"They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them."
In this opening sentence, notice how Christ uses Old Testament symbolism to point out two different groups of people. The first group symbolized by grass
cannot by harmed, as though they are under God’s protection. However, the second group of people ARE allowed to be harmed and are referred to as those who “did not have the seal of God.”
Of course, this would imply that by this point in the end times, the people represented by the grass
WILL have the seal of God, which is why they cannot be harmed by this demonic onslaught. And the reason why was given almost two thousand years ago by our Lord himself;“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
In other words, these spiritual scorpions have no authority over believing Christians, therefore they have no power to harm them with the sting of their tails. They will only have the power to harm those who have violated God’s ketubah, as outlined in several of the earlier posts in this series. “Torture Them For Five Months”
The symbolism behind this passage is often lost in translation when it is taken too literally. As mentioned before, we can never lose sight of the fact that this was a vision
from God, and visions were always conveyed in bizarre symbolism that represented a larger truth. So let’s break down this symbolism and see what God is telling us.
When we review the Bible, we continually see certain numbers relating to certain types of events. In other words, God is a God of structure and order, and implied in that order is a precise mathematical relationship between the elements of His creation. For instance, we continually see the number ‘7’ representing completion, or the number ‘8’ representing renewal, or the number ‘9’ representing judgment, and so on. These are just a few examples, but you get the idea; God moves in the world through the precision of numbers and their meanings.
With this in mind, why would we see this onslaught of demonic locust lasting for "five months"
? Is there another example of this period of time in the Bible that would possibly relate to this event in the days ahead? The answer is 'yes', and it is implied in words Spoken by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse;“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
In the days of Noah when God was destroying the earth, the flood waters lasted for just over a year, but they increased on the earth for only "a hundred and fifty days", which on the ancient calendar was five thirty-day months;"Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days."
Now, at the sounding of the Fifth Trumpet, these demonic locust will be released and will also flood the earth, tormenting men for the same period of five months. And I believe it may be this very ‘flood’ that is hinted at in the Seventy Sevens/Weeks of Daniel;“After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”
But this flood is also referred to in chapter 12 of the Revelation, which is a re-cap of the Seven Trumpets;“Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.”
This passage will be described in greater detail when we cover chapter 12, but for now it is enough to say that the water spewed from the serpent’s mouth represents invading troops, which these locusts also represent. The point is that a 'flood' in Biblical lexicon often represents an invasion, and the 'water' represents the invading soldiers.
In essence, the Fifth Trumpet is a similitude of the great flood of Noah, since the sea increased for 150 days at that time, and this particular ‘sea’ of demonic locust will increase for 150 days during the time of Jacob‘s Trouble. But there is another element to this symbolism.“The Sting of A Scorpion”
We know from Christ’s own words in Luke 10:19 that the disciples were given power over “snakes and scorpions”, which is clearly symbolic of the power we as Christians have over fallen angels and demons. The fact that these demonic locusts are not allowed to harm those with “the seal of God” is all the proof of this that we need. But we were also told that those without this seal would be harmed by the stings from their tails. So while we understand that the scorpions are demonic entities, what would stings from their tails represent?
Once again, the answer is quite clear when we review the symbolism of the Old Testament, and this time our symbol is delivered by the prophet Isaiah, who gave us the following quote;“…the elders and prominent men are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail.”
Do you see it? The ‘tail’ is symbolic of a prophet that tells lies. So if this large horde of scorpion locusts strike men with their tails for five months, would we not presume that they will be giving false prophecy for five months? Isaiah’s symbolism would suggest that this is precisely what will happen, that these hordes will appear and prophesy lies. There is even a warning of this event included in the Olivet Discourse in the Gospels, and it occurs twice; “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
The persecution spoken of in this passage pertains to the martyrdom of the fifth seal, which is followed closely by the 6th seal and the 7th seal, which in turn leads directly to the first five trumpets. This was covered in several posts that occurred earlier in this series, so we’ll continue on, and point out that these “tails” of false prophecy are mentioned again in Matthew in the same chapter; “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.”
(Matthew 24:23-24)“They Will Long To Die”
The fact that “many” false prophets and false christs appear give us a clue that something quite different is going on at this point in the future. Why would “many” of them appear? Well, the answer should be relatively clear by now; when the Fifth trumpet is sounded and the Abyss is opened, the evil spirits in the Abyss will pour out and immediately begin to search for un-sealed men and women whom they can indwell. Since these evil spirits came from the disembodied Nephilim who once had bodies of their own, they still desire to be embodied. This is why there is so much demon possession in the world today.
Once they have firmly indwelled their selected ‘hosts’, these people will be at the mercy of these spirits, who will use them to prophesy lie after lie against the true Messiah - Jesus Christ - and instead direct mankind to worship the false messiah, the antichrist. This is the “powerful delusion” Paul spoke of; “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
The torment that these people will suffer will be very real, as these demons will adversely affect their mental and physical health. I’ve personally seen the affect it can have on people, and even had a conversation with a man who was possessed, whose evil spirit tried to convince me of his lies. In my opinion, this is the most likely interpretation of the “sting” of their “tails” that will make men want to literally die. These possessed people will feel tortured because they will be subject to constant internal assault by these evil spirits, much as King Saul was as he pursued David to kill him. And when people are tormented by these spirits, they will feel an anguish of spirit, much as Job did; “When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions, so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”
When we are separated from God and given over to the adversary, our lives indeed have no meaning, because we were created by God to fellowship with Him. When we sever this connection, it leaves a God-sized hole in our hearts that only He can fill, and it opens us up to the very demonic influence that is the subject of this post.NEXT TIME:
In the next post we’ll continue with the symbolism behind this horde of locusts and discuss the identity of the antichrist.