What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 12

September 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM 2 comments

In our last article in this series on the Tribulation, we covered the 3rd and 4th Trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 as well as the first “woe” of three woes. This first woe was signaled by the flight of an eagle across the heavens.

According to Revelation 8:13, this eagle appears as a precursor to the coming “woes.” It is a warning to all inhabitants of the earth.

The next judgment happens following the sounding of the 5th Trumpet. This is a very interesting judgment. Let’s look at the text in parts, first up Revelation 9:1-3.

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.

Picture the scene. The 5th Trumpet sounds and John sees a “star that had fallen from the sky to the earth.” This “star” was given the key to open up the gateway to the Abyss. The “star” referenced here cannot be a physical planet of the heavenly realm that merely reflects the sun’s light, as this star has intelligence.

The star is very likely some angelic being. We cannot be certain who the star is but it’s possible the star is Satan or some unfallen angel.

But the phrase “had fallen from the sky…” may not refer to the condition of the star (angel) at all, as though one of the fallen angels, but may simply be referencing a trajectory that the angel took from the sky to the entrance to the Abyss. If the star is not a fallen angel, then it could very well be an unfallen angel simply fulfilling the direction of God.

I agree with numerous scholars that this particular star is an unfallen angel though, who follows God’s directives to a “t.” His job is to open the entrance to the pit or Abyss to release “locusts” from that holding cell, so to speak.

Note in verses 2 and 3 the following description:

When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.

When this angel opens the entrance to the Abyss, the first thing John sees is smoke “like” or “as if” it was the smoke from a gigantic furnace. That simply means that it reminded John of smoke from a huge furnace, not that there actually was a gigantic furnace there. We can all picture thick, dark plumes of smoke coming from large smokestacks. This is what John saw. In fact, the smoke was so thick, that both the sun and the sky were darkened because of it.

Take the time to picture this for your own sake. It’s obviously daytime, yet the amount and darkness of the smoke makes it feel as though it is nighttime. If you were alive at this point and all of a sudden, the sky and sun turned dark, would you not become afraid? I think most people would because such a drastic turn from full day to something that appears to be night is not a normal situation. The suddenness of it all would make all the people of the earth take note and have reason to fear.

scorpionRevelation 9:3 tells us what happens next.

3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.

The smoke is very thick and dark and while people are very likely looking up at the sky, they begin to see some form of creatures coming out of the smoke. Talk about an invasion! This is what horror movies are made of.

At this point, the people are likely not aware that these supernatural creatures have specific abilities, but John tells us that they are given power similar to scorpions of the earth.

There are thousands of species of scorpions throughout the world, but only 30 of them have toxins that are dangerous to human beings. In the southern part of the United States, it is not uncommon to find them in your home. The sting can be painful. The scorpion in the image is reared up and ready to fight if necessary to save its own life from predators. Scorpions are aggressive and generally don’t back down.

ScorpionGiganticsWhen I was a kid, there were numerous model kits based on Sci-Fi/Horror movies. One company – Gigantics – produced several model kits, including one of a giant scorpion attacking a town. The idea of that happening was terrifying as a kid. But apparently, God will bring something like it to pass during the Tribulation period. These scorpions will be unique from other scorpions.

Revelation 9:4 tells us more about these scorpions:

They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 

These cannot be normal scorpions because these have the ability to distinguish between grass, plants, trees, and humans. In fact, they are told to only go after humans who do not have God’s seal on their forehead. It is this type of information that makes me believe these scorpions are not scorpions, but demons that may resemble aspects of scorpions.

Revelation 9:5 informs us that “They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.” These particular “scorpions” (demons) could not kill anyone but simply torture people with their stings and they only had a window of time equal to five months. There is no reason to believe that the “five months” here ultimately means something else. It’s five months.

We are also told that the sting from these creatures causes great agony, but not death. The next verse – Revelation 9:6 – explains even more. “During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

Try to imagine that. The pain is so intense that people will want to die, but will be unable to commit suicide. God wants them to endure the pain. Why, because He is a masochist? Hardly. He wants them to wake up to their plight. He wants them to understand what eternity without Him will be like. He wants no one to perish and takes no delight in the death of sinners, but He is going to use extreme measures in an attempt to wake people up from the sin-laden slumber.

Do you know anyone who does not know Jesus as Savior/Lord? If they are alive during the coming Tribulation and do not know Jesus, this is what they may experience. Christians need to do all that’s possible to warn people of the coming judgments. It’s our job – the Great Commission.

Our next article will continue with more about these scorpions from the 5th Trumpet judgment.

Entry filed under: Dr. Fred. Tags: , , , , .

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  • 1. Glen Clifton  |  September 9, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Fred….having trouble finding the whole article of August 2….Redefining the narrative…… tried to click on it…. but won’t come up…. am I the only one? Dr. Glen Clifton Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2014 17:17:59 +0000 To: glendeeclif@hotmail.com


    • 2. modres  |  September 9, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      What was the article about, Glen?


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