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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 01/08/06
The Angelic Conflict. Part 6.
Abaddon/Apollyon The destroyer and the exterminator.
Revelation 9.

Point 4. The Angelic Conflict. Two Categories of Fallen Angels. 

Category 1: The non-operational angels. Under this category there are groups of angels who are in prison at this time, but will be let out in the future. We have already seen the first group who are in an underground prison called Tartarus. These angels, in Gen 6, attempted to infiltrate the human race by producing a group of super-creatures called the Nephilim. The second group is found in Rev 9. REV 9:1-8, And the fifth angel [a Seraph angel] sounded[his trumpet], and I saw a star from heaven [Satan] which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit[the abyss] was given to him. And he [Satan] opened the abyss; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the atmosphere became darkened by the smoke of the pit. And out of the smoke locusts [the first demon army from the Abyss] invaded the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And they were commanded that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, except the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they [the demon assault army]were not permitted to kill anyone [mankind living in the cosmic system during the Tribulation], but to torture them for five months; and their torture was like the torture of a scorpion when it strikes a man. And in those days [last half of the Tribulation period] men [believers and unbelievers living in the cosmic system during the Tribulation] will seek death and will not find it; and they will long to die [an intense desire to die] and death will allude them. And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads, as it were, crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. And they had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
Beauty is used by Satan to attract and destroy. Beauty can either be a source of appreciation or one of distraction. The appreciation of beauty demands humility, the basis of capacity for love. The distraction of beauty leads to arrogance and means no capacity for love. The key is to know what is behind the beauty, is there character, integrity, honor, and sensitivity, or is the beauty just a façade that hides the teeth of the lion, and hence; the formula for torture. In this passage the teeth of the lion represents power, cruelty, arrogance and torture.

In REV 9:9, we have their battle equipment, And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. The breastplates of iron in the ancient world were considered to be the best piece of defensive equipment. This indicates that they cannot be defeated, and the only defense against them is fellowship with the Lord. The noise going into battle is awesome, which paralyzes their victims with fear before the attack is made. Fear is self-induced misery, and is destroyed only with courage. Most of our problems would be solved if, instead of fearing to face them, we walk boldly through them. Whenever we fear something, we give that which we fear power over us. In HEB 2:14-15 we read, Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. In reality, it's not death that should be feared, but never beginning to live. We are designed by God to be rational creatures, but fear makes us irrational. So, fear is an irrational and an emotional sin. If you have fear, worry, anxiety or insecurity in your life, you are sinning in those particular areas (ROM 14:23).
The only thing we have to fear is HEB 4:1-2, Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to really live, Heb 13:6, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me? (see PSA 56:4). To face your fears, and not be afraid, is the final test of maturity.

Back in REV 9:9, note this demonic army first hits with sound, before they hit with their weapons. Remember the victims of the attack are in this situation because they made bad decisions from a position of weakness. Bad decisions regarding the cosmic system and false doctrines result in demon influence on the believer and unbeliever, and in some cases demon possession of the unbeliever. No one resides in the cosmic system apart from his own consent. The greatest power you carry in your soul is a greater power than the attack of demons, your volition, which God gave you to resolve the angelic conflict. Today the attack against believers is not physical pressure, but mental pressure, not physical violence, but spiritual violence. Today's attacks are legalism, the false doctrine of tongues, losing your salvation, having to tithe and that morality is living the spiritual life. But, in the Tribulation, the restraining ministry of God the Holy Spirit is removed (2TH 2:1-12) and when the attack comes it will be visible, audible and tactual.

So, we see that the locusts represents the audible attack, noise which intimidates. The scorpion represents their weapons that torture. REV 9:10-11, And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt or torment or torture men for five months. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
They have limited authority and power, because all authority and power originates from God. God does not permit this to happen until the end of the Tribulation period, which is the justice and grace of God, in giving men time to repent. Abaddon is a word or name that occurs often in the O.T. as a synonym for Sheol or Hades (see Job 26:6,PRO 15:10-11). In JOB 28:20-22, Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the sky. Abaddon and Death say, "With our ears we have heard a report of it." (See 1PE 3:19-20).

Abaddon is also the name of a demon prince. It is perhaps his title, and not his real name, just like Satan and the devil are titles. In the Greek his name is Apollyon, which is very close to the Greek word Apollo, who, next to Zeus,was one of the top demons. He was the most widely revered and influential of all the Greek gods. Apollyon actually means the exterminator in the Greek. So, in the Hebrew he is called destruction, in the Greek he is called theexterminator. There is only one other fallen angel who may have been equal: A prince called Beelzebub. Beelzebub deals in the realm of deceit whereas Apollyon deals in the realm of the military.
Beelzebub is the prince in charge of covert warfare against the human race, in charge of operation fake-healer, which is Satan's plan to give demons and Satan's human servants credibility in the Christian community. Beelzebub is the demon in charge of the eggastromuthos demons who, when they possess the body of an unbeliever, attempt to reproduce the gift of tongues as it occurred on the day of Pentecost and for forty years thereafter. Even believers are led astray by this trickery, 1CO 14:22, Tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; When the early church began, the gift of tongues was in a known language, ACT 2:11, We hear them in our {own} tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.

It is only gibberish, nonsense and rubbish that's out today. There is a lot of nonsense that Christians practice which is not demon possession, but in many cases is demon influence. Beelzebub sponsors activities to give credibility to Satan's human servants who are easily identified as people who allege to perform miracles of healing. No one has been healed with a miracle, by a person, since 70 A.D. God, occasionally, will directly heal a person in response to prayer, however, the great power in the post-canon period of the Church age is the power of the Word of God. Jesus Christ did heal, but only to give a hearing to His message. He did not heal every one in the world! The Pharisees knew that throughout human history Satan would use miracles to try and deceive the human race. MAT 12:22-24,Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man {who was} blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed, and {began} to say, "This {man} cannot be the Son of David, can he?" But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons."
When Beelzebub orders demons who are causing illness to exit a human body, there is instant healing. Notice inMAT 12:24, Beelzebub can order them out, and that's what they claimed that TLJC was working for Beelzebub. When a victim goes to a so-called divine healer (who is working for Satan), Beelzebub orders the demons to withdraw causing an instant and real cure. If people think that the divine healer has great power and is therefore from God then they listen to false doctrine from a fake healer.

So, there are three groups of angels who are in prison at this time and who will be let out in the future: 
1) The angels of Gen 6.
2) The first demon assault army incarcerated in the abyss at this time, REV 9:1-12
3) The second demon assault army stationed underneath the Euphrates river, REV 9:13-21. This army of 200,000,000 demons will be sent into action at the sounding of the sixth trumpet. 

REV 9:13-21, And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads; and with them they do harm. And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

This demon army is led by four demon general officers, and they will actually kill one-third of the people of the earth who are involved in the cosmic system. Remember that this is the time of Satan's frustration in the angelic conflict.REV 9:13, And the sixth angel sounded [this is another winner angel from the first angelic conflict blowing a trumpet], and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, the golden altar is analogous to the golden altar of incense which was in the Tabernacle or the Temple, and it represents the imprecatory prayers of the Tribulation saints in REV 6:9-12. All trumpet judgments in the book of Revelation are administered in answer to the imprecatory prayers of Tribulational believers. Imprecatory prayers are prayers which invoke or plea for evil or a curse to come upon someone. They are legal and valid for other dispensations, but not for the Church-age believer. In the church age they will not be answered. The four horns of the golden altar which is before God, reminds us that all answers to prayers including imprecatory prayers are all related to our Lord's sacrifice on the cross. Our prayers are answered because Christ went to the cross and took our place.

In REV 9:14, the order to release the commanders of the second demon assault army is given, one commanding the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." This is a command to release certain demon princes or generals. The only demons permitted to operate on planet earth presently are disembodied spirits. Today, demons cannot make any sexual infiltration or physical assault of the human race because they do not have bodies. So, this command is a mandate to do violence, starting with the four demon generals. Each one of these demon generals command a great demon assault army, which have bodies, weapon systems, uniforms, patches, and they are a full military organization. They are held back under planet earth and there is no way they can escape until God permits it. These four demon generals have been imprisoned for a very long time for violating some type of principles in the angelic conflict. We don't know when or why, all we know is that they've been there since the beginning of the human race.

The Euphrates river is 1700 miles long and is important in history. Somewhere along this river they are incarcerated. In keeping with the concept of Hades below the surface of the earth, it is assumed that their prison is underneath the Euphrates, and the river would also be long enough to provide a barracks for 200,000,000 demons with bodies. The first order from the elect Cherub angel to the angel holding the sixth trumpet, is to release the general officers who will then release the army. So fierce was this army group that it was imprisoned in a separate area from the demons who are in Tartarus. This is a very hard core, search and destroy army group. This is an attack from demonic frustration because the angelic conflict is about to come to a complete end for all of the demons. They are going to be placed in Hades until the Great White Throne Judgment where they will be cast into the lake of fire forever, Rev 20:13-14, And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

In REV 9:15 we have the time and the objective of the second demon assault army, And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they might kill a third of mankind.This army group will be composed of four hard core tough armies of fallen angels. The four demon generals have great genius and fantastic ability. Each one will be responsible for 50,000,000 demons fully armed. Their objective, as stated, is to kill one-third of mankind, believers and unbelievers in the cosmic system. There will only be one group that they cannot kill, certain demon possessed unbelievers will be exempted from their attack for the purpose of making the final attack in the Tribulation against God's plan. That final attack will be religion, which is found in Rev 17 and 18. They have been prepared for a certain hour, a specific time permitted by God, because nothing can happen in history apart from divine consent. 

Let's get some principles down concerning this passage so far:
1) While demons in the past have attacked the human race, the only visible attack occurred in the antediluvian civilization, where it was a genetic attack though sex. It involved the Nephilim, the fallen ones, these are angels who are called beni ha elohim, the sons of the gods.
2) The invasion of the human body is demon possession. The invasion of the human soul and personality is demon influence. These are the only demonic attacks that can exist today.
3) There will be a direct assault on the human race by demon armies with bodies and they will be visible after Satan is cast out of heaven during the Tribulation period.
4) Once Satan is confined to the earth, and no longer has access to heaven, he has no need for the majority of those human servants who serve him in the cosmic system, believers and unbelievers.
5) Satan uses this second demon assault army group to destroy his own human servants. He will have one third of mankind killed, that's the one third in existence in the last half of the Tribulation. So in reality one half of the human race will be wiped out during the Tribulation period.
6) Certain demon possessed unbelievers will survive this attack, but they do not change their attitude, they had a warning in the first demon assault army, a chance to make the right decisions, but they continued to worship demons.

The Tribulation period is the dispensation of the greatest power struggle in history, because it involves not only people, but angelic creatures as well. It was prophesied in the O.T. in many passages and we will note excerpts from some of them. In ISA 2:12-22 For the Lord of hosts will have a day {of reckoning} Against everyone who is proud and lofty, And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased&ldots; And the pride of man will be humbled, And the loftiness of men will be abased, And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. But the idols [or demons] will completely vanish. And {men} will go into caves of the rocks, [They will run for rock caves and cliff hideouts to hide from the terror] And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the Lord, And before the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble&ldots; Stop regarding man, whose breath {of life} is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?

ISA 24:1-6, Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants. And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor [status during this time is absolutely meaningless]&ldots;Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.

ISA 24:7-23, The new wine mourns, The vine decays, All the merry-hearted sigh [No more wine, no more vineyards, no more songs or singers, the good times are gone forever]. The gaiety of tambourines ceases, The noise of revelers stops, The gaiety of the harp ceases&ldots; For thus it will be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, As the shaking of an olive tree, As the gleanings when the grape harvest is over&ldots; Then it will be that he who flees the report of disaster will fall into the pit, And he who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare; For the windows above are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake [Chaos pours out of the skies, and the foundations of earth are crumbling]. The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently &ldots; So it will happen in that day, That the Lord will punish the host of heaven, on high, And the kings of the earth, on earth[That's when God will call on the carpet those rebellious powers in the skies and Rebel kings on earth]. And they will be gathered together {Like} prisoners in the dungeon, And will be confined in prison; And after many days they will be punished [They'll be rounded up like prisoners in a jail, surrounded and locked up in a jail, and then sentenced and put to hard labor]. Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And {His} glory will be before His elders [The God of the Angelic Armies will take over, ruling from Mount Zion and Jerusalem, splendid and glorious before all his leaders].

In JER 30:7, it is called the time of Jacob's [Israel's] distress. JER 30:7, 'Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob's distress, But he will be saved from it. In Joel, the Tribulation period is called the day of the Lord. Joel 2:1-11, Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the Lord is coming; Surely it is near, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, {So} there is a great and mighty people; There has never been {anything} like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations [a black day! a Doomsday! Clouds with no silver lining, like the dawn light moving over the mountains, a huge army is coming]&ldots; Their appearance [this will be the demons from Hades] is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run [This is the angelic army seeming like galloping horses]. With a noise as of chariots They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle. Before them the people are in anguish; All faces turn pale [the people panic, faces white with terror]&ldots; They rush on the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief. Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness [they arrive like an earthquake, sweep through like a tornado. Sun and moon turn out their lights, stars black out]. And the Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?

It is a period of divine judgment according to ZEP 1:14-18, Near is the great day of the Lord, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day&ldots; And I will bring distress on men, So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the Lord; And their blood will be poured out like dust, And their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord's wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Back in REV 9:16, And the number of the armies of the horsemen or the cavalry was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. Note that John didn't see them all but he heard the number of them. These are shock troops, these are not invisible demons such as we have in the world today which are disembodied spirits and invisible.

In verse 17, their description is given. REV 9:17, And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire [red] and of hyacinth [blue] and of brimstone [yellow]; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions;
Instead of having a military patch as the first demon army which was a crown like gold, this demon army group has three colors on their breastplate, a distinguishing insignia for a military organization. The phrase and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; is a comparative connotation and it has the idea of power, it doesn't mean these are actual and literal heads, it simply means the concept of the tremendous shock when they hit. This is an assault group that attacks straight ahead with great success, with great mobility, fire power and shock.

So we have REV 9:17, And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of red and of blue and of yellow; and the heads of the horses resemble the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone [sulfur]. This is their fire power or their weapon system.

REV 9:18, A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues [the fire, the smoke and sulfur], by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. The word plaques means a killer. This fire, smoke and sulfur are all killer agents. The point is that this demon assault army takes no prisoners. The casualty list is one third of the world's population in the last half of the Tribulation, and refers to those members of the human race who are living in the cosmic system. Since one fourth of the population has already been killed (REV 6:8) at this time one half of the people of the earth have been executed.

REV 9:19, For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads; and with them they do harm. Notice the power is in their mouths and their tails illustrating the principle that they have weapons in front and in back.

In verse 20, we note the arrogance of the cosmic survivors. Rev 9:20, And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;

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