7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). 12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come. ~ Revelation 9:7-12
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
The fifth trumpet judgment describes the releasing of locust-like demons from hell upon the earth. and, at this point, their deceptive powers will be enormous. The truth is the devil only has as much influence on people as we give him permission. And, with this fifth trumpet, he will have a dramatic effect on the minds of those who reject the truth of God.
In v.7 we read, "The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces."
The "crowns of gold" here speak of the authority these demons will appear to have. As people hear their teachings, the lost will be so impressed by their great authority that they will listen and they will be drawn into the devil's web of deceit.
The "human faces" here speak of their perceived intelligence. Their teaching will appear reasonable and will seem intelligent, making the appeal to their already deceived minds very appealing and strong.
In v.8 we read,"Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth."
The "women's hair" here describes that which is attractive. Many will believe the propaganda of the dark side because it will appear to offer much personal advantage. But, the effect will be like "lions' teeth," penetrating, cruel and frightening. This is what will happen as those who follow the teaching of the devil succumb to his deception.
In v.9 we read, "They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle."
These "iron breastplates" speak of the hardness of the heart that has been deceived. The demonic powers will be heartless and without mercy. Once their torment begins, no appeal to stop it will be able to relieve it. Those who will be deceived will have no way of escape. And it will come with an overpowering sound. That speaks of something which is widely popular. There will be tremendous peer pressure to believe this teaching, so much so that it seems irresistible and overpowering.
In v.10 we read, "They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months."
The "stingers" speak of the terrible aftermath, the mental torment that will follow this awful teaching. The number 5 is mentioned in the Bible a total of 318 times. This number is directly linked to God’s grace, mercy, and favor. The grace of God is His unmerited favor that comes as a result of His love.
The 5th book in the Bible is Deuteronomy and it contains strict laws that were meant to keep the children of Israel from offending God. When we ignore God's truth, we are in danger of removing ourselves from God's protection. Man’s helplessness is the reason for God’s grace and favor. Man has no power of his own and cannot prosper except when God has willed it. This is the significance of the number five mentioned in connection to the sting of these deceivers. God allows it all to happen as a means of His grace. In hopes that the people will turn to Him.
In v.11-12 we read, "11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). 12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come."
The Apostle Paul warns in 1 Timothy 4:1, "In the latter days some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." How someone can know the truth and choose the lie, I can not understand. I do understand how someone could know the truth and stupidly choose the lie. But, I do that every day. The difference here is the believer in Christ has been born again and the Holy Spirit lives in Him, and, the unbeliever does not have the Holy Spirit to aid him in discerning the truth from the lie. The unbeliever can be deceived to Hell, but the believer can not be deceived to the point that he loses his salvation.
For example, when I was young, I loved irritating my sisters. I love it until they had had enough of my foolishness and they ran me down and let me have it. The beating that ensued was never what I wanted. There were times when I would run to the safe haven of the bathroom because it had a lock on the door. But, Lord help me if one of my sisters got her foot wedged between the door and the door frame. When one of them would get that foothold, I was doomed. This is illustrative of the believer who gives the enemy a foothold in his life.
Even as believers in Christ, when we give the devil a foothold in our lives, he takes a stronghold. If we allow Satan or his cohorts control of one little part of our lives, he will soon take over the whole thing. He is the ultimate opportunist who will always turn these invitations into strongholds.
Satan gets a foothold by taking advantage in a weak area of our lives and he tempts us to go the opposite of God's way. And, before we know it, we are snared in his web of deceit. For example, the Apostle Paul writes, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
But, our text today is not addressing the foothold the enemy at times gets in the life of the believer. You see, these who will suffer under the deceptive schemes of these demons will not have the aid of the Holy Spirit in their lives. So, the fight for them will be much more difficult as it is for the believer who has the benefit of the protective power of the Holy Spirit.
Since it will be so hard on those who reject the truth of God during the Great Tribulation, let us be ardent now in praying for the lost daily. In addition, we must be determined to share the gospel with those who are willing to listen before it becomes too late for them.