There are many parts of Revelation whose meaning and implication remains unclear to me. However, with time comes understanding, as new facts and information helps enlighten us. There were two prophecies that remained a mystery to me, in that I was not able to visualize the manner by which they would become manifested into the world. Recent news and scientific research has possibly shed light onto these prophecies. In Revelation 6:12-15, we are told:
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the Kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and rocks, …
In a related prophecy, which occurs later in the End of Days, Revelation 8:12 says:
The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.
There is one natural phenomena that can serve to fulfill both prophecies – a major eruption of a supervolcano. For Revelation 6:12, a major eruption of a supervolcano could start with a massive ‘great earthquake’, as the supervolcano explodes. Its ash cloud would cause the sun to ‘blacken like sackcloth’ and turn the color of the moon to ‘blood’. As the eruption continued, the stars could be completely blocked, as if they ‘fell’ from the sky and the sky would ‘vanish’ as the growing ash cloud smothered the land. The massive earthquake could indeed move every mountain and island as an earthquake of sufficient size can actually affect the tilt of the earth. The President and the elites will retreat to government bunkers, as ‘the rich and the powerful … hid themselves in the caves and among rocks of the mountains’.
This first eruption would later be followed by an even more powerful supervolcano eruption, as is described in Revelation 8:12. The second supervolcano eruption would produce a massive ash cloud. This ash cloud would be so large that it would engulf a third of the world in its shadow, darkening the sun, and the moon, and the stars so that a third of the world would be blocked from their light. Only a catastrophic supervolcano eruption could produce an ash cloud large enough to cover a third of the entire world, blanketing it in darkness.
Of course, God can use His mystical power to suddenly cause the world to shake and darken, like a Ceil B. DeMille movie (the producer of the classic film, ‘The Ten Commandments’), or He can bring about these prophecies by using a supervolcano as His tool. Though a catastrophic eruption of a supervolcano would serve to fulfill prophecy in Revelation, there is a major problem — there has not been such an eruption for over 50,000 years. Luckily (or unfortunately), recent scientific research has recently shown that we may be entering into a period of intensified volcanic activity.
In 2012, researchers discovered that the melting of the Antarctic land based ice was so great, that the earth’s crust was rising as the tremendous weight of that ice was removed. It was found that this was causing magma to well up and threatened to cause a volcanic eruption under the Antarctic ice. Separate research looked at sentiment cores taken off the coast of South and Central America — it showed that the melting of the ice after the end of the Ice Age coincided with periods of much higher volcanic activity than is found today. This research would imply that the melting of the land base ice in Antarctica and Greenland (and it would appear Iceland as well given all the volcanic eruptions there) could trigger another cycle of heightened global volcanic activity. There is some research that shows a steady increase in volcanic activity over the past 50 years, with a very significant acceleration in the last two years. It appears that the ‘butterfly effects’ of global warming continue to mount. There is also another phenomena that is similar in nature that could actually serve to directly trigger a supervolcano eruption.
Just as the land mass is rising in Antarctica, it was recently discovered that the land mass is rising someplace very different – in California. The land mass in Antarctica is rising because the melting of the land based ice is removing a great weight that sits upon the earth’s crust, and with that removal, the land is rising. The land mass in California is rising because the ground water is being severely depleted, due to the heat and the drought that is gripping that state, and as the weight of that water is removed, the land is rising. Though it has been documented that the magma is rising in parts of Antarctica, and the volcanos in Iceland have been quite active, those volcanos are not supervolcanos. However, in northern California, there is a supervolcano – the Long Valley caldera which is found in the Mammoth mountains. Though there have not been any reports of rising magma in California, the Long Valley caldera has just been hit with a swarm of over 600 earthquakes in a span of just 24 hours. Similarly, there are reports of increased activity in Mount Saint Helens in Washington, as well as recent eruptions in Alaska. Should California remain in a state of severe drought and should it continue to pump ground water at its current rate, we can expect the earth’s crust in California to continue to rise – and in doing so, perhaps increase the chances of causing the Long Valley caldera supervolcano to erupt. There is another supervolcano, and a much more famous one nearby – the Yellowstone caldera.
There has not been any scientific research out yet that discusses the implications of the California land rise to increased volcanic activity in the region, but the fact that the land is rising due to removal of the weight of water is almost exactly the same as the phenomena that is occurring in Antarctica and Greenland/Iceland. The fact that California is the home to one supervolcano and very close to another makes it our prime candidate for fulfilling the prophecies discussed in Revelation 6:12 and 8:12.
I believe that this again shows that science is very much the friend of Believers and can help us to better see the signs of Revelation that surround us.