The third angel blew his trumpet. And a great star burning like a lamp fell from heaven, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is Wormwood. And a third of the waters turned into wormwood, and many of the people died from the waters, because these had been made bitter. – Revelation 8:10,11
In the 8th chapter of Revelation we are introduced to the 7 angelic trumpets that signal different kind of plagues coming upon the disobedient mankind deep in the Lord’s Day. The third trumpet warns humanity of a mysterious great star falling from the skies .It’s name is Wormwood or Ἄψινθος(=Apsinthos) in Greek .Notice that this star is striking the waters causing them to become bitter and as a result many people die. Can we identify the identify of this star ? and is the Watchtower’s interpretation valid in the light of other Scriptures in the Bible?
In the book “Revelation-It’s Grand Climax At Hand” ,the most recent attempt of the Watchtower to interpret the book of Revelation we find the following explanation on these verses :
There are several problems with this interpretation .Firstly there is only one entity consistently seen as falling from the sky through out the New Testament and in the book of Revelation .It is Satan the Devil .(Luke 10:18; 2 Cor. 11:14 ; Revelation 12:9). While it might be true that anointed Christians can be like star-like ones due to their promised heavenly inheritance nevertheless they are never seen in the Bible as falling from the sky like stars. This description is only reserved for Satan and his demons.
Finally this interpretation is inconsistent with the real chronology of Revelation. The spiritual contamination of the apostate Church started way back at the beginning of the second century C.E., after the death of the last apostle.Now ,one of the keys in understanding the book of Revelation is the time of fulfilment of the visions found in its pages .In Revelation 1:10 John provides us with this key :” By inspiration I came to be in the Lord’s day“.By their own interpretation the Lord’s Day didn’t start until 1914 .It is clear to see from the verses that this “falling star” of Revelation 8:11 is seeing as spreading spiritual contamination AFTER it hits the water not BEFORE. Since all these events take place during the end of the Lord’s Day the earliest we can say that this star started contaminating these waters was the year 1914 . This clarification renders the Watchtower’s interpretation chronologically inconsistent and invalid.
This misinterpretation in Bible prophesy from their part is the product of an entirely false premise .The “Revelation-It’s Grand Climax At Hand!” is build around the belief that Jehovah’s Witnesses exposed Christendom’s false doctrines with a series of publications and resolutions starting from the year 1919 when Rutherford and others were released from prison. This way the whole 8th chapter of Revelation is being shaped around this false premise in order to fit their preconceived interpretation .A classic example of eisegesis indeed!
To fully understand how this error started taking flesh and bones we need to go back in time ,in the year 1939. In the Watchtower 1939 ,page 157 we find one of the first attempts to interpret this verse in print .Read how this interpretation is more in line with the Bible account:
Do you see how this interpretation that the falling star is actually Satan is backed up from 3 different verses from the Bible and is in full agreement with the rest of the book of Revelation where the Devil is clearly identifiedas a fallen angel.In Revelation 12:9 we read: