Welcome to Brian's Bits, where Brian gets to share at length about various topics stirring inside of him.
18 April 2011
In my last article I shared about some apocalyptic novels I had been reading at the end of last year. In today's article, the coming catastrophe has a solid foundation in science, and not solely in the bleak and ominous imagination of some author.
MorningStar Ministries, has posted nine videos on his Prophetic Perspective on Current Events Web page dealing with the Japanese earthquake last month, and the possibility of a worldwide economic meltdown, as well as major devastating earthquakes along the West Coast of the United States.
In these nine videos (there are probably more by now), Rick shares about prophetic words regarding a major earthquake in Japan, words which also foresee the above-mentioned worldwide economic meltdown and major earthquake destruction on the U.S. West Coast. He believes that these prophetic words have a lot of credibility — so much so that, in the earlier videos, he was urging Christians to flee the West Coast (unless God has specifically told you to stay)!
As you can imagine, this kind of statement provoked a wide range of responses, from the very positive all the way over to the very negative. I myself felt like it was a bit too strong. As Christians, a major change like that should never be undertaken without specific guidance from God. In his later messages, Rick said it better, stating that each Christian should seek God as to whether they should stay or leave, and that Christians should never make decisions based on fear. I suppose that in his concern and earnestness, he didn't communicate as well as he could have.
That being said, Rick's nine video messages contain a lot of food for thought, much to ponder on in prayer, and day-to-day life issue that need to be addressed. No matter if an epic disaster is coming or not, it's always a good idea to double-check with God and make sure that you are living where He wants you to live, and you're doing what He wants you to be doing. In addition, according the the Red Cross and other organizations, every American should practically prepare for an emergency.
You'll have to watch the videos to get all the details, but in summary, Rick shared that certain prophetic people with pretty accurate track records, like Bob Jones and Jim Bakker, among others, clearly saw that there would be a major earthquake in Japan, which would be followed (after an unspecified period of time) by a worldwide economic meltdown and a major earthquake in both the Pacific Northwest, accompanied by volcanic activity, and in California, particularly the southern part of the state.
Near the end of last week I started to read some articles on Wikipedia regarding the earthquake vulnerability of the Pacific Northwest (which I will refer to as PNW for the rest of this article. There is quite a bit of information there that seems to fit in quite well with the prophetic warnings.
When I was growing up in Santa Maria, on the Central Coast of California, I remember that there was a lot of concern that there would be a big earthquake and that California would "break off and sink into the ocean"! All of my life I have felt that California is dangerous earthquake country, but that Oregon and Washington are pretty safe.
However, after reading some articles on the subject, I've definitely changed my mind. Because of the geology of the PNW, it has a much greater potential for a 9.0-plus magnitude "megathrust" earthquake, like the March earthquake in Japan, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed over 230,000 people, as well as other devastating earthquakes throughout history. From what I understand of the dangers now, I think I would feel safer in California than in the PNW!
The main article I found on Wikipedia is about the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which, as you can see from the graphic to the left, runs from northern California, through Oregon and Washington, all the way up to southern British Columbia, Canada. This article had some very interesting, and very sobering, things to say:
A related article is the Cascade Volcanic Arc. These volcanoes exist as a direct result of the Cascade Subduction Zone.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone can produce very large earthquakes ("megathrust earthquakes"), magnitude 9.0 or greater, if rupture occurs over its whole area. When the "locked" zone [darker red in the graphic] stores up energy for an earthquake, the "transition" zone [lighter red], although somewhat plastic, can rupture. Great Subduction Zone earthquakes are the largest earthquakes in the world, and can exceed magnitude 9.0. Earthquake size is proportional to fault area, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a very long sloping fault that stretches from mid-Vancouver Island to Northern California. Because of the very large fault area, the Cascadia Subduction Zone could produce a very large earthquake.
The last known great earthquake in the Northwest was in January 1700, the Cascadia Earthquake. Geological evidence indicates that great earthquakes may have occurred at least seven times in the last 3,500 years, suggesting a return time of 300 to 600 years. The next rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone will cause widespread destruction throughout the Pacific Northwest. Other similar subduction zones in the world usually have such earthquakes every 100 to 200 years; the longer interval here may indicate unusually large stress buildup and subsequent unusually large earthquake slip.
Studies of past earthquake traces on both the northern San Andreas Fault and the southern Cascadia Subduction Zone indicate a correlation in time which may be evidence that quakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone may have triggered most of the major quakes on the northern San Andreas during at least the past 3,000 years or so. The evidence also shows the rupture direction going from north to south in each of these time-correlated events. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake seems to have been a major exception to this correlation, however, as it was not preceded by a major Cascadia quake.
Recent findings concluded the Cascadia Subduction Zone is more hazardous than previously suggested. The feared next major earthquake has some geologists predicting a 10% to 14% probability that the Cascadia Subduction Zone will produce an event of magnitude 9 or higher in the next 50 years, however the most recent studies suggest that this risk could be as high as 37% for earthquakes of magnitude 8 or higher. Geologists have also determined the Pacific Northwest is not prepared for such a colossal earthquake. The tsunami produced may reach heights of approximately 30 meters (100 ft).
The Cascade Arc includes nearly 20 major volcanoes, among a total of over 4,000 separate volcanic vents including numerous stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, lava domes, and cinder cones, along with a few isolated examples of rarer volcanic forms such as tuyas.
Some of the major cities along the length of the arc include Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and the population in the region exceeds 10,000,000. All could be potentially affected by volcanic activity and great subduction-zone earthquakes along the arc. Because the population of the Pacific Northwest is rapidly increasing, the Cascade volcanoes are some of the most dangerous, due to their past eruptive history, potential eruptions and because they are underlain by weak, hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks that are susceptible to failure. Many large, long-runout landslides originating on Cascade volcanoes have inundated valleys tens of miles from their sources, and some of the inundated areas now support large populations.
There have been 11 eruptions in the past 4,000 years, and 7 in just the past 200 years. The Cascade volcanoes have had more than 100 eruptions over the past few thousand years, many of them explosive eruptions. However, certain Cascade volcanoes can be dormant for hundreds or thousands of years between eruptions, and therefore the great risk caused by volcanic activity in the regions is not always readily apparent.
When Cascade volcanoes do erupt, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and landslides can devastate areas 10 or more miles away; and huge mudflows of volcanic ash and debris, called lahars, can inundate valleys more than 50 miles (80 km) downstream. Falling ash from explosive eruptions can disrupt human activities hundreds of miles downwind, and drifting clouds of fine ash can cause severe damage to jet aircraft even thousands of miles away.
Regarding the San Andreas Fault, which, as we read above, geologists believe is directly influenced by the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Wikipedia has this to say:
Research has shown that the Southern segment, which stretches from Parkfield in Monterey County, California all the way down to the Salton Sea, is now capable of a Richter scale 8.1 earthquake. An earthquake of that size on the Southern segment (which, at its closest, is 40 miles away from Los Angeles) would kill thousands of people in Los Angeles, San Bernandino, Riverside, and other areas, and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in property and economic damage.So, in summary, we have geologists saying that a very large, destructive earthquake, with accompanying volcanic eruptions, could be expected any time in the Pacific Northwest, a large, destructive earthquake could be expected any time in Southern California, and that a large PNW earthquake could very likely trigger the California one. Wow! That sounds a lot like what the prophets are predicting.
A study completed by Yuri Fialko of the University of California at San Diego in 2006 has demonstrated that the San Andreas fault has been stressed to a level sufficient for the next "big one," as it is commonly called; that is, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or greater. The study also concluded that the risk of a large earthquake may be increasing more rapidly than researchers had previously believed. Fialko also emphasized in his study that, while the San Andreas Fault had experienced massive earthquakes in 1857 at its central section and in 1906 at its northern segment (the 1906 San Francisco earthquake), the southern section of the fault has not seen a similar rupture in at least 300 years.
"The information available suggests that the fault is ready for the next big earthquake but exactly when the triggering will happen and when the earthquake will occur we cannot tell," Fialko said. "It could be tomorrow or it could be 10 years or more from now," he concluded in September 2005.
There does seem to be agreement between what the geologists and the prophets are saying. It's not a matter of IF there will be catastrophic earthquakes on the West Coast — it's just a matter of WHEN. Because it is scientifically impossible to determine when an earthquake will occur, it seems like the prophets might have the advantage in this department. Although no prophetic timeline has been given, the sense among the prophets is that such earthquakes will come sooner than later, perhaps even within the next twelve months.
tectonic plates are actually smashing into each other, with one plate forcing itself over the other, pushing it downward. This releases tremendous destructive energy that has been building for hundreds of years.
A video I ran across about four years ago explains all these things in graphic detail. It's called Cascadia: The Hidden Fire, which gives an in-depth look at the geological dangers facing the Pacific Northwest. (Click on the DVD cover to the left for more information.) Very sobering! In fact, I just sat down and watched it again. If that doesn't scare the stuffing out of you, I don't know what will! It's one thing to read about it, but quite another to SEE it. I would encourage you to pick up a copy too, watch it, and share it with your family and friends, particularly if you or they live in the PNW. When it comes to natural disasters, experience has show that ignorance is one of the biggest killers.
Anyway, when I first started reading all these articles last Thursday afternoon, I started to get really afraid. The enormity and seriousness and deadliness of it all just floored me. When we have a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the entire PNW, it's going to be really, REALLY bad! Watching that video totally reinforces this reality.
As you can see from the graphic to the right, where we live in Albany, Oregon is just at the top end of the pink-shaded area, which indicates the zone of greatest slippage, and therefore greatest potential danger. Here we are, caught between a subduction zone fault to the west and volcanoes to the east. That kind of sounds like living on the edge! But after watching that video, I'm just thankful that we don't live in Portland or Seattle. Those cities are definitely NOT prepared for what's coming.
But after I got over the initial shock, and started talking to God about it, a peace came to my heart that we are supposed to stay here in Albany and not move away, even if that means the destruction of our house, our own physical injury, or even our death. Those negative consequences are not the bottom-line issues — the only thing that matters eternally is following Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) and doing His will, in life and in death.
If we are truly Christians, then we have given our lives to Yeshua, so our lives belong to Him, and they are not our own. Therefore, our lives are not ours to keep, but they are for Him to keep, because they belong to Him.
Until and unless He shows me otherwise, I'm staying right here where He has placed me. I'm not even going to consider moving — especially when the main motivation would be fear. When there is a major catastrophe on the West Coast, what better place for followers of Yeshua to be than where they will be needed the most, right in the middle of it?! The New Testament clearly teaches that our first concern is NOT to be the saving our own skins, but to follow Yeshua where He leads, and let Him take care of our skins (Matthew 16:25; John 12:25).
In a newsletter I received yesterday from Avner Boskey in Israel, he writes (partly regarding the earthquake prophecies):
Wow! These timely words are right on target! Only Yeshua can tell us the best thing to do — we can never get it right by relying on our own human wisdom, or on the advice of others. It is true that God does use other people to speak to us. God can give geologists and prophets wisdom and insights that can be for our benefit and blessing, but in the end we need to follow Yeshua, not any other man, and listen to what HE is telling us more than the opinions of others.
The Apostle Paul tell us that mature love, when it is fully formed, casts out all fear (1 John 4:18; Luke 12:4-12). That which we fear is that which we place on a high pedestal. Some would say that which we fear is that which we worship. From that perspective we must fear God alone, and only Him should we worship (Deuteronomy 6:13; Matthew 4:10).
In the days to come, and even now, mankind has a choice to make, my friend Bob Jones would say. We can choose to exercise faith — or to embrace fear. We can choose to rest in [trust in, rely on] God's character, His promises, and His word — or we can run in panic.
Let us be like Mary (or Miriam, as her name is in Hebrew) who chose to sit at Yeshua's feet and hear His words of life (Luke 10:38-42), rather than get caught up in the pressures and concerns which would turn our relationship with Yeshua into a burdensome and loveless obligation leading to death.
I want to encourage you to follow my example, first, by spending time with Yeshua to listen to His voice and instructions, and second, by preparing for the worst, as the Red Cross and other organizations say we definitely should (of course, unless Yeshua tells you NOT to prepare!). There are tons of Web sites and books about disaster preparation. If you don't know where to begin, you can always start at the Red Cross Web site, or visit the U.S. Government's preparedness Web site.
Oregon Emergency Management called Living On Shaky Ground: How To Survive Earthquakes And Tsunamis In Oregon. There are also versions for Northern California and Southern California. I highly recommend that you get this booklet, read it, and then DO it! I was particularly struck by this short section of the publication:
Who's going to save you? Who can you rely on to help you after a disaster? Who will provide you with food, water, shelter and medical care? You might be surprised by the answer: you and your neighbors! A major earthquake or tsunami will likely overwhelm local law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical personnel and resources. in fact, it may take local, state and federal agencies a week or more to provide the most basic relief. Getting prepared today by identifying and mitigating hazards, readying supplies, and developing an emergency plan may make all the difference during a disaster.This is a very important message. We CANNOT rely on the government to take care of us in a large-scale disaster (or really, not at ANY time!). We will have to rely on those around us. And part of that reliance is getting prepared ourselves, so we can be ready and able to help those around us who will need our assistance, plus being able to help ourselves. And then we need to ask God for the help that only He can give, which goes way beyond any human ability.
Fear will lead us to make bad decisions regarding disaster preparedness, but an indifferent attitude is just as bad. Sticking our heads in the sand like ostriches and pretending that these things will never happen is definitely NOT the route to take. Sooner or later they WILL come — there WILL be a day of Cascadian reckoning! Calmly make some simple (or even extensive) preparations, make sure that you have given your life over to Yeshua (Jesus), and then trust Him to keep it until it's time to go with Him in Heaven, our true and eternal home. In that glorious place no disease, pain, calamity or earthquake will ever trouble us again!
Be sure to read part two of this article, Dollar Reckoning, in which we will look at the other half of the prophetic words, regarding a worldwide economic meltdown.
This article is 5th a series of articles on this Web site related to American Politics and Culture which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
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