The locusts, then, are the energy-charged authority, words, and actions of men and systems which carry a very real power capable of wrecking much havoc in the lives of God’s people. That these locusts become the personification of the deceitful intents of the heart is confirmed by the words of the prophet where, in reference to the might and power of Nineveh, he states that "Thy crowned ones are as the locusts" (Nahum 3:17). That which is crowned, of course, is a KING — a ruling one — that which sits on the throne and has authority and power over men! A friend has pointed out that this is, also, the thought which is carried by the Greek word daimon translated "devil" in the scriptures but from which we derive our English word "demon." This word daimon means, literally, a DEIFIED SPIRIT! It is, then, a GOD that rules over man — a god-like spirit made so because it sits as a king or a "crowned one" in a man’s life. This is naught but the religious spirit that rules over the Lord’s people through the instrumentality of the movements, organizations, and church systems of man! Oh! What authority and power they exercise over men's lives! The priests and ministers of religion, and the systems they represent, are as God to the masses of Christians who blindly accept their words as the very words of God! Can you not see the mystery?
Out from the smoke of the deceitfulness of the heart comes every form of man-made church system, personality cult, kingdom building, organization, creeds and laws, manipulation and control. That which comes out of the smoke of the serpent’s deceit only bites, stings, and torments! "And unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power…and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man" (Rev. 9:3-5). The diabolical heresies of man’s religion appeal to man’s intelligence and are subtle; but when they have clouded the sun of truth and life they are seen to be cruel and relentless, enslaving and exploiting, resulting in anguish and torment. The smoke includes the laws, rules, creeds and commandments of religion and the traditions of men. The locusts represent the actions and practices that the controlling, dominating, and legalistic spirit inflicts upon our lives. These are not pure, satisfying, comforting, assuring, edifying, revealing the heart of God and the mind of Christ; rather, they sting us with guilt, fear, condemnation, exploitation and bondage. They bite and eat away at us even as we endeavor to serve the Lord!