In Revelation chapters 1, 2 and 3 the Lord addresses seven churches "which are in Asia."
That specific geographical area is the western coast of modern-day Turkey, located north of Israel and Lebanon.
The Middle East is the focal point of End Time prophecy.
In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus Christ mentions "earthquakes" three times in His prophecy of the End Times:
These are verses we all have heard preached over and over again, and with every TV news report of another earthquake somewhere in the world, a preacher somewhere is inspired to preach it as a sure sign that the end is near. The problem is, earthquakes happen all across the Earth every day and the yearly averages of quake activity have remained fairly constant for many decades.
The Earth's crust is divided into about 12 major "plates" which are constantly shifting, producing earthquakes and volcanic activity on every continent.
Click here to see a graphic of the latest Global Earthquake Activity.
The Middle East and the countries on the eastern rim of the Mediterranean basin are situated at a geologic crossroads of tectonic plate boundaries:
The region is crisscrossed by several major fault lines which produce earthquake activity. The arrows on the chart indicate the direction the respective plates are moving in relation to adjoining plates.
Both Turkey and Greece have experienced major quakes in recent times. In fact, geologists have noted recently that the floor of the Mediterranean sea is fracturing like a sheet of glass.
This means that the focal point of tectonic forces is shifting in the region and an increase in activity is approaching.
Much of the intensified major future activity for this region is prophesied to occur along the Dead Sea Transform fault, a continuation of the Red Sea and East African Rift system.
This fault runs directly under the Dead Sea, up through the Jordan River valley, the Sea of Galilee, and northward through Lebanon.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Abraham's day was in the area south of what is presently the Dead Sea.
The Bible's mention of a rain of fire and brimstone from heaven on those wicked cities (See Genesis 19:24 - 29) indicates that the Divine judgment came from sudden volcanic/tectonic activity in a "plain" area which is now the submerged floor of the Dead Sea.
There is evidence that the present configuration of the Dead Sea1)configuration of the Dead Sea is only about as old as the time of Abraham.
In the days of the Garden of Eden there was no Dead Sea in that spot, but a river flowed through the rift zone southwards towards the area that is presently the Red Sea.
Historically speaking, the Dead Sea transform fault has displayed catastrophic tectonic activity in the recent historic past and should be expected to do so again in the near future.
It should be assumed that in addition to increased tectonic activity along the Dead Sea transform, there will also be increased tectonic and volcanic activity across the globe during those times. But for the sake of this study we will focus on the Holy Land.
The Dead Sea fault boundary passes about 25 miles east of Jerusalem which, according to the Bible, will be the epicenter for at least two great future earthquakes, the last of which will be the strongest quake to shake the world since man was created.
The area to be struck by the above prophesied quakes will be very near Jerusalem.2)will be very near Jerusalem It is very likely that in the years preceding the great quakes of the Tribulation, there will be increased earthquake activity and intensity throughout the Middle East and across the world.
Earthquakes however will not be the only geologic activity to occur in Israel between now and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This "Idumea" is a region that in Greco-Roman times was bordered on the east by the Dead Sea and also encompassed Hebron and Beersheba, a large area south of Jerusalem. The word translated "pitch" is a Hebrew word which means "to liquefy" as spoken of asphalt, which liquefies when heated by the sun or any heat source. The reference to "brimstone" indicates volcanic activity and is no doubt connected with activity along the Dead Sea fault.
If taken literally, this passage says that the burning asphalt will flow like streams. Is there asphalt in the land of Idumea? You bet there is! It is a documented geological reality, just as the Bible says:
Footnote: At the end of 1985, OEIL ( later called INOC, Israel National Oil Company-a government owned entity ) suspended all drilling operations in order to carry out a comprehensive basin analysis study over all of Israel. Only limited exploration work continued by private operators, including the drilling of two Jurassic wells in the northwestern part of the Negev which yielded oil shows but no discoveries. INOC recommenced exploration around the Dead Sea area where a large amount of asphalt oil shows encouraged continued exploration without resulting in any commercial discoveries. (Source: History of Oil Exploration in Israel - givot.co.il)
Can a volcano spew asphalt3)volcano spew asphalt instead of lava? Given the right conditions, it happens!
Volcanic activity outside of the immediate Middle-East region could also factor into End-Time Geology and Prophecy.
Could what the prophet described here be the eruption of one of the Earth's "Supervolcanoes" during the Great Tribulation period?
Certainly, as the above verse says, under the scenario of a supervolcano eruption the sun and the air would be darkened globally by the smoke and ash from such a mega volcanic event. Global temperatures would fall, crops would fail, and famines would be triggered. Air traffic would come to a standstill because jets could not fly through the gritty ash plumes ejected high into the sky. Satellite communications would fail in many regions as the atmospheric borne ash blocked out or severely disrupted Ku band communications. Collectively these events would precipitate a melt-down of the global economy and the world would be plunged into utter chaos. Population centers downwind of the supervolcano eruption would be buried under meters of volcanic ash. It would certainly be a hell-on-earth that modern mankind had never experienced, and would be helpless to prevent and sore pressed to deal with on a global scale.
But let's return our focus to the immediate Middle-East and examine another prophecy.
This passage indicates that when the Lord returns, the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem will split and form a valley through which the Jews will escape at the height of the battle of Armageddon.
The world will be so devastated at the time of the Lord's return that the prophet Jeremiah compared it to the condition of the Earth before it was restored in the seven days of Genesis:
It should be pointed out that the above passage has been mistakenly cited by many as a proof passage for the Genesis Gap Doctrine because the phrase "was without form, and void" exactly matches the words to describe the Earth's condition in Genesis 1:2 before the start of the seven days.
That is an error.
The passage above is a reference to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ "...the PRESENCE of the LORD, and by his fierce anger ..." because the Lord is both "present" and "angry," which clearly shows this is a coming future event.
There are also "cities" in ruin during this time, and we know there were no cities built on the earth until after Adam was created. So the time context here is most certainly future, not past.
The specific wording "was without form and void" is instructive for understanding the Genesis Gap however, because it establishes the "first use" rule of that specific phrase.
The rule of "first use" will be explained and discussed in a following chapter.
At the end of the great tribulation period, the condition of the Earth and heavens is one of total devastation, resulting both from the effects of global warfare, geologic upheaval, the great plagues and the great wrath of God poured out on an unbelieving world.
This "new heavens and a new earth" which the Lord will create in the coming future are on the face of a regenerated Earth; an Earth that was left "without form and void" following the terrible events of the great tribulation. The events of this passage correlate to the time of Revelation 20:1, at the beginning of the "thousand years" Kingdom of Heaven on the Earth.
This creation of a new heavens and Earth is not to be confused with the new "heaven and earth" of Revelation 21:1, as that is a separate creative event which happens at the end of the one thousand years.
Proof of this distinction is found within the above passage where it speaks of the "child shall die," which shows that this is a time when death still has a grip on the regenerated world. Death is not finally defeated until the end of the one thousand years (see Revelation 21:14). And the lifespan of people in that millennial reign will be greatly increased.
It should also be noted that in the 1,000-year coming Kingdom, with the Lord Jesus Christ ruling the Earth from His throne at Jerusalem, the newly-created heavens and Earth have been restored to conditions similar to those which existed on the Earth from Adam to Noah.
That is, those born during that time will live long lives, like antediluvian man. We know this because the life spans are described as "the days of a tree" and most trees live a few hundred years.
But now, back to the future again:
At the end of the 1,000-year Kingdom of Heaven on the Earth, the entire universe will be completely destroyed, including the present Earth, the stars, and all physical things. Death will be once and for all done away with and the unsaved consigned to eternal torment. Then God will make a new heaven and Earth (see Revelation 21:1), and will make all things new.
The story will have come full circle. That is the future.
Today we must deal with this present evil world and be prepared to meet God.
In the next chapter we are going to discuss the visions of Daniel and how show you just how close the world is to the brink of end-time prophecy fulfillment.
Original Source: kjvbible.org
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