Revelation Chapter 8:12
Revelation 8:12 – Then 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. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
Recall from Revelation 6, the number “four” relates to the earth and creation. The first four trumpet judgments are on the creation, while the last three are judgment on man, through interaction between the physical and spiritual realms. On that note, it is interesting that the fourth day of creation transitions from the inanimate creation to creation of living creatures and humans on days five and six, who have the breath of the “spirit of life” (Genesis 7:21-23). It is also interesting that God created the luminaries on the fourth day, which He strikes in the fourth Trumpet judgment:
“The “fourth” trumpet takes away a “third” of the light from the heavens during both “day” and “night”. The light arriving from the “sun, stars”, and “moon” is reduced, leading probably to fear, lack of crop production, and a much lower quality of life (compare Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:25).
“A third part of the sun … smitten”: God will supernaturally reduce the intensity of the celestial bodies by one-third. The loss of solar heat will cause a radical drop in temperature, producing severe changes in meteorological, botanical and biological cycles (Luke 21:25; compare Exodus 10:21-23). But this is temporary (compare 16:8-9).
The Fourth Trumpet: Darkness Descends. All life on this earth depends on the sun: If it were to explode, the earth would incinerate; if it were to go cold, the earth would freeze solid. Neither of those extremes is in view with the 4th trumpet judgment, but in some way God does reduce by a third the amount of radiant energy reaching earth from the sun and all other celestial bodies. John writes, “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; a third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.”
Tim LaHaye states that God who created light in the first place is able to diminish it to one third. Actually, day and night will seem to be reversed, for there will be sixteen hours of darkness and eight hours of daylight. This naturally reminds us of the plague sent on Pharaoh as described in Exodus.
Exodus 10:21. “Darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.”
And it gives detail to our Lord’s prediction:
Luke 21:25-26 “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken”.
Genesis 1:14-19 – Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
God striking the luminaries in this judgment serves as a sign to those on Earth that Jesus is going to return soon. These signs will terrorize those not saved, but give comfort to believers:
Luke 21:25-28 – “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
It is very clear in our passage of discussion the luminaries themselves get struck. This is not an obscuration in earth’s atmosphere dimming the light, like volcano ash, or smoke from the fires that destroy the vegetation, but something that physically darkens the luminaries themselves. The reflected light of the moon and planets are dependent on the sun. Therefore, if the sun darkens by a third, then the moon will also be darkened proportionally.
Stars like the sun go through magnetic cycles. During the years of peak solar activity, magnetic activity causes areas of lower temperatures which look like dark spots, called “sunspots”:
Another type of darkening on the sun is the coronal hole:
“Coronal holes are dark, low density regions of the sun’s outermost atmosphere, the corona. They contain little solar material, have lower temperatures, and therefore, appear much darker than their surroundings…. The holes are important to our understanding of space weather, as they are the source of a high-speed wind of solar particles that streams off the sun some three times faster than the slower wind elsewhere. While it’s unclear what causes coronal holes, they correlate to areas on the sun where magnetic fields soar up and away, failing to loop back down to the surface, as they do elsewhere.”Source: NASA.gov
Coronal holes can cause geomagnetic storms. These storms can affect communication systems and cause radiation poisoning outside of Earth’s atmosphere, but generally they are not as severe or sudden as the coronal mass ejections and solar flares from sunspots (Sources: 1, 2).
The picture above was of a massive coronal hole on the sun during the summer of 2013. It covered nearly a fourth of the sun. Nothing of consequence occurred on Earth from the solar wind stream that glanced by, though there was a rash of news commentators that suggested this coronal hole could have caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or Carrington super flare event. The following article shows the error in that theory and why sunspots are much more dangerous to Earth than coronal holes:
“My biggest concern is that my Fox News comments miscommunicated the real risks of solar activity (“fearmongering” as some of my critics called it). I noted that coronal holes happen all the time, but that is only part of the story. Because holes are an ongoing source of the high-speed component of the solar wind, they contribute to the background effects of space weather. The real risks come from those explosive events, the flares and coronal mass ejections, or CMEs-the equivalents to hurricanes and tornadoes as opposed to a day of high winds….The real concern, which I highlighted at the end of my Fox appearance, is that the sun might experience a superflare: an extreme explosive event far more intense even than the typical flare, but also far rarer. I pointed out that the last true superflare happened in 1859, an eruption known as the Carrington event; milder ones happened in 1921 and 1960. Such a solar eruption is quite different than a coronal hole. In fact, it’s essentially the opposite. A coronal hole is a slow, steady release of solar plasma from a magnetically open region of the sun. A superflare is a fast, explosive release from a place of extreme magnetic confinement.A superflare could wreak havoc on electronic technology. Damage to communications satellites alone would total tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars. The even bigger concern is that a superflare would induce intense power surges in the electrical grid, possibly overloading transformers and triggering a blackout across a large part of the world….”Source: Discover Magazine
Between sunspots and coronal holes, I believe sunspots better fit the description in the fourth Trumpet judgment. While the sun has never been dotted with more than several sunspots at a time, let alone covered by a third them, the fourth Trumpet judgment is not a normal occurrence. Luke 21:25 shows the judgments that affect the luminaries are meant for a sign. People on Earth will visually witness God’s sovereignty over the creation when He strikes all the luminaries in this judgment and again in future judgments.
Take note that the fourth Bowl judgment makes the sun scorch men with fire:
Revelation 16:8-9 – Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
As discussed earlier, sunspots harbor energy and can produce solar flares. If the sun becomes covered in sunspots, an assault of massive solar flares on the earth and the rest of the solar system are likely to occur.
Also note, day and night shortens by a third on the earth. If the second and third trumpet judgments of the burning mountain and Wormwood occur in rapid fire succession, and if one or both of these heavenly bodies are massive enough hit with enough force, it could affect rotation of the earth. Reduction by a third would bring the hours in a day, or rotation of the earth to sixteen hours, instead of twenty-four. This would also explain what Jesus said about the days being shortened in the second half of the Tribulation:
Matthew 24:22 – And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
Mark 13:20 – And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
Most of what God destroys in the Trumpet judgments He does so by a third:
|Third of the trees burned up||Revelation 8:7|
|Third of the sea became blood||Revelation 8:8|
|Third of the living creatures in the sea died||Revelation 8:9|
|Third of the ships destroyed||Revelation 8:9|
|Third of the rivers and springs became wormwood||Revelation 8:10-11|
|Third of the sun struck||Revelation 8:12|
|Third of the moon struck||Revelation 8:12|
|Third of the stars struck||Revelation 8:12|
|Third of the luminaries darkened||Revelation 8:12|
|Third of the day did not shine||Revelation 8:12|
|Third of mankind killed by fire, smoke and brimstone||Revelation 9:15-18|
The number “three” speaks of God’s divine nature:
|God’s nature||Attributes||Godhead Member||Eternal|
“Three” also shows perfection or completion in God’s plan, as demonstrated in the scriptural examples below:
|• Three sons of Noah populated the Earth after the flood (Genesis 9)|
|• God made His covenant with Abraham by cutting 3 three-year old mammals in half (Genesis 15)|
|• Three angels appearing as men told Abraham about judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18)|
|• Moses was hid for three months (Exodus 2)|
|• It was a three days’ journey from Egypt to the wilderness for the Hebrews to sacrifice to God (Exodus 3)|
|• Egypt had three days of darkness before the last plague of the death of the firstborn (Exodus 10)|
|• The people prepared to meet God for three days (Exodus 19)|
|• Three times the men were to go to Jerusalem to keep the feasts (Exodus 23 & 34)|
|• Balaam struck the donkey three times before God opened its mouth to speak (Numbers 22)|
|• Balaam blessed Israel three times (Numbers 23-24)|
|• The Hebrews prepared for three days to cross the Jordan (Joshua 1)|
|• Gideon divided his army into three companies (Judges 7)|
|• Samson told Delilah about the source of his strength after he lied to her three times (Judges 16)|
|• God called Samuel three times, before Eli realized it was God speaking (1 Samuel 3)|
|• Saul separated the army into three companies when they defeated the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11)|
|• Saul and his three sons died the same day, ending Saul’s dynasty (1 Samuel 31)|
|• God brought three years of famine during David’s reign due to a sin of Saul (2 Samuel 21)|
|• God gave David a choice of three punishments for taking the census (2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21)|
|• Elijah stretched himself out on a dead child three times, praying for the Lord to revive him (1 Kings 17)|
|• Elijah poured water on the alter three times before God consumed the sacrifice in fire (1 Kings 18)|
|• Elisha said Israel would strike Syria three times as the king struck the ground three times (1 Kings 13)|
|• Assyria besieged Samaria for three years before they took it (2 Kings 17-18)|
|• Esther fasted for three days before facing the king (Esther 4)|
|• Three men survived Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace (Daniel 3)|
|• Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and nights (Jonah 1)|
|• Jonah preached to Nineveh for three days (Jonah 3)|
|• Three of Jesus’ disciples see three men in the transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9)|
|• Testimony is established on the witness of two or three (Matthew 18, Deuteronomy 17)|
|• Jesus was buried and rose on the third day (1 Corinthians 15)|
|• Jesus asked Peter three times if He loved Him after Peter denied Him three times (John 21)|
|• Paul was blind and fasted for three days before being healed and baptized (Acts 9)|
|• Peter saw the unclean animal vision three times before three Gentiles came to him (Acts 10-11)|
|• Three groups (Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles) received salvation through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1 & 11)|
|• There are three heavens: The atmosphere, the cosmos, and God’s dwelling place (2 Corinthians 12)|
Click here for more on prophetic patterns in numbers.
Only striking parts of the creation by a third, shows that God is not complete in His judgment. In other words, three shows perfect completion, while a fraction in thirds shows less than complete. The Lord will continue to show restraint until the very end of the Tribulation in the Bowl judgments, right before He returns, which will complete His wrath (Revelation 15:1). Note the complete judgment on the elements of creation that are partly struck in the Trumpet judgments:
Revelation 16:3-4 – Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
Isaiah 13:9-10 – Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
Matthew 24:29 – Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
We see this restraint of God’s judgment with the remnant of Israel He spares, as He protects a third of them through the Tribulation:
Zechariah 13:8-9 – “And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the LORD, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”
A third of the angels fell with Satan, which shows a departure from the divine perfection of God. Incidentally, God will spare a third of Israel through the Tribulation, while Satan and a third of the angels are cast out of Heaven about the same time the Trumpet judgments begin, which affect a third of many elements in the creation:
Revelation 12:4-9 – His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
image courtesy: Revelation 8-12 – bible guide for the new age
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.