Amongst the various other startling images depicted in the Book of Revelation, one curious scene appears to be granted a certain significance. The Apocalypse uses recapitulation as a literary device to highlight areas of especial importance. The battle of Armageddon, for example, is referred to in several different places. A rather more bizarre scene of a mountain being cast into the sea in Rev 8:8 is recapitulated again in Rev 18:21, connecting this event with the fall of "Babylon" - the ruling world-power in the eschatological age.
The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. (Rev 8:8)
Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ― So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more… (Rev 18:21)
The majority of scholars recognize that these two events in the Apocalypse refer to the same event. G.K. Beale for example states: "the burning mountain cast into the sea refers to the judgment of a wicked kingdom. This kingdom is to be identified as 'Babylon', 'the great city' of Revelation 11-18, which holds sway over the evil world system. (Beale, G.K. The Book of Revelation p476).
But what could this reference to a "great mountain, burning with fire" refer to? The first image that comes to mind is that of a volcano.
But how could a volcano be thrown into the sea? And how would this bring down the ruling world empire at the end-time? I'll post a short extract from my book below:
On the 12th of October 2000, the BBC's flagship documentary series Horizon aired a programme that was to cause a considerable amount of controversy in the world of geophysics. Subtitled "Mega-tsunami: Wave of Destruction", the documentary elaborated how the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary island of La Palma poses an enormous risk to the eastern coastline of the Americas. The documentary was based on the combined research of S.N. Ward of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California and S.J. Day of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College, London, who hoped to prove that Cumbre Vieja has the potential to cause one of the greatest natural disasters ever known to human civilisation.
Ward and Day's research shows how the inside of Cumbre Vieja is honeycombed with fissures caused by the rising of molten magma heating and vaporizing water which then erodes the inside of the volcano. This phenomenon has severely weakened the internal structure of the volcano, making it extremely unstable. During its last eruption in 1949, the southern volcano caused a massive crack to appear, and the entire western portion of Cumbre Vieja slipped a few metres towards the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2001, Ward and Day put forward a scientific paper showing how that the entire western flank will eventually give way, possibly even during its next eruption; sending 500 thousand million tonnes of rock crashing into the ocean. Ward and Day's research, which took other examples of this phenomenon into account, suggested that the impact of this "lateral collapse" would generate a colossal wave – dubbed a "mega-tsunami", which could reach a local amplitude of between 650-1500 metres. This wave would then rapidly travel westwards reaching a speed of approximately 720kph. Although it would diminish in size by the time it made landfall on the eastern seaboard of America, it could still be as high as 50 metres (to give a sense of perspective, the statue of liberty is 93 metres tall), devastating everything in its wake up to 25km inland.
In comparison with this projected scenario, the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred on 26th December 2004, reached a height of only 24m at Bandeh Aceh – the region worst affected by the disaster, which was totally obliterated. If this event unfolds in the manner that Ward and Day have projected, then this "mega-tsunami" would be the greatest natural disaster in recorded history. (Unveiling the Apocalypse pp148-149)
You can read Ward and Day's full article here.
Full article: Unveiling the Apocalypse by Emmett O'Regan
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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