Apologetics, End times
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US Geological Survey warns of the big ONE — a great earthquake


Tent city in Haiti after 2011 "Great" earthquake. Photo: United Nations/Foter

Tent city in Haiti after 2011 earthquake. Photo: United Nations/Foter

[by Dean Smith] In a recent report, the US Geological Survey (USGS) warns the chances of a great earthquake in California has increased by nearly 50%. Based on their analysis of geological faults, the USGS states the chances of a “great” earthquake of 8.0 or greater in the next 30 years has increased from 4.7% to 7%.

Tom Jordan, Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, states that the pressure on the tectonic plates that make up the San Andreas Fault is building increasing the likelihood of a massive quake. It is likened to increasing pressure on a spring that will at one point be released.

Aside from a great earthquake, there is a 99% chance of an earthquake of 6.7 or higher over the next 30 years.

There is a ranking system for earthquakes (1 t0 9) called the Richter scale. According to the scale, anything 8.0 and above is classified as “great” earthquake. In comparison an earthquake of 7.0 is rated as a “major” earthquake.

  • At 6.0 on the Richter scale, walls can collapse. Fireplaces are particularly vulnerable and damage can range from moderate to heavy depending on building quality.
  • At 7.0 all buildings will suffer major damage and there will be cracks in the ground.
  • At 8.0 buildings destroyed or heavily damage including earthquake resistant buildings.
  • At 9 near or total destruction. Buildings collapse. Damage extends out for miles from the epicenter.

In Luke 21:10, Jesus spoke of earthquakes in the end times. He said:

“Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:10-11 NASV)

He describes them as “great” earthquakes. The Greek word is “megas” and refers to large in both size and intensity. Notice the plural, meaning there will be many and Jesus adds that they will occur in various places around the world.

And that is exactly what has happened over the past few years. There have been many earthquakes causing devastation and loss of life, including:

Earthquakes in the Book of Revelation

In his vision of the end times recorded in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John spoke of earthquakes. It mentions seven earthquakes and considering the Bible only speaks of 16 earthquakes in total, it is significant that one book has nearly half the citations. It is obvious earthquakes will characterize the end times.

One is mentioned in Revelation 6 that will mark the opening of the sixth seal.

 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. (Revelation 6:12-13 NASV)

Revelation 16 describes another earthquake that will be the greatest ever recorded on earth. It will occur after the unleashing of the seventh bowl of wrath.

 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. (Revelation 16:18 NASV)

John saw another unusual earthquake (Revelation 11), where he gives more detail on its devastation. John says 7,000 people will be killed and nearly a tenth of the city destroyed. However, as result of this earthquake there will be a move of God and many people will turn to Christ.

13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13 NASV)

There is no mention of where these earthquakes will take place.

David Wilkerson’s vision of a Great US earthquake

Though the members of the US Geological Survey are predicting a “great” earthquake along the west coast of the US, David Wilkerson, now deceased, wasn’t so sure. During the 1970s, he was a well-known evangelist and pastor.

In 1974, Wilkerson released a book called The Vision which provided a written record, as its name suggests, of a vision Wilkerson received. In that vision he saw the United States being hit by a massive earthquake that would cause television stations to cancel regular scheduling for days to televise the event.

Wilkerson noted two things. First he didn’t believe the earthquake would occur on the west coast but somewhere else in the US, less known for its earthquake activity. He also believed the US earthquake would be preceded by an earthquake in Japan. It may or may not be a coincidence but David Wilkerson died, age 79, in a car accident on April 27, 2011, six weeks after the Japanese earthquake.

Click here if you would like to read what Wilkerson had to say about the US earthquake.

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