Jesus said of the end times, there will be earthquakes in diverse places. (Matthew 24:7). So what is going on lately in the geo-seismic world with quakes and volcanoes?
From Geology Professor Erik Klemetti's Eruptions blog:
"Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia May Erupt in “Days to Weeks"
"The developing volcanic crisis at Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia looks like it is continuing to escalate. INGEOMINAS, the Colombian geological survey, released a “special bulletin” this afternoon elevating the alert status at Nevado del Ruiz to Orange Level (II). This means that the signs of activity at the volcano suggest that an eruption is likely in the days to weeks timescale. Marta Calvache from INGEOMINAS mentioned that over the past few days the volcano has experienced tremor related to “fluid motion” (likely magma), rock fracture earthquakes at the summit have been increasing in pulses and sulfur dioxide emissions continue to be high."
Prof. Klemetti's Eruption Update for March 30, 2012: Alaska and Hawai’i--
"Two volcanoes dominate the news from Alaska these days: Cleveland and Iliamna. Both have jumped back and forth from Yellow/Advisory to Orange/Watch status over the past few months. Right now, Cleveland has returned to Orange/Watch status after new observations showed a dome forming at the summit. This, of course, increased the likelihood of explosive activity as the dome may trap gases in the volcano, creating overpressure, or the dome could collapse, releasing pressure rapidly. Both of these mechanisms can prompt an explosive eruption. Iliamna is back onto Yellow/Advisory status from Orange/Watch after elevated seismicity continues, albeit at a lower level."
Kilauea’s activity marches on, although now it appears that the volcano is inflating, at least at the summit. Since October 2011, the summit has been inflating at a rate of ~1 cm/month at the same time that lava flows continued from other parts of the volcano.
New Activity/Unrest, source Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program:
IJEN Eastern Java
ILIAMNA Southwestern Alaska
NEVADO DEL RUIZ Colombia
SOUFRIERE HILLS Montserrat
Major Quakes this week --
6.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
6.0 NORTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
Lately, there has been some push-back against the widely interpreted notion that Jesus's answer to the disciples as to the signs of the end of the age in advance of His coming (Matthew 24:7) means that earthquakes will increase. Naysayers claim that Jesus was not saying that earthquakes will increase, just that there will be some in various places. There has also been scientific push-back against the widely observed notion that earthquakes are actually increasing in number. USGS and others say that they are not. Here is my stance:
The end times are between His first coming, beginning when He ascended, and will conclude when He returns. (Matthew 23:27-29). This is the period in which He has partially hardened the hearts of the Jews (Romans 11:25) so that He will build His church out of the Gentiles. (Mt 16:18; Acts 15:14-17). First to the Jew, then to the Gentile (Romans 2:8-10). Note that He has not set His people the Jews aside permanently but that He is working with the Gentiles for a time.
Jesus likened the time before His second coming to one that is like a woman in travail (labor). (Matthew 24:8). Also 1 Thess 5:3; Jer 30:6; and Romans 8:22 says "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."
What is being birthed is the Kingdom. But the pregnant woman at first does not know she is pregnant. Then as time progresses she begins to show. Then as her time of birth nears she becomes heavy, weary, laden with the growing baby. She has pains, and then the water breaks. The real labor begins. It is painful and it is bloody (The Tribulation) but at the end of it emerges a new birth, a new life. I believe the gestation has been the Church Age, and the labor pains will begin at the rapture, it being akin to the water breaking, and the birth is the Kingdom after the bloody labor of the Tribulation.
In Matthew verse 8, Jesus says that the initial signs of His coming He describes in verses 4-7 are but the "beginning of birth pains". Then in Luke 21:29-31 "He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near." Israel sprouted leaves when she was made a nation again in May 1948.
In my mind, because He likened it to a woman giving birth, and to the agricultural process of budding and growing, it seems to me that the entire time between His ascension and His return are the birth pangs, and as the time gets closer to the Tribulation and to His actual return, the pains will increase in intensity and frequency (as birth pangs). That is why I believe as I do. And within that it means, to me, is that earthquakes shall increase because labor pangs increase in painful intensity at it progresses. By the numbers, the quakes worldwide have been increasing, exceeding the average annual benchmark the USGS has set before us by a wide margin every year since 2009.
Now, if my interpretation is correct, then earthquakes, famines, wars, rumors of wars, false Christs, will actually be increasing. Ever since the Jews were returned to the Land in 1948, a huge end times sign, have these things been increasing in that century and in this? Yes. For example, one sign of His coming, He said, is increase in wars.
The number of wars has increased. In 2010 I posted on my blog that John MacArthur preached on the end times signs and mentioned that the numbers of wars according to the Encyclopedia of Wars is increasing exponentially. He said that in the 1000 years prior to Christ's coming, there were 170 recorded wars. This number excludes skirmishes, conflicts, disturbances, etc. In the 1000 years after Jesus, there were 50 wars. In the 500 years after that, 100 wars. In the 300 years after that, 250 wars. In the last 200 years, there have been 500 wars. And in the last four years (not depicted on graph) there have been 20 wars.
The USGS and others say that earthquakes are not increasing, they are. I counted them and compared them against the USGS annual average benchmark. I posted the chart here
We have been hearing of many earthquakes in diverse places. Of the earthquakes that are not in diverse places, we have been hearing of superlatives: "longest lasting", (Oaxaca Mexico) or "bigger than might expected for that area " (Oaxaca Mexico) or "Hasn't been one this big in 15 years ..." (Outback Australia)
An earthquake occurred in Australia last week.
"The central region of Australia was struck by the country's largest earthquake in nearly 15 years on Friday evening, seismologists said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.The 6.1-magnitude earthquake at 7:55 p.m. local time on Friday was centered about 17 miles northwest of Ernabella Airport, a tiny airstrip near the border with South Australia and the Northern Territory. It struck about 1.8 mile deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to Geoscience Australia."
In scientifically inexplicable or unusual events lately, in 2011 the volcano Nabro in Eritrea erupted suddenly. Prior to that it was believed to be extinct, never having had a historical eruption. Scientists initially disclaimed the eruption, saying it must be nearby active Dubbi. It took several days to really confirm scientifically what the spotty news and eyewitness reports had been saying all along, Nabro volcano burped lava from underground and it erupted for the first time ever.
Chile's Volcano Chaiten erupted suddenly in 2009 after what scientists said was 9500 years of dormancy. In the 1940s, the Mexican volcano Paricutin erupted and formed under a corn field and a farmer's feet. The African continent is unzipping (their word) in some cases a rift of 35 miles long and 20 miles wide opening up in a day. They do not know why. Until the rift began unzipping slow vs. catastrophic plate tectonics were competing theories with the slow catastrophic winning, but many current observations are incompatible with slow-and-gradual plate tectonics. New islands have formed overnight from unexpected eruptions, as this January 2012 news article shows, happened in the Red Sea.
Now I don't want to cast doubt or aspersions against fine scientists. They are smart and they have a rigorous study, and they do well to inform us of things born from reasonable thought, testable theories and reproducible experiments. However, God is the author of science, not man. God doesn't have to be bounded by a paradigm of scientific thought made by man. If He wants to turn off the sun (Mt 24:29; Joel 3:15), He will. If He wants to wake up a volcano that has never erupted, He will. And science is wrong about the age of the universe, the origins of the universe, global warming, and evolution, to name a few theories.
The best (only) thing to do is to be ready for Jesus whenever He comes. Being ready means that you have repented of your sins, having recognized that you DO sin and that those sins are crimes against Jesus. In a state of sinfulness you would meet Him an an enemy and your Judge. If you repent and ask Him to forgive those sins, He will, and you will meet Him as a friend and as a Father. The rapture is a signless event. It is an imminent event. It has always been imminent, since Paul first mentioned it to the Thessalonians and the Corinthians (1 Thess 4, 1 Cor 15). Nothing needs to happen to precede the rapture and nothing will announce that it is about to happen. Therefore be ready:
"Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36).
The irony is, that those of us who are ready and love Jesus as Lord and Savior, would not want to stand, we will want to fling ourselves at His feet, kneel as is His due, and worship Hi,. O, happy day! And it seems that it is closer than ever...
We don't know exactly when it will occur but we can see the signs of the other prophesies coming together and we know the season. the fig tree is budding, and we know therefore that it is near, even at the door.