WORD FOR THE WEEK 27 November 2011
Christian Fellowship Church, Bangalore, India
Satan Has Power Over Those Who Do Not Forgive Others
We read in Revelation 9:1-11: And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. And he opened the bottomless pit; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And they were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment them for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; and they will long to die and death flees from 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. 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. And they had tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. They have as king over them, an angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
This star is clearly a fallen angel, most probably Satan. This fallen angel was given the key of the bottomless pit where some demons are locked up by God (as we read in 1 Pet.3:19). All demons are not there. Most demons have freedom to roam around on the earth. Remember the man with a legion of demons whom Jesus met? The demons within that man pleaded with Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. Jesus granted their request and sent them into the 2000 pigs that ran into the sea. But one day the bottomless pit is going to be opened; and the demons that are locked up there are going to be released on to the face of the earth.
That is part of the judgment that God is going to allow upon the face of this earth, as though the Lord says to the people, “You wanted to follow the advice of the devil. You wanted to obey the devil’s words rather than Mine. All right. Here are all your friends who are going to visit you now, the whole lot of them from the bottomless pit.” That is what we see here.
The smoke from the pit is the filth and muck of the unclean spirits. The locusts are the evil spirits who are granted power to poison men’s minds and torment them even as the scorpions of the earth have power to poison men’s bodies. The torment of these demons will be so bad that many people will want to die, but they will not be able to commit suicide!!
The description of the demons is terrifying – terrifying faces, flying hair like that of mad women and the teeth of lions – all pictures to show us how horrible it is going to be for those who will be tormented by these demons. But they are given permission to hurt men only for five months. Why only for five months? Because God is merciful.
Jesus told a story in Matt.18:23-35. of a man who was forgiven forty million rupees by a king, who would not then forgive his fellow servant a paltry sum of forty rupees. This unmerciful man caught his fellow servant by the throat and said, “Pay up.” And when the king heard it he was angry and handed the unmerciful servant over to the torturers. Those torturers symbolise demons who are permitted to torment unmerciful believers today. For Jesus said, “So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” (v.35)
This is something serious, and I don’t want anyone’s blood on my hands. If you who are reading this, (whether you call yourself a believer or Spirit-baptised or whatever) have not forgiven even one person anywhere in the world, I want to warn you (no matter how long you may have considered yourself to be a “believer”) that you will certainly not enter the kingdom of God. You will certainly not be taken up when Jesus comes. You will instead be handed over to these demons who have the sting of a scorpion. That is as clear as black and white to me, because I believe the words of the Lord Jesus. That man who was handed over to the torturers was a man who was once forgiven. But his master withdrew that forgiveness, because he would not forgive someone else. God will not hesitate to hand over such a man to the demons. That is why I would plead with you earnestly, “Get rid of your bitterness (your Wormwood). Forgive everyone freely. Your heavenly Father will not forgive you if you do not forgive even one human being on the face of the earth.”
The name of the angel of the bottomless pit, Abaddon or Apollyon, means “Destroyer”. That describes, in one word, Satan’s purpose for man – to destroy him with lust or an unforgiving attitude.
Jesus spoke of scorpions in Lk.10:19 to symbolise the powers of darkness. He said to His disciples, “I have given you authority over serpents and scorpions to tread upon them.” The demons can only harm those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Spiritually speaking, you can’t have that seal on your forehead if you haven’t forgiven others.
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