18 And [kai] there were [ginomai] voices, [phone] and [kai] thunders, [bronte] and [kai] lightnings; [astrape] and [kai] there was [ginomai] a great
[megas] earthquake, [seismos] such as [hoios] was [ginomai] not [ou] since [hos][apo] men [anthropos] were [ginomai] upon [epi] the earth, [ge] so mighty [telikoutos] an earthquake, [seismos]
and so [houto] great. [megas]KJV-Interlinear
there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was
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. NASB
With the pouring out of the seventh bowl, that pouring out is accompanied with massive sounds and activities. Unlike the sounds that accompanied the seventh seal, Rev. 8:5, and the seventh trumpet, Rev. 11:19, which sounds came out of heaven, these sounds will come out of the earth, from around it as in the atmosphere, and from within it as in an earthquake.
The sounds from heaven demonstrate Gods almighty power, ability, and sovereign authority over all that exists, and what could very well happen.
These sounds from earth, will indicate the massive activity of a destruction that is beyond comprehension, and is in the actual process of occurring, totally surrounding people leaving them nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
So, the lightning, the thunder and the earthquake are not symbolic anymore, but very real.
Isaiah and Haggai both describe these events, Isa. 24:19-20, Hag. 2:6. Among the many things that will occur, the very core of the planet will destabilize. Mountains will fall, islands will sink away, cities will crumble in the ferocity of the earthquakes worldwide, entire continents will shake apart.
Traditional theology thought views this shaking up of the planet as Gods realignment of the planet, straightening it back up on its tilted axis, making way for the perfect environment that will accompany the Millennium.
The planet is currently tilted on its axis which causes our changing seasons around the year. When the planet sits straight, then the seasons will cease and weather will be the same year-round.
But regardless if you agree with that view or not, the view in our current verse is destruction and judgment on an unbelieving world. No continent, no island, no country, no city, no village, no home will be safe or spared from this massive catastrophe. Imagine the Haiti earthquake and even worse, on a worldwide scale.
But note one important principle, all believers who are in hiding in caves and elsewhere, will be spared as the world crumbles around them.
Remember when those towers in New York, that were hit by the airplanes back on '01, came crashing down, well there were still some people inside. As most of them died in the collapse, a small handful miraculously survived as the crashing beams fell in such a way as to keep them in protected pockets.
God is able to protect those whom He will deliver in the last days of the Tribulation, even when the world is collapsing. This will be the absolutely worst earthquake in all of human history.
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