In our day and age, people love talking about saving the environment. But that desire won't last. Revelation 8 makes it clear that nature will one day rise up against humanity to destroy us. We might show mercy to her now . . . but Mother Nature won't return the favor.
No More Earth Day
The online Earthday Network proudly recorded recently that “Earth Day” 2008 was a massive success, raising the awareness of millions of people from around the world to the plight of the planet and the need for humankind to save earth.
More and more attention is being given by government and private individual efforts to save the planet. A recent ABC News Forum only recently increased a growing sense of panic as they made statements like, “We really have less than a decade to start getting this right. If we’re still dragging our feet [10 years from now] it will become almost impossible for the world to avert … intolerable consequences.” They called this forum, the ABC News Forum on Surviving the Century.
Citation: ABCnews.go.com, Scientists From Around the Globe Join ABC News on Surviving the Century.
There is a growing sense of doom in the average person’s thinking related to the tenure of earth’s resources and the ability to sustain life.
There are a number of ways our world is attempting to address this issue and one of the primary ones is teaching children to save the planet.
One particular curriculum for public schools is growing in popularity, called International Baccalaureate Curriculum. They are replacing the learning of facts and objective truth with one-world standardizations. As a side note, this curriculum is now affiliated with the United Nations and has a clear appeal to a one-world government which we know from scripture will one day come to pass under the leadership of the Antichrist.
This curriculum has replaced objective learning with peace studies and environmentalism. They consider knowledge a theory and truth relative. The irony of this educational curriculum is that it actually undermines the importance of an education.
World Magazine, One-World Education by Gene Edward Veith, January 13, 2007
It dismisses the need to go to school. Just learn how to do everything you can to serve Mother nature and save earth.
Now, frankly, I expect the world to believe it’s in the power of their hand to save the earth. They don’t believe in a Creator and therefore, they are subjugated to live in fear of nature.
Mother nature is ultimately something to be feared. Taking care of her is paramount . . . in fact, she has become our countries most politically correct idol.
What’s even more troubling to me that the fact that the world has assumed sovereign control of the future of our planet, is that the church increasingly is doing the same thing.
One article recently dealt with how all these denominations and world religions are joining together over this issue. The headline blazed these words, Earth Day: Something We Can all Believe In. It then went on to talk about how all the faith systems of the world are uniting to save the planet. The article also happened to show the president of the National Association of Evangelicals holding the microphone, standing next to a Muslim and a Rabbi.
All these faith leader were “encouraging pastors and priests of every religion to sign the “Earth Day Network’s Global Warming in the Pulpit Pledge.”
I’m actually in favor of that part . . . I wish it would get warm in the pulpits of our land.
There is a lack of fire and conviction for anything in the pulpits of our land today.
To help the pastors out, Earth Day Networks Communities of Faith have actually written thousands of sermons for pastors and priests to use. Titles like, ‘Penguins and Polar Bears and People Too”; here’s one I found entitled, “Passover and the Global Climate Crisis”. I pulled that rabbinical homily up, by the way and was blown away by the way it twisted the elements of Passover to refer to ecology and global warming.
One Presbyterian pastor I read in this article gushed over the progress in this area and the fact that there is now an Earth Day Sunday in April. Among other activities, his church planned for children to go around the church buildings and look for things that harm the earth and those things that help the earth; As a church they have banned Styrofoam cups by the way. The children looked for ways the church could save water resources as an example.
This pastor said, “You know, almost everything in our hymnal refers to water.” You’d think the Baptist’s would want to use that hymnal.
He went on to complain, “Much of where we turn to for wisdom on environmental issues is precisely the same [source] that underlies evolution” . . . he added . . . “and that’s posed a difficulty for some churches.”
Citation: foxnews.com “Christian Churches to Celebrate ‘Earth Day Sunday’ by Tom Howell Jr.
In other words, God didn’t create the world, have a purpose for the world, sovereignly determine the balance and duration of resources for humanity as well as determine the length of the planets existence. Listen, these are some of the terrifying byproducts of evolutionism . . . it is all up to mankind.
I read recently about Churches in Maryland who are creating an association to, “Establish earth-healing ministries, to revere and cherish the Earth.”
Ecology has become so distorted that it has become the latest religion in America and environmentalists have become the newest priesthood.
So the church has jumped on the bandwagon – to establish earth-healing ministries which cause people to revere and cherish the earth.
Listen, we are passionate about creating “heart-healing ministries, so that people revere and cherish the Creator of earth!” That’s our mission!
Every day when the sun rises over Washington, DC, it’s first rays fall on the eastern side of the city’s tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The architect wanted those first rays to catch and reflect off the aluminum capstone where these words are inscribed, “Laus Deo” which is Latin for “Praise be to God.” I think it’s in Latin so most people can’t read it and sue to state to have it removed.
David Jeremiah, What in the World is Going On? (Thomas Nelson, 2008), p. 119
Imagine – the first thing to catch sunlight in our Capital are words that speak praise to our Creator God.
If that capstone were created today, it would probably give praise to the Sun itself . . . of to Mother Nature.
Listen, there is no question that fallen man has failed in his God-given responsibilities to steward the earth . . . to enjoy the earth . . . to enhance the earth’s beauty and resources. However, and I’m not excusing mankind’s thoughtless use of earth’s resources – however, the damage mankind has done to this planet is in no way comparable to the damage that will be done to planet earth by God Himself.
- He will destroy more water than man ever polluted;
- He will destroy more species of animals than man ever preserved; He will destroy more trees than we’ve ever planted;
- In fact, He will destroy most of the earth and the universe until He ends up destroying what’s left of it in a ball of fire and then recreating new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21).
And here’s even the greater irony. God will use nature – mankind’s chief source of idolatry – He will use nature to punish mankind.
Robert L. Thomas, Revelation: Volume 2 (Moody Press, 1995), p. 13
The very thing that man revered will turn and bite him. The very earth that man placed all of his attention toward will become the weapon of judgment in the hand of creator God.
Mankind has come to revere and cherish the earth and God will use the idol of earth to judge the human race.
They have worshipped Mother Nature . . . now their idol mother will be used by God to destroy them.
Put up slide of timeline
The archangels are ready to sound their trumpets in Revelation chapter 8.
The First Trumpet Impacts the Earth’s Surface
The first one raises the Shofar – the trumpet made from a ram’s horn – to his lips in verse 7. The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned.
Notice – here we are well into the Tribulation – there are plenty of trees and green grass, implying rainfall, water and the normal water cycles of the planet in full working order.
Let me make a couple of comments here.
There isn’t anything about the language to cause us to make these judgments symbolic. Only one of them is a simile and I’ll deal with that in a moment.
These are no more symbolic than the plagues that afflicted Egypt.
David Jeremiah, Escape the Coming Night: Volume 2 (Turnign Point, 1994), p. 84
They were real frogs, real locusts, real darkness, real water turned to blood and real death of the first-born.
As I’ve studied these angelic trumpet judgments, many commentators read into Revelation chapter 8 everything from nuclear war and nuclear fallout.
There may very well be a nuclear war in the future of the planet, but there’s no reason to believe these judgments here to be anything other than literal, God ordained, judgments – in which He uses the elements of nature – to carry out His judgment.
In fact, the syntax of verse 7 indicates that this blood and hail and fire storm was actually created in heaven and then thrown to the earth.
Cleon Rogers Jr. & Cleon Rogers III, The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament (Zondervan, 1998), p. 630
Notice verse 7 again, “The first [trumpet] sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth.”
Imagine the terror of that storm hurtling toward earth; real hail, real fire and real blood.
You might circle the words, “one-third” in your text. That phrase will appear several times in this chapter – in fact, in nearly every verse.
- in verse 7;
- again in verse 8;
- again in verse 9 referring to a third of the creatures that swim in the sea;
- again in verse 10;
- again in verse 11 in reference to a third of the river and spring water;
- and finally several times in verse 12
The repeated use of this phrase clearly communicates to us that these results are not random natural events, but carefully designed divine judgments meted out for specific results.
John MacArthur, Revelation: Volume 2 (Moody Press, 1999), p. 249
This first trumpet will signal a terrifying storm that will destroy a third of every green thing – from trees on down to grass.
There will no doubt be seminars, conferences, emergency sessions of the United Nations – if it’s not defunct by then – news documentaries and people desperately try to cope with the incredible damage to earth’s ecosystems.
Ibid, p. 250
And this is just the beginning of the archangel’s trumpets.
While this first trumpet brings devastation to the green foliage of planet earth, the second trumpet brings terror to the oceans of our world.
The Second Trumpet Impacts the Oceans
Notice verse 8. 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 creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Here is the only simile John uses in this passage. This was something again being thrown from heaven – notice John writes that it was “like a great mountain burning with fire that fell into the sea” – literally the ocean.
This is a reasonable description by the Apostle John of an asteroid, which scientists identify as a mountain-sized chunk of rock hurtling through space.
One author explained, “If such a rock came toward the earth, the friction of the earth’s atmosphere would cause it to burn. Astronomers are even today calculating the orbits of known asteroids to see if any of them would come close enough to strike the earth. If one happened to land in the ocean, it could – quote – easily produce tidal waves 1,000 feet high.
Stewart Custer, From Patmos to Paradise, (BJU Press, 2004), p. 99
The mega tsunamis created by the impact of this asteroid will create incredible devastation.
The greatest devastation that John had probably ever witnessed, or heard about during his lifetime was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 which literally buried Pompeii and destroyed ships anchored off shore in the Gulf of Naples.
Adapted from Edward Hindson, Revelation: Unlocking the Future (AMG Publishers, 2002), p. 102
But add to this the fact that what John records here is both a natural disaster and divine miracle. The water, he writes, turns to blood. The Greek word is haima (aima) from which we get our word, hema or hematology . . . which is the study of blood.
This is reminiscent of the plague of Egypt where God turned the water of the Nile into blood.
One can barely imagine the staggering death of sea creatures as 1/3rd of the oceans of the world are affected.
John specifically adds at the end of verse 8 that a third of the ships were destroyed.
In addition to water turned to blood, not only will the putrid smell of death cover much of the ocean; the ensuing tsunamis created by the impact of the asteroid will capsize ships and freighters and ocean vessels of all kinds as well as wash entire coastal cities away.
The naval fleets of every major country will be severely crippled. Seafood will be severely rationed and coastal regions depending on fishing will experience difficulty as food is rationed; people will lose their source of income, their livelihood will be lost.
Sam Gordon, Revelation: Worthy is the Lamb (Ambassador, 2000), p. 196
God has just scorched the earth, leveling trees and foliage; burning up crops and grass; that which man not only enjoyed but worshipped will be wiped out.
And now, the very object that mankind believed was the womb of life – that life evolved from the depths of the ocean – the ocean which mankind long revered as part of Mother nature will now turn and bring about death and putrid corrupt decay, with dead fish, dead whales, and shipwrecked vessels drifting up on shore.
The value of real estate on the coasts of our world will plummet and people will run from the shore.
Think about it, the place to live or at least vacation is at the beach – on some coast. The place to live in the Tribulation will be in the middle of a dessert – where no trees can fall on you; no foliage or grass can burn your house down and no tsunami can drown you.
You say, well, I won’t buy property near the ocean, I’ll find a nice river or pond somewhere inland.
The Third Trumpet Impacts Rivers and Lakes
That isn’t safe either as the third archangel steps forward to blast away on his trumpet.
Notice verse 10. The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
Now 1/3rd of the lakes and rivers and natural springs are poisoned.
A star falls from heaven. There isn’t any reason to take this any other way than literally. In fact, the ancient world used this word – lampas – or torch – to signify the burning of a meteor as it streaked through the earth’s atmosphere. John uses the same word here.
In the previous trumpet judgment, a solid object fell in to the ocean.
In this trumpet judgment, the language indicates that this falling object disintegrated like sparks from a torch as it passed through Earth’s atmosphere.
It literally spewed fiery, poisonous debris which fell into earth’s rivers as it swept over the face of the earth
Someone might say, there’s no way one object could poison 1/3rd of the earth’s rivers.
I found it interesting however, that the National Geographic Society – you know that Society so well known for promoting creationism and praise to God . . .
This Society records that there are only about 100 principal rivers in the world; they range in length from the Amazon with is 4,000 miles long to the Rio de la Plata which is 150 miles long.
Gordon, p. 198
These principal rivers supply the fresh water network of the world. In other words, this falling star could by poisoning only a few of these principal rivers easily affect 1/3rd of the earth’s fresh water supply.
And did you notice in this verse, the falling star happens to have a name – Wormwood – apsinthos (ayinqoV); a word for a plant that grew in Palestine that had a bitter taste.
Thomas, p. 21
Throughout the scriptures, wormwood is used to speak of the bitterness of God’s judgment and punishment.
Several times the prophet Jeremiah refers to people eating and drinking wormwood as a symbol of eating and drinking the judgment of God.
Can you image though this scene.
Oceans reeking with blood and death; coastlines littered with carcasses and ruined ships; 1/3rd of the earth’s surface scorched by raging forest fires; clean water nearly impossible to find as rivers and lakes and private wells yield the bitter taste of wormwood.
I know one thing – there will be no more Earth Day. This will spell the end of Earth Day.
There will be no happy banners praising Mother Earth. There will be seminars on how we need to cherish and revere the planet.
There’s not much left to cherish! Earth has become a scorched idol.
No one will be preaching Earth Day sermons. Using Styrofoam cups will no longer be an issue – the primary issue will be that you simply have something in your cup that you can actually drink.
Saving nature and the animal kingdom and the planet will no longer be the mission of mankind as men and women and their children simply try to survive the planet.
Listen, Ladies and Gentlemen the human heart was created to worship. It will either worship God or something less worthy, which, according to Romans, will subjugate you.
The human heart was created to crave; if it does not crave God it will crave something less fulfilling, if not self-destructing.
It is a fact that whatever you worship, you serve.
- If you worship money, you will give your life to making it;
- if you worship sexual immorality, you will become the slave of your passions;
- if you worship nature, you will become the servant of nature
- the animal kingdom won’t be yours to rightfully enjoy, they will become your masters and you will live to simply take care of them . . . you won’t own them and take care of them because you enjoy them, but because you are now obligated to serve them.
In fact, it will become your duty to make your pet happy. And if you have a cat, tough luck. You can’t make a cat happy – ever.
Imagine dedicating your life to the belief that Earth is a living being and Mother Nature really did produce life on earth . . . and then live through this horror.
These miracles along with natural disasters will add to the seals that have already brought terrifying recognition that God who sits upon the throne has unleashed the terror of the Lamb.
But it only grows worse.
The first trumpet impacted Earth’s surface;
The second trumpet impacted oceans;
The third trumpet impacted rivers and lakes;
And now, in quick succession with the first three;
The Fourth Trumpet Impacts Sun, Moon and Stars
Notice verse 12. The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
If you notice carefully, John isn’t saying that 1/3rd of the sun is blocked out and the moon and stars as well. He is actually saying that they will only operate 1/3rd less.
In fact, if the sun lost 1/3rd of its power, the earth would freeze solid.
I believe what John is recording here is that God will only allow the celestial bodies that provide light for the planet to operate at a diminished rate.
Again, reminiscent of the plagues of Egypt, God gives mankind his wish. Mankind longs for the darkness of night because his deeds are evil and so God gives him his wish . . . darkness.
The human race will go from the normal cycles of light and darkness to only having around 8 hours of light each day.
This fits perfectly with the prophecy of Amos who wrote of this judgment, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” (Amos 8:9)
This judgment strikes at the heart of mankind’s idolatry.
For centuries mankind has supposedly gathered direction from the stars.
The stars and planets have not only been studied – which is Astronomy – they have and are worshipped and revered and sought after for wisdom – which is the basis of Astrology.
Astronomy is a wonderful science of discovering the far reaches of the universe and the pattern of created order. Astrology is the belief that someone’s star determines their fate.
And the horoscopes of astrologists have never been more popular than in our day.
Millions of people consult their horoscope every single day.
Leaders in our own country have arranged their calendar and key meetings with world leaders according to the movements of the stars.
Astrology goes all the way back to Babylon. Consult any book on astrology and you’ll learn that the Chaldeans – or Babylonians) were the first to develop the zodiac. They created the zodiac by dividing the sky into sections and then giving meanings to each section based on the stars within that section. A person’s destiny is said to be determined by whatever section or sign he is born under.
James Montgomery Boice, Genesis: Volume 1 (Zondervan, 1982), p. 341
But someone will say, “Stephen, even God said that that stars were created for signs in the heavens.” That’s true – God said that in Genesis 1:14.
However, the word “signs” does not mean sources of direction or wisdom. It means they symbolize something else.
The same word was used for the plagues of Egypt where Moses called them “signs”. (Deuteronomy 29:3) Why? Not because they provided wisdom all by themselves, but because they symbolized judgment from God
The stars are signs in that they point to the glory of God – Psalm 19:1 – they tell the glory of God. The sun and moon are visual reminders of the power and majesty of God – Romans 1:20.
But what has mankind done with the sun and moon and stars? He has worshipped and revered them, as if they communicated direction and wisdom for life.
Going all the way back to Nimrod and then the Babylonians; then perfected by the Egyptians in their application of the zodiac.
In fact, the pyramids were constructed with certain mathematical relationships to the stars. Archeologists have discovered that the Sphinx was constructed to preach an astrological message.
It has the head of a woman – representing Virgo – and the body of a lion, representing Leo. Virgo is the first sign of the zodiac and Leo is the last sign of the zodiac. In other words, the Sphinx represented the beginning and the end – the alpha and omega of the zodiac.
The word, Sphinx, simply means “joining” and was viewed as the meeting point of the zodiac indicating that the Egyptian priests and people believed the starting point of all of life on earth began in Egypt on the banks of the Nile.
Ibid, p. 341
Believe that if you want.
I however believe the words of this Revelation as it comes to a close and Jesus Christ says, “I am the alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 21:13)
In other words, I am the starting point of life is not on the banks of the Nile but in the power and wisdom of triune God.” God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)
The worship of the stars and planets will one day collapse. The horoscopes will one day be rubbish to millions who try to follow them, but now the light from them will be interrupted. Joel prophesied of this day, The sun and moon grow dark and the stars will lose their brightness (Joel 2:10, 31; 3:15)
Mankind has pursued every avenue within nature for wisdom and direction except the Creator of nature – our Lord Jesus Christ – for by Him were all things created, both in the heavens and on earth. (Colossians 1:16)
If any man lacks wisdom let Him ask of God. (James 1:5)
But no . . . mankind will seek wisdom from created things rather than the Creator and one day, in this coming day, God will dim the lights . . . causing mankind to scramble confused in the darkness of His judgment.
They have cherished and worshipped the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25) and now their environmental idols and all their ecological sermons and green resolutions and their idolatry of Mother nature – yes, idolatry, because nature and earth replaced true worship of the Creator; and the Creator will in this day, turn their idols against them with horrifying effects.
There will be no Earth Day this year . . . and probably never again.
The chapter ends with the appearance of an eagle, my text reads in verse 13, “Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in mid heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound.” (Revelation 8:13)
In other words, God in His mercy informs mankind that 3 more judgments are coming. Get ready . . . get right with God.
Some say this can’t be an eagle because it’s speaking. I believe God can pull this off.
He made a donkey speak to the prophet Balaam in Numbers 22.
This eagle will speak at God’s bidding as well and, perhaps by satellite TV, the world will hear it say, “Woe to earth dwellers; more judgment is coming.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, the wrath of God is unstoppable . . . your appointment with God is unavoidable.
Be warned by this description of judgment to come – mankind cannot avoid the Creator of life and neither will you and I.
Are you ready?
A physicist wrote the following in the commentary section of a recent Wall Street Journal,
One of the hottest topics being debated in D.C. is an exit strategy from Iraq. But no matter how difficult this may be, physicists are struggling with an even greater exit strategy. The latest data from space satellites are unmistakable; the universe will eventually die – in a Big Freeze. Galaxies are being pushed apart. Some day, when looking heavenward, we will be quite lonely, with other galaxies too far away to be observed. Worse, it will be deathly cold. As the universe accelerates, temperatures will plunge throughout the universe. Billions of years from now, the stars will have exhausted their nuclear fuel, the oceans will freeze, the sky will become totally dark, and the universe will consist of dead neutron stars, black holes, and nuclear debris. Is all intelligent life on earth doomed to die when the universe itself perishes? It seems as if the iron laws of physics have issued a death warrant. But there is still one possible exit strategy; to leave the universe itself. Do the laws of physics allow for the creation of wormholes connecting our universe to a younger, more hospitable universe? In 2021, a new space probe (LISA: Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) will be launched which may be able to prove or disprove these conjectures. Can a gateway be built to connect our universe with another? For intelligent life, there is no choice. Either we leave for [another] universe, or we die in the old one”
The Wall Street Journal Online, “Huddled up with LISA’ January 20, 2005
He’s right . . . make plans to leave this universe for another one.
Can a gateway be found to that new heaven and new earth? Yes!
Is there an exit strategy from this scorched, judged, blood soaked, troubled planet? Yes!
The exit strategy is the Savior, Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way . . . I am the truth . . . I am the life.”
“I am the starting point of life . . . I am the source of life.
I am the alpha and omega, I had the first word and I will have the last word . . . follow me and live forever in my coming new heaven and new earth forever.”