“The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crown of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like woman’s hair, and their teeth were like lion’s teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their winds was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails, they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
The first woe is past: the two other woes are yet to come.
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming form the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9: 1-21)
For many generations, it was a mystery as to how an army so large could come from the region east of the land of Israel. It was only during modern times that two different countries possess the ability to create a 100-million-man army that would march on the Holy Land (China and India).
Scripture depicts this event as chaotic to the world and would cause the death of one-third of mankind. Understanding this number boggles the mind when knowing the current world population is rising to 8 billion people. One third of this population would mean that roughly 2.6 billion people will die during the time of the first two Woes.
We are witnessing event unfolding all around the world that were depicted within Scripture. Understanding this revelation, we must believe that all the remaining prophecies will be fulfilled before the time of the end.
Many are witnessing the locust invasion encompassing much of Africa, the Middle East and Asia as an apocalyptic event while referencing the use of locusts within the fifth trumpet. Its true that these locusts did not physically hurt anyone, and they did damage the plants found within their path. Knowing this difference between reality and the depiction given within Scripture, we can understand that this event has not occurred yet. Unless some mutation occurs within the current locust population or a new type of locust rises, we can dismiss this association as not the event foretold within Scripture.
The events found within the sixth trumpet would then not be able to occur until the fulfillment of the fifth trumpet. Considering the recent global pandemic occurring around the world with Covid-19, many are speculating that this event is one of the plagues that would be released during the time of the end.
Reviewing the interpretation presented at the beginning of this report, we see that there are three plagues referenced that would come out of the armies of the east. Right away many would speculate that Covid-19 is one of these plagues and would use this information to justify their stance that we are witnessing the fulfillment of this passage. This is where we must be careful in our interpretation and we need to cross reference every passage back to different interpretations to make sure we stay consistent. Following is the same passage in the King James version vs NIV version of this interpretation:
“And thus, I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issues fire and smoke and brimstone.
By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.” (Revelation 9: 17-18)
It is only a minor difference but the lack of clarity that the fire, smoke, and brimstone are plagues vs acts of war could possibly change the entire meaning of the passage. If we are to look for three plagues coming out of the east, would Covid-19, SARS and MERS be classified as these three plagues?
This leave us to continue watching for the events that will unfold prior to and after the sounding of the sixth trumpet.
We are told that these are the first two Woes but never really told about the last Woe. Understanding that the sounding of the seventh trumpet is the cumulation of God’s Judgement, we must look for an event prior to the sounding of the seventh trumpet:
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11: 15)
Luckily there are two event that occur during the second Woe, prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet, or the third Woe. These events may be the most amazing and magical events that occurs within the entire Scriptures as we witness the rise of the Two Witnesses and the building of the Third Temple:
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
But the court which is without the temple leave out and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted and gave glory to the God of heaven.
The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” (Revelation 11: 1-14)
This passage shows the association between the Third Temple and the rise of the Two Witnesses. Both events happen about the same time and they climax with the death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses.
Understanding current events associated to the Holy Land and the recent Deal of the Century, we can see the unfolding of the agreement that will cause the rebuilding of the Third Temple. Final negotiations have not been finalized but it would be very naïve to believe that the Jewish people would give sovereignty to the Palestinian people in East Jerusalem without gaining access to the Temple Mount and the long-awaited building of the Third Temple of Solomon.
Even with understanding that the events of the locusts and the rise of the armies of the east, have not yet happened, we can see how close we are to these events being fulfilled. All we need is for a Star (Angel) to fall from heaven and open the bottomless pit, releasing the beast onto the earth. When this event happens, it can be assumed that we will all know it has occurred:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12: 7-12)