As a teenager, in Delano, California in the 1940s and early 1950s, one of the special highlights of my life was the advent of an occasional earthquake. I do not remember any which were especially severe, but they were adequately tumultuous to raise the excitement level considerably.
I recall one time, when an earthquake hit our area, we were outside, looking out across a field as it sort of rippled with large ripples. Another earthquake stands out to me more than the others. In that instance, my younger brother, Melvin, was sleeping in the top bunk when the quake hit, and was tossed to the floor. I do not believe that he ever forgot that one either.
These quakes were really nothing compared to one, in recent years, which convinced a nephew of mine to leave Coalinga, CA, and return to the Santa Maria, CA area, closer to the coast. Or consider the one, just a few short years ago, which did so much damage in the San Francisco, CA area. And these do not begin to compare to one which hit Iran about 13 months ago, and killed about 26,000 thousand people. Earthquakes are scary, and make you aware that old "terra firma" is just not all that firm.
The Earth has always been shaken by earthquakes, because its crust rests upon a molten, unstable, core. Their frequency and magnitude has varied greatly over the millennia, which is evidenced by vast and lofty mountain ranges, such as the Himalayas, the Alps, and the Great Rocky Mountains. We also have rifts in the ocean floor which are thousands of feet deep. About forty-three hundred years ago there was such a great quake that the vast floor of the ocean was fractured in many places. And all the fountains of the great deep were broken up; causing tremendous flooding all over world.
The Creator has warned us ahead of time that, as we approach the end of this sixth millennium (that would be about the beginning of Autumn, 2011) since the creation of Adam, there "shall be great earthquakes in divers places. - The sea and waves roaring. When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:11,25,28).
Just a month ago, on December 26, 2004, we had a great earthquake in the ocean which caused exactly that result. On January 20th, it was reported that those huge, and incredibly rapidly moving, waves had taken the lives of more than 221,100 people.
Some of those earthquakes, of which Jesus prophesied, will emphatically mark great events in the development of God's prophetic work among His people. There are three prominent ones mentioned in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which take place before we are "caught up to meet the Lord in the air." The first of them, in Rev. 11:7-13, will occur immediately after the Spirit of Life from God causes the two anointed ones to stand upon their feet, and they ascend up to heaven in a cloud. John said, "And that same hour was there a great earthquake, - and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."
The comments concerning this earthquake agree with Luke, that it happens while there is yet a remnant (as in Rev. 12:17) of Christians who will be caused to fear, but who will also "give glory to the God of Heaven." This cannot be the sinners of this world, because they not will repent to give Him glory. It is evident then that the two witnesses prophesy, are killed, and are raised from the dead before we are "caught up - to meet the Lord in the air." That is the end of the second woe, "and behold the third woe cometh quickly."
In Rev. 11:15-19, we are told that, at that time, the seventh, and last, special messenger will trumpet his message. Great voices in heaven shall make the announcement of God giving the kingdoms of this world to Jesus. The righteous shall worship God, the nations will be angry (Rev. 12:17), and the wrath of God will begin to be poured out upon a disobedient and idolatrous Christianity. And there shall be lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail (1 Peter 4:17,18,19). And at the end of the ministry of the seventh trumpet blower, the righteous dead will be raised and judged.
The 5 foolish virgins must be judged before the advent of the resurrection of the dead: they must be punished by the persecution carried out by the Beast with his ten horns; as Solomon said in Prov. 22:3, "A prudent man seeth the trouble coming and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." Rev. 20:1-4 deals with another aspect, the martyrdom of some righteous and wise men of God, but it gives evidence to the fact of this persecution being before the resurrection. He said, "And I saw thrones, and judgment was given unto them, and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
In the process of the pouring out of the wrath of the beast with ten horns, idolatrous Christianity which, in Rev. 17:1-6, is called "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH," must be purged from the earth (Rev. 17:12-17). Somewhere during the time of the third woe, the 7th vial must be poured out, and a great voice from the throne will declare, "It is done." "And there (shall be) voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city (shall be) divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations (shall fall): and great Babylon (shall come) in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath."
Yes, we have already come to that prophetic time of which Jesus spoke, saying, "There shall be earthquakes in divers places." And it seems that they are but a precursor to the greatest earthquake in the history of mankind, which is now just a little way further into our future.
I know that the common promotion is that all of this happens after the righteous have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air. However, John continued his narrative of the destruction of this Babylon, saying, "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a Queen, and am no widow, and shall se no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. - Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her."
This greatest earthquake in the history of mankind will surely be one of the last signs, if not the very last, announcing the soon coming of Jesus. Are you ready for His appearing. You know that the Bride must make herself ready.
We saw many great tragedies in the world in 2004. I believe that these are indeed the beginning of the sorrows which precede the appearing of the great God and our Lord Jesus Christ. It is high time for us to arise and prepare ourselves for the spiritual challenge of the brief time which will pass between now and the arrival of our king.