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The Christian Counter

 

Fifth Trumpet: A Really Big Show

 

The devil will have to imitate the Second Coming of Jesus a number of times. Unlike the global appearing of the real Jesus who will remain in the sky for everyone to see, the devil’s appearing will be a series of local events. For example, Lucifer and his angels could descend form the sky over Houston, later they could descend out of the sky at Dallas, then Los Angeles, Mexico City, Paris and other great cities of Earth. Jesus confirms the local nature of Lucifer’s appearing. He said, “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is Christ!” or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it…. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out, or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightening that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:23,26,27)

 

John wrote, “Look, he [Jesus] is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” (Revelation 1:7, insertion and italics mine) When Jesus comes, He will not touch the Earth. This explains why the saints will meet Him in the air! “After that [the resurrection of the righteous dead], we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) Jesus said where the saints will go. “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there [to the New Jerusalem] to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2,3)

 

The Bible indicates the fifth trumpet will last for five months. The devil will speak kind words, perform wonderful miracles of healing, feed the multitudes, and offer inspiring words of hope to a world in utter despair. He will show great signs and wonders. He will be glorious and lovely to look upon. He will captivate and motivate people towards hope, assuring them that a thousand years of peace and joy is coming. The kingdom of God has come! He will call for renewed efforts to make the world a better place to live. Meanwhile, some of his demons will be working day and night to subdue Lucifer’s opposition. The non-religious wicked group will suffer the horrible “sting” of Lucifer’s scorpions. When family members and observers see the horrible searing pain that comes from one demon, many of the non-religious wicked group will capitulate on the spot. I can see how demons could tauntingly use the Scripture: “… If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Of course, the Jesus promoted by Lucifer’s demons is the devil, an imposter of the real Jesus.

 

Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John, and Paul Agree

 

Shortly before Paul’s death, Jesus revealed to him that Lucifer would someday physically appear on Earth. Notice Paul’s understanding of this matter: “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [the Second Coming of Jesus] will not come until the rebellion occurs [a worldwide rejection of the gospel. Paul knew that the gospel of Jesus would be presented to everyone on Earth before Jesus would return. “The rebellion” that has to happen before Jesus can return will occur during the Great Tribulation. The world must first hear the gospel and refuse to submit to its terms and conditions before Jesus can return. The great rebellion will cause the work of the 144,000 to stall. When the gospel cannot make any forward progress, Jesus will release the devil from the Abyss] and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, insertions and italics mine)

 

Lucifer Is Called a Man

 

Lucifer is called a man in 2 Thessalonians 2, Isaiah 14:16,17, and Ezekiel 28:2 for two reasons. First, God will give Lucifer a body that looks something like the form of a man. Currently, Lucifer has no body (Revelation 17:8) He is locked in the spirit realm. Just as Jesus was given a body (Hebrews 10:5) to save mankind, Lucifer and his angels will be given bodies as part of their mission to destroy mankind.

Second, Lucifer is called a man because he is a mortal being, that is, subject to death just like mankind. The coming Antichrist, is a man, but not a man born of a woman, or having an earthly origin. Even though the devil has lived for thousands of years, he will be annihilated with fire at the end of the 1,000 years, just like the rest of the wicked (Revelation 20:9,10)

 

Isaiah saw Lucifer cast out of Heaven and given the form of a man! “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are [a mortal] brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?’”

(Isaiah 14:12-17, italics and insertion mine)

 

Daniel knew the Antichrist would be a man, but not a man of earthly origin. He wrote, “Out of one of them [the four winds] came another horn [the king of the north], which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land…. In the latter part of their reign [that is, the reign of Earth’s kings], when rebels [against the gospel] have become completely wicked, a stern-faced [angel] king, a master of intrigue, will arise [from out of nowhere, the Abyss]. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior [above everything that is called God]. When they feel secure [with his deceptions], he will take his stand against [Jesus] the [real] Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” (Daniel 8:9, 23-25, insertions and italics mine)

 

Paul continues, “He [the man of lawlessness, the devil] will oppose [the teachings of all religions] and he will exalt himself over [and above] everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?”

(1 Thessalonians 2:4,5, insertions mine.)

 

Contrary to what many people think, Paul is not talking about the devil sitting in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. The temple the Romans destroyed in A.D. 70 cannot be rebuilt because God has established a new covenant. He abandoned the nation of Israel (Matthew 23:38) and put a seal on the temple mount to prevent the temple from being rebuilt. This seal is a Moslem mosque, “The Dome of the Rock.” Furthermore, Paul says the devil will oppose everything that is called “God or is worshiped” as God. This means the devil will blaspheme Judaism and all religions. In fact, Lucifer will destroy all of the world’s religions when he sets up his theocracy during the sixth trumpet. Paul’s phrase, “he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God,” means the devil will usurp God’s place and authority over Earth. The devil will exalt himself over everything that is called God so that he can rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. Isaiah affirms this point: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isaiah 14:13,14)

 

Paul continues: “And now you know what is holding him [the devil] back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time [fifth trumpet]. For the secret [unseen and hidden] power of lawlessness [even though he is invisible or hidden, the devil] is already at work; but the one who now holds it back [Jesus is currently holding back the appearing of the devil.] Will continue to do so till he [Jesus] is taken out of the way. [When the corporate intercession of Jesus is taken out of the way, there is nothing to stop the wrath of God.] And then [during the fifth trumpet] the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his [Second] coming. The coming of the lawless one [his appearing] will be in accordance with the work of Satan [even though the devil will give the appearance of Almighty God, his actions will betray his charade. The miracles, manifesting incredible powers] displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They [the wicked] perish because they [heard the gospel and] refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion [an invincible destroyer] so that they will believe the lie [that Lucifer is God] and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

(2 Thessalonians 2:6-12, insertions and italics mine)

 

God gave Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, Daniel, and Paul slightly different views of the devil’s work and appearing. Isaiah saw Lucifer cast out of Heaven and given the form of a man!

Ezekiel saw a man claiming to be God. Daniel was shown a “stern faced king” who will come out of the north and destroy the mighty men and the holy people. Paul was shown “a lawless man,” and John was shown “the angel king from the Abyss.” When we align these views, we discover that God provided a powerful matrix revealing several things about Lucifer that cannot be explained with just a few words! Consider the following verses and notice how the wicked will be surprised at his appearing!

 

“[The angel said to me, ‘John,’] The [great red dragon] beast, which you saw [cast out of Heaven in Revelation 12:7-9], once was [in Heaven], now is not [in Heaven because he was cast into the Abyss], and [at the appointed time, he will be released and] will come up out of the Abyss [the spirit realm where he was confined] and [after a great display of authority and power for 445 days he will] go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the Earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they [actually] see the [great red dragon] beast, because he once was [visible as a glorious angel in Heaven], now [he is confined to the Abyss and] is not [visible to human beings], and yet [during the fifth trumpet, he] will [be permitted to] come [out of hiding and masquerade as Almighty God. He will astonish the wicked with incredible glory, counterfeit wonders, and miracles!]. The [great red dragon] beast who once was [in Heaven], and now is not [in Heaven], is an eighth king. [The devil is called the eighth king because he will rule over the seven heads just like the eighth horn ruled over the seven horns in Daniel7.] He [the red dragon] belongs to the seven [heads because he is blasphemous. He opposes God’s authority and truth. The great red dragon is the dreaded Antichrist] and [even though he will appear to be invisible for awhile, you can be sure that he] is going to his destruction.” (Revelation 17:8,11, insertions mine)

 

To put it simply, the devil will be released from the Abyss because the gospel has stalled. Jesus releases a destroyer so that people can make up their minds about good and evil. Once Lucifer is released, the devil will move quickly to establish control over the world and his evil actions will force many undecided people into a decision.  If counterfeit miracles cannot budge a hardened heart, then the searing pain imposed by Lucifer’s demons will. Many people will make up their minds when they are confronted with Lucifer’s demands. Even still, a few hard-headed people will remain in the valley of decision, but the sixth trumpet will force everyone into their ‘final decision.”

 

Abrupt Change

 

During the five months of the fifth trumpet, the devil will steadily gain a following of believers through deception. World leaders will be delighted that “Almighty God” is on their side, but a problem will soon arise. How is religious diversity possible when “God” dwells among men? How can Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus defend opposing views of God when “God” Himself lives among men? How can nations remain sovereign when “God” is sovereign over the nations?

 

At the end of the fifth trumpet, the devil will abruptly change his tactics and demeanor. He will become a “stern-faced” dictator. He will make horrible demands and mankind will be powerless to resist or stop him. There will be no law except the law of this demon. Whatever the devil wants and whatever the devil commands will be law. (Hence the descriptive term used by Paul, “the man of lawlessness.”) The devil will demand an end to religious diversity and his command will be carried out. He will demand a theocracy be established and his command will be honored. (A theocracy is a church-state government where god rules as King of kings and Lord of lords.) For reason beyond the scope of this study, I also believe Lucifer will change the weekly cycle to ten days and establish every tenth day as the day for worship. Because he will be “King of kings and Lord of lords,” who can resist anything he wants or says? Resistance to Lucifer’s demands will be silenced by Lucifer’s demons. “…. And the agony they suffered was like the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.”

(Revelation 9:5,6)

 

Lucifer’s theocratic government will be established during the sixth trumpet. This government is called “an image to the beast” in Revelation. Notice how the image (or the likeness) of Babylon will be set up: “Because of the signs he [Lucifer] was given power to do on behalf of the first beast [the leopard-like beast, Babylon], he [Lucifer] deceived the inhabitants of the earth. [When the five-month allotted to the fifth trumpet ended] He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded [in the head] by the sword and yet lived.” (Revelation 13:14, italics and insertions mine) 

 

Using the guise of admiration for a job well done, the devil will honor Babylon’s efforts to establish a church-state, but he will insist on modifying Babylon at the end of the fifth trumpet. Lucifer will move to eliminate the confusion that diverse religions create by simply abolishing the diverse religions of the world. He will claim that then, and only then, will there be “one lord, one faith, one baptism” instead of seven opposing religions trying to appease one God in different ways.

 

The devil will dethrone the pope. The devil will outlaw the practice of any former religion. Consider the importance of this process. During the sixth trumpet, the wicked will be forced to abandon their original religious beliefs. Prior to the sixth trumpet, God’s children chose to abandon their original beliefs because they loved truth! Those embracing the gospel of Jesus will not be able to remain in their former churches once they begin worshiping Jesus on His Sabbath day. Meanwhile, those hanging on to their churches because they are afraid to make a change will wake up and discover that there church and their religion has been abolished, but they have been outlawed! The valley of decision has just ended. Now, everyone will have to join the church of Satan or the church of God.

 

Think about this: When the masquerading “God” lives among mankind, there will be no room for religious diversity. Lucifer’s theocracy is described as “the great whore” in Revelation 17 because everyone joining Lucifer’s church will have to prostitute their souls for survival. The situation will be dire and all the wiggle room will be gone. During these developments of the sixth trumpet, Jesus will send a final message to those in Babylon who are still undecided:

“Come out of her [the great whore, the theocratic government set up by Lucifer], my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

(Revelation 18:4,5, insertion mine)          




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