This series of posts is my attempt to demonstrate that the language of the Revelation was actually symbolic code that was very intelligible to a first-century Jewish Christian living in the Roman Empire. I’m re-writing the Revelation to communicate the same message, but to a twenty-first century American Christian audience, using symbols we understand. This particular section parallels Revelation chapter 9. If you want to catch up, here’s a PDF of the entire series so far: The Revelation to JR – 1-9.
The fifth angel turned on his camera and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key the bowels of the earth. He opened it and smoke came billowing out of the hole like from a blown radiator. The smoke covered the sky and plunged the whole planet into darkness.
Then I saw locusts emerge from the smoke, and they were given authority like soldiers. They were specifically told not to harm the crops or food supply, but instead to hurt anyone who hadn’t been notarized by God on their heads and wallets. They were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them. And it was bad – worse than anything that went down in Guantanamo Bay. During those five months, people will try to kill themselves – they’ll chase after death – but they won’t be able to die.
The locusts look like something out of a nightmare; they’re basically heavily armored, battle-ready tanks. They wore gold medals around their necks. Their faces are more-or-less human – they even have flowing blonde hair, but their teeth are razor-sharp like a lion. They’re covered in tough scales like a snake, and their wings buzz like a fighter jet doing a flyby. They have tails like a scorpion, and that’s what they use to torture people for the five months.
They’re controlled by the angel that unlocked the abyss and let them out – his name in Hebrew is Abaddon. In Greek it’s Apollyon. In English? Destruction.
The first curse has passed. There are still two curses coming.
The sixth angel turned on his camera and I heard a voice from the podium before God say to the sixth angel with the camera,
“Release the four angels who are imprisoned at the Pacific Ocean.”
So the four angels were released. They’d been held ready for the day, hour, minute and second, to kill a third of humanity. They had a huge armada with them – it numbered two hundred trillion (I heard them numbered off).
This is what the army looked like in my vision: the sailors and soldiers wore body armor that blazed like fire. The ships’ guns were giant lasers, and they rained down death and destruction. They used the lasers to destroy a third of humanity. Every part of this armada was deadly – from ships themselves to their planes, which were faster than lightning, and just as deadly.
The rest of humanity – the ones who weren’t killed by the armada – didn’t repent of what they’d done or quit worshiping false gods and idols that they’d created for themselves (and that were powerless to protect them). They didn’t quit killing or exploiting each other. Nothing changed.