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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 16

Section IV Subsection 3

The Great Earthquake



"And there was a Great Earthquake, such as was not since that men were upon the earth so mighty an earthquake and so great"


When this earthquake shall occur, Yahweh Elohim will be enthroned in Jerusalem. This appears from Joel 3:16, where it is written, "Yahweh shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice  from Jerusalem" - the Great Voice of this vial: "and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but Yahweh shall be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel".
This may be called the epoch of earthquakes; for the conclusion of the Sixth Vial is signalized by an earthquake that divides the Mount of Olives, and projects one half of the mount towards the north, and the other towards the south, and leaves a very great valley between. This shakes the earth while Gog is in the land, and accompanies the presence of Yahweh there, Who says, "all the men upon the face of the land shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the towers shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains", and so forth (Ezek. 38:19,20,21; Isa. 30:25). This will be an earthquake in the most literal sense; but it may also be accepted as the earnest of that more terrible and extensive political earthquake of the Seventh Vial, of which the Spirit speaks in Haggai 2:6,21, saying, "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 khemdath of all nations uvahu, they shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith Yahweh Tz'vaoth". In the English Version, kheimdath is rendered the Desire of; and some Lexicons tell us that the word has no plural. But if this be true, by what rule is it made the nominative of the plural verb vahu, "they shall come"? The Messiah is supposed to be the person desired by all the nations at his coming. But in what sense can he be said to be the Desire of the nations, when they are all to compass him about, and in the Name of Yahweh he will destroy them? Psa. 118:10; Apoc. 17:14. It seems to me that a letter has been dropped in transcription, and that the word should read khemdoth in the plural; as, "and the excellencies of all the nations shall come;" but if khemdath in the singular be correct, then the construction is to be accounted for upon the same principle that Elohim, plural, is so often construed vvith a verb in the singular - "the Excellency of all the nations they shall come," or as Zechariah expresses the same thing, "Yahweh Elohim he shall come in, all the Saints with thee"
- he and all the saints being the Excellency of all the nations.
"I will shake all nations". This is a nationquake whose shocks are world-wide and affecting the earth, the sea, and the dry land, of the whole political community of the globe. But the heavens are to be shaken likewise. Even the heavens and the earth of the Commonwealth of Israel were not 'to escape. Paul who wrote the epistle to the Hebrews while the temple was yet standing in Jerusalem, adduced this prophecy in Haggai, in evidence that the Mosaic Heavens, which had waxed old, were to be so shaken as to vanish away (Heb. 8:13; 12:26-29). Look then into the land of Israel, and "behold trouble and darkness, dimness and anguish; and all driven to darkness" (Isa. 8:22). This state of things has obtained for a long series of ages. There is no Mosaic Heavens and Earth there. All the institutions of Moses have vanished away; and Israel's Sun and Moon are darkened, and their stars have withdrawn their shining, as the result of the fire and pillars of smoke, the wonders shown in the heavens and the earth when they were shaken; and all this came to pass "before the great and terrible day of Yahweh," which is not yet quite "come" (Joel 2:30,31; 3:15).
What has thus befallen the kingdom of Israelis a striking illustration of what awaits the kingdoms of all the nations of the earth when they come to be shaken by the great earthquake of the Seventh Vial in "the great and terrible day of Yahweh". "I will shake the heavens and the earth"; and now behold the consequences of it in the following words: "and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his fellow". This is a decree against Gog, the Two-Horned Beast, the False Prophet, and the Ten Horns, with all their armies. Into their heaven the vial is to be poured, and its effect will be to shake them and their nations so terribly that there will be no more left of their dynasties, governments, and institutions in church and state, than there now is of Israel's in the land.
As a consequence of this shaking of all the nations, the Great City is resolved into thirds, and haipoleis, the cities, or states of the nations fall They fall, because in the shaking, the Lamb and his staff with their army cast them down. The idea is expressed by Daniel in the words, "the thrones were cast down" (ch. 8:9). In other words, the Lamb and they that were with him conquered the Ten Horns, and took possession of their kingdoms. The kingdoms of the world became Yahweh's, and His Christ's. As to the "three parts" into which the Great City Babylon is divided by the shocks of this great earthquake of nations, we are left Without positive information. From the subsequent parts of the prophecy, however, it would seem that the Dragon might be reckoned as one third; the Beast, the Ten Horns, and the False Prophet, the second third; and Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and the East, the third. This eastern third would be the first to fall under the dominion of the throne in Zion: "unto the daughter of Zion shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem". And the Ruler come forth from Bethlehem shall be the peace, when the Assyrian (Gog) shall come into the land. Then the anointed ones shall waste Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof; thus shall He deliver Israel when the Assyrian invades their land (Micah. 4:7,8; 5:2-6). Then, after the conquest of Assyria and Egypt by the Saints, "there shall be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve With the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land: whom Yahweh Tz'vaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance" (Isa. 19:23-25).
After this settlement of affairs in the Eastern Third, "Babylon the Great comes into remembrance before the Deity, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath". This is the series of events which succeeds the proclamation of the Aion-Gospel in mid-heaven -in the Air - announcing that the Hour of Judgment upon Babylon had arrived, and which precedes the Second Angel's announcement that "Babylon is fallen" (ch. 14:8). As the result of this remembrance, the ecclesiastical system of Europe, in its Greek, Latin, and Protestant divisions of spiritual wickedness is abolished; and its ecclesiastical capital, ROME, destroyed from the earth, as fearfully and graphically exhibited in ch. 18.
The next result of the "very great earthquake" is the obliteration of all "islands" and "mountains" of the political world. A natural island is land entirely surrounded by water; a political island is analogous thereto inasmuch as it is a kingdom, or state, insulated from all other "waters," or peoples, by which it is surrounded. Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and so forth are political islands, insulated from each other, and from all other peoples by the political constitution peculiar to each.
In Jer. 51:25, the Chaldean emperor of Babylon is styled a "destroying mountain which destroyeth all the earth;" whose destiny was to be rolled down from the rocks, and to be made "a burnt mountain". The little Stone, or kingdom of Christ, "the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel" (Gen. 49:24) is to become "a Great Mountain," or empire, after it has smitten "the destroying mountain," in its latter day manifestation, and to "fill the whole earth", (Dan. 2:34,35). A mountain filling the whole earth will leave no room for any other mountains. To declare, consequently, that "the mountains were not found," is equivalent to saying that the empires of Turkey, Russia, Austria, Prussia, Britain and the United States, were all superseded and abolished, by the New Empire of Israel's King, then become "the King and Elohim of the whole earth" (Zech. 14:9; Isa. 54:5). The world to come, or future habitable, of which Paul spoke (Heb. 2:5), will admit of only one mountain, "the mountain of Yahweh's House, to be established on the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills; that all" the regenerated nations may flow into it" (Isa. 2:2). No rival empires will be permitted to exist; for in that "economy of the fullness of the times," all things in the heavens or the air, and upon the earth, or the nations, will be gathered together under One Head (Eph. 1:10). The judgments of the Seventh Vial, executed by the Saints as the omnipotent ministers of the Spirit, will bring to pass this Divine Determination. They will chase away the fugitive islands, and hurl into the abyss the lofty mountains, that now so proudly and defiantly tower above the political earth and sea. They will accomplish this by tormenting with fire and brimstone "thc Devil and his Angels;" in other words, by encountering in war the Beast, and kings of the Earth, and their armies (ch. 14:9-11; 19:19; 17:14). No island or mountain powers will be able successfully to withstand them. Their armies will be in the midst of many peoples as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of goats: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver (Mic. 5:8). Thus, "the nations shall see, and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay the hand upon the mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of Yahweh EIohim. and fear because of thee" (Ibid. 7.16,17).




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