Sunday, May 22, 2011, a vicious EF-5 tornado, packing winds in excess of 200 mph, cut a three-quarter mile wide and six-mile long swath through the city of Joplin, Mo., leaving 136 confirmed dead, an estimated 750 others injured, and some 150 unaccounted for in its wake (at time of publication).1 It was the deadliest since the beginning of modern recordkeeping in 1950 and is ranked 8th among the deadliest tornadoes in all of U.S. history.
The deadliest of all tornadoes on record in the U.S., also an F5, referred to as, “The Tri-State Tornado” (MO, IL, IN), occurred March 18, 1925, is believed to have had an on-ground path 291-miles long, and produced 695 fatalities.
Two days after the Joplin tornado, on May 24, 2011, multiple deadly tornadoes claimed another 18 lives in Oklahoma (10), Kansas (2), and Arkansas (6).
The National Weather Service’s preliminary estimate is that more than 180 tornadoes have occurred so far during the month of May 2011. Historically, May is the most active month for tornadoes in the U.S., averaging 298 for the month over the previous decade, for which the overall yearly average was 1,274 tornadoes. Before 2011, most tornadoes in a single year in the U.S. was 1,817 in 2004. The NWS’s preliminary estimate is that 1,228 tornadoes have occurred to date this year, which claimed an estimated 508 lives in total, 365 prior to the Joplin catastrophe.
The exponential increase in tornadoes we are seeing in these times parallel the exponential increase in global earthquake frequency, and combined with the upsurge in tsunamis and other weather related phenomena occurring with unprecedented recurrence correspond precisely with Jesus’ predictions of world events that would manifest in the end-times and serve as signs of the times.
The day after the Joplin tornado, we received the following article from frequent contributor, Charles Carrin, concerning the increase in earthquake frequency and how it is a sign of the times.
Earthquakes–A Sign Of The Times
By Charles Carrin
Jesus, the greatest Prophet of all time, gave us specific “signs” that would precede His Second Coming. Do I personally believe we are in the “end-zone” of human history? Yes. Part of the warning Jesus gave were these:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Mat. 24:6-7).
In another passage, He said:
Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:8-11).
At the time Jesus spoke His warning of end-times earthquakes there was about one 9.0 quake every hundred years. Since that time the incidence of destructive quakes has radically increased. Last year there were 24 major earthquakes worldwide. On average, the earth experienced a major quake of 7 points or higher on the Richter Scale every 15 days.
Cecil Boswell of Nashville, Tennessee, researched statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey and other historical data. By analyzing records of ancient and modern earthquakes that registered 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale he has presented an image that is very significant.
- From 1 A.D. to 1800, there were 11 major earthquakes recorded in history. This is an average of one major earthquake approximately every 154 years.
- From 1900 to 2000 there were 10 major earthquakes 7.0 or higher. This was an average of one major earthquake every 10 years.
- From 2003 to 2007, there were 29 major earthquakes 7.0 or higher. This results in an average of one major earthquake every 49 days.
- In 2008, there were 12 major earthquakes 7.0 or higher. This results in an average of one major earthquake every 37 days.
- In 2009, there were 16 major earthquakes 7.0 or higher. This results in an average of one major earthquake every 22 days.
- In 2010, there were 24 major earthquakes 7.0 or higher. This results in an average of one major earthquake every 15 days.
One of the most notable earthquakes recently occurred in Bam, Iran, on December 26, 2003. Many residents in the historic city were asleep when the magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck. As their mud-brick homes collapsed, tens of thousands of victims were trapped beneath the rubble. Exactly one year later, December 26, 2004, Sumatra, Indonesia, experienced another massive earthquake and a subsequent devastating tsunami. Between these two earthquakes, more than 330,000 lives were lost. The April 7, 2011 Tohoku earthquake, officially named the Great East Japan Earthquake, in which unknown thousands of lives were annihilated, was a magnitude 9.0.
Everyone in the U.S. is acquainted with the earthquake hazard in California and the Pacific Coast. Not as many are aware of the danger in middle-America. The New Madrid Fault, site of the most devastating quake in American history, extends 120 miles from Charleston, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois, southward through New Madrid and Caruthersville, Missouri. It crosses five state lines and cuts under the Mississippi River in three places and the Ohio River in two places.
The great earthquake that took place here in America in 1811-1812 was actually a series of over 2000 shocks in five months. Five of these were 8.0 or more in magnitude and 18 of them rang church bells 1,000 miles away in New England. The shaking was several times stronger than the San Francisco quake of 1906 and affected an area of 50,000 square miles. For three days the Mississippi River flowed northward, changing topography and creating huge new lakes along the way.
We cannot imagine such power and its devastation. For example, each unit of measurement on the Richter Scale, say from 5.2 to 6.2, actually represents 31.6 times difference in energy release. Every two units represent 1,000 times more energy. For most of us, such power is unimaginable.
What is the chance of another quake the size of the ones in 1811-1812 happening? Research suggests that upheavals like those in 1811-12 visit the New Madrid region every 500-600 years. Seismologists do not expect a repeat of the intensity of the 1811-12 series for at least 100 years or more. Even though the chance is remote, experts say there is a 3% probability of a major earthquake by the year 2040. But the greatest concern is the 6.0-7.6 quakes that do have significant probabilities in the near future. Experts tell us there’s a 90% chance of a 6.0 or above earthquake occurring in America by the year 2040.
For those who understand Scripture and take Jesus’ warning at face-value, the signs foretelling the end of the age, such as exponentially escalating earthquake occurrence, are before us. The earth’s birth-pang contractions are increasing both in intensity and frequency.
But, be aware that earthquakes are only one of the evidences Jesus gave. He also included “Wars, Rumors of wars, Nations rising against nations, Kingdoms against kingdoms, Famines, and Fearful sights, Signs from heaven.”
In Luke, He included “commotions”–meaning “disorder, confusion.” The word pestilence, “plagues”, is not in Greek text of Matthew’s account. It was included by the translators to emphasize other crises that unavoidably accompany the wars, earthquakes, famines, etc. The tornado that recently destroyed much of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and other parts of the South, is included in the warning about “commotions,” “fearful sights,” and “signs from heaven.”
But why does God allow innocent, godly people to suffer crises with everyone else? The recent tornadoes and earthquakes made no distinction between those who served God and those who did not.
In responding to that question let me give you two statements by Jesus that seem to be conflicting. He said: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19-20). And, “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake (Mat. 10:21-22).
Observe these statements: “Nothing shall by any means hurt you,” and parents will “be put to death.” How can both be true?
This obvious contradiction is key to Christians. While I fully believe God wants our earthly life to be blessed, prosperous, filled with grace and favor, He wants us to remember that our destiny is not tied to the fate of the world. Life for us is independent of the earth or its systems. The eternal life we possess in Christ remains unaffected when the body is abused or “put to death.”
Hear this carefully: Nothing can reach or harm the real “you” of which Jesus speaks, which is your spirit.
Should you be afraid of earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, wars, other disasters? No! Not at all!
Remember His promise, “Nothing shall by any means hurt you!”
“Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!”###
<sup>1</sup> Updated to 134 dead and none unaccounted for, 6-1-11.
CHARLES CARRIN’S ministry spans the final half of the twentieth century. He was ordained in 1949 and in his youth traveled with men who preached in the 1800’s. For the first twenty-seven years of his ministry, Charles was a hyper-Calvinist Baptist pastor and Presbyterian seminarian who denied the miraculous works of the Holy Spirit. Mid-way in his ministry that abruptly changed. Personal crisis forced him to acknowledge Scriptures he had previously ignored. It was a time of intense pain and testing. The truths he saw were frightening; they had power to destroy his denominational ministry and at that point he had no hope that another, more wonderful ministry awaited him. As a result of his submitting to God in that crisis, Charles emerged with an amazing anointing of the Holy Spirit. Today, his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. This new ministry has taken him to London’s Westminster Chapel, the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, and other significant places. He, R.T. Kendall, the former, 25-year pastor at Westminster Chapel, and Jack Taylor, former Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, travel together holding “Word, Spirit, Power, Conferences.” As an evangelist/writer, Charles’ articles have appeared in major Christian magazines in the United States and abroad. He travels extensively, teaching believers how to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Visit Charles Carrin Ministries
Books by Charles Carrin — via AMAZON.COM
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