(9.7-10)     7       And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

8          And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

9          And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10        And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.


1.   “The description of the locusts given in these verses makes it clear that they are not ordinary locusts and are so named only because of their function as a judgment and plague from the Lord. They apparently are much larger than ordinary locusts and are compared to horses prepared for battle. Inasmuch as demons do not have physical shape, what John is seeing must symbolize demonic possession. The locusts are described as having crowns of gold on their heads, ordinarily a token of victory, but here apparently a decoration or headdress. Their faces are described as similar to the faces of men. Their hair is described as the hair of women and their teeth as the teeth of lions. This awesome combination of the qualities of beasts and men depicts the utterly fearful character of these instruments of divine judgment. This is in keeping with the general character of the book of Revelation as an unmasking of the true nature of Satan and evil.”[1]


2.   “In verse 9, the locusts are declared to have breastplates of iron, implying that they are immune to destruction. They are also equipped with wings which give forth the sound of many chariots going to battle, implying speed and the impossibility of evading their attack. Particular attention is given to their tails, which are compared to those of scorpions and by which they have power to hurt men for five months. It would be difficult to describe a more fearful spectacle than these instruments of divine justice, utterly wicked in themselves, and released from the pit of the abyss to accomplish this terrifying judgment. The fact that they have power to hurt men five months is repeated in verse 10, as if to call special attention to the length of their torment.”[2]


3.   Let me read some comments by Sale-Harrison: “It is very interesting to notice how many similes are used in verses 7 to 10. These Satanic agents are said to be ‘like horses prepared for battle’ (v. 7) - anxious and ready to carry out their commission. On their heads, as it were, ‘crowns like gold’ (v. 7). They pretend to have royal authority. They have ‘faces like men’ (v. 7). They appeal to the reason. ‘Hair like women’ (v. 8). They are subtle. ‘Teeth like lions’ (v. 8). They are relentless in cruelty. ‘Breastplates like iron’ (v. 9). Through which truth cannot penetrate. The ‘sound of their wings is like the sound of a conquering host’ (v. 9). They have ‘tails like scorpions.’ Stings in their tails (v. 10).”[3]


4.   Though there will be variation of opinions from commentator to commentator as to the likely meanings of these different similes, one thing is very obvious; the judgment God will inflict upon those who reject the truth and believe the lies of Satan will be severe.


(9.11)  And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.


1.   Another indication that John is not referring to ordinary locusts comes from Proverbs 30.27, where Solomon indicated that ordinary locusts have no king. However, these locusts, who I believe to be demons, do have a king.


2.   Their ruler is the angel of the bottomless pit, and he is not Satan. You see, Satan is not presently confined to the bottomless pit, as this Abaddon presently is. Satan will not be confined to the bottomless pit until the second coming of Christ. No, this Abaddon, this Apollyon, is an extremely powerful and wicked angel who followed Lucifer in his revolt against God.


3.   While Lucifer was given to be the prince of the power of the air, this angel was cast into the great abyss. When Satan opens the door to Hell, this Abaddon, or Apollyon, comes out with his army of supernatural locusts who will go forth to torment whoever they can.


4.   Praise be to God that they will not be allowed to harm any of God’s children. Amen?


(9.12)  One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.


1.   Will God put His children through this? Will we remain on the earth through this terrible suffering?


2.   If you understand the clear Biblical distinction between the Christian who lives under the reign of grace and the Israelite who lives under the reign of Law you will understand two things to be true: First, God has two plans and two programs. One is for Israel and one for church age Christianity.


3.   In addition, during the tribulation God is fulfilling His plan for Israel, having fulfilled His plan for the church. Second, though there are times and occasions in which woes are predicted for Israel and the wicked Gentiles who surround her, there is no time in which woes are either predicted or pronounced on humanity during the church age, the age in which we live.


4.   Therefore, I am of the opinion that Christians will not face this first woe, nor will they face the second two woes.


5.   A final comment before we move on: All of this, the environmental catastrophes, the demons from the pit, the torture, and longing for death for five months, is only the result of the first of the woes. There are two more to go.

[1] John Walvoord, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966), pages 162-163.

[2] Ibid., page 163.

[3] L. Sale-Harrison, The Remarkable Revelation, (New York: Sale-Harrison Publications, 1930), pages 107-108.

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