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(v.1).
Before we go into this chapter we shall begin with a verse in Jude where we are told about angels, which did not keep their first estate. It informs us that they were isolated from the rest, and were bound and consigned to darkness to await the judgment of the great day(Jude.v.6). While we have been studying the world sliding to Judgment with co-ordinated action of angels simultaneously in heaven and on earth, it is natural to expect these angels shall come into notice again. The saints redeemed from the earth can be rest assured the angelic beings need hold no terror for them. St Paul wrote thus. “Do you not know that we will judge angels?(1 Co.6:3-NIV) As judge he shall be told full facts about their transgression. Hence we cannot go further into reasons for their fall.
God breathed into man and he became a living soul. He made man a little lower than angels. It is what we find in the epistle to the Hebrews. “You (God) made them a little lower than the angels; You crowned them with glory and honour and put everything under their feet (He.2:7-9).” This quote is not the writer to the Hebrews pulled out of his hat as it were, but from a psalm that the Spirit had inspired the Psalmist to write. It is a hymn to celebrate the Majesty of God. Man being a living soul, is crowned with glory and honor to abide with Him forever. His position consequently while in body is lower than that of angels who are spirits, “God maketh his angels, spirits; his ministers a flame of fire (Ps.104:4)”. As ministering angels are sent from heaven on errands, as in the case of the angel informing the birth of mighty Samson to his parents (Jud.13:3). These are also sent to minister man in need. It is thus we see angel of the Lord meeting Hagar in the wilderness of Beersheba( Ge.16:3).
When Apostle John says (Jesus Christ) hath made us kings and priest unto God, and his Father, it makes clear the difference between man and angels. They shall remain as ministers while everything in heaven and on earth shall be under man.
In the epistle of John we are warned ‘Behold, believe not every spirit (1John.4:1-3)’ specially because there are seducing spirits. More so since in the passage cited we can understand what is working behind false prophets. Before the passion of Jesus we are told that he saw Satan as lightening falling from heaven(Lk.10:18). He knew that there were darker forces, seducing spirits whipping up the heat so they would want the Prince of Peace out of the way. What these stray references show us are the Will of God is to put realities of heaven and of the earth as one. Problem of sin consequently had to be settled for eternity.
“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(v.2)”.
Think of the smoke out of the pit bellowing and propelled by power of an abyss growing thicker and deadlier. In the previous chapter we read of the angel with the second trumpet(Re.8:8). When he sounded a burning mountain fell into the sea. This cosmic impact would have changed the tilt of the earth thereby causing the change of seasons and a change in weather pattern. Gradually the earth would be deprived of the air currents altogether. One important point to remember is that between these woes becoming a regular feature God would allow nature some semblance of order so lifeforms could manage to some extent. (When God led the children of Israel He had forewarned Moses that He would drive the nations only gradually. It is in His nature to chastise but stop short of total annihilation.)
We have seen smog blanketing the cities or dust-storms from Sahara producing darkness at noon but these are soon dispelled by wind. . In this case they simply remain days together. In the previous chapter we were shown four angels holding the wind(Re.7:2). So at one level we are told that wind as driven by thermal currents are replaced by elements hitherto unknown. This holding back the wind has spiritual significance. Often used to indicate the operation of the Spirit is taken out of the way. In a similar vein the Symbol of locusts are removed from its common association. “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth which are not to hurt the vegetation’. Not to hurt vegetation? What does that indicate? Locusts are synonym for plague but here it is referring to psychic landscape of man. Like songs that earlier celebrated of love, heartbreak are given way for worst sentiments bred in the sewers are labelled, and sold as hot cakes inner thought processes of man has been blighted. Man loses ability to bring any gentle thought to fruition. Here we also have evidence that sealing of the 144,000 have been completed.
(To be continued)