Historical Catastrophe in Southern Asia — WHY?
As many articles reported on Sunday, December 26, 2004, “the world’s most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into villages and seaside resorts across Asia on Sunday.” The extent of the disaster was not immediately foreseen. The death toll has been rising daily and, as of Thursday, December 30, it has been verified as exceeding 120,000, with the fear that it may double, due to epidemics and diseases. Tens of thousands of people are still missing. About 5 million people are homeless. On Thursday, Bild Online called this disaster “the greatest natural catastrophe of all times.”
According to an article, published by Bild Online on December 26, this has been the WORST tsunami, in terms of lost human lives, in the recorded history of man. The second worst tsunami was recorded in August of 1883, when 36,000 died in the region of Indonesia, followed by the death of 26,000 in Japan on June of 1896.
As news programs pointed out, the earthquake in Asia hit exactly, TO THE DAY (referred to by some as the “Second Christmas Day”), one year after the devastating earthquake, which hit Iran in December of 2003.
As the BBC reported, “the sea surges produced by the earthquake off Indonesia have swept 6,000 km (3,700 miles) to hit east Africa and islands off its coast. Waves struck Kenya and Somalia after hitting Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles on the way.”
WorldNetDaily reported on December 26: “The largest earthquake in the past 40 years (with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale) and the resulting deaths of thousands from 33-foot tidal waves [some reported 40-foot tidal waves] are being compared by an American reporter (of the Washington Post) to descriptions of disaster from Holy Scripture.” The article continued that the quake was “the biggest since a 9.2 temblor hit Prince William Sound Alaska in 1964. “
On December 27, the Associated Press reported that the disaster caused by the quake and the tsunami, with a speed of 500 mph before crashing into the region’s shorelines, “may be the COSTLIEST disaster in history, reaching billions of dollars.” So far, “over 350 million dollars have been raised or pledged worldwide for relief in Asian countries swept by tidal waves,” according to AFP of December 30, 2004.
Yahoo-News explained in its article of December 28, 2004 the incredible power of that earthquake: “…it made the Earth wobble on its axis and permanently altered the regional map… The 9.0-magnitude temblor that struck 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of Sumatra island Sunday may have moved small islands as much as 20 meters (66 feet)…”
The Associated Press reported on December 28, 2004, that the quake might have been “equal to detonating a million atomic bombs.”
Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist, stated on December 28, 2004: “Incredibly, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake… caused a vertical displacement of so much material that the rotation period of the Earth has been permanently altered. By a tiny but measurable amount, the Earth is now rotating more quickly on its axis, and the 24-hour day is now one ten-thousandth second shorter.”
The Drudge Report, as well as The New York Times, warned its readership again of a dire scenario which was first published in August of 2004, stating that “The bad news is tens of millions of people along the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada may drown if the slow slippage of a volcano off north Africa becomes a cataclysmic collapse… [A] giant tidal wave or tsunami triggered by such a collapse would hit the other islands of the Spanish-owned Canaries within an hour and reach the north African coast within two hours.”
People all over the world have asked the question: Why does “Nature” treat us that way? Locals wondered why “the god of the waters” wants to destroy them? Christians raised the question: “Why does God allow it?” On December 30, 2004, Der Spiegel Online initiated a discussion amongst its readership, to respond to the question whether God even exists.
These are critical and very important questions. We need to understand that this is NOT God’s world. This world is ruled by Satan (Luke 4:5-7). Satan has great wrath, because he knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:12). God the Father will send Christ back soon to bring peace and happiness to this world, while banishing Satan (Revelation 11:17-18; 20:1-3).
In the meantime, God has allowed man to go his own way and to follow Satan’s way of life. Man is called upon to repent, to turn to God and to give Him glory (Acts 17:30; Luke 24:47; Revelation 16:9). Most, however, have been refusing to do so. And so, Christ predicted that further devastating catastrophes and disasters will occur in the future, to wake us up. Notice these frightening prophecies:
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon and in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity, THE SEA AND THE WAVES ROARING; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26). Of course, Christ also predicted that there will be “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7).
It is true that God promised never to bring or allow a worldwide flood to destroy the earth and cut off ALL flesh, as had happened in the days of Noah (compare Genesis 9:11). Nowhere does the Bible contain a promise, however, that local floods would not destroy parts of the earth. God will allow these things to happen, as man has rebelled against his Maker. Many “willfully forget” or are “willfully ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5) that a time of reckoning and accounting is coming! God asks all of us to cease walking in the futility of our minds as many of the Gentiles of that day were walking, “having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).
God wants all of us to come to our senses. Future disasters, including an all-encompassing world war, IS prophesied! Many will perish during these terrible times, including many innocent people. It WILL happen, UNLESS we all, collectively, REPENT (compare Luke 13:1-5).
More on Christmas…
Professing Christians all over the world have celebrated Christmas this year with ever-increasing activities. Although some may feel that Christmas is somehow of Christian origin, most know better — or at least, they should, and they can know. After all, it is no secret that Christmas, and its customs, is pagan to the core.
Der Spiegel Online published an article on December 24, 2004, stating that Christmas trees are a “PAGAN custom.” The article continued: “It was customary in oldest cultures to surround oneself in the winter time with fir trees. The trees were to appease ghosts.”
Bild Online published an entire series on the “Jesus Miracle.” In the articles, the tabloid pointed out:
“The early Christian Church transferred the birth of Christ to December 25, according to Vatican researcher Dr. Barbaglio. In Rome, the feast of Sol Invictus [‘the invincible Sun god”] was celebrated (at that time)… Emperor Aurellian combined both feasts in 274 A.D… According to Dr. Percy A.H. Seymor, the gospel of Luke contradicts the idea that Christ was born on December 25, as shepherds kept the flocks by night. That would have been impossible in the winter, as it would have been far too cold. The sheep only stayed outside from spring to autumn.”
Muslims in Europe
In its article of December 25, 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported about the growing influence of Muslims in Europe. It was pointed out:
“What is happening in Europe may provide a partial preview of what lies ahead for the United States and its fast-growing Muslim population. For the first time in history, Muslims are building large and growing minorities across the secular Western world – nowhere more visibly than in Western Europe, where their numbers have more than doubled in the past two decades. The impact is unfolding from Amsterdam to Paris to Madrid, as Muslims struggle – with words, votes and sometimes violence – to stake out their place in adopted societies…
“By midcentury, at least one in five Europeans will be Muslim. That change is unlike other waves of immigration because it poses a more essential challenge: defining a modern Judeo-Christian-Islamic civilization. The West must decide how its laws and values will shape and be shaped by Islam… Thirteen hundred years after the Frankish King Charles Martel repelled Muslim armies from the central city of Tours, Islam is now the second religion of France; there are about 10 times as many Muslims as Jews… The effect is amplified by the decline of European Christianity. The number of people who call themselves Catholic, the continent’s largest denomination, has declined by more than a third in the past 25 years…
“The results are stark. Within six years, for instance, the three largest cities in the Netherlands will be majority Muslim. One-third of all German Muslims are younger than 18, nearly twice the proportion of the general population. With that growth, and the deepening strains between the U.S. and the Islamic world, radical Muslim clerics have found no shortage of adherents. A 2002 poll of British Muslims found that 44 percent believe attacks by al-Qaida are justified as long as ‘Muslims are being killed by America and its allies using American weapons.'”
Putin Shows His Muscles
As The New York Times reported on December 24, 2004, “President Vladimir Putin on Thursday strongly defended the takeover of the main subsidiary of the Yukos oil company by a state oil company and expressed deep irritation at what he described as Western double standards over elections and support for popular uprisings in post-Soviet states. As Russia moves toward greater centralization, Putin’s remarks amounted to a restatement of his existing positions. They were also an explanation of views that are driving the nation in an autocratic direction. And they were notable at moments for their defiant tone, and even for the president’s sharply personal lines of attack.”
The article continued: “Putin was personally dismissive of President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland, who helped mediate the political crisis in Ukraine after the fraudulent election there on Nov. 21 and who recently said in an interview that a Russia without Ukraine is better for the world’s leading countries. Assuming a biting tone, Putin made a veiled reference to his own KGB service, and suggested that Kwasniewski was an opportunist. He noted, for example, that in his youth the president of Poland worked for Soviet interests as a member of the Communist Party’s youth wing.”
Regarding Putin’s future, the article pointed out: “By law, Putin is limited to two consecutive terms. He is serving the first year of his second term now. The possibility of his seeking a third term, either by a change to Russia’s constitution for the 2008 race or a return to politics in 2012, has been source of speculation.”
Subsequently, The Associated Press reported on December 27, 2004, that “Once-bitter rivals RUSSIA AND CHINA will hold a MASSIVE JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE on Chinese territory next year involving submarines and possibly strategic bombers… Many observers saw the announcement as Russia’s response to a spat with the United States and other Western nations over the disputed election in Ukraine.” The article pointed out that “Putin and other Russian officials allege that the United States improperly influenced Ukraine’s elections by funding democracy-building organizations.”
The article continued: “After decades of rivalry, Moscow and Beijing have developed what they call a strategic PARTNERSHIP since the Soviet collapse. China has become the No. 1 customer for Russia’s struggling defense industry, purchasing billions of dollars worth of fighters, missiles, submarines and destroyers.”
Iraq a Failure?
IPS reported on December 27, 2004, that “One of the oldest U.S. overseas relief organizations [American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)] has called for the United States to immediately withdraw from Iraq in light of the continuing carnage and Washington’s failure to restore basic services or revive the country’s economy.” The article also explained that “A majority of 56 percent of respondents in a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday concluded that, given the cost in military casualties, the conflict ‘was not worth the fight.'” According to the Board of AFSC, “‘it is now clear that the continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq is counterproductive and wrong. The occupation has lost the trust of the Iraqi people. We abhor the violence–each day Iraq becomes less safe for the occupied, the occupiers, and those who seek to relieve the suffering.'”
AFP reported on December 27, 2004, that “Less than half of all Britons [44 percent] now believe in God, a sharp drop from the more than three-quarters of the population who said they were believers in 1968.” The article continued: “A majority of people in Britain neither hopes nor fears for a life after death, with just about a third believing in heaven, and even fewer in hell and the devil… The proportion who do not believe in God has trebled from 11 percent in the late-1960s to 35 percent today.”
Britain’s “Dealings” With Homosexuality
The Daily Mail reported the following on December 24, 2004:
“Schools are being urged to advertise gay lifestyles to children in a Government drive to ‘challenge homophobia.’ In an attempt to clamp down on supposedly homophobic language, the guidelines say that teachers should be reported if they report boys as ‘sissies,’ accusing them of standing around ‘like a mothers’ meeting’ or call them a ‘bunch of girls.’ Staff are asked to put up flyers for Gay Pride marches and Mardi Gras festivals. They are told that promoting a ‘positive stance’ on homosexuals and lesbians can help tackle homophobic bullying. The guidance which applies to all ages from nurseries upwards, drew a furious response from Church leaders and family campaigners who say it went too far.
“The booklets which were sent to every local education authority this month, also urge schools to:
– invite in gay visitors and speakers to act as “sexual minority role models” where there are no homosexual members of staff
– keep written records of every homophobic phrase used, either by staff or pupils
– form a ‘homophobia working party’ to increase awareness of homophobic bullying
– teach pupils about homosexual public figures such as MP’s and entertainers
– avoid generic language that assumes parents and staff always have partners of the opposite sex.”
The article continued:
“Local education authorities are expected to make the guidance known to all schools in their area. Schools are urged to ‘normalise sexual minorities’ by putting up information on gay and lesbian issues in corridors and waiting areas. Staff are told never to leave unchallenged any homophobic language including the uses of ‘gay’ as a generic insult. The guidance was produced jointly by the Department for Education and Department of Health.”
Euro On The Rise!
Reuters reported on December 27, 2004, that “The dollar fell to new lows against the euro on Monday [the value of the euro exceeding 1.35 dollars]… The euro hit its highest level in almost a year against sterling at 70.64 pence. The euro also rose to its highest in 18 months against the yen at 140.80 yen as traders assessed the economic impact from the deadly tsunami that devastated parts of Asia over the weekend.”
Der Spiegel Online and Bild Online commented on December 27, 2004, that the euro’s climb appears to be unstoppable, and stated that some experts predict a rise to 1,50 or 1,60 dollars by the end of 2005.