America: A Great Crashing Mountain? by: Darrell G. Young
America: A Great Crashing Mountain?
by: Darrell G. Young
(Revelation 8:8-9) 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".
In this dynamic prophecy from Revelation chapter eight we are introduced to the sounding of the seven trumpets of judgment. They of course follow the unsealing of the seven seal judgments in Revelation chapter six. But there is something startling however about verse eight in this context. Usually when reading these first four trumpet events, we quickly gloss over the cosmic sounding details and resolutely ascribe them to being a part of some sort of supernatural or environmental disaster. But anytime we read a prophetic statement we need to be in tune to some inserted helpful hints.
Some Helpful Prophecy Study Guidelines
The usage of these kinds of words and phrases are intended by the divinely inspired author to assist the reader in gaining a better insight into the prophetic message. Often the verse quoted above (Rev. 8:8) is read with the reader concluding that its intent is to present the imagery of something visually resembling a great mountain (asteroid, comet, etc) hurtling through space, penetrating the earth’s atmosphere and landing in the ocean, causing the ensuing ecological disaster. But this is not the case at all. This is a clear instance where we do not need to confuse literal and symbolic interpretation of a prophecy because the author has alerted us with a helpful hint. The phrase “as it were” clearly shows that this object is not literally a large mountain. The “great mountain” in Revelation eight is thus used in symbolic form in this particular prophetic statement. When God resorts to the usage of prophetic symbolism in the Bible, the implications can be astounding, and overwhelming, and carry within it a multitude of historic paradigms.
Apocalyptic statements in prophecy always have a symbolic interpretation besides their literal one, and sometimes on an occasion they may have both. Here in Revelation 8:8, the phraseology, "as it were" a “great mountain” that is “cast into the sea,” portrays that the great mountain is not a literal burning mountain, but is merely something that was shown to John that looked like it. The symbolism is used to convey the idea that a great and mighty power on the earth had fallen. Therefore since the “great mountain" is a symbol, it symbolizes a mighty nation that will exist on the earth during the Last Days, yet it is shown being destroyed during the Tribulation. And since the “great symbolic mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea”, we must continue to rely on symbolism for further clues into the identity of the mountain, and the sea. So what could the mountain and the sea be, symbolically speaking?
The word "mountain" is commonly used in the Bible to describe a world power, a political power, an authority or a ruler. Mountains symbolize, as it were, the "high powers" of the world. The future kingdom of Christ and His rule are also described as a "mountain," a mountain that shall fill the whole earth.
Some Examples of Mountain Symbolism Parallels in the Bible:
The word "mountain" is commonly used in the Bible to describe a world power, a political power, an authority or a great ruler of king. Mountains symbolize, as it were, the "pillars" of the world, or High places where the kings of the nations of the earth dwell and reign. For Instance:
So, as we have demonstrated, mountains are thus often used throughout the Bible to depict in a symbolic form the world’s epitome of political power, economic stability, military strength and security upon which mankind depends and civilizations are structured. It is this mountain of earthly strength that shall be laid low as world events around it begin to be shaken in the Last Days. And of course the greatest symbolism pertaining to a great mountain kingdom in the Bible is in reference to Christ’s own kingdom:
Daniel 2:35 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and “the stone” that smote the image became “a great mountain”, and filled the whole earth.
Daniel 2:44-45 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Of course the stone cut out without hands that smites the image of the beast and destroys the mountain kingdom of the Antichrist is none other than Jesus Christ. I would note that there is only one Rock of security in this world, and it is not in the rocks and mountains of this world. It is in Jesus Christ alone!A Great World Power Meets its Waterloo
Revelation 8:8 is a post rapture event. As noted above, the Lord himself will destroy the “last” world empire on the earth, but the symbolism of the great crashing mountain into the sea reflects the idea that a preceding world power falls into the sea at the early or mid-part of the Tribulation. It seems to point to the fact that in the coming days, a world superpower will fall, making place for another, with it being the last great Gentile power dominating the Middle East. (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." (Revelation 8:8)
The fact that this mountain is shown as “burning” means that God is using this power to execute judgment upon that nation before he destroys the collective armies of the Sea-beast." The prophet Jeremiah makes it clear that this is not mere speculation. He described the old Babylonian Empire as a mountain that is burning and losing its power, "Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth. (Jeremiah 51:25).
Babylon was God's instrument of judgment for the nations and the Jewish people. But the Babylonians went beyond God's limits and divine judgment ultimately came upon them: The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof" (verse 42). If an apocalyptic statement is explained in the Old Testament that the Babylonian Empire of that time is cast into the sea like a burning mountain and brought down to the level of the sea of nations (no longer being like a mountain towering over them), could this not also be the case in Revelation 8:8-9? These mountain-nation parallels are certainly not in the Bible for no reason! That which looks like a great mountain is burning (Revelation 8:8). This means that God is exercising judgment on the world through this power’s destruction turning the "third part of the sea into blood." The fall of this superpower has fatal results for the greater part of the world's population: "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 8:9). The sea is a picture of the nations; it is restless, continually moving and tossing. (Psalm 125:2-5; Isaiah 17:12-13; Ezekiel 26:3; Daniel 7:2-3; and Revelation 13:1 and 17:1-15). The “great mountain” falls from its secure position into the restless sea of a turbulent world, with catastrophic results on all earthly life. John describes it as being “cast” into the sea, another symbolic inference that God has judged it and thus allowed it to be destroyed. It is quite possible that with the downfall of this power, a third of the world's economy, trade, communications and riches will be lost. As a result, countless people could lose their livelihood and their lives. Therefore, we may ask ourselves:
Could this Picture of a Symbolic Mountain refer to the United States?
Without any doubt America today is a "mountain" that rises above all other "mountains." All other nations are like flat plains when compared to the power and might of America. But will this remain the case? It cannot be determined from prophecy that the United States will collapse completely, but it is highly likely that the US will lose her superior position and have to surrender its national sovereignty or submit to cooperate with the coming world power of the Antichrist. Just as a mountain towers over the sea for a time, it can still be cast into the sea and swallowed up or brought down to the level of the sea of nations by the convulsions within the earth. The fall of a nation like America could be likened to a great earthquake. Let me emphasize that this projected demise of the US would probably take place after the Rapture of the Church. The present world status and power of the United States could turn out to just be a be a tool used by God against the world, yet sees the US end up broken apart in carrying out that task. Afterall all the nations or mountains of this world are used of God for his providential will.
Could The Beast Which Rises out of the Sea Arise in Conjunction With Rev. 8:8 Events
Revelation 13:1-3 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast".
Out of the restless political and social masses that is the sea of gentile world powers a final empire arises, the power of the Antichrist which precedes the return of Jesus. Could it be that:
The casting of this great mountain into the sea is followed by the falling of a star from heaven. This star is called wormwood. The term for wormwood is “apsinthos,” which insinuates that a bitterness caused by calamity will permeate the whole world. It is easy to envision that the sea of nations could become embittered over such a calamity as the fall of the US. The US currently is the engine and pacesetter for the world’s economy. The share of the U.S. economy in the world markets is about a third. You can imagine what it would mean to the present world order if the power and influence of the United States were shaken, and caused to crumble. The world would experience an unprecedented economic and geo-political crisis. From a prophetic standpoint, the wormwood episode could adequately be interpreted to portray the demise of the US as a result of the evil onslaught of today’s feared weapons of mass destruction, with all the associated ecological catastrophe’s they could produce.
From this kind of chaotic world crisis, the stage would be perfect for the rise of a New World Order, with a dynamic world leader. Perhaps this is the exact scenario of the historic world drama that John was shown as the Beast rose out of the Sea in Revelation chapter thirteen. One thing we know for sure, the US must decrease because the Antichrist will rise as world ruler.
The whole world will wonder after this empire-beast when it comes because its mortal wound will be healed and will awaken it to new life. Therewith, the revival of an empire (Rome) is described which fell, rose again and at the end of days will rule the world again. Could the United States of the future lose her sole superiority and therewith a third of the world economy? Could America's downfall work to strengthen the expanding European Union in the form of a "reawakening Roman Empire"? The EU is already expanding into the very regions that once was the geographical makeup of the Roman Empire. Could it be that the great burning mountain that is cast into sea precipitate the rise of the final Beast?
The war in Iraq is already shaking the Arab world, and it will probably shake America as it tries to steady the course in Iraq. The Iraqi situation will likely further accelerate the division of Europe from the US. Should the Middle Eastern terrorists succeed in carrying out further attacks on the US, (as they claim they will) such as that of September 11th, 2001, then great parts of the American economy will be threatened with collapse. A protracted anti-terror war, possibly connected with great losses, could compel the European theatre to turn from the USA and form a new bloc with China, Asia and Russia. Europe is only lacking the "man of trust" today who has the charisma, the greatness and power to gain a stage on the world. Yet, every single European leader has advocated the establishment of a Euro Super-President to be the recognized leader of the New World Order. Experts also warn in connection with Europe's enlargement, that some EU countries see their ultimate security as presently dependent upon the international order maintained by the U.S. They understand that the sinews of stability, free commerce, open sea-lanes, regional balances of power, nonproliferation, deterrence are provided overwhelmingly by the American colossus. They understand that without it, the world would collapse into chaos and worse. They believe in the American umbrella and are committed to helping the US maintain its position, but that is not the case with the major leadership within the EU. (France, Germany, etc.) They are content to leave America out there twisting in the wind fighting international terrorism alone. They actually hope that America is diminished and occasionally defeated, but ultimately absorbed into the New Global Order. For much of the world, the American war on terrorism offers not just a free ride but a strategic bonus: the potential of American diminishment. The truth of the matter is that the war on terror, with its many fronts is consuming American power. While America spends blood and treasure in faraway places like Baghdad and Afghanistan, Europe is busy building itself into another continental Roman styled colossus. As America seeks to advance democracy in the Middle East and secure oil resources, and to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict, it is being set up as a target of everybody’s wrath. Meanwhile, America has to take on the axis of evil one by one, for its own self-defense. Even more astounding is the fact that the liberal American political establishment is working feverishly to destroy America’s sovereignty by pushing the globalization philosophy of the UN in conjunction with the European unification model. The American Republic is being castigated around the world as the biggest evil and threat to world unity. The Antichrist must be somewhere biding his time as America fights on alone.
After the beast arose from out of the sea, and established his kingdom for a short time, Daniel saw the Son of man return with the clouds of heaven to set up a worldwide kingdom, and described it being like a great mountain which filled the whole world (Daniel 2 and 7). All the events in this world are steering towards this greatest event of all. Therefore we should concentrate our lives on the returning Lord Jesus Christ, and not worry too much about the Antichrist.
Those who belong to the Son of God through the rebirth may rejoice with the words of the Psalms and the prophet Isaiah, ("Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Psalm 46:2). "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee" (Isaiah 54:10).
So it may be that the great mountain in view here in Revelation eight could pertain to a great superpower (perhaps the United States) of the Last Days that falls into the sea of nations and is gobbled up into the empire of the Antichrist. The destruction of this great mountain is perpetrated in such a way as to cause an ecological catastrophe. Could this be symbolic of biological or chemical warfare being perpetrated upon America? It is at least worth noting for further scrutiny, especially in the perilous times that we live today. The Apocalypse continues to describe how God's wrath shakes and destroys all the securities of this world. Like the world, America must come to realize that there is no security apart from God, and that all godless security will ultimately fall. There is only one Rock of security: Jesus Christ, the precious Stone not made with hands, but cut out of the “Mountain of Israel”! America needs to understand that participating in Peace Roadmaps to partition the Promised Land to appease the enemies of Israel will only cause the US to become entangled in a web of destruction. American Christians need to be praying for revival and a return to God in the US like they never have before. I truly believe that America is treading on thin ice with the great shaker of mountains!
For we may know that God is still on the throne and that, "He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again" (Job 12:23). God is a god that "removeth mountains and they know not: he overturneth them in his anger," and shakes the earth out of her place (Job 9:5).
As a Christian, whether your nationality be Russian, Chinese, European, Arab, African or American, or any other, there is always hope eternal in the salvation and return of our blessed Savior Jesus Christ. He whose right it is to reign on Mount Zion shall lay low all the mounts of earthly kings, and then peace will truly come!
Psalms 46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Even so, Come Lord Jesus! Amen!
Focus On Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry
Darrell G. Young