Mar 1, 2010
Another Massive Earthquake
A huge earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 has hit the west-central coast of Chile, killing more than 700 people. The quake struck at 1:34 EST about 200 miles southwest of the capital, Santiago.
The epicenter was just 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile 's second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live, and the coastal city Valdivia, with a population of 140,559, which is was at the greatest risk of the quake's tsunami.
It will take several days to get a full measure of the devastation caused by the quake. Because Chile has much better building codes than Haiti, itís unlikely that we're going to see a death toll into the tens of thousands.
The Chile earthquake is already one for the record book. It is seventh on the list of greatest earthquakes ever recorded. In the past 250 years, there have only been two other mass casualty quakes with a greater magnitude.
Chile is no stranger to large earthquakes. In 1960, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded struck Valdivia. It had a magnitude of 9.5 and destroyed buildings from the earthquake can still be found today.
The news of the Chile quake is amazing when you realize it came just a month after the devastating 7.0 quake that struck Haiti, killing 230,000. Of course, this tremor is vastly more powerful. One geologist said it released 500 to 700 times more energy. Luckily, it occurred at sea and several miles from a major population center.
In my January 25, 2010, "Nearing Midnight" commentary, I took note of the narrowing time scale for several recent super earthquakes. It seems bizarre to reminisce about something I wrote just four weeks ago, but that is how strange events have become. Here I am saying the historic odds would tell us that another major quake is unlikely, yet I knew another factor was at work:
Normally, we could say by the frequency of earthquakes in the past that it will be many years before we suffer another super quake. There have been times when there werenít ever major quakes. The Rapture Ready Earthquakes Timeline shows that between 1950 and 1960, there was no major loss of life from seismic activity. There was another gap between 1960 and 1970.
I donít think we are going to see any let-up in the number of destructive earthquakes. We have reached the point at which every year is visited by some form military conflict, economic unrest, or natural disaster.
The upsurge in earthquakes has geologists and news reporters wondering what is going on. "Relative to the twenty-year period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, the earth has been more active over the past fifteen or so years," said Stephen Gao, a geophysicist at Missouri University of Science and Technology. "We still do not know the reason for this yet. Could simply be the natural temporal variation of the stress field in the earth's lithosphere." A Fox news reporter asked a seismologist, "What's wrong with Mother Nature?"
I believe the "birth-pang" prophecy is why earthquakes are increasing in number. Jesus said the calling card of His return would be a spike in calamitous events: "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs" (Mark 13:8, RVS).
It certainly seems like the Lord is pressing a series of warning buttons. From 2004 to 2008, we had a historic number of tropical systems in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Ocean basins. In 2009, we had the global financial meltdown. Here we are in 2010 with two historic earthquakes.
Any Bible prophecy worth its salt would point to the Haiti earthquake as a warning of our own need to be ready for eternity. Now that it seems we've had a double warning, it is all the more important for Christians to have a sense of priority in their witness to the world. God is very patient, but He is no fool. He is not going to send an endless number of warning signs. This event could very easily be the last one before the Rapture.
There is coming, according to God's Word and the Apostle Paul, a particular deception that will ensnare the world of people who oppose the Creator of all things. When thinking on 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 about "the lie" Paul mentions, it seems to me there can be but one sort of "lie" that Satan would be so determined to foist upon humanity left behind after the Rapture of the Church. Here is the prophecy:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess. 2:9-12)
Lucifer, the fallen one, has always sought to separate man from the Lord and His governance. Satan was successful in accomplishing his goal when, in the Garden of Eden, Eve fell victim to the serpent's seduction and then Adam willfully joined her, thus believing Satan rather than the Lord.
God then promised the supernatural seed through mankind that would eventually produce a Savior who would ultimately destroy the serpent and overcome his great lie that separated God and man. Jesus is that seed, the Redeemer of mankind. He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
Jesus is the only Way to forgiveness of sin, which separates man from God. This is what is meant by the first Scripture I and many other young children learned in Sunday school: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Paul, the great apostle and prophet, foretold in the 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 account that the "lie" the Antichrist regime will impose upon those left behind on earth after the Church is taken to be with Christ forever will involve the refusal to believe "the truth." They will reject God's way to redemption. They will deny that Jesus Christ--the Truth--is the way to salvation.
The "lie," then, will be wrapped up in a grand deception that Christ didn't truly come--in Jewish flesh--to die for the sin of man. This, after all, is the "spirit of Antichrist" about which John warned:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
That "spirit of antichrist" lie was intrinsic within Hitler's Nazi regime. The Jews were painted as "Christ-killers and the scourge of mankind," not as the chosen people through whom God brought His Only Begotten Son into the world to seek and save lost mankind. That future Fuehrer--the satanically empowered son of perdition--will likely mesmerize the post-rapture world with a lie that denies Jesus Christ ever came to be the sacrifice for mankind. As a matter of fact, Bible prophecy paints him as the one who comes in place of the real Christ. He will claim to be the Savior. He will sit in the temple of God on Moriah in Jerusalem, declaring himself to be God! (See 2 Thess. 2:4; Matt. 24:15.)
I believe the groundwork is being laid today for the "lie" that will doom much of the world's population after the Rapture. The lie will have to be part of a fearful crisis of some sort. The disappearance of millions will certainly provide a crisis that will have the attention of the peoples of the world. Any leader who can answer the question of what on earth has happened will get the instant attention and the adulation of a panicked world.
As mentioned above, Planet Earth is being prepared, I'm convinced, for just such an answer as the great world leader that will be one day recognized as Antichrist will concoct. A recent news story gives more than an inkling of the groundwork being laid for that "lie," I believe.
It has been the subject of movies for decades--but what would REALLY happen if aliens visited earth? This may sound like a topic for conspiracy theorists or mad UFO obsessives, yet this week, science's finest minds gathered in London to debate that very question. ...The conference, The Detection of Extraterrestrial Life and the Consequences for Science and Society, was held at the high-brow Royal Society HQ in central London...
It is often said the discovery of other civilizations would shatter world religions. Delegates were not so sure. Professor Ted Peters, a theologian, briefed the meeting on some survey results that suggested that rather than undermine religious beliefs--whatever the faith--it would strengthen them, by making God's creation seem even bigger and more wonderful.
Not everyone agreed. British physicist Paul Davies thought Christians would have a problem, given the central belief that Jesus died to save us. If we discover other civilizations, it would raise the awkward question: Why just us? (Nick Pope, "If the Cosmic Phone Rings...Donít Answer," 1/28/10; http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/ufos/2828017/Should-we-be-offering-hand-of-friendship-to-ET.html).
The "lie" of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 could well bring into its orbit and make totally believable 1)universalism--the deception that all people are God's children, and there are many ways to salvation; and 2)the notion that Jesus Christ couldn't have been the Savior, else He would have to die on other worlds for those inhabitants and for others in other universes.
With the way psychologically and demonically paved for there to be a massive UFO invasion during the Tribulation, millions looking for explanation of why their world is upside-down will undoubtedly readily believe such a lie--the lie telling them that the ETs who have just removed millions of rebels from earth are now come to rescue the world from oblivion.
I believe the prophecy that tells of this very event might well be found in the following description given in God's Word:
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Rev. 13:13-14)
Our world is filled today with great deception. Lies come from many governmental leaders, media sources, and even from many people in the pulpits of America. It is incumbent upon each who names the name of Christ to be discerning in these closing days of the Church Age. Lost souls hang in the eternal balance.