The appearance of the locusts was like...
Revelation 9 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.
7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.
13 Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
As I read and meditate on these verses several things come to mind. First is remembering what was said from the very beginning of Revelation. Revelation 1:10 says: I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet… and in Revelation 4:1: After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." So all that we read in Revelation is first a spiritual vision or experience and second it is about future events, things which in John’s natural understanding could not be easily described. Throughout Revelation we see a lot of imagery and the phrase, “was like” frequently used in describing what John saw. There is no natural basis to fully comprehend spiritual things in natural terms, and there is no basis to describe and comprehend things from the distant future with the limited knowledge and understanding from a distant past.
It is difficult then to know for certain exactly what John is describing in today’s text. The text says: The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. Consider this article published in August of 2016 by PNW, titled : Is Drone Swarm Technology (Locust) A Harbinger Of Revelation 9?
Drone swarms are about to change the face of modern warfare and some prophecy watchers find both the technology and name of the US Naval program behind it perhaps more than coincidence. The US navy recently demonstrated its Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program by putting 30 drones flying together in perfect formation. These drones are launched from a special tube in less than a minute to create a vicious swarm designed to overwhelm an adversary autonomously. What makes the swarm unique is that any hostile aircraft, manned or unmanned, can be brought down by a single missile, but a swarm can take multiple hits and keep going. The drones are self-reconfiguring so that if one drone gets taken out, the others autonomously change their behavior to complete the mission… What on earth was the Apostle John talking about? Exactly what kind of locusts did he witness on the Isle of Patmos where he received these prophetic revelations? The traditional interpretation is that these locusts could be evil entities and/or demonic physical or spiritual beings that will rise up out of the bottomless pit (abyss) to torment people and assume the characteristics of locusts. Others speculate they may be some form of grotesque variation of natural locusts as we know them today (perhaps even some form of chimeras or other DNA manipulation that scientists are now moving ahead with), or did John the Apostle perhaps see some advanced military aerial machinery that he lacked the words to describe? The revelations were given to him about 2,000 years ago when there would have been no way for him properly to describe 21st-century technological inventions that would follow many centuries later. Is it possible John was describing some type of technology in our day similar to the LOCUST program? Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=580#CGSO5hIjcmW08jhS.99
I am not saying that this article explains the locusts of Revelation 9. I am simply restating that it is difficult if not impossible for us to fully understand what it is that John is describing given the combination of spiritual and future events. While we can’t be certain of exactly what the future may hold regarding these things, we do know the past and the present. In today’s text it says: The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. 2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. The primary reason for the delay between the time of John’s vision until now is that the Lord desires that all would come to repentance. That was Jesus message from the very beginning of His earthly ministry. Matthew 4:12-17 says: Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
I can’t explain for certain what it is that John saw. I can’t tell you the day or the time that these things will come to pass. But, this I know and this I can say for certain about what has happened, what is presently happening and what will happen: That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13) We cannot know the future for certain. We cannot change the past, we can only learn from it. All that we can do today is what is needed for today. There are two types of people who may be reading this now, those who have already repented and confessed the Lord Jesus as Savior and those who have not. For those who have Jesus says: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) For any who have not, I would simply ask, what better time than now? Regardless of what the future holds Jesus says: “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.But he who endures to the end shall be saved.And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:12-14)
“Surely I am coming quickly.”Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.