Revelation 8:10, 11.
Rev. 8:10. “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.”
Falling from heaven, the “star” clearly shows that it can only represent some sort of heavenly object descending to earth. Its burning as a “lamp” is indicative of an object having intrinsic power to give light, and the only such light-bearing object coming from heaven is the Word: “Thy Word,” corroborates the Psalmist, “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105. And since the star falls only upon the “third part” of the rivers (nations — Rev. 17:15), it reveals itself as symbolical of the Old Testament Scriptures, for it was the Old Testament Scriptures that were not at that time accessible to all the nations (rivers) of the earth, but only to a portion (a symbolical, not actual, third part) of them.
Though upon the “rivers,” the star fell on the third part only, it lit upon all “the fountains of waters.” This fact shows that the Old Testament Scriptures fell into the hands of two classes of people — “rivers” and “fountains.” The former one represents nations which came in close contact with the Bible. (These are such as “the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria.” Isa. 8:7.) The latter represents His chosen people (the twelve tribes of Israel), in whom His Word was the waters of life, making them living fountains. Thus “he that believeth on Me,” declared the Lord Himself, “…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38); and: “the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine.” Deut. 33:28.
Rev. 8:11. “And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”
A bitter an aromatic herb, wormwood acts both as a cathartic and as a tonic — qualities and virtues the significance of which must discover the symbolic meaning of the name “Wormwood.” A cathartic being something possessing purging and cleansing virtue, the name “Wormwood” must, therefore, first of all, denote a purging agent. And as the Word of God has the power to purge away the cause and effects of spiritual debility and to restore healthy functions and tone to the sin-sick soul, it obviously is the only such agent which, in this connection, the name “Wormwood” fittingly symbolizes.
Consequently, the bitter’s cathartic and tonic virtues denote that the Word of God, though indeed a bitter to one’s carnal taste, is to the honest, who love It for the good It will do them (purify the heart and soul), their sweetest joy; whereas to the dishonest, whose carnal taste is their god, and who love not the truth, the Word is as gall to their taste. And doubly so it is because they love, above the ways of salvation, the ways of the world, and these It condemns.
The herb’s aromatic quality reveals that those who eat the Word of God, be It ever so bitter to their carnal taste, will find in It the surpassing aroma of heavenly influence, which will cause them to breathe out “a savor of life unto life.”
Each revealing progressively momentous truths, the first three trumpets indicate that the remaining four trumpets, approaching nearer in turn the period for the benefit of which the cumulative lessons of the entire symbolism were given, ought to reveal increasingly still more momentous lessons. And precisely this is what the student of the subject will find as he now enters upon the study of THE FOURTH TRUMPET,