Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Friday, February 17, 2006

First Woe: Out of the Smoke

"Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them." (Revelation 9:3-6 - New American Standard)

The locust in verse three are described in terms which apply to no locust that exist. For this reason, they are generally believed to be of a demonic nature: either insects altered by demonic power, or else demonic beings directly tormenting people. However, we should not discount the possibility of these creatures being a result of some genetic experiment.

Normal locust are vegetarian. They destroy all plants in their path. Man suffers because they destroy his food source.

The locust of Revelation are not vegetarian. They attack people. Only those with the seal of God on their forehead are protected. Most commentators take this as a reference to all the believers of the Tribulation period. I think it more likely refers just to the 144,000 of chapter seven.

The bite of the locust is not deadly but causes great torment like that of a scorpion's venom. There are many types of scorpions and the sting of most is not deadly. Some scorpion stings are said to cause unspeakable pain. Other effects can include sweating, increasing heart beat, high blood pressure, blurred vision, slurred speech, twitching, seizures, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac failure or coma. Those who die a result of scorpion venom are often found to have internal bleeding. Death from a scorpion sting is avoidable in almost all cases with appropriate medical help. Most deaths occur in undeveloped countries or remote areas.

The pain caused by the locust of Revelation will be so intense that those afflicted by it will want to die. But the wound will not be deadly. Verse six could also mean that they will be too weak to take their own lives. They will have to endure the torment.


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