Here are the next verses:
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 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.
“One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” Rev 9:7-12
First let us examine verse 7
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.”
Actually, if a locust is magnified it looks a little like a horse prepared for battle. On the other hand, many have read this and feel that the locusts represent John’s attempt to describe the modern-day helicopter.
It is true that numerous correspondences to modern day happenings and inventions can be seen in this book. This happens by using the Law of Correspondences with any inspired work. However, if one attempts to predict a literal unfolding of the future from this or any other book he will always go amiss. It is useful to look at the signposts through analogy and use them as common sense dictates, but to expect to accurately predict any end of times from this on a literal basis is to miss the point of the book.
And what is that? I will repeat, for this is an important point. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ, or the unfolding of the consciousness of the disciple and its effect on mankind as he treads the path of becoming like Christ.
Paul spoke of this when he said:
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col 1:27
When Christ is “in you,” then the Revelation of John will present a Key that will make the path understandable.
So, what does it mean that the “locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle?”
Remember that the locusts represent released guilt and negative emotion. The horse here represents intelligence applied with passion. The fact that the locusts are like horses prepared for battle tells us that the intelligence of those who are releasing negativity will use their minds to channel their emotion as if they are in as personal war and attack those who stimulated its release.
Again, we see this in the life of Christ. He opened the bottomless pit of suppressed emotion and guilt among the authorities and these people used their intelligence to guide their emotions to battle against him, seeking to take his life.
“and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold…”
Notice it says “as it were,” meaning that they did not have real crowns, but symbolic ones.
Powerful emotion is seen as a sign of authority. If a person feels with enough intensity, he then feels he has the right to act. If another commands him with enough emotion he feels he must obey or at least respond.
“and their faces were as the faces of men.”
Here is a revelation that the powerful emotion has “the faces of men.” Indeed, the released negativity comes from our own fellow men (or women).
Verse 8: “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.”
I remember when long hair came in style in the sixties. A lot of people thought the fulfillment of this verse was at hand. Many visualized a great war where helicopters would be manned by hippie-type soldiers with long hair.
Hair is a symbol of strength, as in the case of Samson, and long hair great strength. The fact that it looked like the hair of women tells us that strong emotion is connected with the female side of our being.
“and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.”
Powerful negative emotion indeed has teeth that has the scare of a bite of a lion.
Verse 9: “And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.”
Those who are in the process of releasing negative emotion have a breastplate of iron over the heart center. They have great feeling, but the spiritual love of the heart has a barrier over it as strong as iron.
Wings pull the consciousness to the plane of mind and reason, but in the midst of great emotion any attempt at logical thinking is drowned out the sound of many conflicting thoughts (many horses) mixed with illogical feeling.
Verse 10: “And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.”
This repeats the thought that negative emotion, especially guilt has a power to cause hurt as the sting of a scorpion.
Verse 11: “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.”
Abaddon and Apollyon mean “destroyer.” Because of this and the fact that the angel directing the locusts fell from heaven to the earth most interpreters assume this refers to the devil or Satan.
Many forget that the Son of God also descended from heaven to the earth as noted in this scripture: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:13
The disciple who treads the path of Christ is a destroyer as well as builder. When he teaches, he stimulates the release of powerful negative emotion and before it is dissipated is destroys all in its path just as a swarm of locusts. Negative emotion, on the other hand, is indeed the adversary of Christ. When we keep in mind that Satan means “adversary” we see another thought surfacing.
Fortunately, the consciousness of Christ has power to give the command to the negativity to not hurt any “green thing,” thus preserving spiritual life as negative emotion is transmuted into positive.
This section ends with:
“One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”
Slaying the Error
Moving on to the next verses: “And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” Rev 9:15-16
This is one of the more terrifying parts of the Book of Revelation for modern believers. For one thing, an army of 200 million men was impossible in the days of John, for that number was close to the population of the entire planet at that time, including women, children and people abroad.
But now in this age, where the earth has seven billion inhabitants, such an army is possible. Some Bible students fear that the Chinese could raise such an army, or perhaps the United Nations.
In addition, it is frightening to read that this great army will slay “the third part of men.”
What do you think? Did John mean this to be taken literally, or is there another meaning?
What is it?
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” Rev 9:15
It is interesting that even though the horsemen do the slaying it is the four angels who have authority over the horsemen. When they are no longer bound these are the ones responsible and in charge of destruction.
There were four different angels made ready for four different times. One was made ready for “a year.” In other words, there is a certain year in the life of the disciple where this angel will do his work. The second angel is prepared for a work to be accomplished in a month, a shorter period; the third for a certain day and the final for a certain hour.
As the disciple moves forward in spiritual evolution, at first it is difficult and time consuming for him to let the old thoughtforms that no longer serve him be destroyed.
The two longer periods of a year and a month are connected with the force of maya as it deludes us and pulls us toward matter through the physical body and the life-giving energies of prana that flow through it.
There is a certain year that it dawns upon the disciple that he needs to control his body and take good care of it.
There is a certain month that it dawns upon him that he must direct his passions and sex energy toward the higher way.
The third angel directs the solar plexus and the emotional world of the disciple. This creates the problem of ego and glamour for him.
There is a certain day that the disciple realizes that his ego and emotional self must yield to Spirit and pure reason.
The fourth angel governs the lower mind and throat center. This creates the problem of illusion where even the sincere disciple is tricked into incorrect thinking through flawed foundation beliefs.
Illumination that dispels illusion happens quickly when it does come. Within a certain hour of intense reflection and experience his world comes falling down and he realizes that much of what he has dearly believed was wrong.
All this change leads to what? The scripture says “to slay the third part of men.” Now surely the disciple is not going to rush out after achieving some enlightenment and slay a third of the population.
To find the answer we must ask what is actually slain?
Whenever the disciple moves forward in spiritual progress, he finds there are always elements that held him bound that must be slain.
When the Christian reads about the slaying of the third part of men he will generally think that God is allowing this to rid the earth of sinful people to bring a more righteous balance.
If this impression from reading the verse is true then how do we apply it to the disciple? What must be slain to bring more balance in his life?
What are the two energies that govern us and throw us in and out of balance?
These are the energies of male and female. These are expressed as sending and receiving, teacher/student, radiant/magnetic, action/acted upon, aggression/victim etc.
There is a time arrived at by the disciple where he realizes that many of those who have dominated his life with male energy and have been his senders, his teachers and his authorities have been completely wrong. As he reflects, he sees value in two thirds of what he has received; but one third of “men” (male energy) he has previously received must be eliminated or “slain”, no longer having any life to distract him again.
As he rejects and slays the third part of the male energy (or strong authorities) governing his life he then explores his female side, and his nature becomes more nurturing, gentle and loving.
Next we read:
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” Rev 9:16
To slay a third of the thoughtforms and ideologies which held him bound the disciple not only uses the assistance of the four angels, but of a large number of horsemen.
How large is the number? It is difficult to tell. The number is literally translated as “two, ten thousand, ten thousand.” The word “times” is not in the original but implied. If we use that implication, we can translate it as 2X10,000X10,000 which equals 200 million.
Now “ten thousand” comes from the Greek MURIAS which is not always translated as 10,000. It is sometimes rendered “innumerable” or “myriad.” Myriad is derived from this Greek word. For instance, when Jesus was teaching before a large crowd we read: “In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable (MURIAS) multitude of people…” Luke 12:1
In this case, the number was not exactly 10,000, but the writer was merely expressing the idea that there was a large number of people.
Another interesting point is that the number MURIAS was the largest number for which they had a word in that day. If you were attempting to describe something beyond your power to count you could just use this word. It corresponded somewhat to our word “countless” today.
Now let us look at what John was saying. He said that the number of horsemen was an innumerable amount, times or plus another innumerable amount and then double that. When we put it that way. it sounds like a person merely trying to emphasize that the number is beyond the imagination or countless.
What are the horsemen? As stated earlier, a horse symbolizes intelligence working through the lower nature. A rider on the horse directs that intelligence toward a desired end.
That desired end is the neutralization or destruction of the worst third of the lower energies, which pull the disciple toward matter or deceive him. As the disciple makes a major leap toward Spirit, he finds he is not alone on this path. With him are the four angels and an unlimited number of souls who have crossed this bridge before him and lend him support through the Oneness Principle. He cannot see these beings, but he feels their support.
Note the use of the word in the following scripture:
“But ye are come up unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable (MURIAS) company of angels (messengers). To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven…” Hebrews 12:22-23
We see that the inhabitants of heaven are described with the same number as the number of horsemen who assist the disciple in slaying his lower nature.
Now, is it possible that a physical externalization of this prophecy could happen, that an army 200 million men (or an immense number) with modern weapons could surface to destroy a large part of humanity?
Yes, there is a good chance this could happen sooner or later, but remember that these prophesies contain those “things which must shortly come to pass.” Rev 1:1.
It’s been 2000 years now, and if we wait long enough most anything could eventually happen. All the things in the Revelation did shortly come to pass on the inner planes in the lives of disciples who were alive in the days of John. Fortunately, they are still coming to pass today in the lives of a much greater number than ever before.
It is useless to send armies against ideas. Georg Brandes
June 11, 2005
Copyright by J J Dewey
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