The "BOTTOMLESS PIT" is not Hell, or Hades, the place of abode of the "Spirits" of wicked men and women until the resurrection of the "Wicked Dead." See the Chart of "The Underworld." Neither is it "Tartarus" the "Prison House" of the "Fallen Angels" (Jude 6-7), nor the "Lake of Fire," the "Final Hell" (Gehenna), Matt. 25:41, but it is the place of confinement of the DEMONS, who are not Satan's Angels but a class of "disembodied Spirits," supposed by many to be the "disembodied spirits" of the inhabitants of the Pre-Adamite Earth, who, as they have liberty and opportunity, as in the days of Christ, try to re-embody themselves again in human bodies. They are wicked, unclean, vicious, and have power to derange both mind and body. Matt. 12:22; 15:22. Luke 4:35; 8:26-36; 9:42. They are the "Familiar Spirits" of the Old Testament and the "Seducing Spirits" of which Paul warned Timothy. I. Tim. 4:1. They wander about in desolate places. Christ used them to illustrate the condition of the Jewish people in the "last days" when "Demoniacal Power" shall be increased over them SEVENFOLD. He said, "When the 'UNCLEAN SPIRIT' (or Demon) is gone out of a man, he (the Demon) walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out: and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this WICKED GENERATION." Matt. 12:43-45. The word "Generation," means not simply the life-time of an individual, but it means a "race," and by this "WICKED GENERATION," Christ meant those He was addressing, and they were the Jews. So we see that the Jews, as a "race," when Jesus comes back, will be SEVENFOLD DEMONIACALLY POSSESSED. This will account for their making a "Covenant" with Antichrist which the Prophet Isaiah calls a "Covenant with DEATH and HELL." Isa. 28:18. When Christ cast the "Legion" of devils (Demons) out of the Gadarene Demoniac, they besought Him to not cast them into the "deep," that is, not into the "ABYSS," the "BOTTOMLESS PIT." Luke 8:26-36.
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When the "Star Angel" opened the "Bottomless Pit," smoke, like the smoke of a great furnace, issued forth and darkened the sun, and there came out of the smoke LOCUSTS upon the earth. These were not ordinary locusts. Neither were the locusts of the "Eighth Egyptian Plague." Ex. 10:3-20. For we read of them that "there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such," that is, just like them. Nevertheless they were locusts, not some "composite creature" such as John saw, for they acted like locusts and ate up every green thing. The difference must have been in their size and voraciousness.
The LOCUSTS that John saw come out of the "Bottomless Pit" were a kind of "INFERNAL CHERUBIM." That is, they were a combination of the HORSE, the MAN, the WOMAN, the LION, and the SCORPION, and the sound of their wings in flying was as the "sound of chariots of many horses running to battle." Their size is not given, but they were doubtless much larger than ordinary locusts, but they were not like them, for ordinary locusts feed on vegetation, but these locusts were forbidden to hurt the grass, or the trees, or any green thing, but were to afflict ONLY MEN, and they had human intelligence, for they afflicted only those men who had not the "SEAL OF GOD" in their foreheads. These men they were not permitted to kill, but only torment, and that for only a limited period--FIVE MONTHS, the time limit of ordinary locusts, which is from May to September. The length of time is mentioned twice, and the character of the torment was like that which follows the STING OF A SCORPION, which causes excruciating pain that often causes the afflicted person to desire to die. So fearfully excruciating will be the anguish of those who shall be tormented by these "SCORPION LOCUSTS" that they will "seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, but death shall flee from them," the inference being that the LOCUST or DEMON controlling them shall have power to prevent their death.
There is a remarkable description in the prophecy of Joel, of what is spoken of as an army of HORSEMEN, but which seems to refer to John's "SCORPION LOCUSTS." "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and as horsemen, so shall they run. 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. Before their face the PEOPLE SHALL BE MUCH PAINED: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one his ways, and they shall not break ranks; neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path; and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." Joel 2:4-10. There are a number of things in this prophecy of Joel that makes us doubt that an invasion of literal horsemen is meant. Horses do not climb walls,
or climb up upon roofs, or enter windows like a thief. They do not fly in the heavens and in such numbers as to darken the sun, moon, and stars, nor do they fall upon the sword and escape wounding. This could only be said of "spirit beings" as DEMONS. This prophecy looks more like a scourge of locusts; not literal locusts, but such "SCORPION LOCUSTS" as John describes, for they attack men, and cause them such great pain that their faces turn BLACK. This view is confirmed when we note the time of this "horsemen" invasion. Joel tells us that it will be in the "Day of the Lord" (Joel 2:1, 11), that it will be accompanied with the "sound of a trumpet," that it will precede the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, and that it will be at a time when the Lord will "shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, BLOOD, and FIRE, and PILLARS OF SMOKE."
Now we know that the "Gift of the Holy Spirit" on the Day of Pentecost was only the "first fruits" and partial fulfilment of this prophecy of Joel, for none of these terrible things occurred at that time, and there was no invasion of enemy "horsemen," or a "scourge of locusts," on, or before, or after, the Day of Pentecost such as here described. As we have no historical record of such an invasion of "locust horsemen" as the Prophet Joel describes, the event must still be future, and the description in many respects corresponds with what John tells us will happen when the Fifth Trumpet sounds.
These "SCORPION LOCUSTS" have a King, which ordinary locusts have not. Prov. 30:27. This King's name in the Hebrew is "ABADDON," but in the Greek is "APOLLYON." Now Satan is no where in the Scriptures called by either of these names, so Satan cannot be the King of the Demons, for their King is the King of the "Bottomless Pit," to which he is confined, while Satan and his angels are at liberty and roam the Heavenlies. The meaning then of this scourge of "SCORPION LOCUSTS" seems to be, that an Angel, the custodian of the "Pit," will open the "Bottomless Pit," and liberate a vast multitude of Demons who shall enter into and take possession of the bodies of men, and so torment them that they shall desire to die and shall not be able.
Those will be awful days in which to live, and especially so for those who have the "MARK OF THE BEAST," who will be the special mark of those "SCORPION LOCUSTS." They will be invisible to the natural eye, being "SPIRIT BEINGS," but their presence will be known by the suffering they inflict, which will be unavoidable because of their invisibility, and the inability to provide any material means as screens, to protect one's person from their attack. This invasion of "Scorpion Locusts" will last for 5 months and may well be called a "WOE," but it will be comparatively trifling in comparison with the two "WOES" that are to follow, that of the "Plague of Infernal Cavalry," and the "Vial Judgments," which are included under the "Third Woe."