As we continue with the Trumpet Judgments, we resume with trumpet #4:
12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night. [Rev 8:12 ESV]
What might be happening here?
The graph below shows the Aerosol Optical Thickness map from August 2009. The black areas are those where sensors couldn’t pick up any data. White indicates crystal clear air, while the darker browns show increasing aerosol thickness and reduced visibility.
In July 2023, the map looks like this (the gray means no data):
The affected areas over Canada and the U.S. are due to the wildfires, while the dark areas over the Arabian Peninsula are from seasonal sandstorms. The lightest areas (white) reflect a value of 0.1 which equals crystal clear skies. The darkest brown indicates a value of 1.0 on the above scale. On that scale, a value of 4.0 would mean aerosols so thick you would have difficulty seeing the sun at high noon. So, might areas with a value of 1.0 be considered as close to having one-third of the light blotted out?
While a time-lapse map displaying the aerosol density over time (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/global-maps/MODAL2_M_AER_OD) shows that the optical thickness waxes and wanes with the seasons, I couldn’t find any data to show this issue has increased recently. Yet, that potential exists. See how the Canadian wildfires have appeared in the above map. I mentioned in an earlier post how much water vapor and sulfur dioxide were ejected into the atmosphere by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. Both contribute to obscuring the sun, and the water vapor can help trap more particulates in the air. A major, land-based volcanic eruption could launch massive amounts of debris into the atmosphere. Likewise with a meteor strike. These events could certainly result in visual obscurity of the heavenly lights.
Yet, even without a major event such as a volcano, see how polluted our atmosphere has become. There are very few areas of white (clear skies). It won’t take much to tip the scales and blot out a third of out light from heavenly sources. This Trumpet Judgment isn’t some celestial event. It’s right here, close to home.
At this point, God’s judgments take a drastic turn. The previous judgments have been against the earth itself, not mankind. Not now. In Revelation 8:13 we read about an eagle crying out, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, . . .” With the fifth trumpet, God’s judgments begin to inflict mankind.
However, before continuing with the fifth trumpet, it’s important to get an understanding of who the 144,000 are because the demons of the fifth trumpet are unleashed on everyone else. The 144,000 are first mentioned in Rev 7:
3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: [Rev 7:3-4 ESV]
If you continue to verses 5 to 8, you read that 12,000 men from each of the 12 tribes of Israel are marked (sealed) as servants of God. But are they from all 12 tribes? Re-read the list. The list includes Joseph, as it should, but also Manasseh, one of Joseph’s Egyptian-born sons. Manasseh appears to replace Dan. Why?
Dan is consistently mentioned in the Old Testament as idolators. In Joshua 19, we read that Dan was unable to take control of their allotted territory due to a lack of faith. In Judges 18, we read of Dan moving north and stealing the idols from a man named Micah, setting them up as their own. In 1 Kings 12:29 and 2 Kings 10:29, we read that one of the golden calves brought up from Egypt is set up in Bethel and the other in Dan. I believe that Dan is excluded in Rev 7 because of their role in leading the House of Israel into idolatry. Why Manasseh and not Ephraim? Ephraim was just as guilty of idolatry as Dan.
Can we take the number 144,000 literally? If so, then a lot of us are up a creek without a paddle. In Rev 9:4 we read that the demons released with the fifth trumpet are enabled to inflict pain on those who don’t bear the mark of Christ, the seal of God on their foreheads. If only 144,000 are sealed by God, that leaves millions of us out of the loop. However, the scripture doesn’t really say that only 144,000 are sealed. For that to be the case, you would have to read Rev 7:4 literally. BTW, this seal is likely a spiritual one, not a heavenly Sharpie marking our foreheads.
Looking back at the fifth seal judgment (Rev 6:9-11), we saw the souls of martyrs (witnesses) waiting under the heavenly altar of God until the complete number are killed as they were. Then, if you recall, back in Countdown: Revelation #1, I mentioned that 12 is a number of completion and 1,000 represents a large number. So, the 12,000 from the 12 listed tribes now reflects the completed number from each tribe, not a literal 12,000. The 144,000 represents a multitude of believers. I believe that we see part of that multitude, those who have already joined Christ before God’s throne, in Rev 7:9-17.
Another possibility given by scholars is that the 144,000 could also represent a subset of believers. These scholars focus on who these 144,000 might be. Some concentrate on the fact that these are mentioned as being male virgins, blameless, have never lied, and follow the Lamb wherever He goes. We see them again on Mount Zion with Christ when He returns. The use of the word martyr throws a lot of people off because they use today’s definition of the word, while its original meaning was simply “a witness.” However, there is no clear consensus among these scholars. For me, the critical thing is that this number—144,000—is not literal but represents the completion of the number of believers, which, in turn, is a trigger for Christ’s return.
Now, let’s move on to the fifth trumpet’s judgment:
1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. 2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. [Rev 9:1-4 ESV]
True to the form of apocalyptic literature, we now see fantastical creatures being released from the “bottomless pit.” This is the same as Tartarus, which in Greek mythology was a deep abyss reserved for horrible monsters and the worst of criminals. It was even deeper than Hades.
Note that these creatures were not to harm the grass, trees, and plants of the earth. In reality, these are already being affected. Also note who are afflicted—” only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”
I mentioned fantastical creatures. Here’s what these “locusts” looked like:
7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; 9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. [Rev 9:7-10 ESV]
What in the world? With descriptions like this, it’s easy to see why people get confused by Revelation. I know I have been when it comes to just what this vision is showing us. Then, in a time of reflection and prayer, it hit me. This vision could be an amalgamation of many things we’re seeing around us today. I could be way off base but let me step out onto the proverbial limb and you can make of it what you will. Again, I’m looking at this description through a lens of what’s happening in the world today.
First, they’re described as locusts. Locusts were a considerable “plague” in ancient times. They devoured everything green they came across. They could wipe out an entire season’s crops, and God often used locusts as judgment. They could also be extensive. During the ten plagues of Egypt, they covered the entire land (except where the Israelites lived). A couple of years ago, locusts devastated crops throughout East Africa. I believe these demons are described as locusts because the problems they cause will be extensive and “all-devouring.”
Yet, there’s a modern day “equivalent,” of sorts: illegal immigration. Like locusts, a swarm of illegal immigration has been coming across the U.S. southern border ever since Biden took office, to the point where Gov. Abbott of Texas recently declared an official state of emergency, invoking the U.S. Constitution in calling it an invasion. Images of trains with every car covered by people, of lines of people wading across the Rio Grande, and of masses of people huddled under bridges and overpasses to get out of the Texas mid-summer sun show only miniscule glimpses of people looking for a better life. Europe has experienced the same, to the point where the natural-born citizens of some nations there are outnumbered by immigrants.
And like locusts, these people are devouring our resources. The federal government is giving them tickets to wherever they’d like to go, free housing and medical care, and more. The Biden Administration is giving “families”—defined as one parent and one child—$2,200 per month to live. Some families are double-dipping with mother/child and father/another child each claiming the money for $4,400/month. Tell that to the average Social Security recipient of $1,400/month or a Maui fire survivor who got $700 total.
Yet, these “locusts” are also killing people. Driven by the cartels that are not only trafficking people across the borders but also pushing fentanyl and other drugs, these drugs are flooding our cities. We’ve seen more fentanyl deaths in the past two years than ever before. Europe saw this begin a decade ago and now the Moroccan cartels control major cities. The Netherlands has become a narcostate, and when the Port of Antwerp shut down for a workers strike, only the drugs flowed through it. In the U.S., it’s the Mexican and Colombian cartels calling the shots.
In John’s day, horses were expensive and owned only by the wealthiest. In ancient wars, they were often prepared for battle with bronze armor. The image of gold crowns points to kingship, or leadership in a broader sense. Might this show that the powers that be (TPTB)—the wealthy, globalist elites—are preparing for war? China certainly seems set for war to claim Taiwan and the entirety of the South China Sea. The elites of NATO are rumored to be preparing for war against Russia. (Hmmm, rumors of war sounds familiar.)
Next, we see that they have human faces and hair like women. Since women did not go to war and thus, would not be preparing for battle, are these human faces male? Male faces with women’s hair? Was John seeing transgenderism?? I know I’m not alone in perceiving that this craziness seems to have engulfed the world since the pandemic (* see note). Yes, there have been cross-dressers and transgenders throughout history, but they remained in the closet. Maybe it was there all along, and it took the shutdown of schools for parents to wake up to what was happening to their children. Today, parents battle TPTB to regain control over the raising of their children, particularly in the area of gender and sexuality.
The lion’s teeth could have multiple meanings. True, the Lion of Judah points to Christ, but Satan is also compared to a prowling lion. A lion’s roar can be heard from five miles. It is meant to invoke terror and show fierceness. I think terror and ferocity are meant by this phrase describing the demons. LGBTQI+ activists have become ferocious in their activism. TPTB certainly try to invoke terror every time they publicize some COVID variant, most of which will be no more virulent than the original, and that one had a 98.8% survival rate overall.
The breastplates of iron and the noise of their wings being like many chariots may point to modern warfare. In the war in Ukraine hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers (breastplates of iron), as well as drones (wings) have been destroyed. I’ve already mentioned that rumors abound that TPTB wish to incite war with Russia and will do so in 2024. China has been increasingly aggressive in the South China Sea. North Korea keeps rattling its saber and has allied itself with Russia. They all seem eager to rush into battle.
Finally, these demons have tails that sting like the scorpions on earth, or perhaps like the sting of a vaccine injection. Terrestrial scorpions inject their victims with poison—some are deadly, some just produce discomfort and pain. The COVID “vaccine” qualifies for this one. According to VAERS and V-SAFE, the CDC’s own adverse reactions databases, it has killed hundreds of thousands of people, while a much greater number have been disabled. So many adverse reactions to the COVID jab were flooding the V-SAFE database that the CDC closed it down recently. Either they wanted to bury their heads in the sand or are hoping the general population will. BTW, the five-month period of torment isn’t literal. It simply points to a brief time.
It’s important to recognize that this judgment leads to the sixth trumpet in which four angels are released to kill a third of mankind. Many of us in the medical profession have voiced concerns from the beginning that this so-called “vaccine” of modifiedRNA (it’s not messengerRNA as commonly misreported) would produce what we call antibody-dependent enhancement. That’s a derangement of the immune system that leads to increased infectivity of the virus, worse disease, and potentially worse (turbo-charged) cancers, immune system dysfunction, and other diseases. That’s precisely what we’re beginning to see with otherwise healthy, young people dying in their sleep or dropping over dead on a playing field, and cancers “appearing out of nowhere” in advanced stages. While some don’t believe that HIV causes AIDS, the COVID spike protein has four segments similar to HIV. With AIDS, there was a lull in cases where it looked like we had AIDS under control, only for it to return with a vengeance. Such a scenario with COVID, along with rising drug deaths, could see a brief period of “torment” leading to widespread death—the sixth trumpet judgment.
I recognize I might have a hyperactive imagination to see these things in the description of the demonic beings released from the great abyss. It could be that John simply saw them as fantastical creatures from hell in line with the popular apocalyptic literature of his day. However, in light of current events and the culture, maybe this is exactly what John was seeing. Perhaps it will take 20/20 hindsight in the near future to understand John’s vision here.
Sorry, this post got so long. Lots to cover. I’m also sorry if this comes across as too much gloom and doom. I, for one, prefer to be prepared for what might be coming. That, in turn keeps me focused on Christ, our Rock.
BTW, if you received the COVID jab and maybe its boosters, there is a detox process for purging this from your system. It was developed by Dr. Peter McCullough– https://covid19.onedaymd.com/2023/03/dr-peter-mccullough-prescription-and.html. You might want to consider it, but please find a sympathetic physician to help you.
One way or another, it’s becoming more and more critical that you focus on Christ and God’s Word. He is our Refuge and Stronghold. (I love Psalm 91.)
We’ll continue next week with the Two Witnesses.
*Note: The numbers seem to support my perception that there’s been a rapid and sudden increase in the transgender arena. In 2016 there were 4552 “gender affirming surgeries” (GAS). By 2019 that number rose to 13,011, with a slight dip to 12,818 in 2020 due to the pandemic. Despite extensive surfing of the internet, I can’t find stats later than 2019. It’s as if TPTB don’t want us to know the actual numbers. Reuters reported in mid-June 2022 that 1.6 million people over age 13 in the U.S. identified as transgendered, with 300,000 being ages 13-17. I also found a report by Grandview Research showing that the GAS market in 2022 was $2.1B and is estimated to rise by nearly 11% per year to 2030. The average cost of a complete transition (surgeries, hospitals, doctors, meds, etc.) is $50K in the U.S., but only a third of that in Thailand. So, let’s assume that this $2.1B covered only complete transitions in the U.S., not globally. That comes to 42,000 transitions and all of the GAS involved in doing so. For a complete M-to-F transition, there could be as many as five surgeries involved. For F-to-M, it’s three surgeries. Do the math. No wonder they don’t want to publicize actual numbers. In truth, many “transition” just by having top/chest surgery—approx. $1500 in cost—so the actual number of surgeries could be through the roof.