KEY TEXT: Revelation 9:1-12 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. 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. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 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. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them. 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, their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; 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. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
KEY THOT: While judgments of the first four trumpets destroy mankind's eco-system, the fifth trumpet releases demons from the bottomless pit (Greek: abyss) to attack unbelievers who are without God's seal on their foreheads. The bottomless pit is where the most wicked demons are confined, unlike the other demons currently roaming around the earth. Luke 8:30-31 describes how the Legion of demons begged Jesus not to send them to the abyss: "And he said, 'Legion,' for many demons had entered him. And they begged him (Jesus) not to command them to depart into the abyss." Even demons are afraid of being sent to the abyss (bottomless pit), where they would be confined until they are released as God's judgment against unbelievers.
When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, John saw "a star fallen from heaven to earth". Most bible commentators associate this "star" as Satan (a.k.a as Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek, v.11). He would be given the key to the shaft of the abyss to release his demons that are confined there so that they can torment the earth's inhabitants. The period of human suffering inflicted by these terrible demons will be five months: "They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them" (v.5). The period of the demon-inflicted judgment would be prolonged for unbelievers. The suffering would be so intense that many would long for death, but it would escape them (v.6).
Demons are allowed to roam the earth as God's instrument of torment. Sin opens the doors for demonic infiltration into human affairs to cause suffering and in some cases diseases and death. While Western believers tend to think of demons as some sort of primitive superstition, Jesus did not think so. He had to deal with them often in his ministry, right from its early days: "And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 'What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are— the Holy One of God.' But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him."
While those demons that are currently not confined to the abyss can do much harm, the day will come when the most wicked demons currently locked in the abyss will be released. And their full destructive power is described by John in verses 7-10.
So, in those days of wrath, not only will the physical environment be in chaos (first four trumpets), but the spiritual realm will also be in turmoil. Unlike current demons who try to hide their activities from us, the demons released from the abyss will display their wickedness in full view of everyone. Unbelievers will see their ugly faces and experience their ferocious wickedness in suffering. No longer will they rely on human intermediaries to do their dastardly and dirty works. The world will know these demons as coming right out of hell.
If the Church is still around, they would be shielded from these on-going destruction, for the seventh trumpet has not sounded...
Abba-Father, help us to turn while we have the time. Deliver us from evil so that we might not suffer the terrible ordeal of Your judgment in the coming days. Amen.