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April 05, 2011
Bible students have long studied and debated about the signs Jesus said would happen before He returns. Many of those signs have happened throughout history but never have they happened on such a scale as they are today.
I do not want to do a study on all of the signs in this article but just one sign - Great Earthquakes. In Luke 21:11 we read, "11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places,". This is just one of several signs that Jesus referred to.
Some of the data here has been taken from Hal Lindsey's research and reported on his show The Hal Lindsey Report. Other data comes from my own research.
Jesus talked about great earthquakes that would hit the planet and they would strike in diverse places. All of the largest earthquakes that have occurred since 1900 were close to or began in the Pacific Ocean.
The 9.0 earthquake that recently hit Japan occurred in the Pacific Ocean. Not only was that earthquake the largest one to ever hit Japan, it was the fourth largest one in recorded history.
What is the difference between a major earthquake and a great earthquake?
A major earthquake is between 7.0 and 7.9 on the Richter scale. A great earthquake is 8.0 and above on the Richter scale. The earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 which took so many lives and damaged so much property was a 7.0 magnitude quake. The Haitian structures were not built to withstand quakes mostly because this country is a very poor nation thus the resulting devastation. The earthquake that hit Japan this year was a 9.0 quake. This quake was 5,000 times more powerful than the one that hit Haiti yet the destruction in Japan was not nearly as bad until the resulting tsunami hit. The structures in Japan were built to withstand quakes and even the nuclear power plants held their ground. The tsunami changed everything.
From a prophetic point of view, Israel becoming a nation in 1948 was the most important event to happen since Jesus ascended into heaven. This event marked the beginning of the final years of what scripture calls the "end times" or "last days". These terms simply refer to the last days of Satan's rule over mankind and heralding the beginning of the rule of Jesus Christ.
If great earthquakes were to herald the ushering in of the Millennial kingdom, would it not stand to reason that great earthquakes would increase as we got closer to the return of Christ especially if the establishment of Israel in 1948 was the starting point for last day events?
The USGS website states that a earthquake of 9.0 occurs about every 20 years. Earth has had 2 since 2004. The one that hit Japan this year and one that hit off the coast of Northern Sumatra in 2004 which was a 9.1 quake. There have been 5 quakes of magnitude 9.0 since Israel was reborn. There were no quakes of that magnitude from 1900 to that date and I could find only 2 in the rest of world history at the USGS website but man did not have the equipment and the resources to measure quakes in the past.
From 1948 to 2011 there have been five 9.0 or higher magnitude earthquakes. From 1900 to 1948 there were none. Of the 16 largest earthquakes to hit the world since 1900, 12 of them have occurred since 1948 and 5 of those 12 have occurred since 2004. There is no question great earthquakes are happening with more frequency.
In the Bible, a great earthquake has been associated with supernatural biblical events:
And, behold , there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Matt 28:2
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken : and immediately all the doors were opened , and every one's bands were loosed . Act 16:26
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo , there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; Revelation 6:12
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. Revelation 11:13
18 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. 19 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 the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. Revelation 16
For the most part, great earthquakes are judgments from God or a warning to the people of the planet that life is very short and the most important question a person must ask himself, "Am I ready for eternity?"
Copyright 2011 by Gary Goodworth
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