Revelation 9:3-12

“Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. And to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” Revelation 9:1-2.

The above verses were covered here on 7-16-22 they have been included to maintain context. This post will be on Revelation 9:3-12.

“Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” Revelation 9:3.

The first thing verse 3 tells us is that locust come out of the smoke. This is of interest because as you read carefully, the two comparative words, like and as are continually repeated throughout the chapter.

So read with this in mind. Somehow these are locust, but they can sting as a scorpion, one of the most agonizing of venoms.

“They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” Revelation 9:4.

If they are not actual locust, why does God command them not to harm trees or foliage of any type?

Locusts grow to about 3 inches in length and a desert swarm can cover up to 460 square miles, with 40 to 80 million locusts per each one half square mile and they can consume 423 million pounds of vegetation per day. One swarm was described as 4 to 5 miles in breadth and 10 to 12 miles in length, they marched in regular order as an army and ate every plant in their path.

May I suggest that the reason they are called locusts is not just because of their long rear legs, and wings, but their sheer mass, determination and military order is the strongest and most feared resemblance to locusts.

As for the command not to harm any green thing; it is to show men that the locusts are here not to harm the earth, but the men on it.

Since they apparently do not eat for 5 months this is further evidence that they are demonic not creatures of the earth.

God keeps these fallen angels on a short leash, as indicated in the book of Job. The Lord pointed Job out to Satan as His godly servant, and Satan replied that Job is God’s servant because God protected and blessed him.

“So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he [Job] has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:12.

Again Satan presented himself before the Lord and the Lord told him that in spite of all of his losses Job had maintained his integrity before God, Satan replied that a man will give anything for his life, yet touch his body and he will curse God.

“So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” Job 2:6.

Most of us know this story and that Job and God are vindicated in the end. Yet these passages show us God is in control of all creation.

Too many folks are of the opinion that Satan looms large in God’s vision almost to the exclusion of all other things and that God is constantly going, “Oh no, he’s at it again!” or “What’s he up to now?”

Satan seems to stay in center stage with his shenanigans, but he is just a mote of dust when compared to all that God does on a daily basis, or rather 24/7 basis.

God never sleeps, never gets conned or sidetracked, never goes “Oops!” because He never makes mistakes. God will never lose because He is omnipotent, and He will never hang up the phone when you call Him. He will never stop loving you no matter what the devil may whisper in your ear!

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17-18.

These maleficent locusts are to harm “only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads”. This takes us immediately to the sealing of the 144 thousand Israelites in chapter 7; and some questions come up.

If these are the only ones sealed, do the people who have accepted Christ through their preaching have to go through this torment? Are there no Christians on earth at this time to undergo torment, having all been martyred by now? Or are these new Christians sealed too?

In reference to the plague of flies brought upon Egypt, God said this:

“And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.” Exodus 8:22-23.

During the siege of Jerusalem the prophet Ezekiel had this vision:

“Then He [God] called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.’ And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’ To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were before the temple.” Ezekiel 9:1-6.

It should be understood that the men who wept over the abominations committed in Jerusalem would include women and children who were distressed over the sin of the city and were marked for protection from the slayers who followed.

Read any of the chapters in Ezekiel 6-16 to get an idea of the wickedness of those times.

It is entirely likely that just as God separated His people from the evil on the day of punishment in the past, so He will do during the plague of locusts.

“And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. And their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.” Revelation 9:5.

Men are tormented, constantly being stung for five months; hell is unleashed by this judgment and the next one in this chapter. Five months is about the average lifespan of a locust and as for the number five, it is the number of human capacity and the limit of human responsibility.

Indeed anything over five months would result in a planet irreparably afflicted with madness, and after five months everyone will clearly have seen the hand of God.

Do not lose sight of the fact that those who suffer have been continually warned by the 144 thousand evangelists that these things are coming and there is a way out.

But many of these, sorcerers, idolaters, murderers, pedophiles, rapists and thieves reject God’s grace and suffer.

“In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.” Revelation 9:6.

This is how those who occupy hell right now feel, they will exist eternally, yet they would love to die just to escape that awful place.

With the world’s current death rate at slightly over six thousand persons per hour, it is hard to believe that no one will die for five months.

However, that is what this verse seems to be saying and in light of all the other events there is no reason to disbelieve this statement. This is fair warning to those of us reading these words right now.

“And the shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.” Revelation 9:7.

It has been my feeling for some time that things like gargoyles, grotesques, and chimera are representations of demons. These ugly things have been used as decorations on ancient churches and other buildings and at times were felt to repel demons from the property.

The thought here is that demons are capable of changing their outward appearance to look like most anything.

Along with the above examples, alien abductions are actually demonic manifestations which eye witnesses describe as extraterrestrials.

Descriptions such as beings with a thin body, large head and large eyes and a malevolent nature are common. These encounters always seem to scar the victim with some nightmarish experience, yet oddly enough, folks still want to meet them.

Finally there is a bronze figurine of an Assyrian and Babylonian demon god named Pazuzu from around 800 to 600 B.C.

This vile thing has a slight resemblance to the locusts insofar as he has the body of a man, head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned feet, two pairs of wings, and a scorpion’s tail. He is the demon of the southwest wind and brings famine during dry season and locusts during the rainy season.

Someone sculpted a bronze statue almost twenty feet tall of this evil spirit and it was once hoisted to the roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art in London during an exhibit. Where it is now I know not; you can find photos on the internet.

The shape or likeness of the locusts is said to be like horses prepared for battle. Whether this is a reference to horses in battle armor or simply horses formed up into ranks for battle, since locusts do move in a sort of formation, would be open for conjecture.

They have crowns of something like gold; this crown is a stephanos, a crown given out during the Greek games, a victor’s crown. In this case they have the meaning of triumph and were undoubtedly given to themselves rather than given to them by God.

“They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. And their power was to hurt men five months.” Revelation 9:8-10.

The appearance of these demons is calculated to terrify their victims to further their sadistic pleasure while tormenting them. The evidence here seems to indicate that those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads will be stung, stung, and re-stung for five months.

This is not a good choice and yet it was a choice; the gospel of Jesus Christ is given out to rescue men from hell-fire brimstone and an eternity in a lake of fire, and considering that, even the locusts are a blessing to those who repent and turn to Christ in their misery.

Notice that the term five months is repeated here, a confirmation of not only the duration but also that this will happen.

“And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon [lit. Destruction], but in Greek he has the name Apollyon [lit. Destroyer].” Revelation 9:11.

Many expositors feel that this angel is the one mentioned in verse one, which is possible. While some feel that the angel that opens the pit is Satan himself.

It is more likely that it is one of his lieutenants, and there is just as good a chance that the angel of the bottomless pit is not he but rather one who is imprisoned therein along with these other evil beings.

There is a warning that should be sounded repeatedly and loudly; God has given us a mind and a free will and He expects us to use it.

Anyone who hears the gospel on the radio or on television and ignores it without examination and anyone who has a Bible in their home and does not bother to read it will be held responsible.

A person is responsible to know at least a little of what the Bible says to keep them from being led astray by a false religion and anyone who ignores Scripture and follows a false religion is to blame for their own downfall, not God.

Life is a gift that God gives to each of us, and granted it can get very hectic, but that will not absolve us of the responsibility to seek God with all our hearts, because that is the purpose of life, and those who waste their lives on violence or frivolity will be cut off.

“He who is often reproved, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1.

“One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.” Revelation 9:12.

Revelation 9:3-12 taken from updated on 11-30-16, reposted on 7-19-22.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *