More end time prophets are on the horizon, predicting the end of the world from a series of recent earthquakes in California and elsewhere around the country. But, are earthquakes in divers places, signs of the times? There are so many earthquakes that occur every day that they don’t even make the news. Why, because earthquakes are a common occurrence.
This information can easily be checked through the US Geological Earthquake Hazards Survey Program, (USGS). There are so many earthquakes that occur daily that they only measure those of 2.5 rating or higher in and near the U.S. To point to a certain area such as California (where earthquakes commonly occur) and claim it is the sign of the end, ignores both biblical testimony and the geographical setting of end times prophecy.
The World of Christ and Bible Prophecy
To properly understand the world and setting of prophetic utterances and events in the New Testament, familiarity with the land and times is essential. Most futurist speculations about the end are both anachronistic, –errors in time and are geographically misplaced. Yes, this is a hard pill to swallow for rapture ranters.
To get a picture of the world of Bible prophecy, it must be understood that they were living in the days of the Roman Empire. Just think about it for a moment and ask yourself, what will be the landscape of the world 2000 years from today?
Will all the present countries we know yet be in existence? Will any new ones have developed? Will there be new super powers of military, economic and political strength? Ask where was America in the landscape of the known world a few hundred years ago?
Now, did not those pre-America people have the Bible in front of them? Were they not able to read the prophecies of Christ? Would any of them have assumed before America was “discovered” that it was the subject of end times prophecy? How gullible can we sometimes be?
When Christ spoke of the end times, his world and that of his followers was the Roman Empire. This must be kept in mind if one is going to sensibly understand prophecy and many other subjects in the Bible. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
A Census Was Taken of All The World
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.” (Luke 2:1-5).
Now we have Caesar Augustus, ruler of the world, ordering a census to be taken of all the world. America was no where in the picture. Not a single person living today was counted or even included in that “worldwide” event. It is as erroneous to apply this text and event to a modern day census taking in a locale outside of Caesar’s empire as it is for the end time.
The same is true for the occurrence of earthquakes predicted by Christ. He had absolutely no focus on America. Rather, he spoke of the geographical world in which he and his disciples lived. The prophecy uttered in Matthew 24:7, must fall within the parameters of its geographical and temporal setting.
“For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7)
Had the world Christ lived in changed from that in which his parents lived when they went to get registered for the census? I suggest not.
In fact, evidence exists in the N.T. and first century recorded history, that these earthquakes did not mean the end was near. It meant the opposite.
John Bray records, “Earthquakes did occur at Crete, at Smyrna, at Miletus, at Chios, at Asmos, at Rome, at Apamea (same region) at Laodicea (in the reign of Nero) “which city was overthrown, as were likewise Hierapolis and Colossee” (Newton), at Campania in the year 62 or 63, and at Rome and Judaea. These earthquakes did not prove the “end” was imminent; contariwise, as Jesus said, all of those things proved that the “the end is not yet,” quoted in Matthew 24 Fulfilled, by John L. Bray.
Finally, Christ said, all those things would occur before his generation passed away, Matthew 24:34. Therefore, the world must be the world of his time, and that accords with the geographical and political landscape of the day.
Learn more about the Second Coming and it’s first century fulfillment in the Re-Examination.
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