Archive for March 15th, 2011

“Yet Another Massive Earthquake” by Todd Strandberg

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Much of northern Japan has been totally devastated by an 9.0 earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in the nation’s recorded history. The worst previous quake was in 1923 in Kanto, with only an 8.3 magnitude. The earthquake is currently ranked as the fifth-most powerful seismic event to hit the world in the past century.

Because the trembler struck a modern industrial nation at 2:46 p.m., it will probably be history’s most-documented earthquake. One geologist noted that there has never been aerial footage of a tsunami rushing over land. I was stunned to see a live feed of a 23-foot wall of water and debris washing away homes. Some of the waves traveled over 6 miles inland before dissipating.

I’ve written about earthquakes for years, and I know it will take months to figure out the full scale of the disaster. When last year’s Haiti quake was first reported, the death count was only 3,000. It later grew to over a quarter million. In Japan, several coastal cities have been nearly wiped off the map. Minami Sanriku had a population of 17,000, and 60 percent of its residents are now reported as missing.

Japan also may be facing a nuclear disaster on the scale of Chernobyl. A partial meltdown appears to have occurred at two nuclear reactors, and four other reactors are said to be unstable. If the core material escapes into the atmosphere, it will take decades to clean up the mess.

This year has already been a nightmare for the insurance industry. Insurers have lost billions from the Australian flood and the New Zealand earthquake. The Japan quake will only put further strain on the balance sheets.

The earthquake will be a huge blow to the global financial system. Japan has the third-largest economy, and it also has the world’s biggest public debt load. Since it was already at the doorstep of national insolvency, the quake may have made a financial Armageddon an eventual certainty.

The Japanese have nearly a trillion dollars in the U.S. Treasury. A large portion of these bonds will have to be sold to pay for reconstruction. The draw down could push our economy over the edge.

I’ve had several people ask me what this earthquake means for Bible prophecy. I think the quake has a strong link to prophecy because of how it fits with birth-pang warnings. Jesus predicted that the closer we get to the time of His return, the more frequent and intense the end-time signs will become. There will be more earthquakes, and more intense ones. Likewise, things like famine, pestilence, and war will increase in frequency and intensity.

“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 was just last week that I made mention of how deadly quakes are running off the scale. Normally, we could say by the frequency of earthquakes in the past that it will be many years before we suffer another super quake. The Rapture Ready Earthquakes Timeline shows that between 1949 and 1962, there was no major loss of life from seismic activity. Two other gaps that stand out are 1962 to 1970 and 1978 to 1985.

Some reports try to argue that large earthquakes are a natural occurrence. We do have large earthquakes each year, but they typically strike unpopulated areas. In recent years, these quakes have targeted populated areas. The Haiti quake was a perfect bull’s eye, with a 7.0 magnitude, a depth of only three miles, and a location only nine miles from the Haitian capital.

We now have had five years in a row with massive seismic events. It seems to me that God is slowly trying to get man’s attention. The Lord is very patient, but He is no fool. Eventually, earth is going to reach the point at which the ultimate judgment will be poured out.

In the past few days, there has been an enormous surge in traffic to the RR site. This happens every time a big disaster strikes. I can tell from years of experience that many people are interested in prophecy only when things are active. Because the Rapture will come with no warning, we need to be watchful at all hours.

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

“Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door” (NLT Matthew 24:33).

— Todd

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