Virginia earthquake: Wilkerson's prophecy fulfilled?

David Wilkerson’s earthquake prophecy seems to fit well with worldwide events this year, or at least it has offered a convenient grid for some people to fit their interpretations of events into. There has been a major earthquake in Japan, a minor one in England, and earthquake panic in Rome. But despite the Tea Party’s best efforts last month, the prophesied economic meltdown has not yet happened.

The latest candidate for a fulfilment of Wilkerson’s prophecy is of course Tuesday’s earthquake in the “Old Dominion” state of Virginia. This caused damage, but thankfully no known casualties, in Washington DC. In New York, 300 miles away, it was felt strongly enough to cause panic. Meanwhile Hurricane Irene is heading straight for the capital city and the Big Apple, and is expected to hit them at the weekend.

So could this be what Wilkerson prophesied? Well, it certainly fits one of his predictions for the earthquake:

I believe it is going to take place where it is least expected.

But while there have been riots, fires and looting in the UK this month (I have not commented on them before as I am still on vacation), the panic in New York doesn’t seem to have led to looting in Times Square – although who knows what might happen in the aftermath of a hurricane? More seriously, there is no way that this minor quake can be understood as

the biggest most disastrous earthquake in history.

Washington National CathedralIn this week’s quake the most seriously damaged building, it seems, was the Washington National Cathedral, according to Wikipedia “the seat of … the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori” and thus the spiritual centre of the largely apostate Episcopal Church. I use the word “apostate” here not so much concerning its abandonment of the true gospel or its promotion of homosexual practice as in relation to its policy, in direct contravention of apostolic teaching (1 Corinthians 6:1-6), of persecuting orthodox congregations through the secular courts. Now I am not claiming that this damage to the cathedral (minor of course compared to the damage to Christchurch cathedral in New Zealand just six months earlier) was the result of divine judgment. But from an orthodox Christian perspective it certainly seems to be poetic justice.

So as Christians what lessons can we learn from this week’s event? It doesn’t seem to have been the fulfilment of David Wilkerson’s prophecy. But perhaps it can be understood as a reminder and a warning that the USA, and indeed the whole world, has earned God’s judgment, and it is only by his grace that we are spared the total destruction which we deserve:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:9-10 (NIV 2011)

There is nothing in this world which cannot be shaken, even if it is not supposed to be in an earthquake zone, even the centres of world political and economic power. “Dominion” may have become a dirty word in politics, but this quake can teach us that true kingship belongs not to the “Old Dominion” but to God. So let us all take a lesson from the letter to the Hebrews:

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 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.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:25-29 (NIV 2011)

5 thoughts on “Virginia earthquake: Wilkerson's prophecy fulfilled?

  1. Since the Virginia earthquake fault was known, wasn’t high enough on the Richter scale or any where near damaging enough to meet the description Wilkerson gave, and occurred more than 30 years after Wilkerson made his prophecy, how can anyone say it was fulfilled?”

  2. Indeed, Jenny, although I have my doubts about “was known” – to geologists perhaps, but certainly not to the general public. Also one of Wilkerson’s earthquake prophecies was much more recent than 30 years ago. But many people in the last few days were searching for “david wilkerson earthquake prophecy” or similar, so I wanted to make my own position clear.

  3. Okay, Peter Kirk. I’ve avoided commenting on this one. I made a few huge mistakes in the past here at your blog. Because I’m too dense to get some of your humor (which is quite funny when I get it!). I’m not sure what I’m missing this time.

    So I’ll dive in – the fool.

    I’ve a strong interest in this stuff. Human judgments. Here’s the deal. Piper pulled this stunt a year or two ago. With his comments about the tornado destroying a church steeple in Minneapolis. Where Lutherans voted to approve gay ordinations (or some other sexual issue). Piper backed down under criticism. Modified his comments. Downgrading his prior comment from a near-direct statement of judgement down to a ‘maybe.’ Later, downgraded more to, ‘think about it.’ Enter, Greg Boyd. Boyd comes on (you know the love between these two). And Boyd does statistical analyses. Tornado frequencies in the mid-west. Boyd morps from open theologian into Mr. Chaos Theory. Large number theory. You know the drill. Large number theory overlaid on chaos becomes the savant of theft – theft of all particularized meaning. Gee thanks, Greg. Piper’s in the better position to learn. Even if Piper is an atheist nomologist at heart and is just vomiting out random judgments nomologically (forget statistics) and is wrong in particular – he’s still in a better position to learn. Feedback loop. He’s given God something to work with.


  4. Jim, thank you. I am trying to avoid saying this earthquake is God’s judgment and only too say “think about it”. More like Luke 13:1-5: the tower of Siloam falling down was not God’s direct judgment but Jesus still makes it into a warning.

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