“The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” Revelation 8:7.
Since we are natural humans, it is tempting to try to match many of these judgments up with natural phenomena, and it is true in some instances, however these are of supernatural origin.
So above all we need to remember that there does not have to be a rational explanation other than the miraculous hand of God is at work.
Another aspect is that there are many comparative words such as, “like” and “as”, which the author uses for lack of a better description of something no one has seen. See Revelation chapter 9 for example.
Finally the things described herein are so horrific that the mind refuses to take it in or cannot comprehend it; this is why the book of Revelation is often allegorized or simply twisted to conform to a more comfortable mindset.
Hail is something often seen, even stones the size of baseballs, so there is no problem there; but what of the fire?
The first thought is that it is lightning, however the word lightning is used in both the Old and the New Testament and means just that, see, Job 28:26, Psalm144:6, Zechariah 9:14, and Matthew 14:27. Not surprisingly fire too means exactly that. We have a precedent in the seventh plague on Egypt given in the book of Exodus.
“And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” Exodus 9:23-24.
When the hail and fire fall during the tribulation many of those in the land of Israel will undoubtedly think back to this plague recorded in Exodus and immediately recognize the hand of God.
Hail and fire, “Mingled with blood”, man is so enamored with the shedding of blood, having shed much already during this period, that God showers it down on mankind. One cannot help but wonder at the world’s fascination with vampires today, soon there will be enough.
We might also be reminded of the verses in Hebrews which speak of blood.
“…without the shedding of blood there is no remission [for sin].” Hebrews 9:22b.
“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29.
As men come to their full propensity for evil, blood will be shed to an unimaginable degree.
“And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” Revelation 8:7b.
Consider these words carefully; there is no reason not to take them literally.
Did you know that if men were to farm just 8 percent of the land surface with the best farming techniques and the most bountiful crops that it would feed 79 billion people?
You read that correctly 79 billion, more than ten times the world’s current population. Yet we farm more than 8 percent of the land and can barely feed most of the world.
The reason we cannot is simple, sin; evil dictators, politicians, greed, Islam, communism and perverted Christianity all rip the poor and needy to pieces for their own sinful reasons, sucking the life out of those under their power; talk about vampires.
And where do the poor turn to? They turn to all the false gods in the world except the one who can help them. Men will turn to anything but God, so they use and abuse the earth, starve and curse God for their misery and never come to the knowledge of the truth.
A time of reckoning is coming and the clock is ticking.
So just what are the consequences of this destruction? Twenty percent of the earth’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rain forest, and though all the rain forests on earth cover 6 percent of the land surface they produce 40 percent of the earth’s oxygen and 25 percent of our medicines.
In 1950 they covered some 15 percent of the earth’s surface, but because of man’s wasteful ways and slash and burn ground clearing we have this drastic reduction of resources.
Due to man’s sinful greed this would not stop until we all suffocated, so, in a sense, this judgment is only hastening an inevitable end and highlighting man’s stupidity.
Relatively few persons have perished in the wildfires that have swept this country over the last ten or so years, and thankfully so, however the average person does not take into consideration the death toll from respiratory illness, heart attacks and other health problems which are attendant to disasters like this.
Even folks twenty or thirty miles away from a large fire can be taken down by pollution from the conflagration, so these numbers can be in the hundreds or even thousands.
Let us consider again the earth dwellers; katoikeo, those settled down on the earth as their real home (see Revelation 3:10 below), these folks identify themselves with the world’s system, its religion and commerce.
“Because you [Christians] have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial [tribulation] which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth [katoikeo].” Revelation 3:10.
“Arise, O Lord, confront him, cast him down; deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword, with Your hand from men, O Lord, from men of the world who have their portion in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children, and leave the rest of their substance for their babes.” Psalm 17:13-14.
“Those who dwell on the earth”, will with this first trumpet see just how unstable the world can be, and may well for the first time start to think about God. With the preaching of the 144 thousand Israelite evangelists and this catastrophe, they will have the truth and a reason to accept Christ.
I often wonder how many people turned to the living God after exhausting themselves pounding on the door of the ark as the floods rose around their legs.
They too had the truth preached to them by Noah and they now had a reason to turn to God.
So then, exhausted, covered with blood, soot and the smell of smoke; which path will the earth dweller take?
“Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood; and a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Revelation 8:8-9.
Watch the wording here, it is important. It says, “…something like a great mountain”, so it is not necessarily a great mountain, though huge. In fact the Wycliffe translation calls it a great hill.
Some say this is a meteor. There is a problem with this, it is estimated that if an asteroid 3.72 miles in diameter were to strike in the middle of the Atlantic it would cause a tsunami that would travel all the way to the Appalachian Mountains in the upper two thirds of the United States. Coastal cities on both sides of the Atlantic would be washed away.
And though something like this may not be ruled out, we still find ourselves mixing the natural with the supernatural in that we have a meteor turning the sea to blood.
Another interesting thought, though unlikely, is the Cumbre Vieja volcano in Las Palmas, Canary Islands. This volcano has a fault that, if it were to shear off would send a landslide into the Atlantic large enough to create a mega-tsunami that would inundate the entire east coast of the United States with a wave an estimated 100 feet high.
The theory is that the landslide would be like sliding quickly into your bathtub, something your children have probably done, hence the flooded bathroom from the water sloshing over the opposite end of the tub.
This is a disputed theory and you can Google all of this stuff. While you are at it look up the mega-tsunami in Lituya Bay on 7-9-58, there are eye witnesses to this 1720 foot wave. It is my intent here to get you to think outside the box.
For now let us stick with something similar to a great mountain which is burning with fire. While considering this notice that it was “thrown into the sea” so the speed at which it hits does not necessarily need to be as destructively extreme as a meteor.
Many expositors think that this happens only to the Mediterranean Sea. This lessens the ecological damage, but it does not address the fact that the tribulation comes upon the entire earth. The entire earth would include the western hemisphere and all the oceans.
One third of the sea becomes blood and one third of the living creatures therein die. Once again this is catastrophic.
One half of earth’s oxygen is generated in the ocean by phytoplankton through a process of photosynthesis, which helps to maintain our atmosphere’s 20 percent oxygen level.
Presently there is a balance between the use of oxygen and carbon dioxide. With the coming loss of the phytoplankton though, earth’s oxygen level could be reduced by about one third.
There are several variables here; while the oxygen level drops, so does the population of humans and animals (through death), at the same time the decaying carcasses at the bottom of the ocean give off carbon dioxide which the phytoplankton begin to turn back into oxygen as they multiply.
So, if these things do take place the sea is likely to fix itself to some degree and start manufacturing oxygen again during the tribulation period, which is quite possible because these events take place in the first 3 ½ years of the 7 year period.
“So all the Egyptians dug all around the river [Moses had turned it to blood] for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river. And seven days passed after the Lord had struck the river.” Exodus 7:24-25.
If this account of Moses dealing with the Egyptians can be compared to one third of the sea being turned to blood, then it is possible that God would allow the sea to return to health, or some semblance thereof, as He did with the Nile River.
Unfortunately if things begin to return to normal men will harden their hearts against God. After Moses turned the water into blood, it says this of Pharaoh.
“And Pharaoh turned and went into his house. Neither was his heart moved by this.” Exodus 7:23.
One third of the ships will also be destroyed, there will not only be loss of life but ships carry grains and medical supplies as well as oil, raw material, and equipment. World trade will be crippled and there will be the loss of many warships.
Before the flood of Noah’s day it is written:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5.
Revelation 8:7-9 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 11-23-16, updated on 7-10-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.