Revelation Chapter 9:4

Revelation 9:4 – They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

“Men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads”: Everyone on earth except the two groups mentioned in chapter 7, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and their converts (see note on 7:4).

This is an attack on the person, which makes us take another look at it spiritually. They have orders not to hurt the vegetation or the 144,000 who have been sealed in their foreheads. Real locusts would eat every green thing that they could find, and they do. Looking at this from the spiritual standpoint, these locusts are demon spirits turned loose upon this earth. The devil, or his demons, cannot really hurt anyone covered in the blood of Jesus.

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” (Rev. 9:3-5). God’s instructions are in essence: “You may torment those who have the Antichrist’s mark, but you may not kill them.” Also, “you may not touch those who belong to Me.” Satan’s power is under strict control over those sealed by God, both now and in the Tribulation. Though this will be a period of great anguish, it is really the grace of GOD at work. I’m sure that the LORD is seeking to make mankind think because of this terrible torment and to decide to come to Him.

Scripture depicts locusts as judgement from God in the form of a plague on the produce of the field:

Exodus 10:14-15 – And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they, nor shall there be such after them. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 28:15, 38, 42 – But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…. You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it…. Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 – When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Joel 1:4-7 – What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; and what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten. Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth. For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion. He has laid waste My vine, and ruined My fig tree; he has stripped it bare and thrown it away; its branches are made white.

Amos 4:9 – “I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD.

Amos 7:1-2 – Thus the Lord GOD showed me: Behold, He formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop; indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings. And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, that I said: “O Lord GOD, forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, for he is small!”

In contrast to natural locusts, the locusts that come out of the bottomless pit do not harm any vegetation in judgment. Instead of devouring vegetation, these locusts are given authority to torment people with a sting of a scorpion, as shown in the last section.

Recall from Revelation 7:3, vegetation can be metaphors for kingdom, nations, or people in Scripture. But in the context of the passage of discussion, it doesn’t make sense to allegorize vegetation and trees as people because they represent all people groups in Scripture. In other words, no one would suffer the fifth Trumpet judgment if the green vegetation and trees were metaphors for people, as shown in the passages listed below:

Trees:

Grass and green herbs:

God’s command to not harm literal grass, green vegetation, and trees reinforces the idea that these locusts are supernatural, in that they are given power to harm humans instead of vegetation, like natural locusts do.

John tells us that only the sealed servants of God are exempt from this judgment. Recall from Revelation 7, those sealed on their foreheads with the seal of God are the 144,000 Jewish servants:

Revelation 7:2-4 – Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed…

Protection of the 144,000 Jewish servants from this judgment is reminiscent of the three Jewish men God protected in the midst of Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace:

Daniel 3:10-13 – You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.

Daniel 3:19-20 – Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:24-26 – Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.

Note that Nebuchadnezzar made the fiery furnace “seven” times hotter than normal, which parallels the “fiery trial” of the seven-year Tribulation for the Jewish people:

Zechariah 13:9 – “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”

This brings up the question of whether only the 144,000 sealed Jewish servants are the only ones spared from the fifth Seal judgment, or if this includes other believers too. In eternity all the servants of God from all dispensations will have the name of God on their foreheads, which is the same as the seal of God (Revelation 14:1):

Revelation 22:3-4 – And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

The Holy Spirit seals those in the Church Age upon salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14 ). However, we do not know when this sealing takes place for believers after the Church Age. The only time we see “sealing” take place during the Tribulation is when the angel seals the 144,000 Jewish servants (Revelation 7:3). That said, the two witnesses in Revelation 11:4 are “anointed” ones of God (Zechariah 4:14). The Hebrew word for “anointed” is “oil,” also used to describe the Holy Spirit, as discussed in Revelation 5:8. Like the 144,000 Jewish servants, the two witnesses are supernaturally protected until their mission is complete and God allows the beast to overtake them (Revelation 11:7). Being anointed by the Holy Spirit and receiving supernatural protection suggests that these two witnesses are also sealed servants of God like the 144,000.

Unfortunately, there is no clear evidence that the rest of the Tribulation saints have any supernatural protection like the 144,000 servants and the two witnesses, except for the Jewish remnant protected by God from Satan during the time of the fifth Trumpet judgment. We will discuss this supernatural protection of the Jewish remnant and their possible exemption from this judgment in the next section. The rest of the Tribulation saints are clearly subject to many of the Tribulation judgments (Revelation 7:16), but the last three Trumpet judgments, which include all the Bowl judgments, are against the “inhabitants of the earth”:

Revelation 8:13 – And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Recall from Revelation 6:10, that the “earth dwellers” are unbelievers who murder the saints. Therefore, it is possible that God protects the Tribulation saints from the worst of the judgments if one assumes only unregenerate people are among the “earth dwellers” and not those that repent and become saved after the fifth Seal judgment. This also assumes all believers receive the seal of God on their forehead in the Tribulation upon salvation, but there is no clear support for this.

It is true that believers are not considered citizens of the earth (Philippians 3:20), however, as shown in Revelation 7:16, some of the saints that die in the Tribulation suffer from heat and from the sun. The only judgments that involve suffering from heat and the sun is the sixth Trumpet and fourth Bowl judgments, which are both included in the three woes directed at the “inhabitants of the earth” (Revelation 8:13). This suggests the Tribulation saints are not spared from these particular judgments either and are thus still considered “inhabitants of the earth” and are subject to all the Tribulation judgments and are not sealed like 144,000 Jewish servants.

There are some who point to the following passage directed specifically toward Jesus’ disciples, who suggest Tribulation saints have protection from the demonic powers of the fifth and sixth Trumpet judgments, that deliver stings like a scorpion’s tail (Revelation 9:10) and lethal venom from a serpent’s strike (Revelation 9:19):

Luke 10:17-20 – Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

However, Tribulation saints are clearly not protected from the powers of the enemy in the Tribulation:

Daniel 7:21-22 – I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.

Revelation 13:4-7 – So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

While it is a popular notion among commentators to exempt Tribulation saints from this horrific judgment, the support they give is generally based on Scripture intended for those who live in the “dispensation of grace” in the Church Age, where the Holy Spirit seals believers as a promise of their redemption (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14). The Tribulation is a “dispensation of Judgment” and the Holy Spirit will operate differently than during the “dispensation of grace.” (Click here for more on the sealing of the Holy Spirit in these two dispensations). It is important to keep in mind that the Tribulation is for the purpose of turning Israel back to God, but it is also the time in which God will pour out His wrath to make “reconciliation for iniquity.”

With no promises of protection from God’s wrath in the “dispensation of judgment,” unbelievers should take heed to accept the gift of salvation in the “dispensation of grace,” and not wait and be subjected to the horrors of the Tribulation:

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 – We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

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IMPORTANT
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.

Please do not waist another a minute.

No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.

If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.

Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.

If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?

I implore you to do this without delay.

Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.

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