Saturday, January 05, 2013

Locusts From The Pit: Revelation 9:1-12

There are creatures described in Revelation 9 that not only have a nasty look, but have a nasty sting as well. Various theories have been offered concerning the physical/spiritual make-up of these "locusts." Are they biological creatures? Are they weapons? Are they aircraft? Let's take a look at their physical appearance, their behavior and the results of their behavior so that we can try to figure this out.

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Rev 9:1-12 “And the fifth angel sounded. And I saw a star fall from the heaven to the earth, and it was given the key of the abyss.  2And it opened the bottomless pit. And there arose a smoke out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3And out of the smoke came forth locusts onto the earth. And authority was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have authority.  4And they were commanded not to hurt the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. 5And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months. And their torment was like a scorpion's torment when he stings a man. 6And in those days men will seek death and will not find it. And they will long to die, and death will flee from them. 7And the shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle. And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8And they had hairs like the hairs of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron. And the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10And they had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. And their authority was to hurt men five months. 11And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in Greek his name is Apollyon. 12The first woe is past. Behold, after these things yet come two woes. 

Where did they come from?  

Rev. 9:1-3a "And the fifth angel sounded. And I saw a star fall from the heaven to the earth, and it was given the key of the abyss.  2And it opened the bottomless pit. And there arose a smoke out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3And out of the smoke came forth locusts onto the earth."

These entities come from the "abyss," the "bottomless pit" out of which arises smoke so great that the sun and air are darkened by it. Now the scripture reads that, "out of the smoke came forth locusts onto the earth." So, from this I can speculate that they must be coming out of the abyss, the bottomless pit, and onto the earth.  

Who released them?

Rev. 9:1-2 “And the fifth angel sounded. And I saw a star fall from the heaven to the earth, and it was given the key of the abyss.  2And it opened the bottomless pit."

An angel is sent from heaven who has the power and authority to release these "locusts" from their confinement.

Who is in charge of these newly released "locusts?"

Rev. 9:11 "And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in Greek his name is Apollyon."

So we see here that an angel named Abaddon/Apollyon has control over these "locusts." Some believe that this is the name of the angel sent by God to open the bottomless pit (verses 1 & 2). They state that God would not pit Satan against himself; that God does not use Satan to exact judgment on anyone. I'm not yet convinced of that.  

Scripture states that this angel is their "king" and that he is "the angel of the bottomless pit," which means to me that Abaddon/Apollyon must be residing and ruling there as a high ranking demon (archdemon) just like Michael is a high ranking angel (archangel).

What are the limitations of these locusts?

Rev. 9:3b-6 "And authority was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have authority. 4And they were commanded not to hurt the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. 5And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months. And their torment was like a scorpion's torment when he stings a man. 6And in those days men will seek death and will not find it. And they will long to die, and death will flee from them."

They cannot:
  1. Hurt the grass of the earth
  2. Hurt any green thing
  3. Hurt any tree
  4. Hurt anyone who has the seal of God in their foreheads
  5. Kill anyone
They can (through their sting):
  1. Hurt all those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads
  2. Cause mankind to experience torturous pain for 5 months
The result of this attack is that those individuals who are affected will suffer for 5 months and will seek death, but death will flee from them. So those affected will try to take their own lives to end the pain, but death will not have the authority to take their lives during this time.
  
What do the strange locusts look like?

Rev. 9:7-10 "And the shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle. And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8And they had hairs like the hairs of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron. And the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10And they had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails."

Strange description indeed. They have the face of a man, long hair like women and teeth like a lion. They have wings and they have tails like scorpions.  They have breastplates like iron and they have gold "crowns" (Stephanos - to twine or wreath). What could this be?

Let's first ask ourselves if we consider Rev. 9:1-12 to be a description of the releasing of a biological entity or a mechanized vehicle/weapon. This makes all the difference.

If we look at just the physical description of the locusts, we could probably assume that it must be a mechanical entity, like a military helicopter or an armed drone. The physical description of the locusts is so beyond our comprehension of what a living entity could look like that the logical assumption would be to say that this entity is indeed a mechanized weapon of some sort, a vehicle that would have been nearly impossible to describe in suitable terms in the first century AD.

Then again, there are many creatures in our world that look "alien" to us.  Just look at these few examples:


   
Tardigrades
www.bbc.co.uk
Blob Fish
www.eatnineghost.com

Star-Nosed Mole
www.eatnineghost.com
Flea
www.thesun.co.uk

Pretty strange looking creatures, right? After looking at these pictures, I can't help but begin to believe that it IS possible for the Lord to have already created a hoard of stranger looking creatures that can be used to pour out His judgment on the world during this part of the Tribulation. After all, if these judgments are going to be worse than any other in the history of mankind, it's probably safe to say that the creatures created by God to exact His judgment will be the most hideous creatures that have ever been created as well.

There are a few things within this portion of scripture that causes me to seriously consider that what is being described is a biological entity.
  1. They come from the abyss... the bottomless pit. If it were a military vehicle like a helicopter or armed drone, would an angel of the Lord be sent to release them from the spiritual realm of the bottomless pit? 
  2. These "locusts" are given authority to attack those who do NOT have the seal of God in their forehead. That would mean selective targeting of individuals, and if they're using some sort of biological weapon, then it's going to affect everyone. There is no possible way that an attack on billions of people worldwide can accurately target only those individuals who do not have the mark of God in their foreheads. As it is now, military drones and piloted helicopters kill innocent bystanders every day. God didn't say that He would protect His own FROM the blanket attack of the "locusts." He actually has set limits and does not even ALLOW the "locusts" to attack those who have the seal of God in their forehead, so believers aren't even targeted by the enemy.
  3. The attack of these locusts causes mankind to experience excruciating pain for five months. We all know that as individuals we experience things differently biologically. Some people need more pain medication than others; some people seem to never get sick; some people have a weakened immune system. So how could a biological weapon affect everyone for exactly 5 months if we all experience such things in different degrees? 
  4. They are commanded not to hurt the grass, the trees or any green thing. If missiles or explosive devices (the stings from the scorpion tail) are going to be used to spread biological toxins or infectious agents into the air, then some vegetation will undoubtedly become collateral damage from the explosion of such devices.  
So if we consider these locusts to be biological, then we must believe that they have already been created and are being contained until that particular point in time when they will be released from the abyss/bottomless pit. Is there any other portion of scripture that describes a creature being contained until a time of judgment? Yes, there is.

Rev 9:13-15  And the sixth angel sounded his trumpet. And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Loose the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. 15And the four angels were loosed, who were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, in order to slay the third part of men.

So God does indeed bind up living creatures in preparation for their release during His time of judgment. So these locusts could be actual living creatures that the Lord has prepared for "an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, in order to bring" pain to men.  

Could these locusts be demons? Yes. Could they be actual biological creatures? Yes. Could they be weapons/military vehicles? I highly doubt it, but I am willing to consider any thoughts from readers who would like to respond to this blog.

Please take the time to leave a comment and let me know what YOU think. I'm interested in your interpretation of what the locusts are.

18 comments:

  1. Those living in the end times will know.

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    1. I believe that the locust creatures look exactly like described in the scriptures and their purpose is as written also. God has created some of the oddest looking mammals, fish,reptiles, birds,etc. So why is the description so hard to imagine being real. Jesus Christ return is coming soon...be ready!

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  2. Research "the Muslim agenda", "the war of Gog and Magog". Muslims strip it's host country of all it's history, culture, laws, free speech, free though, individualism, creativity and equality, locust strip area to area of all resources before moving on. Muslims are planned to be the locusts torturing all infidels for 5 months in the attempt to force conversion. We are not looking for locusts or scorpions literally but people who will take on these animal instincts.

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    1. Jake, that's one I never heard before. Unfortunately, when you put your explanation side by side with scripture, it's not found to be biblically sound. Thank you for your response, though. It give me another glimpse into how people interpret this portion of scripture.

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  3. I think the locusts are demons that have been released from the abyss. I think the description of the locusts describes their spiritual characteristics. I think there are an amazing number of demons and people don't realize this because we don't see them, and locusts represent the huge number of them. I agree with the idea that God doesn't use demons to exact judgment. This whole locust imagery is symbolic, not literal. A vast number of demons are released from the abyss. I think this is a prison for demons who have crossed the line.

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    1. Helene, when you say that you think the abyss is a prison for demons who have crossed the line, what exactly do you mean? I believe they all crossed the line when they rebelled against God. What greater crime could they have committed? Also, scripture tells us that demons are currently operating in the first heaven (the atmosphere around the earth).

      I agree that some scripture is allegory... symbolic, but it's my opinion that it doesn't apply in this case because it is possible that the creature described could actually exist. Since that is the case, I must also believe that they are actual living creatures that have been trapped deep in the earth until that very moment when God allows them to be released. Also, each one of the locusts looks like the other, which says to me that they are of a certain breed.

      I guess we won't know for sure until it happens, right?

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    2. I agree with you Ken Souza.

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  4. The demons that are in hell and not heaven as far as I understand it are those that break the golden rule, this is the limit in which demons can interact with man. Satan's hoard are limited by our free will. The demons that Jesus drove out of possessed people were cast back into hell because they were acting outside of our free will. In other words the really naughty demons are in hell and the one's still playing by the rules are in heaven(or on earth doing satans work)

    I believe you are correct Ken, in that these creatures are real creatures made by God for this particular aspect of the great tribulation(Gods 7 yrs of punishment). I am always amused that people can't take the bible literally with this stuff and have to change it into a box to suit there earthly minds. To be unable to accept this stuff literally and yet say you believe in demons and angels is a type of contradiction.

    The bible is full of odd stuff, look at the demons who came to earth and mated with women, who then gave birth to giants with 6 toes. You either except that the bible is Gods word or you don't, it's not really difficult. If you believe the bible is Gods word then you have to except that there are all kinds of strange beings and a battle going on everyday, and a huge amount of demonic interaction going on daily on this earth that the average person knows nothing about, to the extent that they don't even believe God exists.

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    1. Thank you for your response to my blog article, Paul. I'm having difficulty with the idea of there being demons in hell who have broken the "golden rule." I can't seem to find any scripture about demons being in hell right now and I also can't seem to find scripture to confirm that if demons go beyond the limits of our free will, they are sent to hell. Can you please share the scripture you're looking at so that I can dig deeper into this? Thanks!!! :)

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  5. Interesting. I have just completed writing a Bible Study on Revelation and it is now with my editor. While researching though I came across something very interesting. A recent creation developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) may have created exactly what John saw and of all the possibilities out there, it seems to be the most likely. This unique creation looks like a large moth but is smaller than some butterflies. It flaps its translucent wings 14 times per second and it is getting even smaller. Their latest locust shaped drone weighs less than 20 grams and has a camera and memory card. It is enabled remotely with a special helmet so that when the operator puts it on he sees in real time what is being surveyed. It can even fly indoors. Their most recent models were the Ghost, weighing 4 kg, and Mosquito, which weighs only 500 grams. With Muslim terrorist groups like Hamas in Gaza constantly targeting Israel they would be perfect for going behind enemy lines.
    Could these flying insects be outfitted to harm only those with the mark of the beast? For example, today the only people in the world who wear a “mark” on their foreheads are Muslims. You see their bandanas and banners scrawled with the words, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” With terrorists forcing people to convert to Islam or die, it is easy to see how these locusts could be programmed to target and torment only those who have the mark. In fact the U.S. Navy just released their new weapon and it is actually called LOCUST which stands for Low Cost Uav Swarm Technology. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3040891/Watch-Navy-s-drone-CANNON-Weapon-shoot-30-swarm-bots-minute-new-era-warfare.html

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    1. Very interesting information, Laura. Thank you for sharing it. While I understand your train of thought, I must mention a few things here. One is that the word of God states that God is going to send an angel from heaven to earth specifically to open the bottomless pit from which smoke will rise and these creatures will emerge. If these creatures are locked away, that would mean that they have existed for quite some time and that they are being held in check until such a time as the Lord permits them to be released. That would seem to indicate that their existence predates our current technology.

      Secondly, it would be self defeating if these creatures were to attack those with the mark of the beast because in that point in time, it will be born-again believers who will be the enemy, not the ones with the mark. Why would the Antichrist attack those who have already sworn allegiance to him?

      Thirdly, if your assumption was correct, these miniature drones would need to carry and inject some sort of "venom" into their victim that would cause them pain for exactly 5 months.

      Lastly, those who have been attacked by these creatures will not be able to commit suicide during this time. Spiritually, death will have his hands tied and won't be able to take the lives of any of these individuals. Imagine that! Wow!

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  6. It may be the result of the CERN project.

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  7. Thank you for your response, Earl. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on how these "locusts" could be created by CERN but reside in the bottomless pit to be controlled by a high ranking demon named Abaddon/Apollyon. From what I read in the scriptures, it seems as if they've been there for quite some time and that they're restrained until God calls for their release.

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  8. Cern may open a gate to another dimension just like the bottomlesspit will open and these locusts in real shape or alien form ( which d be demons ) Are able to enter this dimension . This is my theory so far

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  9. I believe that the scientists in Cern have no idea that the dark matter they want to explore will somehow get out of control and in their attempt to open a doorway they will let these demons from hell out into our dimention.

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    2. Scripture states that God sends an angel to release them, so CERN and dark matter have no bearing on this event. It's all God driven, not man driven.

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