Verse 18 proclaims that God is about to cut loose on an unbelieving world His terrible wrath. God’s creation is about to be shaken from one end to the other by geological upheavals like man has never seen before.
Verse 19 gives a general statement of what will happen in Israel. It will be the greatest shaking the Israelites have ever experienced. The Arabah Fault will split open from Lebanon to the Gulf of Arabah – the Mount of Olives will tear apart into two sections and a great valley will be formed through it – the western part of Jerusalem will be lifted up along a line from Geba to Rimmon – and many other prophesied phenomena will also occur. This geological upheaval is dealt with more fully in our web pages by clicking on “Birth Pangs,” and examining our Birth Pang Updates and associated Figures.
Verse 20 lets us know that the great shaking will not be limited just to Israel with its local Arabah Fault line – it will occur on a worldwide basis along all the thousands of interconnecting fault lines, both on land and on the sea floor (See Figure 3 under Birth Pang Updates). Read verse 20 very carefully and see if it does not very clearly picture a worldwide shaking of all things.
Verse 21 describes the effect that the great worldwide upheaval will have on mankind – in a word, total mass confusion as to foe or friend, amidst fantastic casualty rates, among many different nationalities involved on the battlefield throughout God’s mountains.
Verse 22 paints a picture of the destruction that God will reign down upon Gog and his mighty army. It describes the fantastic array of pyroclastic associated materials, which will shower down on the antichrist’s army out of the volcanic activity unleashed, when the Jordan Valley tears open for about 185 miles (See Birth Pang Numbers 15 and 16)
Verse 23 confirms that God has a purpose in all this geological upheaval and destruction – it should leave no doubt as to who is God and who is antichrist.
At times it seems difficult for me to believe how near all this is to fulfillment. Many preachers have preached its nearness for so long that most believers today seem to think it is still a long way off. It’s sort of like the little boy who kept crying, “Wolf,” when there was no wolf. Then, when a real wolf showed up, even the sheep ignored him, and then the wolf came and caught them by surprise. I have believed since the early seventies that Jesus would come before 2008. As 2008 approaches I am even more convinced. I, along with countless numbers of other men expositing God’s word, have repeatedly stated for many years that a false peace would come to the Middle East before the antichrist attacked Israel. From Prophecy Update 32A onwards I have detailed how our current war on Islamic terrorists will produce that false peace. So what you intend to do with the Lord, about the Lord, or for the Lord, you had better do it soon. No one knows for sure the exact date he will come. And I could certainly be wrong about him coming before 2008. But I know his true church members are not in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief. I believe we can know when it is “soon,” and I know that it is soon.