Skip to comments.Jesus' Return (for the Rapture of all who belong to Him) is Very Near
Posted on 02/27/2010 8:02:16 PM PST by Freedom'sWorthIt
Disasters - earthquake, Tsunami, others - happening rapidly now.
Read Matthew 24. There will be earthquakes.....etc.
When we see these events occurring in increasing frequency it is because these are the "birth pangs" that we have been told by Jesus Christ Himself - would happen closer together in time as do the birth pangs of a woman in labor. The closer she gets to giving birth, the worse the birth pangs become and the closer together they come.
He was in the Philippines recently; then in the San Francisco Bay Area late this week for the Apple board meeting. Now, he just turned up on the NYT op-ed page.
You really do need to learn to Google to answer your questions.
It makes you look like an ignorant, superstitious @55 with no credibility, if you attempt to ignorantly present the entirely knowable/explicable as something supernaturally mysterious.
Vain arguments in a public forum about clouds, earthquakes, disasters, and Al Gore's whereabouts are not the way to bring people to Christ; it does the exact opposite by bringing ridicule upon not only yourself, but ALL believers who try to speak of Him to the unbeliever. It comes close to equating the Bible with a supermarket tabloid.
Try presenting the positive side of Christian believe: Christ's love.
Where the spirit of the LORD is, there is Liberty..
Mary McDonald will get you for that!
So people who mock should not be called mockers? That’s political correctness for you.
Wish it were tonight !
Interesting - thanks.
The thought that keeps coming to me is that we are living in a time when “the things that can shaken are being shaken...but the things that cannot be shaken will stand”.
I know there is a verse about that but haven’t been awake long enough to look it up yet...
God bless you. See previous post.
Is that from a song?
Yes you will - and so will I! Oh boy - look out wherever we end up ruling and reigning....only Jesus Christ could plan things like this!
It’s sll there in His Word - for all who will to see it and believe.
But none is so blind as he who WILL not see.
BUT, having said that -- I've got a disagreement with this idea that Christians will know when the Rapture (along with the Tribulation time) is getting near by the frequency and/or severity of the earthquakes in the world. Of course, Matthew 24 is the relevant quoted section in the Bible for this, and I believe what is said there is exactly true -- except -- that it's true for the time inside the Tribulation (that seven years prior to the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, on this earth to set up His one-world government) -- and that it was spoken to Israel, who is going to be "inside the Tribulation" when it comes about.
And there are plenty of other Christians, who believe that Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, is returning very soon now (during the lifetimes of many of those alive and reading this thread right now) -- and who do not believe this (Matthew 24 and earthquakes) is talking about any event or events prior to the Tribulation.
There is a Rapture, to be sure..., as the Bible is very clear on that. And it's very clear that there are two things which are described in the Bible for Jesus' second coming ... one being for His church (which is the Rapture) and one when He returns to the earth to set up His one-world government. They are two events, separated by the Tribulation time and they are not one and the same event (you could say they're "Part A" and "Part B").
Understanding them as not being one and the same event at the same time -- (1) Jesus coming for His church and the resulting Rapture, and (2) Jesus coming to set up the one-world government -- explains a lot of the supposedly conflicting statements related to Jesus' second coming.
AND ... so..., what we see right now, is that the frequency of earthquakes in the world is not increasing. In fact, an argument could be made that they are in a decreasing mode..., which is very interesting (in the overall longer-term graph...).
So, since y'all are discussing the Rapture, Jesus' second coming and earthquakes, you will be interested in the following... I'm sure... :-)
by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D.
An Urban Legend
As the Twentieth Century comes to an end and a new millennium approaches, many would-be prophets predict increasing natural disasters. This concern about earthquakes, volcanoes, famine, and epidemic disease is not without reason. More people have died in the Twentieth Century because of earthquakes, for example, than from war. Both secular and religious seers regard earthquakes to be a sign that civilization faces an impending cataclysm. In his book, A.D. 2000: A Book About the End of Time, Rene Noorbergen, a secular author on the occult, predicts:
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will occur with increasing frequency; in fact, a higher increase of these events will shake us to the core and will make our survival a constant struggle from now on.1
Noorbergen bases his prediction on the past:
The world has already been shocked by the renewed volcanic eruptions and the increased seismic activity foretold by French visionary Nostradamus.2
Sometimes Bible teachers rephrase the notion that earthquakes are on the increase:
In this century, there have been more earthquakes than all the rest of history put together.... Every 10 years, earthquakes double in number, and so it has been for the last 10 decades. During the later part of this decade, earthquakes will occur with increasing regularity, creating terror and panic throughout the world. Jesus said that was one of the signs of His coming.3
Gary Stearman, a writer on Bible prophecy, used data published in the October 11, 1995, Philadelphia Inquirer. According to that newspaper the number of Richter magnitude 6.0 and greater earthquakes worldwide has been increasing from nine in the 1950s, to 13 in the 1960s, to 51 in the 1970s, to 86 in the 1980s, and to more than 100 in the 1990s. Stearman4 used this data to argue for a pronounced increase in the frequency of the largest earthquakes. When Stearman's readers confronted him with much more earthquake data than in the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was compelled to revise significantly these numbers.5 However, Stearman still insists that earthquakes are increasing.
Do we have here an example of an urban legend? How well-documented are recent statements concerning earthquakes being on the increase? Are the data sets for this century's earthquakes complete? Have the deployment of more seismographs during the last few decades made detection and cataloging of earthquakes more complete, thereby enhancing the perception of increase? Does the public have the perception that earthquakes are on the increase because earthquakes now afflict our larger urbanized populations, and, therefore, are more often reported by the media?
Catalogs of Earthquakes
The year 1997 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the general deployment of standardized and calibrated seismographs. As a result, continuous global monitoring of large earthquakes has now continued for more than 100 years.6 Global, historic earthquake data have been synthesized and are available from three main sources:
1. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The NEIC maintains an Internet web site with databases and summary files open to the public (the URL is http://earthquake.usgs.gov).
2. Council of the National Seismic System (CNSS), a consortium of thirty seismological institutions. Each of the member organizations submits data to an authoritative composite catalog that interested researchers can investigate on the Internet (the URL is http://quake.geo.berkeley.edu:80/cnss).
3. National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NGDC has produced a two-volume CD-ROM called the "Seismicity Catalog" detailing over four million seismic events from 2100 B.C. to 1995 A.D.7 A major part of the catalog is on the Internet and will be updated frequently.
Care and good judgment must be exercised in using global seismic data. Many events smaller than magnitude 6.5 were not reported or properly measured for the early part of the century. Therefore, we cannot compare effectively the frequency of events less than 6.5 from the first and second halves of the century. The global synthesis of magnitude 7.0 and greater is good, even for the earlier decades of the century. However, some catalogs which might be assumed to provide complete records, actually have noteworthy deficiencies. For example, checking the composite global database of the CNSS against CNSS member organizations, revealed many omissions from the main catalog of known earthquakes, even many earthquakes greater than magnitude 7.0 in the 1990s. Careful study must be conducted before a trustworthy earthquake inventory can be made.8
Global Synthesis of Twentieth-Century Earthquakes
Excellent global summaries of the frequency of large earthquakes have been prepared by the NEIC (for example see the Internet web site at http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/neis/eqlists/7up.html). These include the "killer quakes" which cause most of the fatalities. The frequency of this century's "major" (magnitude 7.0 to 7.9) and "great" (magnitude 8.0 and higher) earthquakes is summarized in figure 1. The figure shows the frequency of the biggest earthquakes (magnitude 7.0 and higher) by year from 1900 to 1996. A total of 1,943 events are reported, an average of 20 big events per year. Of the 20 events, an average of one per year is a "great" earthquake and average of 19 per year are "major" earthquakes. However, our century's biggest earthquakes have not been constant through the years. The 1940s was the decade of our century with the most energetic earthquakes (mean=30 events per year with standard deviation of 5.8) and the 1980s was the decade with the least energetic earthquakes (mean=11 events per year with standard deviation of 4.1). The inconstancy is perhaps best illustrated by asking a computer to fit a tenth-degree polynomial equation through the frequency data. The curve shown in figure 1 suggests about a 30-year periodicity in earthquakes of our century. Contrary to the would-be prophets, there is no obvious trend indicating an abnormal increase in the frequency of large earthquakes during the last half of our century.
Figure 1. Global frequency of earthquakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater in the present century. Earthquake frequency is not constant with time and suggests the birth pangs theme of the Bible. The 97 years of data come from the Internet web site maintained by Madeline Zirbes of the National Earthquake Information Center (the URL is http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/neis/eqlists/7up.html).
The global earthquake frequency data can be used to argue just the opposite of the popular urban legend; earthquake frequency through the century appears to indicate overall a slight decrease. For the data in figure 1 we note 1,093 big earthquakes for the first half of the century (1900 to 1949). That is an average of 22 big earthquakes per year. For the nearly completed second half of the century (1950 to 1996) we note just 850 big earthquakes. That is an average of just 18 per year. When 1998 and 1999 are completed, it is likely that the second half of the century will have about 900 big earthquakesnearly 200 less than the first half. Thus, the 30-year cyclic pattern appears to be modulated around a slightly-declining trend. This earthquake frequency pattern is consistent with creationist ideas suggesting overall exponentially-declining tectonism and volcanism following Noah's Flood.9
Twentieth-Century Earthquakes As "Birth Pangs"
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of earthquakes as "signs" of His coming again to receive His saints. He said, "There will be earthquakes in divers places" (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8), a fact now verified by the global distribution of earthquakes recorded on seismographs. Most noteworthy is Jesus' statement that the earthquake sign is the "beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8). The word translated sorrows in many English Bibles is the Greek word for "birth pangs." Just as we know from birth pangs that a pregnant woman is about to give birth to a child, Jesus says we know that the intolerable anguish of God's judgment and the return of His Son is at hand. The 30-year cyclic curve of earthquake frequency in figure 1 is consistent with Jesus' statement about birth pangs.10
The apostle Paul also develops the birth pang theme when he notes that the whole creation is "groaning in travail" (Romans 8:22) awaiting the new birth of the world. The apostle John speaks of a "great earthquake" associated with the opening of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12), followed by the sign of the pregnant woman (Revelation 12:2), and followed by the greatest earthquake since men have been upon the earth (Revelation 16:18-20). This future "Armageddon earthquake" will be associated with the return of Christ to Jerusalem (Acts 1:9-11; Zechariah 14:1-11) and is described as inflicting severe topographic and geologic changes on a global scale.11 After God's voice shakes the earth mightily (Hebrews 12:26) and fully accomplishes these extraordinary geologic changes, His saints will receive a "kingdom which cannot be moved" (Hebrews 12:27-29).
1 Rene Noorbergen, A.D. 2000: A Book About the End of Time (New York, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1984), p. 80.
2 Ibid. The statement comes from inside the front of the book's dust jacket.
3 Lester Sumrall, "Famines, Pestilence, Earthquakes, as Man Rebels," in Bob Anderson et al., Earth's Final Days (Green Forest, AR, New Leaf Press, 1994), pp. 63-76.
4 Gary Stearman, "Are Earthquakes on the Increase?" Prophecy in the News (June 1996).
5 See Stearman's apology for the Philadelphia Inquirer's incomplete data in "Earthquakes are Indeed on the Increase" (pp. 27-28) in the next issue of Prophecy in the News.
6 K. Abe and S. Noguchi, "Revision of magnitudes of large shallow earthquakes, 1897-1912," Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors, 33 (1983), pp. 1-11.
7 National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, Seismicity Catalog (Boulder, CO, National Geophysical Data Center, 1996), two volumes on CD-ROM.
8 For an updated introduction to the various earthquake information sources see Dr. Steve Malone's "Surfing the Internet for Earthquake Data" (the URL is http://www.geophys.washington.edu/seismosurfing.html).
9 Steven A. Austin, John R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman, and Kurt P. Wise, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model for Earth History (Santee, CA., Geology Education Materials, 1996), 48 pp. and 80 slide photographs.
10 Steven A. Austin, "Earthquakes in these Last Days," Institute for Creation Research Impact No. 198 (December 1989), 4 pp.
11 Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1983), p. 321.
*Dr. Austin is Chairman of the Geology Department at ICR.
Steven A. Austin and Mark L. Strauss*
Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021
Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469
(Unpublished manuscript of January 14, 1999. These authors published a simplified,
less technical version of this paper in 1999 under the title "Are Earthquakes Signs of the End Times?:
A Geological and Biblical Response to an Urban Legend,"
Christian Research Journal, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 30-39.)
Our primary concern is with the first part of the discourse, where Jesus warns against being deceived by false christs or being alarmed at wars, rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes:
And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs." (Matt. 24:4-8)
Among dispensationalists there are two main interpretations of these verses. As we shall see, neither confirms that earthquakes will increase as the present Church age draws to a close.
(1) Some dispensationalists see the whole of the Olivet Discourse as relating to the tribulation period. Verses 4-8 are usually said to concern the disturbances of the first half of the tribulation while verses 9-26 concern the second half - the Great Tribulation.53 Evidence for this is claimed in the similarity between the events described in verses 4-8 and those associated with the seven seals of Revelation 6.54 For advocates of this view, the earthquakes identified in verses 7-8 are not part of the present Church age, but rather the tribulation period. In this case, even if the birth image in verse 8 were to indicate an increase in earthquakes (which is not necessary - see discussion below), this increase occurs during the tribulation, not during the present Church age. Present (Church age) data concerning earthquake frequency has little or no bearing on the text.
(2) Other dispensationalists (as well as many non-dispensationalists) claim that verses 4-8 (or verses 4-14) concern not the tribulation period, but general signs which are characteristic of the present age. Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote that the events described in verses 4-8 "are the characteristics of the unforeseen intervening or intercalary age"55 - that is, the Church age. John Walvoord similarly affirms that "verses 4-14 are general prophecies that can find fulfillment throughout the present age, with verses 15-30 fulfilled in the Great Tribulation."56 He adds, however, that these former events "are repeated in the Great Tribulation when what was perhaps partially fulfilled earlier then have a very literal and devastating fulfillment."57 The primary evidence that verses 4-14 are signs characteristic of the present age are their general nature and the fact that Jesus identifies them as events which do not indicate the end ("but that is not yet the end") and so should not provoke apocalyptic fervor ("see that you are not alarmed").
[ an excerpt, see the link for complete article ... ]
Figure 1. Global frequency of the largest earthquakes during the twentieth century. Graph (a) shows the frequency of M 7.0 earthquakes during the entire century (1960 events). Graph (b) shows the frequency of M 6.5 earthquakes after 1930 (4593 events). In both plots a general decrease in earthquake frequency is evident through the twentieth century.
Table 1. Numbers of M 6.0 earthquakes worldwide in the twentieth century. The numbers of earthquakes reported in the National Geophysical Data Center file called "1900.EQ" greatly exceed those reported by Hal Lindsey from his unspecified U.S. Geological Survey source.
We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.
A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.
According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.
See the chart at this USGS webpage...
I have no idea - but Jesus certainly knows.
How about the Tsunami that we were witnessing getting ready to swamp Hawaii and California - yet just as we were typing and reading and hearing exactly what was happening - on the Live Thread here on FR - were the waters in many places dropped so low that the fish were flopping on the waterbeds and the whales fled away - and ALL the news sources expected the Tsunami to hit - big time - and just at the last minute, the Tsunami fizzled away to nothing - with very little damage to either California, Hawaii, the Philippines, Japan, Russia, or China - all of whom had Tsunami warnings blaring away and having thousands if not millions fleeing their coastlines which were threatened with danger if that Tsunami had hit as EVEERYONE was expecting!
We were eyewitnesses here on FR to God’s miraculous intervention to stop the Tsunami in its tracks.
I believe He did so in response to the prayers of thousands if not millions of believers the world over!
Actually the Mayans didn’t have a corner on the truth about what is happening or going to happen in this world...God’s Word is to be found in the Bible.
And it can be trusted 100%!
I might put the Mayan thing in the category of “good dreams” - see Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for what that means.
Sorry - maybe I did lose your point. What is it?
of course I am in charge of what I say, what I type, and what I do.
But if you don’t think God can control (direct, guide, bless) what we say - how do you explain the Bible?
And I am not a man - last time I checked.....LOL
Amen! Every good and perfect gift comes from God...who delghts to give good gifts to His Children - and to all the world - for he sends the rain on the just and the unjust!
We also know that HIs Word is sent forth and does not return to Him void!
We can rely on Him to water the sowing of His Word so that there will be a great reaping of souls unto the harvest - BEFORE the great and terrible “day of the Lord” comes!
Not sure what you meant.