Last week, I showed how the pattern for Revelation’s judgments was set in the Book of Leviticus, and then we moved into the first trumpet’s judgment. Let’s continue with the others.
First, let’s recognize that the blowing of these trumpets need not be sequential. Just because John reports seeing, say, the first angel blow his trumpet and then seeing the second angel do so, doesn’t mean that the second angel had to wait for the first one to be accomplished. This is simply the order that John records what he has seen.
Let’s take a look at the second trumpet’s judgment:
8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. [Rev 8:8-9 ESV]
What does a mountain burning with fire sound like? A fiery meteor shooting down from the sky? That’s what many proclaim it to be. However, a look at recent events shows another possibility. Well, relatively recent. This natural disaster occurred in January 2022, but the mainstream media ignored it because it didn’t fit the “climate change” narrative preferred by the World Economic Forum and global governments.
In January 2022 the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano in the Pacific erupted, ejecting over 40 trillion gallons of water—as superheated water vapor—into the atmosphere. Within a week, this vapor circumnavigated the globe. Within a month, it had spread from pole to pole, too. Water vapor is six times more effective than carbon dioxide in trapping heat. The eruption plume extended 30km (18 miles) into the stratosphere and included over 400,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, which converts to sulfates in the atmosphere. Sulfates, as fine particulates, are a major air pollutant, but they are believed to contribute to global cooling, not heating, by reflecting solar energy back into space. Despite these opposing effects in the atmosphere, the volcanic heating of the oceans is no doubt contributing to the heat wave and record-breaking El Niño weather pattern we’re currently seeing, more than the carbon dioxide created by our cars, power plants, etc. . . . and cow farts.
While the undersea volcano in the Pacific is expected to raise water temperatures in the Southern Pacific and Indian Oceans so that they will be 3°C (5.4°F) warmer in October than normal, the Atlantic faces its own warming issues. Three new hydrothermal vents were recently discovered along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Again, they’re injecting heated water into the ocean. Perhaps that’s one reason why water temperatures along the Florida coast and the Keys are in the mid-90°s, with one monitoring buoy recording a temp of 38.3°C (100.94°F) in late July. That’s more like a hot tub than the ocean. NOAA recorded a record-high average sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic Ocean of 24.9°C (76.8°F) in late July.
So, what about the rest of that prophetic vision? Already there have been major fish kills reported along the Texas coast. Hundreds of bottlenose dolphins and seals have washed up on California’s shores, dead from eating prey that fed on toxic algae. Coral across the globe is dying and affected beds are becoming bleached. Marine scientists have expressed grave concern that the elevated water temperatures will cause a mass die-off of marine life. A “third of the living creatures in the sea” (not just fish or marine mammals) could well be dying, but we have no way of quantifying that.
I can’t account for ships being destroyed, but perhaps that’s still coming. BTW, another consequence of higher water temps is less wind and rain, which in turn adds to the heat across the globe. It becomes a vicious cycle.
As for the sea turning to blood, could red tide—a form of toxic algae bloom that literally turns the water red—be what John saw? Harmful algae blooms (HABs), the term preferred by scientists, seem to be increasing, and 90% of HABs occur in fresh water. There’s also a snow algae first discovered in 2019, Sanguina nivaloides, which develops a red or orange pigment to save it from the sun. But the pigment also lowers the reflectivity of the snow and speeds up melting. It’s been shown to affect the waters around Greenland, as an example, causing lower numbers of Arctic cod, which feeds the seal and polar bears of that region.
Yes, it’s my personal opinion that we’ve moved into and past the second Trumpet Judgment. The countdown continues.
So, what about the next judgment?
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 springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter. [Rev 8:10-11 ESV]
There’s much speculation about this one, and I think we’re just beginning to see this one. However, one commonly taught interpretation can be tossed out IMO. The word ‘wormwood’ in Russian is chernobyl. As a result, many End Times teachers promote the idea that this judgment shows a meltdown of the Chernobyl-class nuclear reactors worldwide (approx. 40) with a resulting poisoning of the nearby freshwaters. This poisoning causes death to many who drink it. However, the nuclear reactor that had the meltdown in 1986 was outside the town of Chornobyl, Ukraine. A reporter misspelled the name with an ‘e’ instead of the ‘o’ and the misspelling stuck. Personally, I don’t think we’re looking at a nuclear disaster.
Chornobyl is the Ukrainian word for mugwort, artemisia vulgaris. Chernobyl, however, is the Russian word for wormwood, produced by artemisia absinthium. Wormwood is another name for absinthe, which contains a compound called thujone. Thujone was outlawed decades ago in most countries because of its hallucinatory properties. However, in ancient times, absinthe was part of the worship of Artemis because of the drunkenness and hallucinations it caused.
For those who see Revelation as all symbolic, this relationship to Artemis is critical. For them, the mention of wormwood, connected to its use in the worship of Artemis, points to a return to idolatry. Such a return leads to spiritual death. Supporting their idea are the facts that the temples to Artemis were located along freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes, and that stars are frequently symbolic of angels in the Bible. A fallen angel certainly could tie this to idolatry, but how does “blazing like a torch” fit?
That said, by now, if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of the “Revelation is totally symbolic” approach. Yes, I agree that there is much that is symbolic in Revelation, such as the numbers used. The understanding of those ‘symbols’ is more or less universal. However, I believe that John was seeing things quite real and understandable.
To consider these visions as symbolic makes these images relative. My interpretation of a symbol might not be your interpretation. Draw a number 6 and put it on a table between two people. One person will see the 6, while the other will see a 9. Why would God give us “symbolic visions” if the scripture is to be instructive for all? As such, I don’t believe that Revelation is all symbolic.
So, what could this judgment be? While a land-based volcano is a possibility, I see a meteor in this prophetic vision. Is that possible? Certainly. With 30 years of monitoring, NASA is reporting increasing numbers of near-earth objects (NEOs). Much was made in the media about one NEO that passed by the earth by less than two million miles in 2022. They called it a “near miss in galactic terms.” However, NASA today reports that 53 NEOs have passed by earth within 1 lunar distance (less than 239,000 miles) so far this year (2023). Three passed by in July 2023 alone. Of the 53 passes, 26 weren’t detected until they had passed by, and five weren’t detected until an hour before they passed by.
Clearly, NASA is concerned. They initiated the DART Program in 2021 and completed it in September 2022. DART stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. They succeeded in deflecting the moonlet Dimorphos in its orbit around asteroid Didymos by 3 minutes (about 3%). Still, NASA admits that it is unlikely to detect an asteroid or other object approaching from behind the moon until it is too late.
In summary for this post, my own take is that we’re well into these trumpet judgments when you look at current events. But these woes are continuing. Keep your focus in Jesus. More to come . . .