Saturday, August 29, 2009

Revelation 8:10-13 Trumpets 3 & 4

Verse 10-11 “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”

First an asteroid hits the earth and now another object falls from the heavens. So there is more than one object moving through space toward us. We have seen meteor showers, an asteroid, and now a star. Whereas the first object appears to John as being solid as a mountain, thus the determination that it must be an asteroid, this object looks to him as a burning star. This is apparently not the same type of object. It must be more like a comet where the head can be small but it carries with it a lot of debris that burns up on entering the atmosphere, thereby making it look like a star. This debris falls all over the land hitting the fresh water lakes and rivers. It even penetrates the ground water contaminating well water. This star is given the name Wormwood. Wormwood by its name means bitter and poisonous. While there is much debate as to exactly what this means, it may be that God, knowing the future, gave it this name based on an incident that happened in Russia some years ago. When Chernobyl had the meltdown, it became a world-wide known event. What made it even more interesting was that it was also made known to the world that the word Chernobyl means “wormwood”. Since specifically radiation poisoning was the cause of deaths in Chernobyl, radiation poisoning became linked to the word “wormwood”. As we know that meteors and space debris contain radiation, it makes perfect sense that the poisoning that kills people in this verse is radiation poisoning. Nothing in this world happens without purpose, including Chernobyl. Again it is interesting that the same area of the earth that has one third of the forests and one third of the ocean area also coincidentally has one third of the world’s fresh water supply. Streams turning to pitch and drying up were some of the O.T. signs which were a part of the whole Day of the Lord scenario.

Verse 12 “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.”

Many scholars divide all of these trumpets as separate judgments that have nothing to do with each other. Because of this they grasp for extraordinary explanations to explain some of the phenomena occurring. Some believe that God will miraculously make the sun and stars decrease in the output of their light spectrum. It is not necessary for God to have to do this. While He can, from scriptures we see that most of the time He uses the resources at hand to do the trick. What many forget is that God created the universe and it is His to command. There is no reason for these things to occur miraculously when just using the available materials will suffice. The orchestration of the events and objects themselves is the miracle. These things would not occur at just the proper moment and in the way God desires if He were not running the show.

The fourth trumpet is actually the natural outcome of the previous trumpets. Just as the seals seemed to follow in a natural order (war, pestilence, famine, death), so these trumpets seem to follow as a natural conclusion to what began in the sixth seal. First we see the celestial objects blocking our view of the sun and eclipsing the moon. The gravitational forces cause tectonic disruption. Then there are meteor showers or debris accompanying the objects that hit the earth. Then the big objects themselves hit. When the asteroid and the “star” hit the planet, it will cause a lot of debris to be thrown up into the air. Added to that is the volcanic eruptions that must occur due to the tectonic plate movement caused by the gravitational tug of war and the impact (which also shifts our orbit which will take a terrible toll on the planet). This will also add to the smoke and ash in the air. An asteroid hitting the earth would be like a nuclear explosion. It would cause what is known as a nuclear winter, shutting off the sun from shining on the planet as the debris would create a canopy which the sun would not penetrate. As all of the previous trumpets affected approximately one third of the earth’s surface, so also the atmospheric problems will occur in one third area of the earth. This would seem to verify that those previous trumpets did occur in the same area of the earth, given that had they occurred around the planet it would be more than one third of the earth’s globe that finds its atmosphere polluted, making it impossible to see the sun, moon, or stars. It is not that the heavenly bodies themselves are darkened, but that from the perspective of the earth, they are darkened. At least one third of the day and night are darkened, as one third of the earth will have this atmospheric debris. As the earth does rotate in one day, and all of these things seem to have occurred to one area of the earth (based on deduction, but not verifiable) it would seem that they all occur in rapid succession before the earth has time to rotate and present the other side toward the oncoming phenomena.

It was always a puzzle to me that it was taught that these events would be occurring world-wide (and there will be earthquakes, and volcanoes world-wide), yet people would continue on with life as usual, as this seems to be the picture scripture presents on people’s behavior. They do not repent, but continue on with their sorceries, fornication, thefts, and etc. Life goes on as usual. How does one do that given what is occurring? The answer is found in watching how the world behaves when a catastrophe occurs nowadays. It never occurs world-wide. It only occurs in one area of the world, so the rest of the world, while often helping out that devastated area, continues their lives uninterrupted. I believe that the fact that this same behavior is seen here in Revelation indicates that the deduction that I reached, that it is only one area of the earth that all of these trumpets (thus far) have hit, has a good probability of being correct. While it is probable only one third of the earth has been completely devastated by these things, the whole world is suffering some effects. The earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis will affect some areas, but not all. The temperature has to go up worldwide, and the heat and droughts will cause more famine and other problems, which will make things more difficult for everybody, but still people will try to keep on with life as usual. These occurrences will continue to escalate, but there will always be some places where life is still a little more normal. On the other hand the next few trumpets do affect the entire world. Now everybody is going to suffer.

Verse 13 “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”

The previous trumpets were bad enough, but the three trumpets to come are even worse and require a special announcement. An angel flies through the midst of heaven making that announcement. There are three woes about to hit mankind. As John is in heaven watching all of this, when the verse says "the midst of heaven", it is reasonable to assume that the angel is making the announcement to the congregation that is gathered there, not to the inhabitants of the earth.

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