Posted in bible jesus, end time, freak storms, hailstorm

Freak hailstorm amazes, hard to believe

Have you ever heard of people getting killed by hail? I haven’t so much, either. I’ve heard of lightning strikes, and deaths by tornadoes, hurricanes, and windstorms. But not hail. Until yesterday:

“Hailstones the size of golf balls have reportedly killed three people and injured 25 others in China. The giant pieces of ice pelted several rural areas in east China’s Jiangxi province overnight and on Wednesday morning, resulting in the deaths of three people, the Xinhua news agency said. The hailstones were said to be as large as 3.5cm in diameter and weighed 18g on average. The storms forced the evacuation of more than 700 people, destroyed about 2,700 hectares of crops and damaged more than 900 houses, a spokesman with the Jiangxi provincial department of civil affairs said. Around 170,000 Jiangxi residents have been affected by the freak weather, the spokesman added.”

So let’s take a look at whether the impression I have of the rarity of death by hailstones is legitimate or not:

The folks at American Association for the Advancement of Science; ScienceNet Links were asked the same thing.

“Every year, tornadoes, hurricanes, and snowstorms claim lives and cause injuries. But strangely, hailstorms, which pelt the ground with hard balls of ice, never seem to hit human targets. A listener called Science Update to ask why. We’ve all heard stories about golf ball- and baseball-size hail denting cars and damaging houses. So that prompted Lee Greenfield of Washington, D.C., to ask why we never hear about people getting hurt by hail. We checked with Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at The National Severe Storm Lab in Norman, Oklahoma. He says hail stones have to be a couple inches in diameter to cause injury. But hail of that size is pretty rare. And hail that could really seriously hurt you—getting to be baseball-size and larger—there aren’t very many storms each year that do that. And even within a storm that does produce hail that size, not very many of the stones are that big. Most of the stones are much smaller than that. … the listener’s perception—that relatively few people get killed or injured by hail—is correct.”

So just as I was mulling all that over, today I read of another hailstorm that was freak to say the least.

4 feet of hail? Massive hail storm hits Texas panhandle

“DALLAS–Maintenance crews worked Thursday to clear roads after a storm dumped several inches of hail on parts of the Texas Panhandle, trapping motorists in muddy drifts that were waist-to-shoulder high. The storm left so much hail in its wake that workers had to use snow plows to clear the piles from the road.”It was crazy,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Justyn Jackson said about the strange storm, which hit Wednesday afternoon. The hail was “real small” but there was a lot of it in a concentrated area, accumulating 2- to 4-feet deep, he said. The rural area where the storm struck was mainly ranch land, about 25 miles north of Amarillo and south of Dumas. Rainwater gushed across the parched land, washing dirt and then mud into the hail, pushing it all onto U.S. 287, Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. “There were just piles of hail,” said Maribel Martinez with the Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management. “Some of the cars were just buried in hail and people were trapped in their cars.”

This story from the UK Daily Mail is pretty interesting. Apparently even though the US Weather Service confirmed the freak weather event, people were dubious. So they posted photos on the US Weather Service Facebook page and people were still dubious. Skeptics derided the unlikelihood of the event as actually having occurred, it was so outside the scope of understanding and expectation as a weather happening. The Daily Mail focused on the skepticism part, and titled their article, Hail No!

“A small town in Texas was hit with a whopper of a storm Wednesday morning that left four feet of hail in its wake.Officials from the National Weather Service in Amarillo said that the storm was so severe and the hail so unrelenting that a major highway in Potter County was completely covered. But the photos of the one-off event are so unbelievable that an army of online sceptics have cast doubt on their authenticity, suggesting that instead they may simply show large rocks. When the weather service posted a photograph to Facebook of a firefighter next to the ice — which reached all the way up to his chest — commenters couldn’t believe their eyes. That just doesn’t even look real! Dang!’ Bridget Hefner said on the site. Commenters turned their disbelief into hypotheses, offering alternative explanations to the unbelievable reality. ‘Looks like a bunch of rocks/stones,’ suggested Tiffany Baugh Berry. Another cynical poster wrote: ‘It’s a lite dusting of hail on some damn rocks.’ ‘I can assure you we do not have big rocks like that in West Texas,’ Scotten retorted to MSNBC.com. ‘That was four feet of ice,’ she insisted, adding that the hail was compacted by rain and floodwater across a wide area. She blamed the ice’s rock-like appearance on drought.’We’re very dusty around here,’ she said.”

Here is a raw video from an eyewitness. At about 51 seconds in, one guy says to another, Have you ever seen anything like THIS?” The other guy answers, “No! No I have not.”

Yesterday I noted that the Lord said in His Olivet Discourse of the signs in advance of His coming that “you will hear…”  and the word for hear means to listen, with an attendant figurative meaning of “to hear God’s voice which prompts Him to birth faith within.”

THESE ARE SIGNS FROM GOD, people! Wake UPPPPP.

As far as the localized nature of the Texas hailstorm goes, He has done that before:

“And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another ….” (Amos 4:7)

In the past He has used hail to wake up the population to turn to Him, as well:
“I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord.” (Haggai 2:17)

And He will use hail in the future. Now, if golf ball sized hail can kill, weighing mere ounces, what will a global deluge of 100 pound hail do to people? It will be massive death:

“And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Revelation 16:21).

See, by then they know it is God who sends the hail, and for judgment, too, but they are so far gone that they simply blaspheme Him. Don’t let that be you. Repent NOW.

Posted in bible jesus, end of days. prophecy, messiah

Do you have a divided heart, or a whole heart?

Jesus at His zenith of popularity… Big crowds, laudatory accolades, and promises, promises by the naive:

“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61-62).

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary says of that verse, “As ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made, and is marred the instant one turns about, so will they come short of salvation who prosecute the work of God with a distracted attention, a divided heart. … The expression “looking back” has a manifest reference to ‘Lot’s wife’.”

You can imagine what a furrow looks like when a plow has swerved. Or a mower with the operator looking backwards. It soon gets crooked.

The ‘don’t look back’ warning in Luke does bring immediately to mind the warning given to Lot and his family as they prepared to flee the imminent judgment at Sodom, that most wicked city. The angel told the family,

“Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” (Gen 19:17b).

Those directions are pretty clear. Don’t look back. The family had been told in no uncertain terms that what was going to happen to the city. They knew it was judgment from God, and they knew they were in the presence of an angel who was delivering this message. you cannot get much higher than an authority than an angel sent by God, and you would think that a person would listen to the directions. When the judgment started, this is what happened:

“Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Gen 19:24-26).

She had a divided heart.

Now, the Lord is THE highest authority. And He told the would-be follower in Luke not to look back. He had discerned that the would-be follower already had a divided heart. You can’t move forward while looking back. If you do, you mar your walk.

Jesus is the most beautiful treasure, the most glowing glory, the most perfect sight one could ever imagine. He is the most important person in the Universe, from all time and forever. The question is, why would you WANT to look back? Is there a possession Mrs Lot had that was worth more to her than her family around her? More important than an angel from God? More important than judgment behind and salvation ahead?

Of the young follower questioning Jesus, who was at his house that was more important than the Messiah?

In John 6, Jesus was talking with the disciples. A great many of them had been following Jesus for some time, including the Twelve. As Jesus was preaching about the bread and the blood, and saying that no one can come to Him unless it has been granted by the Father. It was a hard saying, hard to understand and hard to accept. The scriptures say,

“As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”

Peter got it. He knew that there was nothing else on earth more important than the time He could spend with Messiah in person.

Do you have a divided heart? Where else would you go, once you found the key to eternal life, and the One who brings it? There is no place else to go, nothing else to have, not one thing of any iota of importance compared to Jesus. A divided heart is no heart. What was Mrs Lot looking at? What was back at Sodom that was better to mourn over than in looking back, rather than looking ahead at the angel who was leading them to safety? Who was better for the young would-be follower to be with than the most important Person of the universe??

My hope for myself and for you is to have a whole heart for Jesus.

Posted in bible jesus, false, heresies, joel osteen

Do not listen to Joel Osteen

I urge you to consider these days are dark with herds of savage wolves creeping in with destructive heresies. They prowl and pounce on the unsuspecting, and for the purpose of shredding God’s people. Joel Osteen is one of those. “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting’…” (Romans 16:17-18). This post is my urge to you. Let’s begin:

From Chris Rosebrough’s Letter of Marque:

In the late second century, Irenaeus of Lyons, wrote his classic apologetic tome Against Heresies to check, expose and combat the gnostic heresy of the Valentian sect. It is significant to note that the same scripture twisting tactics of the gnostic heretics are still being employed by today’s heretics. Said Irenaeus, heretics:

“… adapt the good words of revelation to their own wicked inventions. And it is not only from the writings of the evangelists and the apostles that they endeavour to derive proofs for their opinions by means of perverse interpretations and deceitful expositions: they deal in the same way with the law and the prophets, which contain many parables and allegories that can frequently be drawn into various senses, according to the kind of exegesis to which they are subjected. And others of them, with great craftiness, adapted such parts of Scripture to their own figments, lead away captive from the truth those who do not retain a steadfast faith in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

The persons perpetrating deceitful expositions are still around. They were then, and they are still doing it now. Joel Osteen is one. The Albany NY Times Union reports below on a recent event. I can’t call it a revival and I can’t call it a crusade and I can’t call it a sermon. Osteen holds events:

12,000 relate to Osteen’s pep talk
“For more than two hours, Pastor Joel Osteen wrapped 12,000 people in a warm embrace at the Times Union Center with his massively successful brand of feel-good “prosperity theology.” Backed by a rock band and a heavily produced show that was more Broadway than tent revival, his message traded fire and brimstone for the equivalent of a corporate motivational speech. He was all praise and no damnation.”

Osteen consistently demurs in preaching sin. He boasts that his cavernous Lakewood arena does not “have a churchy feel” and he deliberately declines to put crosses there so as not to cause an offense that would hinder someone from coming. (source).

“On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday brought up Osteen’s lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: “And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I’m trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like.” Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin.” (source)

 Of focusing on only one part of the Gospel to the exclusion of others, Paul said,

“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27).

Here is an explanation of that verse from Albert Barnes, 1798-1870, and an explanation as to why some preachers fail to preach the whole counsel of God. Though Barnes wrote this 160 years ago, it applies to Osteen today in a most uncanny way-

Barnes notes
“have not shunned – I have not kept back; I have not been deterred by fear, by the desire of popularity, by the fact that the doctrines of the gospel are unpalatable to people, from declaring them fully. The proper meaning of the word translated here, “I have not shunned”, is “to disguise any important truth; to withdraw it from public view; to decline publishing it from fear, or an apprehension of the consequences.” Paul means that he had not disguised any truth; he had not withdrawn or kept it from open view, by any apprehension of the effect which it might have on their minds.”

“Truth may be disguised or kept back:

(1) By avoiding the subject altogether from timidity, or from an apprehension of giving offence if it is openly proclaimed; or,

(2) By giving it too little prominency, so that it shall be lost in the multitude of other truths; or,

(3) By presenting it amidst a web of metaphysical speculations, and entangling it with other subjects; or,

(4) By making use of other terms than the Bible does, for the purpose of involving it in a mist, so that it cannot be understood.

People may resort to this course:

(1) Because the truth itself is unpalatable;

(2) Because they may apprehend the loss of reputation or support;

(3) Because they may not love the truth them selves, and choose to conceal its prominent and offensive points;

(4) Because they may be afraid of the rich, the great, and the frivolous, and apprehend that they shall excite their indignation; and,

(5) By a love of metaphysical philosophy, and a constant effort to bring everything to the test of their own reason. People often preach a philosophical explanation of a doctrine instead of the doctrine itself They deserve the credit of ingenuity, but not that of being open and bold proclaimers of the truth of God.

Osteen fits all of the above. Most importantly, by Osteen’s own admission, fails to preach the entire counsel of God. Let’s look at some self-described approaches to preaching that Osteen himself has stated, and compare them to scripture:

In Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Osteen wrote, “Our words are vital in bringing our dreams to pass. It’s not enough to simply see it by faith or in your imagination. You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. Your words have enormous creative power. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it.”

Isaiah would differ with that approach. He said of his mouth, “Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Osteen’s Web site says -“The Power of Words-“Your words affect your future. Speaking God’s Word over your life can help you to live the life of victory that God has in store for you.”

Isaiah says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.” (Isaiah 59:2-3)

In Diana Keough’s interview from FaithfulReader.com, she asked about Osteen’s then New York Times #1 bestseller Your Best Life Now. Osteen stated: “The main reason I decided to write it was to help people enjoy their life and to realize God has a good plan. I wanted people to see that you can be happy today — that you can bloom where you’re planted and enjoy your life right now.”

Solomon had some things to say about accumulating wealth and pleasure and happiness based on ephemeral earthly things of now, instead of pursuing the eternal:

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.”

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11)

Osteen said each day “you should declare good things. Just look in the mirror and say ‘I am strong, I am healthy, I’m rising to new levels, I’m excited about my future.’ ” (Joel Osteen, Discover the Champion in You, TBN, June 7, 2004).

“The image of the Lord had been replaced by a mirror.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Posted in bible jesus, earthquakes, end of days. prophecy, end time

Earthquake in Mexico today: Are there more earthquakes?

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck today in Oaxaca, Mexico. Drudge noted the other day that despite travel warnings about the tenuous situation in Mexico for tourists, that Obama’s daughter is vacationing in Oaxaca, anyway. The article from Montreal Gazette states,

“OAXACA, Mexico – The elder daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama is spending her spring break in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, a state police official said. The young tourists, including 13-year-old Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, the official said. “We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites,” the police official told AFP under the condition of anonymity. Malia Obama and her friend are guarded by 25 U.S. Secret Service agents as well as Mexican police, the official noted.”

Though she was well protected from kidnappers, gangs, and terrorism while visiting Mexico, no one can prepare for an earthquake. Fortunately Miss Obama is all right, as are her friends.

The quake occurred today and is accompanied by many high-magnitude aftershocks.

5.1 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.1 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
7.4 OAXACA, MEXICO

The Mexico quake was said to be a strong one that lasted a long time. Thankfully as of this writing there are no major damages and no reports of casualties or injuries. Washington Post reports,

“A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday, shaking central and southern parts of the country, collapsing a pedestrian bridge and swaying buildings in Mexico City. Plaster fell from ceilings and windows broke in the center of the capital, but the president said there were no immediate reports of major damage. … Frightened workers and residents poured into the streets of the capital just minutes after noon local time. Telephone service was down in the city and throughout the area where the quake was felt. … In Huajuapan, Guerrero, near the epicenter, hotel owner Marco Antonio Estrada also reported shaken-up guests but no major damage. He said it was longest and strongest he ever felt. People ran out of their homes and cars.”

There was also another earthquake today, a strong one rated at 6.2 at Papua Indonesia, listed on the USGS page for quakes the last 7-days.

Every time there is a strong quake, blog hits spike. People are curious about the connection to the end times and earthquakes. Many people wonder, is there a connection? Is there a Godly purpose to earthquakes? Yes. Yes there is.

God has used earthquakes for several reasons. Here are just a few. In the Old Testament, Mount Sinai ‘trembled violently’ before God spoke to Moses. (Exodus 19:18).

God used an earthquake to demonstrate the outcome of rebellion against Him. The ground opened, swallowing Korah and his men. (Numbers 16:31-32).

God used an earthquake to show that despite His power to create an earthquake, Elijah could also hear Him in the still, small voice. (I Kings 19:11).

The great earthquake at the time of King Uzziah was spoken of by Amos. Uzziah had grown insolent and haughty. The LORD used the earthquake to remind the king of the LORD’S power. That one was a judgment quake.

Of the Uzziah quake, scientifically, “Masonry walls best display the earthquake, especially walls with broken ashlars, walls with displaced rows of stones, walls still standing but leaning or bowed, and walls collapsed with large sections still lying course-on-course. Debris at six sites (Hazor, Deir ‘Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Tell Judeideh, and ‘En Haseva) is tightly confined stratigraphically to the middle of the eighth century B.C., with dating errors of ~30 years.…The earthquake was at least magnitude 7.8, but likely was 8.2…This severe geologic disaster has been linked historically to a speech delivered at the city of Bethel by a shepherd-farmer named Amos of Tekoa.” (source: “Steven A. Austin, Gordon W. Franz, and Eric G. Frost, “Amos’s Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C.” International Geology Review 42 (2000) 657-671).”

Zechariah links the Uzziah quake’s strength to the last day quake when Jesus arrives in His second coming. As His feet land on the Mount of Olives, the mount splits in two, “Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.” (Zech 14:4b-5).

In Matthew 24:7 Jesus told His disciples (and us) that in the last days there would be earthquakes in various places as one of the sings of His coming. (Mt 24:7).

In Matthew 27:51-54 when Jesus died on the cross a great earthquake occurred, splitting the Temple veil in two and resurrecting many saints from their graves. This was a vivid demonstration of His power, and as a witness to the truth that Jesus is His Son.

So if God speaks using earthquakes for His reasons, and earthquakes are an end time sign used to get man’s attention, are there indeed more earthquakes? As we get closer to the time of the rapture and afterward, the Tribulation judgments poured out in remaining unbelievers, have the number of quakes risen as one would expect? Yes.

Click to enlarge.

Using USGS data, I searched for the number of quakes in each magnitude per year, and compared against the USGS benchmarks in the first column. One can see the number of quakes exceed the USGS average number. They have exceeded the USGS average number in each magnitude since 2009.

Please understand that whether you believe in Jesus or not, He is coming. He is Creator. He holds the title deed to the earth, all the earth is the LORD’S and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1). He is King over you, and me. He can judge us, for who else is righteous? No, not one. He is lovingly sending earthquakes to remind us that He holds the deed to the earth and he can shake it as He wills. If you have been through an earthquake and have suffered loss or injury it doesn’t feel loving. But it is. If an earthquake makes you think of the power of the Lord and of eternal things, and brings you to Him, that is loving. If you experience an earthquake and think of these things and decide that you hate God or you don’t believe, that is loving too, because He gave you a chance to decide.

As the LORD said to Ezekiel about His messages, “As for them, whether they listen or not– for they are a rebellious house– they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ez 2:5). Those who are experiencing all the earth signs and the Christian warnings from people like me and others, then whether you listen or you don’t listen, you will know on the last day that God did everything possible to speak to your heart and offer you a way to salvation from His wrath. He sent the Law, He sent the Prophets. He sent His son. He sent His apostles. He sent His witnesses. He sent the Spirit. He sent His word. He sent signs and told us ahead of time.

In Matthew 24:25, in the same passage where He announced that there would be earthquakes in various places as a sign of His coming, and described the many other signs, a bit further on He said, ““Behold, I have told you in advance.” This is so that when the things begin to happen, we know His word is true, and we can “Look up, for our Redemption draweth nigh!” (Luke 21:28.)

Posted in a city upon a hill, bible jesus, prophecy, wyoming doomsday bill

Wyoming advances doomsday bill

This news excerpt is from the Wyoming Star-Tribune. It is not a spoof.

Wyoming House advances doomsday bill
“CHEYENNE — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States. House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government. The task force would look at the feasibility of Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier. The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has said he doesn’t anticipate any major crises hitting America anytime soon. But with the national debt exceeding $15 trillion and protest movements growing around the country, Miller said Wyoming — which has a comparatively good economy and sound state finances — needs to make sure it’s protected should any unexpected emergency hit the U.S. Several House members spoke in favor of the legislation, saying there was no harm in preparing for the worst.”

More at link

This reminds me of Daniel 5:1-5. Here is a portion:

“Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other.”

I like John MacArthur’s sermon title for this scripture, “Divine Graffiti: The End of an Empire

If you look at the verses immediately prior to when the King’s “loins were loosed” (KJV) you will see the several egregious sins that the King was engaged in. He desecrated the Temple artifacts. He was having a drunken orgy. He was worshiping idols, and not just worshiping idols but worshiping them with the Temple artifacts. It is a mini-abomination of desolation. God intervened. The Babylonian Empire fell.

The chapter of Daniel 5 is a good look at what causes the end of an empire. When does God’s patience and longsuffering run out? As Pastor MacArthur describes the cycle, “civilization follows the very same pattern. It rises to its heights. At its height, it is filled with pride. In the midst of its pride, and self-indulgence, and materialism it begins to descend into degeneration, and debauchery, and evil. And as it descends, it comes closer and closer to its destruction.”

America is following that cycle. It is obvious that America is sliding fast downhill to the dung heap of former empires, former great kingdoms. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells his listeners, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” As the Puritans came to America and founded our nation, John Winthrop said on board the Arbella in 1630–

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.” Winthrop closes with this:

“But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it. Therefore let us choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity.”

These words are so true! They are mirrored in Belshazzar’s actions, his squandering of the gifts and opportunities God had offered. King Belshazzar’s heart had turned away from God, was seduced, sought pleasure and profits, and he perished out of the good land. It is the same with America, and with any nation that follows this trajectory.

Back to Wyoming. By now in 2012, who doesn’t see the writing on the wall? Hollywood certainly does. Every other movie that emerges from the movie city is an ode to evil and doomsday. The hearts of Christians all around the world certainly see the writing on the wall, knowing God’s heart and His justice. Even the lost are also seeing the writing on the wall, as the legislators in Wyoming demonstrate. Though the article quotes “University of Wyoming political science professor Jim King said the potential for a complete unraveling of the U.S. government and economy is “astronomically remote” in the foreseeable future” we know different. Even the lost do. Belshazzar didn’t know what the writing said at first, but he certainly understood its general meaning! His bowels loosed, his face went pale and his mind went blank. Initially he didn’t have to know what the writing said to spiritually understand that it meant something very, very bad was about to happen.

When does God end His patience and then turn to justice? “In Psalm 19:7, it says, “The wicked shall be turned to hell and all the nations that forget God.” The doom of a nation is spelled when it forgets God,” preached MacArthur.

When a nation not only forgets God, but mocks God, tests God, and desecrates God, they have sealed their own doom. Will a “Doomsday Bill” stave off the effects of what is coming? Babylon thought itself impregnable. It was a huge city, 15 miles square. Its walls were 87 feet thick. It had trained soldiers upon the towers to look out. The city had the Euphrates running through it so there was a fresh water supply. They thought they had made all the preparations necessary. If they had a legislature they would have passed a ‘doomsday bill.’ They were “prepped.”

But Cyrus and the Medes/Persians were encamped outside. The King was having this drunken orgiastic God-mocking festival in the midst of armies surrounding the city, but all Cyrus had to do was dam the river and as the water levels fell, the scouts advanced into the city, killed the guards, and threw the gates open. Done.

Remember, the best preparation, the ONLY preparation, for the future is to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you confess your sins to Him in repentance, acknowledging Him as the risen and living God whose substitutionary death on the cross and accepting God’s wrath for sin, made it possible for us to know Him as friend and not an enemy, you are prepared! Relying on a Doomsday Bill isn’t going to cut it.

When the nation falls it falls fast. Though Babylon’s slide was long and slow the end came quickly. The empire fell that very night. America’s slide has been long and slow. Those who know God and even those who do not know God understand the writing on the wall has appeared. We don’t know what will be the precipitating event to cause God to say His cup of wrath is full, but we do know one thing. No amount of preparing, no amount of doomsday bills, no amount of blue-ribbon task forces will withstand God’s anger at a nation whose light has gone out.

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Posted in bible jesus, end of days. prophecy, jerusalem, millennium kingdom

Riots in Jerusalem, whirlwind tour of Jerusalem past and future

Two stories for you, well, same story, from two different points of view. The first is from the Jordan Times. The second is from the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Jordan warns Israel over Al Aqsa mosque as Jerusalem reaches “boiling point”
“Jordan warned Israel on Sunday over attempts by right-wing activists to storm Al Aqsa Mosque as fresh clashes broke out in Jerusalem in the latest sign that simmering tensions are threatening to transform the third holiest site in Islam into a flashpoint for conflict. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh denounced the use of force by Israeli authorities against worshippers during clashes that erupted yesterday morning after Israeli police accompanied a group of non-Muslim visitors into Al Aqsa Mosque through the Bab Al Magharbeh gate.”

“Yesterday’s clashes came on the backdrop of calls by extremist Israeli groups and politicians to storm Al Aqsa Mosque and establish the so-called Third Temple, with eyewitnesses claiming that a number of right-wing activists had accompanied the group of foreign visitors and successfully entered the mosque.”

“According to the Jerusalem awqaf authorities, clashes broke out after worshippers singled out right-wing activists amidst the tour group and attempted to apprehend the “intruders”, prompting 40 anti-riot police to storm Al Aqsa Mosque plaza and use force to dispel Muslim prayer-goers. According to Israeli police, occupation forces arrested 18 Palestinians for their participation in the incident, accusing the men of “throwing stones” at the tour group and injuring several policemen. In a press statement issued yesterday, Judeh stressed Amman’s rejection of the “dangerous and systematic” attempts by Israeli extremist groups to occupy Al Aqsa Mosque, holding Tel Aviv accountable for the series of provocative measures custodians warn may ignite fresh violence in Jerusalem.”

“Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam Abbadi also condemned Israeli security forces for storming Al Aqsa and clashing with worshippers on Sunday, the latest in a series of acts that the minister said amount to a “declaration of war” on the third holiest site in Islam.”

“[This has] pushed tensions in the Old City to their highest levels since the second Intifada, which broke out in 2000. “Today we have seen the dangerous consequences of the atmosphere of distrust and extremism,” said Zaki Tawfiq, head of the Israel-based Al Aqsa Foundation for Awqaf and Heritage. “We are one misstep away from violence.”

Haaretz:
Muslim worshippers, Israeli police clash at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
Protesters hurl rocks at Mughrabi Bridge; in rare move, Israeli security forces enter Temple “Mount plaza to scatter the riot; 11 policemen, 15 Palestinians wounded.
Hundreds of Muslim worshippers clashed with police on Friday at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Following Friday prayers, hundreds of worshippers began hurling rocks at the Mughrabi Bridge at the entrance to the Temple Mount, which prompted Israeli police forces to enter the plaza and attempt to scatter the protest. Israeli police said that dozens of protesters gathered inside the Al-Aqsa mosque after hurling rocks at security forces, who, in a rare move, came to the entrance of the mosque and used stun grenades to scatter the protesters. Eleven policemen and 15 Palestinians were wounded as a result of the clashes. Four Palestinians were arrested. In light of several violent incidents that occurred at the Temple Mount this week, police heightened their presence at the site on Friday morning.”

O, Jerusalem! Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the history of Jerusalem.

According to Wikipedia, “During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BC, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world.”

The city is first mentioned in Genesis 14:18 when Melchizedek was King of the city. Abraham made a tithe offering to the King. Melchizedek is a Hebrew word for righteous, and the city was called Salem, meaning peace.

It was the center of Christ’s new Kingdom (Isaiah 33:5). It was depicted on maps as the center of the world.

David was King of Jerusalem, and there were many others, some good, some bad. The ark was housed at the temple in Jerusalem. God graciously gave us His presence there. Nehemiah cared so much for the city…”The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Neh 1:2-4).

Jesus entered the city in a (false) coronation. He was tried there. He died there and was resurrected in it. Jesus Himself wept over the city. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)

Persecution forced believers out from the city. It was destroyed in 70AD.

Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24. It will be the location of the abomination that causes desolation (Mark 13:14).

It will be split into three parts during a great earthquake (Revelation 16:19). But when the Lord returns, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “ The LORD is one,” And His name one.” (Zechariah 14:4, 8-9)

The miraculous, living water will flow right out from the temple, “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.” (Ezekiel 47:1)

Ezekiel’s final words in his last book of the City are “and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” Jehovah Shammah! (Ezekiel 48:35b)

People think that because there will be a New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, intended as the dwelling place for the Church (Revelation 21:2) that there will not be an actual Jerusalem in which the LORD will dwell. Not so. Read Revelation 21:9-27. The Church will dwell in New Jerusalem and there will be an actual earthly city of Jerusalem in which David will be king under Jesus. (Hosea 3:5, Ezekiel 37:24-25).

Jerusalem has had a long and turbulent history, and it is not over yet by a long shot. But soon will come the peace for Jerusalem we all pray for. The Lord wants to gather the chicks to Himself as a hen and to reign rightfully from His Holy City. And He will.
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Posted in antichrist, bible jesus, prophecy

Iran’s Khamenei hints that the Presidency may be dismantled

The News first then the prophetic implication.

In April of 2011 I had posted several articles noting the growing and obvious rift between the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, and his handpicked and supposedly elected President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There was a spate of articles and a heightened speculation, then…nothing. War tensions took over and news chat of Ahmadinejad’s position took back burner. Now this incredible news today. First, look at the three peices of news from last April/May-

Apr 28, 2011: There’s a rift between Iran’s President Ahmadinejad
“A rift is emerging between Iran’s president and its supreme leader, prompting several members of the parliament to call for the impeachment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has not been seen in public for days.”

Apr 29, 2011: Ahmadinejad may resign
“In an interesting story yesterday, it seems that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has displeased the clerics (who really rule the nation) and especially has displeased Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei…”

May 6, 2011: “Are Ahmadinejad’s days numbered?
“An Examiner article states that Arab TV has reported that the Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has asked President hmadinejad of Iran to step down. If true, it indicates a tightening of the strife that has burst onto the surface.”

Iran’s Parliamentary elections are coming up. This parliamentary election will be held in Iran on 2 March 2012 to elect new members of Islamic Consultative Assembly, Majlis. The Presidential election is not until next year. “The [parliamentary] election is expected to be a contest between “supporters and opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad within the conservative camp,” says the AP. So there was already a rift, but the election is the mechanism that will expose it to the light. And any tensions that have been successfully hidden from the world since last April, will be all the harder to suppress as the elections near.

Then this today.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has hinted the office of the presidency may be dismantled“.

In this Al Jazeera opinion piece analyzing the current internal factionism in advance of the elections, it is stated,

“Soon after the presidential election of June 2009 – when Khamenei had to side with Ahmadinejad – the widely contested president was under the illusion that he enjoyed grassroots support. As a result of that deadly miscalculation, he and his faction now face two problems: not having his allies qualified for the next parliamentary election, and being impeached by the newly formed parliament for a barrage of corruption charges against him, his aides, and his cabinet. Ahmadinejad was always dispensable for Khamenei – but he seems to have had misread the Supreme Leader’s intentions, who has even recently suggested that the office of presidency might very well be altogether dismantled to guarantee his absolutist Sultanism without even a hint of democratic menace.”

Sultanism is “another name for Despotism, is a form of authoritarian government characterized by the extreme personal presence of the ruler in all elements of governance. … The term Sultanism is derived from the word Sultan, which is a title used in Muslim societies for a sovereign or absolute monarch.” (source)

This isn’t the first time the Ayatollah has said that he may get rid of the office of President. He said it 4 months ago in this article in the Washington Post- “An unusual proposal by Iran’s supreme leader to eliminate the position of president has highlighted an increasingly bitter struggle within the country’s political elite, as the leader and his allies continue to try to undercut the powers of Iran’s ambitious president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said “changing Iran into a parliamentary system” in which voters no longer elected a president would not be a problem.” Read more here.

Now the prophetic implication. The Tribulation is a time for Kings. It is all about kings. There will not be freedom, there will not be liberty, there will not be democracy. Geo-political changes occur so rapidly that individual national sovereignty is quickly done away with. the world forms into ten kingships. Daniel 7:24- “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.”

Revelation 17:12 – “Revelation 17:12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.”

Daniel 11:40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.”

Revelation 16:12, “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.”

The final days of the Church Age will see, and we are seeing now, a shifting of power. Not just in one president here or there but grand, sweeping changes, and changes not just of who governs, but how they govern, too. And not for the better. Changes where kings and presidents and ayatollahs and prime ministers and dictators are swept from power at a heartbeat. How many top leaders have been killed or have resigned int he last year? Power coalesces, and even nominal democracy is done away with. Think of all the dictators and leaders swept away in the Arab Spring, to be replaced with an Army or a Muslim Brotherhood, or a Terrorist faction. None of the new leaders have been better than the last, that is for sure.

It has to be so, because by Revelation 13 the Antichrist has gained enough power to force all people, great and small, to receive a mark on their hand or their forehead in order to worship the beast, or they may not buy nor sell. That is the word in Revelation 13:16- “forced” “everyone.” Only dictators can do that. As we near the Tribulation the world gets ready to form into ten kingships, then seven, then one.

That’s why it is prophetically significant that the Ayatollah has hinted he may get rid of the office of the President. By the time of the end, there will only be dictators. aAd then the final dictator, antichrist. It is all narrowing down.
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Posted in bible jesus, overcomer

Overcomers: Noah, Daniel, and Job

God speaking to Ezekiel about inescapable judgment:

“Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 14:14).

Why are Noah, Daniel, and Job mentioned as standout, righteous men, in this verse and in Ez 14:20?

“The principal fight of the Christian is with the world, the flesh, and the devil. These are his never-dying foes. These are the three chief enemies against whom he must wage war. Unless he gets the victory over these three, all other victories are useless and vain. If he had a nature like an angel, and were not a fallen creature, the warfare would not be so essential. But with a corrupt heart, a busy devil, and an ensnaring world, he must either “fight” or be lost.” (JC Ryle, “Holiness“)

Noah overcame the world. Daniel overcame the flesh. Job overcame the devil.
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Posted in bible jesus, children, millennium kingdom

If the Tribulation will be so horrible, why will God allow children to be born into it?

After the post I’d written about the news of child porn and the heinous acts from the California teacher, someone emailed with a very good question. I think those two articles and others like them, showing the deepening evil against our precious children in the world, makes us cringe to think of how bad it will be for them in the Tribulation. The question I was asked was, why will God allow children to be born during that terrible time?

It is heartbreaking to consider the heinous lives that children will live in the Tribulation. I can scarcely think on it.

Life has always been difficult for society’s most vulnerable. From even the beginning, the vast distance of time, children were sacrificed to Molech or to Aztec gods…made slaves…sold, given away. In the US in the 1800s Jacob Riis exposed the terrible child labor of kids working in dark factories and the awful societal conditions they lived in. Even today children are exposed to those same conditions, sold in Thailand, slaves in Indonesia, aborted in China…

Jacob Riis photo: Children sleeping in Mulberry Street (1890)

Let’s look at a couple of things. First, the facts. There will be children in the 7 year period known to us as the Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) but more properly known  by its title “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” (Jer 30:7)

It is supposed by many (me included) that unborn and children who are too young to to make a conscious decision for Jesus that the Lord will take them in the rapture. However, the Tribulation is 7 years long and others will be born afterward.

In warning the disciples about the Great Tribulation which begins as the antichrist tears up the peace treaty and begins his persecution of the Jews by standing in the Temple declaring himself to be God, Jesus says there will be babies and toddlers on earth at that time:

Matthew 24:19: “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!”

He also said that as it was in the time just before Noah entered the ark it will be similar on earth before He comes a second time to Judge it:

Matthew 24:38: For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

And if they are marrying then it is presumed that progeny will result. So there will be kids.

The second question becomes, then, why? Why will God allow babies to be born into such dangerous times? Well, as mentioned earlier, times have always been dangerous for children: When Herod sought to maintain his kingship, hearing the Wise Men tell of a new king, Herod killed every male child in the nation under the age of two. (Mt 2:16-18)

Egypt’s Pharaoh sought to kill all the firstborn boys of Israel, which was a nation within his nation by that time. (Exodus 1:17)

In Lamentations 4:10, women in the besieged city cooked and ate their own children.

Though the Tribulation will be a time of unequalled distress on the earth, for all of man’s history, children have been at times a disposable commodity. It will be no different in the future. That is the nature of sin on a cursed and dying world- the vulnerable are at most risk.

We can answer the question of why will God allow the children to be born into the Tribulation period three additional ways. First the practical way:

There will be people left alive at the end of the Tribulation to enter the Millennium. The saved enter it, but are unglorified, real flesh and blood people. Those who make it through will live during the 1000 years. Isaiah 65:10 says that anyone who dies at age 100 in that time will be thought of as a child and if they are still a sinner they will be forever cursed. People will live a long time and they will repopulate the earth. Additionally, all those entering the Millennium as a child and those who are born during the Millennium will be given opportunity to become saved. The resurrected saints of Israel who live in the Kingdom will not be able to procreate because they will be glorified. So that is the practical reason. Repopulation.

Secondly, at the end of that time, there will be a short rebellion. The bible doesn’t say much about how people are saved in the Millennium, but God in His grace and mercy will give everyone a choice, to accept Him or reject Him. At the end of the 1000 years, satan (who had been locked up in the abyss since the end of the Tribulation) is let out to do his worst among the Millennium people who are living at that time. (Rev 20:1-3)

When satan is let out, though the people have been living on a perfect earth with a perfect Jesus ruling and reigning, they still have a flesh nature and some will succumb to satan’s schemes. Rev 20:7-10 shows us:

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

In His longsuffering, the people, babies, and children who enter the Millennium, and their progeny who come after them, but are not glorified, are given opportunity to accept Christ as savior. Perhaps though we are not told in the bible exactly how they are saved we can surely see that the children are given an opportunity to grow up and to magnify His glory by coming to Him as a sinner seeking forgiveness- as any person throughout time has had the chance to do. In the Millennium their salvation would be even more glorious because Jesus will be visible as the High Priest! (Hebrews 7:11-13; Psalm 110:4). He is the better priest! Though there will be sin in the Millennium there will NOT be any false religion, because satan is locked up, and Jesus is present on earth. All the children who grow up in the Millennium will know only truth as their religion.

Imagine what it would be like for a 6 year old, born during the Tribulation and never knowing goodness or peace or Light, and then growing up in the Millennium with Jesus as their God and Savior in person on earth! THAT would surely glorify Him! And perhaps the darker side is the ones who reject Him in the Millennium demonstrate to others how powerful a sin nature is and why it must be dealt with so harshly. But even this shows His glory because it shows His holiness.

Third, God is good. He is the very definition of Good. Everything He does is good. He is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. So for whatever reason He is choosing to allow children to be born into a time of the worst suffering on earth there shall ever be or will be again, (Mt 24:21) it is Good, because everything He does is good. We just have to wait and see.
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Posted in bible jesus, prophecy

New island in Red Sea: other weird geophysical changes happening in that area too

All the news outlets are reporting this today, a stunning new development in the Red Sea. I’ll post one article and then continue below with connecting the unusual seismic activity that has been ongoing in that region for over a year. And of course, connect it with the bible…

Brand new island rises from Red Sea depths

“Throw away that shiny new atlas you got for Christmas – it’s already out of date.”

“Volcanic activity in the Red Sea is causing the formation of a new island in the Zubair archipelago as lava is cooled by the surrounding seawater and solidifies. The underwater volcano responsible is located on the Red Sea Rift, where the African and Arabian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.”

“Yemeni fishermen first spotted lava spewing 30 metres into the air on 19 December and this was later confirmed by satellite observations. Ash plumes were detected by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard its Terra and Aqua satellites and NASA’s Advanced Land Imager aboard its Earth Observing One satellite, which produced this image. Elevated levels of sulphur dioxide in the region were also recorded by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA’s Aura satellite.”

“By 23 December, the lava mass had broken the water’s surface and the new island had begun to take shape. The island is currently around 500m wide and is still growing. The question now is whether or not it has staying power. It may continue to grow significantly as volcanic activity continues, or the fragile lava mass may be broken up by the action of the sea’s waves.”

“Whatever the outcome, volcanic activity in the Red Sea region appears to be on the rise. This is the first time the volcano has erupted in over a century and follows recent eruptions in the Afar Triangle in Eritrea and Ethiopia and the volcanic fields of southern Yemen and Saudi Arabia. In 2007, the nearby Jabal al-Tair volcanic island also erupted for the first time in over a century, killing 8 people.”

If you remember, there has also been another volcanic island rising from the deep, over at El Hierro in the Canary Islands. And in November last year a new island emerged from the sea in just a few days at Indonesia at Anak Krakatau. I wrote about that, here.

Back to the Red Sea.

In December 2010 I wrote about unusual seismic activity occurring in the area off Eritrea in the Red Sea. I’d written,
“In 2005, the continent of Africa began unzipping. In just days, a 35-mile-long rift opened up, which was 20 miles wide at spots. It happened quickly and initially, scientists surmised that a new sea was growing. However, this assessment as controversial, because their understanding of plate tectonics holds a longer and a slower view. In other words, continents don’t move and split apart in days, it takes millions of years. Or so they thought. In November of 2009, scientists concluded that indeed, the continent of Africa is birthing a new sea, and that was when they used the word “unzipped.” More on this below.

At the Horn of Africa in November 2010, an earthquake swarm at Yemen caused alarm. The swarm was situated at the opening to the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aden, and seemed to be an unusual place for seismic activity. According to the history of the area, at USGS, the Yemen-Gulf of Aden-Djibouti area IS seismic, but in a minor way. Between 1950 through yesterday this area had 56 earthquakes ranging between mag 4.0-5.9. There were no quakes greater than mag 5.9 during that date range. Now there have been 31, which is 2/3 as many as in the last sixty years. This is statistically significant, as well as prophetically interesting. (Mark 13:8). It should be noted that this is the exact area where a new island has now emerged a year later.

In my opinion, there are two ways that this is prophetically interesting. First, Jesus told us plainly that in the last days of the birthpangs, there will be earthquakes in diverse places. Beyond the unusual geophysical changes occurring with rifts suddenly opening, and unusual earthquake activity that has never been replicated historically, but at the other end of the rift at this same time last year, a 5.1 mag earthquake occurred in Ethiopia, which is the other end of the rapidly “unzipping” rift. The area highlighted above is definitely diverse.

Secondly, the bible shows us that the Tribulation will be a time of massive geophysical changes. Revelation 16:20 prophesies that every island flees away and every mountain crumbles. So do Revelation 6 and Ezekiel 38:20. Isaiah 24 is the chapter that describes the destruction of the world by God, “The LORD’s Devastation of the Earth.” Remember, when the world was formed it looked very different. After the flood the land masses had changed dramatically.

As to the slow vs. catastrophic plate tectonics competing theories, many current observations are incompatible with slow-and-gradual plate tectonics. The unzipping of the African Rift is just one example. It is happening before our eyes.

Answers in Genesis explains:

Is Catastrophic Plate Tectonics Biblical?
“The Bible does not directly mention either continental drift or plate tectonics. However, if the continents were once joined together, as suggested by Genesis 1:9–10, and are now apart, then the only possibility is continental division and “sprint” during the Flood. Some have suggested this continental division occurred after the Flood during the days of Peleg when “the earth was divided” (Genesis 10:25). However, this Hebrew expression can be also translated to mean “lands being divided among peoples,” which, according to the context, refers to the results of the Tower of Babel judgment. Furthermore, the destruction at the earth’s surface, where people and animals were then living during such a rapid continental “sprint,” would have been as utterly devastating as the Flood itself. Therefore, using catastrophic plate tectonics as a model, mechanism, and framework to describe and understand the Genesis Flood event is far more reasonable and is also consistent with the Bible.”

It is the supposition of many eschatology bible scholars that the geo-physical changes that will occur in the Tribulation not only will be punishment for sin (Isaiah 24), but also a process by which the Lord reforms the earth back to its original state. (Rev 21-22). Ezekiel 47 describes the Millennial River that forges a path between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. (see map here). Rapid geological and geo-physical changes are prophesied and are already beginning. Keep looking up.
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