We are continuing on with the Fifth Trumpet
3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth:and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not 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 as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them
Where we left off last time was Satan, the star that had fallen in the third trumpet, was given a key to open the bottomless pit. Now we are going to see what comes out of the pit. As I discussed last time, I believe this is the pit where the angels are chained up. After all this time they are let loose for judgment, just as Peter and Jude tells us.
Here they are first described as locusts. There are some who would try to tell us these are literal locusts, but most commentators including myself find that rather ridiculous given the description of them. The use of locusts is to show their numbers. When Babylon was going to invade Egypt it was told by Jeremiah that they would be innumerable as a locust. The KJV uses the word grasshoppers.
They shall cut down her forest, saith the Lord, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and are innumerable
The plague of locust was that they covered and devoured everything, and I believe this is what is the main point, though one might dig deeper into this and find more similarities. They also had power like scorpions to sting. It is the sting of the scorpion that we are concerned with. Most scorpions cannot kill you, but they are a very painful sting. So the picture here is that these angels that are let loose will be innumerable and they will cause great pain, but not death. It is said for a span of five months. Some say that is a literal five months and others say it is a symbolic five months. I am not sure, either way, we understand that for a time men are tormented by these beasts and that is what is truly important.
Speaking of men, it says they don’t hurt the vegetation but rather men. Normal locusts are only interested in vegetation, not men, which is another reason to believe these are not literal locusts. As we noted earlier that the grass and trees are used as symbols for mankind and trees for great men specifically. Since we see grass and trees contrasted with men, I would tend to believe it is true here also. Out of all mankind, only those who are not sealed by God are exposed to these devils.
7And 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. 8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9And 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. 10And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails:and their power was to hurt men five months.
Real locusts are not like horses, these angels are. Horses are a picture of great strength and power (Job 39:19,Psalms 147:10,Proverbs 21:31,Isaiah 43:7). So these angels cannot be resisted by men, the have the power do dominate their opponents. The crown means they are given a degree of prominence. It is kind of like an anointing (Psalms 132:18, Proverbs 12:4, 14:18, 17:6). In the case of Jesus, the crown of thorns meant he was anointed as the sacrifice for our sin. So they are giving authority, maybe we can see this as a police officer’s badge that says he is given authority to carry out justice, make no mistake these are given it for evil. I think of the Nazi having a swastika armband to identify themselves with the party. This maybe what these crowns are for.
Faces of men to me is obvious. How we really recognize someone is by their face. If you see someone from the back that you think you might know, you want to see their face to be sure they are who you think they are. These beings look like men and that is no surprise because whenever an angel is seen upon the earth the are called men.
Next, it says they have hair like a woman. Henry Ironside suggests that this means they have a seductive power. I, however, have another idea.
7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:but the woman is the glory of the man. 8For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels
1 Corinthians 11:9-10
The man is supposed to be the head so he was to keep his head uncovered and the woman is supposed to be in submission, so her head was to be covered. This same concept was in the vow of a Nazarite. The man who gave himself wholly to God for a certain amount of time was not to cut his hair to demonstrate his submission to God. So the long hair on these angels meant they were in submission to a ruler and of course we know this to be Satan.
The teeth of lions mean that they will devour man’s wealth and possessions. They will take what they want and leave the others to fight over what they have left. See John here is reference this all back to Joel. Here is just a portion, but one would do well to read the whole chapter.
6For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. 7He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
You can see why so many die during the tribulation from hunger because all the resource are devoured by the angels and they have no thought or care for the men of the earth.
Men wore breastplates to protect them from a fatal stab. Christians are called to wear breastplates of righteousness to protect them from falling prey to the devil and sin. The angels were wearing breastplates of iron. A careful study shows that iron is a metal that was very strong and used when strength was needed. It was a metal that had no beauty, just pure strength and we shall see later how this plays out in regards to Satan’s kingdom.
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things:and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
They had wings! Now this does not necessarily mean they had real wings and I would suppose they are not because we are dealing with things that illustrate a certain character about these angels. Wings are very much seen as a covering (2 Chronicles 5:8, Psalms 17:8). Since wings lift, those who have them, up high above everything else. It is the idea of security. Being a former member of the United States Air Force I see this very clearly. Ground troops love air support because they have the upper hand. Those in the sky can see what is going on down below. If the troops are in trouble they can call in support from the air. Our nation has gone to great length to establish “air superiority” for this reason. While you are on the good side of wings, like under God’s wings you feel safe and secure. Here though it is evil with this power. They move swift into action as horses and chariots. How can men deal with such beings? They can’t!
If you notice this section mention these angels as having the power of scorpions twice. I then concluded this is the most important aspect of what needs to be understood. To dissect this, I need to make a few points.
The men on the earth involved are those that have not the seal on them, so in a sense, they are sealed to doom. We know that many who accept Christ during the tribulation are killed for their faith, so in my mind is seems hard to believe that only the believers are seals from this woe. We could say these are the hundred and forty-four thousand. However, I do wonder though why there is a distinction between the grass, trees and these men. Does the grass and trees represent the hundred and forty-four thousand? Maybe! Let me suggest something else. I have not and will not easily name a nation or a group of people in this commentary. As these events unfold it will become clear what earthly organizations or groups are involved.
Here I want to break that rule to suggest that these unsealed men are those who have promoted the GLTB movement. Now here is my line of thinking. If these angels were locked up for committing sexual sins as Jude suggest then they are ripe for committing sexual atrocities. There was some reason God could not let these angels loose like He did with the other fallen angels. I believe their sexual depravity is the reason. Now they are let loose and someone is in trouble. Think of Haman and how he built gallows for Mordecai, but God turned that on Haman that his own gallows where his demise. So those who are actively forcing sexual immorality upon the earth will have it as their own curse.
Think of these words in this context.
And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
I truly consider a real possibility that those who have promoted this awful sexual lifestyle will be sodomized for this period of time. What is done to them doesn’t kill them, they cannot escape it, and they wish they were dead.
Please carefully consider this!