FEEDBACK: WHO DO THE LOCUSTS IN REVELATION 9 REPRESENT?
We appreciate feedback on the studies posted on this website. It helps us to see if there is anything on this website that does not agree with the Bible.
Below IS A QUESTION ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS THAT GOD FORGETS THE UNSAVED.
THE READER’S QUESTION IS IN ITALICS. OUR RESPONSE FOLLOWS.
Hey there, i somehow stumbled across your website the other day and it turned out to be a mighty blessing!
I was one of the "may 21, 2011-judgment day" proclaimers, i even posted signs and wore t-shirts. There's no doubt in my mind that God set-up the warning of may 21, 2011-judgment day to get the world's attention that the door of salvation would close on may 21 and the end of the world would come on October 21, 2011.
Anyways, now we know that the rapture won't occur until the last day, October 21, 2011, but here's my question- I examined your study on Revelation 9 and how the locusts represent the unsaved. Now, i just read another study from a site and they're teaching that the locusts are the true believers and they say that because during these last five months God has removed satan from ruling in the churches and in the world and therefore, since satan and the evil spirits have been removed and are somehow locked up and powerless now, these locusts would have to represent God's elect?
They also teach that the "sting" comes from God's people who are teaching now that salvation has ended?
And lastly, they teach that the locusts didn't come out of the pit, but the "smoke" of the pit and they say the "smoke" represents God's judgment and then they said that relates to the locusts coming out of judgment day, which began spiritually on may 21, 2011?
Do you have any light to shine on this? Thanks.
Thank you for the kind words about the website. I am glad that it is a blessing to you.
Regarding the statements from that other website, even if everything they said about satan were true, that does not mean those locusts cannot be the unsaved. The unsaved are still here and God talks about them seeing the true believers ascend up to heaven at the Rapture (Revelation 11:12). So the Bible continues to talk about the unsaved even to the Rapture.
On argument given is that on May 21, 2011, at the end of the Great Tribulation, satan lost all of his authority. This statement is made without Biblical support. He lost some of his authority but no verses say that he lost all of his authority.
During the Great Tribulation we read that satan was given authority in the local congregations as we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4:
1 ¶ Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 ¶ Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The “man of sin” can be shown to be satan and the temple of God is collectively all of the local churches and congregations. To “sit” means to have rule. So, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 teaches that satan will rule or have authority over all the local churches and congregations during the Great Tribulation. At the end of the Great Tribulation, he is cast down from that exalted position as ruler of the local congregations, but that does not mean that he has lost all of his authority. Concerning the deliverance provided by God’s salvation program we read in Colossians 1:13:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Before salvation we are under the “power” or “authority” of darkness. The darkness refers to satan’s dominion. Before salvation we are under the authority of satan. This applies to all of the unsaved. Reading about the deliverance provided by God, we learn this same teaching in Acts 26:18:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
As Acts 26:18 says, before salvation we are under the “power” or “authority” of satan. Satan has been given authority over the unsaved of the world. At the end of the Great Tribulation, satan has lost his authority over the local congregations, but there is nothing in the Bible that says that he has lost the authority given in Colossians 1:13 and Acts 26:18.
So when we read that these locusts have “power” or “authority” in Revelation 9 verses 3 and 10, this authority is the authority that God has given to the devil, which is ruler ship over the unsaved. The locusts represent the unsaved, who come in the authority of their master the devil, who has been given authority over the unsaved.
In Revelation 9:3 the locusts are given power or authority as the scorpions. The scorpions always indentify with satan or his people. They do not identify with believers (Ezekiel 2:6, Luke 10:19). The true believers come with the authority of God. Scorpions and their authority identify with satan, who has been given authority over the unsaved. Satan’s authority over the unsaved includes troubling them to the extent that God will allow and this troubling continues during the 5 months discussed in Revelation 9.
We read in Revelation 9:1-3:
1 ¶ And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
If we read Revelation 9:1-3 carefully it is pretty clear that those locusts originate from the pit. The pit is first opened, then we read about the locusts coming. We don't read about the locusts until the pit is opened. If the locusts represent the true believers why don’t we read about them before the pit is opened?
The locust came out of the smoke, but from where is that smoke coming? It is coming from the pit. Those locusts were in the pit and when it was opened, smoke came up and the locusts came out with the smoke. The smoke indicates that the fires of God's wrath are near and those locusts are in that smoke because they are under the wrath of God. The believers are not in the smoke because they are not under the wrath of God.
In Revelation 9:1-3 God has given a parabolic word picture. We can picture a pit in the ground being opened. Smoke ascends out of that pit. Out of the smoke comes locusts. From where did the locusts come? The only answer is the pit. The locusts did not appear before the pit was opened. Also, if the locust did not come out of the pit, then they must have entered the smoke somewhere and later came out of the smoke. But, we don’t read anything about locusts entering the smoke. The locusts came out of the pit because they came out of the smoke that came out of the pit.
The locusts being released out of the bottomless pit is very parallel to satan being released out of the same pit on Revelation 20:3.
There are other reasons we can know that these locusts represent unsaved people who appear to be the true people of God. They appear as the people of God, but are not. We read that these locusts had crowns in Revelation 9:7:
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.
The only other place in the Bible where God talks about locusts with crowns in found in Nahum 3:17:
Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
Nahum 3 talks about the unsaved people of God. They appear to be true believers but are not. Nahum 3 has a lot of negative language. For example, we read in verse 1:
Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;
So we know the crowned locusts in Nahum 3:17 represented unsaved people of God. God picks up this theme in Revelation 9:7 which identifies those locusts in Revelation 9 back to Nahum 3. Those are unsaved people that represent themselves as the true people of God but are not. Nahum 3:17 is an important cross reference to Revelation 9:7 because God has established the principle that we are to compare Scripture with Scripture to come to truth (1 Corinthians 2:13). Following this rule, God identifies crowned locusts with the unsaved people of God and this tells us that those crowned locusts in Revelation 9:7 represent the unsaved people of God.
Revelation 9 says that these locusts "hurt" men in verse 10. God uses the same Greek word in 1 Corinthians 6:7-8, translated "wrong" in those verses. In that passage God talks about how members of that church were treating others in the church in a "wrong" manner. Normally it is the unsaved people in the church that are doing that. This is an example of how this word is used to talk about unsaved people, who appear to be the people of God, doing "wrong" or "hurting" others. So, applying this idea to this 5 months, those locusts represent unsaved people, who claim to be the people of God, and they are afflicting others. The passage is not specific with how they are afflicting others. There are a lot of people right now who are coming in the name of Christ, many of them might not be saved, and they are saying a lot of things, some of those things are not true. Teaching lies about the Bible troubles mankind. That would fit the language of Revelation 9 regarding the torment that these locusts inflict upon the unsaved.
People have said that they are certain that the torment inflicted by the locusts upon the unsaved is the message that there is no salvation during this time. That statement sounds good to some people, but proper Bible study is not based upon what sounds good nor what seems to fulfill the current thinking of some people. Proper Bible study is based upon following the Biblical rule to compare Scripture with Scripture and there is nothing in Revelation 9:1-12 that gives a specific description of the nature of this “tormenting” or “hurting”.
When the unsaved people of God twist the Bible and bring a false message to the people that “hurts” them, and it is a “sting” from the unsaved people of God.