Church of God, New World Ministries

When God Shakes The Earth - Part 2

There are many prophecies concerning massive interventions of God which will affect major areas of the earth.

The most famous of all prophecies is Jesus’ “Olivet” prophecy, the step-by- step sequence of events He described that would accompany the coming “Great Tribulation,” the time of troubles in the world such as has never been, and which would lead into the “Day of the Lord” and the return of Christ to rule the earth.

Jesus said an indeterminate number of earthquakes will begin occurring at the same time as major wars are erupting and disease epidemics are wiping out major portions of national populations!

“Then said He to them, nations shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and great earthquakes shall be in divers (different) places, implying along little-known fault lines, or in areas hitherto thought to be ‘earthquake free’, and famines, and pestilence; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:10-11).

Wars cause such disruptions in transportation, water supplies and food production from which famines result. Massive dislocation of civilian populations brings about the same thing. Earthquakes can totally wipe out means for purifying water supplies and completely contaminate available water and foodstuffs, bringing local famines and disease epidemics in their wake. (See also Matt. 24:7; Mark 13:8).

One of the mightiest of all of the great “heavenly signs” described in the Bible is the mysterious opening of the “sixth seal” of the seven seals of the book of Revelation. The first five represents the entire scroll, or book, of Revelation. The first five represent conditions in the “Great Tribulation” predicted by Christ (also called “Jacob’s trouble,” or the time of great national privation and calamities to descend upon the people of Britain, the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and all the peoples of the democracies of Northeastern Europe). The sixth seal represents the great earthquake and other heavenly signs which will halt all human activity and prevent the extermination of mankind through nuclear war.

The seventh seal is composed of seven “trumpet plagues” to fall generally upon all gentile nations and all of mankind; the last three of those “trumpet plagues” are called “three woes.” The third of them is again divided into seven increments, this time the famous “seven last plagues,” which culminate in the greatest earthquake in all history and the second coming of Christ.

Notice, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”

As we have previously seen, oftentimes earthquakes are accompanied by and can oftentimes be the harbinger of volcanic explosions. The two are definitely interrelated. As the plastic like, molten magma beneath the crust continually exerts various changing pressures and forces upon the comparatively thinner outer crust, it requires more than one million minor “readjustments,” accounting for the approximately one million earth tremors around our earth every year as a result.

As citizens from northeastern Washington to Montana and Wyoming discovered at the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the sun can become “black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon become as blood” by the superposition of gigantic volumes of pumice, ash and volcanic dust high in the atmosphere.

Whether this phenomenon is as it appears from earth, or whether a direct intervention of Almighty God in the sun and the moon themselves is not entirely clear. However, massive earthquakes and volcanic explosions can accompany each other and be related to the same cause, as we know.

God’s Word then describes a major meteorite shower. “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as the fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” This is obviously not referring to the “stars” of outer space, which are oftentimes many times larger than our own sun, which would mean the total extinction of the earth, but a major meteorite shower with blazing and flashing meteors sending lightninglike streaks across the skies before the startled eyes of millions of earth’s inhabitants.

In the succeeding verses, a very great miracle is described wherein God appears to rend the very heavens, giving mankind for the first time in all history a glimpse of a blinding, white light brighter than millions of suns, and sending startled human beings to the rubble and rocks, and kind of shelter, saying, “fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:17). As John describes the opening of the seventh seal and the beginning of the first of the “trumpet plagues,” he says, “and the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it unto the earth; and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”

Then follow even greater and more mind-boggling plagues, wherein, finally, more than a third of the human race is killed! Read the rest of chapters 8 and 9.

Chapter 9 reveals conditions on the earth during the first and second of the “three woes,” and then follows several inset chapters which are not in specific chronological sequence, chapters 10 through 15.

Chapter 16 resumes the third woe, or the final seven last plagues. Read the entire 16th chapter of Revelation, especially beginning in verse 17: “And the7th angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done.

“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great.”

Obviously, though Jesus spoke of many earthquakes to come during the time of great tribulation immediately ahead of us now, and while all of these will be equally as fearsome or more so than Mount St. Helens and the explosion of Krakatoa so long ago, they cannot begin to compare with the final, massive earthquakes describes as part of the seven last plagues!

God says, “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found, and there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (about 90 pounds): and the men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great” (Rev. 16:20-21).

In this massive earthquake, whole mountain ranges will change, major mountains will disappear, and others be formed in their places. Islands will disappear beneath the seas, and others formed. Tidal waves (tsunamis) will send monstrous walls of water hundreds of feet high to smash against those cities that have survived the nuclear holocaust that will have been unleashed.

While cities and towns will disappear, Honolulu, Hilo and every other city in the Hawaiian Islands will be completely swallowed up. The “ring of fire” in the Pacific midocean region will cause massive explosions in the sea floor and along long-extinct volcanic cones, bringing about huge waves that will smash against the coastlands from California to Japan and from Brisbane to Anchorage.

The Bible says the Mount of Olives will cleave in two, that a huge crevasse will open up, allowing the water of the Mediterranean to roar into the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, creating a huge inland sea which will probably link up with the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

“Then shall the Eternal go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day (in the very same day as the great earthquake of Revelation 16:20) upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Eternal, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them toward the former (eastern) sea, and half of them toward the hinder (western) sea, in summer and in winter shall it be” (Zech. 14:3-8).

The massive earthquake will lower the mountains south of Jerusalem (Zech. 14:10) and create a great rift valley. From the very center of the valley a massive artesian well, gushing forth voluminous amount of crystal clear, “living” water (meaning life-giving, pure, moving water), will begin to flow. “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half often toward the western sea: in summer and in winter shall it be” (Zech. 14:8).

Apparently, God will use this means to cleanse the waters of the earth, sending a mighty river coursing both to the east, into the newly created seas caused by the access of Mediterranean waters to the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea areas (far below the present-day sea level) and to the west.

Ezekiel saw, in vision, how Christ’s very throne would be established on this site. Will it be placed so that the waters seem to gush forth from beneath that throne?

“Afterward He brought me again unto the door of the house; and behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.

“Then brought He me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the outer gate by the way that looks eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the (measuring) line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.

“Again, he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again, he measured it thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over; for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

“And he said unto me. Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, these waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea, which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed” (Ezk. 47:1-8).

This amazing prophecy follows in a logical sequence.

Ezekiel’s vison commencing with the 40th chapter sees the Holy City, the temple of God and the many details of both. These visions follow along naturally from the 38th and 39th chapters, depicting the final great Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of the monstrous army of 200 million (Rev. 9: 15, 12-14) that will invade Israel and be destroyed by Christ Himself at His coming.

The vision sees a huge river, each thousand cubits being approximately three fifths of a mile or so, gushing from beneath the threshold of the temple, a river over two miles wide before becoming too deep to wade. Assuming it is equally wide on the opposite bank, that means the river is at least five miles wide and perhaps much wider.

Is this only symbolic? One Bible commentary tends to see the river as indication of how we wade “ankle deep” into the Word of God and are finally confronted by a river of understanding above our depth. But these fanciful interpretations are but feeble attempts to allegorize vast and import prophecies of God’s Word.

Ezekiel’s prophecy goes on to describe how the waters will heal the polluted, blood-filled waters of earth, now a blackened, turgid mess of dead humans and millions of fish; that trees and plants will once again begin to grow along its banks; and that cuttings will be taken to other places, and the earth’s restoration to the beauties descried during the millennium will begin.

“And it shall come to pass, that every thing that lives, which moves, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river comes” (Ezk. 47:9).

There are many other references to earthquakes in God’s Word. But the great earthquakes of the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord will eclipse any previously known earthquake in recorded history.

When the cataclysms of Revelation 16 begin to occur, they will cause more human deaths than all the great quakes of the past put together. Never in the history of man from Noah to this day will such massive movements of earth’s fault lines, tectonic plates, continents, mountain chains and volcanoes take place.

In the ancient past, when God came down to the earth He had created, He gave a command saying, “Let the dry land appear,” and by His command the great continents of Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, Antarctica and Australia began to emerge from a featureless sea.

By His word the continents were moved into their positions, the westerly movement of the North and South American continents causing massive ruptures of the many layered rocks, heaving gigantic granite blocks of rock into the skies, molding, overturning, crumbling, sliding, shifting, roaring with noise no human or animal ear ever head. The great, soaring peaks of the Andes, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, the Rockies and all their associated ranges were formed.

The next time you have opportunity to see a breathtaking view of Rocky Mountain National Park, to see the majesty of McKinley, Lassen, Shasta, Rainer, Hood, the Grand Tetons or Pike’s Peak perhaps you should wonder, “what was it like the day God formed these mighty mountains.”

In “reading” the record of our earth’s geologic past, we can gain perspective into prophesied earth shocks of the future.

During an earthquake, all men are equal. As the deep, awesome rumbling from beneath the earth the thin wail of cats and howling of dogs, the dizzying feeling of disequilibrium comes to you as the sound of thousands of roaring locomotives thunder beneath; as all the familiar things with which you surround yourself, your own home and so well-remembered environment, the very buildings ,houses, streets, stones, trees and walks, your automobile, as all began to move, swaying, groaning, giving way with splintering crushes and groaning roars, all men rich and poor, great and small, suddenly realize their incredibly fragile humanity.

God says, “Enter into the rocks, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Eternal, and for the glory of His Majesty.

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Eternal alone shall be exalted in that day. For the Day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one who is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Eternal, and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terrible the earth.

“In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tips of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Eternal, and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terrible the earth (Isa. 2:10-22).

It is true not all earthquakes are of “divine origin,” especially triggered by divine fiat, by God’s command. Not all earthquakes, volcanic explosions, hurricanes, tidal waves, tornadoes and hailstorms are the result of God’s wrath against a carnal-minded, rebellious, sinning mankind.

But, though we may see purely “natural causes” in the rupturing of rocks along a fault line, the venting of gases and ash in a volcanic explosion, the cyclonic winds of major tropical storms, let’s never forget who is the Author of all that we call “nature.”

God formed our earth as we know it, He set in motion the forces that act upon it. He is the Author and Designer of gravity, of the magnetism of our earth’s poles, of the pull of earth’s gravity that reaches out into space to hold captive our moon, of the pull of our sun’s gravity that holds both captive at just the right distance to provide life on this planet.

He has intervened in His world He built from time to time in the past. He did it during “creation week,” perhaps more than four and one half billion years after an earlier creation. He did it again at the floor of Noah, and again in the parting of the Red Sea, the opening of the rocks to devour Korah, the lone day of Joshua, and the earthquake when Christ died. He answered His apostles’ prayers by shaking the building where they were.

He will intervene again. So says your Savior and coming King, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Where will you be, what will you be doing in that day God arises to shake terrible the earth?

Here is God’s own advice to you!

“See that ye refuse not Him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth: but now hath He promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

“And this word, ‘Yet once more,’ signifying the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptable with reverence and Godly fear:

“For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:25-29). Your sure foundation that cannot be shaken is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Those who repent of their sins, who ask God to become their Ruler, their Savior, their High Priest and soon-coming King, and those who get busy doing His work on this earth, are promised, “Because thou has kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (trial, or Great Tribulation) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (rev. 3:10).

Look at God’s promise:

“He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

“I will say of the Eternal, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God: in Him will I trust.

“Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers and under His wings shalt thou trust. His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

“Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.

“A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

“Because thou hast made the Eternal, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation” (Ps. 91:1-9).

John, in vision, saw how countless people would finally accept God’s loving appeal. They would see the Great Tribulation coming on the earth and finally repent and be spared the monstrous calamities of the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

Read Revelation the 7th chapter.

Just after the great heavenly signs, accompanied by a massive earthquake, and just before the beginning of the great “trumpet plagues” and the final Battle of Armageddon, John said, “and after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads’ “(Rev. 7:1-3).

That “sealing” is a symbolic of repentance, baptism and receiving of God’s Holy Spirit; becoming the begotten child of God as an act of your conscious will (in their foreheads).

Christ said, “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.”

The gospel includes Matthew 24 and Christ’s sure prophecies about the great day approaching when God shall arise to shake terrible this earth! When will you answer the call of Jesus Christ and repent?

 
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