And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed, Revelation 8:9.
The preceding chapters have continually added to the premise that God will destroy sinful mankind with the earth. This chapter, and those which follow, will continue to build upon that premise. The major contention of this premise is that God will move the massive tectonic plates shown in figure 3 approximately one to two feet during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period. It is this destroying with the earth that will create the horrifying scenes described in Isaiah 29:6 and Luke 21:25.
Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire, Isaiah 29:6.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring, Luke 21:25.
In Luke 21:25 the word translated wave is saiou, which means a particular type of wave. It means a wave that breaks on the shoreline, a wave of the surf. The nations of the world will be in great perplexity because of the roaring sound of the sea and surf. It is this phenomenon of sea and surf that will destroy one-third of the world’s shipping.
The claim has been made that unbelievably violent earthquake and volcanic activity will be occurring along the area indicated by dashed lines of figure 3 during the last half of the Tribulation Period. Please note that most of these great cracks in the earth’s crust lie on the ocean and sea floors of the world. If I am correct about the earthquake and volcanic activity along these cracks, then I am positive that what I am about to describe will definitely occur.
There are many types of waves that exist on the ocean surface. The most common being those induced by the winds and tides of the earth. But the most horrifying of all waves that pound the shorelines of the world is not produced by wind or tide; it is the unbelievable tsunami produced by earthquake and volcanic eruption on the seafloor.
Tsunami are not “tidal waves.3 They are caused by undersea earthquakes or volcanoes and have killed millions of people down through the ages. Tsunami is the Japanese word for “storm wave." The Alaska earthquake of 1964 produced the tsunami wave pattern shown in figure 6. As you can observe from the figure, it only took the tsunami four hours to move from the epicenter to Hawaii. Tsunami travel as fast as some jet aircraft. Tsunami can now be predicted so that appalling death tolls of yesteryear can be avoided. A network of seismic warning stations now functions across the Pacific Ocean to give early warning of an approaching tsunami.
As you can observe on the lower half of figure 6, a tsunami is generated when an undersea earthquake or volcanic eruption causes a sudden downward movement of an earth block. The downward displacement of water above the block produces not a surface wave, but rather a wave which moves horizontally outward through the water from the bottom to the top. Tsunami cross the ocean as long low waves which seagoing vessels may not even notice. But as you may observe in figure 7, when the tsunami approaches the shoreline the energy of the wave is confined in shallower and shallower water. Tsunami have been known to rise to heights in excess of two hundred fifty feet. The increase in tsunami occurrences, during the past 190 years, is made evident in figure 8. When a tsunami crashes against a coastline it destroys everything in its path, often up to half a mile inland.
Shipping on the open sea is virtually unaffected by a tsunami, but woe unto the ship that is caught in port. There is not a ship built which can withstand the force of a full blown tsunami as it roars into port. In one day the old city of Lisbon and all the ships in port were destroyed by a wall of water that washed half a mile inland. During the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period most of the coastal cities of the world and the ships in port will be completely destroyed by tsunami after tsunami.This is what will produce much of the distress and perplexity among the nations of the world. Now, how does all this fit in with Revelation 8:9 regarding John’s statement: “and the third part of the ships were destroyed?"
At any given time approximately two-thirds of the world’s shipping is “under way” on the open sea, and one-third is in port or dry dock. The two-thirds on the open sea will be spared, and the one-third in port will be destroyed by tsunami during the sounding of the second trumpet.
The following Scriptures leave little doubt that God has control of the sea and the destructive forces of its waves. Those who “do business in great waters” will lose one-third of their business on the sounding of the second trump.
Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them, Psalm 89:9.
But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name, Isaiah 51:15.
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up
the waves thereof, Psalm 107:23-25.
The earth is God’s creation and all the things thereof. God does not need man’s weaponry or technology to fulfill His prophecies. God has already made all the elements necessary to destroy man, and He has molded them into forms, shapes, compounds and processes capable of fulfilling His revelation of end-time events. I know that a great war will occur. Many men will die in that war. Bullets and other weaponry will kill many of them; but that will be only a few compared to the earthquake, fire and brimstone toll exacted by the force of Almighty God upon sinful mankind. For too long biblical expositors have been concentrating on a single tree (man’s weaponry and technology) as the fulfillment of Revelation prophecies. In so doing, they have overlooked the forest of God’s creation, the earth’s natural destructive forces.
Man will not destroy himself in a nuclear holocaust of his own making. If you desire to be frightened by such a possibility, be my guest and join the crowd. I do not fear the armies with thermonuclear arsenals. May I remind you whom you should fear with this closing passage of Scripture.
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Luke 12:4, 5.