The last thing the world needs is another pandemic. Yet, this new pandemic of mental illness has been in the works for over two thousand years when the prophet announced the three woes coming soon upon the world (see Revelation 8:13). In its infancy, long before it was ever recognized as an epidemic, few people suffered from mental illness while even fewer souls were classified as being insane. By the sixth century, this all changed. The epidemic was growing exponentially in the East with the first mental hospital constructed in Baghdad, Iraq in 750 AD. By the nineteenth century, the epidemic moved to Europe and then to the United States. With the growing number of mental disorders being cataloged in the “Diagnostic Statistical Manual” the pharmaceutical industry started producing an array of mind-altering drugs to treat every symptom. As the epidemic grew, most people were reluctant to admit to having a mental disorder and they soon became the unseen majority, popping their pills and suffering in silence. This silence caused the closure of many mental hospitals and the rise of numerous counseling centers to handle the sheer number of patients. Mental illness is real, causing a great drain on the world’s economy and the productivity of its workforce. As the world suffers in silence it’s time for God’s prophets to proclaim loudly what’s causing this silent pandemic.
The fallen world has always been good at explaining things away or casting the blame in the wrong place. When we look at the book of Revelation and specifically at the three woes, it’s essential that we don’t encapsulate them into our limited time frame. If we make God’s prophecy start, continue, and stop at a specified time as seen in many prophetic charts and timelines, then we will miss the scope and true interpretation of God’s timeless prophecies. The first woe in the book of Revelation corresponds with the angel sounding the fifth trumpet causing a star to fall from heaven allowing a heavenly personage to open the bottomless pit, clearly the releasing of the demonic hordes from the pits of hell. (Read Revelation 8:13-9:2). The ensuing verses describe in graphic detail what comes out of the pits of hell to torment fallen humanity causing the pandemic of mental illness. The Bible says, “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power” (Revelation 9:3). Locusts throughout history have brought forth devastating plagues because of their behavior to swarm with millions of others destroying everything in its path and also causing the sky to grow dark by blocking out the sun’s light and giving rise to unprecedented fear.
In the next verse (See Revelation 9:4) the locusts are commanded not to follow their natural instinct to destroy the grass, the trees, or any green thing. Their primary target is only those who have turned away from God and are NOT marked with His heavenly seal. The Bible says, that every true believer is sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (See Ephesians 1:13). On the other hand, all of fallen humanity will be affected by this woe being sent from heaven that’s causing the pandemic of mental illness. These locusts swarming upon fallen humanity, metaphorically speaking, will create sudden and deep darkness in a person’s life. Those suffering from mental illness have indicated their great struggle to concentrate, stay focused, and to see their way going forward as if they were in a deep fog. In many cases, they have experienced an unwillingness to continue working or even having a desire to leave their beds. Many others struggle to walk in both kingdoms, the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of fallen humanity steeped in the grossest of immorality, driving them in one direction and then another. For some, the darkness in their souls has turned them further away from God leading them to dabble in the black arts and satanic rituals seeking to fill the void left in their tormented souls.
The Bible continues to describe these demons from hell sent to torment fallen humanity by indicating that these locusts have tails like a scorpion that will sting their victims and torment them for five months. Although the five months was selected because that’s the normal season for locust, from May to September, symbolically it could last the entire life span of a human. (See Revelation 9:5, and 9:10). This amazing apocalyptic language describes in graphic detail what these evil hordes of demonic invaders can do to fallen humanity for rejecting their Creator. In recent studies, the scorpion causes great pain to their predators, not to kill but to drive them away. The scorpion’s sting is rarely fatal. For the human, the pain from a scorpion is extremely painful because the venom, consisting of a variety of different toxins, magnifies the pain receptors in the brain causing intense pain. In the same way, mental illness can cause intense pain that’s not always observable but very real as many suffer for years in silence. Critical symptoms of a scorpion sting can consist of muscle twitching, drooling, and sweating. It’s quite remarkable, that these are the same symptoms often seen in mentally ill patients who are on the threshold of insanity. The scorpion was specifically chosen by God’s prophet to demonstrate how its sting relates so closely to these symptoms of mental illness.
There are many facets to mental illness causing a torrent of behavior problems, where their actions are beyond just strange. Their behavior is capable of causing great harm to others as well as to themselves. There is also a litany of both aggressive and repressive emotions from the sudden outburst of crying to unhinged anger and to the damaging effects of buried emotions. Perhaps the greatest and most damaging emotion is fear. They have a fear of living or facing another day. They have a fear that others might know their true condition. They fear that others will know of their hourly struggles to maintain a rational mind without the constant onslaught of stress, anxiety, depression, and a host of other psychological disorders. They fear that others might discern their horrible thoughts that once shocked their own sensibilities but now have full reign. Their demonically inspired thoughts can come with no warning and at any time or in any place, which can lead them to display a glazed-over look in public. The Bible says, “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” (Revelation 9:6). They say that mental anguish is the greatest pain of all, driving people to the threshold of insanity with constant thoughts of committing suicide. This silent pandemic of mental illness is spreading at an alarming rate, that’s also spilling into the streets of America.
Let’s be very clear, this is a demonic invasion. The Bible goes to great lengths in the following verses, of this eye-opening prophecy, that this is an unseen enemy that will attack the minds of fallen humanity with unrelenting vengeance. Before we proceed, read carefully Revelation 9:7-11. Notice what it says in the last verse, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon” (Revelation 9:11). The name “Abaddon” literally means destruction, which is exactly the intent of this demonic force. He is bent on the destruction of the mental faculties of fallen humanity, driving them further and further away from any semblance of a rational mind. Whereas the literal meaning of “Apollyon” is to destroy. This is his ultimate goal. When the mind is destroyed of even the most beautiful people there is nothing left but a hollow shell grasping for the simplest meaning of life and their intended place in it. There is nothing more horrifying than to lose one’s mind unable to make rational choices or intelligent decisions. There is nothing more fearful on this earth than to be alive in the body but mentally dead and on the precipice of insanity. This silent pandemic of mental illness is real and much worse than any virus.
The good news is this condition can change. It’s not fatal. The world, however, does not have a remedy. There is no vaccine for this pandemic. Counseling will not work. Drugs will not work. Attempting to cast out Satan will not work. Becoming an expert in spiritual warfare will not work. Let me be very clear mental illness is real for fallen humanity. As a Christian counselor for many years, I truly sympathize with them and understand their psychological struggles and their deep emotional pain. I know the world is trying its best to fight this pandemic allowing the population to return to a sense of normalcy. Even at their best though, the fallen world can no more defeat this pandemic of mental illness than it can defeat the wrath of God being poured out on unrepentant humanity. The only course of action in overcoming either is to turn back to God and recognize Him as both your Creator and your Savior. Cry out to God now in heartfelt repentance asking Him for forgiveness for turning your back on Him and loving the things of this world. Believe the Gospel that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, died on the Cross for your sins and was raised on the third day to give you a new transformed life. Once you are sealed by the living God, you will no longer rest under His wrath, His plagues, or His woes. Praise God! And all of God’s people will rejoice.
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