CHAPTER EIGHT





SEAL SEVEN - PRELUDE TO THE 7 TRUMPETS

Again I want to call your attention to the fact that the Holy Spirit kept separate the Seventh Seal from the other Seals by everything we covered in the last chapter. He obviously did this for a purpose. I have referred to "keys" several times in this study and emphasized their necessity in understanding Biblical prophecy. This passage is one of those. Now let's look at the wording of Seal # 7:

1 "And when he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour."

Don't you find this language very strange, considering what was covered in the first six Seals? It's totally dissimilar from the other presentations. However, it was the very unusual-ness of the language which drew me so strongly to the seventh Seal. Before the understanding came, every time I would read the passage, it was as if something screamed in my spirit---"There's a secret here. Seek it out. It's understandable." At times like that during my studies, I became virtually consumed to the point of obsession until I could find the 'hidden element' in the mysterious passage. What I shall say now is not necessarily the exact order in which my understanding came but the presentation is for the purpose of making it more sensible.

"WHAT A DIFFERENCE A 'DAY' MAKES!"

Prophetically speaking, a "day" can sometimes mean (1) a single twenty-four hour period, or (2) a full year, and (3) believe it or not, occasionally it can even mean a thousand years! For example, Ezekiel 4:6 says, "...I have appointed thee each day for a year." The passage goes on to explain each day the prophet was to lay on his side was to symbolize a year of time. In context we find the number of literal days the prophet was to lay on each side would represent, prophetically, the number of years of a specific coming judgment upon the nation Israel.

But another passage uses a "day" this way: 2 Peter 3:8 says, "...But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Now some will say this latter case is only metaphoric language, never to be taken literally. Well, I believe God uses these concepts for a very specific reason: Counting prophetic time.

God is the cleverest writer of all time. He can put simple truths right under our nose and some of us will many times pass them right by. Some forever! Now I agree we must use great caution as we search for these discoveries. But, we don't want to be so fearful as to miss the main reason (the LODR) He included them in His Holy Word! I am absolutely convinced God was giving us time-tools through Ezekiel and Peter. Interestingly, Jesus said in Matthew 16:19 that he would give Peter the "keys" to the kingdom of heaven. I believe this is one of them.

Please note exactly how Peter was inspired to write the statement. He began the verse with "be not ignorant of", a Biblical phrase that might better be rendered "PAY ATTENTION NOW"! It's like a verbal alarm-clock, the rather obvious meaning being, "I'm about to give you a secret now so hear me loud and clear". For double emphasis Peter even repeated the "time-tool" backwards!

Now I'm not saying that Peter 3:8 means literally that it takes 1,000 years of earth-time to equal one day of heaven-time. It simply means that certain time references stated in the Bible will make sense only when this 'conversion factor' is used to unlock the meaning. This is one of those incredibly simple ways which was used to keep the passage locked until the "fulness of time" came for it to be understood. (I want to mention again that applications of this kind never changes a straight forward exegesis of the plain, ordinary meaning of a verse in its immediate context. This is how the Law of Double Reference works and I again remind you that this is God's Law, not mine.)

There is a bit of a problem which arises here, though. Since there are two "time-tools" (i.e., one day = one year and one day = one thousand years), how do we know which to use? I'll explain with a parallel situation-story. Suppose I own a mountain cabin (I don't) and I give you permission to use it some weekend. I give you a key-ring holding several keys, forgetting to tell you which one would unlock the door. What would you do when you got there? Obviously you would merely insert the keys until you found the one which worked.

The same is true of Biblical keys. We try them to see what happens! Once you've tried the correct key, the passage will suddenly come alive with answers which fit all aspects of that particular Scripture. If it's the wrong key, nonsense and frustration will result just as surely as attempting to get into a cabin with the wrong key.

There is another way to determine how to use God's time keys. If the passage is related to a scene in heaven, use one day = to a thousand years; if the passage concerns an earth scene, use one day = one year. This may seem too simple but it works out. Actually, it agrees with God's ways, for the Bible says "...God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;..." (1 Cor. 1:27).

Now let's get back to Seal Seven. Why was John inspired to mention the thirty minute "quiet time" in heaven? This question really perplexed me when I was first studying the passage. My reasoning was that a literal-only interpretation just didn't seem right. Then one day this question suddenly came to mind: "Why not use the 'time-tool' of one thousand years = to a day and see what happens?" The task was simply to determine how long half an hour of 'heaven-time' would be on the 'earth-time' scale. This can be done with a simple ratio formula:

1/2 hour...................24 hours (a day)

-------------.....=.....----------------------------

X years..................one thousand years

Therefore,

X = 1000 years x 1/2 hour, divided by 24 hours

Thus, X = 500 years divided by 24 = 20.8 years.

I have been quite lengthy in developing all this "time business" and you must be asking, "Is it really worth it"? I felt the same way when working this out. Now, with hindsight, I can shout a resounding, "YES!" When I first saw the answer to the above equation, I stared at the answer of 20.8 years for some time. So what does it mean? I had a number but still didn't understand the Seventh Seal any better than before I started. So, I went back to the way you assemble any puzzle---look again at all the pieces in front of you.

What did I have? I was at the Seventh Seal. I had already come to understand the Sixth Seal as WW1, so whatever Seal Seven means, it must occur some time after the end of WW1. At that time I had also appraised the Fifth Trumpet as WW2. Suddenly it dawned on me! The main idea of the Seventh Seal is quietness. "That could mean lack of severe war conflict in the world", I thought. Then, I checked the date WW1 ended---November 11, 1918. Next, I checked the date WW2 started---September 1, 1939. Subtracting these dates indicates that the duration between the two world wars was 20 years, 9 months and 20 days. If this is put in the decimal system, the time-span equals 20.8 years! WOW!

(Wouldn't you know it? I just realized that I wrote this part here on Veteran's Day, 11/11/91.)

I think it is noteworthy for you to realize I saw Seal Six as WW1 and Trumpet Five as WW2 before I tried the steps outlined above. Had it been the other way around, it might be concluded that I had engineered the outcome.

Of course one could still say this is all mere 'chance coincidence'. One well-known-nation-wide radio preacher laughed when he learned about my explanation of the "half-hour" quietness in heaven. That's O.K. I admit it may seem a little far-fetched. But it is my contention that God is as much the God of numbers and arithmetic as He is of words and ideas. The whole universe operates on very precise mathematical laws which mankind continually learns about. And God is responsible for all the "equations" and "formulas" behind what man thinks he has discovered. But the fact remains---it is God's design. Today it seems many Christian leaders fail to recognize this very simple, yet basic truth.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of those in the sciences today are leaving God out of their lives. There was a time when the scientists were in the forefront of the Christian faith, men like Sir Isaac Newton, for example. He and others understood through their discoveries, the necessity of supernatural intelligence behind the great mysteries they were learning about. Yes, God is very much involved in the mathematics of His universe. The "mystery" surrounding the Seventh Seal adds sufficient proof of that to me.

In conclusion on this point, God promised the prophet Daniel (chapter 12) that in the "last days" He (God) would cause some people to comprehend the chronological prophecies which Daniel himself wrote about, but didn't understand. As audacious as it may sound, it just may be that God has elected to show me some of those things He was referring to when He spoke to Daniel. If it is so, I accept the gift in the spirit of Jesus' own words: "I thank you, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

This is a wonderful thing, folks! God's promise to Daniel was that this understanding wouldn't come until the time of the end. If I'm right, does it not stand to reason that the countdown is here? I believe the Holy Spirit is providing "last-days manna" for those He has chosen. We only need to take and "eat it". This is part of God's 'prep-work' in the lives of believers, designed to strengthen our faith during the world's up-coming, final conflicts. Jesus is coming again to reign over His Own. His Kingdom will be established just as the prophets-of-old said. And right now, the Holy Spirit is stirring the minds of those sensitive to the prophetic word. Dear reader, I hope you are listening to what He is saying to you.

Next we come to the Seven Trumpets. Note carefully that the trumpets are sounded by heavenly angels. They make the announcements as to when and what is happening. This is quite a contrast to the error of the "rich" and "great" men who thought WW1 was the "wrath of the Lamb". In Revelation, when God is truly about to do something dramatic, He sends angels to make the pronouncements, not the great, rich or sin-laden men.

THE TRUMPETS INTRODUCED

2 "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

3 And another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. And he was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God out of the angel's hand.

5 And the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.

6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound."

We humans love fireworks. But the apostle John surely saw things in the heavenly scene which would make our 4th of July look puny by comparison! John somehow saw the prayers from the saints here on earth, mixed with a heavenly "incense" (prayers of heavenly beings, I assume). This prayerful blend ascended to God's Throne. Perhaps this incense was the cumulative "THY-KINGDOM-COME" prayers of saints of all time, combined with the prayers of the "heavenly stewards". In response to those prayers, God finally gave the order for the final countdown to begin.

Whatever the actual meaning, we can definitely draw this conclusion: in response to the "incense", God sent "fire from the altar" which was cast to the earth resulting in "voices" (increased communication?) "thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake". These words are symbolic of what is specifically spelled out in the Seven Trumpets when they sound. Now, let's look at them one-by-one.

TRUMPET ONE: VEGETATION STRUCK

7 "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."

Now the Futurists-only school would say this means that we can someday expect a catastrophe to cause 1/3 of all trees and all the world's green grass to suddenly disappear! This is possible, of course. With God, anything is possible. But, my inclination is to first view the 'burning' historically.

As I pondered this Trumpet a few years ago, realizing the time frame following the Seals was somewhere around the 1930s or 1940s, I wondered if there was anything which happened in the world at that time which would relate to John's description of the First Trumpet. So I again looked at the historical facts.

As I recall, the first thing that came to my mind were conversations I used to hear when I was growing up. My Dad owned a small country store in northwest Georgia. On rainy days, the farmers in the region would gather around a pot-belly stove in my Dad's store and talk about hard times. I'll attempt to put in Georgia-vernacular a topic often heard:

"Whooooooie, boys! I like this rain we're getting today.", one would say. "Yeah, I do too. It's been pretty dry lately but of course nuthin' like what we saw a few years ago, huh Claudy", replied another. "You mighty right, son. Those were the driest times I ever saw; couldn't hardly raise a thing. You boys haven't seen anything", Claudy would say.

Thus, I grew up believing there was a period in the 30s and early 40s which was tougher than I could imagine and that idea was put there by the common folklore of honest, hard-working---mostly Christian---men. Those of you with farming background in that era, particularly if you didn't depend on irrigation, will identify with the conditions just described.

Recalling those days around the pot-bellied stove while writing this one day made me wonder if perhaps the events were broader in scale than I had been aware, so, back to the library again.

The encyclopedias reveal that the Southwestern states of the U. S. suffered one of the worst droughts in their history from 1931 to 1938. The drought affected the entire country and few crops could even be grown. Food became scarce and prices went up throughout the nation. In 1944, drought also brought great damage to almost all South America. The drought moved on to Australia and then to Europe, where it continued throughout the summer of 1945.

Let me illustrate this history with an imaginary scene: Recent space photography has provided us with magnificent pictures that show tremendous spans of the earth. You've seen them. Now visualize that scene. Also, imagine the time is the 30s and you are up in the edge of space looking down at the Southwestern states. From that high-up position, you observe the drought begins. Now, visualize the earth beneath you suddenly becoming brown instead of lush and green. Next, watch it sweeping throughout the land, killing the "trees and grass" as it goes. Then you see it skip the ocean to continue the same drying effect on the next continent, and the next, and the next, etc. Can you see it?

Now while it's fresh in your mind, reread Rev. 8:7, then read again the above historical facts and I think you'll see that my scenario probably isn't very far from what John actually saw.

Those of you who didn't live in the 30s and 40s probably can't appreciate the severity of long drought conditions and that "all the green grass" and "1/3 of all the trees" have already "burnt up" one time. However, Californians should be able to identify with these conditions, because in the mid-70s we had a 4 year drought. Even though that was merely a low rainfall period, the country-side was nearly devastated! Remember? The water reservoirs were almost emptied! Now just think how bad it would be if it had continued for several more years, then you've got the conditions of the thirties and forties.

Except on rare occasions, like where specific war dates can be checked in the history books, it's difficult to establish a precise day when a Seal or a Trumpet begins. But so what? God doesn't expect us to be able to determine His calendar with absolute certainty. That's His business. However, He has given us plenty of information, plus a few 'time-pieces', to get the general picture of where we are on the prophetic journey through time and space. (I might point out here that probably some of the Seals and Trumpets actually overlap in time, particularly those here in the first few Trumpets.)

SECOND TRUMPET: THE SEAS STRUCK

8 "And 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;

9 and a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed."

I believe this Trumpet speaks of the devastation which began to affect the seas and the life within them, as well as man's ships which would travel on the seas. Let's talk first about loss of the sea life. I think this came about in two ways:

1. The WW2 depth charges and torpedos blasting in the seas had a lot to do with the loss of life beginning in the forties. The following actual story serves to illustrate the effect of an underwater blast: When I was a small boy, I went fishing on a creek one night with a group of older boys---with "22" rifles. (This is illegal by the way and not recommended at all!) Here's how we got the fish. We walked upstream, shining the beam of our flashlights into the water, looking for 'sleeping' fish. When located, the fish would be temporarily blinded by the light. Then, we simply held the gunbarrel under the water and fired, not aiming to hit the fish. Above the water a "22" makes a very soft thump this way, but underneath, a violent shockwave knocks the fish out, sometimes killing it!

Now let's apply this principle to sea life during WW2. Ships were armed with anti-sub "depth charges" (huge barrel-like explosives) which were fired overboard. They would then sink and were timed to detonate at certain depths. It wasn't always necessary for depth charges to even hit a submarine to put it totally out of commission. That being the case, imagine what this did to the sea life throughout the region where this kind of warfare was used!

Sound transmission is extremely strong under water. Have you ever put your head under water and had a friend strike two small stones together at the opposite end of a swimming pool? The apparent closeness of the sound is amazing. And do you recall those old war movies which showed the allied submarine lying motionless on the bottom of the sea while the enemy destroyer moved over them with their sonar devices operating? The men in the sub couldn't make the slightest sound or it would be detected. Hollywood accurately portrayed this one. That's the way it is.

With these ideas in mind, just imagine also how much sea life has been lost resulting from the testing of atomic devices since WW2! Surely it has been great.

2. The other man-caused devastation to the seas, beginning about the same time as WW2, has been water pollution. We have plenty of evidence today to indicate pollution is destroying sea life and river life. "Coincidentally", the time I was studying this Trumpet, I received a letter from Jacque Cousteau(1) describing what mankind has done to the waterways since the 40's (see note at bottom of this chapter).

Mr. Cousteau is widely recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on water life. I know little about the man's faith or spiritual beliefs but I do respect his views and opinions on water life. Incidentally, till this day I still don't know why I received the letter. I'd never responded to any 'plea' from him or had any contact whatsoever with his organization, nor have I since! But the timing was uncanny and the information enormous. I believe in God's sovereign control in matters such as this but always find it amazing.

Mr. Cousteau's insights so graphically describe sea and river pollution, I felt it would be worthwhile for you to hear his own words. The following comments are from his letter I received July 1979.

"Each month we now pour millions of tons of poisonous waste into the living sea. Many of our lakes, rivers and coastal waters have received their mortal wound. The water is undrinkable. The fish and shell fish, if they exist at all, are inedible. I do not say this lightly. During the past thirty years (now 40+ years) my team and I have spent thousands of hours diving in Aqua-lungs and other underwater devices. During that time I have observed and studied, and with my own eyes I have seen our waters sicken. Certain reefs that teemed with fish only ten years ago are now almost lifeless. The ocean bottom has been raped by trawlers. Priceless wetlands have been destroyed by land fill. And everywhere poisoness effluents. Often, when I describe the symptoms of our environmental illness I hear remarks like "they're only fish" or "they're only birds." I assure you that our destinies are linked with theirs in the most profound and fundamental manner. All life is interconnected and the great life-giving bank is the sea." (I do not agree with Mr. Cousteau's obvious evolutionary bias. However, I believe his observations of the devastations are correct. He goes on:) "If the oceans should die---by which I mean all life in the sea would cease---then this would signal the end not only for all marine life, but for all other animals and plants of this earth, including man." (Here, Mr. Cousteau comes remarkably close to describing one of the Vials, to be discussed later. But, as Christians, we know that all life will not be destroyed because God will intervene before that happens.)

Mr. Cousteau continues:

"I implore you to understand that more than one billion children - and another billion adults - do not have water safe enough to drink. That's half of the people in the entire world. Each year ten million people die from such horrors as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis, and schistomiasis - and from disease because of untreated municipal and human wastes dumped directly into streams, rivers, and lakes. I can't understand - what are we doing to ourselves and to our children? why do we let it go on?"

(Though brilliant and clear in his sensitivity to natural phenomena, Mr. Cousteau seems unaware that we are in a sinful world which is coming to it's climax. He epitomizes the apostle Paul's statement in 2 Timothy 3:7, "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth". But while he may not understand that the underlying cause is sin and its consequences, Mr. Cousteau has probably given us the most profound picture of what is happening to our water eco-systems. It is so important for you and I to see that water pollution is what John is talking about in the Second Trumpet, I want to include more of Mr. Cousteau's analysis:)



"A researcher asked a marine biologist if he could supply a map showing which rivers pollute the ocean. The biologist had a simpler way. He said, "Nowadays, any river that flows through a farm, a city, or an industrial area is loaded with pollutants."

"Almost forty years ago, seven thousand tons of arsenic were put into concrete containers and dumped into the Baltic Sea. If properly administered, this is reportedly enough to kill the population of the world three times over. Perhaps it has begun. The Baltic now has very high levels of this toxic substance."

"Four years ago I knew that the amount of life in the ocean was dwindling at a terrifying rate. Yet I predicted that the fishing tonnage would continue to rise for a few years because of better equipment methods - and I was wrong. The tonnage of fish started down in 1971 and has kept going down ever since, in spite of more fishing vessels and better equipment. I could add thousands more to these examples, and fill ten volumes, but I hope these few will convey my distress and concern at what is happening to our oceans, our planet, and ourselves."

Now, with Mr. Cousteau's words fresh in your mind, re-read John's description of the Second Trumpet. Do the Scriptures not parallel the observations of this world-renowned scientist?

THE THIRD TRUMPET: THE WATERS STRUCK

10 "And 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 water;

11 and the name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many men died from the waters, because the waters were made bitter."

Nearly everything I said with regard to the Second Trumpet applies equally well here. The main difference is that Trumpet Two related mainly to the seas whereas Trumpet Three concerns the fresh waters---the water we drink. Notice that one-third of all fresh water became "wormwood" which caused many men to die, therefore we can conclude the water would become poisonous. (Recall that Mr. Cousteau pointed out that half the fresh water on this planet is already undrinkable.)



It may be significant to note the recent radiation "accident" which occurred in Chernobyl, Russia. I have read that the meaning of the word - Chernobyl - is WORMWOOD! Isn't that interesting? Certainly the whole earth was alarmed by the severity of that great polluting incident, and unfortunately these occurrences will probably increase. Of course, the final effect the Chernobyl accident will produce remains to be seen.

"WORMWOOD" SPIRITUALIZED

Understanding multiple applications of Scripture doesn't come easy for most of us. However, through careful Bible study, I have become convinced of the truth and reality of it. I believe God designed it and intends for us to seek out and discover His "hidden manna". Once seen, a whole new arena opens up. I do not claim to be the only one who approaches Scripture in this way but some Christian leaders fear over-spiritualizing. They say that in so doing you can make the Bible say anything you want it to. Unfortunately, there is some truth in this position. But we should never become so fearful that we miss the mysteries God has planned for us to find.

I would like to add another possible dimension to the Third Trumpet. Remember my approach to prophecy: First, look at a passage with only the immediate context in mind, concentrating on what it might mean specifically during a local situation at the time the writer wrote it. Next, look at the longitudinal aspect. (Chiefly, that's what you are reading in this book). Thirdly, think of the end-of-the-age application, which will again be a local, brief period. All three applications are equally true, each one affecting this planet and the people living at the time the prophecies are coming to pass.

But there is even a fourth dimension which needs to be considered. And sometimes this is perhaps even more important. I will call it the spiritual.

I think the word wormwood could also mean 'errant Gospel'. Notice that men died because they partook of imbittered waters. To understand what I mean, first imagine physical waters (H20) being polluted with poisons of various kinds. When men drink such water, they die. That's the obvious meaning. Now think of real water in its pure state, before being polluted, to the Gospel message as it was when Jesus first proclaimed it. Since then, heresy has crept in at many sites and as a result, the pure Gospel is found today in fewer and fewer congregations. It has been weakened due to Satanic activity operating in all the areas of man's depravity and sin-prone condition. This has resulted in an endless variety of cults, each with its own brand of the 'gospel', many of them so distorted they bear little resemblance to the plain teachings of the first-century New Testament Church.

I wish I was speaking only of cults. Many, once-strong-in-THE-FAITH, mainline denominations are today so backslidden that they can hardly be distinguished from outstanding cults. The gospel-water of these organizations have become polluted with false doctrines ("wormwood"); hence, men are spiritually starving. What does this mean? It means, at best, people who drink this 'water' are spiritually malnourished; and, at worst, have not been saved through it. When normal drinking-water becomes severely polluted, people die if they drink it. Likewise, people die who drink a polluted gospel.

THE FOURTH TRUMPET: THE HEAVENS STRUCK

12 "And the fourth angel sounded: 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 were darkened; and a third of the day did not shine, and the night likewise.

13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

I believe Trumpet Four signals the beginning of the problems associated with air pollution. Certainly the timing would be right. In the first three Trumpets, we have seen (1) the drought years, (2) sea pollution and (3) fresh water pollution. All began about the same time. Actually, one would expect simultaneous commencement of these due to the industrial revolution: a sudden appearance of factories, ships, cars, farmers, etc., all contributing to the pollutants being spued into the air and water systems of the world.

Now, let's look specifically at what the Scripture says. One third of the sun, one third of the moon and one third of the stars were dramatically affected. The Literal-only philosophy would here demand that 1/3 of the sun is going to be destroyed, that 1/3 of the moon will be missing and that 1/3 of the stars will disappear. I don't think this is the meaning. Verse 12 says the sun, moon and stars were "struck", "darkened", and "did not shine".

Doesn't it make more sense to assume that this simply means that, as a result of the debris and smog in the air, one would some day be able to see only about one third of the stars and that the illumination of the sun and moon would be reduced by one third?

If you doubt that the number of visible stars seen at night have already been reduced by one third, let me share this very simple, but very practical, illustrative story. I grew up in the country about 60 miles from Atlanta, Ga. It was always an amazing sight to just sit outside at night and gaze up at the stars. It was vast. I vividly recall the ease with which I could see them. The stars were bright and their numbers enormous beyond imagination. Viewing them from that same region on an ordinary night in this day and age is far, far less dramatic. Quite dull, in fact. The visible stars are dramatically fewer in number and much dimmer. (That dimmness is not due to failing eyesight, by the way. I still have 20/20 vision, thank God.)

If you are over 40, it will be much easier for you to grasp, and believe, what I'm saying here. But you younger ones can verify my idea by doing a simple test. If you live in, or can visit, a highly populous region, go to a dark region (where you aren't surrounded by street and city illumination which blot out the stars by glare), look up and get a relative count of the number of visible stars, noting also their brightness. Remember what you saw and as soon as possible, do the same thing again, only this time above 5,000 feet altitude. Observe the remarkable difference: it is totally due to air pollution! It may be hard to believe but all this happened in the last forty years!

Surely air pollution and its consequences provide a more acceptable answer to what John saw than taking a Futuristic-only stand. Re-read the text and think through these thoughts again.

There are three remaining Trumpets to sound which John introduces with the words, "Woe, Woe, Woe...". Obviously this indicates conditions which will be even more devastating than those beforehand. The next chapter deals with two of them.



(1. In the midst of writing this section, I received an extensive newsletter from Jacque Cousteau, a world-renowned, expert scientist on water eco-systems. Although the author's approach was non-Christian related, I found the information very pertinent to prophecy. )