“The Seven Seals of the Lamb” (Part 5)
The Seventh Seal: (Revelation 8: 1-13; 9:1-21; 11:14-19)
In the first four trumpets we saw the wrath of God announced by the angels followed by the bowls of wrath. These judgements were seen ravaging the earth itself, ravaging the sea and the water supply for drinking and affecting the constellations in the heavens. Now we see in the fifth seal a demonic invasion of the human race. We know Satan has been hard at work seeking to destroy what God has created knowing that God has put a time limit on his activities. John writes; “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.” (12:12)
Satan has always sought to infiltrate the human race. Firstly, it happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve invited Satan himself to control the human race. Secondly, it happened at the Tower of Babel. At the top of this ziggurat they say was a Zodiac. It was the place where they invited the fallen spirits living in the unseen spiritual realm into the earth. Thirdly, it happened when the fallen spirit beings co-habited with human women and produced giants called the Nephilim or fallen Ones. In Noah’s time these huge giants with supernatural strength were around before and even after the flood. In the last days these ‘creatures’ will come again. As the Lord Jesus said “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 25:37)
Today we have genetic engineering and cloning and who knows what else along these lines will come out of scientific laboratories. In the very last days there will be satanic infiltration into the human race once again. It is already happening through cyber space and virtual reality where the imagination is involved. In Noah’s time we are told that “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5) The imagination and the thought life were involved. Today through the internet and virtual reality games, wicked fallen spirit beings in the unseen spiritual world are infiltrating the lives and spiritually hijacking the minds of a generation of young people who will have no moral or ethical compass or spiritual centre. And so we come to the fifth trumpet followed by the fifth bowl of wrath.
The Fifth Trumpet:
The Fifth Trumpet: (9:1-12) “Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
The Lord Jesus said concerning Satan; “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.” Satan was already fallen and dwelling on earth when he approached Eve. His ultimate defeat had already been prophesied in Genesis Chapter 3 which would happen when the Messiah went to the cross to destroy the devils work. (Genesis 3:15) (1 John 3:8) Even though the devil is doing his best to destroy the image of God, being the human race, he is already a defeated foe and the lake of fire awaits him. Some say the star fallen from heaven cannot be Satan because God would never give him the key to the bottomless pit but this is not necessarily so, because God gave Satan permission to afflict even Job, and Job was a righteous man.
What John is seeing it seems is Satan or a spirit bring or angel, who has already fallen, being given permission to bring up from the centre of the earth demonic spirits to inflict suffering and torment which is what demons do as we see clearly revealed in the Bible. There are quite a few incidents of this in the New Testament. Affliction and torment of the mind and the emotions is in most cases the work of evil spirits. The fact it was like a great furnace that tells us that these creatures were coming up out of the centre of the earth. This is happening in the unseen spiritual realm. And so we read…
“Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.”
Locusts represent demons and they are likened to locusts because locusts strip everything bare. The prophet Joel saw an end-time invasion of evil spirits which are referred to as ‘locusts.’ In Joel’s prophecy historically and contextually these ‘locusts’ were the armies of Babylon. Joel mentions four invasions of locusts and historically the Babylonians invaded Israel four times. The fourth time was in 586 BC when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians.
However, prophetically, Joel also telescopes to the end of the age where he sees the Antichrist’s armies invading Israel and by extension and inclusion persecuting the faithful Church. These ‘locusts’ have “…laid waste God’s vines and ruined His fig trees” (Joel 1:7) the fig tree and the vine represent Israel and by extension and inclusion the faithful Church. Today there are many afflicted by demons both within and without wider Christendom. These demonic spirits are not let loose to destroy the earth but to afflict the people in it. They are not sent out to kill people but to afflict them for a fixed period of time being 5 months. Scorpions’ sting and a scorpion bite inevitably bring on death to the one bitten by it. However they are used in reference to demons that torment they do not kill people but afflict them in every way possible. The world is full of demonically afflicted people today.
The seal of God is the blessed Holy Spirit and those who have the Holy Spirit within them do not belong in the clutches of Satan or demons. (Ephesians 4:30) While a saint can be afflicted by a demon spirit, and even the apostle Paul experienced this, they cannot possess one indwelt by the Spirit of the living God. As John writes in His epistle; “Greater is He in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Those who have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of course will not suffer this time of wrath but only those who do not have the Spirit of God in them.
Sickness and physical suffering will torment unsaved men and women. Many will be so afflicted physically, emotionally and mentally that will wish they were dead. Of course physical death itself will not be the end but the gateway into a form of misery and torment indescribable to the mind of man and beyond ones imagination to even perceive what it will be like. Possibly there will be viruses that do not kill but incapacitate people so that they cannot function normally. Covid-19 will not be the last ‘plague’ to afflict men. Now let’s read on…
“The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.”
It seems that John is describing a race of human beings much like the Nephilim who possibly are gigantic and powerfully built and they are very ferocious and wild looking men. They resemble horses and men because these creatures are not just human even though they have the appearance of riders on horseback. They have something that describes crowns of gold which would indicate they are kingly beings and not your ordinary run of the mill people. They have human looking faces and long hair, and teeth like a lion’s teeth, meaning that they tear and rip to shreds and this they do primarily mentally and emotionally, and that for five months duration. They afflict men’s bodies but do not physically kill them. These creatures are from the depths of Hades itself and have their power over those who are rebels against God and play into the hands of these wicked demonic creatures. These ‘locusts’ that look like horses dressed for battle are prepared for battle. These will be real human look alike beings that will not be from the natural human order of man but a combination of flesh and demonic power and I dare say like the Nephilim these creatures from the pit of Hades itself will have supernatural power above that of ordinary men.
“And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.”
John sees these beings that look like horses dressed for battle are further described as having breastplates that resembled iron. Now John was a first century man and it seems he is seeing modern armed vehicles that are driven by supernaturally empowered men. The fact that they had wings that was like a sound of chariots with many horses running into battle would lead one to think that John was seeing an armada as it were of helicopter gunships with their rotor blades whirling. The stings in their tails are weapons that do not kill but afflict and torment men. Possibly we are looking at a form of biological warfare that does not kill straight away but disables people physically. Later in the sixth trumpet and bowl we most definitely see something akin to WWIII and John, a first century man, tries to describe 21st century warfare. Behind this physical army are demonic spirits, possibly in the likeness of men. These spiritual beings are the driving force behind those commanding the armoured vehicles John is describing.
“And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.”
Some see this king as Satan but it may also be a spirit being sanctioned by Satan for a specific task. We know that there is a hierarchy in the unseen spiritual realm. He is the angel of death or the destroyer. Some would say this is Satan and that the fallen angel who had the key to the bottomless pit was another angel designated to open it but it seems it refers to Satan who fell from heaven. This creature called Abaddon or Apollyon has at his command many subservient spirit beings that afflict men for five months. While this Apollyon can kill people he is prevented from doing this.
“One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things…”
The term “woes” in this context indicates times of great sorrow and distress, misery and sadness, difficulties and problems brought about for those who have brought it upon themselves through their words and actions. The Lord Jesus used this word when He was berating the behaviour of the Pharisees. The bowls of God’s wrath are the portion of all rebels against God and His Messiah our Lord Jesus and for all those who cast His Word behind their backs and continue in their sin.
The Fifth Bowl
The Fifth Bowl: (16:10-11) “Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.”
Clearly this tells us that the man of sin and his beast empire have been well and truly established on the earth and that this fifth trumpet and bowl sees the people belonging to the Antichrists beast kingdom afflicted with darkness and severe pain but continuing to ‘bad mouth’ God because of the sores on their bodies much like the affliction that came upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians in the time of Moses. In all of this they refuse to repent but cannot repent having taken the mark of allegiance and worshipped the image of the beast empire. These being tormented are beyond repentance. They cannot repent of be saved even though God is telling them to repent He knows that they will not repent and cannot ultimately be saved. (Revelation 14:9-11) So then in this fifth trumpet with its accompanying bowl sees men afflicted physically, emotionally and mentally and who refuse to repent and cannot repent having sold their souls to the evil one and his man of sin who has been sitting in God’s Temple.
These demonic spirit beings dressed for battle that resemble humans in some way will take the affliction of men to the next level which will see a war to end all wars that will be a nuclear confrontation between super powers as the armies come across the dried up Euphrates River. It is an Islamic army and will be led by the Mahdi of Islam, “the king who does as he pleases and exults and magnifies himself above every god and say unheard of things against the God of gods…the man of sin who opposes and exults himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (Daniel 11:26) (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) I am persuaded that militant Islam will be the catalyst that kick starts WWIII. This will be the subject of the next study.