Friday, April 30, 2010

Does the oil platform explosion and oil spill have prophetic implications?


photo credit: Edison Chouest Offshore

On April 20 an explosion decimated the Deepwater Horizon BP oil well 50 miles off the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. It killed 11 and injured 17, four critically. The explosion that occurred released oil from the deepest part of the Gulf in a hot oil volcano, presenting unprecedented containment problems. Initially, the explosion attracted little attention but as the oil continued to gush, heads perked up and brows suitably wrinkled. A few days later, the magnitude of the problem became apparent:

April 22: Gulf oil rig run by BP explodes, sinks: massive spill threatens entire Gulf shore
April 29:  Obama sends SWAT teams to Gulf Oil Rigs
April 30: Second Gulf oil  rig tragedy: overturns near Morgan City LA
April 30:  No relief in sight as oil spill reaches LA shoreline:
April 30: Leaked secret government report: Government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher "A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf."

The issue now is a tragedy not only for the oil rig workers and families, not only for the Gulf Shore states, not only for the United States, but for the world. How can an oil rig explosion have worldwide implications? And further, how does it fit into the warnings about trouble in the end times?

Of course, the environmental damage is heartbeaking. Ten species are already at risk. "North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: The Great Bluefin Tuna, prized for sushi and sashimi, is one of the species most in danger of slipping into extinction. Traveling down across the Atlantic seaboard, bluefin tuna spawn in the Gulf of Mexico between mid-April and mid-June." The predicament for the tuna is the same for many other species: the grasses along the Gulf shoreline provide nursery habitat for the eggs and spawning fish.When the oil coats the grass it will kill it.The timing of the spill is also part of the problem not only is it spawning season, but the migratory birds that travel from the north to south America rest along these shores also. Beach-nesting and migratory shorebirds are at risk. Those that build their nests on the ground and feed on invertebrates are susceptible to oil on the beaches. Some migratory shore birds fly nearly the length of the Western Hemisphere and use barrier islands in the Gulf for key resting and refueling spots on their journey as well as migratory songbirds — warblers, orioles, buntings, flycatchers, swallows and others. There are roughly up to 5,000 dolphins in the Gulf area between the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts and the oil rig, many giving birth right now.


The Gulf accounts for a fifth of U.S. commercial seafood production — including 75 percent of our shrimp. The crude that enters the coastal estuaries areas will cause "a dramatic drop in seafood recruitment, possibly for years to come," says George Crozier, executive director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. This is already "the worst case scenario for shrimpers, oyster harvesters, crabbers — all the commercial fisherman," says fishing boat charterer Brent Roy. The Baltimore Sun is more blunt, they just said "ecological devastation": "The oil that began washing ashore Friday in Louisiana could devastate one of the richest coastal ecosystems in the country and cripple a major source of the nation's seafood, a top Maryland scientist warned Friday." So seafood will become scarce, and expensive. This, already in the face of US food inflation spiraling out of control. Fresh and dry vegetables prices are up 56.1% over last year, in one example.


"The biggest grain-shipping port in the U.S. may be disrupted by the spread of the BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to depress domestic prices by encouraging importers to buy from South America. More than half of the grain inspected for export from the U.S., the world’s largest grower of corn and soybeans, is shipped from the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the Port of New Orleans."


In an already poor region, "As oil begins flowing ashore from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, coastal communities from Louisiana to Florida are bracing for what could turn out to be an unprecedented and long-lasting economic disaster for the region."  London Times reports, "The cost to Louisiana’s fishing industry could be $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) while the impact on tourism along the Florida coast could be $3 billion, according to Neil McMahon, an analyst at the investment firm Bernstein." Like the current economic disaster isn't enough... more losses in an area ill-prepared to wait it out. Six states are in declared emergencies and the National Guard has been called out in LA to fight the spill.

And there's this as-yet little discussed impact:

The news reports say that it may take weeks to months to cap the well that is 210,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf each day. Hurricane season starts June 1. "The strong winds in hurricanes, sweeping across the surging waves they have created, such up a considerable amount of surface water and blow it inland. This time, however, those winds could also end up picking up a considerable amount of the oil slick floating on the sea's surface, which would be deposited as rain well inland, damaging croplands and forests, too." Think about it- What happens when you mix oil with salty water? It results in a mayonnaise like light foam, an emulsion. A lot of foam can be created from a small amount of oil. The emulsion could become easily airborne under high winds. As the hurricane makes landfall, the oil foam would be plastered on everything for hundreds of miles . When trees, grasses, plants, animals, ect get pounded with the foamy winds they will get a thin layer of oil. That thin layer of oil mixed with sea water will kill any vegetation. Normally Texas receives its first tropical storm on average around June 6.

"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought. Asked Friday to comment on the document, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said that the additional leaks described were reported to the public late Wednesday night. Regarding the possibility of the spill becoming an order of magnitude larger, Smullen said, "I'm letting the document you have speak for itself. In scientific circles, an order of magnitude means something is 10 times larger. In this case, an order of magnitude higher would mean the volume of oil coming from the well could be 10 times higher than the 5,000 barrels a day coming out now. That would mean 50,000 barrels a day, or 2.1 million gallons a day. 

God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth and the authority to rule over the animals. "God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Man, have we ever messed up creation. And have we ever messed up spiritually. There are two truisms, and they are absolute: God always judges nations' sins, and God does have a point at which there is no return, when judgment is sure and imminent. I've written about national sin and judgment twice recently. Just a few weeks ago, I posed the question, "Has America's point of no return been reached?" In that article, I explored the biblical concept of national sin and judgment; and under what condition that judgment occurs. America was the blessed nation, the city upon a hill, and in the article I wrote in September, I explored the background to America's original commission and its peril in going away from it.

It is impossible to understand all the ramifications of this unfolding tragedy. It is clear that there are many. It is not for me to say whether this disaster is a judgment or not. However, knowing that America was founded on a golden commission, that we have abandoned it for sin, destruction, perversion, idolatry, profanity, immorality, and violence on a national scale, and knowing that God always judges these things when the point of return has been reached, it is logical to assume that our troubles from this disaster have only begun!

We as Christians can be Light and Salt in a fallen world. Pray for the leaders who are dealing with this disaster, that they themselves would pray, not for success in cleaning up the oil or that businesses don't suffer, but for repentance! And pray that if repentance does sweep over the states and the nation, that it is not too late.

Reuters: Second oil rig in US Gulf of Mexico overturns

Second drilling rig overturns in Louisiana
Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:29pm EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The Coast Guard said Friday it was responding to another oil drilling rig accident near Morgan City, Louisiana.

A "mobile inland drilling unit" overturned in the Charenton navigational channel south of U.S. Highway 90 near Morgan City, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

There were no reports of injuries, the Coast Guard said. The floating shallow-water rig was not immediately identified and the importance of the channel was not clear.

The vessel has a 20,000-gallon diesel fuel capacity, but the Coast Guard, citing officials on the scene, said there was no fuel leaking.

As a precaution, 500 feet of oil spill containment boom was deployed around the rig and an additional 500 feet were being brought in, the Coast Guard said in its statement.

(Reporting by Bruce Nichols)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alien contact COULD be dangerous, Hawking says? No, it WILL be

Does it seem like all of a sudden the news is all about Aliens, UFO's, and the search for life that originated off this planet? It is not your mind playing tricks on you. It is news of the highest sort that is reaching the populace's ears and eyes, from established media outlets like CNN and the BBC, and from NASA, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. Within the last week:

NSA to amp up search for extra-terrestrial life
Alien life is making news lately, and now NASA looks to lead the charge.

NASA Announces Wednesday Media Teleconference About Search For Extraterrestrial Life
NASA will hold a news media teleconference at 1:30 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 28, to discuss the status of agency-sponsored astrobiology research, including the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life and the study of how life began on Earth. Topics also will include the quest for evidence of life on Mars, the habitability of other celestial bodies, and future technology research.

Should we fear space aliens?
Physicist Steven Hawking says making contact with alien life could be dangerous ... Stephen Hawking's new documentary premiered Sunday night on the Discovery Channel. In it, he claimed that intelligent alien life almost certainly exists and that the search for it is valuable. He also suggested that the potential threats posed by contact with alien intelligence should discourage us from actively sending out messages to the cosmos.

Aliens have been here for 50 years (this was originally broadcast in 2008 but it is surfacing on Youtube in a big way in the wake of the recent discussion from Dr. Stephen Hawking about aliens on the Discovery Channel)
CNN Wolf Blitzer: A group gathering here in DC to discuss their UFO sightings, but it's no crackpot convention, former are high-level govt an military officials sharing what they've seen in the skies. Tell us about it Gary: Gary Tuchman: a panel discussion within the beltway to discuss what might be happening in the Milky Way... have extraterrestrials visited us here here on earth? 14 men from 7 different countries participated in a panel discussion...One participant says, "We want the US Government to stop perpetuating the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down to earth and conventional terms. Instead our country needs to reopen its official investigation that is shut down in 1969."

LUCIFER instrument helps astronomers see to the most distant observable stars
A new instrument with an evil-sounding name is helping scientists see how stars are born. Lucifer, which stands for (deep breath) "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research," is a chilled instrument attached to a telescope in Arizona. And yes, it's named for the Devil, whose name itself means "morning star." But it wasn't meant to evoke him, according to a spokesman for the University of Arizona, where it is housed. Lucifer is part of the Large Binocular Telescope, which happens to be right next to the Vatican Observatory on Mt. Graham in Tucson. That's right, the Vatican has an observatory in Arizona, manned by Jesuit astronomers. Now its next-door neighbor is named for the Devil.

Pradeep Mallik writes in the Achmedabad Mirror, "Stephen Hawking’s remarks on the existence of aliens have set the tongues and fingers of scientists and amateurs wagging. People are watching keenly the television programme that has one of the most celebrated theoretical physicists of our times taking people on an odyssey through time and space, and cyber chatterati are busy blogging and discussing his views that any contact with aliens is fraught with danger for us on the earth. ... Hawking’s counsel comes from his mathematical deduction that aliens do exist. The real challenge, he says, is to find out what they might actually be like. The alien life forms might not be the kind of neighbours that people on the earth have been looking for — intelligent and friendly."

Of all the folks opining about the current alien brouhaha, Mallik has it right and Hawking has it right- but for reasons they have no clue about. Mathematical deductions aside, there IS intelligent life that exists off this planet, has visited this planet, and is not friendly. That's because they are demons, commonly known as fallen angels. You know, the ones who sided with Lucifer in the times of yore.

It should not be surprising that people are ready to accept the myth that it is light-bringing aliens who exist, not demons. Satan deceives the whole world (Rev 12:9). No wonder, for satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14) Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, (2 Cor 11:15). We are so obviously being pre-programmed to accept the 'beings' soon to irrupt into the world and make false claims that they are superior and helpful. What could be more convenient and wanted by an evil devil than a populace that is ready to accept the notion that higher beings exist, when it comes time to bombard the earth after the restrainer is taken out of the way?

For when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, His ministry of restraint will cease. God took the Restrainer out of the way at the last world-wide judgment, before the flood. (Genesis 6:3) Imagine this globe, already evil, then having no restraint in morals, violence, or Christian ethic?

If one doubts the attempts to pre-program the populace to accept softening language around the notion of the devil, just read this caption regarding the LUCIFER telescope:

"Courtesy of Lucifer: This image depicts a stellar nursery in the Milky Way about 8,000 light years from Earth. Such clouds are typically opaque to visible light, but infrared light can penetrate them. The Lucifer instrument helps telescopes see that light. The E and N signify east and north. credit Anna Pasquali/via University of Arizona".

Lucifer is NOT courteous nor is he helpful, but the caption containing those words in conjunction with Lucifer, is telling. The devil's name means Light, and we already know from the 2 Corinthians verse he disguises himself as an angel of light and so do his evil followers. Many of the sightings thus far have been of disks of light. There's the Phoenix Lights. There's the Yakima Lights, where a scientists states "The most common UFO seen at Yakima is the Ball of Light or Sphere of Light. These balls are typically orange in color or white in color, and are seen hovering or moving slowly. They appear to be inquisitive."

As Chuck Missler wrote of the verses in Genesis 6 which mention the fallen angels' entry into earth after the flood, "Another reason that an understanding of Genesis 6 is so essential is that it also is a prerequisite to understanding (and anticipating) Satan's devices and, in particular, the specific delusions to come upon the whole earth as a major feature of end-time prophecy:

Luke 21:26 --
men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 --
that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:11 --
For this reason)God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

Do not be deceived! Not everything supernatural is from God!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ode to Hubble?

In this nicely written article, the scientists behind the Hubble Telescope and the ingenuity of the scientists are extolled. More on the point of the blog entry in a moment, but first, information about the photo from Hubble Site: "This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" or a Dr. Seuss book, depending on your imagination. The NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.  This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth."
"NASA's best-recognized, longest-lived, and most prolific space observatory zooms past a threshold of 20 years of operation this month. On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle and crew of STS-31 were launched to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope into a low Earth orbit. What followed was one of the most remarkable sagas of the space age. Hubble's unprecedented capabilities made it one of the most powerful science instruments ever conceived by humans, and certainly the one most embraced by the public. Hubble discoveries revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research, from planetary science to cosmology. And, its pictures were unmistakably out of this world."

"At times Hubble's starry odyssey played out like a space soap opera, with broken equipment, a bleary-eyed primary mirror, and even a space shuttle rescue/repair mission cancellation. But the ingenuity and dedication of Hubble scientists, engineers, and NASA astronauts have allowed the observatory to rebound time and time again. Its crisp vision continues to challenge scientists with exciting new surprises and to enthrall the public with ever more evocative color images."

It says in 2 Timothy 3:2 that at the time of the end, "... men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy". I find it interesting - and sad - that this article extols the virtues of the scientists who made the device that reveals the universe, while failing to boast about the God who created it. The photo shows it's not an ode to the Hubble Telescope, it is an Ode to God.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Battle of the Headlines

I was at a rest area in South Carolina, and stopped short on the way inside. The newspaper machines were lined up along the walk, each with their large graphic photo touting the main headline. The photo on USA Today's front page was a man holding a football in front of three crosses.

A shining star, or a flop in the making?
By Jon Saraceno, USA TODAY
NASHVILLE — Thursday is the day every NFL team tries to find a gridiron savior. And in this NFL draft, the most intriguing question is this: Is legendary Florida quarterback Tim Tebow a potential pro football miracle worker — or another college football golden boy who will flop? He plans to convince non-believers. "I believe I'll be drafted as a quarterback and used as a quarterback," he says in an interview with USA TODAY, responding to doubts about whether he has the skills to make the transition to the NFL. "My dream is to be a quarterback." The Christian missionary has spent a lot of time turning the other cheek the last few months while preparing for Thursday's first round of the three-day draft extravaganza in New York (ESPN, NFL Network, 7:30 p.m. ET). Despite the urgings of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Tebow will not attend the festivities at Radio City Music Hall, as many top draft prospects do. His stock has risen because of the promise he has shown in recent workouts — he is projected as probably a second-round selection — but skeptics abound. Most recently, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was secretly recorded in a bar, disparaging Tebow. "It's very hard to wrap your brain around him; I just don't see how anybody can think he's anything but a long-term project," says Trent Dilfer, the Super-Bowl winning quarterback-turned-ESPN analyst. "But you don't pick players in the first or second rounds who are projects. You pick starters." Chief among Tebow non-believers is ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., who says, "I never thought Tim Tebow was an NFL quarterback." He suggests sturdy 6-3, 235-pound Tebow could convert to the hybrid fullback-tight end position of H-back. "When I hear that, I take it to heart. It motivates and pushes me," Tebow says. "I am very passionate, very emotional. Whatever I do, I give everything."

more at link.

There are several things to consider here. First is the unusual and rare circumstance of having the cross represented on the front page of a nationally distributed newspaper. It is indeed a rare thing, and rarer in the end times. Paul told Timothy that at the last days men would be haters of the good. Presenting the cross to a nation of unbelievers is a daring and wonderful thing. I'm sure it's only Tebow's popularity and skill as a football player that dared the newspaper to put the cross on the front page. This nation worships football and youth, and since with Tebow the cross is part of the package, the newspaper had little choice.

However, you see from the headline and the first line that immediately there must be a disparaging toward the notion of the cross. Using the word "flop" in the headline probably made the headline writer feel better but is par for the course in any time, but especially the end time. Peter said there will be "mockers and scoffers." Interestingly, I notice that USA Today later changed the headline to the following: "Is he a miracle worker, or just an average QB?" which is also a shift in emphasis from flop to miracle worker.

Throughout the article it's evident that the writer is not a believer and likely in thinking that using "Christian-type" words will satisfy the Christian reader. Likely, the word 'flop' was deleted not because someone is sensitive to Christianity but because someone didn't like the word flop associated with a football star at the outset of his career. In any case, I wanted you to be aware that we ARE in a spiritual war and that one example of it, in a minor way, was presented to the United States through the battle of the headlines yesterday and today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I am going on a Christian retreat Thursday. I have wireless connection at the place I am going to but I'll be busy so no promises on updates for a few days. I'll try though. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Signs in the sun

The scriptures say that in advance of the rapture and the ensuing Tribulation, "There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,"

The sun has been interestingly busy lately. Though the sunspot activity has been strangely down, prominences are up. Big ones. The Solar & Heliospheric Observatory, a division of NASA pick of the week states "No less than three prominences erupted over a nine-hour period (Mar. 13-14, 2010) as the STEREO (Behind) spacecraft captured the action in an extreme UV wavelength of light. Prominences, which are cooler clouds of gas tethered to the Sun by magnetic forces, often become unstable and break away out into space. But, it is rare to see three of them erupt in such a short span of time." [italics mine]

Wow. Three prominences breaking away. Rare. However, just a few weeks later we have this:

The SOHO pick of the week site reported "The largest eruptive prominence observed in years blasted into space (April 13, 2010) and SOHO was lucky enough to have caught a key moment of it. As observed in extreme UV light, the plasma cloud was caught about mid-step in its liftoff above the Sun's surface. (Ground-based observers says the eruption took about two hours.) It was not obvious what triggered the breakaway, but it may have been associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). Prominences are cooler clouds of gases that hover above the Sun, tethered there by magnetic forces. Occasionally, as seen here, they break free and blast into space."

Here is a few-second video of the prominence blasting away from the sun's limb. It gives a great idea as to the sun's power. The video is compressed into a few seconds but is actually 19 hours of activity. Start by looking at the sun's 11 o'clock position.

It's when the CME enters earth's atmosphere is when things get hairy. The magnetism from the ejection plays havoc with our electronics. Usually the CMS's are light enough by the time they hit earth only to give us some vivid Auroras. But if a CME is powerful enough when it hits earth, it would have the same effect as an Electro-magnetic pulse, the effects from a nuclear bomb. All electronics would be zapped.

But back to the actual solar activity lately. The 'largest one in years' blasted off from the sun on April, but a week later another huge one blasted away again. Shucks, and they said such things were occasional! reports:
"Another huge prominence blasted away from the sun yesterday, April 19th. The massive tendril of plasma was nearly a quarter the diameter of the sun itself when the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) snapped this picture:"

The eruption catapulted a billion-ton Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) out of the sun's atmosphere. Good thing it wasn't aiming for earth. We should feel no effects. source: "The sun is powerful active, and much about how and why it does things stumps astronomers. Back here on earth, Iceland's active Eyjafjallajokull volcano is famous for its paralyzing ash, which has grounded thousands of planes in Europe and disrupted travel worldwide. Even more amazing, however, is its white-hot lightning:"

" "Seeing this lightning crackle among the exploding lava and ash was the experience of a lifetime," says Olivier Vandeginste, who took the picture on April 18th from Hvolsvollur, Iceland. It is well known that volcanoes produce lightning, but scientists aren't sure why."

Eyjafjallajokull  is a gentle giant compared to her neighbor, Katla. When Katla erupted in 1821 it lasted over a year and caused worldwide famine because the spring and summer simply never came. History has shown that when Eyjafjallajokull erupts, Katla always follows. "Locals Believe Katla Volcano in Iceland Near Eyjafjallajokull Will Erupt in Seven Days" "The earthquake build up since the beginning of the year and subsequent eruptions at Eyjafjallajokull seem to be triggering the larger neighboring volcano, Katla. For the last two days, Katla has shown a dramatic 200% rise in activity. Geophysicists at Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences call Katla a vicious volcano that will be locally and globally damaging."

Another Iceland Volcano To Erupt? Katla Could Be The Worst "The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull has grounded much of international travel to a halt, but if a nearby volcano named Mount Katla should erupt, it has the potential to be many times more devastating, says a Texas A&M University volcanologist who has done research in the area for decades. Jay Miller who has made numerous trips to Iceland over the past 25 years to study the volcanoes there and currently is a research scientist in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, says that an eruption from Katla could dwarf anything seen so far from Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced Eye-jaff-jalla-jok-kul). “It’s a much larger volcano, and in the past, we know its eruptions have been much larger, too,” Miller explains."

The following juxtaposition interested me. The Drudge Report had this Iceland ash cloud photo on the top of the page for over a day recently:

It reminded me of the recent fictional movie 2012, which alleges that the Mayan prophecy of the world ending will come to pass in dramatic and CGI-laden fashion:

I think it is one thing to read in the news about volcanic eruptions, solar disturbances and such, but actually seeing the force, majesty, and fear-inducing, raw power of these things is another. And when you see them, remember that "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Col 1:17) Jesus is the One who holds it together, takes it apart, and renews it. (Acts 3:21). Therefore,

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus." Acts 3:19-20

Sunday, April 18, 2010

God is in control and He has been since Ancient of Days

The Hebrews use the term "Ancient of Days" for God so as not to accidentally say His name and blaspheme. Ancient of Days is a poetic sounding name, and a lovely one. It is also comforting. It rings with authority and by its own name has a timeline that precedes us mere humans and will outlast this earth and the Church Age. It is and was and forever will be, since ancient times. He and His throne IS the Ancient of Days!

Micah says:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times." [Micah 5:2]

Daniel is a difficult book to interpret prophetically, but, then again, maybe not so difficult when you remember "scripture interprets scripture." In 2Peter 1:20 Peter wrote: "But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation," He was not saying that we would not understand it. Nor is he saying that we should not try to interpret it. He was saying that the interpretations are given to us, that they are contained in the bible. Scripture interprets scripture. How about this example:

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea" is found in Rev. 21:1. However, we are told in Isaiah 57:20 - “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.” (NASB). For one to interpret the Revelation verse correctly you have to have known from Isaiah that when the sea is referred to symbolically it means sinners, or the wicked. Scripture interprets scripture.

Let's take a look at the following from Daniel 7:15-27--

“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. 16 “I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 ‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’
19 “Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, 20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates. 21 “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. 27 ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’

First, in Daniel 7:15-16,

"I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this.“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things:" The student of bible interpretation is given a gift here, because the interpretation of the verses was placed within the same chapter and only a few verses away, not far apart like in Revelation and Isaiah.

What a blessing, that the prophet Daniel could approach the one giving the prophecy and ask for its interpretation! We are granted another blessing in verse 18, when we read, "‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’" This is a reminder and an assurance to us and to those post-rapture believers who must go through the chaos.

Then a few verses later we see another blessing as Daniel asks for the meaning of the fourth beast and of the horns. The vision is one of torment and anguish and war and usurpation and all sorts of chaos, but in the midst of the interpretation we receive blessing because suddenly there is order. Not order on earth, but we read of order in the heavens:

"until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom." [Daniel 7:22] Ahh, blessed order! The Ancient of Days came! And judgment was passed. In this word judgment from the Aramaic it is not judgment as in wrath and discipline, but the word 'din' as in courts. And the time arrived. You see that nothing is being done in knee-jerk response to the chaos. Nothing is reflexive, judgment is appointed to occur in due course. Indeed, in verse 26 our eyes turn from the chaos on earth yet again and seeing the court come to order. Every few lines we flip from earth to heaven and the chaos on earth back to heaven. This is a gift to us, the reader, for before we get too upset at the chaos that must come we are given a picture of the orderliness

‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever."

And finally in verse 27b "His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ "

From the beginning of the terrible sights that are revealed to us through Daniel's vision, we are given knowledge of the interpretation, assurance and reminder, judgment which bespeaks of a legal solidity, a seated court who carries out the judgment in a weighty and time-appointed process, and the final blessing that it shall be so forever.

What the bible is saying to us here is that:
-scripture interprets scripture (all truth is contained in its covers, no need to guess, and it's available to everyone)
-interpretations will be given if you ask (but you have to ask)
-the Ancient of Days is ancient and is in control from before Genesis 1:1 and will be forever
-He does things in an orderly way through legal and weighty means in His timing and rendered through judgments and courts,
-no matter what the chaos is on earth you can always look up to find the peace and orderliness of His control from on high


Israel defines Hizbullah as a division of the Syrian army

I always watch for Damascus in the news. With Israel and the rest of the Middle East in tensions unseen since 1967, I take the threats from one to the other seriously. Remember, Isaiah 17:1 says "Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin." Since Damascus has never been destroyed and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, this prophecy uttered 1500 years ago has not come to fruition. Yet.

In the Jerusalem Post today:
"Israel has warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that any missile attack against Israel by Hizbullah would result in retaliation against Syria, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. According to the UK paper, Israel’s missive – sent earlier in April – defined Hizbullah as a “division of the Syrian army,” a military branch of Damascus in Lebanon." [italics mine

The statement by Israel was prompted because "Last week, the Kuwait-based Al-Rai reported that Syria had transferred Scud missiles to Hizbullah.  According to the report, the missiles were recently transferred to Lebanon."

Tense times indeed. With the prophesies of the Psalm 83 war, Isaiah 17, the current Syrian missile crisis, the end times judgments upon Edom/Jordan) and other wars to come, it doesn't take much imagination to see that soon, missiles will fly.

UK poll shows creationism more believed than Darwinism

A poll on Creationism was conducted in the ultra-secular United Kingdom and the results show that a majority doubt Darwin's theories of evolution.

Poll reveals public doubts over Charles Darwin's theory of evolution
"More than half of the public believe that the theory of evolution cannot explain the full complexity of life on Earth, and a "designer" must have lent a hand, the findings suggest. And one in three believe that God created the world within the past 10,000 years."

The poll was taken in advance of the celebrations planned to honor Darwin's 200th birthday. The response from super-Atheist Richard Dawkins was predictable. Apparently, he is right and half of Britain is wrong. "Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, said the findings revealed a worrying level of scientific ignorance among Britons."

"In the survey, 51 per cent of those questioned agreed with the statement that "evolution alone is not enough to explain the complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is needed at key stages" while 40% disagreed, while the remainder stated they didn't know."

God planned it thus. He said in Romans 1:20 that "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." The verse just prior says that 'God has made it plain to them.'

This is indeed good news that people notice His hand in the creation all around us, however it should not stop there. It is a long jump from acknowledging a remote Creator who made a complex world, and recognizing our individual sin that is keeping us from a personal relationship with Him. That half of the UK seems not to have closed the door to their Creator is monumental, but the path is narrow and those who that acknowledge Creation is designed need to put one spiritual foot in front of the other and connect sin with their need for salvation through Jesus' forgiveness. It is the very important next step.

In the article, Dawkins railed at the results. "Prof Dawkins expressed dismay at the findings of the ComRes survey, of 2,060 adults, which he claimed were confirmation that much of the population is "pig-ignorant" about science." Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, accused Dawkins of evolving into a "very simple kind of thinker".

These debates are all well and good but let them not keep the lost from pondering further on His majesty in relations to our wretchedness. If you would like an example of a very advanced thinker who concluded after many years of searching that Jesus and the Bible are the only truth, watch this testimony for a blessing. Stick with it, it builds. And I remind us one final time: His creation shows us plainly that we are without excuse.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

List of significant earthquakes so far in 2010

I don't have a context for these, such as, if the list is longer or shorter than other years. I think it is longer due to the information below. The USGS list titled "2010 Significant Earthquake and News Headlines Archive" posted below contains not only large magnitude earthquakes but significant ones like the Utah quake because it is on the Yellowstone supervolcano. Since 1900, an average of 16 magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes — the size that seismologists define as major — have occurred worldwide each year. The list below contains nine already. (I counted the 6.9's, I suspect the USGS downgrades them below 7.0). And we are only in the first quarter of the year...

# Magnitude 4.9 UTAH April 15, 2010
# Magnitude 6.9 SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA April 13, 2010
# Magnitude 6.3 SPAIN April 11, 2010
# Magnitude 6.8 SOLOMON ISLANDS April 11, 2010
# Magnitude 7.7 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA April 06, 2010
# Magnitude 7.2 BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO April 04, 2010
# Magnitude 4.4 GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA, CALIFORNIA March 16, 2010
# Magnitude 6.7 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE March 16, 2010
# Magnitude 6.5 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN March 14, 2010
# Magnitude 6.9 LIBERTADOR O HIGGINS, CHILE March 11, 2010
# Magnitude 6.1 EASTERN TURKEY March 08, 2010
# Magnitude 6.8 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA March 05, 2010
# Magnitude 6.6 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE March 05, 2010
# Magnitude 8.8 OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE February 27, 2010
# Magnitude 7.0 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN February 26, 2010
# Magnitude 6.9 CHINA-RUSSIA-NORTH KOREA BORDER REGION February 18, 2010
# Magnitude 3.8 ILLINOIS February 10, 2010
# Magnitude 5.9 OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA February 04, 2010
# Magnitude 6.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA February 01, 2010
# Magnitude 5.9 HAITI REGION January 20, 2010
# Magnitude 4.0 OKLAHOMA January 15, 2010
# Magnitude 7.0 HAITI REGION January 12, 2010
# Magnitude 6.5 OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA January 10, 2010
# Magnitude 4.1 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA January 07, 2010
# Magnitude 6.8 SOLOMON ISLANDS January 05, 2010
# Magnitude 7.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS January 03, 2010
# Magnitude 6.6 SOLOMON ISLANDS January 03, 2010

Of volcanoes, dry fog, and sun as sackcloth

The current chaos over the low-volume eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano may have interesting parallels to both the past and the future. First, the past.

"Profound effects of eight-month eruption in 1783 caused chaos from US to Egypt, say experts"

"Just over 200 years ago an Icelandic volcano erupted with catastrophic consequences for weather, agriculture and transport across the northern hemisphere – and helped trigger the French revolution. The Laki volcanic fissure in southern Iceland erupted over an eight-month period from 8 June 1783 to February 1784, spewing lava and poisonous gases that devastated the island's agriculture, killing much of the livestock. It is estimated that perhaps a quarter of Iceland's population died through the ensuing famine. Then, as now, there were more wide-ranging impacts. In Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, in North America and even Egypt, the Laki eruption had its consequences, as the haze of dust and sulphur particles thrown up by the volcano was carried over much of the northern hemisphere. Ships moored up in many ports, effectively fogbound.

Crops were affected as the fall-out from the continuing eruption coincided with an abnormally hot summer. A clergyman, the Rev Sir John Cullum, wrote to the Royal Society that barley crops "became brown and withered … as did the leaves of the oats; the rye had the appearance of being mildewed". Dr John Murray said: "Volcanic eruptions can have significant effects on weather patterns for from two to four years, which in turn have social and economic consequences. We shouldn't discount their possible political impacts."

The current eruption in Iceland that began March 21, 2010 began similarly to the one in 1783 that caused so much death and devastation. The initial eruption that had begun a few weeks ago was only rated a 1 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index [VEI.] In comparison, Mt. St. Helens was a 4 and Mt. Pinatubo in 1997 was a 6 but the cumulative effect is equally disruptive worldwide than a more violent eruption, as the world is discovering anew this week. We are more interconnected today than ever before. The ash plume has accumulated in size and mass and height and is traveling east over Europe. It has halted Europe's air travel, medical evacuations, and army flights. It has rained a large-scale release of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere that also poses a potential health risk. "The eruption was a single act of nature, but it stopped the world in countless ways." Drudge's headline for a while was "The day the earth stood still."

The effects to health of the 1783 Iceland Laki eruption was discussed in a paper by John Grattan, of The University of Wales, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences. Grattan wrote: "The environmental impact of this event appears to have been severe, with reports of an acid dry fog in many parts of Europe, and often of associated damage to vegetation. It is argued that the meteorological conditions that led to this event are precisely the same as those which are associated with modern-day air pollution episodes in European conurbations, and the potential addition of millions of tonnes of volcanic gaseous material to the air over already polluted cities poses a rare, but in health terms potentially major, risk." (Above, a sackcloth hairshirt) Sackcloth is a very coarse, rough fabric woven from flax or hemp.

More on the 'dry fog' in a moment.

As in 1783, the health risks from sulphur dioxide and silica fallout remains just as great as it was then. FoxNews reported yesterday, "Doctor: Volcanic Dust Cloud Increases Risk of Death" "The World Health Organization issued a warning to Europeans Friday to stay indoors as ash from Iceland's volcano starts settling. ... concern is growing about the potentially deadly health effects the ash could have on people living in the region. The enormous dust cloud, hovering 20,000 feet over much of northern Europe, may contain large amounts of silica, a natural component of rock that comes with these types of volcanic explosions. “Inhaling silica into your respiratory system can lead to a deadly, chronic lung disease called silicosis that can damage the lungs and heart,” Alvarez said. “It also increases the potential of developing lung cancer.”

How long will this eruption last? CNN reports "Weather experts predicted Friday that a volcanic ash causing chaos to air traffic across Europe would affect the region well into the weekend and possibly beyond as the dust cloud continued to spread. Scientists said it was too soon to predict when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland would cease spewing ash, raising the prospect of thousands more grounded flights in coming days. The volcano's last major eruption in 1821 lasted two years."

The 1783 eruption was rated a 6 on the VEI and lasted 8 months. We are already seeing how even this low-intensity eruption has disrupted the world. How might the Icelandic volcano figure in prophecy?

In Revelation 6:12 we read, "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;". The sentence is constructed in a way that seems causal. Earthquake occurs, and within the same sentence with no period, the sun turns sackcloth and the moon turns red. Can an earthquake cause this? Yes, if it sparks a volcano eruption.

(Left, Malgorzata Zurakowska's artistic rendition of Apocalypse, Sun as Sackcloth of Hair). Volcanic ash has the same effect on the sun as described in the Revelation verse. The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded of 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, "during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear." The event is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics."

Gilbert White recorded his perceptions of the event at Selborne: "The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust- coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting." Others have variously called the dry fog effect on the sun as of a heavy veil, a mist, and as sackcloth. The supremely vivid sunsets also have their effect on the moon, which turns to red.

The Revelation verse states that there will be an earthquake, and it is not unlikely that a massive earthquake may trigger a volcanic eruption that in turn spews enough ash into the stratosphere that will cause the sun to turn to sackcloth and the moon to turn to red. The Deseret News asked that very question today, in noticing that the Yellowstone Supervolcano area has been especially active. Utah earthquakes leading up to volcanic action? "Thursday evening's quake on the Utah/Wyoming border is number 27 so far this year in Utah. That one near Randolph was one of the strongest in the state in 75 years, according to seismic station reports, the U.S. Geological Survey and professional quake watchers. If the current pace continues, more than 90 significant earthquakes will occur by the end of the year. Between April of last year and now, there were 80 large earthquakes, according to the USGS..."

Asked if "earthquakes trigger volcanic eruptions?" the USGS says that they can and they may, and in fact, they have. "Volcano eruptions have occurred shortly after earthquakes and they may be linked, but scientists are still debating the topic. Notably, an Andean volcano (Cordon Caulle) began erupting 2 days after the magnitude 9.5 1960 Chile earthquake. Eruptions of mud volcanoes have occurred in the Andaman Islands following the recent magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake."

Finally, we know that the end times prophecies state that there will be plagues. In the historical past, dry fogs have been linked to plague. "Famine and disease pandemics ensued, with the epidemics in all cases reaching the Mediterranean area within 1 to 5 years after the eruptions. In at least five cases, the contagion responsible for the mass mortality was probably plague." The recent earthquake in China has already sparked an alert for plague:

Chinese quake spurs plague watch
"Rescuers of victims of earthquakes in a Tibetan area of western China should be on alert for potential cases of pneumonic plague, state media reported Friday. Earthquakes in the remote northwestern mountain town of Jiegu have left at least 1,144 people dead, Xinhua said of the confirmed death toll Friday evening. Wednesday's magnitude-6.9 quake may have awoken marmots from their winter hibernation, China Daily said. The mammals can spread pneumonic plague, which is curable if treated early with antibiotics."

What does all this add up to? Look and see:

The UK Daily Mail published this graphic today: "The dramatic ash plume engulfing Britain and 'nightmarish face' seen from above". I find it interesting that staid reporters and science-oriented astronauts in flight take the time to notice and make remark on the hellish face of the volcano as it appears to us from above.

The Revelation's Sixth Seal promises a sun as sackcloth and a blood red moon and an earthquake. We are seeing perhaps the precursor to a longer-term fulfillment of the verse with the current ash plume and ensuing effects. We know what happened in history. The year 536 dry fog, the 1783 dry fog, and the Year Without a Summer of 1816 volcanic dry fog all resulted in dimmed sun, plagues, famines, blood red moons, cold, crop failures; in sum, all the things the bible promises will occur in the end time and in the Tribulation. Will Eyjafjallajokull's eruption be a part of this promised cycle? Only God knows for sure, but in reading the historical fact of the documented effects of such eruptions in the past, it may indeed be so.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Massive fireball lights up Midwest US

Well, God said "there will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. How much more clear can He get? First he promised it, then He fulfilled it, and man, oh, man, night turned into day!

Luke 21:25
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How many signs will it take to alert the apathetic Christian?

The Lord will send signs and then He will rapture us in His greatest sign, and then the wrath. I pray you are  heeding His warnings of imminent judgment and are saved by grace and the blood of Jesus. If you are not, there is time. Simply acknowledge you are a sinner, and if you truly feel bad about the bad things you have done, ask Him to forgive them. He will!! "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Mt 7:7) He is the door.

Locust plague hits Spain-sized area of eastern Australia 
Swarms of locusts have infested a huge area of eastern Australia roughly the size of Spain after recent floods, ravaging farmland. Chris Adriaansen, head of the Australian Plague Locust Commission, said the quick-breeding creatures had hit from Longreach in Queensland in the north-east to Melbourne and Adelaide - 190,000 square miles. Mr Adriaansen said some swarms covered areas as large as 115 square miles, with about 10 locusts per square yard, "that's a lot of locusts."

Cyclone affects 50000, kills 67
A cyclone packing winds of more than 100 mph (160 kph) demolished ten of thousands of mud huts in northeastern India, killing at least 89 villagers, officials said Wednesday. The cyclone demolished nearly 50,000 mud huts in West Bengal and thousands more in Bihar, officials said. Devesh Chandra Thakur, Bihar state's Minister for Disaster Management, said there was no cyclone warning from the weather department, so villagers were unprepared.

Iceland volcano erupts, triggers floods
After a brief respite, an Iceland volcano has erupted for a second time, but from a different, glacier-covered vent. Melting ice spurred an emergency nighttime evacuation of hundreds of people in the flood zone. About 800 people living nearby were evacuated as a precautionary measure at the first signs of the second eruption, said Páll Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland's Institute of Earth Sciences. There are no reports of casualties so far. But initial reports suggest glacial melt from Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, located about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Reykjavik, has raised local rivers by as much as ten feet (three meters). A major road has been closed and, as of press time, water continues to gush into the ocean.

7.1 earthquake hits China
"Western China has been rocked by a powerful earthquake and strong aftershocks, which have claimed more than 400 lives. More than 8,000 people have been injured and many more people may be trapped in damaged buildings. The earthquake struck the western Chinese province of Qinghai early Wednesday, collapsing buildings in villages around the region. The China Earthquake Administration estimates the quake as being a 7.1 magnitude, while the U.S. Geological Survey puts it at 6.9."

Massive Glacier Triggers 'Tsunami' in Lake
A huge glacier has broken off and plunged into a lake in Peru sparking a 23-meter high tsunami wave that destroyed a nearby town. According to the Indeci civil defense institute, 50 homes have been destroyed. A water processing plant serving 60,000 local residents was also devastated when the wave struck on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seismologists finally admit earthquake numbers are up (But don't know why)

The LA Times reports that earthquakes are increasing, and this, of course, has sparked rumors as to why. None of which, of course, mention that GOD predicted this. I find it a relief that the CalTech seismologists are being scientifically honest. USGS has been denying that there have been more earthquakes lately. In one article I recently linked to, USGS seismologist answered the question "Are all these earthquakes normal?" by saying "yes", because 1) “You can expect earthquakes in locations where we are known to have earthquakes," and 2) "earthquakes can also occur in clusters, which may explain why this year has been front loaded with so much activity." and 3) "In the last 20 years the number of seismographs around the globe has increased dramatically."

In this CNN article the same question was asked and the headline blared the answer from the seismologists: "Quake frequency normal" and the scientists interviewed in that article said "The USGS attributes our heightened awareness of earthquakes to a number of factors, including larger populations in more places, better global communication and media reporting, and a wider network of seismic detection devices. Another one, Kurt Frankel, an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told CNN after the magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile on February 27 that there's nothing unusual going on."

No one with eyes in their head and an electrical connection to tv or internet will accept that answer. There ARE more earthquakes and the CalTech data shows it:

"...researchers say there has been an uptick in earthquakes this year. The number of earthquakes greater than magnitude 4.0 in Southern California and Baja California has increased significantly in 2010. There have been 70 such quakes so far this year, the most of any year in the last decade. And it's only April. There were 30 in 2009 and 29 in 2008. Seismologists said they are studying the uptick but cannot fully explain it. Major earthquakes tend to occur in cycles, and experts have said the region in recent years has been in a quiet cycle when it comes to sizable temblors.

Meanwhile, a 6.9 earthquake has just shaken the Chinese-Tibetan border. "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."(1 Thess 4:15). He soon comes!!! Are you ready???

Israelis told to leave Sinai immediately!

From Israeli News Agency

From Israeli Defense Forces

Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning to Israelis going to and residing in Sinai. Warning is based on concrete intelligence information about a plot to kidnap Israelis in Sinai. On Tuesday night (April 13), the Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning to Israelis going to and residing in Sinai. "In light of this grave and immediate threat, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau urges all Israelis to leave Sinai immediately and without delay," the advisory said. The decision was based on information that a terror cell in Sinai intends to abduct Israeli citizens and immediately transfer them to the Gaza Strip.

From YNet Israeli News
Counter-Terrorism Bureau issues unusually harsh warning, urges Israelis in Sinai to leave Egypt immediately in light of 'substantive intelligence information' about serious abduction plot.

The Sinai Peninsula

Israel in the end times:
Zech 12:2-3 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about... And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces.

Monday, April 12, 2010

No to crucifix for Christian nurse; yes to jewelry for Muslims

Crucifix nurse loses tribunal

A Christian nurse who lost a discrimination claim against her employer over her right to wear a crucifix has claimed the tribunal's decision marks "a very bad day for Christianity". An employment tribunal ruled in favour of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital over a claim by nurse Shirley Chaplin that being asked to remove a necklace bearing a crucifix would "violate her faith". Mrs Chaplin was then moved to a desk job in order to comply with the trust's health and safety policy which viewed necklaces of any sort as a potential hazard which could be grabbed by patients. Mrs Chaplin, who wore the emblem at the tribunal hearing in Exeter, said she would stand by her convictions irrespective of the decision and continue to wear the crucifix.

Muslim staff escape hygiene rule, also can wear jewellry
Female staff who follow the Islamic faith will be allowed to cover their arms to preserve their modesty despite earlier guidance that all staff should be "bare below the elbow". The Department of Health has also relaxed rules prohibiting jewellery so that Sikh members of staff can wear bangles linked with their faith, providing they are pushed up the arm while the medic treats a patient. The Department of Health has also relaxed rules prohibiting jewelery so that Sikh members of staff can wear bangles linked with their faith, providing they are pushed up the arm while the medic treats a patient.

Crucifix nurse accuses NHS of double standards over uniform rules for Muslims
The Christian nurse who lost her discrimination case against the NHS after refusing to remove her crucifix has accused the health service of "double standards" after it emerged Muslims doctors and nurses will be allowed to wear long sleeves [and jewelry] for religious reasons.

Isaiah 5:20 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." A double standard for sure, but in these days when good is called evil we should know that we were told that there shall be godlessness in the last days, (II Timothy 3:1-5,) and that many would fall away from the faith and worship doctrines of demons (II Timothy 3:1-5,7)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kenyan Minister of Parliament cites Obama's native Kenyan birth

In the Annual National Assembly Official Report for the Nation of Kenya it is transcribed that Minister for Lands, Mr. James Orengo said at the Parliament Assembly:

"If America was living in a situation where they feared ethnicity and did not see itself as a multiparty state or nation, how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the President of

Orengo was a former candidate for President of Kenya.

It's just more stuff that makes me go hmmm...

UK PM Calls for World Financial Constitution

In Gordon Brown's speech, he is exactly right. We have suffered a speedy transformation of world economic systems. The last two years have been transformative. Read the following excerpted transcript, or watch the speech starting at 2:00 with the following in mind: the prophecy in Revelation will come true. A global financial system will be implemented. Revelation 13:16-17 - "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name."

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown World Economy Speech "Only in retrospect do people see the significance of the times in which they are living through. But in the last two years our world has been suffering not just an ordinary economic downturn but what will be remembered as the first crisis of globalization. It's the first crisis of a world being totally transformed by the scale of global financial flows, but the global sourcing of goods, and by the speed, the scale and the scope of globalization itself. And it's a world of massive new opportunities that I want to talk about. But also as we found  it is a world of massive new uncertainties and insecurities too. What we have experienced is not just the inflation-driven economic crises, such as we have seen in t he past 50 years, but a wholesale crisis that has gone right to the heart of the global financial system itself. And so it is time for us, as we reflect on these events, to draw conclusions about te new framework and the new policies we do need to build a stronger and a fairer world economy that will meet the need of its citizens in this new global age. ...  Without radical change...we will not be able to emerge... So here are my proposals for discussion: First of all, I believe we need nothing short of a World Constitution for the Global Financial System."

More on the fishing ban in the Sea of Galilee

Most prophecy serves a dual purpose, a near-fulfillment and a future fulfillment. Like the two floors on a double decker bus, the same prophetic utterances in the bible can have two fulfillments far apart in time. One example is in the fulfillment of a Messiah for the Jews. Prophecies said that the Messiah would be both a suffering servant and a conquering king. The Essenes, a strong sect during John the Baptists' day, interpreted the prophecy incorrectly, believing that there would be two Messiahs, since the Torah had described such diferent (seeming) Messiahs to fulfill the prophecy.

John the Baptist asked in Luke 7:20 "Are you the One or are we to expect another?' just to clear up the Essenes' misunderstanding. That is also why the 12 Disciples thought Jesus was there to conquer Rome and overthrow the Jews' oppression by that nation-state, since 483 years of the predicted 490 had passed in Daniel's prophecy as to when the King would arrive. Little did the Disciples know that there would be a two-thousand year pause in the proceedings for the Jews! But Jesus has/will come twice, first as the suffering Servant and then again as the Conquering King. Zechariah 9:9-10 spoke of a humble messiah speaking peace to the nations, but in Zechariah 14:3-4 it tells of a King who defeats nations in war and makes the earth tremble. Two Kings? No, one King, two fulfillments, spaced apart by two thousand years.

Hosea prophesied. Many of his prophesies are dual but some may be single. It takes study and prayerful appeal to the Holy Spirit to correctly discern which are past prophesies and which are dual and which are single only. For example, Isaiah 17:1 says that Damascus will be destroyed, completely cut off from being a city. Since Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, that prophecy obviously has not been fulfilled yet. Hosea 3:4-5 speaks of the Second Coming, which again, obviously has not occurred yet: "For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king."

In another Hosea prophecy, Chapter 4:1-3 tells of  God's controversy with Israel. It begins:

Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
         For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
         Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
         Or knowledge of God in the land.
There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery
         They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
         And everyone who lives in it languishes
         Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
         And also the fish of the sea disappear

The curses go on for quite a length of time, but you get the idea.

Though God has forever blessed His people and their possession of the land, their enjoyment of the land is conditional on how well they obey. The forever covenant of the land is known as the Abrahamic Covenant, and the conditional covenant based on obedience is known as the Mosaic Covenant. The conditions of the covenant God gave to Moses for the People is outlined quite specifically in Deuteronomy 28. It is seen that God does withdraw His blessing. Indeed, the Tribulation is known as the Time of Jacob's Trouble, and it's the period when God deals with the Israelites. Many terrible things happen during that time to the Jews. They are hunted, overcome, invaded, killed, persecuted, ravished, and more. Zechariah tells of a future time, the Tribulation, when "I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city." So we can see that though Israel is forever blessed to possess land and to be His people, at times God curses them because of disobedience or to draw them back to Him. Hosea 5 finishes this way:

"I will go away and return to My place
         Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
         In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."

Does it surprise you to know that God does withdraw blessings of abundance from His people? That the Tribulation is totally about bringing the People to their knees in acknowledgement of His sovereignty over them? Back to the news I wrote of yesterday that the Sea of Galilee is closed to fishing. In Hosea 4:3 we read that as God withdraws His blessing on Israel their abundant fishing that has been so productive for so many years goes away. "And the fish of the sea disappear." Is this a sign that The Time of Jacob's Trouble is about to begin? Only God knows for sure, but we are commanded to watch, and to know the signs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sea of Galilee closed to fishing

The fish from Galilee figures prominently in the ministry of Jesus. The early followers of Jesus were called followers of The Way, and were known by the symbol of the fish. Jesus called four of His disciples who were fishermen to His ministry as apostles. He told them they would instead be fishers of men. Jesus fed 5000 with two fish caught from the Galilean sea. He rebuked the sea of Galilee when it struck up a storm like to drown the men on the boat (though Jesus slept). He called Peter to His ministry by telling fishless and dispirited Peter to drop his nets on the other side of the boat and so he did and drew in many fish. He answered the question about temple taxes by telling Peter to get a fish and then extracted a coin from its mouth, using it to pay the temple tax. That fish has become known as St. Peter's Fish to this day. He made His resurrected self known to His disciples by cooking them a supper of fish and ate with them on the shores of the sea of Galilee. Fish from the mosaic of a third or fourth-century church floor from Megiddo, only recently discovered in 2005

The importance of the fish in the bible and especially from the New Testament through the emphasis by Jesus and His use of the fish as a means of parable, work, food, and symbol cannot be overstated. Though the Sea of Galilee is only 33 miles in circumference, 13 miles long, and 8 miles wide, it has supported fishing in abundance for over 2000 years. The first-century historian Josephus was so impressed by the area that he wrote, "One may call this place the ambition of Nature." Josephus reported a thriving fishing industry at that time, with 230 boats regularly working in the lake.

A preacher in the later 1800s, visiting the Sea of Galilee noted, "the density of the shoals of fish in the Sea of Galilee can scarcely be conceived by those who have not witnessed them". That abundance has kept pace with the population increase through 2005.

Indeed, the Sea of Galilee yielded about 300 tons of fish in 2005. However, disaster has struck. The haul for 2009 was only 8 tons. The drop has been precipitous, and thus in a drastic move, now Fishing is banned on the Sea of Galilee "Fishing in the Sea of Galilee has been banned, Israel's Ministry of Agriculture has announced, amid claims stocks have fallen to a dangerous low. ...The decree ends a tradition which has continued virtually unchanged since Biblical times"

It feels sad, and also spiritually agitating. No more fish to catch! Anyone who knows that the call of a Christian to be fishers of men knows that this is a terrible loss, metaphorically speaking. The fish of the Sea of Galilee is such an important part of what Jesus did to show us His principles, that to lose the fish after so long and so unexpectedly almost feels like God is withdrawing His blessing on Israel. It feels like it is a signal ... of something. I have no words. Except, pray for Israel.

UPDATE: I'm not sure exactly what the verses mean in relation to the story but I feel they do have relation to it.

"Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?" Hab 1:14

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind [of fish], and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good [fish] into containers, but threw out the worthless ones." [Matthew 13:47-48]

More here

Are you running your race well? The fig tree is blooming!

A ladybug traversing the concrete walkway meets up with a bird feather but keeps going despite the hindrance. 

I am "holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain." [Phil 2:16] Are you running well, or toiling in vain? Christian, are you able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;"? [2Tim 4:7] The journey is long and we are small, only humble servants and wretched sinners. There are obstacles and there are hindrances to our course. Some stumble when hindrances are met. "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?" [Gal 5:7]. Keep running! Keep one step in front of the other! The time is but a vapor, so short, and what is hunger or cold or discomfort to us when we have an eternity of peace and joy to look forward to?

"Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near."

"so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door." [Mt 24:32-33]

Prata's Place / Graceful Garlands: Gradual Growth

My title comes from Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland ...