Light for the Last Days

Signs of the Times – Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change.

According to the Bible in the last days there will be a great crisis involving the environment in the last days.  Isaiah 24.5-6 prophecies a time when ‘The earth is also defiled (RSV translation is polluted) under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate.  Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.’

According to Revelation 8.7-12 when the judgements hit the earth ‘a third of the trees are burned up’, a third of the fish in the sea die, the waters in the springs and rivers becomes ‘bitter’ and causes those who drink it to die.  

When you see these things beginning to happen, you know it is a sign of the coming time of judgement and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Here are some recent news items on this subject.

Species extinction and Armageddon.  June 2017.

Sky News reporter Sam Kiley wrote an article in which he said the real Armageddon is going to come from what he calls ‘species extinction’ which he says is now accelerating faster than any previous time in history and is caused by human mismanagement of the planet.  He writes ‘Climate change partly drove the “Arab Spring” uprisings after five years of drought. Equally, mass migration from Africa has its roots in unsustainable population growth and climate change. Soon, water and food shortages will be the norm across much of the world’s middle belt. Meanwhile, the oceans are being choked with plastic, suffocated and turned to acid as they rise to drown lowlands.’  

It is clear that the environment we rely on for life is being degraded in spectacular ways which threaten the future of humanity.  Around 40% of China’s rivers are so polluted that they cannot support life, and dead fish appear regularly on the surface of its rivers and lakes.  The amount of toxins, chemicals and other dangerous bacteria found in India’s Ganges River are now almost 3000 times over the limit suggested by the World Health Organisation as ‘safe’.  The Nile which Egypt depends on for most of its drinking water is heavily polluted and the Nile delta area has been littered with dead fish caused by pollution.  The problems of the Nile are likely to get worse as Ethiopia opens dams on the Blue Nile which supplies 85% of the waters running into Egypt.   Recently swarms of snakes have been attacking people and cattle in southern Iraq as the Euphrates and Tigris rivers dry up and the reptiles lose their natural habitat among the reed beds.  Dams in Turkey and Iraq and the war with ISIS have affected the flow of water on the river.  Both these great rivers around which the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia grew up are mentioned in the Bible as drying up in the last days of this age.  Concerning Egypt, Isaiah 19 writes:  The waters of the river will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry. The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds and rushes will wither, also the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river.  Revelation 16.12 speaks of the great river Euphrates the great river Euphrates, whose ‘water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.’

Recent news items have shown how plastic waste is killing fish in the sea, along with radioactive waste which is still pouring into the sea from Japan’s stricken Fukushima power station.  One report claims the oceans will be dead by 2048 as a result of over fishing and pollution.  Foreign Policy magazine reported that ‘West Africa is being swallowed by the sea’.   It describes how a stretch of coastline stretching more than 4,000 miles from Mauritania to Cameroon, is at risk of being washed away as rising sea levels are eating away more than 100 feet of land in a single year.   In a region where 31 percent of population lives along the coastline, generating 56 percent of total GDP, according to the World Bank, this is a potentially catastrophic problem.  ‘In West Africa, infrastructure and economic activities are centred along the coastal region, so as sea levels continue to rise, it threatens our very existence and source of income,’ says Kwasi Appeaning Addo, a professor in the University of Ghana’s department of marine and fisheries sciences. ‘We are sitting on a time bomb.’

Famine, environmental destruction and war are among the factors fuelling mass migration from areas affected.  Most of those from the Middle East and Africa heading for Europe which is now facing growing opposition from its own citizens, frightened that their way of life and social fabric will be forever overturned by the new comers.  In Sam Kiley’s article this is a major factor in the anti-globalisation spirit affecting Europe and the USA.  He writes about the ‘as yet mostly unspoken realisation creeping up the backs of humankind, that globalisation means that there will be nowhere to hide when global competition becomes a struggle over the very sources of life. When people are scared they get nasty because their futures appear brutish and short.  This may explain the circling of the wagons, the retreat from enlightenment into nation, tribe and clan. An urge to greet migrants with hostility not friendship.

Droughts, forest fires, floods, sea levels rising, pollution of waters, earthquakes, famine and epidemics – all these events are happening, as prophesied in the Bible for the last days of this age.  Isaiah 24 speaks of a time when ‘the earth lies polluted under its inhabitants’.  Jesus said in the days before His return there would be ‘on the 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.’  Luke 21.25-6.  Revelation 8.7-12 speaks of a time coming when there would be massive destruction of the environment, a third of the trees burned up, a third of the creatures in the sea being killed and the waters of the rivers becoming bitter so no man could drink them.  These conditions give rise to famines, wars and mass migrations which cause ‘the distress of nations with perplexity’ which implies a global crisis with no human solution.  It is all a sign of the soon coming great tribulation period which will precede the coming of Christ to the earth.  

Sam Kiley in his article dismisses the biblical idea of Armageddon  and all ‘eschatological prophecies’ as ‘nonsense.’ Sadly in doing this he misses the main point and the only hope for the future.  The things happening in the world today do fit in very well with the Bible’s prophecies of what will happen in the last days of this age before the coming again of the Messiah Jesus.  The world is on a collision course with God as it races towards the literal fulfillment of the passages in Revelation and other passages in the Hebrew Prophets, the Gospels and the Epistles which speak of the coming ‘Day of the Lord’ or Second Coming of Christ.  On that day the Lord will come with power to judge the nations in righteousness, and to set up His Millennial kingdom in which ‘the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever.’  The Lord will touch down on the Mount of Olives, on the east side of Jerusalem, at a time when the nations of the world do gather together for the final battle (Armageddon).  

Following this event the Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus will reign over the restored earth for 1000 years (Revelation 20) during which time ‘the earth will be full of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11.9), as the knowledge of God goes out into the world and all weapons of destruction are abolished: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against natin, neither shall they learn war any more.’  (Isaiah 2.2-4).  During this time Satan will be bound and unable to influence the nations (Revelation 20.1-3) as the resurrected saints (true believers in Jesus) reign on earth with the Messiah for a thousand years (Revelation 20.6).  Something to look forward to in the darkening world situation of today’s world!

Wild fires rip through southern Europe and North America.  July 2017.

Right across southern Europe there has been a spate of serious forest fires causing extensive damage.  The worst event happened in June in Portugal, when 64 people died as a result of forest fires that engulfed the village of Varzeas in the centre of the country.  A month later a further state of emergency was declared in the Pedrógão Grande region further north.  In the south of France, at Castagniers to the north of Nice, firefighters said they had prevented a fire from spreading after it had ravaged 120 hectares (300 acres) of forest.  Huge fires have ravaged Provence and the area around Marseille and St Tropez, causing over 10,000 holiday makers to be evacuated from their campsites and made to sleep on the beech.

Italy has seen a huge number of fires, particularly wildfires, following months of lower than average rainfall and high temperatures, and the situation is most serious in the south. Dozens of animals were killed in one fire in Sicily which destroyed hundreds of hectares of farmland over the first weekend of July.  The area around Mount Vesuvius had to be evacuated after serious fires broke out near the volcano.  Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, said the number of forest fires in the municipality had almost quadrupled in the period since June 1st, compared to the same time last year.

Montenegro has appealed for international help to fight forest fires as neighbouring Croatia battles to stop flames reaching its second city, Split.  Fires have raged along the Adriatic coast for days, prompting dozens of tourists and residents to flee the Lustica peninsula in Montenegro.

A 25,000-acre wildfire in central California, one of three dozen major blazes burning across the U.S. West, threatened hundreds of homes and businesses after forcing the evacuation of about 5,000 residents.  There were 46 active large fires spread across 12 states, with 11 new blazes reported on Tuesday alone, according to National Interagency Fire Center website.  Around 4.4 million acres have been burnt since the start of 2017, compared to 2.7 million acres in the same period last year, it said.

More than 300 wildfires in British Columbia have forced Canadian lumber mills to shut as hot, dry weather sparked blazes across swaths of western Canada.  332 fires larger than 0.1 hectares were burning in the province, according to the British Columbia Wildfire Service.  More than 14,000 people have been evacuated in the Pacific Coast province.  Some of the worst fires have been raging in the province’s central region, an area that’s home to mining, forestry and ranching.

All of this is seen as a sign of increased global warming.  It is also a harbinger of the disasters that will engulf the world in the great tribulation, as we read in Revelation 8.7  ‘The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.’

US to leave Climate Agreement.  June 2017.

Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement has delighted Climate Change sceptics and those who believe that this agreement is part of the globalisation plan to bring in world government.  

On the other hand critics have accused Trump of weakening America’s position as a world leader and handing over influence in the globalisation process to China and the EU which continue to support the Paris Agreement.   They say his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement comes with several serious and lasting consequences for the United States and the world:

‘The Trump administration is hastening catastrophic effects of climate change.  Scientists and economists now state with confidence that the failure to act to arrest and mitigate global climate change will have devastating global consequences, including for young Americans alive today and for their children and grandchildren.  Donald Trump himself may well live to see more climate-related catastrophes hit the homeland. His children and grandchildren certainly will.’  Foreign Policy magazine.

CNN news says ‘Deadly heat waves are going to be a much bigger problem in the coming decades, becoming more frequent and occurring over a much greater portion of the planet because of climate change, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change.  Extreme heat waves, such as the one torching the Southwestern United States and the one plaguing Western Europe, which has sparked wildfires in Portugal that have killed more than 60 people, are frequently cited as one of the most direct effects of man-made climate change.  The study says, by the year 2100, three out of four people on Earth could be subject to at least 20 days per year of heat and humidity associated with deadly heat waves, if greenhouse emissions continue to rise at their current rates.’

Whatever one’s view on man made global warming, the book of Revelation does give great heat as one of the judgements coming on the earth in the Great Tribulation period. ‘Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.  And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory’.  Revelation 16.8-9.

Is something strange happening inside the earth?  March 2017.

Why are “giant fountains of lava” suddenly pouring out of some of the most dangerous volcanoes on the entire planet, and why are so many long dormant volcanoes suddenly roaring back to life?  

The spectacular eruption of Mt. Etna in Italy is making headlines all over the world, but it is far from alone.   According to Volcano Discovery, 35 major volcanoes either are erupting right now or have just recently erupted, and dozens of others are stirring.   According to the USGS, magma is “molten rock underground”, and lava is molten rock “that breaks through the Earth’s surface”.   Right now, something is pushing magma up through the crust of the Earth at a number of key spots around the planet.   On the other side of the world from Mount Etna, a constant stream of molten rock has been springing out of Guatemala’s “Volcano of Fire” since February 25th.  And in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a “firehose of lava” has been pouring out of the Kilauea Volcano since December 31st.

Meanwhile, a number of large volcanoes that have been dormant for a very long time all over the world have started springing back to life.  For instance, the only active volcano in India, Barren Islands volcano, has suddenly started “spewing lava and ash” after being silent for 150 years.  At one time scientists would speak of “dead volcanoes”, but now we learning that it really isn’t safe to speak of any volcano as being completely “dead”.    So many of these long dormant volcanoes are roaring back to life, and why this is suddenly happening now is puzzling many of the experts.

This isn’t isolated to just one or two geographic regions.  It literally is happening all over the globe.  Last month, Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung in the southern hemisphere erupted seven times in the space of a single day, and meanwhile authorities in the northern hemisphere were warning us that four of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes are preparing to erupt.  Indonesia and Iceland are about as far apart as you can get, and yet they are both being affected by this worldwide phenomenon.  Without a doubt, something definitely appears to be causing a significant increase in worldwide seismic activity.

We already talked about Mt. Etna, but a much greater threat in Italy appears to be awakening under the city of Naples.  A massive super volcano known as “Campi Flegrei” is close to a “critical state”, and if it erupts the consequences will be beyond catastrophic. The following comes from National Geographic.  A long-quiet yet huge super volcano that lies under 500,000 people in Italy may be waking up and approaching a “critical state,” scientists report this week in the journal Nature Communications.  Based on physical measurements and computer modelling, “we propose that magma could be approaching the CDP [critical degassing pressure] at Campi Flegrei, a volcano in the metropolitan area of Naples, one of the most densely inhabited areas in the world, and where accelerating deformation and heating are currently being observed,” wrote the scientists–who are led by Giovanni Chiodini of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics in Rome.

If that super volcano were to fully erupt, millions could die, the skies in the northern hemisphere would be darkened for months and the resulting “volcanic winter” would cause famines all around the globe.  And the same things could be said about the super volcano that is awakening in North Korea too.  In the United States, we should be watching the volcanoes on the west coast for signs of trouble.  Someday Mt. Rainier will erupt, and the horror that this will mean for the Northwest is beyond anything that I could put into words for you right now.

On the subject of earthquakes here is an interesting statistic.  This century, from January the 1st in the year 2,000 until January 2017 a total of 2,697 major quakes have been recorded.  In the same period, January the 1st 1900 to January 1917 only 97 major quakes were recorded, that is an incredible increase and indicates our planet is showing signs of birth pains because just as a woman in labour suffers contractions of increasing pain and intensity likewise our planet is also suffering with increasing quake pain and intensity.

And with wars and rumours of wars it is safe to conclude Jesus’ warning and prophecy would place us somewhere in the last days. 

And there will be famines in various places.  March 2017.

The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 the UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien, told the UN Security Council on 10th March.  He said that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease”.  He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe”.

“Already, at the beginning of the year, we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations,” O’Brien said. “Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine.”

O’Brien said the largest humanitarian crisis is in Yemen where two-thirds of the population – 18.8 million people – need aid and more than seven million people are hungry and do not know where their next meal will come from.  “That is three million people more than in January,” he said.  The Arab world’s poorest nation is engulfed in conflict and O’Brien said more than 48,000 people fled fighting just in the past two months.  During his recent visit to Yemen, O’Brien said he met senior leaders of the government and the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and all promised access for aid.  “Yet all parties to the conflict are arbitrarily denying sustained humanitarian access and politicise aid,” he said, warning if that behaviour does not change now “they must be held accountable for the inevitable famine, unnecessary deaths and associated amplification in suffering that will follow”.

The UN humanitarian chief also visited South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, which has been ravaged by a three-year civil war, and said “the situation is worse than it has ever been”, the AP news agency reported.  “The famine in South Sudan is man-made,” he said. “Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine – as are those not intervening to make the violence stop.”  O’Brien said more than 7.5 million people need aid, up by 1.4 million from last year, and about 3.4 million South Sudanese are displaced by fighting including almost 200,000 who have fled the country since January.

In Somalia, which O’Brien also visited, more than half the population – 6.2 million people – need humanitarian assistance and protection, including 2.9 million who are at risk of famine and require immediate help “to save or sustain their lives”.  He warned that close to one million children under the age of five will be “acutely malnourished” this year.

In northeast Nigeria, a seven-year uprising by the armed group Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes.  A UN humanitarian coordinator said last month that malnutrition in the northeast is so pronounced that some adults are too weak to walk and some communities have lost all their toddlers.

Note that in all these crisis situations famine is the result of war and human wickedness.  In three out of the four, Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria, war is caused by Islamic groups fighting each other or launching Islamist uprisings and terrorism.  

Fukushima Radiation Spikes To ‘Unimaginable’ Levels.  February 2017.

Radiation inside one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power facility has reached an ‘unimaginable’ level according to experts.  Because so much nuclear material from Fukushima escaped into the Pacific Ocean, there are many scientists that believe that it was the worst environmental disaster in human history.  The radiation level inside reactor 2 is so high that no human could possibly survive being exposed to it.  According to the Japan Times, the level of radiation inside the containment vessel of reactor 2 is now estimated to be ‘530 sieverts per hour’.  It is hard to find the words to convey how serious this is.  If you were exposed to a radiation level of just 10 sieverts per hour, that would mean almost certain death. So 530 sieverts per hour is simply off the charts. According to the Guardian, this recent measurement is being described by scientists as ‘unimaginable’.

The really bad news is that there appears to be a 2 meter hole that was created by melted nuclear fuel ‘in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor’s primary containment vessel’. New photographs show what may be melted nuclear fuel sitting under one of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima reactors, a potential milestone in the search and retrieval of the fuel almost six years after it was lost in one of the worst atomic disasters in history.

This melted nuclear fuel ‘has since come in contact with underground water flowing from the mountain side generating radioactively contaminated water every day. In order to dismantle the reactor, it is necessary to take out the melted fuel, but high radiation levels inside the reactor had hampered work to locate the melted debris.

Most of the contaminated water from Fukushima ends up in the Pacific Ocean, and from there it is literally taken around the rest of the planet. More than 80 percent of the radioactivity from the damaged reactors ends up in the Pacific.   Of this, a small fraction is currently on the seafloor — the rest is swept up by the Kuroshio current, a western Pacific version of the Gulf Stream, and carried out to sea where it mixes with (and is diluted by) the vast volume of the North Pacific.

Now we learn that fisheries up and down the west coast of the United States are failing because of a dramatic decrease in fish populations.  On January 18th U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.  In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions.  Further south, it was being reported last month that millions of dead sardines are washing up on the shores of Chile.

Our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster is just one piece of the puzzle.  The nuclear material from Fukushima is continuously entering the food chain, and once that nuclear material gets into our bodies it will slowly irradiate our organs for years to come.  Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans).  After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer.’

Sadly, this crisis is going to be with us for a very, very long time.  According to Bloomberg, they are not even going to start removing melted nuclear fuel from these reactors until 2021, and it is being projected that the overall cleanup ‘may take as long as 40 years’.

Tony Pearce

Tony Pearce

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