Bog note: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11). Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. This verse from Luke is one of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency and occurrence prior to giving birth. End of note
Seven-fold Reference to Earthquakes:
- … “And I beheld when he had opened the sixt seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.” (Rev. 6:12). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” (Rev. 6:14). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” (Rev. 8:5). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Rev. 11:13). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (Rev. 11:19). (Emphasis added).
- … “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. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” (Rev. 16:18-19). (Emphasis added).
- … “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” (Rev. 16:20). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: Even before the week of Jacob’s trouble or the Tribulation period, Christ warned mankind that the nearness of his return would be accompanied by the increasing frequency, intensity, scope and destruction of earthquakes. The references to earthquakes during the Tribulation take the destruction experienced from pre-tribulation earthquakes to a whole new, global level. Large portions of cities, and entire cities are quickly destroyed around the world. Babylon, capital of the evil empire and home to the Mystery Religion, is split into three parts and destoyed within one hour. Imagine New York City, San Francisco, London, Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Hongkong or Moscow suddenly being split into three sections and totally destroyed within one hour. Yes, within one hour! The devastation would be complete and unimagineable! The cataclysmic effect of the ‘great, such-as-was-not-since-men-were-upon-the-earth-earthquake’ is to literally level mountains, destroy/submerge islands and level entire cities. I am not physical (geological) scientist, but this almost appears to represent an entire global, axis shift and/or shifting of continents. The shifting of the earth on its axis or of its continental shelves, would cause tremendous inter-continental stress on the earth’s crust. Rev.16:18-19 clearly indicates that cities in nations, around the world, fall due to this gobal, cataclysmic earthquake. There is no hiding in hills, bunkers, mountains, remote islands, high rises or any other natural or manmade shelter. Everything is flattened. Around the world. The itensity of this earthquake will most likely be off the Richter Scale (a numerical scale for expressing the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of seismograph oscillations). The more destructive earthquakes typically have magnitudes between about 5.5 and 8.9; the scale is logarithmic and a difference of one represents an approximate thirtyfold difference in magnitude.
My hypothesis, in keeping with Biblical, mathematical accuracy and truth, is that the ‘great earthquake’ that man has never, nor will ever again experience, will probably be at the level of 10.0 (which is off of the Richter Scale shown). Why do I say 10.0? Ten (10) Biblically denotes allness or completeness in a physical way, as to things on earth. Going from 7.0 to 8.0 is a thirty-fold increase in magnitude or strength, going from 8.0 to 9.0 is yet another increase in magnitude or strength of thirtyfold, lastly, going from 9.0 to 10.0 is yet another thirtyfold increase in magnitude or strength. Therefore, going from 7.0 to 10.0 on the scale is logarithmically a 30 x 30 x 30 (27,000%) increase in magnitude or strength. This is unimaginable, unless you think of it mathematically, Biblically. Keep in mind, Seismologists (scientists who study earthquakes and what causes them) consider an earthquake between 7.0 and 8.0 to be major or severe, and capable of causing great devastation and fatalities. Someone who is an expert in the geological sciences could probably calculate what magnitude of earthquake would be required to occur to cause such cataclysmic destruction as described from the ‘greatest earthquake in mankind’s history’. If you continue to extrapolate the logarithmic slope line shown below from 8.9 to a hypothetical 10.0 on the scale, the slope line would be almost completely vertical as you near 10.0 (off the charts). An earthquake with a magnitude of destruction of 10.0 would indeed affect the whole world, not just one city on one continent. Note, Seismologists rate an earthquake just below 9.0 as ‘GREAT’, what would an earthquake of 10.0 be? Cataclysmic? Scary. I am probably not using the right or appropriate term to describe the devastating effects of a 10.0 earthquake.
This is a hypothesis based on mathematics, Richter scale benchmarks and Biblical truth in the representation of numbers. I am not a Geologist or Seismologist, nor do I have any scientific training in this area. I challenge someone more skilled than myself in this discipline, to calculate the destructive power of a 10.0 earthquake (or greater, if possible). I apologize in advance if my calculation or hypothesis is wrong. My attempt is an honest attempt, once again, at trying to understand and explain something that has only been described Biblically, in a general way. Mankind did not have a Richter scale, or scientific benchmark system to measure earthquakes, back in the days of John, the Apostle. They only knew how bad an earthquake was by the amount of devastation it caused, and how much money they would have to beg from Rome, in order to rebuild.