Sunday, 26 August 2012 22:45

Pt. 41 - The Third Trumpet

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Star_Blazing"The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter." (Revelation 8:10-11)

A Great Star

Most commentaries depict this “great star” as a comet or meteor of some sort that will crash into the earth, thereby poisoning a third of the earth’s rivers and springs. But this misses the point entirely. At the risk of beating this drum one too many times, John saw a vision when he saw these events, and visions in the Bible routinely used strange symbolism to depict a greater truth. So when we unpack this passage in a symbolic manner, the meaning is all too clear; this “great star” is Satan as he is being cast down to the earth.

To begin this discussion, let’s agree that stars in the Bible often used symbolically to represent angels, and the reason for this symbolism is that angels shine like stars, in a literal sense. The Bible often depicted angels this way, either shining or gleaming or glowing, as with the following verse;

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.”  (Luke 24:4)

But the Bible also refers to angels directly as stars on occasion, as with this passage in Job where God refers to the “morning stars” that sang during creation while God drew the dry earth out of the sea;

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7)

Morning_StarFrom this we can deduce that “morning stars” are not necessarily in the same class as mere “angels”, but that they are a higher class. Why? Two reasons.

First, the morning star is a common reference to the brightest star in the sky that can still be seen even at dawn. Other stars of lower magnitude to our sight will disappear long before daybreak, but the morning star is far more prominent.  This provides our first clue. And the book of Daniel even extends this analogy to mankind's future as glorified saints, when we will also shine like the stars;

"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:3)

The second reason is that scripture indicates that angels vary in their brightness, just as stars vary in their magnitude, and it also clearly indicates that Satan was from a high magnitude of angel as one of the cherubim;

“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:13-15)

Earlier in scripture God told us through the prophet Isaiah that Satan was also called a “morning star.” And this passage depicts the same end times scenario (and it‘s aftermath) that we‘re reading about in the 2nd Trumpet;

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-14)

It was mentioned in an earlier post that the Hebrew for this term “morning star, son of the dawn” is actually Heylel ben Shakhar, which can be translated as “Morning Star, son of the Crescent’, which sounds remarkably like the star and crescent depicted on many Islamic flags. In this way it seems that Lucifer may be hiding in plain sight in our world, represented plainly within symbols that we see every day, but think nothing of. But we’ll have more on this in the upcoming post on the 5th Trumpet.

Blazing Like a Torch

Star_Blazing_2Just as the huge mountain in the 2nd Trumpet was ablaze as it was cast from heaven, so we also find this great star in the 3rd Trumpet all ablaze as it is cast down. So we can make the same simple deduction that this “great star” (Satan) will have been afflicted in heaven in the same manner as the huge mountain (his kingdom). And it’s not hard to find out how and why he has been afflicted, since the answer is provided in the re-cap passage contained in chapter 12 of the Revelation, my with emphasis added in parenthesis;

“And there was war in heaven (1st TRUMPET). Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven (2nd TRUMPET). The great dragon was hurled down (3rd TRUMPET) —that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan , who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him (4th TRUMPET).” (Revelation 12:7-9)

MichaelFrom this we can see how Satan will be afflicted, because Michael and his angels will rise up, and cast Satan and his angels out of their heavenly realm and onto the earth. This moment in time is also described in detail in the book of Daniel;

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.” (Daniel 12:1)

The reason that there will be a time of such great "distress" on earth at this point is because Michael and his angels will cast Satan and his angels down to the earth in those days, which will kick off the 3½ years of the beast that we will read about in chapters 12 and 13.

But notice what else will happen in those days, because the angels states “AT THAT TIME your people - EVERYONE whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered.”  That’s a clue of what is about to happen just ahead, and we’ll get to that glorious moment in just a few more posts.

Rivers and Springs

Just as the “ships” from the prior post were symbolic of evangelists that brought the food of scripture to the world, so the “rivers” in this instance bring the water of the Holy Spirit.

RiverHere is the analogy; just as rivers bring water from great distances, so evangelists bring the living water from great distances, trotting the entire globe in an effort to complete the great commission. So when Satan is cast down to the earth, he will first attempt to oppress and suppress the Word of God from being carried into his kingdom in any way, shape or form. He will poison a third of those rivers and turn them symbolically bitter, which we'll get to in a moment.

SpringsHowever, he will also fall on the “springs” of water, so let’s extend this analogy a bit further. When springs are used in this symbolic manner, they refer to local fixed congregations, where the Holy Spirit springs up here and there through the earth of society. And just as springs are located in fixed positions and supply sweet water for drinking, so local congregations are in fixed positions, provide the living water of the Holy Spirit that people can drink from and have eternal life. So Satan will also attempt to fall on or suppress local congregations as well. In other words, anything or anyone that is transmitting the Word of God or the Holy Spirit in those days will be in his crosshairs. 

For clarity, this analogy of water serving as a symbol for the Holy Spirit is found throughout scripture in the following ways;

1) Living water represents the truth of the Holy Spirit
2) Springs of water represent the truth of the Holy Spirit delivered locally
3) Rivers of water represent the truth of the Holy Spirit delivered from afar
4) The sea of water represents the false/briny doctrine of a different spirit,
5) Marshes or ‘bitter’ water represent deadly/putrid doctrine from a different spirit

Notice that in the first three instances, we have water that you can drink that will sustain you. But in the latter two instances, we find water that is dangerous to drink because it can kill you. And throughout scripture, this is how these various waters/spirits/doctrine are presented when used symbolically.


When we are told that the name of this star is “wormwood” and that this star will make the waters “bitter” so that many people will die, we can draw a few more conclusions from the analogy that we began just above.

WormwoodFirst, wormwood is a bitter herb that makes water undrinkable, and this is specifically why it is used symbolically in this instance. If the Holy Spirit is the living water or sweet water that we can drink in order to have eternal life, then the bitter water of wormwood represents just the opposite; death. 

Once again, this represents the lying spirit of Satan landing on the rivers and springs in order to destroy the spread of the word of God throughout his kingdom. So he MUST attempt to replace the sweet water of the Holy Spirit (the Gospel) into the bitter water of HIS spirit (a false Gospel). And he will do this by bringing his OWN scriptures to the land in order to oppose and replace the Word of God. In fact, Islamic eschatology calls for this very thing to take place;

“Ad-Dani said that he is called the Mahdi because he will be guided to a mountain in Syria from which he will bring forth the volumes of the Torah with which to argue against the Jews and at his hands a group of them will become Muslim.”  (Izzat and Arif)

Satan is intent on counterfeiting every action of God to appear as though HE is God, so he will attempt to turn the tables on God and God’s people with this counterfeit spirit and counterfeit Gospel. But what tables will he be turning? In other words, has the Spirit of God ever illustrated for us the opposite of this wormwood event? Well, the answer is yes, as described in Exodus;

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. (Exodus 15:22-25)

Wood_at_MarahIn this instance, the Lord had Moses throw a piece of wood into the water, and the bitter water became sweet water that they could drink. If sounds strange, but if you’ve ever wondered about this passage, please understand that it’s both a spiritual parable and prophecy that pointed to Jesus on the wooden cross of salvation. His death on the cross made it possible for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within each and every one of us, giving us the living water of eternal life.

So at this point we can see that this star called ‘wormwood’ will attempt to reverse God’s redemptive plan by poisoning the waters, so to speak.  He will attempt to take the wood-laden living water of the Holy Spirit and drive it from his lands, replacing it with a different spirit, a wormwood spirit of his own making. And this bitter water he will pour into the symbolic rivers and springs, turning them into the bitter waters of death that far too many will drink from during the days of the powerful delusion.

Many People Died

When we read that “many people died” from this bitter water, once again we have to consider the meaning of this phrase in symbolic terms. We’ve covered this before, but the Lord often referred to non-believers as ‘the dead’ in His many teachings, such as the following;

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60)

He apparently refers to them in this way because they are currently ‘dead’ to him spiritually, and will not taste eternal life. So in that way the Lord is referring to their ultimate destiny as well. But their fate is not yet sealed permanantly, because Jesus also reveals that some of them will turn to him during the coming wrath, and be saved. They will be saved even as they perish in the lands of the Beast;

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)


Next time we’ll discuss the roll Satan’s angels will play when these celestial bodies “turn dark” at the sounding of the fourth trumpet.

Read 3729 times Last modified on Monday, 27 August 2012 01:01


#4 Mike 2014-07-13 01:35
Thanks Stew.
#3 Stew m 2014-07-12 21:53
Hi Mike,
You may be preachin' to the choir for the most part but you sure got my attention! So your labor is not in vain my friend!
God love ya.
#2 Mike 2012-11-25 03:29
Shalom Kim,

On the bottom-left portion of the home page, there is a place where it says "Start Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next End"

If you click on those numbers, it will take you through all of the posts. It's a bit cumbersome, but it will get you there.

#1 Kim Gray 2012-11-24 15:24
Shabbat shalom. I did not see another way to make contact, but wondered if you could tell me how to get to the earlier posts of Revelation. I found pt. 1, but cannot find the next. The archives begin much later than the first written parts. Also, the search does not work. thank you.