The Seven Trumpets – Part II
The fifth and sixth trumpets involve the releasing of demonic forces that first torment then kill.
5 – Trumpet five – Demonic invasion – Revelation 9:1-12
“The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 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. 5 They were not allowed 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. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.” Revelation 9:1-12 NIV
The fifth trumpet shifts the divine wrath to a new region. The consequences of this plague are unlike anything experienced on earth. The Abyss, which was believed to be the underworld prison of evil spirits is opened up and locusts with scorpion-like powers are released. The evil spirits that Jesus’ cast out of the demoniac, pled not to be sent to the Abyss (Luke 8:30-31).
Locusts were a common plague in the ancient world which left total devastation. Locusts were the eighth plague that God sent upon Egypt (Exodus 10:15). In Revelation, the locusts don’t attack crops and animals, but people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. The Scripture says the sting is not fatal, but the agony people suffer as a result will create such pain that people actually want to die. Some Bible commentators suggest that the locusts mentioned are not literal locusts (because locusts don’t have scorpion stings in their tails), but are actually demons because of their frightening appearance and seemingly organized behavior – they had a king over them whose name was Abaddon or Apollyon – the Destoryer.
6 – Trumpet six – Demons wage war – Revelation 9:13-21
“13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Revelation 9:13-21 NIV
In verse 14, four angels were loosed to rally an army. The army spoken of in verse 16, is ten thousand times ten thousand = 100,000,000! Some suggest this army is from China as China claims to have an army of 200,000,000. Should this be considered a literal army of men moving across the earth? Some commentators suggest this army should not be viewed as a literal army of men, but demons because the attention of the passage is on the horse rather than the rider. This army kills one third of the world’s population!
We remember that in Revelation 6:8, one fourth of the world’s population has already been killed.
“8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8 NIV
This means that over half of the world’s population will be dead by the time the sixth trumpet judgment is complete. Take that in. Over half of the world’s population.
With the immense weight of the judgments coming upon the earth, one would suspect that it would bring men and women to their knees in repentance. Verse 20-21 show this is not the case. In the midst of God’s most intense judgments, the sins of men persists. Sadly, men remain unrepentant. Man does not stop the worship of demons and continues to worship idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood (wealth). He continues to be unrepentant of murder, magic, and sexual immorality.
Here is a warning for God’s people today. When challenging times arise, turn to God. Don’t harden your heart. Don’t become bitter. Turn to the Lord. Repent. Turn to Jesus. Turn from your sin.
We have now come to the midpoint of the Tribulation. We have covered three and ½ years of the seven year Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27). During this time, the Anti-Christ began his career as a peacemaker and a special friend to Israel.
“27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 9:27 NIV
The Anti-Christ will be a peace-breaker and persecutor of God’s people. His true character is soon to be revealed.
Lord Jesus, the weight of the Tribulation aches my heart – knowing that some of my loved ones may be present for that if they don’t know You as Lord and Savior. Increase a fire in me to let others know of Your great love and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book Starting Fresh: Following Jesus on the Adventure of a Lifetime in addition to More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.