Changes in the Earth


Dr. John Hoole – October 27, 2013




After Christ returns to the earth, major topographical changes to the physical earth will occur.  Probably the most well-known will occur when Jesus sets his feet on the Mount of Olives.




         The mountain separates into two pieces under his feet.


Zechariah 14:4 NIV


4       On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.


Half the mountain will move north – half will move south with a great valley running east-west between them.  To end up with a “great” valley between them requires that the two halves to be moved some distance.


During the American Civil War, a delegation from the Southern states, from the Confederation came to Abraham Lincoln and spread before him a large map of the United States.  The Confederates of the South drew a line, east to west, across the middle of it, dividing the north from the south.  They said to Abraham Lincoln: “South of that line it will be alright to keep people as slaves, but north of that line it will be illegal.” 


History tells us that Lincoln placed his huge hand upon the whole of the map and the United States, and he said, “I claim it all in the name of freedom.”


There is coming a day very soon when our Lord Jesus Christ will come to this earth and He will land His feet upon the Mount of Olives.  And He will put his nail-pierce hand on the whole of this planet, and He will reign and He will claim this world for Himself.


Now, it is really difficult for us to accurately envision what the millennial reign of Christ will be like – simply because our world, as we speak, is so full of sin, immorality, unrighteousness and abomination towards God.


When Christ comes, a whole lot of changes are going to happen in this world.  In past lessons, we have discussed many of them.


                   •  Plant life

                   •  Animal Kingdom

                   •  Mankind (idealistic environment, longevity of life)


         There will also be a number of changes with regard to:


                   •  The entire physical Earth.


Romans 8 tells us the entire earth is waiting for these changes.


Romans 8:18-22 NKJV


18     For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19     For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

20     For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

21     because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22     For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.


The earth today is reeling from the curse given to it by God when Adam and Eve sinned.  Since the curse was meted out by God, the earth has been buffeted by earthquakes, volcanos, violent storms like hurricanes and tornadoes.  And as you read through the book of Revelation, we find it is going to get worse.


Revelation 16:17-18 NKJV


17     Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

18     And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.


This is the final judgment identified in the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls.  This occurs at the very end of the Tribulation, just before Jesus returns to set up His kingdom.  A massive earthquake will rock the entire planet.  John identifies this as the most severe earthquake to ever occur on earth.


Notice that this judgment first occurs in the atmosphere.  The bowl is poured out “into the air.”  It reminds me of Hebrews 12:26-27.


Hebrews 12:26-27 NIV


26     At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."

27     The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.


This passage in the book of Hebrews is actually a quote from the book of Haggai.


Haggai 2:6 NIV


6       This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.


Currently, we live on an unstable planet.  The earth has been greatly affected by the curse.  This final shaking might actually put the earth back into the state it enjoyed before the Fall of mankind.


Yes, there will be some cataclysmic activity in the heavens and on this earth.  But there are many prophecies that are specific to the physical Land of Israel, or as they would say in Hebrew, Ha Eretz Yisrael.  Let’s look at some of them.


Jerusalem and the millennium


To begin, let’s specifically take a look at Jerusalem.  Notice again what Jeremiah 33, verse 9 says.


         9       Then this city [Jerusalem] will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'


Never in her history has Jerusalem been what this verse says about it.


         Zechariah 12:1-3  (NKJV) describes Jerusalem prior to the coming of Christ.


1       The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:

2       "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.

3       And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone [KJV reads “burdensome stone”] for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.


God tells us here, through the prophet Zechariah, that no force in the universe can deter or divert God’s plan and purpose for Israel.  These are promises from “the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him (vs. 1).  God is actively involved in bringing to consummation His planned destiny for Jerusalem and the Jewish people.


The setting for the fulfillment of these prophecies is “in that day,” which is a phrase used 16 times in the last three chapters of Zechariah.  It refers to the Day of the Lord, a time of God’s wrath and blessings that extends from the beginning of the Tribulation to the end of the Millennial Kingdom.


Today, it seems that no other city on the face of the earth is as important as the city of Jerusalem.  All the other great cities of the earth – New York, London, Moscow, Paris or Tokyo pale by comparison.  If anything happens in that little nation or in that city, it is broadcast around the world.  Is that true of any other city?  Jerusalem is indeed a burdensome stone to all the nations around her.


But the day is coming, however, when this will all change.  One day, Israel will be the premier country in the world, and Jerusalem will be the capital city of the world.  This will not be because the Jews bring it about but because God has planned it.


Isaiah 65:18-19 describes the Lord’s work as He rebuilds Israel.


         He says:  “But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”


On September 25th of 1995, the Jewish new year began.  For the Israelis it was a very special year.  That year the government of Israel designated it as the 3,000th anniversary of the conquest of the city of Jerusalem by King David.


What other city can claim to be the “city of the Great King?” (Psalm 48)God loves Jerusalem.  This was obvious way back in 2 Chronicles 6:6, where Jehovah says:  “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there.”


Psalm 68:16 says that God has desired the mountain of Zion “for his abode.”  Psalm 132:13-14 contains a similar promise.  “The Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation.”


Jerusalem is where heaven and earth meet.  Jerusalem is where Jesus shed his precious blood.  It is from there Jesus ascended into Heaven.  It is where Jesus will return to be crowned King of kings.  It will also be the scene of the last battle when Satan rallies nations at the end of the Millennium.  This is the only city for whose peace we are commanded to pray (Psalm 122:6).  Yes, Jerusalem will be the capital city of the world, and the laws of Christ’s government will be issued from there. (Isaiah. 2:1-4) 

Changes in the topography of Jerusalem


One thing I find of great interest is how God is going to change the topography of this city.




The Bible tells us about several changes to the city of Jerusalem.  Two of the major changes are:


         1.      The size of the city will be greatly increased.


         2.      The topography of the city and the surrounding area will be dramatically changed.


Jerusalem will be elevated.


The city of Jerusalem will be elevated above the surrounding area.


First, look at Isaiah 2:2-3 (NIV)


2       In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

3       Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.


The second phrase in verse 2“chief among the mountains”  - by itself would not suggest that Jerusalem would be a higher mountain than all around it.  Many would suggest that mountains in prophecy are referring to governments, and this verse is telling us that the government in Jerusalem will be the chief of all.  I mentioned this to you when we studied the rise and fall of the Antichrist.  It certainly is true that the government of Jesus in Jerusalem, will be chief among all other governments.  But the next phrase – “it will be raised above the hills, -- presents a problem.  Hills are never used to represent governments.  I believe this is saying that Jerusalem during the Millennium will be elevated.


Zechariah 14:10  (NKJV) will help us here.


10     All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin's Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses.


Look at the way the Living Paraphrased Bible puts it.


10     All the land from Geba (the northern border of Judah) to Rimmon (the southern border) will become one vast plain, but Jerusalem will be on an elevated site, covering the area all the way from the Gate of Benjamin over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses.


Today, Jerusalem is situated with a number of mountains around it.  Zechariah tells us Jerusalem will be elevated so that it can be seen from afar.  The prophet here in Zechariah tells us that the uneven terrain around Jerusalem will become a great flat plain.  Psalm 87:1 says the foundations of Jerusalem are in the mountains.    The Temple Mount will occupy the highest elevation if not in the world, at least the highest in the region.


I want now to take you to a Psalm many of you are familiar with.  We used to sing a chorus taken Psalm 48.


Great is the Lord, And greatly to be praised,

In the city of our God, In the mountain of his holiness;


It is obvious that this song is speaking of Jerusalem, “the city of our God.”  It also has God’s holy mountain in view and how the greatness of God is to be praised in each of these locations.


I should mention that the words to this chorus were taken from the King James Version.  The next phrase in the chorus presents a slight problem.  It’s only a problem in our understanding.  I ask you, what is meant by the next phrase, Beautiful for situations?


The King James is the only translation that I looked through (more than a dozen different translations) that uses the word “situation.”  All others, except the NIV, use the phrase, “beautiful in elevation,” including the New King James.  The NIV renders it, “beautiful in its loftiness.”  So, once again we are told that during the millennium, Jerusalem will be elevated geographically.


Let’s continue the words of this chorus.  There is more to be gleaned here.


                   Beautiful in elevation, The Joy of the whole earth,

                   Is mount Zion on the sides of the north, The city of the great King.


There has never been a time in history when Jerusalem and the holy Mount Zion has been the joy of the whole earth.  There is no doubt that the Psalmist (not David, but the sons of Korah) had the Millennium and the reign of Christ in view here.  That is the only time when Jerusalem will indeed be a joy to all the earth.


Also notice in the future what we are told about the land around Jerusalem when Satan is released from the bottomless pit and brings an army against Jerusalem.


Revelation 20:7-9 NAS


7       And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,

8       and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.

9       And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.


I love it when I see, over and over again, how the Bible fits so snugly together.




River of Living Water


Earlier, when discussing what the Bible says about being elevated above its surroundings, we read Zechariah 14:10.  Now let’s look at the verses surrounding it.


Zechariah 14:8-11 NIV


8       On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

9       The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

10     The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses.

11     It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.


In verse 8, Zechariah tell us that when the earthquake splits the Mount of Olives, it will unleash a living fountain of water.


This fountain of water is not a small trickling brook.  It forms two rivers, west and east from Jerusalem.  One river will flow the 37 miles west to the Mediterranean Sea.  The other will flow east 15 miles to the Dead Sea.


Ezekiel, chapters 40 through 48, is a lengthy passage which talks about the Millennial temple and the division of the land among the 12 tribes.  In Chapter 47, we are told of a great river issuing from beneath the threshold of the Temple.  I am not absolutely sure, but this is quite possibly the same river mentioned by Zechariah.


Ezekiel elaborates greatly on the river that flows to the Dead Sea.  Keep in mind that Zechariah says this river consists of “living water,” and the fact that the Dead Sea has nothing living in it.


Ezekiel 47:8-10 NKJV


8       Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.

9       And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

10     It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.


When Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives, an earthquake occurs, splitting the Mount, with a great east-west valley between.  It makes sense to me to think of this valley as being the conduit through which the waters will flow, from the Temple, through Jerusalem, and on to the Dead Sea.


Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when this happens.  When the earthquake occurs, everyone will know the King of kings has arrived.  The nail-printed hands of our Lord will have been put on the map of the earth, and He is claiming if for His own.


For many years, people in the hotel business have wanted to build hotels on the Mount of Olives.  And for decade, they wouldn’t build there, because it was a well-known fact that a geologic fault line runs east – west directly under the Mountain.  In more recent years, some hotels have been built, but with the latest earthquake technology.  Unfortunately, they have no idea the magnitude of the quake will be when Jesus arrives.


Zechariah referred to the waters as “living waters.”  Ezekiel says that when these “living waters” reach the Dead Sea, the waters will be healed, and it will no longer be a dead sea.


Verse 9 says life will come to the sea, as seen in the abundance of fish that will be found there.  Verse 10 says the Dead Sea will contain the same variety of fish that are found in the Mediterranean Sea.  That tells me that either Christ miraculously makes the variety of fishes to appear, or, since they are the same variety as the Med. Sea, that they swim upstream as far as Jerusalem, then downstream to the Dead Sea.  Then this passage also mentions two places where fishermen will gather.


This is the only verse in the Bible that mentions En Eglaim, so, because of this reference, they assume it to be located near the Dead Sea.  En Gedi, on the other hand, is a known place where you can travel today.  It is a tropical oasis, located on the western banks of the Dead Sea, about equidistance from both ends.


Let me show you a map of Ein Gedi and its Dead Sea surroundings.


Song of Solomon 1:14 NKJV


14     My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.


For your information, in Middle Eastern tradition, the henna blossoms were often used in a bride’s bouquet


According to 1 Samuel 24:1-4, it was here, at En Gedi, that David hid in a cave from King Saul.  It was also here that David snuck up on Saul and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.


According to the writings of the historian, Josephus, the persimmon gardens at En-Gedi provided the fruit for a perfume that, according to Cleopatra, drove men to madness.


Zechariah and Ezekiel are not the only prophets to speak of this river.


Joel 3:18 (NIV), speaks of the Millennium this way:


18     In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the LORD's house and will water the valley of acacias. 


This verse not only talks about the fountain flowing from under the Temple, but also says that the ravines, which today are mostly dry, will run with water.  And wherever these waters go, trees, luscious fruit trees will grow and will provide abundant nourishment.


While I believe this is a literal Jerusalem, a literal Temple, and a literal river, it is very much like the words of Jesus, when He said, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.


Before moving on, let me bring to you one more of several remaining Passages that speak of this river which has its source under the Temple.


When teaching on the Psalms, which I haven’t done for some time now, one of my favorite Psalms is the 46th.  Many of you will probably be familiar to the first verse.  It contains a promise that we can claim for ourselves during times of difficulty.


Psalms 46:1  NKJV


1       God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.


That is a tremendous promise – and we should claim it.  But this actually is a Messianic Psalm.


Verse 5 speaks of Jesus coming to defend his people at Armageddon.


Verse 6 tells of the rage and trouble among the nations when He arrives on the scene.


Verse 7 & 8 invites the people to observe the works of God after He arrives.


Verse 9 says that He makes wars to cease, and destroys all weapons of war.


Verse 10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”


I don’t think there is any question this Psalm is speaking of the arrival of Christ and His millennial reign on earth.  Now, let me return you to verses 2, 3 & 4, which tell of the geographical and topographical changes that occur when Jesus arrives.


Psalm 46:2-4 (NKJV)


2       Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

3       Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

4       There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.


There’s that river again.  I believe it to be the same one mentioned by Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Joel.


Even though Christ has not returned to set up His kingdom, we see the beginning of these things.  Nations are in uproar.  Kingdoms are falling.  Many civil wars are going an in the world.


But, in the midst of it, God’s voice comes forth. God speaks.  He lifts His voice.  He intervenes against the forces of iniquity and evil.

And then He speaks a word to His people in the midst of all the confusion and turmoil.  But in the midst of it God speaks to His people and says, “Be still, be quiet, don’t be upset, don’t get restless, don’t get nervous.  Be still and know that I am God. I’m still in control.  My purposes are going to work out.   I’m going to be exalted over all nations.   I am going to be exalted in the earth.”