As you can see from the chart
of the relationships among the trumpet calls, r08-T,
we understand the first four as warnings of apostasy and the last three
as consequences of apostasy. For each of the four calls, a third of this
or that was hurt or destroyed. For example, when the first angel sounded,
a third of the trees were burned up. For the second a third of the sea
became blood and a third of the sea life and of the ships were destroyed.
In showing John these scenes, did the Spirit imply that exactly a third of all these things would be affected by the apostasies? I don't think so. The fraction is symbolic, turning our thoughts back to the original apostasy in heaven when Lucifer tried to take over Christ's job as ruler of the stars or angels. Read beginning is1413. We also see roots of the "third" in apostasy in Ezek. 5:12.
And what happened? We turn to Revelation 12 for the rest of the story. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And 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. 12:7-9). But where does the "third" come in? From the mention of the same rebellion earlier in the chapter.
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth." (Rev. 12:3). Lucifer wanted to be above the stars and ended up dragging a third of them out of heaven in his own rebellion against God.
So, in our references, those whose souls are lost by participating in apostasy are like that fallen third of the angels.
The trumpet calls are like the pouring out of the plagues. A striking difference is that the plagues destroy totally. 7p chart.
"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up." (Rev. 8:7)
"O LORD, to thee will I cry:
for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame
hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also
unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured
the pastures [grass] of the wilderness." (Joel 1:19, 20)
Trees may be seen as the leaders or secure ones, compared to the grass.
For other verses linking the Jewish apostasy with the first trumpet call, see the trumpets chart r08-T.
Not a normal green
The word for "green" here is chloros. It is the same word used for the pale horse in 6:8, re0608. We saw the pale horse as the people under the end-time false religious power. At the beginning of the Christian era, we also had a power — the Jewish nation — which assumed to be the true people of God, yet oppressed those who objected.
was all the grass burned up, rather than a third?
The Jewish nation as a whole would no longer be the official representative of true religion. In Christ's parable, the kingdom was taken from them and given to others, the gentiles. mt2143, 0704b. This is perhaps the reason for all the grass being lost in the apostasy of the first trumpet. Image modified from Corel
Mingled with blood
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation." (Matt. 23:29-36)
A few days later, Jesus was brought before Pilate. "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matt. 27:25)
What a sad story. Of course, we should not forget that we are all responsible for the blood of those we may have turned away from righteousness. Only by the forgiving grace of Christ may we stand with washed robes. This blessing of peace is promised for any Jewish person as well, because there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile today. (Gal. 3:26-29).