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. 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. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 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 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. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 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. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 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).
The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
In chapters nine through eleven, we see the blowing of the last three trumpets. The fifth trumpet is significant because it is here that the demonic realm is unleashed. John writes about a “star” who is given the key to the Abyss. Some scholars believe that this star is a reference to Satan (See Luke 10:18, Isaiah 14:12). With the fifth trumpet, apparently God is allowing Satan to unleash the demonic realm. During the last part of the Great Tribulation, Satan is given a freedom that he has never had before. God is now allowing the unbelieving world an opportunity to see the true nature of evil.
This unlocking of the demonic realm is marked by smoke that will darken the sun and sky. Darkness is a unique characteristic to Satan and his realm. What comes next is quite frightful! Out of this darkness and smoke will arise some kind of evil creature that is described as a cross between a locust and a scorpion. These beings will be charged to torture the inhabitants of the earth for five months. John describes this time period this way: “During those days men will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.”
Rejecting God’s offer of forgiveness and restoration is a serious thing. The unbelieving world is getting exactly what is desires: a world without God. Here we see evil unveiled! You would think this would be a wake-up call to the earth’s inhabitants. Unfortunately, many hearts have already been hardened toward God and His mercy and grace. In verse twelve, John writes, “The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.” It is going to get worse before it gets better.
In chapter eleven, it is revealed that two witnesses will appear in the Jewish temple at this time to proclaim the will of God to the children of Israel. For 3 ½ years, these two witnesses will proclaim the truth concerning Jesus. According to the text, “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city. For 3 ½ days men from every people, tribe, language, and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. But after 3 ½ days, a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.”
Wow! God sends two messengers to an unbelieving world and an unbelieving Israel at this time. For the first 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation, they proclaim the truth concerning Jesus. The antichrist has them slain in the streets of Jerusalem and leaves their bodies on display for all the world to see. After 3 ½ days, God breaths life into these two prophets and they come back to life! Following their dramatic departure back to heaven, many in Israel “gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Questions to Ponder
As you can see, a battle is shaping up! The world is rapidly moving toward a final battle between the God of heaven and Lucifer a fallen angel. Israel has once again become God’s spokespeople in the world. How do you think you would respond to seeing the true face of evil? Do you believe in the demonic realm? How would you respond to seeing two dead guys come back to life? How is it possible for all the world to see this spectacular miracle from God?
- Praise the Lord for being the Victorious Warrior.
- Thank the Lord for His forgiveness, mercy, grace and restoration.
- Ask and pray for strength to stand firm in the truth of God’s Word and to share that Jesus Christ is the only way, even in the midst of evil in our day.
- Pray we will have great endurance, patience and perseverance in every season of the soul.
Holy and Righteous God,
Open our eyes and heart to You Lord God. Forgive us for the times when we give in to the ways of the world and evil one. Help us by the power of Your Holy Spirit to walk in the light as You are light. Help us Lord to be wise in You and how we live. Teach us to keep short accounts with You throughout the day so that we don’t give the enemy a foothold.
In the Name of Jesus Christ I ask, amen.