Apologetics, End times, Main, z17
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Another end times event — volcanoes?


A sign of the times? Calbuco Volcanoe, Chile Photo: Andiseno Estudio/Flickr/Creative Commons

A sign of the times? A column of ash and smoke associated with a volcano in Chile. Photo: Andiseno Estudio/Flickr/Creative Commons

I had never heard of Perry Stone, an American Bible teacher and TV evangelist, but I recently came across his interpretation of verses in Joel speaking of the end-times, that caught my attention.

Joel writes:

“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
31 “The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. (Joel 2:30-31 NASV)

Up to this point, I have interpreted these verses referring to blood, fire, columns of smoke, dark sun and blood moon as describing the aftermath of a great earthquake the Apostle John refers to in Revelation 6:12-17.

However, Stone has a different twist on this passage and I think he might be right. He believes Joel is describing giant volcanic eruptions exploding on the earth. Columns of smoke perfectly describe the aftermath of volcanoes.

The resulting ash pouring into the atmosphere will cause a darkening of the sun and even blood moons. We were about 1200 miles away from Mount Helena when it exploded in 1980 resulting in 57 deaths, but there was haze in the sky over our community for several weeks after.

Perry then cites a document produced by the European Science Foundation (ESF). Entitled Extreme Geohazards: Reducing the Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience, it warns of a dramatic increase in natural hazards including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and related tsunamis.

Of all the potential dangers, ESF states volcanoes pose the greatest threat:

“Hence extreme volcanic eruptions pose a higher associated risk than all other natural hazards with similar recurrence periods, including asteroid impacts.”

Perry writes on Facebook:

“A scientific report [ESF] just released said there are more eruptions and shakings under the earth now than in the past 300 years.”

ESF believes volcanoes not only have devastating impact resulting in immediate destruction, but can also cause crop failure, famine and even epidemics, things Jesus warned about in his prediction of the coming end times (Luke 21:11).

The organization uses the 1815 Mount Tambora eruption that took place on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia as an example of what can happen. Approximately, 92,000 people were directly killed because of this volcano.

Based on reports, some estimate the column of smoke associated with this eruption was 43 kms high. The resulting darkening of the sun affected crops for the next few years.

ESF writes it, “heavily impacted the harvest and led to famines and epidemics in several areas of the planet: the year 1816, following Tambora’s eruption, is recalled as ‘the year without summer,’ and generated abnormal temperatures in China, Europe and North America.”

The 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland had a 9 km high ash plume disrupting air traffic for about a week. The threat is very real. In 1982, a British Airways Flight (BA 9) flew through a volcanic plume caused by Indonesia’s Mount Galunggung resulting in all four engines failing causing the plane to plummet. Fortunately, the pilots were able tor restart the engines at 3,600 feet.

Though past volcanoes resulted in relatively few deaths largely due to smaller population concentrations, today ESF estimates 500 million people are under direct threat of volcanic activity.

According to the ESF there are three super-volcanoes of immediate concern and one of them is brewing in the US northwest. The caldera located beneath Yellowstone Park is estimated to be 34 miles by 45 miles in size (55 km by 72 km). If it was ever to erupt, it could potentially kill millions. This underground mountain of molten lava is thought to be larger than Mount Everest.

It is listed as one of the three most dangerous volcanic sites in the world along with Mexico City’s Popocatépetl i and Mount Vesuvius in Campagnia, Italy. Experts predict there is a 10% chance one of these three will go off in the next 70 years.

Perry adds that Joel also prophesies that along with this increase volcanic activity there would be a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29 NASV)

Perry Stone is a fourth generation Pentecostal pastor associated with the Church of God. He has published over 40 books, many of them emphasizing the end-times. He heads Voice of Evangelism ministries based in Cleveland, TN, USA. He reportedly never asks for money on program because God told him to trust the Lord, but he does sell products on his TV program. He admits to owning a plane but says he has one due to the isolation of his headquarters.

In 1996, Stone received a vision of some type of devastation happening to the World Trade Center in New York City. He saw it covered in black clouds with five “gray colored tornado-looking twisters coming off it.” He had an artist paint a picture of this vision which he showed on his TV program in 1999.

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