Revelation 9:1-12: The 5th Trumpet
- The nature of the locusts
- The torment of the locusts
Do you believe in demons? If you say yes, then you will be laughed at in our modern secular society. What the bible describes as demons are thought today to be the outdated prescientific imaginings fabricated by our fear of the unknown. The idea is that what we now know is bacteria, germs, mental illness, genetic defects, etc., were once credited to be the work of demons. The idea is that the poor benighted people didn’t know any better and personalised nature. This is not the view of the Bible. We have the reality of demons confirmed from the mouth of Jesus Christ, a man who knew more than any other on things like hell and angels. In the Pauline epistles, a man taken up to third heaven, we have the reality taught of the Christian living in the midst of a spiritual war, contending with the powers of darkness that are blinding the minds of unbelievers, and the demonic forces as the reality behind idolatry.
As we come to the 5th trumpet I believe it is talking about the increased demonic activity as a judgement of God upon the unbeliever in the church age. We saw in Genesis 3 that thorns and thistles were introduced as a judgement upon mankind because of their sin, but now since the killing of Christ and the greater light of truth in the gospel that is being rejected we see a harsher judgement of stings and torment in increased demonic activity afflicting mankind. C.S. Lewis is famously quoted as saying that ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, and shouts in our pains.’ If this is the case, where God was mercifully shouting with the thistles and thorns of the OT curses, He is a raging banshee in the stings and torments of the 5th trumpet. Sadly, for the majority this will result in hardness of heart and not the humbling of oneself pain ought to produce.
Where the first four trumpets portray the birth pains and the overthrow of stability in society by the downfall of nations as a 10 plague flavoured type of siege, the intensified judgement of demonic oppression is portrayed as a locust plague like no other. Here we see how the released demonic forces which produce idolatry and all other means of suffering are limited in a Job like affliction, but unlike Job they do not produce worship but hardness. We understand this plague to be describing the post-ascension norm for the church age where there is a marked increase in demonic oppression resulting in increased human suffering and hopelessness. We are rejecting those chronological accounts which need an outside historical account to interpret the bible. We are deliberately following the reformation principle of scripture interpreting scripture and not tying these trumpets to specific historical events, past or future. Patterns and principles not people and places are the teachings we will take away. We understand these visions to be equipping the people of God in all generations not merely one.