Posted in china, prophecy, revelation, river turns blood red

River in China runs blood red

In 2012 there was a spate of bodies of water turning blood red, and interest in the phenomenon was high.

February 2012: Beirut River runs red.  (a factory had illegally dumped red dye.)

August 2012: A lake in France turned red. (“Scientists say the blood red lakes in southern France are actually a natural phenomenon. Camargue, France is a river delta where the Rhône meets the sea. The picturesque area is home to numerous salt flats, and it is this concentration of salt that will occasionally stain red the region’s normally blue water.”)

September 2012: Yangze River in China runs red (“officials have no idea why, or officials say it may have been caused by recent floods stirring up silt upstream. The Environmental Protection Bureau is also looking into potential industrial pollution or sewage breaches.”)

The other day a river in China turned red and interest is again high. I can only guess this is because Revelation says that rivers shall run with blood.

The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. (Revelation 16:4).


River In China Mysteriously Turns Bloody Red Overnight

Residents in Zhejiang province said the river looked normal at 5 a.m. Beijing time on Thursday morning. Within an hour, the entire river turned crimson. Residents also said a strange smell wafted through the air. … Inspectors from the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau said they have not found the cause of the incident, although water samples seem to indicate the suspicious color was a result of illegal dumping in the river….  “We suspect that somebody dumped artificial coloring in the water because he thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain, and nobody would notice [the color],” Jianfeng Xiao, Chief of the bureau told China News.  “It turned out there wasn’t heavy rainfall yesterday, so the evidence is left behind,” Xiao said.  Xiao said there is a paper manufacturer, a food coloring company and clothing-maker a long the river.

Cases like these are usually due to illegal dumping.

But whenever something like this happens, hits on the blog go way up. On the one hand, I’m glad that people are so interested in prophecy! The bible speaks of future things almost a third of the time.

Fully 17 of the Old Testament’s 39 books are classified as prophetic: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. All of the other 22 books are also filled with prophecy. Source

It’s a significant topic and one that is definitely worthy of study and attention. On the other hand though, too many people are willing to proclaim it a sign, and overlook the obvious.

For example, a river turning red is NOT a fulfillment of Revelation 16:4, because we have not been in the Tribulation for ten chapters. We are not in the Tribulation now, and none of the other signs have happened.

Even in Revelation 8:10 which prophesies a third of the rivers on earth turning to blood, happen because of a star falling from heaven.

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. (Revelation 8:10)

And at that time, also a third of the seas will turn to blood as well. One cannot pick and choose which prophesies are fulfilled. Either it happens the way the bible says, or it is not a prophecy. It’s some food coloring manufacturer dumping dye.

Secondly when it does happen, a third of all the earth’s rivers will turn to blood. And the verse says what it says, the waters will become blood. Not salt making it look like blood, not illegally dumped dye, not silt from a typhoon, but actual blood.

I’m so grateful that people become so interested in biblical prophecy when these strange things happen. I’m personally fascinated with the sky sounds of the apocalypse, myself. Others are fascinated with the large bird and fish die-offs that had occurred a few years ago. Yet it’s our responsibility to rightly teach how to study prophecy, and not become hand-wringing, pickers and chooser bell ringers when they happen.

The most important thing is to always point to the certainty and safety of life in Christ. Once we repent and are justified by faith in Jesus as Resurrected Savior, He will always hold us in His hand. We become legal heirs and sons of God. Our life changes from one of despair to one of hope and joy. Our future is also spoken of. It does not include rivers running with blood or fish die-offs or starvation or other prophetic wrathful things. Our future is one of hopeful prophecy, like this:

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:6-12)

Or this prophecy:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 23:7)

Or this:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

So when you come across someone who is interested in a strange phenomena, and connects it with bits of prophecy they have heard, teach them the true prophecy from the bible, show them why it can’t be happening now. Connect their interest in prophecy with Jesus and His Gospel. It is one reason He gave us prophecy, to warn of judgements to come for the ungodly- and ultimately to educate about the One who spoke it, Jesus Christ.

Posted in prophecy, river turns blood red

Beirut River mysteriously runs blood red

UPDATE: The Yangtze River is running red, no one knows why. See my blog entry about that issue, here.

The Lebanon Star newspaper is reporting that the Beirut River ran blood red today. I’ll post the excerpt from the article, then speak to a negative and a positive.

“BEIRUT: The Beirut River mysteriously turned blood red Wednesday after a stream of unidentified red liquid began pouring from the southern bank of the river in Furn al-Shubbak. The source of the liquid had yet to be determined Wednesday evening, as the river continued to empty the red-colored water into the Mediterranean Sea. Government and local officials rushed to the scene at the Chevrolet crossing of Furn al-Shubbak Wednesday morning in an attempt to locate the sewage canal that was dumping the red-colored water but they were unable to locate the source.”

Authorities have yet to determine the source of the substance causing the red color. 

I do not know why they used the word “mysteriously” in the headline and lede, because later in the article it says this happens every two months or so.

“Several business owners around the Chevrolet crossing said that colored water pours into the river roughly every two months but no one pays attention to it. It was the quantity and brightness of the red liquid that grabbed the attention of many passersby and commuters on different bridges in the city Wednesday.”

OK, so granted, it is strange to see the river turn blood red with that depth of color. In all the other times, perhaps, it maybe ran green or yellow but never red.

“First we thought it was blood, but it seems like it is a kind of coloring dumped by a factory,” said Sabbagh, who also said that the test to determine the type of the chemical would take a week.”

Now that initial testing has taken place, The Star reported in a subsequent article that it is NOT blood. “BEIRUT: Laboratory tests of samples from Beirut River that mysteriously turned red Wednesday have discounted blood as the source of the coloration of the major waterway.”

It is obviously some industrial or organic runoff. The source will be found soon, I’m sure.

But I want to talk for a moment about the reaction to the first story as it unfolded online. This is the negative. People thought it was prophecy coming true. They believed that it was a direct fulfillment of Revelation 16:4, the Bowl Judgment where “The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.”

The incident at the Beirut River cannot be a a fulfillment of Revelation 16 because all that is prophesied to happen before Rev. 16 is fulfilled has not occurred yet. God is orderly, and He said that His wrath in judgment would unfold after the church is taken up to heaven (1 Thess 5:9, Is 26:20). He said that the Third Bowl judgment would happen after the First and the Second Bowl judgments, and they haven’t occurred yet. He said that the Bowl Judgments would take place after the Trumpet Judgments (Rev 8-9) which take place after the Seal Judgments (Rev 6). None of this has taken place. Read Revelation 6-16 to see the order of what I just described.

A little biblical learning is a dangerous thing. Prophecy is meant to be God’s word to us foretelling the future, so that we may act accordingly, and so that we may believe. Only God knows the future, so when we see it coming true, we know He is sovereign and omniscient- knowing all things. We know He is omnipotent, because only He can cause the things to come true in the manner in which He has said. Thoughtlessly flinging around prophetic verses and casually and incorrectly saying they are fulfilled, is dangerous at worst and stupid at best.

This article in the Florida Baptist Witness is about Joel C. Rosenberg, a Christian and an expert on both geo-politics at the top levels and also is familiar with prophecy. In the article, Joel said war in the Middle East is coming soon. He also said of prophecy in general,

“Prophecy is an intercept from the mind of an all-knowing and all-seeing and all powerful God,” he said. It is meant to inspire, motivate and encourage. It will lead to repentance, holiness, and prayer and fasting, Rosenberg said, adding that prophecy is about the “preaching of the Gospel, making of disciples, planting churches, reaching young people with the Gospel, [and] reaching all people with the Gospel.””

Pastors today resist preaching prophecy. Rosenberg said, “For some it’s because prophecy has been “sensationalized” in the past and they resist the “cheapening of God’s Word,” he said. Others might feel unprepared. Some have simply forgotten its power.”

Amen to all the above. Prophecy, as is all of God’s word, is the truth of GOD delivered at great cost to the messenger and carried on the backs of martyrs who died for the faith. I feel particularly aggrieved when people cheapen prophecy by studying it casually and applying it liberally, and incorrectly. Don’t do that.

On the positive side, I was glad to see that when people saw the river turn red the first thing they thought of was God. For many, biblical prophecy in the end times was the first thing that came to mind, not an industrial accident or an organic event. That is good.

But now the question comes, what are you going to do about it? Because God’s word is sure. When it turns out to have been an industrial runoff, people will shake off their prophetic thought and think themselves a silly person. Not so. That premonition, that inkling, is real. Revelation 16 will come, and the rivers will turn to blood, for real. And then what will you drink? I hope by then you will be drinking the Living Water. (John 4:1-26). Jesus is the answer.