The Fifth Trumpet Judgment: Swarm of Stinging Locusts
“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. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for 5 months. And their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
And the shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads were crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 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 5 months. And they had a king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.”
Star fallen from Heaven to the Earth.
Let’s focus on several key points of this passage.
1. When carefully considering the context of this passage it becomes clear that this star is not a meteor, but stands in the context symbolically and meant through careful study revealing “literally as a spirit, an angelic creature,” And to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. Some scholars believe that this star is some form of meteor that hits the earth and opens a vast expanse releasing smoke filled with locusts. They are right about the release of intense smoke and fire, but not about the star.
There is further evidence to support the fact that in Scripture, angels are called “stars” Job 38:7. Satan is specifically referred to as a star (Isa. 14:12 and Luke 10:18). But this star mentioned above is not Satan.
2. This angel was given a key to the bottomless pit. The “key” mentioned in the passage is a symbolic reference that this particular angel is acting under God’s authority and has been given the authority to open a specific area of the Abyss releasing an unknown number of fallen angels to fulfill prophecy.
3. If we believe that the 3 sets of 7 judgments equaling 21 total judgments are in chronological order then it also becomes clear that Satan still has access to the Throne at this point in the prophetic judgments.
4. Rev. 12:10-13 describes Satan being cast out of Heaven permanently and all access restricted.
The passage in Revelation 9:1-12 gives a very detailed description of these locusts.
The body of a horse prepared for battle. On their heads are crowns like gold, with faces like a man with women’s hair. Teeth like that of a Lion, with breastplates made of iron, and had wings that made a sound like a chariot running full speed. And they have tails in the shape of a scorpions tail, with the ability to sting.
Some biblical scholars believe that the description of these creature are just symbolic, and that those inflicted by this judgment won’t be able to see these locusts, I have a different opinion!
I believe that this judgment is two-fold, and part of the judgment of those who will suffer is the actual ability to physically see these creatures, the passage describes them as locusts, but a locust is small, around 1 to 2 inches in length and not very formidable. The scripture goes to great effort in describing them to the reader for a reason, they are meant to be seen… Part of the judgment may be in the actual terror of those that see these creatures, why else would the passage go to great lengths in their description? The passage doesn’t give a clear indication of the size of these creatures. The Apostle John using the vernacular of his day describes them as locusts, but not all locusts are the same size. Look at the image below.
As you can see below, not all locusts are the size of grasshoppers. Click the image below.
The effects of the locust stings won’t kill those that are stung, instead, they will be extremely ill, to the point that they cry out for death, but death will flee. And the effects of the sting maybe greater or lesser per individual. It’s a possibility that some that are stung may not be as ill as others and may do things to the ones that are suffering more intensely, like cutting wrists, gun shots, and other more gruesome acts, you get my point.
The Locust Horde King. Abaddon in Hebrew, or Apollyon in Greek.
Satan goes by many names in scripture, adversary, devil etc, but never Abaddon or Apollyon, or King, some believe this passage may refer to one of Satan’s generals or high ranking evil fallen angels.
Note: Abaddon in Hebrew means destruction or “place of destruction”, or the realm of the dead, and is associated with Sheol. Apollyon is the Greek name for Abaddon, the spiritual being (or place) named as the destroyer (or place of destruction.)
The are given instructions: they were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for 5 months. It’s the effect contained in the stings that torment those without the seal of God for 5 months. The number of those inflicted have to be in the hundreds of millions.
It appears that God is being cruel with this particular judgment, but nothing could be further from the truth. God, through the use of this judgment is giving people that have turned their face away from Him another chance to call on the name of Jesus Christ for their salvation.
However, scripture doesn’t indicate that those suffering by the stings and call on Jesus to save them that their suffering will end.
This judgment coincides with the next judgment. The Sixth Trumpet Judgment. 200 million Horseman.
You have the ability, right now to chose and avoid God’s Wrath and not suffer through 21 judgments. Call on the name of Jesus Christ and accept his offer of salvation.