The Torah portion Re'eh (Dt 11:26-16:17) contains clues to help decode the flying creatures of the bottomless pit of Abaddon described in Revelation. For a quick review of Abaddon as "Egypt," see the newsletter "Do You Not Know that Egypt is Abaddon?" in our archives.The King of Egypt, the earthly Pharaoh, was a type of a dark spiritual force known as Abaddon. Abaddon means "destruction." In Re'eh, Deuteronomy 12:2, the Israelites are commanded:
Destroy, you shall destroy all the places where the nations from whom you shall take possession worshiped their gods: on the high mountains and on the hills, and under every leafy tree.
The destructions of Revelation do fall on the places of idol-worship: mountains and green trees. The hint is
At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, 'Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.' (Ex 14:24-25)
The Egyptians speak about the Egyptians as though they are someone else. Why not say "fighting for them against us"? This hints that there is a physical Egypt and a spiritual Egypt. In fact, those of Jerusalem who are apostate idol-worshipers are mystically called "Egypt" and "Babylon." Revelation is a call to both Israel and the nations to return to the Testimony, the Word of God. Yeshua will be King over all the earth. For those who prefer a different king, they will have one:
They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon. (Re 9:11)
The flying "locusts" of Revelation Chapter Nine are difficult for John to describe. He repeatedly says, "the appearance of" to relay what he's seeing in physical, natural terms. So many generations have looked at the supernatural creatures of Revelation and tried to force modern armaments onto the descriptions, yet the primary form of Abaddon's tormenting bug is spiritual, for it flies out of the abyss. Physical form doesn't exist there, only the consciousness of souls and forms of wicked spirits.
Ironically, it is the wicked spirits who are put into harness to judge the earth. As it turns out, He can make the devil do it! The sound of the creatures is like the sound of horses and chariots prepared for battle (Re 9:9), which reminds the reader of a First Mention in the Torah, the pursuit of Pharaoh's chariots after Israel, who are delivered by walking through the Reed Sea. Moses and Miriam sing, "I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously, the horse and the rider thrown into the sea."
The reader of Revelation is expected to KNOW this song and rejoice that the deliverance of Israel has come. At the same time, it is sobering to read of the judgment on the "Egyptians" of Revelation, those who will not repent and so be tormented and killed. It is in our interest to learn what "tormented and killed" means, for it is in the portion Re'eh as well as the paradigm of John's Revelation.
First, John describes the martyrs under the Throne (Re 6:10) who have been tormented and killed for the Word of their testimony, which from context, we know is their faith in both the written Word of God and Yeshua as the living testimony of salvation, the Living Word. In the following verses from the letter to the Hebrews, several important reminders clarify the connection between the Egyptian pursuit of Israel and the final resolution in Revelation:
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned. (He 11:24-29)
Here are the points:
- Moses fled sin and chose torment with the people of God
- Moses did not fear the wrath of the "king" of Egypt
- He kept Passover and had faith in the sprinkling of blood, faith in Yeshua, who was slain from the foundation of the world with a specific mission, to fulfill the non-physical slaying with a physical death on the tree
- The "firstborn" were spared
- The Israelites walked through water "as though" it was dry land; the same attempt by the Egyptian horses and chariots resulted in confusion of their wheels and drowning
Water and fire are both symbols of God's Spirit, and it can be seen in shamayim, the Hebrew word for Heaven. The shin represents fire (esh), and the shon (tongue) "is a fire, a world of iniquity":
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. (Ja 3:6)
In fact, the appearance of the letter shin is a cloven tongue of fire:
Water in Hebrew is mayim, so put the fire with the water, and we have shamayim, or Heaven. Heaven is the fire and the water of salvation to the righteous from above, but to the wicked, it is consuming torment and death from below. The fire and flood from below do not have power over those who walk in the Holy Spirit of Heaven from above, and through Yeshua (salvation), they ascend unscathed and purified for the next phase of the journey to resurrection. They are a people called Israel journeying to a place called Israel according to the righteous teaching of a covenant for the people Israel in the place Israel.
In one sense, the Israelites descended to the abyss, but for them, the trip was a journey of salvation in which they ascended on the other side of that tight place, or "tribulation." For the wicked, the waters below first confused (tormented), then flooded, and finally destroyed (killed).
This Revelation judgment is prophesied in Isaiah:
Behold, the name of the LORD comes from a remote place;
Burning is His anger and dense is His smoke;
His lips are filled with indignation
And His tongue is like a consuming fire; (30:27)
This is exactly the description of Revelation Nine that describes the release of the tormenting bugs of Abaddon. Their release is accompanied by smoke and fire, and they come to torment those who have tormented the righteous starting with righteous Abel and throughout history. Those righteous were tormented and died because they believed in the resurrection of the dead through a coming Messiah, and they lived their lives believing in both resurrection and an ultimate reckoning of deeds.
The wicked hate the righteous because they testify that their worldly deeds will indeed be judged. John prophesies that the wicked will be the ones tormented, hiding, and begging the mountains to fall on them.
...others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. (He 11:35-38)
When the wicked "wander" it will be the judgment of hamam, or confusion and being lost (see last week's newsletter).
Revelation 9:8 says that the supernatural bugs of King Abaddon have teeth "like the teeth of lions." The Psalm hints that to be in Sheol (hell) is to lie among other souls who "breathe forth fire," the "world of iniquity" that James describes. It is not the Holy Spirit fire falling from the world above so that Yeshua's testimony is given in the languages of the earth through those who proclaim the Word, but the fire of wicked tongues:
My soul is among lions;
I must lie among those who breathe forth fire,
Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows
And their tongue a sharp sword. (Ps 57:4)
The King of Abaddon's subjects breathe the fire of hell. How ironic they they will be used to test the peoples of the earth to see if they will acquire the Fear of Adonai and believe in the resurrection and the Torah, the Song of Moses.
The end result of the tormenting plagues and the destruction of Egypt? "When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses." (Ex 14:31) Better to believe sooner than later, isn't it?
Not coincidentally, the inhabitants of Jerusalem experience the same reverence for God's power after the great earthquake and witnessing the resurrection of the two witnesses after 3 ½ days. In Jewish tradition, the soul completely separates from the body by the end of the third day, so the timing for their resurrection is a sign as much as the earthquake:
And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Re 11:13)
Human blood starts "gelling" upon death, but by the end of the third day, it breaks down. In Jewish tradition, the waters of the Reed Sea "gelled" into walls for the Israelites to walk through, testifying like the blood.
This blood gelling accounts for Lazarus' "stink" being mentioned to Yeshua when he says that Lazarus will be resurrected, for the life (nefesh, soul) is in the blood (Le 17:11). Martha believes that Lazarus will be resurrected at the Last Day, but not before then, for his soul has detached, and it is now into the fourth day (Jn 11:39), like the 3 ½ days of the two witnesses.
Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.' Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?' (Jn 11:23-26)
The resurrection of the Last Day can be compared to the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh HaShanah. In a play-on words, Rosh HaShanah, which literally means "Head of the Year," it also means "Beginning of the Change." A year in Hebrew, shanah, means "change." On Rosh HaShanah, the Last Trump is blown. On Yom Kippur ten days later, the Great Trump is blown. Martha is expressing her faith in the First Resurrection, which occurs on the "Last Day" of the "Last Trump."
Yeshua, however, says that those who believe in him do not have to wait for the First Resurrection to experience life in the Lower Garden, called Paradise. According to Jewish tradition, their souls will be given a form, called a garment or robe, while they await the First Resurrection, and this garment enables them to enjoy the pleasures of Eden while they wait, not just a comfortable, yet imprisoned, soul consciousness after death.
This statement by the mourners is significant: "But some of them said, 'Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?'" (Jn 11:37) Blindness is equal to confusion in Scripture. Confusion (hamam) is what happened to the King of Egypt's chariot wheels. They lost direction, just as in the plague of darkness that prophesied of their coming confusion. There were two steps:
1. Confusion of darkness
2. Destruction of a) the firstborn and b) the Egyptian drivers, chariots, and horses
Remember the double commandment of Re'eh, "Destroy, you shall destroy..."? There are two steps of destruction: a) Confusion and torment and b) killing, which includes removing the name of the enemy. This is exactly the job of the Abaddon long-haired-hornet-locust-serpent-horse-scorpion-lion-bugs, called tzirah in the Torah.
More on Tzirah of Mitzraim and the King of Abaddon in upcoming lessons. For this week, simply rejoice and give glory to Adonai that the torments and destructions that dark forces have inflicted upon the righteous were only physical ones, and they used physical things as instruments of destruction. The tables will be turned when Yeshua is released to execute the answer to the saints' question "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Re 6:10)
When the Holy One of Israel comes to lead His People Israel to the Land of Israel, those dark forces of Abaddon will be forced to confuse, torment, and destroy their wicked human hosts.
The Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world will come with Heavenly water, which is fire, like the pillar of cloud in the wilderness that protected the Israelites. He will overcome the flood of wickedness and the wicked-mouthed sword of the enemy with the double-edged sword in his own mouth, which will divide asunder soul and spirit. He will deliver the righteous with water and fire, and he will destroy the wicked with water and fire.
Yeshua's blood gives his lambs the power to overcome and walk through water and fire: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you." (Is 43:2)
May the Spirit of Yeshua abide in us and fight for us against the "Egyptians" above and below. By faith, we keep the Passover like Moses, and we can sing the Song of Moses as a resurrection victory song with the righteous instead of a destruction song.
Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1 Jn 5:5-8)