Updated: Mar 28, 2020
"And I saw an angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those
who live on the earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;
and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory,
because the hour of His judgment has come.” (Rev 14:6-7)
The above verse was used daily in our chapel services at the Theological College I trained at, in Australia. I’ve always remembered it because of its concluding words “Fear God…for the hour of His judgement has come.” I have a feeling that not a lot of people will want to finish this article because it’s so unsettling. However we can’t just pick and choose which parts of Scripture we prefer, liking the better bits and ignoring the unpleasant ones. And while of course there’s a difference between what the Old and New Testaments tell us about certain things (like animal sacrifices for example), overall this one message is clear in both Testaments: God demands accountability for a Day of Reckoning.
“Each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Rom 14:12)
“We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and each one will be recompensed for deeds done while in the body, according to what we have done whether good or bad.” (2 Cor 5:10).
Not only will that be a time of great inward trembling for many, it will also be manifest in the natural realm too. A great quaking on the earth and in the heavenlies.
Undeniably one of the aspects of the biblical End Time scenario deals with the physical upheaval that will befall the earth – and even the very universe. Hollywood of course has produced dozens of movies on this theme, mostly un-biblical. There are frightening scenarios of major earthquakes, stupendous waves wiping out coastal cities, asteroids hitting earth destroying most of humanity, super-bug plagues silently spreading their deadly diseases, etc – to say nothing of alien invaders!
If we believe the scriptural setting about the End Times, we can’t avoid noting the physical upheaval the Word says will also occur. Now while it’s quite reasonable to look at the social impact that will and is happening now (like same-sex marriage, legal abortion and increasingly, lawful euthanasia), we should also be vigilant and attentive to what Scripture says will happen physically to the planet.
I don’t want to make this teaching a “populist sensationalist” article, but I do want to alert us to the events that will happen on the earth, in it, and even upon the universe itself. The Bible tells us that there will be a final day of judgment, not only for humankind but seemingly even for creation itself. These events include dramatic astronomical signs in the heavens, visible to everyone on the earth. One of the reasons they will be observable is to PROVE that God is real and true. Unbelievers and scoffers alive at the End, will be rocked to the very core of their soul. It will be violently distressing for them. All of their opinions will be shaken and found to be hollow and entirely undependable.
Just in case you may not have seen all these verses in one place, here they are. I warn you, the staggering impact they might have could be un-nerving even for believers!
(Joel 2:30-31) “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of YHWH comes.”
(Isa 24:18-20) “For the windows above are opened and the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a cottage, for its transgression is heavy upon it and it will fall, never to rise again.”
(Isa 34:4) “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fade away as the leaf fades from off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig-tree.”
(Zech 14:4) “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.”
(Matt 24:7-8) "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."
(Matt 24:29) “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
(Luk 21:11) “There will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”
(Luk 21:25-26) “There shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows; men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
(2 Pet 3:7) “The heavens and earth have been reserved for fire and are being kept for the day when ungodly people will be judged and destroyed.”
(2 Pet 3:10-12) "The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning and the elements will melt with intense heat!"
(Rev 6:12-14) “And when he opened the sixth seal I looked and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; and the stars of the heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts her unripe figs when she is shaken by a great wind. And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island moved out of their place.”
(Rev 20:11) "And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them."
(Rev 21:1) "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea."
No wonder people will “faint with fear” (Luke 21:26) and “cry out for the hills to cover them” (Rev 6:15). All this will be so mind-numbing and terrifying that people’s hearts will give way, their minds will be in deep despair and they’ll be traumatized beyond belief. It will be absolutely terrifying.
You may have seen people on TV who’ve just been through an earthquake for the first time, say how unsettling it was and how they panicked, feeling totally un-nerved. Well, multiply that ten thousand times and you may get a sense of how dramatic it will be.
“People will faint from fear and apprehension because of the things that are to come on the world, because the powers of heaven will be shaken.” (Luke 21:26)
In this verse “fear” literally means “to breath out the soul” and comes from a phrase meaning “to be put in fear, exceedingly so”. This fear reaction is so real that a person can actually be scared to death. When we’re faced with a life-threatening situation our nervous system uses adrenaline to transmit signals to parts of our body thus activating what’s called the “fight-or-flight” response. The chemical is very toxic in large amounts and quickly damages internal organs like the heart, kidneys, lungs and liver. Doctors believe that nearly all sudden death-events are caused by such damage to the heart.
So there you have it; “People will faint from fear…because of the things that are to come on the earth”.
One reason God will use these natural disasters is to bring people to their knees. His love for them will still be available, but as He knows the hearts of humanity, He also knows many will curse Him rather than cry out for mercy. Natural catastrophes are the most unsettling of all calamities because they are beyond our control. We might be able to deal somewhat with plagues, even put out raging bush fires but there’s no way we can halt earthquakes, stop the sun from giving light, or asteroids from showering the earth en-masse. These terrifying shakings will petrify people’s minds and they themselves will shake with uncontrollable dread. It will be frightening beyond our present comprehension with a complete unravelling of our normal social fabric, with widespread natural calamities.
When the ground beneath you is violently tossing and moving, the sky seemingly being “rolled up like a scroll”, the heavens start to dissolve with intense heat, and people around you screaming with panic – you can image the absolute horror of it. All this on top of nation fighting against nation, with all the political, social and anarchy it brings.
“There shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows; men fainting for fear for expectation of the things which are coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” (Luk 21:25-26).
To be fair, many commentators say that these “signs” are figurative and symbolic of the great Jewish political and social upheaval at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 onto the centuries that would follow. This is usual for most commentaries, particularly prior to the foundation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. So while we need some humility about interpreting this (because it’s a case of not knowing for certain) perhaps we should be more open to admit that Jesus was speaking literally.
Once you start using scripture metaphorically you have to be VERY careful knowing when to stop treating it as such. Besides that, the use of imagery and symbolism needs to adhere to a strict convention, otherwise you end up jumping from a literal to symbolic usage in the very same verse! Such an approach shows a blatant bias of scholarly misuse and evidences the confusion the person already has about the subject. Face value interpretation is nearly always the best option, unless it’s strikingly obvious the text is figurative. For example in Mark 9:45-47 Jesus says:
“If your foot causes you to stumble cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than having your two feet to be cast into hell and if your eye causes you to stumble throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes, to be cast into hell.”
Jesus says we should do this, but how many blind and legless people do you see around you! No, the text in Mark is not to be taken at face value, it’s quite obviously figurative. This was a common teaching method used by Rabbis in Jesus’ day. To overstate a saying was not regarded as being misleading but used to make a dramatic and strong point. The hearers of Jesus’ time would’ve understood this; it’s we in our century who often get the meaning mixed up.
So it seems the immediate reference in Luke 21:25-26 could have been about the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, but its ultimate far-reaching reference is to Christ’s final coming and the End Times. Quite a number of End Time prophetic sayings have this two-fold aspect – one with an impending event in mind, and another meant for the latter days. It needs discernment, a bit of study, and guidance from the Spirit to know the difference. But once you get the hang of it, it works fairly well. Just don’t be too smug about your own interpretation and view!
About the earthquakes
In Scripture there’s a pattern about earthquakes relating to significant aspects of Christ’s life and ministry.
A prophesy about the Second Coming. “In that day His (Christ’s) feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…the Mount will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” (Zech 14:4)
The Crucifixion. “The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” (Matt 27:51)
The Resurrection. “And a severe earthquake occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.” (Matt 28:2)
Future. “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.” (Rev 11:19)
Future. “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood.” (Rev 6:12)
Future. “The angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” (Rev 8:5)
Future. “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.” (Rev 11:13)
Future. “There were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and 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.” (Rev 16:18)
It’s also interesting to note how often the Voice of God and angels are associated with earthquakes.
In Revelation, John wrote of a futuristic “great earthquake” associated with the opening of the sixth seal (Rev 6:12). This earthquake will not be the final “big one” but the precursor to the greatest earthquake ever. The “big one” will happen when the seventh bowl is poured out (Rev 16:16-20). This future “Armageddon earthquake” of verse 18 (sometimes called “the Messiah’s earthquake) is related to the return of Christ to Jerusalem (Acts 1:11 and Zech 14:4). When this happens it will cause severe geologic changes on a worldwide scale. After God’s voice (Rev 16:17) shakes the earth (Heb 12:26) with such astonishing geologic changes, His saints will receive a “kingdom which cannot be moved” (Heb 12:26-29). All this might seem figurative, but a close reading of the Revelation texts linked to the Acts 1:11 indicates this to be a literal event – you cannot split the two and still have integrity. We need to be honest about it.
Before these last great quakes happen though, He will use other earthquakes to capture our attention.
“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.” (Matt 24:7-8)
When you read the above text it seems to indicate that increasing earthquakes (along with famines) are major signs of the End. However according to some scientists, earthquakes are not actually increasing at all. Of course you might say that the worldly experts are out to trick us – but let’s not get too much into conspiracy here. We should be honest enough to check things out before we jump the gun.
According to scientists (UK) some research shows earthquakes don’t seem to be on the increase at all; it’s just that our reporting of them in the media is much better. You’ll need discernment about that! Whatever the actual truths are about earthquakes being on the increase or not, the point is that they are indicators of the start of things, but not signs of the closeness of the actual end.
Most of us have read in Matthew 24 of the “earthquakes in divers (various, many) places” and probably thought it meant more and more earthquakes. But that’s not what it plainly says. Jesus Himself told us that when these things start it’s not the End, but simply the “beginning of birth pangs” (verse 8). He didn’t say they would increase, just that when they’re observable in various places, it would be a sign of the beginning of travail (odin = birth pains).
The word odin means birth-pangs and Jews used the same phrase in earlier writings to describe the sufferings of the Messiah which were to come before He arrived. This phrase has been so misunderstood to imply that pain of various sorts would increase steadily in time, just as earthquakes do. When Paul used this same metaphor in Romans 8:18–25 his understanding of creation’s pain was not that anguish would grow steadily worse, but that the present period of suffering should provoke in us an eager longing for the consummation of the coming age. This is quite often the point of many scriptures, not simply to inform us of something, but also to cause us to reflect and then respond to what truth is being stated.
“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (Rom 8:22-23)
The author of Hebrews sees a similar hope, not in anticipating a future sign of ever-increasing earthquakes, but in the coming of a sudden and final cosmic cataclysm producing a “kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Heb 12:28). So looking at this accurately, these troubles and disasters are not simply signs of The End, but the hope of a glorious and eternal beginning. It’s somewhat ironic that verses we usually think refer to The End of Things actually point to the very opposite – the heralding of a New Beginning!
In scripture these earth-shaking powers are likened to the cataclysmic event at the time of Noah’s flood (2 Pet 3:6). We are told this is to happen one more time (Hag 2:6; Heb 12:26). This "one more time" is the convergence of all these End Time events at the "great and terrible day of YHWH" (Joel 2:31; 2 Thess chpt 2; Rev 6:12 and 16:18).
It’s quite clear that earthquakes have been used by God to highlight some of the most central events of Scripture. He uses these as signs of His judgment, His deliverance for His people, and also His desire to instruct and communicate. God the Creator uses earthquakes to emphasize the importance of a momentous event – He wants to make a point, but do we get it?
We may realise it’s God as the earthquakes are actually happening or perhaps just after, but do we take note when it’s prophesied well beforehand? I certainly hope so, because the quakes and their aftermath yet to come, are extremely chilling.
“There will be (1) great earthquakes; and in various places (2) plagues and famines; and there will be (3) terrors; and (4) great signs from heaven” (Luk 21:11).
Note the sequence of events described here. First, earthquakes. “Great” is mega meaning “the greatest or exceedingly great”. When talking about “great earthquakes” this refers to monster quakes! Second, plagues and famines (in that order – plagues are usually followed by famine). Third, terrors. This word “terror” is only found once in the New Testament. It’s not confined to “sights” only but also refers to “fearful things” (Luk 21:11). Fourth, great signs from heaven.
Earthquakes, plagues and famines we have some idea of, but not so the “terrors” and “great signs from heaven”. These are pretty scary topics. What’s important to understand is this all happens in sequence.
Sequences are very important in Scripture and here we have a laid-out order starting with earthquakes and leading to terrifying signs from heaven. If the earthquakes weren’t bad enough to get your attention, the things that follow will be with a greater intensity leading up to perhaps the most extreme natural event of all – the stars will fall! Scripture doesn’t tell us of awful events to frighten us, but in fact to cause the opposite to happen, hopefully – that we might heed its truth and correctly respond (repent) to what is happening. The following section will show us why this will be so.
The stars falling
Water was at the creation of the first world, Fire will be present at the re-Creation of the next world. There’s always a sequence of harmony in what God does. So now we’re introduced to the next phase of what happens near the End – the stars will fall, literally it seems.
“The second angel sounded (his trumpet), and something like a great mountain blazing with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.” (Rev 8:8-9).
“A mountain (from space) falling into the sea.” This sounds rather far-fetched doesn’t it. Now while the text doesn’t actually say the “mountain” comes from space, since this Second Trumpet section (Rev 8:8) is part of the whole Trumpets narrative (Rev 8:6-13) they all have a common link. That link is to do with objects falling onto the earth.
1. (First angel trumpet) “There came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up.” (verse 7)
2. “The second angel sounded (his trumpet), and something like a great mountain blazing with fire was thrown into the sea.” (verse 8)
3. (Third angel trumpet) “A great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch.” (verse 10)
So if we examine the preceding (1st) trumpet and the following (3rd) trumpet, we find that both are about objects in space, or coming from there. Therefore it’s reasonable to conclude that the Second trumpet scenario about a “mountain of fire” (verse 8) also comes from space. A great asteroid perhaps?
A bit of science to put this into perspective: Asteroids are very large pieces of space rock compared to the smaller meteoroids. When a meteoroid enters the earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes it becomes a meteor, what we call a shooting star. Meteors are not heated by friction as commonly thought, but by something called “ram pressure”. A meteor compresses air in front of it and this air heats up, in turn igniting the rock.
Asteroids cannot catch fire in outer space (no oxygen), and they only look like they’re on fire as they enter earth’s atmosphere. As they get closer, they meet air resistance, ignite and vaporise.
The latest physics shows that when an asteroid enters the atmosphere (depending on the size) it actually intensifies in strength and continues to explode as it rips through the atmosphere, creating super-sonic winds and fireballs (hence the 1908 Tunguska and 2013 Chelyabinsk devastations in Russia). This builds more momentum and the fire accelerates. See this link for the science behind this.
So imagine a very large asteroid the size of a small hill or mountain coming into the atmosphere and striking the sea (Rev 8:8). Utter wide-ranging devastation. Perhaps this matches the “blazing fire” described in Revelation chapter 8.
Now we see why John in his vision saw something that “looked like” a mountain blazing with fire. That’s how he interpreted it, but his vision was probably that of a great asteroid. Now we continue on with the fourth trumpet vision John received.
4. (Fourth trumpet) “A third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine.” (verse 12).
Fire will be God’s tool at the End. Fire from the earth’s core (volcanoes) and even the fire from falling asteroids. Interestingly God used water as a tool of judgement at the Flood, but next He will use fire. And while there’s no mention of fire in Genesis, there’s also no mention of flooding as one of the methods of judgment at the End (despite what climate-changers insist). Certainly there’ll probably be a rise in sea levels, etc, but God will not use huge tsunamis and Hollywood style mountains of water. Water way back then, but next will come the Fire.
The heavens rolled up
I’ve always been captivated by these texts: “The heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” (Isa 34:4); and “Heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up” (Rev 6:12).
Of course it’s rather dramatic imagery and probably meant to be like that. We know very little about the actual structure of space (the heavens) so it may well be that outer space as we now recognize it may well “move” in a way as to seemingly “roll up”. I’m no scientist but I would think (taking these verses as literal) there could be a “gathering” or “rolling” up of space as we see it from our earthly perspective. Who knows!
Science has given us something of a suggestion here with a statement back in 2016 that “the universe is flat” (see this link). Whether that’s the actual truth or not doesn’t really matter. The scripture tells us it will look like a parchment scroll being rolled, so as people on earth look up, they will see a kind of gathering of space, the planets and stars, indeed the universe itself, being rolled up. “Rolled up like a scroll” literally means “separated from its place”.
Interestingly, years before this 2016 announcement by NASA scientists, I came across an article by a Christian who believed there was “science” to prove the earth was flat. Having read his article I was quite sure he’d misused science to prove his particular odd theological point. So I didn’t pay much attention to it, but next morning I had one of those sudden God invasive “revelations”.
These are relatively uncommon for me and I’ve probably only had about twelve such revelations in my 50 past years as a believer. Anyway, as I sat at my desk the next day a “voice” spoke into my spirit quite clearly and compellingly, as if to make an emphatic point. The voice simply but firmly said “The earth is round, the universe isn’t”. I pondered it briefly then wrote it down in my notepad and forgot about it. Some years later when I came across the NASA report it jolted my memory. I was quite taken aback.
Note that the voice didn’t say “the universe was flat” it just intimated it wasn’t round. Ipso facto, perhaps it was “flat”. These verses may also give some weight to this idea:
“Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a curtain.” (Psa 104:2)
“It is He who sits above the circle of the earth (not a flat earth!), and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” (Isa 40:22)
“It is I who made the earth and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host.” (Isa 45:12)
“Thus declares YHWH who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.” (Zech 12:1)
“You Lord in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish but You remain, and they all will become old like a garment, and like a garment You will roll them up; like garment they will also be changed. But You are the same and Your years will not come to an end.” (Heb 1:10-12).
So maybe, just maybe, the heavens which have been stretched out by the Creator like a curtain or garment, can easily be “rolled up like a scroll” by Him. Now I’m not saying just because I “heard” a voice within me that you should take it as gospel truth! No way. But I am saying that on the other dozen or so times that “voice” has given me direction, correction and insight it’s always proven to be accurate, necessary and in perfect timing. It comes to me very sharply and almost confronting.
The insight always comes unexpectedly but with a firmness that immediately captures my attention. The revelation is always short, to the point and without any comment about what it means. Yet instinctively I “know” what the revelation is about, and the depth of understanding it brings to me. Besides that, during my 55 years as a believer I’ve come to know that Voice well – as so many of us do when we know by experience, it’s Him.
I recognize it’s all a bit subjective, but I’m simply throwing my understanding out there for some encouragement. Maybe the universe is indeed “flat” somehow, and God the Creator will effortlessly roll it up together as part of His End Time plan. Either way, if all the other natural catastrophes are real and not simply figurative, then the “rolling up” of the heavens will be a very dramatic event. Perhaps even THE most dramatic natural catastrophe.
The Divine Harmony at work
By now you may think this article is simply a teaching about “the Last Things” but it’s more about the “Things yet to Come”. From the very beginning God has set a pattern, a divine harmony that would follow through the rest of scripture. Hence, we find that although the End Times will be very catastrophic (a judgment of darkness) it does lead to something better (the light of the Heavenly City). Darkness will indeed encompass the earth, but a new morning awaits after.
Scripture doesn’t end in dismal failure nor does it simply reveal to us a doctrine of the Last Things. It actually concludes with a great mystery of wonder; a wonder for the glory to come of a yet unrealised future in Christ’s presence (1 Cor 2:9). Over-arching all this is the Father’s grand purpose in which He uses a divine harmony of sequences to initiate and then conclude His plan.
While humans usually work from daybreak to nightfall (light to darkness), God has a different sequence. He works from Darkness then onto Light. It was so at the beginning, and in the great harmony of God, it will be the same at the End. Genesis shows us this creative sequence put into action.
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day (Gen 1:2-5).
Note how darkness came first, before the light (verse 2) and that God declared evening came first followed by the morning - “there was evening and there was morning” (verse 5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31). In each successive creative act when He formed the “days” it started with an “evening” (darkness). Our wise Creator worked from evening to morning, and still does in some sense. Even today the Jews still regard the new day beginning at sunset, while in the West we tend to say it starts at either midnight or sunrise next morning.
In terms of what we’ve been reading about the End of the Universe, note how the order of divine harmony operates. For example, Water was at the creation of the first world, Fire will be present at the re-Creation of the next world. Interestingly there’s no mention of “fire” at the creation, and there’s no mention of “water as punishment” at the end. There’s always a progressive sequence of harmony in what God does.
Likewise, just as Jesus the Logos (Word) was at the beginning of Creation (2 Pet 3: 5) so also He, as the Logos will be there at the End (2 Pet 3:7) - “by the Word of God the heavens existed long ago” (verse 5) and “by His Word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire”(verse 7). Instigator and Finisher. Creator and Consummator.
Genesis, the beginning of scripture is paralleled by the end of scripture, Revelation. Right from the start God has introduced this pattern and it unfolds again and again. For example at the beginning there was a garden, and at the End there’ll be a garden. At the beginning there was a deceiver speaking a lie (the snake) and at the end there’ll be another deceiver speaking (the Beast). In Genesis there is the entry of sin, and in Revelation there is the end of sin. And on it goes.
I just love these divine sequences and patterns that flow majestically through the Word. Once you begin to see them, you’ll start coming across them time and time again. It can be quite exhilarating to see how God’s harmony unfolds and how it encourages and enriches your spirit to actually “know” He has purposed everything and will bring His plan to a glorious conclusion!
It’s one thing to pick a special verse to encourage yourself about all this, such as Eph 1:0-10 “He made known to us the mystery of His will…the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” It’s quite another thing to see how many verses show His harmony at work in knitting things together. So here is a link to what I’ve collected over the years to show the Divine Parallels and Harmony of how the Father works His work. Be encouraged!
Yes, the end times judgments will be devastating in the extreme. Yet the Lord warned that if He didn’t bring them to a close at His appointed time, not one person would survive them (Matt 24:22). However, for the sake of us the elect, He will bring them to a proper and fitting closure - and when He does the restoration of Earth will begin. What an event that will be, and it will put all the distressing lead-up calamities into their proper perspective.
The question all this begs is this: Where are we now with God? How is our standing in Him? Are we prepared, and how faithful are we living for Him?
May He grant us a particular grace to be on watch, stand firm, and work while there is still light (John 9:4). As always, the Word gives us a practical application to whatever may befall us personally or corporately. In regard to the End Time scenario Jude encourages us:
Beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, and wait expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude verses 20-21).
Amen to that, and grace in Messiah to you.