Revelation 16:20

every island fled away and the mountains were not found
Unlike the earthquake attending the opening of the sixth seal in which “every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Rev. Rev. 6:12-14+), now every island flees away and the mountains are no longer found.

Scientists cannot laugh at this idea because they, themselves, teach most earnestly that the mountains once rose to their present heights, and furnish us with abundance of geological data to prove their points. We agree, although we believe it was done, not by any slow process of evolution, but . . . just as God pours out his final wrath upon this earth.1

Such geographic alteration of the earth’s surface would seem to be attended by massive loss of life. And so Scripture attests by Jeremiah:

I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; and the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the LORD, by His fierce anger. For thus says the LORD: “The whole land shall be desolate; yet I will not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black, because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, nor will I turn back from it.” (Jer. Jer. 4:23-28)

The scope of the vision, like so many prophetic glimpses of Old Testament prophets, transcends the then-impending application [the destruction of Judah wrought by the Babylonian armies] and envisions the worldwide woe of Israel in the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. Jer. 30:5-7) preceding Kingdom blessing (Rev. Rev. 6:1+-Rev. 19:21+).2

Those saints yet living on the earth during this time will understand Psalm Ps. 46:1 in a completely literal way: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea . . . The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved, He uttered His voice, the earth melted” (Ps. Ps. 46:1-2, Ps. 46:6).

The earth is essentially a ruin by the Second Coming of Christ. All of man’s environmental efforts and their pagan foundations will be for naught. For appeal to mother earth (Gaia) for shelter and sustenance will be of no avail when she herself is judged by Father God Who created the earth.

In a similar way to how God will create a new heavens and a new earth after the final judgment (Rev. Rev. 21:1+), He will regenerate the earth prior to the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus promised his disciples, “In the regeneration (παλιγγενεσίᾳ [palingenesia] , again Genesis), when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mtt. Mat. 19:28). Isaiah also saw a “new heavens and a new earth,” but which is followed by childbirth, sin, and death (Isa. Isa. 65:17, Isa. 65:20, Isa. 65:23).3 It is by this regeneration that Jerusalem is lifted up above the surrounding lands (Zec. Zec. 14:10) to form the mountain of the Lord’s house from which will flow the river of life during the Millennium (Isa. Isa. 2:2; Isa. 27:13; Isa. 30:29; Isa. 56:7; Eze. Eze. 17:24; Eze. 20:40; Eze. 40:2; Mic. Mic. 4:1).

Then Isaiah’s prophecy will become a literal reality:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isa. Isa. 40:3-5)


Notes

1 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), 309.

2 Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), Jer. 4:23.

3 Either Isaiah saw the regeneration prior to the Millennium, or the text of Isaiah Isa. 65:1 is not strictly sequential—a characteristic not unknown in prophetic passages.