Fourth Trumpet The Lights Grow Dim
Revelation 8:12
r08h

   "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." (Rev. 8:12)

8:12a
The obscured light

   The next religious force in line for apostasy would be the Protestants. Of course we can't just assume that our verse applies to them without good evidence. Were the sources of light beaten? What are the sources of light? Our first thought is to connect the heavenly lights with the sun, moon, and stars of the woman of chapter 12. The situation, however, is different and I see the symbols differently.
   There, for example, the sun is the righteousness of Christ which clothed the woman. Emphasis here is on the sun, moon, and stars as sources of light. Darkness as a sign of apostasy prompts us to ask what the sources of the light of truth are. We have looked at two sources of light: the established word and the contemporary prophetic witness, 0102. We start with the primary source, the sun.
  

Sun The sacred Scriptures "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105)
Moon More recent or contemporary prophecies " And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:" (Joel 2:28; See also Acts 26:18)
Stars Those who share light with others "And [when Michael/Jesus comes to rescue us from the final trouble and take us to heaven] take us to heaven] they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Dan. 12:3)
   We see all three in the text about the dragon's persecution of the end-time people of God. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17) re1217a.
   Of course those who preach truth are only sharing the light they see from those to whom God gave it. We see this difference in the initial description of the sun, moon, and stars. "And 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." (Gen. 1:16). The stars were not to rule.

Have the light sources been smitten (other translations: whipped/beaten/tortured)?
   "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Rev. 8:12)

   We note, from the text, that the light sources, themselves, did not fail but were smitten. This means that they were rejected and/or misinterpreted. To translate this to a historical context is a sensitive matter. In chapter 13 we have the sad prediction of the unfaithfulness of the beast that arose from the earth, re1311a&b.
   There we see what will happen as the apostasy ripens, but it began earlier, as the churches which developed from the Protestant Reformation stopped seeking new light and, in fact, began persecuting those who differed with them as their ancestors had been persecuted under the Catholics. When the light about the beginning of the end-time judgment was preached, many from all churches accepted it, but most dropped all they had learned because part of what was then preached turned out to be error, re0610&11.

The actual sun, moon, and stars smitten
   Just before the time of preaching several cosmic events had stirred the souls of the people. The sun and moon were obscured by smoke from a forest fire in New England, the region of the U.S. where the 1844 message was preached more than elsewhere. Also the stars "fell" in a most significant Leonoid meteorite shower. These are described in connection with the sixth seal, re0612 (whole page).

Image © Corel
The events that were reflected in nature
   The whole message that had been so widely preached and accepted became very unpopular when Jesus did not come in 1844. This unpopularity tended to cause people to reject, as well, the timing of the judgment. The preaching against these things was preaching against the word of God in the Bible, against the prophetic voice that God had brought at that time, and against the messages of the small company that found the errors and realized that Christ did go into a judgment at the end of 2300 prophetic days. The three lights were smitten and, sadly, few bothered to search the Scriptures for themselves.

8:12b
Part of the day and part of the night also dimmed

     "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." (Rev. 8:12)

   Following the pattern in the other trumpet calls, the darkened day and night should represent the people who were affected by the apostasy which is still being developed toward its climax. See Rom. 1:18-22; Ex. 10:15; Isa. 13:9, 10. Whether people, place or time, we see in the last part of our verse the tragic results. For context, see above.
    In the "day" and "night" we may see God's greater and lesser lights (Gen. 1:16), the established Word and the voice of contemporary prophecy, re0102.

8:13
Woe, woe, woe!

   "And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!" (Rev. 8:13)

Like the three angels?
    Other manuscripts and translations prefer "eagle" instead of "angel" but it doesn't matter. The eagle/angel flies in mid-heaven, the air space used by the last three trumpet angels. He also speaks with a loud voice as two of them do, and he has the same audience, those who dwell on the earth. Earth dwellers are generally the wicked (6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 14; 17:2, 8) who follow the earth beast 1314pe. The three angels who will blow their trumpets are not the three angels of Revelation 14.

Image, D&R, public domain
    It's not good news. Reading about the calls of the last three trumpet angels will help us see that the earth dwellers will have good reason to fear. See Luke 21:25, 26.

Sequence
   It's important to note, from this verse, that the woes follow the previous trumpet soundings in time. Actually all seven come in historical order the way they appear in the Bible.
    Links to woes: 1 2 3 They are explained beginning with the next page.

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