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SO WHAT ABOUT EARTHQUAKES?
The revelation in this article comes from the Holy Spirit as He directed me into the Bible. This article is not a prophetic word about earthquakes. God has shown me that the Bible speaks for itself as to the actions of God and forms a paradigm based on His revelation not our opinions. May God’s Kingdom further come forth through this article. Jesus, You are worthy of all our praise! You are King of the nations!
This is a question that has been asked by mankind for centuries of time. There are
many disasters which have affected mankind that leave us all asking questions such as how, what, and why? The opinions and views are multiplied and filled with contrast, dichotomy, conflict, confusion, and tensions which could be defined all the way from divine to demonic or the simple possibility of a natural event. That is quite a spectrum to cover.
I ask you to take a journey with me. It is a journey of a heart that seeks to know God and to understand Him and His Son Jesus and to know the truth that Jesus said would set us free. I love Jesus with everything in me and seek to follow and obey Him each day.
I believe that God has revealed Himself, His purpose, and destiny to His creation
and that He has given to us the Bible as the record of mankind’s journey with Him. I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and that it reveals in fact the history or the record of the “truth” that sets us free. I trust that God’s Word includes the truth concerning Jesus and that it is complete and accurate in showing every person how to “know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom (He) has sent.” This is “eternal life”. These are Jesus’ words found in John 17:3. I believe the Bible to be God’s inspired word!
Years ago I heard someone say, “The best commentary of scripture is other scripture.”
The Bible in its totality will show the truth concerning each individual passage. Any view can be established by just finding scriptures to substantiate the position. I do not desire to come at this subject in that manner. I really believe, and have experienced it to be true, that “the best commentary of scripture is other scripture.”
Let us begin this journey concerning earthquakes. The year was 1990 and Iran had
just experienced a major earthquake. The news was filled with reporting and with commentary. Fifty thousand people had perished and I was hearing people from various areas of the world, with different philosophical views and diverse religious beliefs, expressing those conflicting, contradictory, and confusing views. I was thinking, “Someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong.” Who was it? If God is God, there is a truth, a right, and a wrong. My heart was hurting for the suffering people, and my mind was seeking after answers.
I asked God, “What is the truth here? How do you see this?” Very clearly I heard
God say, “Go to the concordance and look up earthquakes.” I have used a concordance many times throughout the years to study and find things in God’s word, but only once before had God told me to look up a specific word to find the truth behind it. My life was revolutionized by that instruction, and I felt the tangible presence and blessing of God upon this instruction. I turned to the concordance with great anticipation. I did not know the right answer but my God was leading me because I asked for His insight.
I looked up earthquakes and other related/associated words and was overwhelmed by
what I discovered. Remember, the best commentary of scripture is other scripture. It took considerable time to read all these verses, but the truth I discovered was well worth the effort. God was defining Himself and His actions through the record of His word, not from a dictionary definition with scripture to back up the definition. God was revealing Himself and His ways through the instruction to read all the verses concerning earthquakes.
I discovered two patterns associated with earthquakes. The first pattern is that
every time the earth shook and no one died it was because God was revealing
Himself as the Lord God and was wanting His people to respond to Him in such a
way. He was making Himself known. He shakes everything simply because He is
present. Hallelujah! The second pattern is that every time the earth shook and someone died it was a direct judgment and involvement of God. If the earthquakes and no one dies, God is seeking to reveal Himself and to get the attention of people so that they might worship and obey Him. If the earth quakes and someone dies, God is releasing a judgment on the earth. According to the pattern and revelation from scripture these two truths emerge to bring understanding to the subject. If it is God that holds all things together (Colossians 1:17), then it is only God who can let things come apart. God reminded me that He is God and that His word defines who He is. His record reveals His nature, attributes, and ways.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
The year was 2007 and I was spending time with God praying and reading the word.
Suddenly, I heard the voice of God speaking to me. I love to hear His voice as He teaches me from His word. I learned to hear His voice from His word, and He never contradicts His word. God said, “I want to teach you more about earthquakes.” Wow, I was not asking about them, not concerned about them, and nothing was on the news about them, but My Father wanted to teach me more and lead me into more truth so that the truth could set me free. I am a seeker of truth and I desire to know Jesus in all His fullness and power.
God said, “I want to teach you from two of the most important events in history.” That is a good place to start because it brings you to “truth” in one instant, not through deduction or induction. God was once again defining things for me from His word. I was not defining something and then finding scriptures to back up the definition. I love God for being so direct and open with Himself.
What were these two most important events of history? God continued by saying, “The CRUCIFIXION and the RESURRECTION of my son JESUS!” The following insights and statements from God all exploded in my spirit and mind. In an instant all these thoughts were given to me. I did not have to think through them, but all of a
sudden all the thoughts were complete and understood. Such experiences are always awesome, and this became one of them. I was stunned and wondered how had not seen these things before.
God asked me, “What happened at the time of Jesus’ death?” I saw it and answered
that it was an earthquake. God asked me three questions: “Did I cause this earthquake? Did the devil cause this earthquake? Or was this earthquake simply
a natural event?” The answer is obviously that God caused it, the veil of the temple was torn apart, and the graves were opened. Only God has such authority and power in the earth. (Matthew 27: 50-54).
Faster than I could think came the next question, “What happened at the time of Jesus’ resurrection?” I saw it and answered that it was an earthquake. God asked the
same questions: “Did I cause this earthquake? Did the devil cause this earthquake? Or was this earthquake simply a natural event?” The answer is obviously that God caused it, because scripture is very clear that an angel descended to roll away the stone, an earthquake occurred, the guards were overpowered, and death was conquered. HALLELUJAH! (Matthew 28:2).
Now, faster than I could think came the statement, “One day My son’s feet will again
touch the Mount of Olives and the mountain will split and a valley will open up that will be the largest split that the earth has ever known because the KING AND HIS KINGDOM has now brought a more mature expression of His reign! GOD IS GOD, HIS SON IS KING, and all things are being brought under HIS LORDSHIP!” Again I heard the three questions: “Did I cause this earthquake? Did the devil cause this earthquake? Or, was this earthquake simply a natural event?” The obvious answer is that God caused this earthquake. (Zechariah 14).
Several other earthquakes are recorded in the book of Revelation (6: 12-17; 8: 5; 11:
13-19; 16: 13-21). I heard the same three questions again about who caused these events. These events were judgments without question and were all brought about by the Creator of Heaven and Earth who holds all things by His own hand! I saw that all the earthquakes recorded in the Revelation and Old Testament prophecies are all caused by the God that rules the world.
Next, Paul and Silas were brought before me. While they were singing in prison, an
earthquake set them free. Was it God that worked this wonder and miracle? Was it the devil? Was it that they were just lucky and made the best of a bad situation? Obviously God, by His own hand, in response to the praying believers, set them free, and brought salvation to households. (Acts 16:25-26).
God than reminded me of what Jesus said in Matthew 24: 7-8: “For nation will rise
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” I saw it! All these things are the beginning of birth pangs. God said, “Birth pangs accompany the birthing of something not the death or end of something.” The end of the age is coming, but the KINGDOM is being birthed!
I remembered that all creation is longing and eagerly waiting for the revealing
(manifestation) of the sons of God. I later looked up the verses and this is what they say: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22).
God is bringing forth His people to change the brokenness of the world. All of the end time events are occurring because Jesus and His Kingdom are coming forth to make all things new. Many things happen which are good, and many things happen which are bad. All of God’s events are bringing reconciliation to the brokenness of His creation.
Then I heard God say, “There are natural reasons for earthquakes, so what about the
tectonic plates? How did they come into being?” Immediately, I remembered that when God created all things that His declarations about each decreed and created thing was that it was good. God created all things good, complete, whole, and functioning. There was nothing broken or evil touching God’s world. However, the influence of Lucifer/the serpent/the devil causing Adam and Eve to turn from obedience to God to disobedience caused a curse to be placed upon them, their descendents, and the earth. (Genesis 3). Death, which was never God’s intent for man or creation, entered the world as a direct result of man’s sin/disobedience to his Creator who said: “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17). All of creation groans under this suffering caused by disobedience and the brokenness of God’s creation. Judgment came upon sin and all mankind suffers. Scripture is very clear about this issue.
God’s explanation continued by rushing through my spirit and mind with the reminder of the flood. The earth had never known rain but was watered from a mist that rose up from the earth. Having been placed out of the garden, Adam and Eve now
had to work and sweat to reap from the earth. History records that the earth continued to be filled with violence as the population grew. Sin abounded all the more, and God declared that He would destroy the wicked along with the earth. (Genesis 6-8). God declared a judgment that would purify and allow restoration to occur.
The Bible declares: “…all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” (Genesis 7: 11; 8: 2). I saw it! The judgment of God broke the earth. We call such things tsunamis. We saw the devastation caused just a few years ago from the tectonic plates shifting. Indeed, the great deep burst open! God’s good world, created in order and perfection, was being judged by the hand of God and all of creation began to groan. God was bringing another judgment that altered the created order that would need to be redeemed and restored by Jesus Christ Himself.
All natural things which occur really are as they seem to be. There are natural explanations to every event. Science is the very defining discipline that gives explanation and understanding to these events. Years ago God showed me that behind every natural occurrence is a spiritual dynamic and truth that gives greater understanding to the natural event. Everything that happens in the natural, or here on earth, is a symptom of a higher spiritual reality and truth. “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, so a curse without cause does not come.” (Proverbs 26: 2). This truth helps us understand more on this subject.
From the beginning to the end of the Bible you see God revealing Himself through what He says and through what He does. You see a God who expresses great love, forgiveness, patience, and a God who expresses judgment, accountability, and righteousness defined by Himself through His Holiness that reveals how He is God. He is forever the CREATOR, and we are forever the CREATED. He has made the rules, and mankind is always breaking the rules. Mankind’s disobedience to God is the very cause behind all brokenness of creation.
A LOVE UNDEFINABLE
The love of God is so clear throughout Scripture. The judgment of God is equally clear in Scripture. Nothing is clearer than the love of God poured out to His people throughout history with the greatest expression of His love in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus. Also, nothing is clearer than when God placed Adam and Eve out of the garden and placed a curse upon the earth, destroyed the earth because of sin with the flood, devastated Egypt with natural events all declared by Him in advance to show that He was the greatest of all gods, killed all the firstborn of Egypt because they would not obey His instruction and recognize Him as God, destroyed the army of Pharaoh by drowning them, swallowed up the rebellious through an earthquake that was spoken of which would be a sign to those who were standing against His authority being established through Moses and Aaron, sent plagues because of disobedience, allowed enemies to overrun them, placed them in exile and bondage, struck with blindness people who wanted to sodomize the angels sent to announce the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and did these and many more things because He knows what we do not know and He sees what we do not see. HE IS GOD!
The New Testament examples of God’s righteous judgments are clear and precise from Jesus’ life forward. The greatest and most profound declared judgment was
spoken by Jesus over the Jews because of their rejection of Him as God’s Messiah. He said they were going to be laid desolate and that they would stay in that position until they declared, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 70 A.D., and God’s people were scattered over the earth. They remain desolate to this day as God is fulfilling His word to bring them back into the land. Jesus told the lame man, whom he had healed, to go and sin no more lest something worse would fall upon him. He let the rich young ruler walk away. Elymas was stricken blind because of deceit, fraud, and the fact that he was an enemy of righteousness. Ananias and Sapphira were judged for lying to the Holy Spirit. Herod did not give glory to God, and immediately worms ate him. Peter’s letter stated that
people mocked in Noah’s day when all was destroyed by water and that in his day
people had forgotten that God had judged with water and that now He would judge
with fire. He stated that God did not want any to perish but decreed that perishing was coming.
The book of Revelation is filled with the Kingship of the Lord Jesus, His triumph
over all evil and ending in His Kingdom’s reign. Some of these prophecies have been fulfilled and history records them. These happened in real time in history past. Those still to happen will occur during real time moments that are being lived and will be lived by those on the earth. As these happen, history will record them. God in all His fullness, truth, and justice continues the same.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to is own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6: 7-8) Scripture is the best commentary of scripture.
With fear and trembling,
Dr. Sam Matthews