A star falls
"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).
Is the star Lucifer
who became Satan?
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart . . . I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . ." (Isa. 14:12, 13)
"And [after the war in heaven] the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Rev. 12:9)
"And he [Jesus] said unto them [the 70 disciples], I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." (Luke 10:18).
These verses point to Satan as the fallen star. But we have a problem. In chapter 12, we will discover that the war in heaven happened near the time of creation. How can we see the star fall here? The second trumpet call warned against the apostasy of the church as it left the purity it had when Christ established it. The calls are in chronological order, 0802g. So how can the star be Satan? It is the fall of the star that is significant here. How long before this time, is not. In fact we see the fall again at the beginning of the fifth trumpet sounding.
In what sense
was the star "great."
Although the star is not Babylon, we can understand greatness from the story of Babylon, 1408+. The greatness wasn't in goodness but in unholy pride.
What apostasy does this angel warn against?
The apostasy of the beast
power's time of special persecution and dominance was for 1260 years from
538 to 1798, 1305a.
Did a rebellious power arise at about the end of this time?
In chapter 11 we will study the atheism which developed first in France as a reaction to the power of the Catholic church which had dominated the scene for so long and to the royalty (which the church had supported). Atheism quickly turned to deism, a religion that finds truth in morality and reason and holds that God is in nature and ultimately that people are their own gods.
This atheistic position was prominent during the 3½ prophetic days (literal years) while the two witnesses (the Scriptures) lay dead in the street. We might ask how a situation of such short duration could be prominent enough to merit being represented by one of the four eras of apostasy. The four are in power for certain basic periods of time. They tend to represent basic attacks on the truth of God which always exist. And in a sense, each power continued along with the others that succeeded it in prominence. Although the time of revolutionary France was short, the influence continued elsewhere. For example, Benjamin Franklin, in the US, was a Deist. The atheism also inspired Charles Darwin and Carl Marx.
Burning as a lamp
The star fell "from heaven, burning as it were a lamp." The name, Lucifer, is "light bearer" from the translation into Latin. The Hebrew word, more precisely, means "shining one." Of course, after the fall from heaven, the light was darkness. The comparison of "lamp" here is to the Word of God. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105). In this case with the third trumpet call, the fallen star tried to replace the lamp of God's word.
The star fell
on a third of the rivers and the water fountains
The dragon, Satan drew a third of the stars of heaven (angels) whom it enticed into rebellion. It fell on a third of the sources of water. Truth of the divine word is communicated by the Holy Spirit, through the written holy scriptures. This harmonizes with our explanation above that we are looking at the time of atheism at its peak in France.
In studying the seven last plagues, we identify the rivers and water fountains as earth-based water compared to the sea water. We thus look at the sea beast and the land beast and connect the land water with fallen Protestantism. We also point out the connection between the atheism and that part of Protestant scholarship which doubts the inspiration of the Bible. The wormwood came at about the time the land beast arose. Our identification here and for the third plague are in harmony, 1604a+. Of course, I share how I read the inspired word. You may read for yourself with prayer, seeking the Holy Spirit, and you may come to a different conclusion. Light develops and progresses as we study.
On "rivers of water" see is3202. Also remember that the woman at the well was promised "living water" jn0410f.
"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. 8:11).
The name or character of the star is wormwood, a bitter and poisonous herb. Wormwood is still used for making a tea which is supposed to cure certain problems. Some experts consider it an unsafe narcotic. A number of varieties of wormwood exist today.
Many men died of the waters
This phrase catches
our attention because in the other trumpet calls, people who lose their
souls from the apostasy are seen as symbols such as grass or sea water.
Here men are men (men and women by current usage). I believe that the "men"
here are also symbolic. The term emphasizes the atheistic reliance on humanity,
feeling no need of God.
The corresponding text in chapter 11 refers to earth dwellers. "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them [the slain witnesses], and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another. . . ." (Rev:11:10)