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Subject: EARTHQUAKES AND THE BIBLE
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oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:16am
EARTHQUAKES AND THE BIBLE

March, 1995

Californians prefer to ignore the ever-present threat of earthquakes in spite of periodic real life shake-ups and numerous dire warnings from the experts. The January '94 Richter Magnitude 6.8 Northridge quake occurring on a hitherto unknown thrust fault North of Los Angeles sent Bay Area geologists scrambling to revise their predictions. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:17am
Probability of a major earthquake (magnitude 7.0+) in the next 3 decades in the San Francisco area, they said a month later, was now raised from 67 to 90%. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:17am
No part of the world is totally immune from great earthquakes, as can be seen from a global map of earthquake occurrences. Most temblors are concentrated on the continental plate boundaries---the ring of fire around the Pacific Rim or the African Rift zone running from the heart of Africa through the Red Sea, Dead Sea and Jordan River Valley for example. At least a million earthquakes per year, large and small, release a total energy equivalent to nearly one billion tons of TNT. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:18am
Although this may seem to be a large amount of energy, heat flow from radioactive decay in the earth's crust is 1000 times greater. Energy released by earthquakes per year is only 10% of all energy used by man; heat from the sun which reaches the earth amounts to 5 million times more energy than is released in earthquakes. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:19am
There is no scientific evidence (as far as I know) that the number of earthquakes per year is increasing, contrary to the claims of some Bible prophecy teachers who seem to be misinterpreting passages in the Olivet Discourse of Jesus such as Matthew 24:7. There is more instrumentation to record earthquakes around the world in place today compared to former times, of course. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:19am
Increases in world population mean that the impact of earthquakes on people has become greater. (See Addendum). *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:20am
Earthquakes are confined to the earth's crust. Most occur within 40 miles of the surface though a few extend ten times deeper. Stress accumulates gradually as the continental plates move and mountains shift and this is relieved periodically through gradual creep---or sudden jolts. Although some wish it were otherwise, California is not likely to drop off into the sea from a major earthquakes---the main faults move mostly sideways or at shallow angles, rather than vertically. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:22am
. Earthquake magnitudes are usually quote using the Richter Magnitude scale.* One unit on the Richter scale is a ten-fold amplitude increase in the earthquake vibrations, however this translates into a hundred-fold increase in energy released. A magnitude 4.5 quake releases typically the energy equivalent of 100 tons of TNT, a 5.5 quake, 10 kilotons, a 6.5 event, one megaton, and a 7.5 quake, of the order of 100 Mt. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:22am
Of course the degree of damage from an earthquake depends to a large degree on geological conditions, building construction standards, traffic conditions, duration of the shaking, and distance to the epicenter. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:23am
The Promised Land, in the providence of God, lies immediately adjacent to the African Rift Zone, the deepest known break in the earth's crust. A number of important quakes are mentioned in the Bible and many Holy Land earthquakes are known from secular history. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:23am
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah at the Southeastern s s of the Dead Sea in the time of Abraham about 1900 BC is vividly described in Genesis 19. Archaeological research suggests that a great earthquake opened the rift zone releasing brimstone (sulfur?) and volatile petroleum gases which caused a terrible firestorm. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:23am
Archaeological evidence suggests that the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash king of Israel (Amos 1:1)---sometime between 749 to 760-may have had a magnitude greater than 7.0, possibly even 8.0 or higher. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:24am
Elijah experienced an earthquake at Mt. b (1 Kings 19:11) though he was not in Israel, but 300 miles South of Mt. Carmel in the Sinai wilderness at the time. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:25am
The fall of Jericho in 1400 BC was probably associated with a double earthquake. As the people of Israel crossed the Jordan River to enter the land under the leadership of Joshua, a earthquake-produced landslide at the town of Adam (15 miles to the North) probably dammed the Jordan. A short while later God conveniently seems to have arranged a second tremor, or an aftershock, at just the right time to topple Jericho's impregnable walls (Joshua 6). *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:25am
Historically known quakes have dammed the Jordan River repeatedly, sometimes for several days---in 1160 AD, 1267, 1534, 1834, 1906 and 1927. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:26am
Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, bears unmistakable evidence of major earthquake destruction in 31 BC during the reign of Herod the Great. Josephus records the death of 10,000 persons in that earthquake. Bet Shean, one of the major Roman cities known in the time of Jesus as the Decapolis, suffered major damage in 363 and in 749 AD. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:27am
Masada's buildings fell down not from warfare during the Jewish Uprising, but from an earthquake which came not long after the long Roman siege of 70-73 AD. That siege ended in the suicide deaths of 960 valiant Jewish zealots. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:27am
Jerusalem suffered a severe earthquake January 15, 1546: the Dome on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was completely destroyed as were many other buildings. The Dome of the Rock was seriously damaged. Another major quake affecting the Holy City occurred in 1927-photos of churches and hospitals damaged at the time are still extant. The epicenter was in Nablus 30 miles North. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:27am
The magnitude of a number of earthquakes in Israel is fairly well known: *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:28am
YEAR - Magnitude of Quake. 1927 AD - 6.4;1834 - 6.6; 1759 - 6.5; 1546 - 6.7; 1293 - 6.4; 1202 - 7.2; 1068 - 6.2; 1033 - 6.5; 749 - 6.6; 658 - 6.2; 363 - 7.0; 32 AD - ?; 31 BC - 6.4; 64 BC - ? *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:28am
These known earthquakes have produced a total displacement of the Arabian and African Plates of the order of only 3 to 4 meters. Based on plate movements observed elsewhere around the world, 2000 years of history should have produced a displacement of about 14 meters. This is equivalent to 64 quakes of magnitude 6.8, or 16 of magnitude 7.3, or 4 of 7.7 or 1 of magnitude 8.0. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:29am
Therefore it would appear that one or more earthquakes prior to 64 BC was a very large event of magnitude 7 or 8. The large amount of unrelieved stress (~10 meters) along the African Rift zone today also implies a major earthquake is long overdue in the Holy Land as well as in California. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:29am
Scripture is clear that God fully controls nature, through the rule of certain angels (Hebrews 2:5). There are no accidents in His universe. When Jesus died on the cross, the end of his life was punctuated by a severe earthquake on April 11, 32 AD, (Ref 4) following a strange three-hour darkness covering the land, *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:30am
...Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:30am
When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, 'Truly this was the Son of God!' (Matthew 27:50-54) *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:30am
A second great earthquake occurred on Easter morning according to Matthew 28:2 at the time of the resurrection. Evidently these two earthquakes have not yet been noted in any archaeological site damage thus far excavated. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:31am
Another providential earthquake recorded in the Bible was the Lord's means of releasing Paul and Silas from jail in Philippi. The terrified jailer and his family fled for refuge not out of the city, but into the kingdom of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, (Acts 16:11-40). *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:31am
The giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai was accompanied by a frightening earthquake (Exodus 19:16-18). Earthquakes symbolize judgment not grace---so it is not surprising that great world-wide earthquakes will characterize the end of the age in which we live. This is indicated by the imagery of Revelations 4:5 (the rainbow is the corresponding symbol of grace, Revelations 4:3, Genesis 9:11-17). *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:31am
The writer of Hebrews quoting Haggai 2:6,7 tells us that the coming shaking of creation will affect not only the earth but also the heavenly places and the host of heaven, i.e., the angels, *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:32am
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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:32am
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 12:25-29) *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:33am
There can be no doubt (according to the Bible) that severe world-wide earthquakes will break out during the approaching great tribulation period. A major earthquake in the end-time is mentioned in Revelations 6:12, at the opening of the Sixth seal. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:33am
Since the sun will be darkened and the full moon become like blood, and the stars will fall from heaven it seems that this earthquake may be associated with some cataclysmic disturbance such as the near approach of some previously undetected object from space. Isaiah predicted this event, *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:34am
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, *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:34am
and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. (Isaiah 2:19-21, cp. Revelation 6:15-17) *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:35am
Bible scholars are divided as to the timing of the Northern invasion of Israel. Some see this as occurring prior to the rapture, others place this event in the first half of the tribulation period. Those scholars who prefer to view the coming invasion of Gog and Magog as part of the campaign of Armageddon (also Joel 2, Isaiah 24 and Daniel 11) call attention to the great earthquake described by Ezekiel, *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:35am
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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:36am
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) *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:36am
The third group of scholars, just referred to, place this earthquake as identical with one of the events described in Revelation 8:5, 11:19 (compare Luke 21:25-27) or 16:18. 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 seem to be closely linked or could possibly be a single event. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:36am
Revelation 16 adds further information about this greatest-of-all earthquakes which follows immediately after the martyrdom of God's two witnesses on the Temple Mount: *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:37am
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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:37am
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). *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:38am
Not only is Jerusalem severely shaken at this time but the cities of the nations also. Evidently the topography of Eretz Israel will be drastically altered at this time as well. Islands flee away and mountains disappear , apparently around the globe. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:38am
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. A known East-West earthquake fault transects the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem. 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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:39am
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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:39am
...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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:39am
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. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:40am
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) *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:40am
Haggai's words quoted in Hebrews 12 were written originally to encourage the remnant of the Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon to build the Second Temple. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:41am
Old timers who remembered the Temple of Solomon were discouraged at their modest capabilities to build a temple worthy of the Lord. In challenging them to continue, Haggai spoke prophetically of two distant, future events. First, the Second Temple (enlarged by Herod) would in fact be visited by the Messiah. Yeshua indeed brought the glory of God into God's house, a glory much greater than the gold and silver of Solomon. *

oubaas 2.03.10 - 11:41am
Haggai's word also looks ahead to a final temple during Messiah's rule from Jerusalem. The coming of Messiah will be ushered in by a great shaking of all creation: *

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