Burning Mountains and Bloody Seas
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. 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, Revelation 8:7-9.
In the previous chapter a lengthy discourse of verse seven was given; a discourse portraying the terrible effects of volcanic spillage on dry land masses. I have attempted to build a case that God will move the massive tectonic plates of figure 3 to produce unbelievable dry land eruptions. But the shifting of the plates would most assuredly not only affect the land, for most of these great cracks exist on the world’s ocean and sea floors. John’s eyes had been fixed on the horrifying burning of the earth’s greenery (verse seven), but as he watched the land scene the underwater volcanic activity remained hidden from his view. It is therefore only natural that the dry land events were reported before the water events.
In order to correctly interpret verse eight, one must understand what the expression “as it were” means, and how it is used in relation to the subject and verb of the middle section of this verse. Many commentaries identify the great burning mountain as a meteorite that falls into the sea from heaven, but I will attempt to prove that this is not the case.
The expression “as it were” is one very small Greek word. That word is hos. Hos is a particle having a very wide variety of uses in the New Testament. At times it applies to the subject, at other times it applies to the verbal action, and sometimes it applies to both. Hos can be translated as “what looked like,” “it was as though,” “what seemed to be,” “it was as if,” “as it were,” etc.
The verbal action “was cast” Is a single Greek verb, eblethe.It expresses punctiliar action in past time and, as such, can be translated “had been cast.”
John used hos in John 7:10 to describe the action performed by the subject: But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:9 used hos to refer to a verbal action affecting the subjects: For I think that God hath set birth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
Now considering the usage of hos and eblethe in Revelation 8:8, let us carefully examine what John saw and how he report-. ed it: And the second angel sounded, and as it were thos] a great mountain burning with fire was cast [eblethe] into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.
Hos (as it were) refers to both the subject (greatburning mountain) and the verbal action eblethe (had been cast) that began at some point in time before John actually saw the subject. John’s attention had been fixed on a horrible scene of fiery objects coming down upon the dry land masses of the world, destroying all the green grass and one-third of the trees. Suddenly the second trumpet shifted his eyes to the sea, and he beheld what looked like a great mountain on fire in the midst of the sea. John did not know where it came from, so he used the expression (hos) to tell us it was as ifit had been cast into the sea. John did not see it cast into the sea, because the tense of the verb ebletheindicates the action that caused it to be in the midst of the sea occurred before John actually saw it there. What John saw is what you see in figure 5. The mountain had been cast into the sea from beneath, not from above as many commentaries assume. Not all commentaries take the falling meteor position. Among one of the more reputable that does not is the Expositor’s Greek Testament Volume five of this highly esteemed work provides the following information concerning Revelation 8:8 and the rest of the book of Revelation:
Volcanic phenomena… in the Egean archipelago are in the background of this description, and of others throughout the book; features such a the disturbance of islands and the mainland, showers of stones, earthquakes, the sun obscured by a black mist of ashes, and the moon reddened by volcanic dust, were the natural consequences of eruption in some submarine volcano, and Thera—adjoining Patmos—was in a state of more or less severe eruption during the first century. All this suggested the hideous colors in which the final catastrophe was painted by the imagination of pious contemporaries. In the eruption of 1573, the sea round Thera was tinted for twenty miles round, and even when the submarine volcano is quiescent, ‘the sea in the immediate vicinity of the cone is of a brilliant orange colour, from the action of oxide of iron.” In 1707 a large rock suddenly appeared in the sea, during the eruption, and owing to noxious vapors ‘all fish in the harbor died.’
It is difficult to prove conclusively the case for volcanic eruptions by linguistics alone, but the effects produced in the form of blood-red water that destroys aquatic life is a natural consequence of volcanic eruptions. There have been thousands of meteorites that have fallen into man’s water supplies for many years and yet not one case of poisoning has ever been validated. Meteors are not poisonous nor do they turn water a continuing red.
Please do not let the “orange” color mentioned in the quote from the Expositor’s Greek testament mislead you. You will not find the color “orange” in the entire Bible. One of the reasons the word “blood” appears so often in Revelation is that it figuratively covers a wide range of blood shades from orange to reddish black. Ask any hematologist about the tremendous change in blood color found in various parts of the human anatomy.
There are three types of magma that burst onto the earth’s surface as blood-red lava, and basaltic magma has the highest iron content of the three, with virtually all oceanic eruptions being of the basaltic variety. If a piece of iron is left long enough in a glass of water it will turn the water a rusty red by oxidation If the water is heated the oxidation (rusting) will be accelerated. As the basaltic material makes contact with the ocean seawater its temperature is often in excess of six hundred degrees centigrade, and this produces fantastically accelerated oxidation of its iron content. In virtually all oceanic eruptions a blood-red shield is formed, and this shield is carried away from the source many miles by the currents of the sea. When coupled with the other chemical reactions associated with maritime volcanic eruptions, it acts like a smothering aerobic blanket on aquatic life as it spreads across the seas and oceans of the world.
God, who created all things and will use them to fulfill His prophecies, has also created life forms in the sea that can produce dreadful effects. There are certain microscopic organisms that exist in the sea that can reproduce at fantastic rates. Under certain conditions these oceanic organisms have reproduced to exhibit over sixty million in a single quart of seawater. They are deadly only under certain conditions which I shall describe later. As long as these organisms remain in a certain environmental temperature range there is no problem. They will remain absolutely harmless. In fact, if the organism is carried into a cold water zone by the currents of the ocean, God has so designed it that a protective crust forms around it, and the shield remains until it is carried back into a favorable temperature environment. But there is one thing that must never be performed on this organism: never heat the water. For if you heat the water above the orgamsm’s normal temperature environment, the following quote from a standard biological text describes what will happen:
Under certain conditions it reproduces at a fantastic rate; sixty million have been counted in a single quart of seawater. The organism tends to utilize the dissolved oxygen at a rate which creates an anaerobic condition. Thus aerobic organisms, such as fish, die. It also releases an airborne “poison gas” which irritates the human respiratory tract and may cause coughing, sneezing and even shortness of breath.
During the red tide off the coast of Florida in 1952 and again in 1954 enormous numbers of fish died, and the shore was littered for miles with stinking fish.
Another dinoflagellate, Gonyauiox, also causes waters to appear a rusty red at times because of its great numbers. Gonyaulax catenella is known to have been the cause of disastrous poisoning in man. Several kinds of shellfish along the Pacific coast feed on them, thus making the shellfish poisonous for human consumption. In 1941 there were 346 cases of poisoning with 24 deaths. Since 1941 state laws forbid the gathering of shellfish during the season of the red waters. Experiments have shown the toxin (an alkaloid) to be about ten times as potent as strychnine, which is used for poisoning mice.
When God shifts the great tectonic plates, all the cracks on the ocean floors shown in figure 3 will open to produce long chains of oceanic eruptions as pictured in figure 5. As the magma begins to heat the oceans and seas of the world, many varieties of dinoflagellate will begin to reproduce at fantastic rates. As the heating spreads, the dinoflagellate will spread, both by formation and transportation by the currents of oceans and seas of the world. The sea will be turned red by both oxidation and organism secretion, both creations of God. The same God who created the process of oxidation and all organisms has also created the mechanism to slowly spread the blood-red shroud of poison across the oceans and seas of the world—the currents of the “seven seas” shown in figure 5A. By the time the last drop of the second vial has been poured out, all aquatic life in the oceans and seas will have been destroyed by this shield of death carried by the currents that daily move life through them.
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 creature which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed, Revelation 8:8, 9.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea, Revelation 16:3.
The great red shield of death is formed and spreads across one-third of the sea as the trumpet sounds. The second trumpet begins the event and the second vial closes it. By the time the last drop of the vial has fallen, the ocean current spread of both organic and inorganic takers of life will have rendered the sea to be like the blood of a dead man. A dead man’s blood will not support life. The trumpets and vials do not occur separately from one another in a chronological sense. The first trumpet announces the beginning of event one, and the last drop of the first vial closes it. This sequence is true throughout all seven trumpets and vials.