Posted in catholicism, charles spurgeon, rome, vatican

No treaty with Rome! War!

As more and more formerly solid but now straying teachers, and other false brethren associate with and cuddle up to Rome, (I’m speaking of Beth Moore, Kirk Cameron, James Robson, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland… and others) it becomes a concern. Amid their unbiblical calls for unity with Catholics and with Rome, we forget the blood that the Reformers shed to keep the Gospel alive and undiluted by Rome’s false doctrines. Here is Charles Spurgeon using plain language to state the truth. O, for such a one at a time like this to say the same.

It is all very well with that Church when it is separated from her heretical sons, and a great gulf fixed, but all that helps to bridge that gulf must mar her glory and destroy her power. We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! war to the knife with her! Peace there cannot be. She cannot have peace with us—we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church, and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand upon her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free; but their doctrine we would destroy from the face of the earth as the doctrine of devils. So let it perish, O God, and let that evil thing become as the fat of lambs. Into smoke let it consume: yea into smoke let it consume away.


 
War! War! War! A Sermon,
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 1st, 1859, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

Vatican City

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Further Reading

Evangelicals Praise Pope Francis’ Visit to Pentecostal Church, Apologize for Evangelical Discrimination Against Catholics

Pope meets with American televangelists

Joel Osteen Responds to Critics, [Pope visit] Explains Pastoral Approach: ‘This Is the Path I’m Supposed to Take’

Posted in catacombs, early christian, foxe's book of martyrs, rome

Sunday Martyr Moment: Coliseum and Catacombs

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. According to this summary from Christian Book Summaries,

Writing in the mid-1500s, John Foxe was living in the midst of intense religious persecution at the hands of the dominant Roman Catholic Church. In graphic detail, he offers accounts of Christians being martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ, describing how God gave them extraordinary courage and stamina to endure unthinkable torture.

From the same link, the book’s purpose was fourfold:

  • Showcase the courage of true believers who have willingly taken a stand for Jesus Christ throughout the ages, even if it meant death,
  • Demonstrate the grace of God in the lives of those martyred for their faith,
  • Expose the ruthlessness of religious and political leaders as they sought to suppress those with differing beliefs,
  • Celebrate the courage of those who risked their lives to translate the Bible into the common language of the people.

Text from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

“It has been said that the lives of the early Christians consisted of “persecution above ground and prayer below ground.” Their lives are expressed by the Coliseum and the catacombs. Beneath Rome are the excavations which we call the catacombs, which were at once temples and tombs. The early Church of Rome might well be called the Church of the Catacombs. There are some sixty catacombs near Rome, in which some six hundred miles of galleries have been traced, and these are not all. These galleries are about eight feet high and from three to five feet wide, containing on either side several rows of long, low, horizontal recesses, one above another like berths in a ship. In these the dead bodies were placed and the front closed, either by a single marble slab or several great tiles laid in mortar. On these slabs or tiles, epitaphs or symbols are graved or painted. Both pagans and Christians buried their dead in these catacombs. When the Christian graves have been opened the skeletons tell their own terrible tale. Heads are found severed from the body, ribs and shoulder blades are broken, bones are often calcined from fire. But despite the awful story of persecution that we may read here, the inscriptions breathe forth peace and joy and triumph. Here are a few:

“Here lies Marcia, put to rest in a dream of peace.”
“Lawrence to his sweetest son, borne away of angels.”
“Victorious in peace and in Christ.”
“Being called away, he went in peace.”
Remember when reading these inscriptions the story the skeletons tell of persecution, of torture, and of fire.
But the full force of these epitaphs is seen when we contrast them with the pagan epitaphs, such as:
“Live for the present hour, since we are sure of nothing else.”
“I lift my hands against the gods who took me away at the age of twenty though I had done no harm.”
“Once I was not. Now I am not. I know nothing about it, and it is no concern of mine.”
“Traveler, curse me not as you pass, for I am in darkness and cannot answer.”

The most frequent Christian symbols on the walls of the catacombs, are, the good shepherd with the lamb on his shoulder, a ship under full sail, harps, anchors, crowns, vines, and above all the fish.”

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Wikipedia explains the Catacombs: “The Catacombs of Rome (Italian: Catacombe di Roma) are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century AD,[1] much as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. Many scholars have written that catacombs came about to help persecuted Christians to bury their dead secretly. The soft volcanic tuff rock under Rome is highly suitable for tunnelling, as it is softer when first exposed to air, hardening afterwards. Many have kilometres of tunnels, in up to four storeys (or layers). The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture. The Jewish catacombs are similarly important for the study of Jewish art at this period.”

Below, Early Christian funerary art from the Roman catacombs depicting the good shepherd 3rd-5th century CE

photo credit: mharrsch via photopin cc

Catacombs of San Callisto; in the center, the Chi Rho — a commonly used Greek monogram for Christ. Also note the fish in the upper right hand corner, another Christian symbol — the letters in the Greek word for symbol were an an anagram for “Jesus Christ, Savior, Son of God.More at Jim Forest’s Photostream

photo credit: jimforest via photopin cc

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I visited the Colosseum and the Catacombs when I was in Rome some years ago. The Colosseum was where many thousands of Christians were slaughtered for the name of Jesus. The Catacombs was the place where they were buried. They tunneled under ground secretly because no one was allowed to be buried within the walls of the city, and land was expensive anyway. Christians were usually poor and could not afford land. Wealthy Brethren donated land for the purpose, and the Catacombs were born.

Photo Jim Forest

 When I was there, I wasn’t saved yet. After visiting these two important places in the birth of Christianity, my only takeaway was of the Colosseum, that the Romans were geniuses at engineering, and from the Catacombs, how small the early Romans were. Their funeral holes in the walls of the tufa were a mere four or five feet.

How I wish I could go back there now that I am part of the great, eternal body of believers, connected through time by the blood of Jesus. Now I know of the plan of redemption God promised His Son from before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20, Titus 1:1-2). I would give the places more respect, pray in praise for our Magnificent God for creating a people who, by the Spirit endured death for His holy name, and thank Him for my inclusion in this great Body.

As it is, I’ll do the same from my chair here in Georgia, because I know that though my body may perish, it will be resurrected and united with my eternal soul, in a timeless and boundary-less place called heaven.

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Further reading from this blog,

Colosseum- “Take Heart Grieving Family Members!

External reading:

The Catacombs of San Callisto

The earliest surviving Christian art is from the Catacombs of Rome. Here is a five-minute Youtube video explaining the art of the catacombs. And here is a five-minute pictorial representation of the art, set to Latin chant, on Youtube.

Posted in creation, fireball, hubble telescope, rome, volcano

Rome airport vent IS deemed volcanic in origin, plus other earth changes

On Sunday I’d noted an unusual event occurring at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. A geyser had opened up unexpectedly at the end of one of the runways. Fiumicino is the fifth busiest airport in Europe. Then On Monday I’d commented about the new ground vent in light of the end times.

Scientists have been studying the gases emanating from the vent and trying to make a determination as to what it is. Did it happen due to a broken water pipe? Is it a hot spring? Is it a volcano? Experts were making their tests to find out.

The Malta Today Newspaper reported today that scientists have determined that it is volcanic in origin.

Small volcano discovered near Rome airport.
Geologists have begun studying the hole, labelling it a ‘fumarole’, an opening in the earth’s crust.
“The nearest possibly still active volcanic system in the area is the Monti Albani, an old but possibly not yet extinct volcanic complex located 20 km South East of the capital; but its last known activity there took place about 20,000 years ago. New volcanic activity in the suburban area of Rome itself is certainly not completely impossible, but quite unlikely scenario. More data will be needed to shed light on this.”

The UK Telegraph also reported,
“A geyser-like vent, known as a fumarole, opened up near a road crossing in the Italian capital on Saturday morning. The small opening in the Earth’s crust, has been filmed ejecting mud, water and steam near Fiumicino. Italian geologists are currently examining the phenomenon.”

The Telegraph also has a video of the thing, glurping up steam, ash and mud.

Reporters use words like ‘phenomenon’ and ‘unlikely’ and ‘perplexing.’ It seems strange that a volcano could be born under an airport in the middle of one of the oldest cities in the world. When we think of volcanoes we think of them being in the jungle or under a National Park like Yellowstone, or in the desert or an uninhabited island far away. We don’t think of volcanoes being under a bustling city. The posters for the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” depicted tornadoes razing Los Angeles and were jarring because of the juxtaposition of ‘natural disaster’ taking down a concrete city, which we think is so strong.

Just because man has altered the geography in a certain area, and made a city, doesn’t mean God can’t simply do what He wills anywhere on earth at any time.

“Of David. A psalm. The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” (Psalm 24:1)

In other earth news, from space, we read from SpaceWeather that “CME WILL NOT HIT EARTH, STORMS POSSIBLE ANYWAY: A coronal mass ejection (CME) propelled into space yesterday by an erupting solar filament will not hit Earth. However, a solar wind stream will. The stream, which is flowing from a coronal hole in the sun’s northern hemisphere, is expected to arrive on August 30-31, possibly sparking polar geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

MAJOR FIREBALL EVENT, UPGRADED(AGAIN): NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office has upgraded its estimates of a major fireball that exploded over the southeastern USA around 2:30 AM on August 28th. Lead researcher Bill Cooke says “the fireball reached a peak apparent magnitude of -16, about 20 times brighter than a Full Moon, and cast shadows on the ground. This indicates that the meteoroid had a mass of more than 110 kg (240 lbs) and was up to a meter in diameter. It hit the top of Earth’s atmosphere traveling 25 km/s (56,000 mph).” Watch the movie, then read more about the fireball below. This is the brightest event our network has observed in 5 years of operation,” he continues. “There are reports of sonic booms reaching the ground, and data from 4 doppler radars indicate that some meteorites may have fallen along the fireball’s ground track.”

It is so strange to think with all that power, all that brightness and magnitude, that at a certain point in the Tribulation, Jesus will simply say “STOP” and the sun will stop shining a third of its light. How precise He is! How powerful He is!

“[Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck] Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.” (Revelation 8:12)

And then later in the Tribulation, Jesus will say something like ‘let there be dark’ and the sun will go OUT.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Matthew 24:29)

In other space news, this is cool. “Hubble telescope spots ‘cosmic caterpillar’ that’s six TRILLION miles long, formed by harsh winds from some of our hottest stars” A previous study has called the object, which lies 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, a ‘tadpole in an interstellar pond.’

That’s so cool! And pretty! The LORD created all the stars. This powerful fact is almost written as an afterthought in Genesis.

“God made two great lights–the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” (Genesis 1:16)

Here is the NASA Hubble zoom sequence. Watch this 30-second video and ponder the fact that God made each and every star you see there and named them, too. I am in awe of our Creator.

“He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” (Psalm 147:4).

One reason I love to read news and science articles like these is because I love to think of how BIG our God is. If there is a star incubator out there in space (as the scientists call it) that is a trillion miles long, how big is God? And how do we dare to defy Him? How dare we ignore Him. His creation is all around us and it is genius and beautiful.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20).

If you are in Jesus today, praise and thank Him that you are saved by His grace. Thanks Him that you will personally see all the stars when He brings you to His home in heaven.

If you are not in Jesus, please repent of your sins and believe the Good News. Sin must be punished, but Jesus took all the wrath of God as your punishment while He was on the cross, so that all you need to do is confess your sins, and believe in the Resurrected Son’s work on the cross. Rejecting the Son means you reject the forgiveness He has extended to you, and you opt for the punishment. That punishment is God’s eternal wrath in hell.

I am grateful to my Lord who has done this great work, work that even the angels long to look into. (1 Peter 1:12). I hope that you are moved by the beauty and wonder of seeing a powerful God who has done these things such as make a star nursery, a volcano, a fireball, space itself. As powerful as He is, His greatest work is transforming a stony heart full of sin into a loving heart full of His grace and glory.

Posted in end time, geyser, rome, volcano

Rome geyser at Fiumicino airport: A Comment in Light of the End Times

This weekend an unusual event occurred in Rome. Motorists on Saturday noticed smoke emanating from the ground, more specifically, from a hole which opened up close to a runway at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. The hole is estimated in size to be 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The UK Telegraph reports that the smoke was in fact gas, “suspected to be a cocktail of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane. Tests are now underway. “

“While initial reports suggested the gas came from rotting organic matter trapped underground, one expert said volcanic activity was more likely. “From Mount Etna in Sicily up to the Alban hills around Rome there is a good deal of underground volcanic activity,” Alberto Basili, a seismologist at the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology, told the Daily Telegraph.The area covers Mount Vesuvius, which buried the Roman city of Pompeii when it erupted in 79AD, to a number of lakes formed in extinct volcanoes north of Rome.

Location of Fiumicino airport, Rome. Wiki map

There is quite a bit of volcanic activity in Italy. One of the most famous of eruptions to ever have taken place is the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in Pompeii. The volcano suddenly erupted in 79AD and completely covered the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, just 130 miles from Rome.

Wikipedia explains of Vesuvius, “Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive (Plinian) eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.”

Did you know that Vesuvius was still active? I didn’t. Vesuvius last erupted in 1944.

The gas that experts suspect is part of the mixture wafting from the hole is hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is noted for its pungent smell of rotten eggs. The Minnesota Rural Water Association explains,

Hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) can occur in wells anywhere in Minnesota, and gives the water a characteristic “rotten egg” taste or odor. … Hydrogen sulfide gas can result from a number of different sources. It can occur naturally in groundwater. It can be produced by certain “sulfur bacteria” in the groundwater, in the well, or in the water distribution system. It can be produced also by sulfur bacteria or chemical reactions inside water heaters. In rare instances, it can result from pollution.”

“What causes hydrogen sulfide gas to form in groundwater? Decay of organic matter such as vegetation, or chemical reactions with some sulfur-containing minerals in the soil and rock, may naturally create hydrogen sulfide in gas in groundwater. As groundwater moves through soil and rock formations containing minerals of sulfate, some of these minerals dissolve in the water. A unique group of bacteria, called “sulfur bacteria” or “sulfate-reducing bacteria” can change sulfate and other sulfur containing compounds, including natural organic materials, to hydrogen sulfide gas.”

Decay of organic matter was one of the possible reasons the smell came from the opened hole, as stated in the Telegraph article. Another expert said, no, it is likely volcanic in origin.

Hydrogen sulfide is also known as sulfur. Sulfur occurs naturally as the pure element (native sulfur) and as sulfide and sulfate minerals. When sulfur is a gas it is called hydrogen sulfide.

Another name for sulfur is brimstone. Yes, THAT brimstone. The exact element that rained down on Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim in times past. (Deuteronomy 29:23). It is the element that is prophesied to kill a third of mankind from the smoke emanating from the horses’ mouths, in Revelation 9:17-18, in times future. The Lake of Fire is filled with brimstone (sulfur) which will eternally burn. (Revelation 19:20).

Whatever is happening under Rome’s airport will be revealed in time while the experts look at the situation. The point of this post is not to explain it, but to draw your attention to something else.

Revelation.

The book of Revelation is a book that prophesies what will happen in the last days of the last days. The events depicted there (ans in other Old Testament books as well) will bring this age to a conclusion. It is the last 7 years of history.

The Tribulation will be a time when the LORD will unleash His stored-up wrath upon the rebellious world.

The purpose of the Tribulation is clearly laid out in scripture. This not an ordinary kind of tribulation, as in trials, or troubles, or persecution. Oftentimes the pre-tribulation naysayers will deny that the church will be whisked out of the way of this period prior to its beginning, by saying ‘why should the church escape, we have always had trouble, and we have always been persecuted.”

However, Jesus made a distinction about this particular time period as being different in purpose and in intensity. He said in Matthew 24:21a, that “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. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved.”

It is THE Tribulation, not mere troubles that the world has always hassled people on the earth. And it will be so bad that left untouched to take its natural course, the trouble would kill all flesh. the earth. As GotQuestions explains,

“The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: 1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and 2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6 – 18). The length of the Tribulation is seven years. This is determined by an understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27; also see the article on the Tribulation). The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the Tribulation period because the Beast, or Antichrist, will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify during this time. Thus, it is important at this point to emphasize that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not synonymous terms.”

Daniel 9:24-27 lays it out. Please read that chapter in context for the full understanding.

During this time of the Tribulation (AKA “Time of Jacob’s Trouble), the earth will continually shake and quake. Large earthquakes will happen. In one, 7,000 will die in Israel. (Revelation 11:13). In another instance, when Russia and the Gog coalition attacks Israel, there will be a large earthquake (Ezekiel 38:19). In Revelation 16:18 another quake occurs, one which is described, “a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.”

So many things happen in such rapid succession, the left-behind, unbelieving world will not have time to emotionally or mentally process it all. A quarter of the earth’s population dies in the first openings of the seal judgments. A third of the grass and vegetation dies. A third of the seas are filled with blood and the animals die. (Revelation 8:7-9). A third of the ships are destroyed.

Can you imagine a third of the world’s seagoing vessels, carrying important cargo, food, and military personnel, destroyed? No food. And, the loss of life? Astronomical.

It will be an incomprehensible time.

When the hole at Fiumicino opened up, just imagine that happening every day, and that the hole isn’t a mere 6 feet, but hundreds of feet. And earthquakes and 100 pound hail and mountains crashing into earth and the sun going partially dark and demons flying around…

The incident at the Rome airport is one that is certainly concerning. As a reminder of what is to come, it is definitely worth pondering the implications of globally repetitive chaotic events on a scale that far exceeds what happened at Fiumicino this week.

Please let this be a reminder of being a good witness for Christ and to evangelize one and all. We are all sinners saved by grace. I was a sinner due for wrath before my conversion. Please share the Good News with people, so they can hear the wonderful opportunity awaiting them of forgiveness and escape from wrath. Christ took it, and if we repent before the rapture, we will not endure it.

Posted in geyser, rome, volcano

Volcanic ‘geyser’ erupts close to Rome airport

UK Telegraph reports

“Italian experts have been puzzled by the overnight appearance of a geyser crater spraying clouds of gas 15 feet in the air, yards from the end of the runway at one of Europe’s busiest airports.”

This seems to be a recurring refrain these days, “experts have been puzzled” or “scientists perplexed.” Here is the rest of the news article-

The crater measured about six feet wide and three feet deep

Motorists on Saturday were alarmed to notice hot, stinking gas spurting from a newly formed crater in the middle of a roundabout close to the perimeter fence of Rome’s Fiumicino airport — less than 900 yards from the end of a runway.

Spectators gathered around the smoking crater, which measured about six feet wide and three feet deep, before firefighters and vulcanologists arrived to seal off the roundabout to prevent inhalation of the gas, suspected to be a coc-ktail of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane. Tests are now underway.


While initial reports suggested the gas came from rotting organic matter trapped underground, one expert said volcanic activity was more likely.

Volcano expert Erik Klemetti (@eruptionsblog) says it’s weird, but that no volcanoes exist in or around Rome, but there are plenty of hot springs. He is looking for a map of such springs now.

Stay tuned

Posted in bendandi, bible, earthquake, rome

Raffaele Bendandi earthquake predictions: Rome citizens are fleeing the big one

Some guy almost 100 years ago predicts a quake will level Rome on May 11, 2011 and today the city residents are fleeing. They believe.

Italians evacuate Rome over ‘big one’ fears
Italians will on Wednesday flee Rome over fears a giant earthquake is coming following a seismologist’s 1915 prediction that “the big one” will strike on May 11, 2011.

“Businesses have reported requests from one in five people to have time off work and many are also keeping children away from school and heading to the beach or country for the day. Romans are taking it so seriously that local newspapers have even been publishing survival guides with tips of what to do – if – the ground starts to tremble. The panic has been fanned by Facebook, Twitter and text messages around a prediction by Raffaele Bendandi, a seismologist who forecast in 1915 that a “big one” would hit Rome on Wednesday. He is also said to have predicted other earthquakes which hit Italy during the last hundred years before his death in 1979. Massimo La Rocca, headmaster of a school in the Trastevere district, said: “We have had quite a few parents calling in and saying they will not be sending their children in.”

“I’ve told them the school will remain open and there is nothing to be scared about but they are adamant – although this is not a justifiable absence for a pupil.”

“A barman named Massimo said: “People have been talking about this for the last week. I know dozens who are taking the day off – I’m going to sleep in the camper van with the wife to be on the safe side.” Bendandi believed movement of plates and therefore earthquakes were the result of the combined movements of the planets, the moon and the sun and perfectly predictable. In 1923 he predicted a quake would hit central Italy on January 2 the following year – he was wrong by two days. For his work Bendandi was even given a knighthood by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini – and ordered not to make any more predictions on pain of exile as officials feared he would create immense panic. However seismologists have been quick to step in and say his theories are without any scientific proof and despite his claims earthquakes are completely unpredictable. Seismologist Alessandro Amato, who works at the Italy’s National Geophysical and Volcanology Institute, said: “There is absolutely no evidence to say that an earthquake will hit Rome on 11th May and we have told that to the hundreds of people who have called.”

Bendandi was wrong lots of times but the world will go after a false prophet rather than the true Prophet who was NEVER wrong and has been proven over and over. O come Lord Jesus!

I fully admit that if a quake hits Rome tomorrow that it will be totally ironic but also a total coincidence. For those who insist on objective evidence and ignoring the bible because it supposedly has none, I remind you that Bendandi developed his own unscientific theory, without any objective evidence, of the nature of earthquakes and the alleged causes that determine them. His studies and his predictions are considered invalid empirical and theoretical justification from the scientific community.

The only reliable predictor for prophecy is the One who delivered it: Jesus in the bible. If the quake does not hit I challenge readers to allow the bible as the standard for prophecy. If the quake does hit tomorrow I still challenge readers to seek the bible as the only barometer of truth and only reliable predictor 100% of what is to come.

If only the world would take the bible as seriously as they do some unscientific guy who was wrong half the time!!

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