I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is Near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand."
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continued from last post...
The last three trumpets are referred to as the three woes because they are extremely horrible.
Fifth Trumpet, First Woe: Locust
“Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And 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. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.” Rev. 9:1-6, 11, 12
You have probably heard the term, “All hell is breaking loose.” Well, that is a good description of what happens under the fifth trumpet. A fallen star, an angel who follows Lucifer (see Rev. 12:4), is shown releasing smoke and locust from the bottomless pit. God had kept Satan and his demons under control and had put certain limits on their activities, but now they are loosed to wreak havoc upon the earth. But those who belong to God and have his seal will be spared from direct attacks from Satan and his angels.
There are two main schools of thought regarding the fifth trumpet. We will look at both and then we will have to wait for time to tell us which is the correct interpretation.
The first school of thought says that since the first four trumpets are literal renderings of what is going to happen, there is no reason to think the fifth trumpet is anything other than literal. If that is true, then for the first time in our study of prophecy we see a time period that is NOT symbolic. Five months is the literal duration of this plague.
When Jesus was on this earth, he went to the Gadarenes one time and there he met two demon-possessed men. As Jesus was casting the demons out of these men the demons begged to be allowed to enter and possess some pigs that were nearby. Jesus allowed them to do so and the pigs went insane, jumping into the sea and drowning. (see Matt. 8:28-32) Here with the fifth trumpet we see something similar but with different results. Demons are allowed to possess locust but instead of going insane they torment mankind for five months, driving them insane. They are led by the demon of the abyss named Abaddon and Apollyon. These names translate into the word Destruction and can refer to Satan himself or perhaps one of his lieutenants.
There are three restrictions put upon the locusts: they cannot attack those bearing the seal of God, they cannot eat grass, trees or any green thing, and they cannot kill. The descriptions of these locusts wearing armor and having teeth like lions (Rev. 9:7-10), etc, simply indicates that they are indestructible. No matter what man does, he cannot stop these locusts from tormenting. Try to imagine living for five months where every time you walk out the door swarms of locust attack you. They invade your home, surround your car, and crawl all over you whenever they can. Would you not feel like you were going insane? It would be horrible torment.
The other school of thought says that with the fifth trumpet we switch from literal descriptions of what will happen under the first four trumpets to a symbolic description. Why is it symbolic rather than literal? Because locusts do only one thing when they swarm: eat. They eat everything in sight, but here they are told not to hurt any green thing. They are told to harm only people, and only those who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads. Also, these locusts have a king reigning over them, but Prov. 30:27 clearly states that locust have no king. So the conclusion is that the locust stands for something else that will torment people.
But what form do these attacks take? And does the torment they inflict last five literal months or 150 years (30 x 5 = 150, see Appendix 2)? If the events described under the fifth trumpet are primarily symbolic, then it is assumed that the five months is symbolic also and therefore means 150 years. Now we must find out what kind of demonic activities have been, or will be, occurring for that amount of time. Demons are not going to simply show up at your door and start tormenting you. Satan is much more clever than that and he disguises his attacks so that they appear harmless. But they are not harmless, and people do not realize that until they have been sucked in and start experiencing the torment Satan had planned for them all along.