Locusts in Prophecy. Revelation 9.
It is not an easy thing to drop down suddenly into the Book of revelation and start talking about an event John is experiencing, but we must try. So far in the book, Jesus has revealed His person to John, and His warnings to seven churches that existed in the province called “Asia”, first century.
From there John is taken personally into Heaven to be shown what shall come upon the Earth during (in my opinion) the last years of Earth’s history. A book is slowly unsealed. At the sixth seal, we come to the final climax of that history. But then there is a lull in the action, and it looks like we are backing up a little in time. We see Jews being marked out for preservation during the Tribulation, then we see Christians being slaughtered during that same time period and showing up in Heaven.
Then, when we thought all was over, the story continues by the breaking of a seventh seal, and inside that seven seal are revealed seven angels blowing seven trumpets, one at a time. We know that it is at the “last trumpet” that the end comes, so we assume that we have put the camera in reverse mode, and are taking close-ups of what we have already seen.
Each one of these final trumpets sounds the destruction of huge portions of real estate, and the deaths of untold numbers of people. Nature is out of control. Chaos reigns. And then three last trumpets, trumpets of woe they are called, begin to sound.
It is the first of these last three that will be the focus of our thinking. Hopefully, having just come from the book of Joel, discerning hearts will see how the same Spirit spoke to Joel and John so that together God’s end-time people will know what is coming.
Let’s do a verse-by-verse on Revelation 9:1-12, keeping the book of Joel opened to the 2nd chapter, verses 1-11. Get those Bibles out. (You might even want to use two Bibles this time, as I did…)
v. 1. The fifth of the seven angels, or the first of the three final “woe” angels, now sounds his trumpet. The sound points to another angel (star) falling from heaven to earth, receiving the key to the “bottomless” pit. This pit seems to be the final destination of the enemies of Christ. Now they will endure untold suffering and punishment inside the earth. One day, I speculate, the Earth itself will be hurled into the darkness of space, all creatures inside still being tormented. Day and night. Forever and ever.
An angel guards this pit. Into it go the damned. Out of it come those whom God sees fit to carry out His will, especially in the end-time series of judgments. One that He sees fit to release is antichrist Himself, Revelation 17. Another story for another day. It is this restraining angel that I believe is being referred to in II Thessalonians, not the Holy Spirit. The angel is restraining antichrist from coming until the Lord gives the nod.
v. 2. For now, there are other residents of the pit that must be released. If this pit is an antechamber of Hell, it could well be that there are people on earth working toward the stocking of this pit with the creatures that shall come out of it. Machines, perhaps. Or, what we shall behold is a purely supernaturally created and collected group of latter day monstrous terrorists.
Smoke is released first. The sun and the atmosphere are all darkened. One is reminded of the smog over various cities, caused by emissions of fuel. Thousands of motors being started at the same time? Or bombs.
But we must hurry to Joel for a moment: 2:1-2: “….The day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand. A day of darkness and gloominess. A day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains…”
Fits perfectly so far, don’t you think?