In Proposition 147, George Peters states:
“This Kingdom is preceded by a wonderful shaking of the heavens and earth.”
The Second Advent is noted by Jesus, John the Revelator, and the prophets as being preceded by a time of unique physical events. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus states, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” He goes on to say in Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.'” Can there be any doubt something great, might, and awesome will take place that involves the heavens and the earth being used by God? It would seem such a series of events is hard to deny and their occurrence signals the coming of the Kingdom.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 147 is the following:
“But while fully endorsing this view, that the great, important meaning of such phraseology is the subversion, overturning, and destruction of Kingdoms, etc., yet this does not forbid our entertaining the firm belief that these things will be accompanied by physical marvels, earthquakes, etc., which shall cause “men’s hearts failing them for fear,” etc. Analogy, pointing to the plagues preluding the deliverance from Egypt, to the events connects with the birth and crucifixion of Jesus, should cause us to hold that when the most solemn crisis for the world comes, God will cause His Almighty energy to be displayed in an unusual manner in the material nature which is to be a participant in the glory following. God has hitherto thus condescended to warn and speak, and there is every reason to believe, that as the end of the age draws nigh and the stupendous issues dependent upon it approach, God will again plead with man in a startling, strange, supernatural manner. While it may be difficult, and even impossible (owing to this figurative use of language just designated), to tell in each individual case whether the fulfillment embraces a literal, physical, or moral, or civil, or political sign, yet such is the variety of expression, the attitude of man himself, the actual participation of the material heavens and earth (as will be shown in following propositions) in the changes then introduced that the wisest and most profound students of the Word have unhesitatingly given their adhesion (see Prop. 174) to such a belief. Indeed, when the writer considers that this period is to be specially characterized by the denial of the supernatural by the worldly-wise, it seems eminently fitting and proper that such an exertion of power should be manifested, not only for the believing and prudent, not only for the admonition of the unthinking, but for the confounding of the crafty, who rely so much on nature.”
Peters rightly notes the connection with the events that will precede the Second Advent with the plagues imposed upon Egypt. Both signal a coming time of deliverance. What is also helpfully pointed out by Peters is the reason God employs these “physical marvels, earthquakes, etc.” It is not just to declare to the wicked His omnipotence. While that is certainly a reason for these events, as Peters aptly states, God “will again plead with man in a startling, strange, supernatural manner” to repent. If those events to not grab the fullness of man’s attention, nothing will. Before the renewal and regeneration of the heavens and the earth takes place, a great shaking will occur as the great and terrible Day of the Lord draws nigh. The righteous will be watching and waiting with great anticipation. The wicked will find their’s hearts melting with fear.