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Great Cataclysmic Chasms of the Bible
This is part of a series of the Great Chasms in Scripture as we go deep into the cataclysm of Sodom and Gomorrah. Join us for our study of Isaiah. We do not stay exclusively in Isaiah, we are all over the Bible, scientific evidence, and legend. We go into detailed backstories, articles, and videos.
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There are pivotal times in history where great chasms open upon the face of the earth creating great chasms. Geology, ancient religions and cultures, and other disciplines relate to us either catastrophic broad-strokes or graphic details of the horrific events. One such event was the liquefaction earthquake of the infamous Caribbean pirate town of Port Royal. This was a FEMA go-to for liquefaction earthquakes because the historical and geologic evidence was compelling. It was known as, “the world's wickedest city.” It was home to buccaneers, bars, and brothels. on 7 June 1692, when a massive earthquake and tsunami, described by the local clergy as God's punishment, sank much of the city into the sea, killing 2,000 people.
One witness strove to explain the horrifying scene: “I found the ground rowling and moving under my feet,” he recalled. He then “saw the earth open and swallow up a multitude of People, and the Sea mounting in upon us over the Fortifications.”
John Taylor, who visited Jamaica in 1687, explained that Port Royal was “verey lose in itself, and, by reson of privateres and debauched wild blades wich come hither.” The city, he continued, “‘tis now more rude and anticque [i.e. antic] than ‘ere was Sodom, fill’d with all maner of debauchery.”
One of the largest and most widely circulated accounts of the earthquake is from Reverend Emmanuel Heath who was the rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Heath observed that many individuals drowned when the wharves and several streets closest to the harbor were destroyed along with two of the forts.
Others were trapped when the earth opened and then closed, leaving them “buried with their Heads above ground, only some Heads the Dogs have eaten, others are covered with Dust and Earth by the People which yet remain in the place, to avoid the stench. Link
Some of the vignettes we studied at FEMA were of the earth swallowing up a person and then sitting him out upon the sand. Victim after victim, and animals, and whole multi-story buildings swallowed up whole- never to be seen again.
Will great chasms be a part of the End Time scenario, and if so, how can one avoid being swallowed up alive?
Avoid evil territories: cities, counties, states, and possibly countries.
In many accounts of great chasms in history, the number one belief of eyewitnesses and those transmitting the oral stories is that great chasms occur due to wickedness and debauchery. In times past, most great chasms were in localized areas. There is evidence of global liquefaction earthquakes that shook the whole world causing mass devastation. Most religions and cultures know that there are territorial spirits. Some places are considered sacred while other locations are evil.
We see the rebel Korach, much of his family, and belongings being swallowed up after he seizes authority that was not his to grab. It was almost as if Korach threw down the gauntlet to God, saying “I dare you.” And that area to this day is known for its seismic activity.
But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.” Number 16:30
According to contemporary Edward Ward, seventeenth-century [Port Royal] Jamaica was:
“the Dunghill of the Universe, the Refuse of the whole Creation...as Sickly as a Hospital, as Dangerous as the Plague, as Hot as Hell, and as Wicked as the Devil”. Ward’s colorful description of the colony epitomized many English colonists. ‟ Today the past has been forgotten. Sentiments of an exotic tropical paradise is a seductive siren luring present-day tourists to a location with a dubious and cataclysmic past-and it can happen again.
I hear many people who live near evil territories or know of seismic activity with a propensity for liquefaction complacent in their present situation. True, in the days to come as wickedness fills and earth it will be difficult to secure a location of purity but sitting on fault lines or sandy earth with territorial spirits. It might be time to reevaluate.
- Avoid touching the possession of evil persons.
Scripture warns us in Numbers 16:26, “turn away from near the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything of theirs, lest you perish because of all their sins.” As we go into these days of judgment it would be well for us to remember that we should not touch anything of theirs [wicked].
Another account for Port Royal:
“In addition to the death and destruction, many survivors looted homes, warehouses, and according to one eyewitness, even deceased individuals had “their Pockets pick‟d, their Fingers cut off for their Rings, their Gold Buttons taken out of their Shirts.” I certainly would not want a possession that had been stolen or obtained by crude practices as robbing the dead.
Recently, I did a show on Christianity and Medicine. As I studied and reflected on my process for keeping strange ideologies from my life, I became aware of the consumer goods (and I am not much of a consumer) that I have no idea of the origins, ideologies, processes, rituals, or spiritual portals or attachments that through acquisition, might seek entry in my home and spiritual life. I will now make my purchases with even greater scrutiny. Consider artificial intelligence, what spirits come with those devices?
Back in the day of someone had a questionable character one would say, “I am not going to stand next to you today because you might get hit by lightning.” These days we need to be careful what we purchase from unknown sources that we will touch, lest we might become engulfed in the chasm coming to swallow them for their sins.
- Avoid fellowship with evil people.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
In this [Port Royal] colony, where many “found sin very high and religion very low,” the moral compass of Jamaica’s residents did not significantly change after the earthquake. Nonetheless, imagine the horror of the survivors who stood “on the Seashore...where once brave Streets of stately Houses stood, appearing now nothing but Water, except here and there a Chimney, and some parts and pieces of Houses...now Habitations for Fish.”
One must silently contemplate if Atlantis had this type of catastrophic end as a result of the character of its population.
- Make a wise decision for your eternal destiny today, for what happens tomorrow may be an Act of God.
The first time we see a great chasm, albeit in broad strokes is Abraham’s eye-witness account of one of the earth’s largest geologic chasms:
Early the next morning, Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw the smoke rising from the land like smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham, and He brought Lot out of the catastrophe that destroyed the cities where he had lived Genesis 19:27-29
Port Royal did not consider its ways until catastrophe hit.
Port Royal boasted of being safe from “those strange typhons, or hurricanes” until the island was struck by hurricanes in 1712, 1722, 1726, 1744, and 1751. In addition to the numerous hurricanes, a destructive fire in 1703 burned almost all the buildings in Port Royal. It suffered numerous fires after the 1703 fire.
As a way to process these disasters, colonists declared fast days after experiencing a wondrous event that they interpreted as a divine judgment, which also generated conversations regarding repentance. William Corbin preached a sermon on June 7, 1703, in order to commemorate the ruinous earthquake eleven years earlier. Corbin’s sermon also warned the colonists that earthquakes continued to occur on the island because “God hath still a Controversie with us, and loudly calls upon us to Repent of our sins and amend our Lives.”
This statement from Corbin’s sermon illustrates how sermons regarding the earthquake focused on the wrath of God for the sinfulness of Jamaica’s colonists and on the need for repentance.
Ponder this lone survivor of Port Royal:
The day after Isaac Norris arrived in Jamaica, his brother died and several of his other family members had already perished. In a letter to a fellow Quaker, Norris wrote:
I am stript of whatsoever was near to me, my father, brother and sister and of a large family there is now none left of the name but myself. I am as one alone in a wide world though it is uncertain how long I shall continue, for the judgments of God are still against us and multitudes do daily die.
When you wake up tomorrow be aware that there is a great chasm between life and death. You have the potential to be an eyewitness or victim of catastrophe. The chasm between life and death will be based upon the decisions you make that day, and the actions you took on that day and spanning your whole life.
If you have not decided on where your eternal resting place will be, today is the day. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah did not have real-time news coverage notifying them that fire and brimstone would obliterate any trace of their lives. Now it the time, trust in Jesus.
Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activations include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.
- Incident Command
- Integrated EM: Preparedness, Response, Recovery, Mitigation
- Emergency Plan Design including all Emergency Support Functions
- Principles of Emergency Management
- Developing Volunteer Resources
- Emergency Planning and Development
- Leadership and Influence, Decision Making in Crisis
- Exercise Design and Evaluation
- Public Assistance Applications
- Emergency Operations Interface
- Public Information Officer
- Flood Fight Operations
- Domestic Preparedness for Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Incident Command (ICS-NIMS)
- Multi-Hazards for Schools
- Rapid Evaluation of Structures-Earthquakes
- Weather Spotter for National Weather Service
- Logistics, Operations, Communications
- Community Emergency Response Team Leader
- Behavior Recognition
Celeste grew up in military & governmental home with her father working for the Naval Warfare Center, and later as Assistant Director for Public Lands and Natural Resources, in both Washington State and California.
Celeste also has training and expertise in small agricultural lobbying, Integrative/Functional Medicine, asymmetrical and symmetrical warfare, and Organic Farming.
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