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Tribulation and Escape

Blessings From Ethiopia

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Tribulation and Escape is designed to be a book-club and small group discussion favorite, with enough controversy to spark involvement from all your group members! Below is a short excerpt from the book explaining Trumpet Judgement #2, in which a burning mountain of fire falls upon the earth.

From Trumpet Judgment #2 - A burning mountain falls to earth.

Trumpet 2 – Revelation 8:8 – “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.”

This is an interesting passage in that the Scripture very carefully states that “as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.” The Greek word for comparing objects, concepts, or similar ideas is “hos” (BLB). Let’s briefly look at several other Scriptures that use the same word in order to get a better feel for how this term is used to compare two objects or concepts. Matthew 6:10 says, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as (hos) it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:12 says, “…and forgive us our debts, as (hos) we forgive our debtors.” Mark 3:5, “… and his hand was restored whole as (hos) the other.”

This is clearly not a terrestrial mountain falling from the sky, based on the comparison word “hos”, nor do I believe that it is purely symbolic or allegorical. People have said that the burning mountain is everything from the sins of mankind falling back on us from Heaven to an old reference to Genghis Kahn or Emperor Nero. The problem is that once you start down a path like that, there is no turning around. You are doomed to travel a twisted bunny-trail through the weeds and are forced to say that it is allegorical or pertained only to an event in the distant past to cover up being hopelessly tangled in your own thought train. There are a lot of symbolic or allegorical instances in Revelation, but this is not one of them. Keeping to what the words are saying leads us to a very simple, yet terrifying, line of thought. There is something big coming.

This mountain may very well be another large asteroid falling to Earth. In Revelation 6:13, the “…stars of heaven fell unto the earth” uses “aster” for the word “stars”. Aster is not the word used in Revelation 8:8 for the mountain falling into the sea. The term used in Revelation 8:8 is “oros”, meaning mountain, or large hill. Whatever is hurtling towards Earth to rendezvous with our planet at its appointed time is large, very frightening, and unstoppable.

On 9/7/2014, asteroid 2014RC skimmed past Earth over New Zealand at a distance of only one-tenth the distance from the Earth to the moon. The asteroid was only 60 feet (18m) in diameter. The interesting thing is that, although, by NASA account, over 11,000 near-Earth asteroids are tracked, this one was just discovered two weeks before its close encounter with Earth. NASA also said that it would return in the future as it travels its orbit. Although it missed, to me it is like a bullet skimming through your hair without actually hitting your head and someone proclaiming that it’s no big deal because it missed!

The diagram below is from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?ss_inner) and shows the tracked asteroids in our inner solar system between the Sun and the planet Jupiter. The cloud of round dots represents all tracked asteroids. You can see that the majority of them are located between Mars and Jupiter and form a donut shape around the inner solar system. Scattered throughout the illustration are triangular-shaped objects. These are tracked comets which have a portion of their orbit within the inner solar system. These comets will swing by the sun at some point in time.

Asteroid Belt

While the vast majority of these asteroids have orbits that will keep them far from Earth, my way of thinking tells me that it would only take a small bump from a fellow asteroid to nudge one of these chunks of rock out of its orbit and put it on a collision path with Earth to fulfill prophecy. Consider it to be celestial billiards, if you will.

Asteroid 2002 NT7 is a 1.2-mile-wide (2 km) rock that will pass near Earth on Feb. 1, 2019, and is being carefully monitored at this time. It has the potential to hit Earth with enough force to “wipe out a continent and cause global climate changes”, according to a news article from the BBC on 24 July, 2002, entitled “Space rock on collision course”. Orbits will be more carefully calculated as the asteroid comes closer, and will undoubtedly result in revising the collision warning to a clean miss.

It’s easy to envision a trail of fire left by 2002 NT7 as its rock heats up and begins to burn in our atmosphere. It’s also easy to see by the Scripture that, when it reaches the ocean, it is still a gigantic object, and gives the impression of being a falling mountain. It takes very little extra imagination to see that such an object hitting an ocean would cause a tremendous tsunami, easily destroying the third part of all ships that are in the targeted ocean.

The following comparative table gives calculated tsunami heights for a 10 km and a 1 km asteroid hitting an ocean.

Distance from impact Diameter of Asteroid
Resulting Tsunami Height
10 km (6.2 miles) 1.3 km (4,265 ft.) 1 km (0.62 mile)
300 km (186 miles) 1.3 km (4,265 ft.) 42 m (137 ft.)
1000 km (621 miles) 540 m (1,771 ft. 18 m (59 ft.)
3,000 km (1,864 miles) 250 m (820 ft.) 8 m (26 ft.)
10,000 km (6,213 miles) 100 m (328 ft.) 3 m (9+ ft.)

It is clear from the chart that an asteroid of either size will cause more death and destruction than we have seen to date from any tsunami. I can’t even picture a wall of water almost a mile high bearing down on me. That’s the stuff of science fiction movies and nightmares! Besides the tsunami, an asteroid of this size will send out a shock and heat pulse that would destroy anything that the water did not pulverize. It’s no wonder the dinosaurs didn’t make it through the Yucatan strike.

From the passage we can’t quite understand whether it is the enormous amount of heat introduced into the ocean by the “falling mountain” or if it is chemical contamination that causes one-third of sea life to die, but a case can be made for either, or both, of the scenarios. Most sea life can only survive in a relatively narrow band of temperatures. Get your aquarium a little too cold or too hot and see what happens with your fish. Sea life has a broader range of temperature-range acceptance, but you get the concept. Rapid temperature changes will shock and kill most fish.

The sea becoming blood may also be due to the heating of the water that, in turn, supports a massive red algae bloom in the sea. Some red algae blooms have significantly reduced the oxygen levels in the water, and have also produced sufficient natural toxins to such an extent that marine life has been killed. Past red algae blooms are very localized events that have caused die-offs in small areas. One has only to search the Internet for photos of red algae blooms in oceans to see many, many examples of the phenomena. Scripture here is talking about a magnitude of blooming that has been unknown in human history, resulting in the death of sea life on a scale that’s hard to imagine.

Much like the hail raining down and destroying one-third of the trees and all of the grass, with the probable result of mass starvation, the death of sea life in even one ocean may have an equally- destructive effect on human population. For many peoples around the globe, fish is the primary source of food, and starvation will result if that food source is impacted in any way.