There have been news reports of rivers turning blood red; does this have anything to do with the end times?

Large bodies of water turning into blood are part of the end-times prophecies, but not the recent blood-red water reports.

In Revelation 8:8 we read, "The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood."

Also, in Revelation 16:3-6, with the second and third bowls of God's wrath, water is turned to blood: "The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea. The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, 'Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!'"

Additionally, the two special witnesses identified in Revelation 11:6 will have the ability to turn water into blood. All these events take place during the end times tribulation, in which we are not currently living.

So what is going on with blood-red water present day? Recently, credible news reports have shown water turning a blood-red color in Nootdorp, the Netherlands; Bondi Beach in Australia; the Beirut River in Lebanon; a river in Zhejiang Province, China; and even rainfall in Sewanagala, Sri Lanka.

As stated above, these recent events do not line-up with the chronology of the end-times—mainly that the tribulation has not started so neither have the trumpet or bowl judgments, nor have the two witnesses appeared. Additionally, the biblical prophecies concerning water turning to blood are enormous in scope and destruction. Also, the water in the biblical prophecies turns to blood, not just to the color of blood.

So, how can we understand these news reports?

First, some of these incidents are explained by science. A natural phenomenon sometimes occurs that brings about the right conditions for what is called algae bloom or red tide. These specific kinds of algae colonies happen in fresh and salt water. We know algae bloom caused the water turning blood red in Nootdorp, the Netherlands.

Second, either industrial accidents or intentional dying causes some of these phenomena. In the Zhejiang Province, China, the river was turned red because of the illegal dumping of red dye. The Beirut River in Lebanon was turned red by factory workers releasing a chemical into the river.

Of course, there are supernatural causes as well. God can change water to blood (or wine for that matter) and has in the past. When Moses confronted Pharaoh about the enslavement of the Hebrews, he struck his staff into the Nile and the water was turned to blood (Exodus 7:14–25). It's important to understand that all the water in Egypt was changed to blood—the sources of water, the wells, the rivers, the canals, and even the water stored "in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone" (Exodus 7:19). Such a widespread and immediate change could not be explained by a natural cause. Also, the water was turned to blood, with reports of dying fish and odor, not simply to red water. This event, just as will be the events foretold in Revelation, was supernatural.

So, the answer is yes, rivers and bodies of water turning to blood are part of end-times prophecies; and no, the recent occurrences of water being turned blood-red are not part of those prophecies.

Related Truth:

Are the so-called sky trumpets people have been reporting a sign of the end times?

Why didn't Jesus come back during the blood-red moon of 2015?

What are the seven seals, trumpets, and bowls in Revelation?

How should we understand the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls in the Book of Revelation?

What are the signs of the end times?

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