INTERACTIVE BIBLE COMMENTARY - PROPHECY NEWS WATCH - CHRISTIAN SOCIAL NETWORK
Wormwood (Rev 8:11)
God's first assignment to Adam was to give names to all the living creatures, to already existing reality. The challenge given to the first man was to observe certain characteristic of the living beings and to summarize them in one name expressing their personality. By giving Adam this responsibility God really honors him as a co-creator - because no creature is complete without a name. In fact, the privilege of naming the living beings was one hundred percent the Creator's privilege, but God binds Adam with the created order. This bond was meant to be a blessing, but because of Adam's fall it turned into calamity.
Since this moment on it was people's responsibility to assign names to their children - unless God Himself would interfere (in some few selected instances) giving names to the regenerated people, or to the anointed ones. Thus, names are not to be taken lightly, because there are personal powers and characteristics found behind those. To my knowledge never does the Bible refer by name to some impersonal being. God reveals Himself with the different names, causing a progressive revelation of His character. But also Satan is called by names, and his name also evolves - from light to darkness.
However most of the times the name is given to the human beings. The Bible students together with the archeologists and historians, for instance, have been trying for decades to identify what historical personage is hidden behind the name Cyrus the Great, the anointed shepherd, whom the Bible - and God of the Bible - praises so highly. They would make their task much easier if they could remember that the meaning of the name Cyrus is simply 'lord', or 'master' (associated with Greek kyrios - 'lord'), and this is how God is calling him, not the ancient chronicles. In a similar, although a rather opposite way, the name 'Magog' also signifies a meaning that unmistakably points to only one direction. The meaning of this word is 'Prince of darkness', or 'Prince of the land of darkness'. The scholars who are trying to identify Magog with Russia, China, or any other impersonal entity would save themselves - and others - lots of troubles if they remembered this fact. Magog is simply a reference to Satan in eschatological context, namely - when Satan becomes a ruler over the resurrected sinners awakened to receive their deserved punishment. Maybe not all the scholars would agree with me on this, but I challenge them to look into it and to see whether the Bible ever is calling by name any impersonal power.
Wormwood is a key word for understanding the third trumpet because of the Bible's genuine claim: "the name of the star is Wormwood". I'm not willing to discuss here such guesses as 'wormwood' being a Chernobil nuclear station, or things like that. There's no room for such discussion among the serious Bible students. Those discussions are simply the fantasies I've got no time to entertain. Wormwood is a name, and should be treated as one. In other words - Wormwood is a name that refers to a person. The task of a Bible student (a historicist) is to identify who this person was.
The Bible gives us enough data to do it - but this data is only available to those who exercise a historicist's approach to studying the book of Revelation. Those who disregard this time-proven method are left to wander in darkness regarding the meaning of the name (notice - not a 'word') Wormwood.
However, once we approach the book of Revelation from a historicist's perspective we experience all the advantages of this method.
First, we are given if not an exact time, than certainly a sure chronological sequence of the appearance of the Wormwood on the historical stage. It's appearance follows the second trumpet, that I believe is the destruction of Jerusalem (which is entirely new discussion, however), and before the fourth trumpet (which is the beginning of the Middle Ages). Those who approach the Bible from historicist's perspective are given more than one sets of biblical data to see the chronological sequence of the events described in the Book of Revelation. We strongly believe that seven churches, seven seals and seven trumpets (as well as the mysterious seven thunders that are not revealed but simply mentioned) all approach the same historical sequence of event from different perspectives (ecclesiological, political, judgmental and spiritual). It's made into a semblance of the four-dimensional approach toward the presenting the earthly life of Jesus Christ through four Gospels with four different perspectives.
The other advantage that the historicist has in decoding the mystery of the Wormwood is the Old Testament use of this word. What are those? First, it conveys an idea of an apostasy (Deut 29: 18). Similar to this, it is an idea of adultery (Prov 5: 4), an adulterous wife. Those two ideas in the Bible go side by side and at times they merge, as can be vividly illustrated by example of the book of Jeremiah. It certainly results in God's punishment against the adulterous people (Jer 9: 15).
We are also told that this person (I think we've already established it's a person) is of a great influence ('a great star' v. 10). Also, it's a fallen person ('fell from heaven'). Is it an evil angel, then? Or, maybe, Satan himself? Well, the fall of Satan occurred earlier, which is well documented in the Bible. It's not an angel either, since the Bible doesn't bother with the details of the fall of the satanic host. It's enough to look at Ezekiel 28 to see the principle behind the reference to nearly satanic attributes that's been bestowed by the author of the Bible upon the king of Tyre. The same principle is also being used in Rev. 8: 10-11 - it's clearly a reference to a great apostate king who prostitutes himself with the pagan religions and contaminates the Christian Church. The only person of influence that a historicist can think about (given the timeframe and the general attributes of this king) is the first 'Christian Emperor' whose name is probably known to everybody - Constantine the Great. It's his compromise and apostasy, well received by the Church, that caused 'a third of the waters' became wormwood. Notice, that this time wormwood is not a personal name. Rather a personal characteristics of the person 'Wormwood', or Constantine, are now contaminating the Christianity, making its waters bitter.
Today's Devotional Commentary by Charlotte_Irene
Psalm 106…Tuesday November 15th, 2011
A SONG of NATIONAL REPENTANCE as PEOPLE RETURN FROM CAPTIVITY
GOD PATIENLY REACHES FORTH TO DELIVER US DESPITE OUR SELF WILLED REBELLION
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever
Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.
Remember me O lord when you show favor to your people
Come to my aid when you save them that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones
We have sinned even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly
From the hand of the enemy he redeemed them
Then they believed his promises
But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel
They forgot the God who saved them
They did not believe his promise
They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord
They provoked the Lord to anger by their wicked deeds and a plague broke out among them
They defiled themselves by what they did
Many times he delivered them but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin
But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry
For their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented
He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive
Apathy is O so prevalent in the time events from the exodus up to the Babylonian captivity
The more we think about what God has done the more we can appreciate the miracles he does for us personally.
Take time to see the reality of God’s power and loving intervention on our behalf
Israel was so intent on getting food and water they became blind to what God wanted
They were more concerned about immediate physical gratification than lasting spiritual satisfaction.
They refused to trust in God’s care and provision
BE CONTENT AND SO TRUST IN HIS CARE AND PROVISION
Moses stood in the breach being an intercessor on behalf of the people in a time when the Lord wanted to destroy the people for worshipping the golden calf
Israel was constantly turning away from God
Do we sometimes find ourselves enticed by the world’s gods of power, convenience, fame, sex and pleasure.
Are we also susceptible to forgetting him and giving in to the pressures of an evil world. Remember all that God has done for you so you won’t be drawn away from him by the world’s pleasures
God allowed trouble to come to the Israelites in order to help them. Our troubles can be helpful because they
1) humble us 2)wean us from the allurements of the world and drive us back to God 3) vitalize our prayers 4) allow us to experience more of God’s faithfulness 5) make us more dependent upon God 6) encourage us to submit to God’s purpose for our lives and 7) make us more compassionate toward others in trouble
What a beautiful picture of God’s love
God was merciful to us in sending his Son to die for our sins
If he did this while we were captive to sin how much more merciful will he be now that we are his children
IS GOD CALLING US TO REPENTANCE AND PRAYER THAT HE CAN THUS REACH FORTH TO IMPART RESTORATION
DO WE HAVE A LISTENING EAR TO THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD or ARE WE SELF WILLED?
Study by Charlotte…November 2011
Check out today's ACTIVE TOPICS
We welcome all avenues of prophecy interpretation to post articles, comment and ask questions.
Please help us grow by forwarding Prophecy Times on to your e-buddies.