What is the Coming Tribulation All About? Part 13

September 10, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Trumpet Judgments of Revelation

Trumpet Judgments of Revelation

In our previous article – Part 12 – we go into spoke mainly about the first portion of the 5th Trumpet. This is where the angel blows his trumpet and the 5th judgment begins. A “star” or angel falls to earth and is given the key to the Abyss where, after he opens the door, dark smoke billows up and legions of locusts are released onto the earth. This is all recorded for us in Revelation 9:1ff.

We ended our last article with Revelation 9:6 where it tells us that the sting from these creatures will be like the sting of a scorpion. It will be so bad that people will want to die but death will elude them. They won’t even be able to take their own lives apparently.

We’re going to pick it up from Revelation 9:7-10, which provides a detailed description of these creatures.

The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 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. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.

The job of these ugly, fearsome creatures is to hurt or torment people for five months. They have limitations. They are not allowed to kill anyone, but are allowed and encouraged to inflict severe physical pain. They are not allowed to hurt the grass, plants, or trees either (cf. 9:4-5). Their sole focus is on terrifying and inflicting injury on people. As I said in my last article, God is trying to get people’s attention and He is using drastic measures to do so. Pain and terror weakens people, who often then cry out for release or solace. It is when people are often at their lowest that they begin to turn to God. Will it happen here? We’ll see if God’s Word answers that question.

locustIn the meantime, the above verses give us a picture of these creatures. Notice that the head of a locust looks similar in some ways to the head of a horse but these also have something that reminded John of a crown on their heads. A horse’s head is long with its eyes at the top. Locusts share the same trait. The text says that “The appearance of the locusts was LIKE…” and that means not that the locusts had horses heads, but that their heads were reminiscent of horses heads.

A horse that is prepared for battle is often dressed with armor and is very alert to what is happening around him/her. They are prepared to follow their leader anywhere. So it is with these locusts. They have been released from the Abyss and they know they have a job to do, a job from which they do not shrink.

The book of Joel also speaks of swarms of locusts that attack in the latter days or as the Day of the Lord approaches (Joel 1:15). Joel 2:4 also uses descriptive language to describe these locusts.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run.

In Joel 2:11 we learn that this army of locusts is the Lord’s army.

The Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great,
For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?

This army of supernatural creatures that resemble and act like locusts is an army under the direct control of God Himself.

Notice though that the faces of these locusts had faces like men’s faces and hair like women’s hair. Their teeth did not remind John of human teeth but of teeth in a lion’s mouth. They wore breastplates of iron and they had wings, which all told made tremendous noise when they flew. Finally, these creatures had something in their tails (like scorpions) that allowed them to hurt men for five months.

Some people like to believe that what John is describing in this part of Revelation are modern-day military hardware; planes, helicopters, and things of that nature. The problem with this is that these creatures seem to be imbued with the ability to reason. The fact that they were told not to hurt the plants, grass, or trees, and to simply focus on humans is also a point in favor of the fact that they are intelligent beings, not hardware that is programmed.

In my mind, these are supernatural beings that would certainly look weird to us because they do not exist in our realm. I doubt we can imagine what all the various creatures look like that reside in the spiritual realm. Even some of the angels that are described by Ezekiel and others are too strange for us to picture.

Take the Thylacine (or Tasmanian Tiger), an animal that was similar to a dog, but notice it had something like tiger stripes. When it opened its mouth in a yawn or bark, notice from the image how wide the mouth could open. You can see a video of one of several Thylacines in a zoo environment by clicking here. The last Thylacine is believed to have died from neglect in 1936. No other Thylacines have been seen since.

But because we cannot adequately picture something does not mean that it can’t be a living being. The many angels in the Bible that are described to us often looked like men; however, certain cherubim or seraphim descriptions appear very strange to us.

Revelation 9:11 tells us, “They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.” This king could very well be Satan himself. Though he is in charge of this group, it is clear that when God steps into control them for His purposes, they become His.

This 5th Trumpet is the first Woe, the one that the eagle spoke of in Revelation 8. Next time, we will be back with the 6th Trumpet Judgment, which is also the second Woe. Following this, we will get into the final set of seven judgments, the Seven Seals.

Entry filed under: Demonic, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , .

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