A Falling Star, Wormwood – Rivers & Fountains, Bitterness & Death
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” – Rev. 8:10-11
Though all prophetic analogies of the Book of Revelation find their origin in the divine tutorial of old, not all rely thereon for ascertaining the primary interpretation at hand in the soon-to-be circumstance of the future. When necessary, an internal & direct inter-pretation is given amidst the prophetic analogies being used.
Due consideration of the 3rd Trumpet’s falling star is of necessity, and, as always, our reliance upon the divine tutorial of old is inexpendable, albeit in this peculiar case a vital interpretation is given to us: “the star is called Wormwood” (Rev. 8:11). The naming of this star would go unappreciated by all readers who are unacquainted with the manner in which prophecy gives the interpretation within the same body of text, thus there is no need to go and look for another.
For example, in reliance upon the divine tutorial of old one would be led to think that the “great red Dragon” of Revelation 12:3, which has seven heads and ten horns, is the same entity as the Beast of Revelation 13:1, which has seven heads and ten horns, only to find the Dragon giving power to the Beast in Revelation 13:2-4. Apparently, they’re not the same entity seeing that the one has an authoritative relationship over the other. Moreover, when gleaning from the divine tutorial of old, the analogous term, the Dragon, was used to refer to Satan (Isa. 27:1), the King of Egypt (Ezek. 29:3), and by way of similitude in action, the King of Babylon (Jer. 51:34). Upon observing this, here’s the question: if the same title, the Dragon, was diversely used for two different kinds of persons, men and angels, how shall the meaning be deciphered in Revelation Chapters 12-13? The Kings of Egypt and Babylon would typologically refer to the antichrist of the Beast System of government, an actual man (Daniel Ch. 8-9), but Satan is a fallen angel and not a man. In such a case as this, when there is a diversity of possible meanings indecipherable from each other in the divine tutorial of old, the LORD intervenes to provide the necessary clarifications via internal evidences within the body of prophecy that poses the indecipherable problem. In this case, the needful clarification is that “the great Dragon” or the “Old Serpent” is, in fact, “called the Devil, and Satan” (Rev. 12:9), and it is not the Man of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3-9).
Direct interpretations provided via the internal evidences of hard-to-be understood prophecies are vital for the reader’s comprehension. For, how else would we determine a difference between the falling star of the 3rd Trumpet and the falling star of the 5th Trumpet, except literal clarifications are provided within the body of text to decipher the meaning of the analogy being employed. Upon a closer look we can see that the falling star of the 5th Trumpet is clearly not an it but a he, a living entity. Also, the falling star of the 3rd Trumpet is an it and not a he. Pay attention to the vital clarification that the inspired text provides, my reader: “and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit” (Rev. 9:1). This, “him”, is clearly referencing “the angel of the bottomless pit”, as the prophecy clarifies later on in Revelation 9:11; and, furthermore, this is in unison with the divine tutorial of old in Daniel 8:10 & Isaiah 14:13 wherein stars are analogously employed in reference to angels.
Literal Clarifications in Prophetic Analogies
“the name of the star is called Wormwood” – Rev. 8:11
“to him was given the key of the bottomless pit” – Rev. 9:1
“the great Dragon…that Old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan” – Rev. 12:9
This being the case, and all the aforementioned details in due consideration, I conclude that the falling star of the 3rd Trumpet is a destructive force, likely nuclear or chemical (or some other kind of modernized warfare), that has a ruinous and damaging effect of poison upon the nations of the earth, the people, and the environment, insomuch that it can be said that “the third part of the rivers and the fountains of waters” were poisoned (Rev. 8:10-11). What befell the trees and the seas, in the third part, does also befall the fresh waters of the earth (rivers and fountains), according to Revelation Chapters 8-9. Likewise, and without coincidence, whereunto the trees and the seas were analogously employed in the divine tutorial of old, thereunto were the rivers and fountains of waters employed.
Speaking of this, generally speaking, nations are prophesied as going to war one against another with the invasion being analogously described as a flood of waters and an overflowing / destroying river (Isa. 23:10, Jer. 46:7-8, 47:2); nations themselves are often referred to as rivers, whose origins are fountains of waters in the natural, therefore their advancement upon another nation is fittingly described as an overflowing river. Following the analogy, the desolation of a nation can also be described as the drying up of the fountains of waters or the poisoning thereof. Hence, the widespread destruction left in the wake of the Assyrian Army as they reduced nations into desolations, was said to be (in the words of the King of Assyria): “with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places” (2 Kings 19:24). The Jews, also (God’s restored and regathered people), will be used to bring Assyria and Egypt into desolation in these terms: “he…shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up” (Zech. 10:9-12). Even so, also, God-through-Babylon defeated and conquered Egypt and Nimrim in these terms: “I will make the rivers dry” (Ezek. 30:12, 32:13-14), and, “the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate” (Jer. 48:34); and, at last, God spoke with the same analogies to illustrate the eventual fall of Babylon by saying things like, “I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry” (Jer. 51:36), or, “a drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up” (Jer. 50:38), and such like things (Jer. 51:43). Not only so, but, the scriptures spoke of the fouling or poisoning of rivers and fountains of waters for like illustrations of analogous employment (Ezek. 32:2, 34:18-19). Should we be surprised?
On this wise the alarm is sounded via the 3rd Trumpet regarding the destructive effect of Wormwood – speaking analogously and inasmuch as God knows, literally, the third part of the nations of the earth (or, analogously speaking, the rivers and fountains of waters) will be destroyed by the poisonous blast of modern warfare! If you can believe it, my reader, the divine tutorial of old waxes the more harmonious! The quantified destruction, a third, is well within reach through modern warfare; no doubt about it! But, speaking in terms of the destructive potentials of ancient warfare – God-through-historical-Babylon – the summation of human misery therein was prophetically communicated to the soon-to-be recipients of God’s judgment, in the saying,
“Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and give us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. We looked for peace, but no good came, and for a time of health, and behold trouble!” – Jer. 8:14-15
Did you notice the profoundly harmonious analogous rendering of the judgment of God through ancient warfare, my reader? God gave them “water of gall to drink” (Jer. 8:14). This drink is, in other words, the water of wormwood (poisonous waters)! The destructive influence of the 3rd Trumpet is in the fact that, “the waters became wormwood” (Rev. 8:11). The destructive experience was in the fact that the LORD gave men the water of wormwood to drink (“and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter” – Rev. 8:11). My reader, observe the words gall, wormwood, and bitter. Thereafter, observe the divine threatenings of God (accomplished by historical Babylon) and the painful lamentations of the surviving remnant who were made to reckon with God at last. It was written,
“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.” – Jer. 9:15
“He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.” – Lam. 3:5
“He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.” – Lam. 3:15
“Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.” – Lam 3:19
Ah, the exactitude! The glorious harmony! The perfect parallelism! My reader, the Doctrine of Wormwood did not begin with Revelation 8:10-11; nor did it begin with Jeremiah 8:14-15, can you tell? All throughout Holy Scripture, the words wormwood, gall, and bitterness are used interchangeably and all of them are synonyms of the modern term, poison. In the case of God’s judgment of the Church through Babylon, we see the Jews looking for peace and they found poison, for health and they found hurt. Once again, the common denominator is God’s use of earthly warfare. Hereby the analogous event(s) of the 3rd Trumpet – the poisoning of the rivers and fountain of waters – is conclusively & comprehensively interpreted.
Moreover (and for the readers edification and learning), as is common in the diversity of usages of former analogous terminology observed in the other Trumpets, to be or not to be poisoned or to be or not to be a poisoner of others represents the spiritual status of an individual in diverse instances of Holy Scripture. To be unrighteous in this sense means that one is “a root that beareth gall and wormwood” (Deut. 29:18, Heb. 12:15, Acts 8:23, Amos 5:7). By way of divine vengeance, the Lord spoke of the just punishment that is deserved for the spiritual influence of false prophets in the Land of Israel and Judah, saying, “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the Land” (Jer. 23:15). Notably, those who by spiritual influence poison others, as by gall and wormwood (Deut. 29:18, Heb. 12:15, Acts 8:23, Amos 5:7), will be justly punished in that God will give them the wormwood and gall of destruction via earthly warfare (Jer. 8:14-15, 9:15, Lam. 3:5, 15, 19, Rev. 8:11). Rightly did the “angel of the waters” say, “Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy” (Rev. 16:5-6).