Revelation 9: Wars and Plagues
The Fifth Angel sounded; “…I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit… and there arose a smoke out of the pit… and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locust upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power… it was commanded of them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing… but only those men which have not the seal of God on their foreheads…” (Revelation 9:1-4) Here we have the Fifth Angel sounding the trumpet and a large hole opening from the earth, this hole would darken the sun and the air (so thick black air) and out of the smoke will come Locusts that have the ability to sting like scorpions, basically flying scorpions come out of the smoke. These locusts are commanded to only hurt men (and women) who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Essentially they are commanded to only go after the wicked people of the earth.
In the next verse we read; “…to them [the locusts] it was given that they should not kill them [the wicked people], but that they should be tormented five months…And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:5-6) So when this Fifth Angel sounds the trumpets, all the wicked people of the earth will be stun by locusts [essentially flying scorpions] and be tormented to the point of wanting to die, but be unable to die! John describes the locusts as “…horses prepared unto battle… faces of men… hair of women… teeth of lions… breastplates of iron… sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle… tails like unto scorpions…” (Revelation 9:7-10) John also explains that they are led into “battle” by Abaddon, which in Greek is Apollyon. Apollyon means destruction and is often times used to describe Satan.
Will there really be locusts that can sting like scorpions? The simple answer is no. We must understand that John was describing things that he saw from a perspective of his time. How would someone from thousands of years past describe an airplane, tank, machine gun? In the words and descriptions of that time, so perhaps the “locusts” he saw were actually modern infantry coming out of thick dark smoke that was caused from bombs. We don’t know, and we won’t know. But we can kind of understand what John might have been seeing.
The Sixth Angel sounded; “…and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel… Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were release… [and]… were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year… to slay the third part of men… by these three was the third part of men killed.” (Revelation 9:13-15; 18) John explains that these last third of the worlds wicked were to be destroyed, because they never once felt bad for their sins and never desired to repent.