something ahead of time. It is just like standing on the shore of the sea and watching the waves come in. One time I was standing on the beach in Florida with my shoes on, well out of the reach of the water, I thought! Then, a whopper of a wave came in, and soaked me to my ankles! Waves come in at differing lengths, and that is the way it is with the Word of God, here, in the Book of Revelation. You will find a wave of truth that will extend on out past what the subject has been speaking about previously. When we come to Verse 16, we find just such a wave of truth.
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.”
It sounds incredible, and many have tried to make this number figurative, but this is literal. A principle is: wherever you can take the Scripture literally, that is how you are to take it—literally. Sometimes you will find symbolic things in the Bible. You have to take it according to what it is speaking about. Being a literal figure or number, this is a 200-million-man army.
Let me give you something that was released by the Associated Press on April 24, 1964. “In China, alone, in 1961, there were an estimated 200 million armed and organized military men. Clear back in 1961, China had an army of 200 million men.
As this wave of truth goes on out into the Sixteenth Chapter, it will be developed that this number is of the army that is going to come down at the Battle of Armageddon. It is going to include “the kings of the east” or “the land of the rising sun,” according to Revelation 16. This will include China, Japan, India, and those countries of the east, that are prophesied to come and fight against the Lord Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. This is where the blood flows as deep as the horses’ bridles in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
“And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone” (17).
The horses had heads “AS the heads of lions.” It does not say they were lions. An important distinction.
“By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths (18). For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt” (19).
We believe this portion of Scripture is symbolic. Joel 1:6-9 describes a nation that will come against Israel. He describes them as having “the teeth of a lion,” which are ruthless in catching their prey. He further says, they will have “the cheek teeth of a great lion,” which are used in breaking bones in order to consume the prey. They are “without number” as recorded in Joel 1:6:
“For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.”
Joel pinpoints the time for the fulfillment of this prophecy as when the offerings will be cut off from the house of the Lord. (Joel 1:9) In other words, this will be when the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and turns on the Jews, then begins his “death march” at the head of his 200-million-man army to the Valley of Meggido for the Battle of Armageddon.
Keep in mind, as we go back to Verse 14, that the four angels were loosed from the great River Euphrates. The River Euphrates, consequently, brings to mind the city of Babylon. In Daniel 5:31 we find that “Darius the Median,” overthrew the city of Babylon.
“And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”
Darius the Mede was also known by the name of “Gubaru,” and King Cyrus had appointed him to take over Babylon. The River Euphrates flowed for miles down the center of the city. When the Medes and the Persians came, they diverted the river and marched in on river bed, of the Euphrates, into the city. Again, we find that this river shall be employed in the wars of the last days. Note: For more on this subject, please see Appendix I.
When Nebuchadnezzar built the hanging gardens, they were one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In 2009, they were in UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) plans to bring some of the glories of Ancient Babylon back. However, during the Gulf Wars, the site has suffered some damage. But “UNESCO officials are looking at the possibility of restoring the, once famous, historical site which was considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.”
This chapter has the first mention of the 200-million-man army of the Anti-messiah, or the Antichrist. Chapter Sixteen, as we have said, develops it further by saying that they come from the east, and this massive army causes the death of one-third of the world’s population at this time. In Revelation 6:8, we find a fourth of the world’s population has already been destroyed. Add to this the one-third additional population being destroyed, and you have a total of over one-half of the Earth’s population obliterated. The world leaders, today, are fearful of an explosive world population. We see here that the world’s over-population will be well taken care of during the coming Tribulation Period.
“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils [demons], and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.”
The word “devils” in this verse should be translated “demons.” There is only one Devil. “Devil” is translated from the Greek word “diabolos.” The Greek word for “demon” is “daimon.” Therefore, the Greek word used in Revelation 9:20 is “daimon,” and should have been translated as “demons.”
Do you know in the Ten Commandments, given in Exodus 20:1-17, that God said, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” Notice Exodus 20:3,4:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me (3). Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth” (4):
Yet, today, when you go into many churches, gardens and parks, you will see statues of Mary, the Apostles, and others revered as “Saints.” Do you know that is outright blasphemy against God? These same churches seem to want to preach the Ten Commandments, and the commandments of God in Exodus 20,21, and 22, even though it is expressly forbidden to make a graven image. They break the same commandments they claim to be teaching! It doesn’t matter what church it is. The point is: God condemns that.
Even after all of these plagues are thrown out, mankind still will not repent. That means they will not change their minds about what they are doing, for the reason that they have become enslaved to the One-World Religious System of the Tribulation Period. The church has become a status symbol of importance and acceptability in the community, as it was in the time of Constantine, but the church will have no power. It will become like the Laodicean Church. They will be neither hot nor cold. They will just be lukewarm, and Christ says, “I will spue you out of my mouth.” They will have no concern about leading people to Christ, or even knowing Christ. They will become the religious slaves of the Antichrist. They had been well prepared for this by the ecumenical, liberal churches they had attended before the Rapture.
Christ described these same ones in Matthew, Chapter 23. He said: “You wear long robes. You put phylacteries,” that is pieces of parchment with Scripture written on them, “around your head and your wrist. You sew them on your clothing so people will look at you, and be misled into thinking that you really love the Lord.” Christ did not mince words, and you can see why they crucified Him. He went on to upbraid them for that.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made [WHEN YOU GET HIM IN YOUR DENOMINATION], ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).
Christ also said: “Ye make a pretense of long prayers,” but they are just thrown to the wind. “You devour widows’ houses.” He levies an indictment in Matthew 23:5, “But all their works they do for to be seen of men.” I recommend a thorough reading of the 23rd Chapter of Matthew where Jesus Christ is speaking, Himself.
No wonder the religious leaders crucified Him. It was the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, who said, “I find in no fault in him at all.” Pilate, not even a religious man, would have let Christ go, but it was the religious people that put Him to death. The reason they hated Christ so much was because He told them the truth about themselves. Likewise, when you teach the Bible, you will find that God’s Word will so expose false teachers, cults, and religions, that they will hate the person who teaches it.
“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
You would think that after all of these plagues, and there are many more to come, that mankind would surely take a long, hard look, and realize that they were performed by the All-Powerful God who created this Earth and humanity. It is this same God they will have to stand before. Still, they harden their hearts so much that they will not realize that Jesus Christ is their Savior. God talks about hardening the heart. You will notice in Hebrews 3:15 he gives a warning: “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
There has been many a person who has waited too late, and has been overtaken by death before they could trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. You may not be alive tomorrow! And you are gambling with ten trillions of years in eternity by putting off accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. That is sad! God says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
In Revelation 9:21, the word, “sorceries,” is translated from the Greek word, “pharmakia.” It is also found in Galatians 5:20 where it is translated “witchcraft.” There is a tremendous rise in spiritualism, drug abuse, and witchcraft in the present day. You are seeing a drug-infested America. Until our laws start rendering punishment for the evil-doer, instead of calling drug abusers and alcoholics victims, you are not going to curb drugs. That is why they are so prolific today.
“ Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
People are afraid to deal with drug addicts as they can turn violent, and hurt you, or kill you. This is why it is so dangerous if you are a mother, and you have a drug addict for a husband. You had better lay the ultimatum down. “Get off, or get out! Period!” Because that guy is going to hurt you before it is over with. Or, vice-versa. They become violent many, many times when they are caught, and they can’t have their drugs. They will try every con-game in the world in order to get you to live with one foot in Hell, and the other foot in the church. They will try to cut you off from your friends. When “the jig is finally up,” and they either have to quit—and they usually don’t. They could, if they wanted to. They simply don’t have a desire to. What happens? Many times they get violent.
If you have children, look out! They will take it out on them by hitting them, or abusing them. If you are a wife with a drug addicted husband, tell him: “Get out now!” No wheels, no deals, no nothing, because you have a good chance of getting yourself hurt. Let me say this. There are two people you can never trust: a drug addict, whether it is marijuana, or the hard stuff, or an alcoholic. You can never trust either one of those two, and you would be a fool if you do so!
The world around us today seems to have fallen into the “bottomless pit” of permissiveness, drugs, pornography, and obscenity. They are all being allowed to run rampant in the name of freedom. While we do not see literal smoke, these things have certainly polluted the world around us. There seemingly is no end to it. None whatsoever. We are living in a day when people have hardened their hearts as to what is right and what is wrong. As a result, drug addiction is running rampant. Marijuana is portrayed as the seemingly harmless little old drug that won’t hurt anyone. It is just nice to take for relaxation. Many states have legalized it for medical use, and some for recreational use. Many take it to their destruction.
I have said this for years. Marijuana is worse in one sense, than cocaine, crack, or heroin. You know what heroin will do. Heroin will kill you if you take too much. Cocaine will do the same thing. Marijuana lies to you and, after a period of time, it begins to burn out the cells of your brain. If you have seen as many as I’ve seen down through the years, whether on the police department, or as a pastor, you know it has some typical characteristics, such as paranoia and anger.
Everyone knows that cocaine, crack, and heroine is wrong. Marijuana users say, “I am not hurting anyone by taking it.” Marijuana is the most lying drug there is on the market, and its characteristics are almost universal. It causes users to become paranoid. They withdraw themselves from the people they love, because they are always thinking somebody is out to get them, or turn them in. They withdraw themselves to the point that the only people they associate with are people like themselves—drug addicts.
Another lie that marijuana tells is, it won’t hurt you. Smoking one marijuana cigarette is equivalent to 30 regular cigarettes. Think of the damage to your lungs that is causing! Marijuana also paralyzes the natural filtering system of your throat, and all impurities erode the membranes of your throat and go straight into your lungs. You are much more susceptible to cancer and other diseases, because you have immobilized that filtering system that God has placed in your body, by smoking marijuana.
Marijuana makes a liar out of you, because, you have to hide it from your wife, your children, and your employer. Eventually, this little drug that doesn’t hurt anyone, will make you try to get your wife or husband to withdraw from their friends who don’t smoke pot, because,you don’t feel comfortable around them. Eventually, it will destroy you and your family! Nice little drug, isn’t it?