The Coming Cosmic Shakedown

By Lambert Dolphin


Summary: This paper examines briefly a great and final simultaneous judgment of human rulers and angelic powers which the Bible says will take place immediately prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ to this earth.

Background: The universe consists of a physical, material world which is surrounded by and embedded in an invisible spiritual world. The spiritual realm is real, permanent, and more "substantial" than the material realm. God, who is Spirit, dwells in the heavenly places as do innumerable angels--fallen and unfallen. Of the fallen angels the former Prime Minister in the angelic realm, Satan, is called "the god of this world" (age) because by and large he controls society. Under him are at least four orders of mighty angels cryptically described as "the principalities (arche), powers, (exousia), thrones (thronoi), dominions (kuriotes), and powers (dunamis), in the heavenly places." (See God and His Angels).

"Heaven" is not "up" above the stars, beyond the reaches of space. The material world is embedded in the spiritual--and the physical world is sustained by this unseen world. The heavenly places surround us. We are therefore influenced by, buffeted by, the angelic conflicts going on around us in this invisible part of reality. We are in fact enlisted to join in this warfare on God's side. The war involves good and fallen angels, and the weapons given to believers are said to be powerful and effectual in this arena of battle. In the Bible angels can be seen to have dominion over nations, over cities, over kingdoms. (See Robert C. Linthicum, City of God, City of Satan, 1991 Zondervan, Grand Rapids). Angels have an important role in God's government of the forces of nature in this present age (Hebrews 2:5). (For example, when Jesus calmed the sea of Galilee, I believe he spoke to an angel).

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

What the Bible calls "the times of the gentiles" is a long period of time during which God's chosen and model nation Israel is eclipsed--and even put on hold--while the Lord deals with the non-Jewish (Gentile) powers of the world system. This time period began with the Babylonian captivity of Israel at the time of the destruction of the First Temple on the 9th of Av, 586 BC. The "time of the gentiles" will end with the last and final invasion of Jerusalem by foreign armies (described in Zechariah 14:1-3), culminating in the return of Israel's Messiah, Yeshua, to the Mount of Olives. Jesus delineates the "times of the gentiles" in Luke's account of the Olivet Discourse,

For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people (Israel); they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:23-24)

Nebuchadnezzar's dream, interpreted by Daniel the prophet, predicted that four and only four great world powers would dominate the world from that Day until Messiah returned:

"You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces; then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. "This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the sons of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, making you rule over them all--you are the head of gold. [The Babylonian world empire lasted until 539 BC] After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, [The Medes and Persians--to 333 BC]. and yet a third kingdom of bronze, [Greece] which shall rule over all the earth.

And there shall be a fourth kingdom, [Rome] strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things; and like iron which crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes [the Roman empire revived] partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever; just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, [Yeshua is the Smiting Stone] and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure." (Daniel 2:31-45)

For purposes of this discussion, the important part of this vision is how it ends. The coming kingdom of God on earth will not take the best of existing world civilizations with their laws, culture, religion and economic system. It will not be a "new world order" build on the foundations of the past. It will be a totally new form of government which will destroy and completely supplant all of nations and governments then in existence when Christ returns. The entire image Nebuchadnezzar saw is to be smashed to pieces by the arrival of the kingdom of God on earth.

What the passage from Daniel suggests is that no form of human government, no world religion, no system of trade and commerce--comes anywhere close to God's standards for government. Centuries of change have not meant progress and evolution toward better government and a better world, but an inexorable decline in public morals, conduct and affairs down through history.

When Jesus Christ returns to this planet it will in order to set up an entirely new world-government. Nothing of the old, nothing taken out from the Gentile nations, will remain.

Obviously such a total shakeup will not involve a reshuffling of existing human leaders--nor mere reform of national governments, but the removal of all existing rulers and a total replacement of the entire system of government and all the infrastructure of society as well.

The commencement of this new system of world wide government under Messiah is announced in Revelation Chapter 19,

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords. (19:11-16)

But the overthrow of the governments on the earth in the time of the end will also be accompanied by a simultaneous overthrow of all the ruling angelic powers who are behind the scenes orchestrating world events.

The Shaking of the Powers of Heaven

There are many references to this shaking of the powers of heaven at the time of the Second Coming of Messiah. (See also Note 1) Isaiah says this:

Behold, the LORD will lay waste the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled; for the LORD has spoken this word. The earth mourns and withers, the world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left. The wine mourns, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh. The mirth of the timbrels is stilled, the noise of the jubilant has ceased, the mirth of the lyre is stilled. No more do they drink wine with singing; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. The city of chaos is broken down, every house is shut up so that none can enter. There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine; all joy has reached its eventide; the gladness of the earth is banished. Desolation is left in the city, the gates are battered into ruins. For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the vintage is done. They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west. Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; in the coastlands of the sea, to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One. But I say, "I pine away, I pine away. Woe is me! For the treacherous deal treacherously, the treacherous deal very treacherously." Terror, and the pit, and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth! He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit; and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before his elders he will manifest his glory. (Isaiah 24)

Has anything like this ever happened before on our planet? Yes, The great Flood in Noah's time was a disaster destroying billions of people and leaving only eight human survivors. At the time of the Flood one group of evil angels was removed from their posts in the spiritual realm and chained in a place called "Tartarus"--because of their intermarriage with human women which led to a race of demi-gods, giants known as the "Nephilim" ("fallen ones'). The removal of this group of evil angels is recorded in Jude, (see also 2 Peter 2:4) [For further details see Notes on the Nephilim: The Giants of Old].

And the angels that did not keep their own position (before the Flood) but left their proper dwelling (in the heavenlies) have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, (as did this group of angels) serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

The existence of a second group of giants after the Flood who were the offspring of human women and fallen angels (Goliath was one of these) indicates that not all the guilty fallen angels were chained at the time of the Flood--or that further rebellions by certain angels took place after the Flood. These angels have not yet been judged. They are still actively working their mischief against our race.

In his second Epistle, Chapter 3, the Apostle Peter strongly suggests that God's judgment at the time of the Flood included much more than the destruction of human life and habitat. Nature was profoundly disturbed and the climate was changed forever. Earth's original one continent split apart and the pieces rapidly separated. The previously mild and uniform climate was replaced by the intense contrasts of seasons. Storms and violent events previously unknown in the Antediluvian world were now commonplace and large regions of the globe became uninhabitable for all practical purposes. It is not behind reason that one or more fundamental discontinuities in the "laws of physics" occurred at this time--this is suggested by the Apostle's strong warning against viewing the earth's past history through the magic spectacles of uniformitarianism.

The prophet Haggai spoke of and event at the time of the end that would involve a shaking of both the heavens and the earth:

For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, so that the (one) desire(d) of all nations shall come in, [most scholars take this as a reference to the Messiah] and I will fill this house with splendor, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts. The latter splendor of this house [the temple] shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.'" (Haggai 2:6-9)

Isaiah (Chapter 34) equates this radical shaking of the heavens and the earth with the final overthrow of Edom:

Draw near, O nations, to hear, and hearken, O peoples! Let the earth listen, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host, he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have doomed. The LORD has a sword; it is sated with blood, it is gorged with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall be soaked with blood, and their soil made rich with fat. For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion. And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into brimstone; her land shall become burning pitch. Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up for ever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plummet of chaos over its nobles. They shall name it No Kingdom There, and all its princes shall be nothing. Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches. And wild beasts shall meet with hyenas, the satyr shall cry to his fellow; yea, there shall the night hag alight, and find for herself a resting place. There shall the owl nest and lay and hatch and gather her young in her shadow; yea, there shall the kites be gathered, each one with her mate. Seek and read from the book of the LORD: Not one of these shall be missing; none shall be without her mate. For the mouth of the LORD has commanded, and his Spirit has gathered them. He has cast the lot for them, his hand has portioned it out to them with the line; they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation they shall dwell in it. (Isaiah 34)

(In the book "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done..." Ron Graff and I go into detail about the end time judgments from God that are scheduled to fall on Edom and Babylon at the close of the present age).

In the New Testament the writer of the letter to the Hebrews contrasts the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai with life under the New Covenant put into effect by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Supper:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear." But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven." This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:18-29)

Mount Sinai was shaken by earthquakes and frightening signs and sounds when the Law was given because the Law signified judgment. Believers who come to God for mercy under the terms of the New Covenant are welcomed into the company of the true believers of all ages. These men and women have come to a different mountain, to Mt. Zion, where the gates of the heavenly New Jerusalem are open to them.

The passage above warns all those who continue to refuse God's grace--there will be no place of safe refuge for them when God shakes for the last time both the heavens and the earth. What will be shaken and removed at the end of the age, according to this passage, are all the institutions and authorities, all powers and hierarchies, human and angelic. Everything which can be shaken to destruction will be, and what remains will be only the works which God Himself has built!

When Will This Happen?

In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus says clearly that this great shaking of "the powers of the heaven" will immediately precede His second coming in glory:

"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." And he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man." And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. (Luke 21)

Or in the words of Matthew's gospel:

"So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if any one says to you, `Lo, here is the Christ!' or `There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, `Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, `Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Matthew 24:15-36)

The Great Earthquake

There can be no doubt (according to the Bible) that severe world-wide earthquakes will break out during the approaching great tribulation period, even though there is no evidence that earthquakes as such are increasing at the present time. There will one gigantic world-wide major earthquake (or a series of great temblors) schedule for the very end of the age. These are mentioned in the book of the Revelation during the same time period when "the sun will be darkened and the full moon become like blood," and when the "stars will fall from heaven." That final earthquake is evidently the event on earth which coincides with the casting down and imprisonment of all the fallen angels described above. Isaiah predicted this event associating it with the Lord standing to "terrify" the earth:

"And men shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. In that day men will cast forth their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth." (Isaiah 2:19-21)

A great earthquake in Israel is associated with the invasion of the land by the armies of Gog and Magog and is described in Ezekiel. This invasion from the North occurs during the tribulation period. Some Bible commentators believe this invasion occurs during the first half of the seven-year tribulation period, however I believe (as did my mentor Ray C. Stedman) that this massive earthquake is the anchor point that places this Northern invasion as one facet of the general campaign of Armageddon.

"For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon every kind of terror against Gog, says the Lord GOD; every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 38:19-23)

There are four specific mentions of violent earthquakes in the book of the Revelation. For the moment let us consider the possibility that we are given in Revelation a description of but one earthquake at the very end of the tribulation when Christ returns. Ray Stedman has suggested that this single earthquake forms an anchor point marking the end of what is a series of parallel judgments. (See God's Final Word, Understanding Revelation).

A prelude to the First Earthquake:

From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. (Rev 4:5-6a)

Ray Stedman comments on this passage as follows:

Let us remember these are symbols. What they represent does not always appear like this. These are pictures, a manifestation of what actually is there. The symbols here are very instructive.

First, John says, "from the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder." These are the sights and sounds associated with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. The mountain was shaking constantly with great rumblings and thunders, it was covered by dark clouds lit by lightning flashes. It was so awesome a sight that the people of Israel were stunned with fear. These sounds are a symbol, therefore, of the judgments of God.

Revelation is basically the time when God at last turns from grace to judgment. All through the Bible he has been a gracious God, appealing to people to open their minds, seeking to instruct them anew, to make them stop and listen and adjust to the truth. But at last he must turn to judgment. That is what this book is all about: It tells us how God at last visits judgment upon all people.

Revelation 6 gives us the first description of a great end-time earthquake as follows:

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?" (Revelation 6:12-17)

What is significant about this great shaking of the earth--if indeed this is but the first mention of the same single great quake--is that it includes (1) the destruction of all the major cities in the world, (2) the flooding and disappearance (perhaps by tsunamis) of "every island" and (3) drastic topographic changes in Israel and elsewhere.

As mentioned, earthquakes or perhaps the same single earthquake are also described in the book of the Revelation at three other places. The seven bowls of wrath seem to cascade out of the seventh trumpet, and the seven trumpets out of the seventh seal, therefore these three linked earthquakes of increasing intensity do seem to be closely linked to one another or they could possibly be a single event. The time sequence of the events in Revelation is not linear as many commentators have noted.

An earthquake is mentioned at the opening of the Seventh Seal,

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:1-5)

And at the end of the First Woe, when God's two witnesses are raised from the dead,

And when they [the two witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit will make war upon them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is allegorically called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three days and a half men from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up hither!" And in the sight of their foes they went up to heaven in a cloud. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:7-13)

Ray Stedman comments here:

That brings us again to the end of man's last rule on earth. A massive earthquake immediately strikes, just as it did at the crucifixion of Jesus and still again at his resurrection. It is centered now on Jerusalem. A tenth of the city collapses, and 7000 people die. There are other passages in the prophets that predict this same formidable earthquake. In Zechariah 14, the prophet announces that the Messiah will stand upon the Mount of Olives and when his feet touch the mountain it will separate in half. Half will move to the north and half to the south to create a great valley between. One can easily imagine what a massive earthquake like that would do to modern Jerusalem, with its population of almost a million people.

There is little doubt that this is literal since the largest earthquake fault on earth runs just east of Jerusalem, down the valley of the Jordan River. It is called the "Great Rift Valley," and it extends under the Dead Sea into Africa. It is the valley where the great African lakes, Lake Victoria, Lake Nyansa, and others are found. It is the line where the African continent butts up against Asia. We are familiar these days with the theory of continental drift and the movement of tectonic plates upon which the continents rest, so it is quite understandable that this would take place exactly as described....

Immediately, the seventh angel sounds his trumpet. It brings us to the end of the trumpet series which is also the same end to which the seals and bowls bring us. Let us see what happens:

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, (Rev 11:15-17a)

Notice the NIV properly omits the usual third phrase "and who is to come" Why? Because he has already come at this point!

"because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name both small and great -- and for destroying those who destroy the earth...."

We have seen these sights and sounds twice before. They mark the end of the tribulation period and the beginning of the millennium. These angelic voices proclaim the beginning of the reign of Christ on earth. They worship him because he has taken his great power and begun to reign, first, upon the earth for a period of a thousand years, as Chapter 20 of this book will tell us plainly.

The final mention of a great earthquake in Revelation follows:

The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as had never been since men were on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found; and great hailstones, heavy as a hundred-weight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague. (Revelation 16:17-21)

The last of these great earthquakes occurs when the Lord Jesus Christ, returning from Edom, stands on the Mount of Olives. Jesus was last seen departing this earth from atop the Mt. of Olives 40 days after the resurrection, promising through two angels to return "in like manner."

Although there is no known East-West earthquake fault transecting the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem, there could well be a fault well-below the surface which has thus far escaped detection. Tourists today often stand at the very spot overlooking the Temple Mount to the West and the Wilderness of Judea and the Dead Sea to the East. It is there that Jesus, the Lord, will stand in the not-too-distant future to trigger earth's last terrible earthquake and the dawning of the long-awaited golden age of peace on earth. Zechariah tells of the Second Coming of Messiah:

"...On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD your God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter. And the LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one and his name one. The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem." (Zechariah 14:2-10)

Our generation has seen movies and television specials depicting a nuclear war, showing collisions by an asteroid or comet from outer space, or a threat to the world by an escaped deadly virus. We are accustomed to fictional accounts of alien invasions, and most of us are intrigued by the X-Files. Military experts believe a great third world war in the Middle East is now unavoidable. World population is soaring out of control and violence is on the increase everywhere.

The Biblical record allows for all of these possibilities--and worse. Anyone who has been through a major earthquake will testify that it is a terrifying experience to have the ground beneath one's feet give way leaving no place to stand and no way to stand. What will it be like on That Day, "The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord" when the sky will also fall on men's heads, so to speak, when invisible kingdoms in the unseen world around us come crashing down at the same time the cities of the world are reduced to rubble? This will not be just a horrendous "natural" disaster--behind it all will be an angry God who will at long last settle accounts and set all things right on earth. (Note 2)

Jerusalem was, is now and always will be the capital city of Israel designated by God from long ages ago. It will also be the world capital from which Jesus Christ will rule all the nations (Zechariah 14) . Major topographic changes, especially in Israel, at the time of the Second Coming are described in Isaiah, Ezekiel and several other of the prophets. This is a separate topic worthy of further investigation. (See for instance Isaiah 40:3-4, Ezekiel 47:1-12, Zechariah 14:4-9, Isaiah 12:15, Ezekiel 38:18-33). (See Who Owns Jerusalem).

Words fail us when it comes to describe what that scene will be like to those who have been left behind. The prophet Zephaniah spoke of that event this way:

The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter, the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.I will bring distress on men, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealous wrath, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full, yea, sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth. (1:14-18)

Useful References:

Magog Revisited, by Chuck Missler, Koinia House.

The Islamic Conquests, by Chuck Missler.

The Steppes of History, by Chuck Missler.

The Near East in Prophecy, by Ray Stedman.

Armageddon, by Ron Graff and Lambert Dolphin.


Notes:

1. Revelation 19:14- 20:13 describes the events that follow the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Mount of Olives:

...And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in mid heaven, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great." And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who sits upon the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while.

Regarding the events immediately following the second coming (the epiphaneia) of Jesus Christ to earth, his 1000-year reign and the fate of Satan and his hordes, Ray C. Stedman says the following in his message "One Thousand Years of Peace:"

Twice in that passage appears the phrase "a thousand years." It actually occurs six times throughout the whole chapter. The word "millennium" comes from the Latin mille annum, which means "a thousand years." This is the passage that teaches clearly and distinctly about a millennium of peace yet to come upon the earth.

This passage is one of the great battlefields of Scripture. Two differing views of end events clash headlong in this chapter, premillennialism and amillennialism. Those are jaw-breaker terms, so to help you (and me) I will refer to those who hold these views as "premills" and "amills." Premills, (among whom I include myself), take this passage literally and believe that there is coming a thousand-year reign of Christ upon the earth. That will be a fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies concerning an earthly reign of Christ.

The amills ("a" means no, or none), the non-millennialists, believe that this event is now being fulfilled. They say there will be no thousand-year reign of Christ to come, but that this is a picture of the present age of the church and is being fulfilled in a metaphorical or figurative way. They say the binding of Satan which is mentioned here took place at the cross when Jesus overcame Satan, and he has been bound ever since throughout the history of the church.

Concerning that view, someone has well remarked that if Satan is bound today it must be with a very long chain!

Our Lord did, of course, liken Satan to a "strong man who holds his goods in peace." The "goods" there represent the whole human race. Both amills and premills believe that Satan is in control of this world today. Jesus called him "the god of this world," {2 Cor 4:4 KJV}. But our Lord said that he, Jesus, was a "stronger one" who would "bind the strong man and divide his goods." You will find that in Luke the 11th chapter, Verses 21-22.

So there was a binding of Satan that took place at the cross. The Apostle Paul, in Colossians 2:15, says that Jesus "disarmed the powers and authorities and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." There was a time when Jesus indeed did bind Satan. And the amills say that this chapter is talking about that event. It is a flashback to the binding of Satan at the cross.

But Scripture indicates that that binding or restraint of Satan at the cross was only valid to faith. It was true only for those who believe in Jesus. James, in his letter, says to Christians, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" {Jas 4:7}, i.e., his power will not be able to control you. He is restrained, bound, restricted, with regard to you, if you believe. But that restraint does not help those who do not believe in Jesus. The Apostle Paul states, "The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ," {2 Cor 4:4 NIV}. There is a blinding power which Satan exercises going on right now. The Apostle Peter, speaking to Christians, says, "Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith," {1 Pet 5:8-9 NIV}. Even Christians need to believe in order to oppose the devil. Satan is bound only to faith, but in that sense there is a binding of the devil occurring today.

But now notice the difference with this binding here. This is something quite distinct:

First, it was not done at the cross, but it follows the Second Coming of our Lord. It is clearly related to that event which closes Chapter 19 (remember, there is no chapter break here at all in the original); this binding of Satan occurs after Jesus appears in visible glory.

And, second, the binding was not done by Jesus! Notice, it was done by an angel whom Jesus sends to bind Satan with a great chain. It must have been a very great angel indeed, possibly, Michael the archangel.

Third, the angel not only binds Satan with the chain (that is a metaphor, of course, of restraining him), but he throws him into the Abyss and locks and seals the door!

There are four separate symbols here. It is not merely a binding that is in view.

First, the chain speaks of severe restraint. It is not a literal chain but what it symbolizes is literal. Satan is a spiritual being and you cannot bind a spiritual being with a literal chain. The chain is a symbol of extreme restraint, a limiting of his power and ability to function.

Second, he is not only bound but he is thrown into the Abyss, which pictures a total removal from the earth. Remember that, in Chapter 9, we saw an angel come with a key to the Abyss, open it, and out of it came a horde of demonic beings who poured onto the earth. The Abyss is there seen as separate from earth. For Satan to be thrown into it speaks of a total removal from the earth.

Third, the angel shuts the door and locks it, which means it is rendered impossible to be opened from within. If you are locked in a room you cannot get out yourself. That is the meaning of the Abyss being locked or shut.

Fourth, the angel seals it over so that it is impossible to open from without. No power can break through to release Satan during this time. He is totally removed from earth and permitted no access to it for one thousand years!

Someone may well ask, "What about the demons?"

Scripture reveals that not only is Satan at war with humanity but he has a whole host of beings whom Paul calls "wicked spirits in heavenly places," {cf, Eph 6:12 KJV}. What about them? What happens to them when Satan is removed? It does not tell us anything about that here, but we cannot require every passage of Scripture to teach everything there is to say about a subject whenever it is mentioned. But the question can be answered! Isaiah speaks of it in his 24th chapter, often called, "The little Apocalypse." This is what he says:

In that day the Lord will punish
the powers in the heavens above
and the kings on the earth below. {Isa 24:21 NIV}

We have already seen the punishment of the kings because that is what the Lord did when he came in Chapter 19. He assaulted the kings of the earth. But Isaiah goes on:

They will be herded together
like prisoners bound in a dungeon;
they will be shut up in prison
and be punished
[the margin says "released"] after many days.
The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed;
for the Lord Almighty will reign
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before its elders, gloriously. {Isa 24:22-23 NIV}

That seems clearly to be a parallel passage. It indicates that Satan and his angels are removed from activity on the earth. It is a total removal, without access to earth, with no possibility of release for a thousand years. Thus Isaiah confirms what John in Revelation also saw.

Now our amillennial friends say that the thousand years is not to be taken literally. It is only a figure, they say, a metaphor for an indefinite period, or even perhaps for an idea, such as "totally" or "completely." But the answer to that is contained in the passage in the last phrase of Verse 3, "After that, he must be set free for a short time." The word "time" is chronos, from which we get "chronology." It clearly is a reference to a specific period of time, as is the "thousand years" as well. Six times throughout the chapter the "thousand years" appears. As someone has well said, "If God wanted to say it was going to last a thousand years, how could he put it more plainly than this?"

Again, the amills say that this is the only passage in the Bible that teaches a millennium. But that is a distortion of truth. Actually the earthly kingdom of Christ, restoring the throne of David over the nations, is taught in scores of passages. We have referred to many of them as we have gone through this account, but there are many more in the Old Testament and a few in the New. We are going to look at one from the New Testament in a moment. This passage is, however, the only one that tells us how long that kingdom is going to last. It is the only place that tells us that it will be a thousand years duration. In that sense this is the only Bible passage that teaches there will be a thousand-year reign of Christ.

The purpose for this removal of Satan is clearly stated here: "to keep him from deceiving the nations any more." You are well aware that this is what Satan has actually been doing throughout this whole church age. He has been deceiving the nations. He deceives them with drugs. He deceives them with the wrongful use of sexuality. He deceives them with lusts for power and greed. He deceives them about the true values of life. These lies have been poured into human ears from unseen and invisible powers for centuries. The whole record of human history is a record of the deceitfulness of the devil. But now God says, "That will cease." It is not to go on any longer. Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss with all his angels. He is locked in and sealed over and God says, "For a thousand years the earth is going to live in peace."

2. Ron Graff reminds me that there asteroids (falling stars) striking and devastating the earth are definitely foreseen as occurring in Revelation during the Tribulation period. For example,

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 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, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the water, because it was made bitter. The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night. (Revelation 7:7-12)

Previously Revelation 6 was quoted in connection with the end-of-the-age monstrous earthquake, but reference is also made in the same verses to "stars falling from the sky:"

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (Revelation 6:12-14)

Ron Graff's point is that the judgment of the Flood of Noah came both from above and from below. The fountains of the deep were opened as well as the windows of heaven.

It would appear that the final judgment of God described above, at the end of our age, is both from below and from above. (Visit Ron Graff's Prophecy Central web page for very helpful and informative articles. You are welcome to email: Ron Graff ).

It has been suggested that the Flood of Noah may have been triggered by the explosion of a planet, the fragments of which pock-marked our moon, Mars, Venus and Jupiter plus other moons in the solar system. See my article Exploding Planets and Ancient Catastrophes and J. Tim Unruh, Phaeton: The Lost Planet. An account of Biblical Catastrophism on a Cosmic Scale. Astronomer Tom VanFlandern also has information on this theory on his web site.

3. The Earthquakes Compared

Assuming the earthquakes during the tribulation period are separate events and not one major quake the following table has been prepared for comparison purposes.

 #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  #6

"For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon every kind of terror against Gog, says the Lord GOD; every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone. (Ezekiel 38) 
 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?" (Revelation 6:12-17)

 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:1-5)

 

 

 

 

 

 ...But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up hither!" And in the sight of their foes they went up to heaven in a cloud. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:7-13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as had never been since men were on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found; and great hailstones, heavy as a hundred-weight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague. (Revelation 16:17-21)

 "...On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. (Zechariah 14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Invasion  Sixth Seal Opened  Seventh Trumpet Sounded  Two Witnesses Raised  Seventh Bowl of Wrath  Second Advent
       

 Same as #6
 

4. Outline of the Book of the Revelation Locating the Mention of Earthquakes
(outline by Ron Graff)

 INTRODUCTION & SALUTATION 1:1-8
1B. Introduction 1:1-3
2B. Salutation 1:4-8
1A. THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST
1:9-18
(The things which you have seen)
1B. Preparation for the vision 1:9-10
2B. Presentation of the vision 1:11-18
1C. The revelation of John 1:11-16
1D. The Golden Stands 1:11-12
2D. The Glorified Savior 1:13-16
2C. The reaction of John 1:17-18
2A. THE PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST IN THIS AGE
1:19-3:22
(The things which are)
1B. Insight about the church 1:19-20
2B. Instruction to the church 2:1-3:22
1C. To Ephesus 2:1-7
2C. To Smyrna 2:8-11
3C. To Pergamum 2:12-17
4C. To Thyatira 2:18-29
5C. To Sardis 3:1-6
6C. To Philadelphia 3:7-13
7C. To Laodicea 3:14-22

 

3A. THE PROGRAM OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE FUTURE
4:1-22:21
(The things which will take place...)
1B. The scene in Heaven 4:1-5:14
1C. View of the Heavenly Majesty 4:1-11
1D. The Throne 4:1-3
2D. The Elders 4:4
3D. The Surroundings 4:5-6b

Precursor to Earthquake

4D. The Four Creatures (living beings) 4:6c-8
5D. The Worship 4:9-11
2C. Vision of the Holy Mystery 5:1-14
1D. The Scroll 5:1
2D. The Search 5:2-4
3D. The Savior 5:5-7
4D. The Song 5:8-10
5D. The Saying 5:11-142B. The Scene on Earth 6:1-20:15
1C. The Tribulation 6:1-19:21
1D. Opening of the Seven Seals 6:1-8:1
1E. First Seal - Antichrist 6:1-2
2E. Second Seal - Arms 6:3-4
3E. Third Seal - Agony (Famine) 6:5-6
4E. Fourth Seal - Annihilation (Death) 6:7-8
5E. Fifth Seal - Anticipation (Martyrs) 6:9-11
6E. Sixth Seal - Agitation 6:12-17


EARTHQUAKE

 ( ) Tribulation Saints 7:1-17
1F. The Sealed Ones 7:1-8
2F. The Saved Ones 7:9-17
1G. Enormity of the Multitude 7:9
2G. Exultation by the Multitude 7:10-12
3G. Explanation about the Multitude
7:13-17
7E. Seventh Seal - Adjustment 8:1


EARTHQUAKE

 2D. Sounding of the Seven Trumpets
8:2-11:19
1E. Expectation 8:2-6
2E. Execution 8:7-11:19
1F. First Trumpet - Scorching of the Earth 8:7
2F. Second Trumpet - Slaughter in the Sea 8:8-9
3F. Third Trumpet - Souring of the Water 8:10-11
4F. Fourth Trumpet - Smiting of the
Planets 8:12-13
5F. The Fifth Trumpet -
Striking by Locusts 9:1-12
1G. The Diabolical Pit 9:1-2
2G. The Demonic Plague 9:3-10
1H. Their Actions 9:3-6
2H. Their Appearance 9:7-10
3G. The Destructive Potentate 9:11-12
6F. The Sixth Trumpet - Slaying of One-third of the Population 9:13-21
1G. The Command from Heaven
9:13-16
2G. The Consuming Holocaust 9:17-19
3G. The Conscious Hardness 9:20-21
( ) Parenthetical Explanations 10:1-11:14
1G. About God's Program 10:1-7
2G. About John's Prophecy 10:8-11
3G. About Gentile Power 11:1-2
4G. About Two Prophets 11:3-14


EARTHQUAKE

 7F. The Seventh Trumpet - Sovereignty of God 11:15-193D. Important Considerations of the Period 12:1-19:21
1E. The Role of Israel in The
Tribulation 12:1-18
1F. Birth of the Deliverer 12:1-6
1G. Purpose for Israel 12:1-2
2G. Plan of the Devil 12:3-4
3G. Protection of the Child 12:5-6
2F. Battle with the Devil 12:7-17
1G. War in Heaven 12:7-12
2G. War on Earth 12:13-17
2E.. The Reign of the Unholy Trinity During The Tribulation 13:1-18
1F. The Dragon (Satan) 13:2,4
2F. The Despot (Antichrist) 13:1-10
1G. His Appearance 13:1-4
2G. His Actions 13:5-10
3F. The Deceiver (False Prophet)
13:11-18
1G. His Person 13:11
1H. Like a Lamb
2H. Like a Dragon
2G. His Power 13:12-13
3G. His Purpose 13:14-18
3E. The Redemption of the 144000
During The Tribulation 14:1-5
4E. The Reports from Heaven During The Tribulation 14:6-13
1F. The First Message 14:6-7
2F. The Second Message 14:8
3F. The Third Message - 14:9-12
4F. The Fourth Message 14:13
5E. Reaping of Judgment During The Tribulation 14:14-19:21
1F. Judgment of the Beast and
False Prophet 14:14-20
1G. The Conqueror 14:14
2G. The Conquest 14:15-20
2F. Judgment of the Earth 15:1-16:21
1G. The Victorious Vision 15:1-8
1H. Songs of Praise 15:1-4
2H. Scene of Preparation 15:5-8
2G.The Venomous Vials 16:1-21 1H. The First Vial - Damaging Sores
16:1-2
2H. Second Vial - Deadly Seas 16:3
3H. Third Vial - Deplorable Springs
16:4-7
4H. Fourth Vial - Dangerous Sunlight 16:8-9
5H. Fifth Vial - Dark Seizure 16:10-11
6H. Sixth Vial - Drying of the Strait
16:12 ( ) Demonic Spirits 16:13-16
7H. Seventh Vial - Destructive Scourge 16:17-21


EARTHQUAKE

3F. Judgment of Babylon 17:1-19:6
1G. Preface about the Woman 17:1-2
2G. Perversity of the Woman 17:3-6
3G. Position of the Woman 17:7-18
4G. Punishment of the Woman 18:1-19:6
1H. Ruin 18:1-8
2H. Reaction 18:9-19:6
1I. On Earth 18:9-19
2I. In Heaven 18:20-19:6
4F. Judgment at Armageddon 19:7-21
1G. Heavenly Jubilation 19:7-10
(The Marriage Supper of The Lamb)
2G. Horrible Judgment 19:11-21
1H. The Coming of Christ's Army
19:11-16
2H. The Crumbling of Antichrist's Army
19:17-21
2C. The Millennium 20:1-15
1D. Preparation for the Period 20:1-3
2D. Progress During the Period 20:4-6
3D. Postscript to the Period 20:7-15
1E. Rebellion 20:7-9
2E. Retribution 20:10-15
1F. The Devil 20:10
2F. The Deceived 20:11-15
3B. The Scene on the New Earth 21:1-22:21

 


Earthquake Effects

The following brief news article is highly relevant for understanding what could well have happened in the earth's crust at the time of the Flood of Noah. Note especially the transformation of serpentine into olivine is accompanied by the release of lots of water.

High-pressure water triggers tremors

Tiny droplets of water may seem too inconsequential to break rock, but three Yale University geologists now say that water trapped far below Earth's surface can set off earthquakes.

Deep underground, heat and pressure expel water from the crystals of certain minerals, transforming one structure into another. "The classical view of metamorphism is that fluid is released very slowly and continuously in teeny, tiny amounts over millions of years," says Jay J. Ague, a co-author of the report appearing in the Nov. 15 GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS. "What we show is that once one of these [transformations] gets going, a lot of water can be released over decades or hundred-year time scales."

If water is squeezed that quickly out of crystals 10 to 20 kilometers below the surface, it soon fills pores in the rock and is left with nowhere to go, Ague says. When its pressure overcomes the weight of the overlying rocks, the water blasts some escape routes. Cracking rocks already under immense strain in a fault zone is a good way to start an earthquake, he points out.

Ague and his colleagues Jeffrey Park and Danny M. Rye wondered whether this process could trigger mysterious earthquakes such as Loma Prieta. That 1989 California quake started nearly 18 km underground, deeper than seismologists thought possible along the San Andreas Fault. Most tremors there occur in the top 12 km of the crust as opposite sides of the fault slip past each other.

Deeper rocks are so hot that strain doe not tend to build up: Like Silly Putty, the flow when pushed slowly but snap if stretched abruptly.

In the Yale team's proposed mechanism, water would strain the rocks s rapidly that they would break even a that depth. "The [Loma Prieta] trigger was at the very deepest place possible, which makes the idea worth entertaining," says Kevin P. Furlong of Pennsylvania State University in State College Still, he asks whether water can be released rapidly enough to break rock that is pliable enough to flow.

Water might diffuse peacefully through the rock if it were released gradually as the minerals converted from one type to another. The Yale scientists' analysis, however, indicates that rock being heated holds water beyond the equilibrium temperature for the mineral transformation and then releases it quickly. They modeled reactions in which the mineral serpentine loses its water to become olivine Overstepping the critical temperature be as little as 5 degrees C can generate enough pressure to shatter the rocks, Park observes.

Ague admits there's more work to be done. "There are hundreds of reactions that can take place, so we've really only scratched the surface," he says.

If the researchers' theory proves right, its implications don't stop after a single rumble. "If the fault seals up after an earthquake, the reactions keep going and fluid pressure builds up again, I Ague says, "so this process could happen over and over." - S. Simpson

NOVEMBER 21, 1998
SCIENCE NEWS, VOL. 154


Sumatra Quake Shook Earth's Total Surface

May 19, 2005, 9:21 PM (ET) By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID

WASHINGTON (AP) - December's great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake - the most powerful in more than 40 years and the trigger of a devastating tsunami - shook the ground everywhere on Earth's surface. Weeks later the planet was still trembling.

The quake resulted from the longest fault rupture ever observed - 720 miles to 780 miles, which spread for 10 minutes, also a record. A typical earthquake's duration would be 30 seconds.

The December quake was the first of its size to be measured and studied by the new worldwide array of digital seismic instruments.

Those results are starting to come in, with a special section of a half-dozen research papers on the quake appearing in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"This is really a watershed event. We've never had such comprehensive data for a great earthquake because we didn't have the instrumentation to gather it 40 years ago," said Thorne Lay, professor of Earth sciences and director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

"It is nature at its most formidable," Lay said in a statement.

The earthquake and resulting tsunami, which swept across the Indian Ocean, killed more than 176,000 people in 11 countries and left about 50,000 missing and hundreds of thousands homeless.

The quake occurred where two of the giant plates that form the surface of the Earth grind together.

At that spot the Eurasian plate was being pulled downward by the descending Indo-Australian plate. The quake released the edge of the Eurasian plate, which sprang up, lifting the ocean floor and sending the sea water off in the giant wave that killed so many, the researchers reported.

They said the higher sea floor displaced so much water from the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea that sea level worldwide was raised 0.004 inch.

"No point on Earth remained undisturbed," wrote Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado.

Indeed, ground movement of as much as 0.4 inch occurred everywhere on Earth's surface, though it was too small to be felt in most areas.

And the temblor "delivered a blow to our planet" that was felt for weeks, noted a team of researchers led by Jeffrey Park of Yale University.

His group calculated that the quake caused the planet to oscillate like a bell, at periods of about 17 minutes, which they were able to measure for weeks afterward. A similar phenomenon was first noted in the 1960 quake in Chile.

The initial Dec. 26 Sumatra quake is estimated to have had a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3 and a second quake to the south on March 28 registered 8.6.

By comparison, the 1960 Chile earthquake was magnitude 9.5 and the 1964 Alaska earthquake was magnitude 9.2. California's 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake had a magnitude of 6.9.

Among the other findings reported in the various papers:

- In Sri Lanka, more than 1,000 miles from the epicenter, the ground moved nearly 4 inches.

- The rupture spread from south to north, resulting in a Doppler effect in instruments measuring it. Seismometers in Russia recorded the quake at a higher frequency because it was moving toward them, while those in Australia measured a lower frequency as it moved away.

- When the surface waves from the Sumatra quake reached Alaska they triggered a swarm of 14 local earthquakes in the Mount Wrangell area.

In addition to Lay, Bilham and Park, the lead authors of the articles were Charles J. Ammon of Pennsylvania State University, Michael West of the University of Alaska and Roland Burgmann of the University of California, Berkeley. Burgmann's article was published in Science Express, the journal's online edition.

Source: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050520/D8A6JNBG1.html


December 9, 1998, December 12, 1998. October 12, 2001. May 20, 2005.

lambert@ldolphin.org

Back to Lambert Dolphin's Library