The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
Lesson fifteen continued
John hears the first trumpet blast that summons hail and fire mingled with blood, and they are dumped on earth[i]. Sophisticated human beings down here on earth call this a natural disaster, and perhaps report it to be a result of global warming. A third of the earth (a large amount, but not quite half) is scorched resulting in 1/3 of the trees and every blade of grass in that area burned to a crisp.
John remembers that the seventh plague of Egypt brought hail down on the Egyptians, hail and lightning. He remembers, too, that this hail didn’t fall on his people, just the unbelieving Egyptians. Yahweh was giving them every chance to turn to him and cooperate for his plan for Israel. When the grass of the field, and the trees burn up there will is food for man or beast; the result is famine and death[ii].
Most of the wounds in WW I were caused by shrapnel charge that caused a hail of high velocity debris to fall on the area. This could have been described by John as hail and fire mixed with blood. The strategy, called the scorched earth policy, during WW II called for the destruction by fire of everything in the path of the marching soldiers, because that leaves perusing armies without substance or places to hide[iii]. The result for all, of course, was famine.
Or John could have been describing strike lightning – hail and lightning striking the trees and grass turning them to cinder. But where is the blood?
I believe that, just as the sevens in each series indicate the end of mankind’s rule on earth and the beginning of the Mashiach’s Kingdom rule, so do series one through six of the signs relate to the total tribulation period.
When, down through the ages, the Church has seen the Revelation fulfilled in the events of their day, I believe they have been partially correct. The events of history have partially fulfilled prophesies of Revelation. Revelation shows the church what will happen on earth before it does happen so we won’t be caught off guard. But John saw it all from Heaven’s perspective, and With Yahweh 1000 years is but a day in our perception of time.
When the second angel blows his trumpet John sees a huge mountain (an immense molten mass[iv]) burning with fire cast into the sea. The third past (a lot but not quite half) of the sea was affected when the creatures of the sea, and people on ships were killed and their blood made the liquid simply watered down blood.
If a great volcanic mountain were to erupt and burning lava and rock flowed into the sea, the water would probably boil at almost 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, killing all the creatures of the sea and people on ships and boats. The flowing lava of from ten to twenty-five feet thick would block ships and set them ablaze.
A lave flow in Washington state covers about 20,000 square miles and is more than 100 feet thick. Think of the destruction the volcano that deposited that flow would have done in the sea. Then there is the Tsunami that would generate. Besides the lava flow, volcanoes also produce deadly gases.
If we look at this prophesy in the light of war, we can see bombs being dropped on ships at sea. John said what he saw was something like a huge mountain burning with fire flung into the sea. A mountain is a symbol of power. [v]
First the dry earth was affected, next the sea. What exactly the mountain represents is up for speculation, but I believe that, since the trumpets represent a call to war, that this mountain wreaking havoc on the sea is the result of war. The great wars haven’t completely destroyed the oceans, but they certainly haven’t done them any good.
J. Vernon McGee has this to say about this trumpet prophesy: “The mountain represents something literal and tangible as that which we have in Jeramiah 51:21…This literal mass falls into a literal sea, one third becomes literal blood, and one third of all the literal living creatures in the literal sea die a literal death. Nothing could be plainer than this. Also one third of all literal ships of all literal nations are literally destroyed. If we just let John say what he wants to say, it makes it very clear.”[vi]
The complete fulfillment will be accomplished when Mashiach comes into his Kingdom.
Next John hears the blast from the third trumpet and a huge star, blazing like a torch, falls to the earth and wipes out one third of the rivers and springs. The water becomes bitter from the star and many die.
There is, today, a scarcity of fresh water for drinking and domestic use[vii]. When I was a child, growing up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming fresh clean water was available from rivers, creeks and faucets or pumps. Now I have to pay for drinking water and boil water for any other use. Expensive filters have to be attached to the water supply so we can bathe or shower without our skin absorbing harmful bacteria. Dr. McGee remembers a drought of the 50s in Dallas when the man-made lakes, that supplied the city with its water supply, dried up. The Red River was so polluted from the oil wells that the people had to leave the area for their water[viii]. He says, “This star is literal and is a meteor containing poison which contaminates 1/3 of the earth’s fresh water supply. The star’s name [wormwood] suggests that this is a judgment on man for idolatry and injustice.”
Dr. Jeramiah says, “In just one short generation pollution has become a peril over our cities, spreading through ground water contamination into the countryside…Even without God’s intervention, the earth is being handed over to the greatest polluter of all time, Satan himself.”[ix]
In Scripture, angels and stars are interchangeable. Could it be that this is a fallen star bring devastation on the water?
The next trumpet blast John hears is accompanied by a partial blackout, but one that affects sun, moon, and stars. It looks like the whole world is touched with a dimming of the heavenly lights. John remembers how Moses called down darkness on the Egyptians and knows that this is a warning of what is surly to come[x]. When 1/3 (a great amount, but not quite half) of the heavenly light bearers shut down night and day both get 2/3 of its usual light. The earth gets its energy from the light bearers. Perhaps John didn’t realize the impact on the earth this would have, but it certainly is a lot for a student of science to think about.
Electromagnetic radiation emanates in all directions from the sun. The sun radiates about three hundred million, million, million J of energy each second. One J (joule) is about equal to the amount of energy to lift an apple one yard. About one hundred thousand million, million J in electromagnetic radiation pass from the sun to earth every second. Nuclear reactions in the sun’s core convert mass to energy. The energy of electromagnetic radiation is stored in oil and converted back to unstable energy when it is burned.
The sun’s energy converted to chemical energy in photosynthesis builds sugar in grasses. The sugars are necessary to the life of the planet. Tree leaves trap light energy from the sun and convert it to the chemical energy of sugar by photosynthesis. When we eat the grasses and trees, we gain energy for living from these sugars.
Chemicals from the woods of trees are released as heat, light, and when it is burned. Cows break down sugars in grasses and release some energy as heat. Humans gain chemical energy by eating plants and animals. The energy from the sun ultimately powers everything we use here on earth. All energy originates in the sun; so when the power of the sun, moon, and stars only supply the earth with energy of 2/3 strength, the earth is in trouble.
The unrepentant human race is being warned that Yahweh really does intend to fulfill the prophesy of the sixth seal when the sun goes black, the moon is red, and the stars fall. Yahweh has always used mankind’s sinful ways and turned them to accomplish his purpose. Pollution obscures the heavenly lights in the industrialized world, and because of the great god, technology, even third the “third world” nations are being “blessed” with the result of moving production into countries where laws aren’t set up to protect the skies from the same pollution we “enjoy.”
Some commentators relate these trumpet call results to Josephs dream, but in his dream the sun, moon, and stars bowed down to him. The sun, moon, and stars represented his father, mother, and brothers – not nations as the commentators speculate[xi].
I believe this is a literal partial eclipse of heavenly lights – Yahweh using the instruments of pollution in space, of which there is plenty; of pollution, that is.
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, we see you in the events of the day and praise your name. We see that we are closer now than ever before to that blessed day when you return to the earth and call us to join you. We see you at work in the world to accomplish your will and we wait with joyful expectation for that great and awesome Day of The Lord we have heard so much about. We long for you to come and straighten out the mess mankind has made of your wonderful creation. And we are anxious for the time when every knee bows to you and every tongue confesses that you are Lord. Meanwhile we will rejoice in the present-day events that we know are being worked toward your goal for the earth.
[i] Ezekiel 38:22; Joel 2:30
[ii] Revelation 6:7, 8
[iii] The Oxford companion To WW II, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 1994, page 987
[iv] Westminster Study Bible, page 469, 470, note on v. 8
[v] The Archaeological Study Bible, page 1857
[vi] Through The Bible With J. Vernon McGee, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, vol 5, page 963, also read the top paragraph on page 964 for further enlightment
[vii] Ibid, page 964
[viii] Ibid, page 964
[ix] Jeramiah, page 23
[x] Revelation 16:10, 11
[xi] Farrar, Elliott, Conway, green, and Thomas