This is the blog version of my PDF ‘The Rapture Survival Guide (TRSG)’.
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The Fifth Trumpet (Locusts & Torment)
The fifth trumpet fills the air with smoke from a pit which blocks out the sun. Locusts (demons) come from the pit and torment those without the seal of God for 5 months. People can’t die. The locusts represent demons released from the bottomless pit and they will have the power to torment the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Abaddon/Apollyon is likely one of Satan’s underlings, a destroying demon and one of the “rulers,” “authorities,” and “powers” mentioned in Ephesians 6:12.
● People can’t die
● Air filled with smoke
● Sun blocked by smoke
● Demons torment those without God’s seal
“1 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. 2 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.” 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 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. 5 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. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 7 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. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 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. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 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.”
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Smoke Fills the Air
The smoke can’t be a metaphor for demons because demons are called locusts in this passage. The smoke is a separate entity. The phrasing of verse 2 seems to imply that the smoke can visibly be seen and it actually blocks the sun and fills the air extremely densely. Due to this I believe it’s referring to a volcanic eruption – or multiple eruptions, particularly a VEI-8 or VEI-9 supervolcano which can cover HUGE areas with smoke and ash. A VEI-7 volcano projects at least 100km³ of tephra which can fall at around 1,300 kilometres away (2,600km diameter). Keeping this proportion, a VEI-8 would project at least 1,000km³ of tephra which can probably fall between 5,000-7,000km (10k-14k km Ø) away covering about half of the planet.
Whatever causes it, the effects of the smoke blocking the sun would be devastating to all crops, livestock and humans. There’s no doubt that it would have a dramatic cooling effect planet-wide and again, like the 4th trumpet above will cause destructive blizzards and other natural disasters.
The Locusts’ Command
As the locusts were commanded not to harm the grass, the trees, or any green thing implies they have the capacity to do so, but not the authority. Only real locusts have a built-in mechanism requiring them to consume flora, trees, weeds and grass. However they can’t be anything like the locusts we know today since they can torment people as per the verse “They were given power” and they come from the bottomless pit. These are therefore demons which come from the pit and torment those without God’s seal.
The Locusts’ Appearance
The appearance of the locusts even further confuses things:
● Shape – “Like horses prepared for battle”
● Head – “Crowns of something like gold”
● Face – “Like the faces of men”
● Hair – “Hair like women’s hair”
● Teeth – “Like lions’ teeth”
● Wearing – “Like breastplates of iron”
● Wing Sound – “Like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle”
● Tail – “Like scorpions, with stings in their tails”
There’s too much to deconstruct about the appearance of the locusts so I’ll just summarise. Each fact about the locusts has the word ‘like’ which means the writer was describing them the best they could in their ancient language. Many of the facts don’t make sense when you think of a conventional locust. How can a locust have a golden crown, women’s hair, teeth like a lion and also wear armour? The most plausible explanation is that these ‘locusts’ are a otherworldly creatures which look nothing like any creature we know today, especially since they have a king over them.
Additionally they come from the ‘bottomless pit’ which (for obvious reasons) isn’t located on earth. What we can acertain is that these creatures are likely to be about the size of a locust as we know them today and we also know they can fly. We don’t know if they are visible to people on the earth or whether or not they can move through walls. They seem to be able to affect every person without God’s seal for the whole 5 month duration regardless of their location or whether there are six sealed walls around them.
People Can’t Die
This can’t be explained with science. You would think being shot in the chest by a tank would kill you. Think again. This won’t be a time of celebration however, the Bible says that people will seek death because of the pain but won’t be able to die. They will be tormented day and night for five months.
When this trumpet takes effect, people will be so shocked at the pain they suddenly start feeling that many are likely to lose concentration on what they’re doing and crash cars, fall over and drop items causing a lot of destruction. People are likely to scream out at the unending pain and their cries will last five months. Considering the amount of pain that those without God’s seal will seem to be in, people won’t likely want to leave their house, they will find it hard to sleep and factories and workplaces may be absent.
● Genesis 19:28 “Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.”
● Proverbs 30:27 “The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks;” (These locusts have a leader – Abaddon)
● 8th Plague (Exodus 10) “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt”
○ Seal Torment
● 1st Bowl (Revelation 16:2) “and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”
● 5th Bowl (Revelation 16:10) “and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.”
● 6th Plague (Exodus 9:9) “…and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast…”
If this post has made an impact on your life and you want to take the next step, head to:
◄ Previous – Part 25 – 4th Trumpet | Next – Part 27 – 6th Trumpet ►
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 7 – Left Behind?
Part 10 – Post Rapture Steps
Part 13 – The Tribulation (First Half)
Part 30 – Mid Tribulation
Part 38 – Armageddon
For a full list of the parts, see the bottom of Part 1.