February 11, 2023 - A. V. Rauf
Earthquakes and the Harpazo
Luke 21:11: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Mark 13:8: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
As we are now two months not the year 2023 A.D., why are earthquakes and volcanic activity on the rise? The Bible speaks of “earthquakes in various places” at the end of the age. As of late, most of the of the earth’s tectonic plates as well as the major and minor faults around the entire globe have been extremely active.
Just this past week a massive earthquake measured at 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred in south-central Turkey near the border with Syria followed by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake the following day. It was the single most powerful quake in the entire Middle East since at least 1939.
The earthquake was so massive that it is being reported that a large portion of Turkey moved as much as 10 feet westward! Not only that, but the entire region has experienced several thousand aftershocks. The aftershocks were the catalyst for many of the buildings collapsing. As of today, the total estimated casualties is nearing 50,000. Our prayers go out to the regions and the people that have been affected by this tragedy.
You see, it’s one thing if an earthquake takes place in the North Pole or Alaska or even Antartica. But when you begin to see a series of seismic activity that take place near the HOLY LAND, take notice!!!
Now if one were to look deeper into the matter from a Biblical (or shall I say eschatological) vantage point you will discover that this seismic activity was not just felt in Turkey………The earthquake was also felt in: Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Lebanon, most of Israel and Jordan, and parts of Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Even in Israel it was reported that not one, not to but three, three earthquakes have occurred from the Golan Heights area in the north to Eilat in the south. Many of the above mentioned regions are mentioned in the Bible !!!
As a matter of fact, seismic activity has picked up tremendously in the Holy Land as 30 more earthquakes have been registered according to the Geological Survey of Israel and continued aftershocks have occurred, are occurring and will continue to occur in this region :
It is very likely that the earthquakes that took place last week, specifically, may now have put into motion tectonic activity leading up to the bigger ones to come, as prophesied in Bible.
I believe that the Early Church and the Church in the last days will have many characteristics in common. In Matthew 24, Jesus stated the Gospel of the Kingdom would be preached unto all nations as a witness just like the Apostles took the Gospel throughout the known world which in that time was mainly the Roman Empire in constituency. There was an uptick in seismic and volcanic activity and this same phenomenon will be recapitulated prior to return of the LORD.
Timing is everything. That being said, I am convinced that is this is all in conjunction with the nearness of the Return of the LORD and a prelude to the coming SEAL/TRUMPET/BOWL judgments as listed in the Book of Revelation.
In addition, in Matthew 24, Christ told His disciples of the signs that would precede His Second Coming. In verse 7, He stated, “and there shall be…earthquakes, in diverse places.”
This meant earthquakes would take place in various places—scattered throughout the world—and would increase in frequency as the time of His Return drew near. Let me also add that not only can the earth tremble and quake at God’s presence, but volcanoes erupt as well.
Nahum 1:5—The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
Had earthquakes been as prolific throughout history as they are today, then they would not indicate that the end of the age was near. They are much more common now than at any other time in the history of the world.
An earthquake played a prominent role at Jesus’ Crucifixion:
Matthew 27:50-54—Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
In similar fashion yet another earthquake took place at the resurrection of Jesus Christ 3 days later:
Matthew 28:1-6—In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. 2 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. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
There was an earthquake at the death of Jesus Christ. There was an earthquake at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I for one, am of the impression that there will most likely be seismic activity of gargantuan proportions when the Dead in Christ (many whom are buried underground) are resurrected at the Rapture of the Church. Interesting speculation Indeed!!!!
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17—For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Interestingly enough, a major earthquake will accompany the very return of the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming when the Mud of Olives will be split in two as Jesus sets foot back on this earth:
Zechariah 14:4-9—-Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 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.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.
The book of Revelation foretells FIVE specific powerful earthquakes preceding and surrounding Christ’s Return. Each is unique, and occurs at a particular juncture of God’s final prophetic timeline. Let’s take a look at ONE of them:
In Chapter 11 of the Book of Revelation you notice a major earthquake that takes place during the seven year tribulation period AFTER the Church is caught up and this involves the two prophets and their ministry as well as the Anti-Christ:
Revelation 11:3-13—And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.13 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.
You will notice that the two Witnesses of God (whom any Bible scholars state will be Elijah and either Moses or Enoch) perform their ministry and prophesy for 42 months, or 3 1/2 years.At the conclusion of their ministry they are overcome and killed by Antichrist who is indwelt by the beast from the pit aka Abaddon/Apollyon. They lie dead on the street in Jerusalem for three and one-half days when the Spirit of God resurrects both of the Two Witnesses and they are harpazoed or raptured into heaven with the command “Come up hither” ….The same phrase mentioned in Revelation 4 when the Church is harpazoed or raptured into Heaven (Revelation 4:1–After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither….)
So, when the two witnesses are caught up, the resulting earthquake occurs in Jerusalem decimating ten percent of the city and killing seven thousand residents.
Now, In the Old Testament, many of God’s prophets spoke about earthquakes, especially the final, greatest one preceding Christ’s Return.
Isaiah 13:13: “I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.”
Isaiah 24:19-20: “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage…”
Ezekiel 38:20: “…all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.”
Joel 3:16: “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake …”
Haggai 2:6-7: “For thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations [Jesus Christ] shall come…”
God very soon will involve Himself in the affairs of this world in a way He has never done before. Earthquakes and volcanoes will play a major role in what is coming…………….
Romans 8:19-23—For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
1 John 3:1-3—1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
As fearful and destructive as they may appear to be, God in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty will use earthquakes to reshape the earth’s surface, in preparation for the greatest time of peace and abundance that mankind has ever experienced.
This indeed is a time that the whole world can truly look forward to. And it is here! The shaking has already begun.