Saturday, 08 April 2017 02:31

60. The fifth trumpet: destroying with lies * Revelation 9:1-12 - Part 4 of 4

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11 And they had a king over them, who is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue he has the name Apollyon.

12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more after these.

 

Part 4 - Revelation 9:11-12

 

*** The king of the locust/scorpion army ***: So far, we’ve learned from the message of the fifth trumpet that one of the angels sinned and was cast out of Heaven. That angel was Satan. He gained the domain of the Earth when Adam and Eve listened to the lies he was telling about God’s character. Adam and Eve decided to follow what Satan was telling them through the serpent. By doing so, the humans gave him permission to take the lead. God permitted Satan to perform his activities for some time but God also set some boundaries. Satan did not have free reign over all humans. He did not allow any satanic activity to deceive the true believers. The ones with the Seal of God are immune to Satan’s deceiving tactics. His lies, however, can afflict the nonbelievers for some time. At a certain point in history, Satan and his army of fallen angels and false prophets went out in full force to deceive the nations and torment the non-believers. The weapons used to inflict torment are powered by lies, just like the one the serpent used to torment Eve when she was standing by the forbidden tree.

Eve was a believer but the moment she stopped to entertain the serpent's accusations, doubt came to her mind. She found herself having to choose between trust in God or in her own self-importance. This is the type of torment Satan inflict on people who decide to put themselves first. Eve rejected the protection God offers to the believer, and by doing so, she made herself vulnerable to the enemy's weapons. Satan's torturing methods can reach someone who has rejected God's protection. The torment then becomes the endless quest to satisfy Self. Even today, the serpent's arguments appear to be attractive and reasonable but they are very dangerous. So much so, that Satan’s army was described in a very bizarre way, compared to horse-like locusts and as deadly as scorpions.

The lies deployed among the people are deadly. Satan’s army is working to destroy God’s prized possession: humanity. We will see in the seventh trumpet that God will pour His wrath over those “who destroy the Earth” (Revelation 11:18). Unlike a real swarm of locusts, who do not have a king (Proverbs 30:27) and destroy the earth by instinct, Satan’s swarm has a leader. Revelation 9:11 identifies this leader. He has 2 names, one in Hebrew (Abandon), and one in Greek (Apollyon). In Hebrew, the word Abandon means “destruction”. In Greek, Apollyon means “destroyer”. Satan is this destroyer king. Destruction with lasting consequences comes when people believe in and follow satanic propositions and philosophies. Jesus said: “But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:40,44). There is no solution for the person who refuses to accept the truth. Jesus offers a way out of the sin problem, but the person needs to choose to have their spiritual eyes and ears opened. The understanding of God’s truths brings healing to the soul from the injuries caused by Satan’s weapons (Matthew 13:15).

Satan is the mind behind the attacks on the inhabitants of the Earth. He is injecting poisonous lies, and deceiving the people. 1 Peter 5:8 says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour”. If we left things at this point, it would seem that the situation is very grim and hopeless. We must remember that when people are truly and deeply rooted in the Word of God, Satan’s arrows cannot penetrate their hearts. The verse that comes right before the one saying that Satan is seeking to devour people, says: “Cast all your anxiety on Him [Jesus], because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). God’s faithful people must trust Him. He is our Protector. The ones who decide to turn around and repent, God will protect them as well. We all must be willing to receive His protection.

*** One woe is past, two more to come ***: The fifth trumpet identified Satan’s organized attack to deceive people and keep them blinded towards God’s truth. After the description of the fifth trumpet, we read in Revelation 9:12 a warning very similar to the one stated in Revelation 8:13. The intensity of the mental torment went up from the third to the fourth and from the fourth to the fifth trumpets. We can now expect that the events coming up with the last two trumpets will be even more intense for those who choose not to follow God.

*** Prophetic Application ***: The fourth trumpet represented the period of apostasy that was seen during the Age of Enlightenment, from the 16th to the 18th centuries (see study #55). The fifth trumpet depicts the spiritual consequences which followed that time. One of the satanic philosophical weapons seen in this period is the transition from a frame of mind where God is the center of thought to one where man is the focus instead. People replaced God with Self. They replaced Biblical reasoning with self-centered emotions. Being involved with a particular religion, denomination, or being totally opposed to any form of belief in God is no longer the strategy Satan is using. As long as Self is under the spotlight, self-proclaimed Christian churches may go on promoting empty outbursts of emotion; encouraging behaviors during the worship service that have no purpose towards understanding God’s truth; or preaching a message solely focused on material benefits to be enjoyed here on Earth. By placing Self at the center of the stage, Satan is working to create a scenario where there is no distinction among name-only Christians, atheists, and believers of any faith. Self is the equalizer. Self is the common ground. People fueled by Self can never run with their engines full. Humans were not created to run on Self. Unless we have the right fuel on board, people will be tormented to find something else to fill the void. Satan is on the lookout for that opportunity to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The prophetic period of the fifth trumpet covers from the 18th century to our present day.

*** Overview ***: The objective of the locust army is to destroy the Earth. That is achieved by weapons that can affect people spiritually. The attack on the Truth does not happen by chance and is devised by the king of destruction, the father of lies (John 8:44), Satan himself. Demonic forces work to convince people to change what is the core of their existence. The appeal to have Self at the center is very strong. He makes it seem that this is the way to bring about unification, peace, and equality. However, a true connection cannot happen outside the parameters established by God. A stable and permanent bond can only occur when people attach themselves to the Word of God. God must be at the core. We are not called to compromise the truth in order to get along with each other. We are called to a totally new path, where we are the ones changed by God. We cannot change and adapt God to be who we want Him to be depending on individual beliefs, in the name of peace. God does not force anyone to change sides and connect to Him directly. We are not called to force others into connecting either. Satan is the one coercing people into joining together in unnatural ways. That is why he has the power to afflict these people because they are not attached to a solid core. Satan works to set in motion his means of torment, trapping people in an endless search to fill their inner void. This is what he wants them to believe: when Self is the center of life, there is no need for a Savior; if there is no savior, there is no hope; if there is no hope, life has no meaning; if life has no meaning, a meaning must be established; if a new meaning must be established, it must be one that makes Self feel good and fulfilled; if Self can’t feel good and fulfilled, then life has no real meaning, and there is no real hope because there is no Savior, and therefore, Self must be the center of life. This never-ending pendular movement desensitizes people and keeps them from breaking with the pattern. They become unable to see and hear God’s call for repentance. Matthew 13:15 says: “For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.

   
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