Friday, April 4, 2014

Earthquakes in the Tribulation

I'm fascinated by earthquakes. By the spike in hits on the blog after a quake, many other people are too. There's something primal about the seemingly solid ground under our feet turning out not to be solid, and to be literally shaken.

My only experience with a quake was the recent 4.1 magnitude in Georgia/South Carolina we had on February 15. I felt that one as it was happening.

The only other experience I'd had was the World Series Loma Prieta Quake in 1989. I was on the phone talking with a guy friend and we were "watching" the baseball game together. It was before ubiquitous use of personal recording devices or police or traffic cams, but since the game was televised live, the initial jolt was recorded live. It knocked out the cameras but before it did, we can hear announcer Tim McCarver say "We're having an earthq", we hear screams, and then dead air and a scrambled signal before everything went dark. That quake was a 6.9 and 63 people died.

I went on an archaeological dig in 1990 to Italy and one of the team members was a woman who lived in Loma Prieta, and she had photos she carried with her that she showed me of her destroyed house.

Oklahoma continues to experience a non-stop quake swarm. There have been 44 this week and 123 this month. This photo is a screen shot of the '7-DAY, recent quakes' page at UN Geological Survey.


Yes, the quakes in OK are unusual. There isn't an earthquake fault in the areas the quakes are occurring. The minor fault at southwest OK hasn't moved in 1300 years. So they attribute the quakes to fracking (fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid) to extract oil. The problem with that that theory is that fracking occurs at an even higher frequency in Texas and there is not an attendant increase in frequency or magnitude of quakes at that location. This scientist from the Oklahoma Geological Survey explains, (article from 2010)

"The only known surface expression of an active fault occurs in southwestern Oklahoma. The last slip on this fault is estimated to be about 1300 years ago and may have been equivalent to a magnitude 6.5 or 7.0 earthquake. This fault is known as the Meers Fault and is visible from the air as can be seen in the following picture."


He says they don't know why there has been a dramatic increase in quakes and they don't have an answer. It is interesting that Jesus said as a sign of His coming there would be earthquakes in diverse places. That an ongoing, several year swarm is occurring in a place where no fault exists negatively impacts man's plate tectonics theories and in my opinion directly shows God's sovereignty.

Not every earthquake (or tornado or hurricane or tsunami) is a judgment from God, though sometimes they are. We read below in the Job verse the LORD shakes the wicked from the earth. Sometimes as Romans 8:19-21 states, the LORD made the creation subject to decay and frustration and it groans, so that man will ponder the effects of sin. Sometimes God, for His won good purposes, allows satan to control the weather. Satan was allowed to torment Job by a mighty wind and by fire falling down from heaven consuming Job's servants and sheep. (Job 1:16-19).

As of this writing, there have been 104 earthquakes in Chile this week since the 8.2 major quake. Several of the aftershocks in Chile have been major quakes in themselves. One was a 7.6 magnitude and another was a 6.5. The news says that 900,000 people were evacuated from the coast after the quake triggered a tsunami, and in many cities, electricity went out, triggering panic. As of this date five people died in the quake and aftermath. This news article from CNN says of the Chile quake,

Chile quake: This was big but a bigger one awaits, scientist says
"An 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile Tuesday night, triggering small landslides, setting off a tsunami and killing at least five people. But geologists say an even larger quake in the region is lurking. "This magnitude 8.2 is not the large earthquake that we were expecting in this area," said Mark Simons, a geophysicist at Caltech in Pasadena, California. "We're expecting a potentially even larger earthquake." It could be tomorrow. Or it could be 50 years. "We do not know when it's going to occur," he said. Here's why..."

...and the article continues in explaining how fault lines work and why they believe a bigger quake awaits Chile.

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?"        Job 38:12-13Bible believers know that larger quakes await anyway, irrespective of the human penchant to formulate theories as to why these happen.

There will be one in the Tribulation described in Revelation 6, the 6th Seal Judgment of Revelation 6:12

"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."

This is the earthquake to cause men to hide in the caves and under rocks and shout in fear that the Great Day of Wrath has come.

After that there will be general quakes as stated in Revelation 8:5. In Revelation 11:13 another great quake occurs, and a tenth of the city of Jerusalem falls, killing 7,000. The survivors are terrified and give glory to God in heaven.

Finally at the end of the Tribulation the 7th Bowl Judgment concludes the Wrath. An earthquake hits the city of Jerusalem, where many people will die and the city will be split into three parts. It will be the greatest quake ever to occur on the earth. It is the 6th Bowl judgment and it concludes God's wrath. The loud voice crying out from the throne says "It is done!" (Revelation 16:18-20).

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. (Revelation 16:18)

Never more than through an earthquake does God reminds us that the earth is His, and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1)

Dragon's Back (Elkhorn Scarp) in the Carrizo Plain. Source
"At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 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, 29 for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:26-29)

Doesn't this section of the San Andreas Fault in California look for all the world like an earth scar? Won't it be wonderful when He removes the curse, and the earth no longer groans! We are so grateful, Lord, for Your kingdom which cannot be shaken! You are truly the Rock, immovable!

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (Psalms 95:1)


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Further Reading

Let Us Reason Ministry: The Blood Moons are Coming

John MacArthur preached on the Tribulation several times. Here are two sermons, decades apart:

1970: The Terrors of the Tribulation

2011: The Future Tribulation

Scriptures: What does the bible say about earthquakes?

Institute for Creation Research: Great Earthquakes of the Bible


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