The Gulf War - 1990
The Gulf War started in 1990 with the War in Heaven, an air offensive which was afterwards known as Desert Shield. You should read the War in Heaven first, if you have not already done so. Otherwise the narrative about the ground offensive, which started in 1991, begins at:
When the lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 then I saw the seven angels (screens) who stand before god, and seven trumpets were given to them.
It looks like the seventh seal didn’t activate anything but set up all seven screens for the next phase. Each screen, meanwhile, had a picture of a trumpet which would sound prior to the each “vision” being shown.
3 and another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; 4 and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before god.5 then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
This part is unclear. Is this an explosion which starts the war?
6 now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them. the first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
This description appears frquently in Revelation and appears to describe aircraft firing missiles at land-based targets, burning grass and trees and scorching the earth.
8 the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea; 9 and a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
This sounds like a missile falling into the sea which would certainly damage ships and kill wildlife but a missile doesn't usually look like a "burning mountain" - it's normally more like a shooting star and John knows the difference because he describes a "falling star" when the next trumpet sounds.
But there was a very interesting development in missile technique at the time of The Gulf War. For the first time ever in a conflict, Patriarch missiles were used by the allied forces in an effort shoot down Scud missiles, fired by Iraq into Israel.
When the Patriarch missile hit the Scud, what started as a "falling star" was turned into a blazing "fireball" and could well have been described as a "burning mountain" as it fell to earth, whereas the missiles "falling to earth", that is, those fired from the allied ships into Iraq, would have looked like "stars falling". (click on the links to view)
Rev 8 continues:
10 the third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water.
Missiles are falling into the sea, fired from Iraq and missiles are falling onto land, fired from the UN naval forces, exactly the scenario of the battle at the beginning of the Gulf War land offensive.
11the name of the star is wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the water, because it was made bitter.
It is said that “wormwood” is the translation of the word “Chernobyl” and that this therefore describes the explosion of the nuclear reactor in the Ukraine in 1986, but this cannot be true. In the first place, Chernobyl did not fall into the sea and, as far as can be ascertained, no one died of radioactive fall-out in Israel from the Chernobyl disaster.
The description “wormwood” probably suggests radioactive contamination from the falling missiles by likening it to the fall-out from Chernobyl. But although the ground was poisoned in the Gulf War by depleted Uranium shells, there were no reports about serious radioactive poisoning. So this part is not really correct, unless there is something we haven't been told about this war!
12 the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.
This was the result of the many explosions when smoke darkened the sun, covered the stars and turned the moon red. The same description was given when describing the smoke and dust thrown up by the devastation of the world trade centre on 9/11
13 then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice, as it flew in mid-heaven, "woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets which the three angels are about to blow!"
Remember that "those who dwell on the earth" are the Arab/Muslim community as opposed to the "Christians" who are described as "those whose names are written in the Book of Life". So the eagle is not proclaiming "woe to all those who dwell on earth" as some translations now read.
Another interesting point to mention. Is the "eagle crying with a loud voice" (some translations say "angel") a reference to the USA, whose symbol is the bald eagle, or is it even more frighteningly specific in that the main air attack aircraft used in this campaign was the devastating F-15 eagle strike fighter jet?
So what are the three woes still to come? Are they connected to Desert Storm? They certainly are! The narrative continues in:
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
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.
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. This Angel is especially dealt with in a separate section because
of its importance in:The Angel of The Bottomless Pit.
This describes the Iraqui army retreating from Kuwait and setting the oil wells on fire as they go. The allied helicopter gunships (locusts) buzz round the oil wells to protect them from the Iraqi soldiers.
13 then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before god, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphra'tes." so the four angels were released, who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, to kill a third of mankind.
It sounds like these are very powerful weapons to destroy one third of mankind! But is this what it means? It seems that this is just a way of saying that these weapons were to be used against the opposition, who are "christians" and identified as "one third of mankind", because the proportion of the world which is identified as Christian is 31.5% or approximately 1/3rd.
So these four angels are flying weapons of some kind, which belong to Iraq and are directed against the UN.
After this the focus turns to an observation about the number of the ground troops. John continues without further reference to angels and now refers to “horses” in his vision, but they could be one and the same because both fly!
(16) the number of the troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. (200 million) I heard their number.17 and this was how I saw the horses in my vision: the riders wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulphur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulphur issued from their mouths.
18 by these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulphur issuing from their mouths. 19 for the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; their tails are like serpents, with heads, and by means of them they wound.
20 the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot either see or hear or walk; 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their immorality or their thefts.
The final woe seems to have been “sealed up” and not revealed at this stage.
The next prophecy chronologically continues with The Four Horsemen