(Read Part 31)
The world is no stranger to devastating destruction. However, the future seven-year tribulation period will bring far-reaching devastation that will destroy more land and property than has ever been experienced in history.
The trumpet judgments major on the prophetic concept that God will execute the destruction of one-third of a stated item or items in the world. There is no indicator in Scripture that God will confine the judgments to a specific area. All Scriptural indicators point to the suggested conclusion that one-third of the entire world will suffer tremendous hardships derived from the eschatological, future trumpet judgments.
Keep in mind that the seal judgments, consisting of the introduction of the Antichrist, wars and bloodshed, severe famine, the deaths of one-fourth of the world’s population, martyrdom of believers in the Lord and great fearful cosmic disturbances (including a massive earthquake), will have already taken place in the first half of the tribulation (Rev. 6:1-17). “The beginning of the birth pains” (Matt. 24:8, ESV), or “sorrows” (Matt. 24:8), found in the seal judgments now becomes even more severe in the trumpet judgments .
Hail, Fire and Blood!
The angel sounds the first trumpet and the devastating results commence. Hail and fire mixed with blood will be flung to the Earth. God used this same type of judgment on the Egyptians in an attempt to persuade Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people leave Egypt and journey to the land promised by God (Gen. 12:7; Deut. 30:5), known today as the land of Israel (Ex. 9:23-24; Ps. 105:32).
The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. (Rev. 8:7a)
Some Bible scholars believe that the catastrophic judgment could be the result of a massive volcanic explosion or asteroids falling onto the land or sea. The results of the massive cosmic disturbance will be the destruction of all of the grass on the entire earth and one-third of the trees.
My wife grew up on a grain farm in Brady, Mont. Her father planted the seeds and waited for the formation of the precious grains. One of the most devastating things for a grain farmer is a hail storm. Every wise grain farmer takes out hail insurance, based on the fact that if hail hits the tender plants and destroys the grain, the farmer would have no crop and, therefore, no income.
God gives a very firm unbreakable promise that when the first trumpet judgment takes place, a massive hail, fire and blood storm will take place. The Apostle John describes the results of the judgment in the last half of Revelation 8:7.
One-Third Trees and All Grass Burned Up!
In 1988, fire destroyed nearly one-third of Yellowstone National Park. I vividly remember driving through the reopened park and seeing the massive amount of ruin brought about by the fire. Nearly two million acres of land were blackened by the disastrous fire. Nothing remained of the vegetation, and the trees were nothing but charred remains.
And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Rev. 8:7b)
The earth has approximately 57 million acres of land. The first trumpet judgment destroys one-third of the earth’s trees, which equates to 19 million acres of land. Destroying national park lands has negative repercussions, but the future destruction of one-third of the trees and all 57 million acres of grass will severely impact the food production for animals and humans.
This judgment compounds the impact of the third seal judgment, which will already have resulted in a very severe famine upon the earth (Rev. 6:5-6). Famine breeds disease, death and crime. Mankind’s most dominant natural instinct is to stay alive and fight for survival. When food becomes extremely scarce, the imagination can only conjure up the horrific bloodshed and crime that will take place as people attempt to find enough food to stay alive. This is a horrific, far-reaching judgment, with catastrophic results.
Charles C. Ryrie clearly states that the devastation resulting from the first trumpet is not symbolic, but a literal fact that God will bring to pass during the tribulation. John Walvoord rightly states that God has fulfilled approximately 50 percent of the estimated 1,000 prophecies in Scripture. God will fulfill the 500 remaining prophecies exactly as written.
Here we stand; we cannot, and must not, be moved from this distinctive dispensational doctrine.
(Read Part 33)
Dr. Richard Schmidt is a church ministries representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry and the founder of Prophecy Focus Ministries, having previously served as a pastor and church planter. His love for the prophetic Scriptures resulted in writing a doctoral dissertation on a dispensational perspective on the mystery church age existing between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel. Dr. Schmidt offers seminars on a variety of prophetic topics to local churches and conferences. We are very excited to involve him as a contributing author to Dispensational Publishing House.
Copyright © 2017 by Dr. Richard Schmidt. Used by permission of the author.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated,
are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from the ESV® Bible
(The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible
or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
 Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2006), p. 518.