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The Christian Counter

 

Three Groups of People

 

To appreciate the horrible torment described in the fifth trumpet, you need to understand that three groups of people live on Earth at any given time. These three groups will become clearly visible during the fifth trumpet. The first group consists of God’s saints, the second group consists of people who appear to be religious, but they are wicked nonetheless. I call this group of people the religious wicked. The last group consists of people who will have nothing to do with religion. I call this group of people the non-religious wicked.

 

As the Great tribulation begins, almost everyone will reject the 144,000 and the testimony of Jesus. It is extremely difficult for people to relinquish their views about God – even when their views are proven erroneous. Even when people are convinced of truth, there can be a great struggle to embrace the gospel of Jesus until the fifth trumpet because they cannot face the ridicule and persecution that will come from following Jesus. Jesus understands our dilemma and this is why He will put the devil and his evil work on public display. The devil and his angels will be allowed to physically appear so that human beings can clearly observe demons in action. Right now, we cannot see them, but this will change.

 

During the fifth trumpet, Lucifer’s demons will torment one specific group of people. They will not harm the saints or those who embrace Lucifer as God, but they will target Lucifer’s opposition (the non-religious wicked). When the world witnesses the horrible torture and suffering that demons will impose on people who refuse to worship Lucifer, an amazing thing will happen. Those in the non-religious group will either embrace the gospel of Jesus or they will join forces with the devil claiming, “I believe he [Lucifer] is Almighty God!” The fifth trumpet will push undecided people into the sheep pen or the goat pen.

 

Please consider the following on these three groups of people:

 

1.   The saints: God’s saints are in every nation, culture, religion, and language. These people are sincere and honest in heart. They love God though their knowledge of Him is incomplete and largely erroneous. The saints listen to the Holy Spirit and through faith, obey His directives. The saints are conscientious. They strive to please God in all their actions. Because God’s saints are found in all religious groups, His saints do not agree among themselves very much. Theologically speaking, one could say that currently, most of God’s saints are honestly opposed to each other because man’s diversity in theology, culture, and language is substantial. Our diversity, however, is not a problem for God. God reads our motives and sees our hearts, even though our heads may be mixed up with all kinds of theories and ideas. Nevertheless, during the Great tribulation, God’s saints will hear the testimony of Jesus coming from the 144,000 and they will eventually embrace the gospel of Christ.

 

2.   The religious wicked: The term, religious wicked,” may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it is not. There are wicked people in every religious system.

The religious wicked are people who have made their religious system their God. They are more concerned with being right than doing right. These people are found in every religious body. Although they may appear to be deeply religious, they are not spiritual. These people have not been born again. They do not understand the love or the heart of God. Jesus said they will even commit murder, if necessary, to keep their religious system from failing. (John 16: 1-3) Most of the Pharisees in Christ’s day belonged to this group. Even though Saul was a Pharisee, he was not among the “religious wicked.” Saul had the head of a Pharisee, but the heart of a saint! Jesus saw Saul’s heart and this is why Saul was given an epiphany as he traveled to Damascus to persecute Christians. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:13, “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” Even tough this group of people are wicked, Jesus knows there are some potential saints within this group.

 

3.   The non-religious wicked: The title for the third group is self-explanatory. These people have no use for God. Generally speaking, these people are spiritually dead. Like the religious wicked, they are controlled by the carnal nature. Nevertheless, there are some potential saints living within this group. The saints in this group are people who have honest hearts, but their heads are totally messed up. Jesus understands their misdirection and He has a plan that will extract the honest in heart from this group.

 

Now that you have been introduced to these three groups of people, you need to understand two things. First, Jesus has a plan for gathering the saints out of the last two groups, and second, He will bring His saints into one accord. After the devastation of the first four trumpets has opened the ears of billions of people, the 144,000 will deliver the testimony of Jesus to the world. The first four trumpets will put the people of Earth in a very difficult situation in terms of survival, but the gospel of Jesus will put the people of Earth in a very difficult situation in terms of doing God’s will. These extremities will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus by faith. They will pay the price for discipleship. By the time the seventh trumpet sounds, only two groups of people will be left. The saints will be worshiping the Lamb (Jesus) and the religious wicked will be worshiping the lamb-like beast (Lucifer). The devil’s demons will eliminate the non-religious wicked group through torture in the fifth trumpet and death in the sixth trumpet.

 

The Fifth Trumpet

 

“The fifth angel sounded his trumpet [in Heaven’s temple], and I [John] saw a [an angelic] star that had fallen from the sky to the earth.” (Isaiah 14:12, insertions mine)

 

Lucifer was the first and highest being of creation. Over time, Lucifer became jealous of Christ and later, he openly rebelled against Christ’s authority. Lucifer became “anti-Christ.” Lucifer infected a third of the angels with his hatred for Jesus and eventually, God cast them out of Heaven. Evidently, they were expelled from Heaven the first time before Earth was created. (Isaiah 14:12-17) God allowed Lucifer and his angels to roam the universe and this is how Lucifer came to planet Earth where he succeeded in causing Adam and Eve to sin.

When Adam and Eve sinned, Lucifer became the prince of this world. Lucifer is the father of lies and of all beings who have fallen natures. Because Lucifer was the prince of this fallen world, he was allowed to meet with God and the other angels at various times for administrative purposes. (See Job 1) Four thousands of years after sin began; Jesus paid the penalty for sin by dying on the cross. With His blood Jesus redeemed Earth from Lucifer’s dominion and possession. On Resurrection Sunday, Jesus ascended to Heaven to receive possession of Earth, but Lucifer would not relinquish his ownership of Earth to Jesus, so there was a second war in Heaven. (Revelation 12:7) Once again, Jesus and His angels cast Lucifer and his angels out of Heaven. Ever since their expulsion, Lucifer and his angels have been confined to Earth. They are forced to live in the spirit realm and although they are unseen, they freely travel about Earth. This captivity will change at the fifth trumpet. “The [angelic] star [Lucifer] was given the key to the [gate that seals the] shaft of the Abyss.” (Revelation 9:1, insertions mine)

 

In John’s day, the Jews regarded the abussos (the Abyss) as a deep, dark dungeon for spirits. The Abyss was a geographical space that existed somewhere under the basin of Earth. Volcanoes were believed to be chimneys for the endless fires that burned under the basin of Earth. Remember, people in John’s day thought Earth were flat and they thought the “bottomless pit” was a shaft that went through the flat Earth. God cast Lucifer and his demons into the Abyss on Resurrection Sunday and according to Revelation 9:1, they come out of the Abyss when the fifth trumpet occurs. Lucifer will be given the key, and he and his angels will exit the spirit realm and become plainly visible to all human beings.

 

“When he [Lucifer] opened the Abyss, [demons ascended from the Abyss into the sky and there were so many of them that they looked like a dense cloud of smoke and] smoke rose from it [the Abyss] like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and the sky were darkened by the smoke of the Abyss. (Revelation 9:2, insertions mine)

 

“And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth [Notice they came out of the sky, and at a distance, the demons looked like a dense cloud of smoke to John. Their appearing darkened the sun and sky! As they drew closer, the demons looked something like large locusts with wings as they came down upon Earth.] And [these demons] were given power like that of scorpions of the earth [That is, they had the ability to inflict searing pain on human beings]. (Revelation 9:3, italics and insertions mine)

 

“They were told [by Jesus] not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree {The demons cannot destroy anything at this time.], but [they can “sting”] only those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:4, insertions mine) In other words, the devil and his angels cannot hurt the 144,000 and those saints who were sealed during the 890 days prior to the fifth trumpet. Of course, the devil and his demons will not hurt those people who immediately believe that he is Almighty God. The devil and his demons will torture the non-religious wicked group – those who reject the gospel of Jesus and stand in opposition to the devil’s blasphemous claims. The non-religious group will consist of people like scientists, communists, agnostics, and the devil will painfully torment them.  

This painful intimidation will cause many to give in to Lucifer’s demands and they will offer a forced confession, “Yes, I believe this glorious being is Almighty God and I will obey his commands.”

 

“They [the demons] were not given power to kill them [those in the non-religious wicked group], but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man [awful, searing pain].

(Revelation 9:5, insertions mine)

 

“During those days [wicked] men [and women] will seek death, but will not find it; [the pain will be so great] they will long to die, but death will elude them.

(Revelation 9:6)

 

“The locusts [the devils angels also] looked like horses [and armed riders] prepared for battle. On their heads they [the demons] wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.” (Revelation 9:7, insertions mine) Angels, also created in God’s image, resemble human beings in appearance. The crowns of gold reflect their high positions as angels of the false god. (The Greek word used here for crown is stephanos and it means a crown of honor, victory.) The devil and his angels will be part of the great delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11) that God will release upon the world because the wicked have refused to love the truth and be saved. This deception will be so great that it would deceive the very elect, if that were possible. (Matthew 24:24) Lucifer and his angels stand about fifteen feet tall (1 Kings 6:26, 2 Chronicles 3:10-13), so they will be very intimidating and most impressive. Those not having the seal of God will be totally overwhelmed.

 

“Their hair was [long and beautiful] like women’s hair, and their teeth were [strong and deadly, designed to tear flesh] like lion’s teeth. (Revelation 9:8, insertion mine) 

 

“They had breastplates like breastplates of iron [nothing manmade could penetrate them or hurt them], and the sound of their wings [when they fly] was [powerful and fearful] like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.

(Revelation 9:9. insertions mine)

 

“[Because God can speak volumes with caricatures, Lucifer’s demons appeared as though] They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.” (Revelation 9:10, insertions mine)

 

When Lucifer and his angels are released from the Abyss, their appearance will be beautiful and stunning. They will not look like grasshoppers or horses. God represented Lucifer and his angels to John with caricatures so that the final generation might understand the work and character of these demons with very few words.  Scribes copied the book of Revelation by hand for 1,900 years and a picture is worth 1,000 words. For example, in Revelation 19:15, John saw a sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus. This sword represents a deadly command that will come out of Jesus’ mouth at the Second Coming. Jesus will slay the wicked by a command! (Revelation 2:12,16; 19:21)

“They [the demons] had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:11, italics and insertion mine) Both names mean the same thing: “Destroyer.” Lucifer receives a Hebrew name and a Greek name because he will destroy many saints (when the fifth seal opens) and many wicked (during the sixth trumpet). In other words, the devil will be a great destroyer.

 

“The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.” (Revelation 9:12) At the end of the five months, the fifth trumpet is over. The sixth and seventh trumpets are coming and they will be even worse!


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