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The First Four Trumpets

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Sun, Moon and Stars Go Dark

“The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” (Revelation 8:12)

The judgments of God do not end with two asteroid impacts. The fourth judgment follows the first three trumpets, the result is the Sun, moon, and stars go dark. It is conceivable that the darkness John saw is similar to what occurred in the northwestern part of the United States during the Mt.St. Helens eruptions in 1980. At midday, it looked like midnight. There was no light. Although Revelation does not say why the Sun, moon and stars turn dark, this worldwide phenomenon would be consistent with volcanic eruptions. The cumulative effects of a giant earthquake and two asteroid impacts could certainly disrupt the fragile balance of Earth’s tectonic plates. As the tectonic plates strain to readjust, enormous energy would be released. Hundreds of volcanoes could erupt, belching magna and ash in a series of explosions that could dwarf the blasts of Mount St. Helens, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippians and Mount Popo in Mexico.

Consider the cumulative effect. The first three trumpets send megatons of dust, soot and debris into the atmosphere. Hundreds of volcanic eruptions (around the Ring of Fire) belch more dust in the form of volcanic ash, causing extended darkness around the world. Millions of burning acres and resulting windstorms insure that the jet stream is affected. One ounce of soot absorbs 25,000 times the amount of sunlight that one ounce of dust absorbs! Given this physical fact, it is not hard to encircle the middle third of Earth where two-thirds of the world’s population lives! The absence of sunlight for an extended period of time will produce famine. While you are pondering these powerful displays of God’s wrath, keep in mind that god is righteous and He can justify His actions. What does the severity of God’s actions say about man’s rebellion?

John predicts, “A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” It is very interesting to note that the quantity of “one third” is used 12 times throughout the description of the seven trumpets:

1/3 of Earth will be burned up

1/3 of the trees will be burned up

1/3 of the sea will turn into blood

1/3 of the sea creatures will die

1/3 of the ships on the sea will sink

1/3 of the rivers and springs will become contaminated

1/3 of the light from the Sun will be taken away

1/3 of the light from the moon will be taken away

1/3 of the light from the stars will be taken away

1/3 of the day will be without light

1/3 of the night will be without light

1/3 of mankind will be killed in the sixth trumpet war

What is God trying to tell us about the repetitive use of “one-third?” Would you believe it has to do with God’s generosity? God destroys one-third, but spares two-thirds. To appreciate the importance of God’s generosity, notice how rebellion was addressed in Bible times.

When a tribal nation refused to pay tribute to a king who claimed higher authority over their territory, it was common practice for the offended king to attack the defiant city and totally destroy it – men, woman and children. (Deuteronomy 2:34; 3:6) However, if the king was in a generous mood, he might spare one-third of the nation from destruction (and thus maintain some of his tax base.) Notice how this happened during the reign of King David. “David also defeated the Moabites [who had refused to pay him tribute]. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them put to death, and the one-third length was allowed to live. So the [surviving] Moabites became subject to David and brought tribute [tax].” (2 Samuel 8:2, insertion mine)

God also dealt with Israel in a parallel pattern. God tolerated Israel’s rebellion for many centuries, but when its cup reached full measure, God killed two-thirds of Israel when He sent His servant Nebuchadnezzar to destroy them. (Jeremiah 25:9) Because God is a generous King, He spared one-third (the survivors) by putting them in Babylonian exile. God told Ezekiel, “A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third of you will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.” (Ezekiel 5:12) Did you notice God’s use of His deadly judgments: sword, famine and plague? Did you notice that two-thirds were killed?

Again, the balance of mercy can be observed in the days of Zechariah. God said, “ ‘In the whole land,’ declares the Lord, ‘two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “they are my people,” and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”’” (Zechariah 13:8,9)

The repetitive use of “one-third” within the seven trumpets declares God’s generosity with a defiant and rebellious world. The trumpet judgments are redemptive in nature. If a generous king spared one-third of a rebellious nation in ancient times, what can be said of the King of kings who spares two-thirds of the elements mentioned in the seven trumpets? Inscribed in the first four trumpets, life on this planet would perish within a couple of months!

Same Conclusions and Some Predictions

What makes this interpretation of the first four trumpets so uncanny is that scientists and Bible students are not only arriving at the same conclusions – that asteroids and meteorites will impact Earth – but they are also surprised by the consistent harmony of results. Will Earth be pummeled by fiery rocks raining from Heaven? More and more scientists are convinced it is inevitable, and so are students of Bible prophecy.


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