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Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Wendy Wippel

For even the strongest Christian, there are some passages that are just baffling. Although we really do believe these passages, some still seems wildly improbable in the world we know. Sir Francis Bacon, the man that devised the scientific method, had an answer to that, "A little science estranges a man from God, but a lot of science brings him back.”  My experience? Bacon’s never proved wrong!

Case in point: The first few verses of Revelation 9.. The tribulation started with The first seal, and through the seals and the bowls (taking us through Revelation 8, the judgments of God), although judgments, seem to be catastrophic events related to either the fallen nature of man or divine manipulation of nature. The seals reveal the consequences of the antichrist’s campaign to bring the whole world under his authority, with famine, disease, and death, as always, part and parcel of a world-wide war. The trumpets align dramatically with scientific descriptions of the expected ramifications of an asteroid impact on earth.

But then another angel shows up, and says a very interesting thing:

And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound! Revelation 8:13 NKJV

The word “woe” here (in Greek) is actually an onomatopoeia—a word devised to identify and approximate a common sound (like “honk”). The Greek word is “ouai”, meant to imitate the weeping, wailing, and keening—expressions of profound anguish, that would follow the last three trumpets.

Apparently something is about to change. Fundamentally.

Namely, the nature and intensity of these last three judgments. As evidenced as we continue:

The fifth trumpet:

“Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them”.

The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon”. Revelation 9:1-11

Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Then the sixth trumpet sounded:  

“And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses werelike the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 9:14-21

The last woe, the seventh trumpet, is itself the unleashing of the nearly total destruction of the earth that comprises the second half of tribulation under the maniacal global rule of the antichrist.

We know that the seals and trumpets fall in the first half because in Revelation 11 we are told that the beast who rises out of the bottomless pit kills the two witnesses, which happens 3.5 years after the start of tribulation. So it would appear that these locust will be released maybe five months before the bowls are unleashed. (Because the earth is reaped during the bowl judgments, Revelation 14 and then they will die.)

This passage, to be honest, has always been for me one of those bewildering passages, a passage that, although I don’t doubt that it is true, it’s one that I just can’t wrap my mind around. Locusts that rise from the bottomless pit?  That looked like female humans (with crowns, maybe Miss America Contestants?) except for teeth that looked like lions teeth? But a warrior tribe of pageant queens, dressed for and intent on destruction. What earthly set of circumstances could explain this?

I guess I wasn’t giving enough attention where it was due, because the passage starts out by telling us,  “the bottomless pit was opened”. No earthly processes were involved.

This was totally an other-earthly event.

Well, maybe, except for it initiation.

The scripture says that a fallen angel was given the key that would open the bottomless pit. We wouldn’t really think it was a metal key, would we? This isn’t the material world. So what might the key be?

If you read this column last week, you may have a pretty good guess. CERN, the Europrean Organization for Nuclear Research, is ostensibly running experiments which may potentially creat a wormhole, e.g., a teenyt electronic trail Oregon trail by which beings from other dimensions can travel to ours. According to Sergio Bertolucci, Director of Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, “We’re hoping to see supersymmetry and extra dimensions”. Bertolucci hastens to reassure all of us less cerebrally gifted folks by promising that, “though the discovery would be ground-breaking…they would be rather small”. Maybe not noticeable at all “Of course, after this tiny moment the door would again shut, bringing us back to our ‘normal’ four dimensional world … and of course, no risk to the stability of that world”.

It appears to be in the very same speech, however, that Bertolucci admits that they might open a door, and that “Out of this door might come something”’.

Apparently something like drag queen beauty contestants intent on destroying their competition. And fallen angels, ditto.

It just amazes me that I’ve read this passage a thousand times, not having the slightest idea how to fit this into the world as I know it, and now we have a very credible, real world way that it could happen.

Thanks again, Sir Francis.

If you read some commentaries, they will try to tell you that the locust released are normal locust, but the passage, taken in the context of other scripture, doesn’t allow that.

Psalms 30:27, speaking of the natural world, says "that locust have no king". These ain’t no locust.

Soon and very soon!

Originally written by Wendy Wippel on September 1, 2015

Last week: Bogus Burials

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