The Final Shaking
Just why did God create an earth that is subject to seismic activity … quakes, tremors and temblors? We touched on this question in Part I. Truly, we can hardly answer this question, given that His ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). We must believe that what He created is “good” (Genesis 1:31). God uses it to communicate with mankind. The shaking of the earth reminds mankind that though he may have dominion over the earth, he is mortal (“[…] as grass” Psalm 103:15). Whatever the achievements of mankind, God is to be revered and honored.
However, mankind’s proclivity is to build better and bigger without God. What God may destroy, man will strive to repair. Even more, mankind will defiantly undertake to supersede and build better and higher. We are shown the rebellious spirit of man in the Old Testament.
For example: “[…] Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—who say with pride and arrogance of heart, The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars” (Isaiah 9:9-10). They defy the judgments of God. Not only that, they will rebuild “better.”
Edom betrays the same spirit: “Edom may say, ‘Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.’ But this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD’” (Malachi 1:4).
Just as God had to intervene in the days of Nimrod’s Tower of Babel, so God will intervene once again. To recall, God sought to frustrate the great technological achievements of man of that time (actually, even concerned that man might be able to do whatever he sets his mind to). Given the nature of mankind, total tyranny would result in the world.
“The LORD said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other’” (Genesis 11:6-7).
God, of course, can demolish all of the achievements and structures of mankind … including that of the modern 21st century.
What does that have to do with earthquakes?
The Fifth and Biggest of All Time
The last earthquake prophesied to take place in the Bible will be the largest of all time. The Bible describes this event in Revelation 16:18: “Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.”
This fifth and greatest earthquake of all time occurs as part of the seventh bowl (or vial) judgment. It is accompanied by “voices, thunderings, lightnings” and hail (the precipitation being the weight of a talent, which is the equivalent of 25.5 kilograms or 56 pounds).
It most certainly is a global earthquake, as it is said to affect the “islands.” It is the final act of God’s wrath. After this quake, Christ says that “it is done.”
This final and most catastrophic earthquake of all history is therefore a common topic of Old Testament prophets. It coincides with the end of the “day of the Lord” … the final judgment … the smashing of all the capital cities of the nations, including Babylon the Great. Moreover, it ushers in the entrance of the Son of David.
A number of prophets speak of this time. We can only reference a few.
Says Joel: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:14-16).
Haggai also is given a vision of this time:
“And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:22-23).
This last earthquake of judgment, positioned at the very end and at the time of Armageddon, is also confirmed by Isaiah in several Scriptures:
“Therefore the LORD’s anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised. He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily!” (Isaiah 5:25-26, NIV).
Also, “[…] The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again” (Isaiah 24:18-20).
We have hardly exhausted the Day of the Lord prophecies of the Old Testament prophets, not to mention connecting them to the judgment of Babylon the Great. See also these Scriptures: Isaiah 29:6, Haggai 2:6-7, Ezekiel 26:15, 31:16, Zechariah 2:7-9.
Thoughts to Ponder
Why are earthquakes part of the creation? It is a geophysical force not mastered by mankind. Earthquakes continue to remind humans that there are greater powers. Their earthquake proofing is insufficient.
God, contrary to being the accused Supervillain … or a toothless discipliner … also employs earthquakes to bring about His wrath upon earth. Earthquakes are among the judgments that lay low to rubble the cities and world of mankind.
Once all have repented and come to recognize the Messiah, all the rubble will be restored: “For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory” (Psalm 102:16). “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings” (Isaiah 58:12).
Most wonderfully for Israel and the remaining Christians, following all the earthquakes during the period of wrath, one more tremor is prophesied at the end of the Tribulation period. This is a local one, occurring on the Mount of Olives.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4).
This occurs at the time when Israel’s Messiah finally returns. As His feet touch the Mount of Olives, the hill splits in two. Water flows out of the Temple Mount, and the new Millennial period begins (Revelation 22:1).
One last shaking is prophesied … this being the 5th and final earthquake of Revelation.
Apostle Paul puts it into context for believers. “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:25-27).
We, by contrast, have received gifts from Jesus Christ that cannot be shaken. Again, quoting Apostle Paul: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
About the Author: Wilfred J. Hahn is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst, research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial Crisis. His newest book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further into the future.