THE CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE
"Is It The Big One?"
By C.W. WoodApril 2001
Since 1965, after Brother Branham preached the message, "CHOOSING A BRIDE" in Los Angeles, those who know that he was a Prophet, have also known that Los Angeles is going to slide into the ocean. There has been much speculation concerning the time frame in which this terrible calamity would take place. The question among the followers of Godís Prophet has not been, "Will it happen," but rather "When". Brother Branhamís statement concerning this catastrophe was in the form of a prophecy, which to his followers was the same as "Thus Saith The Lord."
Some of the questions that have been in our minds are: "Will it happen BEFORE the Rapture?" or Will it happen AT Rapture time?" or "Will it happen AFTER the Rapture and at some time during the three and one half years of Tribulation?"
We will not say that the answer to these questions will have any bearing on our Salvation, yet if our Lord saw fit to reveal it to the Prophet, then perhaps we are not wrong to search for the answer in his sermons. We do not speak of an actual date, but rather the "Time Frame" in which it will happen. Knowing beforehand how controversial this subject is, we would like to state in the beginning that we have no thought of causing division by this teaching. We will simply say what the Prophet and the scriptures say, then give every man the right to his own thoughts. First let us read the prophecy:
QUOTE: CHOOSING A BRIDE, APRIL 29, 1965, L.A. CAL. PAGE 35, "Thou city, who claims to be the city of the Angels, who's exalted yourself into heaven and sent all the dirty filthy things of fashions and things, till even the foreign countries come here to pick up our filth and send it away, with your fine churches and steeples, and so forth the way you do; remember, one day you'll be laying in the bottom of this sea. You're great honeycomb under you right now. The wrath of God is belching right beneath you. How much longer He'll hold this sandbar hanging over that, when that ocean out yonder a mile deep will slide in there plumb back to the Salton Sea. It'll be worse than the last day of Pompeii. Repent, Los Angeles. Repent the rest of you and turn to God. The hour of His wrath is upon the earth. Flee while there's time to flee and come into Christ. Let us pray." (End quote)
One wonders if the last soul that can be salvaged has been saved in California. This writer is one that believes God is still bringing in the lost. We are still seeing some souls turning to Jesus Christ in Arkansas. We have not given up that more will yet come in from our state. We print a weekly sermon in our newspaper, preaching salvation and the Message of Godís Prophet. We witness on the streets and in the market places. I know of people in other churches who are doing all to reach the lost in their state. But, what about California? Should every state continue to be evangelized except that one? Has God finished His work there? Who would dare to say that God will not save more of the lost in California?
But, there have been those of us, who in years past, have been afraid to set foot on California soil, much less stay to evangelize it. We donít want to be there when the "BIG ONE" happens. But, while some of us drew back, others felt led to go there, and even live there. It would seem that if there ever was a place ripe for the Harvest, it would be California. Her sins have long ago come up before God, and she is hanging over Hell on a rotten thread, so to speak. Armed with the Prophetís prediction of a coming earthquake and backed up by the scientists who say the same thing, there should be people there seeking rest for their weary, sin-sick souls. And, we know this is true, or should we disbelieve the wonderful reports about some who are coming into the Kingdom there?
The line of thought I am taking seems to be in direct contrast to some things Brother Branham said concerning California. On a hunting trip, after his prophecy, he was said to have told a group of brothers that they should leave California as soon as possible. I do not doubt my Brothers who say they were told that, but I would remind us all that Brother Branham was a man like we are, and he had his own thoughts as we do. From studying his sermons, I know that he thought we were closer to the end than we actually were at that time. His own thought was that we would be in the Millennium by 1977, but he was quick to tell us that it was not "Thus Saith The Lord." Can we let him be a man, and like the rest of us, express his own thoughts from time to time, while we still believe his, "Thus Saith The Lord" statements? Until we learn to do this, we will no doubt be confused about some things. This writer cannot believe that every state except California should be evangelized. Rather, it is my thought that the "LAST CALL" should be going forth there now, as never before.
Knowing that I will be blasted by some for making the above statement, I can only ask you to remember this; Brother Branhamís revelations were progressive. He learned as he went. Just about five months before God took him home, he preached a message in which he very clearly set forth the time frame in which the California Earthquake will happen. It is the opinion of this writer that what he was shown changed his own thinking about when California would sink. As best I can determine from what Brother Branham said in the following quotes, his last thoughts were that the Big Earthquake would happen at the end of the Tribulation period. We will now read his statements.
QUOTE: ATTRACTION ON THE MOUNTAIN, JULY 25, 1965, JEFF. PAGE 15, "Thatís what the attraction is. The Predestinated Seed of God, who canít do nothing else but follow it, means more than life to us. Take our lives, but donít take that. What is the attraction? God, as usual fulfilling His Word. Heís fulfilling the Word of Zechariah again, the Prophet Zechariah. Where I read the 9th chapter a while ago, when Jesus entered His Temple, ridingÖ.entered Jerusalem riding on a little white donkey, the prophecy was fulfilled that Zechariah said, here it is, "Rejoice greatly O daughters of Zion. Shout O daughters of Jerusalem. Behold thy King is coming unto thee; He is just and having salvation, lowly, riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass." Thatís what the attraction was at Jerusalem, at the religious headquarters. (End quote)
Here Brother Branham makes reference to the Coming of the Lord 2000 years ago. The prophet Zechariah saw that Coming, and he also saw a Last Day Coming. He saw His Coming AFTER the Rapture, and AFTER the Tribulation. He saw the time that He would come, "WITH HIS BRIDE" and put His feet on the Mount of Olives, WHICH WOULD CAUSE A GREAT EARTHQUAKE.
CONT. QUOTE: "Now we see a LAST DAY happening! Letís just turn a few pages on in Zechariah, and see what he said about it. Letís turn it over then (in the scriptures) for the LAST DAYS. That was the Middle Age (when He came 2000 years ago) letís turn now to the LAST DAYS. And turn over to Zechariah the 14th Chapter, and beginning with the 4th verse. And listen! And weíre going to read down a portion of the scriptureÖ.from 4 to 9. Listen close. And itís prophesying of His coming, the LAST DAYS, so listen close now. This is "Thus Saith The Lord", itís the scriptures. Zechariah 14. Remember, Zech. 9, what it said? And they didnít recognize it. Now, what is it today? Zech. 14 speaking of His coming. (End quote)
Then Brother Branham reads Zech. 14 4-5. Please read it in your Bible, but start with verse one, because from verse one to four, the Holy Ghost sets the TIME FRAME for the Earthquake mentioned in verse five. It is when ALL NATIONS ARE GATHERED AGAINST JERUSALEM TO BATTLE. It is the last part of the Tribulation Period, at which time the Battle of Armageddon takes place, and the Lord Jesus is there with His Saints to end it. It is then that the Great Earthquake takes place!
CONT. QUOTE: "Another earthquake splitting open the Earth! (Now follows the statement in which the Prophet gives the KEY to understanding the scriptures, and the TIME FRAME of the Great Earthquake.) If you want to follow out a scripture here, notice in this 5th verse, it applies that the cleaving of the Mount of Olives is DUE TO AN EARTHQUAKE, and this is confirmed by Isaiah 29:6 and Rev. 16:9. EXACTLY! What is it? The same Prophet that told of His first coming, saw His second coming. Notice! As in the days of the Earthquake. See what the earthquakes are doing, see the predictions of them?" (End quote)
Notice! The earthquake mentioned is caused by the feet of Jesus touching the Mount of Olives after Rapture, when He is back with His Saints. Believing now that the Lord revealed to His Prophet that the earthquake mentioned in Zech. 14:4-5 is the SAME ONE MENTIONED IN ISA. 29:6 AND IN REV. 16:18-19, we now have a basis for studying about the Greatest Earthquake that will ever be on the earth. (Please note that Brother Branham misquoted the verse in Rev. 16, in which the earthquake is mentioned. He said verse 9, when it is actually verses 18 and 19. Can we forgive him for that slip of the tongue and still believe the Message?)
I would ask you to turn now to Rev. 16:16 and start to read down to verse 21, for in verse 16, the Holy Ghost again sets the TIME FRAME for this Great Earthquake. It is when the Lord has gathered the nations together into a place "Called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon." Verse 18 says there has never been an earthquake such as recorded here, not since men were upon the earth. Now, if you have read the scriptures in your Bible, you saw that "Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found." This is very apparently and earthquake that will effect the whole earth, and not just California. It does not say the California islands and mountains will be gone, but rather the islands and mountains of the world. It does not say that hail the weight of a talent (100 pounds) fell only on California, but on "Men" who were on the EARTH.
The point is, that when this terrible earthquake takes place, it will destroy the world, for the scripture says, "The cities (plural) of the nations (plural) fell." Now, let us read in Isa. 29:1-8, for this is the third place in which the Prophet said this climatic earthquake is recorded. Please read again in your Bible. We know that Ariel, the city where David dwelt, speaks of Jerusalem, and a time when it will be greatly DISTRESSED. Now also notice, that the Holy Ghost again sets the time frame for this distress, (caused by an earthquake) and it is when God sends an enemy to "Camp against Jerusalem." It is the setting for the Battle of Armageddon!
He said, "I will raise forts against thee." Verse 8 then takes any doubt away concerning the time frame, for it says it will be, "When the multitude of ALL NATIONS fight against Mount Zion (Jerusalem)." Again, we know that this will be at the end of the Tribulation period. And Verse 6 tells us that the cause of this great distress is "Thunder and EARTHQUAKE, and great noise, and with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire." And no wonder, for it is the time of the destruction of the whole earth, a cleansing of it in preparation for the start of the Millennium. It is the end of the Tribulation period, and the end of the Battle of Armageddon. It is the time of the GREAT EARTHQUAKE!
And so, we see that all three places in the scripture, that Brother Branham said recorded this mighty Earthquake, sets the SAME TIME FRAME. It happens when the Lord comes back AFTER the Rapture, and at the end of the three and one half years of Tribulation, at the time when the Battle of Armageddon is to be fought. Remember, the statement of the Prophet, tying these scriptures to the same earthquake, was made AFTER the Seven Seals were opened, and just five months before the Lord took him home. He was finishing up his teaching on the mysteries, and God had shown him the time frame for the greatest Earthquake the world will ever see.
Some believe there will be more than one earthquake between now and the time of the Millennium, and no doubt this is true. No one knows how many there will be before the "BIG ONE." But, this writer cannot conceive of more than one of the magnitude mentioned in Rev. 16:16-21. Also, we believe that when the California coastline falls into the ocean, that the whole world will be affected. Therefore, it seems that the earthquake in our three scriptures, and the California Earthquake are the same one, affecting the whole world.
Now, what about the statement that our Brother Billy Paul Branham made concerning what Brother Branham said to him in front of the May Company in Los Angeles? I do not believe for one moment that Brother Billy told it wrong. I believe he dutifully spoke what his father had told him, which was that he would not be an old man before the sharks would be swimming where they were standing. Our precious Brother Billy may not be an old man as yet, but he is well on the road toward it.
Would it hinder your faith in the overall Message, and would you turn away, as some have done in the past, over things they did not understand, if the Lord took Brother Billy home while California is still standing? We can read the Prophetís messages and know what he said, but concerning the mysteries we must know, by revelation, what he meant by what he said! Did Brother Branham mean that Brother Billy would still be on Earth in his flesh body when the Earthquake happened? In the scriptures, there was a misunderstanding over the TIME of the death of the Apostle John. In John 21:22-23, Jesus had said, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee, follow thou Me." The saying went abroad that, "That disciple should not die, yet Jesus said not to him, he shall not dieÖÖ"
If our Brother Billy should leave this earth and be in his Theophany at the time California sinks, then he would not be an old man, but rather about twenty-one years old again. Brother Branham did not say that Brother Billy would not die, only that he would not be an old man. It makes one wonder if some of the disciples in Johnís day left the Message because John died before Jesus returned. It would not surprise this writer to learn that some did depart. May it be in our hearts to FOLLOW Christ, even if the same kind of a misunderstanding should arise in this age.
In closing, this seems a good time to discuss Brother Branhamís seventh vision, in which he heard a most terrible explosion and looking, he saw nothing but debris, craters and smoke all over the land of America. No doubt, we have all wondered just when this massive destruction will take place. Again, it is not a question of "IF" but only "WHEN." Since the scriptures state that the world and the Nominal Church will go through the Tribulation, it would seem safe to say that America will also go through it, not be destroyed before it comes. If there is a nation on Earth that will deserve to go through the Tribulation, it is America.
In her was the Prophet William Branham raised up, and in her was the Christ he preached crucified for the second time. In her also, must the Foolish Virgins, who denied Christ in His Prophet, be PURGED before they can receive Eternal Life. This being so, then she must stand during the Tribulation, and at the end thereof receive the fate as seen in the Seventh Vision. Her punishment will be special, as was that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even so, according to scripture, the Grace of God will allow her to stand until the last soul has been purged by the Tribulation. Then comes the total destruction.
Does the scripture say that California will be destroyed by an earthquake? Once when Brother Pearry Green was reading to Brother Branham from the 18th Chapter of Revelation, Brother Green gave this report of this incident. "Rev. 18:4 saysÖ.. ĎCome out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.í As I read these words, the full revelation struck me that this was Brother Branhamís Message. It was him that said, ĎCome our of herí speaking of coming out of the systems, the denominations, the Roman plague, the Daughters of the HarlotÖÖ."
Brother Green went on to relate how Brother Branham called his attention to the TWO BABYLONS in the 18th chapter of Revelation, one in verse 8 to be destroyed by FIRE, and one in verses 21 through 23, to be destroyed by WATER. Rome, the First Babylon, will be destroyed by fire. Russia will drop a bomb on the Vatican. Los Angeles, the second Babylon, will be destroyed by the Great Earthquake, as she slides into the ocean. How could we know these things had not a merciful God sent us His Prophet? We thank God for the things He is revealing to us, and may we continue to study to show ourselves approved. Dear Lord, if we get some things wrong, please forgive us and correct us. Amen.