Dynamics of Global Collapse

Chapter 8 – The First Four Trumpets, Bowls, and Seals in Revelation

When sin (disobedience to God’s commands) inundates a people or planet like it did during the days of Noah, God gradually removes life-sustaining resources to encourage repentance or execute judgment. Just before Jesus’ return, global darkness of sin will cover the earth. Through the first four trumpets, bowls, and seals, God will gradually remove resources (but men will refuse to repent and instead rebel against Jesus), until humankind is faced with the global collapse of civilization through widespread deterioration of the lands, oceans, waters, and skies of earth–some from the hands of men and others from the hand of God.

This vicious cycle will cause the fall of earth’s civilization.

Revelation 8:7-12; 16:1-10; 61-8

Forest fires destroy trees (a carbon sink) and emit smoke (a carbon source) which increase global warming (heat) which increases the strength, length, and breadth of forest fires, which increases global warming (heat) . . . . See the feedback cycle getting stronger and stronger? [9]
Global warming (like hitting into the 90’s to 100’s degree F above the Arctic Circle in 2020) causes Arctic ice (which is white and reflects heat) to melt leaving more ocean water (which is dark and absorbs heat) thus warming the Arctic Pole 2xs faster than anywhere else on earth (except the South Pole which is 3xs faster) causing more global warming which melts more ice . . . . See the feedback cycle getting stronger and stronger? [9]
Global warming causes Arctic ice to melt on land with permafrost (containing methane) and sea (containing methane hydrates) releasing the methane into gas which is 23xs stronger than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. More methane in the atmosphere increases global warming which melts more ice . . . . See the feedback cycle getting stronger and stronger? [9]

Understanding context and patterns in the trumpets, bowls, and seals reveals Revelation’s dynamics for the global collapse of civilization.


Revelation is global (all tribes, peoples, tongues, nations).[1] The theme of Revelation is the second coming of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:7) and how that affects everyone on the planet. The context is what happens directly before, during, and after Jesus’ return to earth. Therefore, the first four (4) seals, trumpets, and bowls all refer to global situations or events surrounding His second coming. Once the biblical linguistics is understood, the biblical dynamics of global collapse can be illuminated.

            In the global context of Revelation’s trumpets and bowls, the word “sea” refers to all the “oceans.”[2] The word “springs” (underground water) refers to all the aquifers and water tables. The word “rivers” (above-ground water) includes lakes and streams. “Trees” refers to all the forests and orchards on earth. “Grass” refers to all the prairies, meadows, savannah, grazing lands, and tundra. “Sea creatures” refers to all the fish, crustaceans, and mammals in the oceans. “Sun scorching men” refers to global warming affecting everyone under the sun.


            Syntax–the study of patterns of formation in sentences and phrases–in the first four (4) of the trumpets, the bowls, and the seals is extremely consistent and thus, critical for understanding and indispensable for accurate interpretation. Understanding the context and patterns reveals Revelation’s dynamics for the global collapse of civilization surrounding the second coming of Jesus. [3]

            The simplified pattern is this: Each of the seven trumpets or bowls or seals ALWAYS starts with symbolic (metaphorical) language representing the literal power of the spiritual world of heaven above “throwing down” judgment to earth below and ALWAYS ends with mostly literal language representing the consequences of God’s judgment coming upon the physical earth. The beginning (Part A) is spiritual (invisible)—coming from the heavenly realm. It is metaphorical of God’s power. The ending (Part B) is physical (visible)—what happens on earth. It is literal portraying what will happen on earth. That pattern does not change across the first four trumpets, first four bowls, and first four seals.

            Here is the nutshell of how to determine which words are figurative (symbolic, metaphorical) and which words are literal (concrete, tangible reality) in apocalyptic literature such as Revelation. Take everything literally, except: Anything that breaks major hermeneutical rules (sublaws of truth); anything that contradicts Scripture (i.e. God is a bird—Scripture says He is literally spirit, omnipresent, creator of the universe, . . . birds don’t qualify etc.), and anything that would be absurd–if taken literally—(like God has wings, thus, He is a bird). “Wings” is metaphorical. Reference to hiding under His “wings” is metaphorical for His protection just as a mother bird protects her chicks.

“Hide me in the shadow of Your wings,” Psalm 17:8. Jesus “saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit descending like a dove upon Him, ” Mark 1:10.


            Blood was thrown down from heaven to earth (1st  trumpet) and the sun was struck (4th trumpet) both occur in the first half of each trumpet’s passage; they are absurd images. Clouds do not drip literal blood all over the earth (Revelation is global). Striking (defined by OT meanings as a mortal attack, Exod 12:12) the sun would lead to a solar-system annihilation. If taken literally, blood-from-heaven and striking-the-sun would be absurd. OT studies show these two phrases symbolically represent the wrath/judgment/power of God coming down on sinful humankind. Jesus’ says, “Fear God    . . . because the hour of His judgment has come” on the earth (Rev 14:7). The symbolic interpretation of the blood and sun passages in these two trumpets fit OT meanings for symbolic words and the context of the book of Revelation. The literal-absurdity hermeneutic rule proves that the first half of each trumpet is metaphorical.

            We can reasonably assume that the pattern for Part A is consistent across the trumpets. However, let’s take one more example. The great flaming mountain thrown to earth (2nd trumpet, Rev 8:8) is either metaphorical or a global-killer asteroid. Since Revelation does not wipe all advanced life off the planet or talk of a global winter, a literal interpretation is absurd. In Revelation 8:8-9, Part A of the passage is symbolic and Part B is literal as in all of the first 4 trumpets.

“The second angel sounded [his trumpet], and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life died, and a third of the ships were destroyed” (Revelation 8:8-9).


            How do we know an asteroid the size of a mountain would be a global killer? The Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico was caused by such a flaming mountain.

Image from NASA’s Shuttle Radar revealing a ring of cenotes (sinkholes usually filled with water) showing outline of the Chicxulub Crater. [8]

           Here is what scientists discovered (does this sound anything like Revelation?): The asteroid had a 6 to 50 mile diameter (about the size of Mt. Everest). It hit Mexico at 45,000 m.p.h. with the force of 100 trillion tons of TNT (more than a billion times the energy of the atomic bombs that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Ground zero superheated to 16,000°F; melted rock; sent out 2,000 m.p.h. shockwaves; created 300’ megatsunamis, megaquakes, and volcanic eruptions around the globe; catapulted 70 billion tons of soot into the atmosphere around the world (found by scientists in layers of mountains on the other side of the world); hurled 500 billion tons of debris into the air; caused a global firestorm from superheating the atmosphere; ignited the after-splash of debris exploding back into the sky after the impact and then–falling back down to earth–set fields and forests aflame around the planet. When global fires stopped, then came years of volcanic winters because of all the soot and high concentrations of SO2 in the atmosphere. (Revelation does not talk about a rapid-cooling earth or global winters). Within a few years, the volcanic gas of SO2 dropped out of the sky as acid rain (killing plants and poisoning terrestrial waters, fish, etc. with sulfuric acid). However, the gaseous volcanic CO2  (a greenhouse gas) remained in the atmosphere for centuries and as soon as SO2 was out of earth’s skies (SO2 shields and cools earth), the CO2 shot the global temperature up by 10˚F. That’s global warming by 10˚F!!!  The global food chain was shattered (first by global winter then by a global furnace). There was a 70% extinction rate of plants and larger animals that included the death of larger animals such as all the dinosaurs.  (Paleologists found no more dinosaur bones in layers of earth above the layer displaying the Chicxulub impact causing a global cataclysm.)  Remember, this paper is talking about Revelation’s collapse of civilization accompanied by global heat—men “scorched” but still alive and complaining about it (Rev 16:8-9)—not a global furnace incinerating or starving everyone. Larger animals (including Homosapiens) would not survive a global winter followed by a 10˚F rise of global warming.

            Metaphorical is reasonable. The fiery mountain thrown down from heaven is God’s judgment in many ways (Rev 4:7). Global extinction is not.

            A great star from heaven (not an anachronistic missile from one place on earth to another, but “from heaven”) in the 3rd trumpet, is also not literal; stars do not literally fall to earth.

            The first phrase (Part A) in the four trumpets always starts from the spiritual realm of heaven metaphorically declaring the great power of God being thrown down to earth to execute His judgment on (Part B) the literal physical earth (Rev 18:10).

More Consistent Patterns across the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls

            Linguistic patterns are important for accurate interpretation.

            In the chart below, note the consistent structure of the trumpets and bowls: The first in both the trumpet and the bowl is land. The second in both is sea. The third in both is waters. The fourth in both is skies. This structure is important: the first trumpet progresses to the first bowl; the second trumpet to the second bowl; the third to the third; and the fourth to the fourth. Land (1st trumpet) is tied to land (1st bowl); seas (2nd trumpet) to sea (2nd bowl); waters to waters; skies to skies. Each trumpet is connected to its respective bowl. This pattern manifests progressive interaction and growth between a trumpet and its respective bowl (second trumpet to second bowl).

            However, science also reveals that land, oceans, waters, and skies are a complex interactive system. So there is direct interaction between the 2nd trumpet and the 2nd bowl, but there is also interaction between the 2nd trumpet and the other trumpets and the other bowls.

            The bowls are not separated from the trumpets. The bowls, to a limited extent, follow the trumpets but also interact with the trumpets in a feedback system. One third death in the seas (2nd trumpet) is followed by everything dead in the seas (2nd bowl). However, mankind scorched with heat and with fire (4th bowl) influences the burning of a third of the earth (1st trumpet). The numbering of first through fourth does not signify sequential order in the chronology of events; it is there to link the trumpet and bowls together.

            Here is what the structure shows that the trumpets and bowls do. For clarity, start with the second trumpet and the second bowl. In the second trumpet, 1/3 of the fish in the oceans die. In the second bowl, all of the fish in the oceans die. This shows progress–from bad to worse. This shows an interrelationship between the 2nd trumpet and the 2nd  bowl.

The Dynamics of Global Collapse

            Earth’s lands, oceans, waters, and skies along with population growth and limited resources, are in a complex web of interaction, some of which are in states of destructive disintegration worsening the ecosystem of the planet heading into global collapse. In other words, everything affects everything for either good or ill, and right now, the planet is getting sicker (more aversive to life).

            In reality elucidated by science and the Bible; the land, seas, waters, and skies are in a complex system that has over a dozen feedback cycles that–occurring today–gradually worsen the condition of the planet, decrease life-sustaining resources, and eventually lead to global collapse. Forty billion tons of the greenhouse gas CO2 are pumped into our atmosphere every year from human emissions (changing the state of our atmosphere as found in the 4th trumpet and 4th bowl). (1)The warmer the skies, the more ice at the poles melts, the less reflection of heat by ice (white) from the sun, the more the dark (ice-free) waters of the ocean absorbs the heat, the warmer it gets. (2) The warmer it gets the more frequent, intense, and extended are forest fires. The more trees that burn (increasing a carbon source and decreasing a carbon sink) the more carbon dioxide (CO2) goes into the atmosphere, thus, the warmer it gets, causing more forest fires. They are linked, interactive, and feedback.


            These feedback cycles are not the worst. (3) The real bad boy is methane (CH4). There are 1.4 trillion tons of CH4–a greenhouse gas at least 23 times stronger than CO2–located in the Arctic permafrost, which is melting across Alaska, Siberia, and the rest of the Arctic Circle today releasing CH4! Areas in the Arctic that used to have permafrost year around are hitting temperatures over 100°F in the summer of 2020—temperatures not expected until 2100. So, the warmer the atmosphere, the more permafrost that melts, the more CH4 is released into the atmosphere, the warmer it gets.. Today, that cycle stops in winter. But sometimes, mid-winter temperatures soar above freezing in the Arctic and CH4 is released! As it gets warmer, more days in winter (much less summer) will soar. The day will come when a critical threshold is passed that will release CH4 year around speeding up atmospheric warming until nothing can stop it. Scientists call this “runaway global warming.” It is this critical threshold (tipping point, hockey stick change from linear to nonlinear rapid rising) that pushes global warming off the charts.

            It may be that this change of state from gradual to catastrophic warming (crossing the tipping point or critical threshold) all over the planet occurs when the first four trumpets transition into the first four bowls (when 33% of the sea life dying over decades suddenly transitions to kill 100% of the sea life in a few years: the second trumpet leading into the second bowl). Or more likely, interactive systems between land, oceans, waters, and skies spiral together in a vicious feedback with ever worsening conditions. When God’s wrath is poured out in the bowls, earth’s geo- and ecosystems will go over the cliff in catastrophic disaster–the Euphrates dies up, armies march to Armageddon (Har-Magedon)–and everything spiraling and synergizing together causes the collapse of civilization (and eventually, the end of the Antichrist’s global rule and the beginning of Christ’s global reign).[3]

            This is what God has done in the past–the removal of life resources until sin-filled men are on their knees turning back to Him. Except this time, all the nations of earth will rage against the Son of God who has returned and is back in Jerusalem.[4] This rejection of His Son calls out the wrath of the Father, which will remove or diminish multiple life resources through the first four trumpets, bowls, and seals (crops, herds, fish, orchards, forests, waters, leading to climate migrations, diseases and plagues, conquests, wars, famines) causing extreme suffering and massive death, until every leader is hiding in caves, every government has disintegrated, and every person on the planet is on their knees before the Son of God.[5]

            Consider the destructive cycle involving the first four seals, trumpets, and bowls:

First 4 Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls Comparing Part A (Metaphorical) and Part B (Literal)

            Having considered how earth’s land, oceans, terrestrial waters, and skies are an interactive system with feedback loops causing a vicious cycle that warms the planet and decreases life-sustaining resources, let us now look to science in the next four chapters to determine how scientific discoveries and predictions are showing the terrifying fulfillment of these biblical prophecies in Revelation in these four areas as God’s judgment emerges on this planet.

            As you peruse the scientific evidence supporting biblical prophecies in the next chapters, consider the sources. Are they following the biblical laws of truth? In other words, are these sources credible according to God’s standards? These chapters cite studies from experts like NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), investigative reports in nationally known reputable newspapers, major scientific journals, and an international association of top scientists from major countries (IPCC, the International Panel on Climate Change). Assessing the credibility of witnesses is part of the laws of truth. Are these true scientists: impartial, basing their conclusions on empirical evidence, scientific investigations, highly educated in a relevant field, with peer-reviews (“2 or more eyewitnesses of credible (expert) backgrounds”–biblical laws), objectively seeking the truth of what is happening in reality no matter where it leads or whatever the cost? Or are they a former employee of big oil company fighting off carbon tax by denying global warming? Some oil companies deny global warning while buying/leasing Arctic lands and ocean fronts as they anticipate the melting ice sheets and huge oil or gas reserves buried below! Are the sources prejudice, bias, holding hidden agendas, politically motivated, accepting bribes or jobs from fossil fuel companies paying millions to discredit tens of thousands of top scientists and influence politicians? Are the sources cited? Could you find and verify these sources?

            If you are around climate-change deniers, consider their sources and levels of expertise, their motives, their numbers in comparison to every major scientific association across all major nations on the planet warning that global warming is happening and, if it continues, will cause global catastrophe. I have lost count of how many good friends have argued against me citing, “A friend of mine said that an (unnamed) scientist from an (unknown) place said that. . .” or “I know scientists that contradict your scientists” (but they can’t cite one name or institution or association these scientists come from). Some follow conclusions from politicians or “scientists” strongly associated with political institutions, not good science.

              NASA wrote an article entitled “Scientific Consensus: Earth’s Climate is Warming ( which includes a graph using data across countries on global temperature rise between 1880 and 2020 is displayed. Among them were the American Medical Association (AMA), American Meteorological Society, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.S. Global Change Research Program (a federal agency), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA, a federal agency), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with top scientists across major countries), and a lot more.

SIDE BAR: There are two types of thinkers. First type studies all the relevant facts then discovers the conclusion from those facts. This is logic. Second type starts with their conclusion, then picks out facts to support it. The conclusion is usually based on personal gain, power, popularity, price, politics, some other hidden agenda or logical irrelevancy. We either start with the facts and let these facts portray the conclusion, or we start with a conclusion and then pick out facts to create the desired conclusion. The first type of thinking sets truth as the highest priority. The second type of thinking sets something other than truth as the highest priority.

            When scientists start with a thorough investigation of the facts and evidence (a biblical law for discerning truth, Deut 13:14; 19:18) through scientific experimentation, they are clear thinkers seeking truth in the physical realm (even if they are unbelievers in the spiritual realm, Rom 2:14-15). When people start with heavy bias or prejudice, opinions, hearsay, speculation, grapevine, conjecture, unsubstantiated sources, irrelevant authorities (like a politician giving medical advice), their thinking is muddied with logical irrelevancies (not associated with actual truth). Logical irrelevancies darken, dampen, damage, or even destroy truth.

IRRELEVANCY: If you wonder what my politics are (am I biased or prejudiced one way or the other), may I be transparent? To the best of my ability, I make decisions issue by issue based on the Bible, not based on a political party. In the preceding presidential elections, I could not vote for anyone who strongly supported positions in opposition to one or more of God’s major commands (laws so heavy that breaking them demanded the death penalty in the OT). Therefore, for my presidential choice, I wrote on my ballot “Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” I know He is coming back one day and will be the King of all kings over all nations. He already has my vote.

            Whatever scientists (or politicians) we follow, compare what they say to what God says in the Bible. The top scientists cited in the following chapters are—unbeknownst to them—finding evidence and making predictions in total accord with Jesus’ prophecies in the areas under consideration. When scientists studying creation agree with the Creator’s words about His creation, we have the truth from two valid sources.

            Lastly, in the following chapters, only the literal second half (Part B) of each trumpet, bowl, or seal describing what happens on earth will be considered. The first half, Part A, usually describing metaphorically the great power that is thrown down by God from the spiritual heaven, will be omitted. Science only deals with the physical world, as does the second part (Part B) of the first four trumpets, bowls, and seals in Revelation.

                [1] Rev 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 17:15.

                [2] Rev 10:11, “peoples, nations, tongues, kings.” 11:9, “peoples, tribes, tongues, nations.” 11:18, “nations.” 12:5, “rule all the nations.” 14:8, “all the nations.” 15:3-4, “all the nations.”16:19, “cities of the nations.” 17:15, “peoples, multitudes, nations, tongues.” 18:3, 23, “all the nations.” 19:15; 20:3, 8; 21:24, 26; 22:2, “the nations.”

                [3] The collapse of global civilization is found in Rev 6:15-17 when kings desert their thrones, governments fall, and all the powerful hide from “the wrath of the Lamb.” Then, every knee will bow to the Son of God on earth ruling from Jerusalem (Rom 14:11; Phil 2:10; Rev 14:1. “For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,” Isa 24:23; Psa 48:2; Joel 3:16-21).

                [4] Rev 11:17-18; 17:14; Psa 2.

                [5] Rev 11:17-18, “You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign [Jesus starting His reign on earth in Jerusalem over Israel]. And the nations were enraged [the Antichrist ignited the nations against Him and launched the world into Har-Magedon], and Your wrath came [God poured out the bowls of wrath in response to Har-Magedon against His Son, and determined] to destroy those who destroy the earth.” The parallel passage is in Rev 17:14, “These will wage war against the Lamb” and “They gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon,” (Rev 16:16).

                [6]  “Flying Dove” Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

                [7] “Impact Event” image by Fredrik (for NASA) who released it into the public domain. Found on Wikimedia Commons. C.f. Article. The “Chicxulub Impact Event” took place in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and land on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. By Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) supported by NASA and part of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) for prominent U.S. scientists (2019).

                [8] “The Chicxulub Crater” Diagrams on Yucatan Peninsula taken from imaging from NASA’s Shuttle Radar.

                [9]“Forest Fire and Smoke” Image by skeeze from Pixabay. “Polar Bear on Melting Ice in Arctic” by Coco Parisienne from Pixabay (License on “Melting Ice in Arctic and Releasing Methane” by tps from Pixabay.

                [10] “Pollution in Malaysia” free on