Earthquakes and the New Testament Predictions

Earth cracked by quake in Japan (Danny Choo)


Earthquakes are happening all the time.  So, today perhaps it makes sense to look over many of the scriptures in the New Testament about them, starting with Jesus.

Jesus discussed earthquakes in His Olivet prophecy (a series of prophetic statements He made on the Mount of Olives).

Jesus taught that prior to the great tribulation, during a time called “the beginning of sorrows”, that His followers would notice earthquakes:

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:7-8, NKJV throughout unless otherwise indicated).

8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)

11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11)

Now, these earthquakes happen prior to the start of the Great Tribulation (which is listed as beginning in Matthew 24:21, Mark 13:19, and Luke 21:23). More information on the Great Tribulation and the “beginning of sorrows” can be found in the article Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013?

Notice that in Luke’s account “great earthquakes” are mentioned. Considering the death toll from Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake in 2010, it would seem that Jesus may have considered that earthquakes of that magnitude (or perhaps even a bit smaller) were great earthquakes (the USGS definition standards on classification are a relatively recent development).

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there was an earthquake when Jesus was crucified (Matthew 27:54), plus the Bible records that there was a great earthquake that removed the stone from His tomb (Matthew 28:2) and another one that freed Paul and Silas from prison (Acts 16:26).

What Does the Book of Revelation Teach About Earthquakes?

Jesus also taught more about earthquakes throughout the Book of Revelation (also known as the Book of the Apocalypse). One aspect of them in Revelation is that the term for earthquake is always singular in it, as opposed to the plural term for earthquakes that were associated with the beginning of sorrows that Jesus referred to during His Mount of Olives discourse.

Here is the first time an earthquake is mentioned in Revelation:

5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:5)

This particular earthquake happens after the great tribulation began and is just prior to the start of the day of the Lord. Many people consider that when the earth quakes, it may be apocalyptic.

The next mentioned earthquake may be the second to last sequentially:

11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:11-13)

The above earthquake happens the same hour that the two witnesses are raised by God. It seems to be a localized quake and this occurs near the end of the “Day of the Lord” (which is also discussed in the article Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013?). More on the two witnesses can be found in the article Who Are The Two Witnesses?

The next mentioned earthquake may be the last sequentially:

19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19)

Because there was an earthquake during the crucifixion which coincided with a local resurrection, it may be that this earthquake will coincide with the resurrection of Christians, called the first resurrection in Revelation 20:5.

Does the Bible Predict the Big One? An Earthquake Bigger than Geologists Think Possible?

Does the Bible Predict the big one, an earthquake bigger than most geologists think possible?

Well, living in California, we often hear the idea that the “big one” an enormous earthquake will some day take place. In March 2011, when I saw “experts” discussing this, they indicated that it was not possible to have an earthquake along the San Andreas fault greater than about an 7.5-8.5 magnitude because of how the fault is laid out.

And while some in California might find that a little reassuring, the Bible speaks of a bigger earthquake ultimately coming. And California may have one or more “big ones” before this happens.

The real big earthquake in biblical prophecy is the following one:

18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Revelation 16:18-20)

Notice that the above earthquake is so big that the cities of the nations will fall. Mountains will be leveled and islands “fled away” (more on this can be found in the article Islands and Bible Prophecy). This seems to be the biggest earthquake that will ever hit the planet with humans on it.

It will be bigger than what the usual “experts” have believed was possible. It will change the planet and humble parts of humanity.

It should be noted since that apparently biggest of all earthquakes seems to take place near the end of the Day of the Lord, it probably cannot happen prior to 2018 (for more on why as well as dates, please see the articles Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? and Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

These are troubling times and repentance is needed now–do not wait for more earthquakes to do so.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Earthquakes Today and Bible Prophecy This article has cool update of the latest earthquakes from USGS sources. It also explains what Jesus taught about earthquakes. It also show how the Bible describe “the big one”?
Are You Saved?
Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? What is “the beginning of sorrows”? Have we begun or are we about ready for “the beginning of sorrows” to begin.
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? Are there Mayan calendar predictions for change in 2012? Changes were centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans. Do Mayan/Hindu/Hopi/Buddhist/New Age/Nostradamus prophecies have any value here? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012? How might Barack Obama be involved in 2012?
2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect This is a link related to a book by Bob Thiel (COGwriter). This link also has YouTube videos. This book documents and explains hundreds of prophecies. And since it was published, world events have aligned with at least 14 predictions in the book and many more will to come to pass.
2012 y el surgimiento de la secta secreta 2012 libro del Dr. Thiel en Español.
2012 und das Auftreten der geheimen Sekte (German Edition) 2012 Buch von Dr. Thiel in deutscher Sprache.
2012 e o Surgimento da Seita Secreta (Portuguese Edition) 2012 livro do Dr. Thiel em Português. Este livro documenta e explica centenas de profecias. E desde que foi publicado pela primeira vez, pelo menos 14 já começaram a acontecer.

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