Posted in discern, judgment, prophecy, signs

“Discerning the Signs of the Times” by Pastor Phil Andrukaitis

A pastor-friend from Maine recently wrote this below, what was on his heart. I agree with it. It’s on my heart too.

In Hosea 5:12, the LORD promised to bring moth-like judgment upon Israel.

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah.

Gill’s Exposition explains this long-slow kind of judgment.

Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth,…. Which eats garments, penetrates into them, feeds on them privately, secretly, without any noise, and gradually and slowly consumes them; but at last utterly, that they are of no use and profit: this may signify the various things which befell the ten tribes in the reigns of Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, which secretly and gradually weakened them

It is not hard to imagine the Lord employing the same kind of judgment on America and other nations as we deepen our apostasy and turn from Him.

Pastor Andrukaitis

The author of the piece below, Pastor Phil Andrukaitis, is senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, South Portland Maine. Please read the below and see if you agree also.


“Discerning the Signs of the Times”

When hostile, threatened, religious leaders questioned Jesus about His identity and ministry, Jesus responded, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:1-3).

I’m reminded of an earlier time during the initial reign of King David [1011 BC – 971 BC], when the men of Issachar, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, were identified as those “who had an understanding of the times…” (1st Chronicles 12:32).

Question: I wonder how many Christians understand the present times in which we live.

In my devotional reading this morning, my heart was moved by King Josiah’s response when the Book of the Law [God’s Word] had been found in the house of the LORD, while it was being restored by faithful servants.

Evidently, during his grandfather’s 55-year reign as king [Manasseh] and his father’s 2-year reign [Amon], the Book of the Law was lost because these two kings, like many kings before them, had served idols, seduced the nation to follow after other gods, and shed much innocent blood throughout the nation. However, when Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law, he brought it to the attention of King Josiah.

As the Book of the Law was read to King Josiah, the Scriptures says that Josiah’s heart was tender. In addition, Josiah humbled himself before the LORD when he heard what lay ahead for the nation – judgment and desolation because the nation had turned away from God Almighty and had forsaken His Word. And Josiah wept before God and he tore his clothes (2nd Kings 22:1-20). Judgment was on the doorstep of the nation. Judgment was certain. God had set the date.

Questions: First, how do we respond when the Word of God is read? Think about it. Are our hearts tender towards the Word? Do we humble ourselves before God? Do we weep and grieve over the sins in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our nation? Do we desire spiritual and numerical growth for the body of Christ?

Second, I wonder how oblivious God’s people are towards the events unfolding in our world today. I am not an alarmist who is crying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Rather, my cry is, “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

Consider the sins of our nation for just a moment.

ABORTION: We have slaughtered nearly 55 million innocent infants in their mother’s wombs in the past 42 years, all for the sake of “protecting a woman’s choice.” This is a most damnable grievance before God. God is not going to turn away from the innocent cries of these infants. I praise God that these little ones who have been forsaken are in the presence of Jesus.

GBLT: We have cut loose the mooring lines that held this nation firm to the biblical, moral foundation by forsaking the Bible. The LORD God identifies these lifestyles an abomination in His eyes.

SELF: As sinners, we are prone to demote God in our lives and promote ourselves as “gods,” choosing to follow our sinful passions with a heart full of pride. Consequently, every imaginable sin flows out from our hearts and through our lives.

Listen, America is under God’s judgment. The Lord warned ancient Israel that if His people turn away from Him and forsake His Word, God would bring upon them the following curses (Deuteronomy 28): A state of confusion, diseases, natural calamities, rampant domestic violence, economic collapse, and evil rulers.

While these curses were specifically given to ancient Israel, principally speaking, our nation is experiencing the same type of judgments. Consider the evil rulers throughout our nation, the state of confusion and corruption within government, the growing unrest in our country, and the increasing disrespect for authority in our land.

I believe our nation is on the verge of a global economic collapse. I believe government is waiting for the right opportunity to impose martial law in our country. And I believe the church is on the threshold of her glorious hour, especially when God visits our nation with judgment. May the church of Jesus Christ do away with its stupid, petty fights and truly demonstrate that they are Christians, known by their love for one another and others.

I believe it is too late for America. However, it is not too late for individuals to return to the Lord. Confess your sins and your role in the moral collapse of our nation. Believe that Jesus died for you, paying your sin debt by being crucified on the cross. The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Believe that Jesus rose from His grave, as this is God the Father’s proof that Jesus’ sacrifice was acceptable and that Jesus has conquered death, sin, and the grave. Moreover, the Lord is willing to forgive the humble, repentant sinner who comes to Jesus in faith. Go on, surrender your life to Him and know the forgiveness and peace that comes with knowing God through a personal relationship with Jesus.


By Pastor Phl Andrukaitis, Pastor First Baptist Church South Portland, ME. Phil enjoys fishing and target shooting. His passion is making disciples. As a former Marine, his motto is “Honor, courage and commitment are ‘corps’ values that build character. Phil has been married to Sally for over thirty years.

Further Reading

John MacArthur on America: A Nation Abandoned by God

My Utmost for His Highest: Judgment and the Love of God

“What signs indicate that the end times are approaching?”

Posted in earthquake, rapture, signs

Signs: Earthquake and sinkhole update

As a person living on planet earth, I’m fascinated by earthquakes. In Maine, when a quake happens it’s usually below the shaking level and we only hear a boom or two. I never had experienced but one or two quakes in my area during the time I lived there. (30 years).

Georgia’s proximity to a seismic area in Charleston means that sometimes residents in this state can feel a shaking or two. A year ago or so there was a quake that I felt. It rattled the house and the window air conditioner bounced up and down, as if a heavy succession of overladen trucks had passed by.

It was eerie to be walking through the living room and suddenly the ground under your feet shakes and shakes. You think that the ground is solid, but it’s not!! During particularly rough quakes, the ground actually liquifies!

Many millions of people live in areas where earthquakes are more of a hazard and are even a life-threatening danger. Many live in places where the ground more than shakes for a moment, but actually ruptures and swallows people or collapses buildings on top of them. [shudder].

As a Christian I’m interested in earthquakes because of the way God uses them. He is the creator of this planet. The earth and everything in it is His.

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1)

If the LORD wants to announce His presence on Sinai before talking with Moses, He will. (Exodus 19:18). If the LORD wants to open the ground under rebellious Korah and his cohorts, He will. (Numbers 16:32). If He wants to use an earthquake to announce His Son’s death, He will do so. (Matthew 27:51-54). Likewise when His Son resurrected, He announced the glorious news by, among other methods, shaking the earth. (Matthew 28:2)

God uses earthquakes in many ways and for many reasons. In the future prophetic times there will also be great earthquakes, to split Jerusalem into three parts (as part of the Tribulation’s ongoing re-arrangement of the earth to ready it for a return to pre-flood perfection). A great earthquake will defeat the hordes come to attack Jerusalem in the last days, so we can clearly see that quakes are used by God to smite an enemy’s military or to aid His people Israel during battle- as He did to the Philistines at Geba. (1 Samuel 14:15).

God communicates His greatness through earthquakes, and He demonstrates His ownership of the earth as its Creator when He shakes it.

Jesus said that earthquakes will be a sign of approaching tribulation of the end of days. (Matthew 24:7). He said the signs He was speaking of will be as birth pangs. Birth pains get worse and worse and more and more painful as the moment of birth approaches, and many people take His metaphor to mean the signs He spoke of will increase painfully also. This is the way I interpret verses 4-8 in chapter 24, as being signs during the Age of Grace, with verse 9 swinging into the discussion of the actual Tribulation.

So, are earthquakes increasing? Until 2014 most scientists said no, or they denied that they were increasing, anyway. However as I’ve been showing my annual December 31 “By the Numbers” posts for several years now, the United States’ Geological Survey’s own data and their 100-year averages show that they are.

Now scientists are saying, well, yeah, earthquakes are increasing. The following article is from LiveScience this past June

Big Earthquakes Double in 2014, But They’re Not Linked

If you think there have been more earthquakes than usual this year, you’re right. A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979. “We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded,” said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California.

The article quotes scientists who had previously surmised that larger quakes trigger smaller ones, but the increase in large quakes in the present day has not triggered any other ones, hence the second part of the title to the article, ‘they’re not linked’. The article continues,

As our group has been interested in the ability of an earthquake to affect others at a global scale, we wondered if we were seeing it happening. I really expected we would see evidence of something we couldn’t explain by randomness,” Parsons told Live Science’s Our Amazing Planet in an email interview. The new study isn’t the first time researchers have tried and failed to link one earthquake to another in time and across distance.

Here is another article from just several days ago reporting earthquakes on the rise. This article narrows the scope to just earthquakes around Oklahoma. We take note not just of the sheer number earthquakes increasing, but Jesus said they will occur in diverse places. An earthquake can be of note because of the location it occurred. It can be of note due to the magnitude. An earthquake doesn’t have to be a 9.0 to attract attention, but a 3.3 can be equally interesting. More on that in a moment.

Earthquakes on the rise; scientists warn of larger quake possibilities

It’s been such a dramatic increase the state and seismologists like Austin Holland can barely keep up. With 4,600 quakes this year alone so far, it [the state capitol] averages to 14 quakes a day. “It’s pretty remarkable how many significant earthquakes we’ve had,” Holland said. While the state’s biggest quake remains at a 5.6 that hit Prague back in 2011, large quakes are happening more often. Holland says the trend doesn’t bode well for the state.

This week’s quakes show several significant ones. USGS embeds the data in a pink banner to show the significance. Others were simply of interest because they were big.

3.3 magnitude ENE of Irving, Texas
6.3 magnitude NNE of Omachi, Japan
6.5 magnitude WNW of Tobelo, Indonesia
3.8 magnitude NW of Eutaw, Alabama
4.2 magnitude S of San Juan Bautista, California
6.7 NE of Gisborne, New Zealand

Why is the Irving TX quake in pink, indicating it was an event of significance to USGS? I don’t know. I have not been able to find an explanation on the USGS site explaining why they consider certain quakes highly significant. I can only guess: the location would seem to indicate it is a low-seismic area. Here is an excerpt from a news article about the quake–

Quake centered in Irving rocks Dallas area

In the past year, about three dozen earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or more have struck communities in North Texas. Some quakes were strong enough to crack home walls and foundations. Most of the quakes hit months ago, though three of them rattled the Dallas-Fort Worth area in September, waking some residents from sleep.

Small North Texas quake triggers social media stir

A magnitude-3.3 earthquake has shaken North Texas strong enough to draw reaction during a Dallas Stars hockey game. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred about 9:15 p.m. Saturday and was centered about 2 miles beneath east Irving, around 6 miles northwest of Dallas. It was the sixth and strongest quake centered near Irving in two months. Small quakes have become more common recently in Texas.

It should be noted that scientists believe that both in TX and in OK that hydraulic fracturing as part of the oil extraction process is what is triggering these quakes.


A sinkhole opening up is something I’m quite nerved up over and fascinated by, both. It’s the same vein as earthquakes- thinking the ground is solid under your fet (and if you can’t trust the solid ground, what CAN you trust?) and then suddenly it’s air. Do you see in the recent sinkhole that opened up in Russia, the row of houses, and then the hole? Did houses fall into the hole? People? [shudder]

Wall Street photo of the day
A view of a sinkhole stretching 20 meters by 30 meters at the Solikamsk-2 mine in Russia’s Perm region. Tass/Zuma Press

Natal, Brazil:

Sinkhole grows just miles from World Cup Stadium

A sinkhole that opened up last week in the wake of record-breaking rainfall in the World Cup host city of Natal, Brazil continues to expand, swallowing homes and cars and forcing the evacuation of 150 families.  More rain fell on the coastal city in three days last week—more than 13 inches worth—than the area usually sees in the entire month of June, sparking landslides, flash flooding and opening up the sinkhole four miles from the Arena das Dunas stadium in a hillside favela, according to the BBC. No one was killed or injured, the Associated Press reports.  The Associated Press also reports that some 150 families have been evacuated from the affected area. According to local news reports, some of those families are being sheltered by government agencies and local schools and churches.

BBC: Huge sinkhole near World Cup Stadium

Photo BBC

Residents have been evacuated from a favela near one of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums, after a huge sinkhole opened up. Footage shows partially-collapsed homes perched on the edge of the crater in Natal, already filled with household appliances, furniture and vehicles. The hole is four miles (6.5km) from the Arena das Dunas stadium, which will host the Group D match between Italy and Uruguay on Tuesday. The sinkhole opened up earlier this week after record rainfall, but has continued to grow since.

A massive sinkhole near Tampa, Fla. swallows up a car and driveway, Nov. 10, 2014. The family had five minutes to escape.

Third Sinkhole Forms, Swallows Part of Car

HOLIDAY, Fla. — Nov 16, 2014, 10:47 AM ET Associated Press  A third hole has formed in in the driveway of a Tampa Bay-area neighborhood and swallowed a car to its bumper.  Pasco County spokesman Doug Tobin says the new hole opened Saturday in the front yard of a resident’s home. It was about six feet deep and grew about 10 feet wide. The resident is temporarily relocating.  Two other holes formed earlier this week about a quarter mile away. Engineers have to confirm that the depressions are sinkholes.  The first hole grew to 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The mobile home at the brink of that hole was condemned. Five other homes were evacuated.  Tobin says work has been suspended on a nearby sewer lift station due to the subsurface activity

The Lord will come back when He comes back. It seems like it might be soon, but only the Father knows for sure. I pray that when He does, I will be counted as one who was longing for His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8). I so yearn to see His face, to be sinless, finally. I long for the world to claim Him as LORD of Lords and KING of Kings, whether voluntarily or not. I want every knee to bow, including mine. I want the world to be restored and released from its curse, where the ground doesn’t cry out from the blood shed on it. (Genesis 4:10). I want no babies to be aborted but each one (in the Millennium kingdom) to be cherished. I want to love perfectly.

Praise the Lord that someday, I will. Thanks to His grace and His desire to gather a people unto Himself, someday, soon I hope, we will be with Him.


Institute for Creation Research: Great Earthquakes of the Bible

By the Numbers 2013

By the Numbers 2012

By the Numbers 2010

ABC News: Incredible sinkholes around the world

Posted in ebola, jesus, pestilence, signs

Dallas Ebola updates, children exposed, person being monitored in Hawaiian hospital

In 1976 Ebola was discovered. I was 16 at the time and I was absolutely freaked out by the discovery. I read about it National Geographic or Smithsonian Magazine I think. A disease that melts your insides? Perfect fodder for the overactive teenage imagination. The shock and horror of Ebola never quite left my mind.

It is a terrible disease, sneaky and final. Sneaky because it take up to 21 days to show its face, and final because the death rate can be upwards of 90%. The current outbreak has been showing a death rate of 55-60%. By comparison, the Spanish Influenza mortality rate was 2.5-3%.

In this NatGeo article from September 2014, we read,

Since the first outbreaks in Africa in 1976, three of the five species of Ebolavirus have accounted for almost all cases of the disease seen below: the Sudan, Bundibugyo and Zaire species. A fourth species (Taï Forest) caused one nonfatal case in Cote d’Ivoire in 1994. A fifth (Reston) has not yet been transmitted to humans.

Silverback Gorilla, CC

Ebola is named after the river in the area it first made an appearance. It was discovered in green monkeys and then gorillas in 1975-1976. This article from 2006 reports on the devastation the disease has been causing in gorillas.

Ebola Killing Thousands of Gorillas, Study Says
for National Geographic News, December 7, 2006

The Ebola virus is marching steadily across western and central Africa, wiping out more than 90 percent of the gorillas in its path and threatening the species with extinction, a new study says. About 5,000 gorillas were killed by the virus in one study area alone, according to results to be published in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science. Ebola causes a hemorrhagic fever, resulting in massive internal and external bleeding that kills within two weeks of symptoms appearing. There is no known cure, and in humans the mortality rate is around 80 percent. The virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near where the first known outbreak occurred in 1976.

Back when Ebola was first discovered both in primates and in humans, it sort of freaked out the medical world. It popped up out of nowhere and to this day they don’t quite know where it emerged from or why. Dr. Karl Johnson wrote in 1979 in the Annals of Internal Medicine,

Ebola Virus and Hemorrhagic Fever: Andromeda Strain or Localized Pathogen?

The nearly simultaneous occurrence of major epidemics of acute hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in Sudan (1) and Zaire (2) during late 1976 serves as a poignant reminder that infectious “plagues” have not been, nor are they likely soon to be, eliminated from our world. The causative agent of these epidemics was found to be a virus new to science and was named Ebola after a small river near Yambuku, Zaire, a disease epicenter where the initial isolate was made…. Until effective vaccines are developed, careful management of patients and surveillance of their close contacts offer the only rational way to deal with agents sometimes viewed as Andromeda’s children.”

Thirty-five years later an effective vaccine is still not developed and the careful management of patients showing symptoms kind of went out the window in Dallas this week as a man recently returned from Liberia was sent home from the hospital he arrived at for treatment. He went back two days later, in an ambulance, after a chaotic scene outside his apartment building where witnesses say “he was vomiting all over the place.” The ambulance he was delivered to the hospital in is now under quarantine as a bio-hazard. The patient’s condition has been upgraded to serious, which is great, considering the only drug available, ZMapp, has been used up and further doses are not available at this time. Perhaps Thomas Eric Duncan will bounce back. I hope so. It turns out he had been a chaufferur in Liberia for the last two years before abruptly quitting in September and walking out without notice, His boss had no idea where he was until he saw Duncan in the news as the US Ebola patient.

The Andromeda Strain referred to in the 1979 Annals of Internal Medicine article, is the title of a 1969 novel by Michael Crichton. The Andromeda Strain is a techno-thriller novel documenting the efforts of a team of scientists investigating the outbreak of a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism in Arizona that rapidly and fatally clots the blood in most humans, while inducing insanity in a small handful of others. (Wikipedia)

The Dallas apartment complex where Duncan was believed to be staying was cordoned off Wednesday, and the management was turning away visitors. TV cameras lined the fence of the parking lot, and at least one helicopter hovered overhead.

Andromeda Strain, Russian release, 1971

The intense news interest in the story is indicative of the intense viewer interest in the story. This kind of interest was evidenced almost immediately upon publication of Crichton’s Andromeda novel,

Written while Michael was still in medical school, it caused an immediate sensation: partly because the author was still in his twenties; partly because it focused on a biological crisis when most people were thinking about nuclear crises…”

The Dallas news outlets are reporting the Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, after he was sent home, had contact with close friends and family, including several school children who attend different schools. Several of the kids are being monitored, but parents are still pulling their children from school.

Twitter, Jake Tapper: “80 people being monitored for Ebola in Dallas: the patient, his contacts and anyone they contacted, officials say.” via @cnnbrk

Oops, since this morning, that number has risen now to 100.

The first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S. wasn’t appropriately treated for suspected infection until after a relative personally called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, his nephew told NBC News on Wednesday night. … Weeks said the CDC referred him to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, which spoke to him and then took appropriate action. “I called the CDC and they instructed me of the process, and that got the ball rolling,” Weeks said.

A second person is being monitored for Ebola, “Let me be real frank to the Dallas County residents: The fact that we have one confirmed case, there may be another case that is a close associate with this particular patient,” he said. “So this is real. There should be a concern, but it’s contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment.”

Five children from four DISD [Dallas Independent School District] campuses were possibly exposed to the virus. [Superintendent] Miles said none of the students have exhibited any symptoms of Ebola at this time.

Yeah, but doesn’t it take up to three weeks for symptoms to show? So of course after one day they would not be showing symptoms. Meanwhile in Hawaii, another possible Ebola patient is being monitored.

Ebola fears quarantine man in Hawaiian hospital: The unnamed patient has yet to be tested for the deadly virus, but Hawaii Department of Health officials said Wednesday they quarantined him at a Honolulu hospital after he showed symptoms.

At some point, the pale horse of pestilence is going to ride. (Revelation 6:7-8). The Seals will not be broken until after the rapture but we could be seeing a set-up. Or not. We never know at the time whether this is an outbreak or not. In Fort Riley Kansas in 1918 did they have a clue that when the camp cook came down sick he would be nearly the first victim of a worldwide Spanish Influenza pandemic that would eventually kill three to five percent of the entire population?

It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—three to five percent of the world’s population—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history…A large factor in the worldwide occurrence of this flu was increased travel. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease. In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the U.S. Public Health Service’s academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918 the virus had reached Queens, New York.

The Dallas (and Honolulu) situation is of concern, as is the African Ebola situation in general. People are scared of pestilential disease, it is creepy in the way that the 1970s shark movie Jaws caught our deepest fears of being hunted while swimming in unfamiliar habitats. A primal fear, different from the horror of nukes falling on us, the enemy of disease invades our bodies and destroys from the inside.

I can’t help but remember that another of the books that caught my attention so deeply when I was a teenager, Stephen King’s The Stand, was about a superflu that killed 99% of the world population within 2 months. It, also, began in Texas, by a man named Campion…

Posted in earthquakes, ebola, prophecy, signs, weather

News roundup: Ebola in US, Japanese volcano eruption, quake swarm at Mammoth


CDC confirms first case of Ebola in US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on Tuesday that a patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case diagnosed in the United States. The patient left Liberia on September 19 and arrived in the United States on September 20, CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. It’s the first patient to be diagnosed with this particular strain of Ebola outside of Africa.“[The patient] had no symptoms when departing Liberia or entering this country. But four or five days later on the 24th of September, he began to develop symptoms,” said Frieden. The patient, who was in the U.S. visiting family in Texas, initially sought care on September 26, but was sent home and was not admitted until two days later. He was placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, where he remains critically ill, according to Frieden.

The assurances we’ve been receiving from officials since the outbreak in Africa spread have not made much sense to me.

The risk of the spread of Ebola in California is low.”

“and the past-president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, told Americans should not fear the disease. “We see the risk as essentially zero,”

If an ill traveler arrives in the U.S., CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease.

The problem is, the patient in Dallas was not showing any symptoms. Secondly, he had traveled to Liberia and when he arrived at the Dallas hospital for treatment, he was sent home. It doesn’t seem those protocols are working.

Granted, one patient isn’t an outbreak. But the worry is that he was ill, AND showing symptoms and walked around Dallas for days. The CDC press conference last night never did answer the question as to whether the patient’s family has been quarantined. However, several medical workers are now quarantined:

Paramedics, ER staff under Ebola observation in Dallas

DALLAS — Three Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics and several emergency room workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital are off work and under observation after making contact with the patient being treated for Ebola. Perhaps the most tangible evidence of Ebola in Dallas is an ambulance parked in a city lot in Pleasant Grove, an area about 15 minutes southeast of downtown Dallas. It’s quarantined and roped off with red tape warning of a biohazard. Ambulance No. 37 carried the Ebola patient to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday morning.

So on September 26 the patient walked into the hospital seeking care, and just three days later had to be taken by ambulance. It seems that this is either a very rapid progression, or symptoms were evident on the 26th and were missed. Neither scenario are particularly comforting.

The ambulance used to transport the Dallas Ebola patient is now a biohazard,
and the paramedics are quarantined. Source

But the CDC assures us, still, that everything is just fine. But just in case, they issued Ebola guidelines for US funeral homes. The article’s opening poses the following question:

ROSWELL, GA (CBS46) – CBS46 News has confirmed the Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines to U.S. funeral homes on how to handle the remains of Ebola patients. If the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus is in West Africa, why are funeral homes in America being given guidelines?

They asked the question because the article was initially published on September 29. The news did not break about the Dallas Ebola patient until September 30. Now we know the answer.

All I can say is that the same thing is on many peoples’ minds. First is Mark Davis’ tweet

Fred Butler summed it up.



I love spooky clouds. Or non-spooky clouds. I just like clouds.

PSU meteorology student & storm chaser Jacob DeFlitch ‏@WxDeFlitch tweeted this pic yesterday, “Incredible photo of clouds this morning over NYC from the air.” [Via: Angela Wang]

Ginger Zee, Chief Meteorologist at ABC News; re-tweeted this photo yesterday morning.

“Great capture! “@TheNan08: Heading into NYC crazy looking clouds @Ginger_Zee @Evansweather”

Denver severe weather dumps massive amounts of hail

An impressive hail storm slammed into the Denver metropolitan area around 2 p.m. MDT, dropping hail as large as golf balls. Photos posted to social media show what looked like snow, but was actually a thick sheet of hail covering highways and grassy areas. Denver’s 9 News reports Cherry Creek schools delayed dismissing students because of the weather. Hail drifts several feet deep were reported in some towns, according to

South of France hit by devastating floods

Around 60 towns in the south of France have been officially declared natural disaster sites following severe flooding caused by torrential downpours, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced on Tuesday.

Scientists are grappling for reasons as to why the weather is worsening so palpably. This is from NOAA weather:

New report finds human-caused climate change increased severity of 2013 heat waves in Asia, Europe and Australia September 29, 2014. The report, “Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 From a Climate Perspective,” can be viewed online. (Credit: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society) A report released today investigates the causes of a wide variety of extreme weather and climate events from around the world in 2013. Published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, “Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective” addresses the causes of 16 individual extreme events that occurred on four continents in 2013. NOAA scientists served as three of the four lead editors on the report.



The Weather Channel ‏@weatherchannel posted the following yesterday,
“JUST IN: M4.2 #earthquake near Perry, OK at 10:01pm CDT; shaking felt from Wichita KS to Norman OK.”

4.2 is pretty big for Oklahoma.

Mammoth Lakes in California has been experiencing the “most intense” quake swarm of the last decade. LA Times has mapped them in a .gif

Watch 900 earthquakes erupt during Mammoth swarm

There were 947 total quakes



Mount Ontake, a Japanese volcano, erupted unexpectedly, unfortunately killing and injuring climbers. A hiker who was on scene filmed the terrifying event. Below is a screen shot and below that, the video.

I truly hope those poor people made it out!

UK Daily Mail

The search for at least two dozen victims of Japan’s worst volcanic eruption in decades has been called off again today amid fears that another deadly steam explosion is imminent. Hundreds of military searchers had been preparing to enter Mount Ontake by foot and helicopter to resume the recovery of at least 24 people caught in a deadly rain of ash and stone after the peak erupted without warning on Saturday when it was crowded with hikers, including children. Twelve bodies have been recovered from the 10,062 feet peak but at least 36 are feared to have died, with the recovery hampered by high levels of toxic gas and ash piled hip-high in places on the still-smoking mountain. At least 69 people have been injured, 30 of them seriously.

UK Daily Mail(as usual, great photos)

Mount Sinabung Spouts Off

Mt. Sinabung in Sumatra let out a long roar on Wednesday, erupting for a full 907 seconds, or just over 15 minutes – about 0.0028% of the year since it first started acting up. Daily eruptions, which started last November and lasted for months, coated the countryside in gray ash and forced tens of thousands of people from their villages.



Video: Fla. commissioner walks out of meeting when Pagan delivers bizarre ‘satanic,’ singing invocation

A Florida pagan was given the opportunity to offer the invocation at an Escambia County Commission meeting Thursday, but one commissioner wouldn’t stick around to hear it. By law, the commission had to allow David Suhor, a self-described Agnostic Pagan Pantheist who worships nature, to give an invocation, according to ABC affiliate WEAR-TV. When Suhor recited the pagan prayer in song calling of the directions north, east, south, and west, Commissioner Wilson Robertson walked out. “People may not realize it,” Robertson told WEAR. “But when we invite someone, a minister to pray, they are praying for the county commissioners, for us to make wise decisions and I’m just not going to have a pagan or satanic minister pray for me.”

Good for him. The law may require that equal opportunity be given to all religions, but that does not mean we have to accept the prayer in the ‘spirit’ in which it was intended. I hope the commissioner prayed for the pagan man to repent and come to Jesus.

Posted in last days, prophecy, sex week, signs, sin, university of new mexico

University of New Mexico’s ‘sex week; Church teaches Harry Potter

Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives the signs of His return. They had learned that the establishment of the Kingdom was not going to happen immediately, as they had thought. So they asked Jesus.

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)

The ‘these things’ refers to a statement Jesus had made in verse 2. He said the temple would be destroyed, not one stone left upon another. So there are three questions they asked,

–When will the temple be thrown down?
–What will be the signs of the end of the age?
–What will be the sign of Your coming?

In terms of the signs of the end of the age, and Jesus was speaking of the Tribulation (Mathew 24 is a Tribulation passage, NOT a message to the Church). However there are some general principles we can look at to understand the cycle of depravity in the world.

After the Fall of man in Genesis 3, the first murder occurred in Genesis 4. So did the first case of polygamy and another murder. It didn’t take long, did it? By Genesis 6:5,

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually

We went from perfection to utter sin in three chapters. God sent the Flood in Genesis 7-8, and when it subsided in Genesis 9, the nations began to spread in Genesis 10 and by Genesis 11, again, sin. Terrible sin. In Genesis 11 we have the world’s first dictator and the founding of Babylon. Here is a rough timeline from Answers in Genesis-

It roughly took only 1600 years for man to be created, fall and be wiped from the earth. It took only 100 years for man to revive from being wiped out to such rebellion that God changed man’s language and scattered them from Babel.

What a depraved creature fallen man is! As Christians with the Spirit in them grow fewer and fewer in the world, (though the church will never be overcome) it seems that the sin rising is beginning to appear to be piling up to heaven!

Ezra 9:6,
and prayed: “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.

Jeremiah 51:9,
‘We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to our own land, for her judgment reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the heavens.’

Revelation 18:5, of Babylon,
for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

They are metaphors, of course, but the weight of sin upon the world is definitely heavy in these days. Witness two examples,

The University of New Mexico (UNM) is hosting a “Sex Week,” where students can learn “How to be a Gentleman and get laid,” negotiate threesomes, and [other things]. The event, sponsored by the University of New Mexico Women’s Resource Center and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), is offering lectures on “How to be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” “Reid’s Negotiating Successful Threesomes,” “[and other things]”.
“[F]or example, when you are having sex with more than one person it can be very challenging to make sure that everybody’s needs are being met and that everybody’s boundaries are being respected.”
According to local news station KOB4, “The events are designed to prevent sexual assault, but organizers have taken a new approach…Instead of teaching students how not to get hurt, they’re teaching them how to have safer and better sex.”

Other news articles on the event. Thankfully not all people are happy with this.

Sex Week at UNM has varied reaction among people on campus

Critics concerned about UNM’s first ‘Sex Week’

That is the world’s view of the act of sexual union. Here is God’s view-

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

What is sexual immorality, exactly, that we should be fleeing from?

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28 )

The sexual union between a man and a woman only is for the sanctified marriage bed only. Anything else is adultery, fornication, and sexual immorality. It dishonors God to do these things. Not only is it bad to do them in secret, but worse is that these things are now openly taught and heartily applauded. Adults are supposed to train up the youth in the way that they should go. Is the way that they should go? Into sexual perversity?

Romans 1:32 says, Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

A heavy judgment awaits those who put such dishonorable and perverse things in the way of children.

Here is a second piece of news. The Berean Times on Twitter tweeted,

“An episcopal church here in Tulsa will start teaching Harry Potter cause the leader said the Scriptures were too hard to teach…no joke.”

I investigated and indeed, it is no joke.

“…the children went into a candle-lit darkened room where a witch-like “sorting hat” was placed on their heads, and they were assigned to groups named Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Teachers and helpers dressed in black robes. Crystal balls, owls and jars of magic potions decorated the classrooms. “It was my idea,” said Paula Rule, director of youth ministries who developed the program. “This is one of the things that a lot of our kids have grown up with. They relate to it. They’ve read the books. “We’re exploring the same Christian themes that you find in the Bible — good versus evil, redemption, salvation, love.” The Rev. Kenneth Orsburn, curate at the church, teaches the adult portion of the Harry Potter program. He said Biblical literacy is on the decline, a symptom of a general decline in church attendance across America. “We’re getting folks in here who have been unchurched for 30 years,” he said. “They don’t know these stories. That’s a challenge for us and for the church. The Scripture is very daunting. Harry Potter is easier.

Oh! It’s easier. Well that explains it.

Some people in the congregation have questioned the wisdom of using books filled with witches, magic and sorcery to teach the Bible, she said.

Only ‘some’?

Lexi Medina, 12, who played the part of a mythical creature, also was happy with it. “I love Harry Potter, for real,” she said. “I think it’s pretty cool, as long as I get to act, like, creepy around people.”

As long as the kids like it, then I guess it’s OK. /sarcasm

It is such a shame that the priest/pastor person does not see that a “30-year unchurched person” is a lost person. They need the scriptures, not the culture! But of course that is exactly why they do not understand. Their minds are blinded to the truth. So the church dumbs down the Gospel, or in this case, excludes it completely and puts in its stead the exact things that God said He hates.

Here is what God says about sorcery, divination, and witchhraft-

“A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:27)

“You shall not permit a sorceress to live.” (Exodus 22:18)

Oh dear, that’s pretty harsh. Surely the ‘Lord of Love’ has softened His stance on the sorcerers, diviners, witches by the New Testament’s arrival. Jesus isn’t that harsh.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:20-21)

I guess Jesus is that harsh. His love doesn’t exclude His wrath upon the ungodly.

Isolated events like fornication, and wayward behavior in apostate churches have always been present on the earth. What I am seeing is that these behaviors are becoming systemetized by the power structures such as Universities and Churches, and presented as normal. They are codified: “to put (laws or rules) together as a code or system.”

No longer is it the one or two aberrant person, but a system of depravity or sinful behavior that is presented and applauded. Romans 1 says this would happen.

  • First they deny the truth (a truth God has made plain to them).
  • Then they refuse to honor Him.
  • Next, their thinking became darkened and futile.
  • Then they began to worship creeping things.
  • Now it goes faster. God gives them over, and their hearts full of impurities act out the perversions in it.
  • Last they live in a debased mind that not only lives in perversity but also all the other sins blossom, such as malice, envy, insolence, haughtiness, etc.
  • Finally, they turn to others and applaud their degenerate descent into dishonor. (Romans 1:18-32)

And that is where we are. Verse 32.

Do not be surprised when the world acts like the world. More and more people, cities, organizations, Universities, and churches are adopting sin wholesale and then promoting it heartily. This is very bad for the people individually, and in the cities, organizations, Universities, and churches but it is an opportunity to be the Light we are called to be. We always strengthen ourselves in prayer, staying in the word, and worshiping in spirit and in truth.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Paul said he learned to be content in whatever situation he finds himself, (and he was in jail at the time) because he knows God will strengthen Him. (Philippians 4:13). It is our Savior’s strength we need in these dark days, and the more we submit and rely on Him, the brighter our light will shine in these dark places. Until the Day…

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Posted in anti-semitism, satan, signs, tribulation, wrath

Anti-Semitic incidents worse than they’ve been in decades- "Something’s changed"

In the news article excerpt below (from Breitbart) you will read that attitudes toward Jewish people are taking a horrific turn for the worse.

South African Union Leader Calls for Attacks on Jews ‘Everywhere’

In a posting on his personal Facebook page Wednesday, Tony Ehrenreich, the leader of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape province, called for “an Eye for an Eye against Zionist aggression” and warned that “if a woman or child is killed in Gaza,” then Jews who support Israel must face an equivalent fate. … Ehrenreich is one of South Africa’s more important political voices. He was the Cape Town mayoral nominee in 2011 for the country’s major political party, the African National Congress (ANC), and still leads the opposition in the city council. He has strong anti-Israel views, and recently called for boycotts of Jewish businesses in South Africa if the Jewish community’s leadership, the Board of Deputies, refused to stop supporting Israel. Now, Ehrenreich has apparently taken his campaign one step further–to possible incitement. … Last month, another member of the ANC in the Western Cape province posted an antisemitic statement to her personal Facebook page–an image of Hitler with the comment, “Yes man, you were right!” and the caption: “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to tell you why I was killing them.”

That a person could even hold this attitude but speak it out loud, or write it for the world to see, is depraved. That a leader of men is doing it is even worse.

Yet sadly, this attitude toward Jews is not silently contained in one man’s heart, or posted on an obscure man’s Facebook page, but is becoming widespread among the world’s nations. See this interesting news piece. Here is the art from it. Click to enlarge-

Anti-Semitism In Europe: A Crisis

Two weeks ago, a secret emergency meeting was held in Jerusalem, chaired jointly by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, whose cabinet portfolio includes the relationship between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. On the agenda was the outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews across Europe in the wake of the Gaza conflict. The meeting was attended by representatives of government departments and major Jewish organizations operating in Europe. They heard assessments from the leadership and security bodies of some of the European communities, and from experts in Israeli agencies who have a brief to monitor the physical safety of Jews around the world and discreetly assist communities at risk.

No conclusions were reached at the meeting. As of now there is little Israel can or perhaps should do. The rash of attacks on Jews, vandalism of synagogues and homes, and virulent anti-Semitic rhetoric is being confronted energetically by police, local authorities and national governments. The level of violence, while unprecedented in decades, is not yet causing a scared exodus – no-one is chartering planes for an airlift. But something has changed.

Those who have been monitoring levels of anti-Semitism in Europe for years are struggling to put their finger on what exactly has changed in recent weeks. Looking back at the last 15 years, the current wave of attacks is just the latest in a series beginning with the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000, and repeating itself with each round of violence in Gaza, the West Bank or Lebanon. So what is different this time?

“It’s worse than any previous period we can remember. Worse than the waves after Operation Cast Lead and the Marmara incident,” says Richard Goldstein, operations director at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London, where he closely follows the situation of Jewish communities in Europe. “Intimidating demonstrations in numerous places in Europe, often leading to attacks on Jewish businesses and synagogues – we haven’t seen things like this for decades. On the other hand, there have been sudden waves like this in the past and afterwards things went back to normal. It’s hard now to predict how things will look once Gaza calms down. But it looks like a red line has been crossed where many don’t make the distinction between Israel and Jews anymore.”

The reason that the world is turning against the Jews is because of God.

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. (Zechariah 12:2)

Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine: Thus says your Lord, the Lord, your God who pleads the cause of his people: “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more; and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, ‘Bow down, that we may pass over’; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over.” (Isaiah 51:21-23)

Gill’s Exposition says of the Isaiah verse:

Behold, I have taken out of thy hand the cup of trembling; which he himself had put there, Isaiah 51:17, and which none but himself could take out; not she herself, nor any of her sons, nor indeed could they give her any relief; but when the Lord’s time is come to favour his people, he himself will remove it:

So God will render His wrath upon His rebellious people Israel. When He determines the time is finished for His cup of wrath to be poured out upon her, He will remove the cup of staggering and put it in other nations’ hands and pour out His wrath on them, for tormenting His people.

The Tribulation as defined here says,

“The Tribulation, as taught by most Bible scholars, encompasses a future seven year period when God will complete his discipline of Israel and final judgment upon the unbelieving citizens of the world.”

At some level, just as the world’s peoples know that God exists, (Romans 1:19-20), they know that the reason for the world’s anti-Semitism is also God, because He loves the Jews. Here is an example of a person’s secular opinion in answer to the question of why the world hates the Jews, illustrating  they know religion is at the root:

Religion: The root cause of the crises in the Middle East

Sunni vs. Shia, Muslim Brotherhood vs. other religions, especially Coptic Christians and the secular state in Egypt, Muslims vs. Christians in Lebanon, Jews vs. Muslims in the Israel-Arab conflicts, and Sunnis and radical Islamist groups vs. Alawites (and President Bashar) in Syria.

The more I investigated all of this, the more I found that much of the terrible turmoil can, in fact, be traced to the fundamental beliefs of different groups that they are right and righteous. These groups cling to ancient stories and teachings that define their identity, their morals and their politics. These traditions also pinpoint the geographic space to which they believe they are entitled — their homeland and holy land

But his answer is only the beginning of the answer. Here is the rest of it, and the truth:

What is the cause of all the anti-Semitism in the world?

This brings us to the real reason by the world hates the Jews. The apostle Paul tells us, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (Romans 9:3-5).

The truth is that the world hates the Jews because the world hates God. The Jews were God’s firstborn, His chosen people (Deuteronomy 14:2). Through the Jewish patriarchs, the prophets, and the temple, God used the Jews to bring forth His Word, the Law, and morality to a world of sin. He sent forth His son, Jesus the Christ, in a Jewish body to redeem the world of sin. Satan, the prince of the earth (John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2), has poisoned the minds of men with his hated of the Jews.

May the Lord have mercy upon those who torment the people who are the apple of His eye. May He have mercy on His own People…for the Lord’s wrath is very great. The hatred of the Jews will only increase as we slide ever closer to the Tribulation, when both satan’s hatred and God’s wrath will be poured out in full measure. I personally believe that when officials at the high levels, who are in-the-know, say that something’s changed, that thee level of hatred and the number of incidents are inexplicably increasing, it is because we see the Lord’s hand directly at work.

I believe it also is a sign. I believe that it means we are closer than ever to the rapture, because the Tribulation shortly follows that event, when literally all hell will break loose against the Jews. Come soon Lord Jesus, we long for Your manifold mercies, in rapturing your Bride before it gets to that point. You, dear reader, can be part of the Bride too, if you repent and believe on the Son.



Further Reading

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: The Wrath of God

What is the Tribulation? 

Posted in jesus, miracle, signs

Back to Basics: What is a miracle?

Helix Nebula, Creative Commons photo

Miracle is one of those words that gets overused and then its meaning it diluted, like “awesome”.

“This ice cream is awesome!”
“God is awesome!”

The dramatic rise in people accepting and even seeking the charismatic gifts means that more people believe that people are performing miracles, and believing that God is doing miracles left and right. Healings, gold fillings, gold dust falling, a wind coming up at just the right time, a financial windfall…all are claimed as miracles. But are they? What exactly are miracles, according to the bible? And does God do miracles today?

While cessationists like me by no means deny that God has always had the power and will to do a miracle, and does them today, they are much less frequent than we suppose, IF in fact, perhaps nonexistent. But nowadays, everyone is claiming a miracle.

Today, we hear an awful lot of talk about miracles, somebody says, “I had a financial need and a miracle happened. The mailman came and in the mail was a check for just the amount of money I needed. It was a miracle.” Or you hear someone say, “I went to the mall and there was a parking place right by the entrance. It was a miracle.” Or a mother might sense something wrong in an adjoining room and investigate just in time to stop her little toddler from putting a paper clip into an electrical outlet, and say, “It’s a miracle.” Or maybe you were thinking and praying for somebody and just seemingly at the time you were doing that, the phone rang and it was the very person you were thinking about, and they were right there to be encouraged and you say, “That was a miracle.” Well, we call those things miracles, but they’re not miracles. A miracle is a supernatural event which has no human explanation. More than that, a miracle is a supernatural event which suspends natural law. (Source)

A miracle gives full warrant that it is from God.
~Augustus Strong

The popular African charismatic evangelist Angus Buchan, of the movie Faith Like Potatoes, planted potatoes and said it was a miracle that they grew. To be sure, the soil in his field was not conducive to bumper crops of potatoes, and he had been warned if a high probability of failure, but he attributed the fact that potatoes grew to a supernatural, direct and divine miracle.

Christian Apologetics and Resource Ministries defines miracle as

A miracle is an out-of-the-ordinary direct and divine intervention in the world. Examples would be the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus walking on water, the resurrection of Lazarus, etc. Some hold that it is a violation of the natural order of physical laws. Others maintain that there is no such violation upon God’s part but only a natural manifestation of His work.

They are also known as powers and signs (Mark 9:39; Acts 2:22, 19:11) and mighty works (John 10:25-28). They are a manifestation of the power of God over nature (Joshua 10:12-14), animals (Num. 22:28), people (Gen. 19:26), and illness (2 Kings 5:10-14). They are produced by God’s power (Acts 15:12), Christ’s power (Matt. 10:1), and the Holy Spirit’s power (Matt. 12:28).

I like Augustus Strong‘s definition,

A miracle is an event in nature so extraordinary in itself and so coinciding with the prophecy or command of a religious teacher or leader as fully to warrant the conviction on the part of those who witness it, that God has wrought it with the design of certifying that this teacher or leader has been commissioned by him.

Why are there miracles?

Strong again:

Miracles are the natural accompaniments and attestations of new communications from God. The great epochs of miracles—represented by Moses, the prophets, the first and second comings of Christ—are coincident with the great epochs of revelation. Miracles serve to draw attention to new truth, and cease when this truth has gained currency and foothold.

Some of the miracles in the Incarnation of Jesus’ time were making the blind to see. Do you realize there was no other recorded healing of this type in the Old Testament or the New, until Jesus did it? John 9:1-7 records Jesus performing a miracle of making an adult man born blind to see.

This is an amazing case, because Jesus didn’t cure a temporary condition recently onset, he reversed a biological, genetic defect.

The case of Lazarus was also a bona fide miracle, because Jesus raised a man who had been dead so long. Once again, He reversed biology by renewing the man’s very cells at the same time He gave Lazarus life again.

Finding a parking space in the front row, by comparison, is not a miracle.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines miracle as:

An event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matthew 12:38).

The Apostles performed bona fide miracles also. They healed, raised the dead. Philip was whisked in a lateral ‘rapture’ or snatching away from one place to another. (Acts 8:39-40). That was a miracle. I’m hoping that in the New Jerusalem we can all travel that way 😉

Wisps, CC, by The Mighty Tim Iconnu

To look at what a miracle is, let’s look at why they exist. S. Lewis Johnson said in his sermon “Divine Providence, or What About Miracles?” (Matthew 12:25-30),

Now you can see from just these passages that in our Lord’s mind, the miracles were not done simply to give evidence of the power of God, but they were given and performed by him with reference to a particular Messianic purpose. That is, the ultimate coming of the Messianic kingdom.

As for the apostles, the reason they were given power to do signs, is as Dr Johnson explains in the same sermon,

2 Corinthians 12:12, “Truly, the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience in signs, wonders and mighty deeds.” Now notice here the expression, “The signs of an apostle.” And he goes on to say that the signs of the apostles are signs, wonders and mighty deeds. Miracles were the signs of the relationship of the apostles to our Lord. They were the signs that they were apostles, and they also were signs that in their ministry there was a connection between what they were saying and the kingdom of God that would come upon the earth.

Miracle of the Fishes, 1874 Alexander Bida

We don’t need people to perform a miracle any more because the bible now tells us about the Kingdom. We were not alive to hear Jesus in His incarnation, but the Spirit recorded the words through men, and we can read them and hear them. The signifying events are no longer necessary.

Miracles were done in in Moses’ day; in Elijah and Elisha’ day; in the day of our Lord and the apostles. He performed the miracles Himself or through men so as to accomplish His redemptive purposes. The miracles were signs of the accomplishment of his purpose of salvation. He will perform miracles again, Himself, via angels, and through men during the times prophesied in Revelation.

Here is a list of all the miracles, according to ATS Bible Dictionary,

The creation of all things, Genesis 1:1-31.
The deluge, comprising many miracles, Genesis 6:1-22.

Moses &the Burning Bush, illustration from 1890 Holman Bible

The destruction of Sodom, etc., Genesis 19:1-38.
The healing of Abimelech, Genesis 20:17,18.
The burning bush, Exodus 3:2-4.
Moses’ rod made a serpent, and restored, Exodus 4:3-4 7:10.
Moses’ hand made leprous, and healed, Ex 4…6-7.
Water turned into blood, Exodus 4:9,30.
The Nile turned to blood, Exodus 7:20.
Frogs brought and removed, Exodus 8:6,13.
Lice brought, Exodus 8:17.
Flies brought, and removed, Exodus 8:21-31.
Murrain of beasts, Exodus 9:3-6.
Boils and blains brought, Exodus 9:10,11.
Hail brought, and removed, Exodus 9:23,33.
Locusts brought, and removed, Exodus 10:13,19.
Darkness brought, Exodus 10:22.
First-born destroyed, Exodus 10:29.
The Red Sea divided, Exodus 14:21-22.
Egyptians overwhelmed, Exodus 14:26-28.
Waters of Marah sweetened, Exodus 15:27.
Quails and manna sent, Exodus 16:1-36.
Water from the rock, in Horeb, Exodus 17:6.
Amalek vanquished, Exodus 17:11-13.
Pillar of cloud and fire, Numbers 9:15-23.
Leprosy of Miriam, Numbers 12:10.
Destruction of Korah, etc., Numbers 16:28-35,46-50.
Aaron’s rod budding, Numbers 17:8.
Water from the rock, in Kadesh, Numbers 20:11.
Healing by the brazen serpent, Numbers 21:8,9.
Balaam’s ass speaks, Numbers 22:28.
Plague in the desert, Numbers 25:1,9.
Water of Jordan divided, Joshua 3:10-17.
Jordan restored to its course, Joshua 4:18.
Jericho taken, Joshua 6:6-20.
Achan discovered, Joshua 7:14-21.
Sun and moon stand still, Joshua 10:12-14.
Gideon’s fleece wet, Jud 6:36-40.
Midianites destroyed, Jud 7:16-22.
Exploits of Samson, Jud 14:1-16:31.
House of Dagon destroyed, Jud 16:30.
Dagon falls before the ark, etc., 1 Samuel 5:1-12.
Return of the ark, 1 Samuel 6:12.
Thunder and rain in harvest, 1 Samuel 12:18.
Jeroboam’s hand withered, etc., 1 Kings 13:4,6.
The altar rent, 1 Kings 13:5.
Drought caused, 1 Kings 17:6.
Elijah fed by ravens, 1 Kings 17:6. Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—(Galatians 3:5).
Meal and oil supplied, 1 Kings 17:14-16.
Child restored to life, 1 Kings 17:22-23.
Sacrifice consumed by fire, 1 Kings 18:36,38.
Rain brought, 1 Kings 18:41-45.
Men destroyed by fire, 2 Kings 1:10-12.
Waters of Jordan divided, 2 Kings 2:14.
Oil supplied, 2 Kings 4:1-7.
Child restored to life, 2 Kings 4:32-35.
Naaman healed, 2 Kings 5:10,14.
Gehazi’s leprosy, 2 Kings 5:27.
Iron caused to swim, 2 Kings 6:6.
Syrians smitten blind, etc., 2 Kings 19:35.
Hezekiah healed, 2 Kings 20:7.
Shadow put back, 2 Kings 20:11.
Pestilence in Israel, 1 Chronicles 21:14.
Jonah preserved by a fish, Jonah 1:17 2:10.

New Testament Miracles.
The star in the east, Matthew 2:3.
The Spirit like a dove, Matthew 3:16.
Christ’s fast and temptations, Matthew 4:1-11.
Many miracles of Christ, Matthew 4:23-24 8:16 14:14,36 15:30 Mark 1:34 Luke 6:17-19.
Lepers cleansed, Matthew 8:3-4 Luke 17:14.
Centurion’s servant healed, Matthew 8:5-13.
Peter’s wife’s mother healed, Matthew 8:14.
Tempests stilled, Matthew 8:23-26 14:32.
Devils cast out, Matthew 8:28-32 9:32-33 15:22-28 17:14-18.
Paralytics healed, Matthew 9:2-6 Mark 2:3-12.
Issue of blood healed, Matthew 9:20-22.
Jairus’ daughter raised to life, Matthew 9:18,25.
Sight given to the blind, Matthew 9:27-30 20:34 Mark 8:22-25 John 9:17.
The dumb restored, Matthew 9:32-33 12:22 Mark 7:33-35.
Miracles by the disciples, Matthew 10:1-8.
Multitudes fed, Matthew 14:15-21 15:35-38.
Christ walking on the sea, Matthew 14:25-27.
Peter walking on the sea, Matthew 14:29.
Christ’s transfiguration, etc., Matthew 17:1-8.
Tribute from a fish’s mouth, Matthew 17:27.
The fig tree withered, Matthew 21:19.
Miracles at the crucifixion, Matthew 27:51-53.
Miracles at the resurrection, Matthew 28:1-7 Luke 24:6.
Draught of fishes, Luke 5:4-6 John 21:6.
Widow’s son raised to life, Luke 7:14,15.
Miracles before John’s messengers, Luke 7:21-22.
Miracles by the seventy, Luke 10:9,17.
Woman healed of infirmity, Luke 13:11-13.
Dropsy cured, Luke 14:2-4.
Malchus’ ear restored, Luke 22:50-51.
Water turned to wine, John 2:6-10.
Nobleman’s son healed, John 4:46-53.
Impotent man healed, John 5:5-9.
Sudden crossing of the sea, John 6:21.
Lazarus raised from the dead, John 11:43-44.
Christ’s coming to his disciples, John 20:19,26.
Wonders at the Pentecost, Acts 2:1-11.
Miracles by the apostles, Acts 2:43 5:12.
Lame man cured, Acts 3:7.
Death of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:5,10.
Many sick healed, Acts 5:15-16. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:4).
Apostles delivered from prison, Acts 5:19.
Miracles by Stephen, Acts 6:8.
Miracles by Philip, Acts 8:6,7,13.
Eneas made whole, Acts 9:34.
Dorcas restored to life, Acts 9:40.
Peter delivered from prison, Acts 12:6-10.
Elymas struck blind, Acts 13:11.
Miracles by Paul and Barnabas, Acts 14:3.
Lame man cured, Acts 14:10.
Unclean spirit cast out, Acts 16:18.
Paul and Silas delivered, Acts 16:25-26.
Special miracles, Acts 19:11-12.
Eutchus restored to life, Acts 20:10-12.
Viper’s bite made harmless, Acts 28:5.
Father of Publius, etc., healed, Acts 28:8,9

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. (Daniel 4:2)

But in no way were miracles themselves proof of faith. Miracles confirm already existing faith, but rarely if ever catalyzed a person to faith. As A. Strong describes:

Miracles alone could not produce conviction. The Pharisees ascribed them to Beelzebub. Though Jesus had done so many signs, yet they believed not…. Though miracles were frequently wrought, they were rarely appealed to as evidence of the truth of the gospel. They are simply signs of God’s presence in his world. By itself a miracle had no evidential force.

Depiction of the Holy Spirit dove
(ceiling fresco in St. Charles’s Church,
Vienna, 1700’s)

There are interior miracles, and external miracles. An interior miracle would be prophecy, as the LORD gave words to the mind of the prophets and as the Spirit inspired the New Testament writers. Another interior miracle is the breaking of sin’s hold on a newly regenerated person. Justification is an internal miracle. We can’t see the actual breaking of bonds or the new heart, but we can see the effects of this interior miracle, the fruit of the Spirit.

The Spirit indwelling men is an internal miracle. The growth of a person in sanctification is another internal miracle. These are miracles because they are done by God without an intermediate instrument directly upon a person’s soul, heart, mind, and body. It truly IS a miracle when we are saved!! These are the miracles in works of grace.

An external miracle are all the others I posted above in the ATS Dictionary list. Consistently, the word for miracle in the bible is “sign”. A sign points to something. In the case of a miracle, the sign points to God.

John MacArthur said in his sermon, Does God Do Miracles Today?

And the types of miracles that are being claimed today are absolutely nothing like New Testament miracles, absolutely nothing like them. In fact, the types of miracles today could be distinctly seen as different than New Testament miracles. Jesus and the apostles instantly and completely healed people born blind, a paralytic, a man with a withered arm. All obvious and disputable miracles, even Jesus’ enemies didn’t challenge the reality of His miracles that He had the people there to verify them. He raised the dead, of course, as we well know. They never did a miracle that was slow, they never did a miracle that took time, they never did a miracle that was less than permanent. By contrast, most modern miracles are partial, gradual, temporary, sometimes reversed, and almost impossible to verify.

So before we go around claiming this or that miracle, let’s honor the Holy Spirit, our High priest

The Gathering of the Manna, c1470

Jesus, and Father God by pausing a moment to decide if we need to use different terminology. The miracles in the Old Testament and the New signify of God. There were miracles of creation, where He used no instrument but by the power of His word, created. Genesis 1:1 is an example of that. So was the coin in the fish’s mouth and the appearance of manna. There are miracles of healing, of triumphs over demons, of demonstration of power over nature, such as calming the storm at Galilee or shriveling the fig tree or causing rain or stopping the rain. There were miracles over animals, such as making Balaam’s donkey speak or the animals passively migrate to the ark or instructing the ravens to feed Elijah.

Miracles are a tremendous thing to ponder in scripture and to reverentially ascribe to God’s power, love, and creative artistry. Let’s not willy-nilly diminish that awe and reverence by calling mundane things miracles or ascribing to God what He has not done.

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)

A final word. Providence. Readers of this blog know I speak of it often and I’m fascinated by it. In my opinion, one of the reasons I love God’s Providence is because it is a complicated and wonderful miracle. It is certainly a tremendous thing to part the Red Sea. But how much more tremendous to providentially direct each and every step of both Mary’s and Joseph’s ancestors’ lives since the time of Adam and Eve, so that the two would meet at the perfectly correct time, and produce the babe Jesus?

Orchestrating each and every molecule of all material matter at every moment so that God’s plan for His Son come to pass is such a miracle that my mind cannot comprehend a God who does this so easily and by the power of His word and His will. Our God is not to be trifled with, loving as He is. Miracles are done every day in sustaining this world alive, and all the people on it. Let’s not diminish that by rejoicing over a parking space at the mall. Convenient, yes. Miracle? No.

Posted in earthquake map, earthquakes, prophecy, signs, usgs

New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards (USGS map is updated & released)

Excerpts from the information accompanying the new USGS earthquake hazards map, last update 2008. Thank you scientists for your hard work on behalf of the US population. Christians, we know the hazards are increasing and we know why. Be prepared.

The USGS recently updated their U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps, which reflect the best and most current understanding of where future earthquakes will occur, how often they will occur, and how hard the ground will likely shake as a result.

42 States at Risk; 16 States at High Risk

Students conduct the “drop, cover, hold on” safety procedure during an earthquake preparedness drill. Photo Credit: Jessica Robertson, USGS

While all states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (the typical lifetime of a building). Scientists also conclude that 16 states have a relatively high likelihood of experiencing damaging ground shaking. These states have historically experienced earthquakes with a magnitude 6 or greater.

The hazard is especially high along the west coast, intermountain west, and in several active regions of the central and eastern U.S., such as near New Madrid, MO, and near Charleston, SC. The 16 states at highest risk are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. [Since the last map, 2008] Several areas have been identified as being capable of having the potential for larger and more powerful earthquakes than previously thought due to more data and updated earthquake models. The most prominent changes are discussed below.

Changes: East Coast

The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments. As one example, scientists learned a lot following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia in 2011. It was among the largest earthquakes to occur along the east coast in the last century, and helped determine that even larger events are possible. Estimates of earthquake hazards near Charleston, SC, have also gone up due to the assessment of earthquakes in the state.

Central U.S.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone has been identified to have a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes and locations than previously identified. This is a result of a range of new research, part of which was recently compiled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

West Coast

In California, earthquake hazard extends over a wider area than previously thought. Most notably, faults were recently discovered, raising earthquake hazard estimates for San Jose, Vallejo and San Diego. On the other hand, new insights on faults and rupture processes reduced earthquake hazard estimates for Irvine, Santa Barbara and Oakland.

New research on the Cascadia Subduction Zone resulted in increased estimates of earthquake magnitude up to magnitude 9.3.

Earthquake hazard also increased for Las Vegas because of new science.

Full report here

Posted in earthquake, end of days, prophecy, signs

Very Large Earthquake at Chile

The United States Geological Survey recorded a large 8.2 quake off the coast of Chile this evening. Chilean seismologists put it at 8.3. There have been several large aftershocks, including a quake at 6.2 magnitude. Tsunami watches and warnings have been issued for many nearby nations, and across the Pacific to Hawaii and Southern California. Though they expect the wave height to be mere inches by the time it reaches SoCal.

Tsunami waves of 6.5 feet have already been recorded at coastal Pisagua, Chile.

Here are some interesting graphics to help visualize the impacts

Brad Panovich, Chief Meteorologist in Charlotte, NC, wrote: The whole earth is shaking from this M 8.2 quake check out the local SC seismograph.

This graphic is from Mark Baden, writing on twitter, “Chile earthquake now upgraded to magnitude 8.2. Check out how rare this is. Thanks Wunderground for the graphic“:

The Chile 1960 quake was a 9.9 magnitude and the strongest event recorded on earth. The Alaska 1964 quake was a 9.2.
San Francisco 1906 was 7.2.
New Madrid Missouri quake swarm was estimated at around 7.4 to 8.1. This series of earthquakes were felt strongly over roughly 50,000 sq mi, and moderately across nearly 1 million square miles. The historic 1906 San Francisco earthquake, by comparison, was felt moderately over roughly 6,200 sq mi.

Here is a tsunami propagation map.

I read that so far there has been minimal damage in Chile, some injuries but no deaths- though electricity is off and phone lines are jammed. I have not read of any deaths so far, which is a blessing.

I always think of this verse when a large quake happens, especially as mentioned above, the NC weatherman mentioned the earth shaking as far away as South Carolina, and showed the seismograph to prove it.

The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.
~Isaiah 24:19-20

The LORD is patient with us, though our transgressions do lay heavy upon the earth. He is merciful. But He will not be patient forever. Please heed His warning, whether it’s a mega-quake or the stirring in your heart, and repent.

Posted in earthquakes, end of days, oklahoma, prophecy, signs

More than 150 earthquakes in the past week in Oklahoma "not normal" says OGS, issues position paper (Updated)

Yesterday I wrote a blog essay covering the news that a “first of its kind earthquake” had hit Oman. I also reported about the large-ish quake that had struck the UK, where quakes occur, but not all that frequently.

Today KOCO of Oklahoma City published a news article about the earthquake swarm that has been going on in Oklahoma. The KOCO article had the following headline:

OGS: 150+ quakes in one week in Oklahoma
There have been more than 150 earthquakes in the past week in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS). That’s not normal. Before 2009, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported Oklahoma would typically get three or fewer 3.0+ magnitude quakes a year. In the last few years, the average jumped up to about 40 significant quakes a year. Less than 2 months into 2014, Oklahoma has had more than 25 quakes registering 3.0+ magnitude in Oklahoma. Michael Lewchuk, an earthquake expert with Casady School, told KOCO, “For Oklahoma that is an unusually large amount. We typically have somewhere between 50-100 in one full year.”

The quake swarm is so perplexing and problematic (for geologists AND for homeowners/residents) that the Oklahoma Geological Survey has released a position paper specifically addressing it.

There has been a significant increase in seismic activity (earthquakes) in Oklahoma since 2009. And although the majority of these earthquakes are not strong enough to be felt, the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) recognizes that the increase in “felt” seismic activity is of interest to the citizens of the state. …

–Since 2009, the earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been approximately 40 times higher than in the previous 30 years.
–Based on reported “felt” earthquakes prior to the establishment of the OGS network, this recent level of seismicity is significantly greater than the past 100 years.
–The energy released by earthquakes is thousands of times greater than the energy that may have been added by water disposal, which demonstrates that the earthquakes themselves are, ultimately, the result of the release of natural stresses. [Ed Note: as opposed to fracking]
The “Jones Earthquake Swarm” appears, in part, to have shown some activity that statistically deviates from the regional stresses and other general observations of seismicity in Oklahoma.
“The earthquakes keep coming in Oklahoma. Many of Oklahoma’s temblors are too small to be felt by humans, but their frequency and intensity seems to be growing.” (source)

So the upshot is, since 2009 Oklahoma has had a monster increase in earthquakes. The Geologic Society recognizes that residents are spooked. They are looking into it. They haven’t come to a reasonable conclusion as to why OK is jumping and cracking.

According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), there were more than 2,800 earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2013. That’s twice the previous high, established in 2011.” (source)

If these unusual quakes aren’t part of the birth pangs, then I don’t know what! (Matthew 24:8).

Further Reading

The Beginning of the Birth Pains

The End of the Age

Opinion Editorial: The State of Oklahoma needs an earthquake task force