“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERSE PLACES (capitals mine). All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
When Jesus was asked on the Mount of Olives by His disciples what signs would point to His imminent return and the fulfillment of all Biblical prophecies, He gave them a number of very specific things to be looking for. As I outlined in a previous post, one of those was regarding wars, where Jesus DID say we would have “…wars and rumors of wars.” Another example He cited would be the occurrence of earthquakes IN DIVERSE PLACES. But what did He mean by this? The earth has experienced many earthquakes throughout recorded history. How could we discern that earthquakes would signify the soon Coming of Jesus? They are not uncommon! But, do you know what else the Bible says?
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: and many shall run to and fro, and KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED (capitals mine).”
Could it be that while earthquakes have always been here, it could actually be today’s knowledge of the location, intensity and frequency of them which has increased, therefore making us more aware of what the Bible said? History, as recorded repeatedly in the Bible and throughout other secular recordings, has pointed to many, many earthquakes in our written and oral history. Geological proof of earthquakes, as well as the damage they have caused is replete with many examples, so many that what Jesus could have been telling His disciples could indicate there must be a DIFFERENCE in the earthquakes which had happened and those that would be coming. Either there would be bigger earthquakes. Or more earthquakes. Or, we are now aware of them in a way we never had been before. Or, ALL of these?
Earthquakes occurring are by themselves not indicative OF His soon return. As He said in Matthew 24:6, “…for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet”, and in Matthew 24:8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” In fact, there are numerous examples of God’s Judgement on a sinful world through the occurrence of earthquakes. All one must do is enter “earthquakes” in the Search bar on any Bible app and a number of examples will be given. I find it interesting that in Revelation 16:18 John actually describes the coming LAST and GREATEST earthquake in the history of the world:
“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightenings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty and earthquake, and so great. And the great city (Jerusalem) was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine and fierceness of his wrath.”
Rather, as has been said in numerous places in the Bible, the Last Days would come as a “…woman in travail.” What does that mean? Having been there when my wife delivered our three children I believe I can personally attest to God’s meaning of a “…woman in travail.” When a pregnant woman is about to deliver, she starts having labor pains. At first these pains are mild and distant from each other. As the child gets closer to being born, the pains become more intense and more frequent. And then, the baby is born! I believe the analogy here is that in the Last Days prior to Christ’s Return, the things He told the disciples about would become more intense and more frequent ONLY when it was closer to His Return. When He said we would see “…wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence AND earthquakes”, I believe He was saying when we SAW these become more frequent, intense and happening closer together, especially when ALL of these things are increasing AT THE SAME TIME, we are getting closer to His soon Return!
Now I know many skeptics will say “How can you compare earthquakes today to all of history when the technology didn’t even exist 1,000, 500 or 100 years ago to give us the scientific record we would need to validate Jesus’s claims?” After all, instruments for detecting and measuring earthquakes are relatively new. The Richter Scale didn’t even exist until 1935, and most seismographs at that time could not even detect any earthquakes under a magnitude of about 3.0. And candidly, in doing the research for this post, I found many examples on Google from non-Christian, “scientific” groups trying to disprove what Jesus said would happen in their attempt to “deceive” the true believers into not believing the number of earthquakes are actually increasing. One example is how they do not even count the multiple aftershocks from one earthquake since they should not be counted as different from the original earthquake! Guess what? If you are hit with a 6.0 earthquake and then a week later are hit by a 5.7 earthquake in the same area, those are TWO earthquakes, not one!
But let’s take a different point of view. What if we look only at modern data from the last one hundred years? And what if we look only at earthquakes registering a magnitude of 8.0 or greater? This will give us a much more accurate picture. Why? Because most instrumentation from this time period could now detect an earthquake of such enormity and its frequency AND location.This eliminates all the small quakes detected by better science in more recent times. And even though the sample time is still small (only about 120 years), it should give us enough data to recognize a recent, exponential trend. If these are the times Jesus told us to look for, we should expect to see an increase in the frequency (number) and intensity (magnitude) of earthquakes. Of course, with today’s internet, 24 hour news coverage and instantaneous ability to communicate, our knowledge of ALL global earthquakes is at a level never before seen in the history of the world. Did people 1,000 years ago living in England know about earthquakes in Indonesia or California?
So, is this increase in frequency and intensity what we are seeing today? Yes. It is! I recently read an article in Christ in Prophecy which gave the following statistics:
The Increasing Frequency of High Intensity Earthquakes
According to the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) composite catalog, recent years have seen a marked increase in the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or greater:
1900’s – 3 earthquakes
1910’s – 0 earthquakes
1920’s – 1 earthquake
1930’s – 1 earthquake
1940’s – 1 earthquake
1950’s – 1 earthquake
1960’s – 3 earthquakes
1970’s – 2 earthquakes
1980’s – 3 earthquakes
1990’s – 7 earthquakes
2000’s – 13 earthquakes
2010’s – 8 earthquakes so far
The 20th Century (1900-1999) witnessed 22 earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or greater, but already the 21st Century (2000-2018 YTD) has seen 21 such earthquakes. If that pace continues, we’ll see 116 earthquakes of 8.0 magnitude or greater by the end of this century! That would be an increase of over 500%!!!
Jesus Himself said, “When all these things begin to happen, look up for your salvation is near!” – Luke 21:28. These things are happening today! Some, as I stated about my Google search, will try to deceive you and tell you there really has been no change in the frequency and intensity of earthquakes throughout history. I believe there is ample evidence to say there has been, but even if Jesus was only referring to our knowledge about earthquakes being increased, the fact is, we are living in the time when we are now seeing things NEVER before seen. And amazingly, Jesus said say:
“Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL (capitals mine) these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Like so many other signs Jesus and the prophecies of the Bible have given us concerning what to be looking for in the Last Days, I believe an increase in the absolute number of earthquakes; the intensity of those earthquakes; and, our knowledge of this fulfillment around the entire world within minutes is a sure sign of His soon return. We can look at the news of these devastating events and let it concern us, or we can and should be comforted in the foreknowledge of what has been told us to look for, and to share His Words with all so that we may “…therefore, comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless you!