Apologetics, End times, Main, z63
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Beware columns of smoke

The plume from the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Credit: Gunnlaugur por Briem/Flickr/Creative Commons

The plume from the 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Credit: Gunnlaugur por Briem/Flickr/Creative Commons

Last week was a bit worrying for those living in and around Yellowstone Park. Last Thursday, the area experienced a 4.4 earthquake. Earthquakes of that size can be felt, but rarely cause damage.

But it wasn’t the earthquake that caused concern, rather it was the 295 other earthquakes that took place in that region during that seven-day period — 60 on Friday alone (June 16, 2017).

We know Biblically that a rise in earth quakes will mark the end times, something that even Jesus referred to (Luke 21:11).

Though many are downplaying the danger associated with these earthquakes, others are not so sure. They are not so concerned about the earthquakes, as smaller earthquakes can be beneficial releasing pressure and helping prevent a larger quake.

But what is concerning is that a flurry of earthquakes could be sign of a bigger problem if they are occurring around a known volcano. It could be a warning of a looming volcanic eruption.

As magma builds beneath the surface, the resulting pressure can often cause smaller earthquakes.

This puts a different perspective on these 296 earthquakes, because Yellowstone sits on one of the world’s three known mega volcanoes – the other two being Mount Vesuvius in Italy and one near Mexico City.

If any of these super volcanoes exploded, the damage would be unprecedented and the resulting loss of life could number in the hundreds of thousands.

The mega volcano beneath Yellowstone is also larger than previously thought and its caldera is estimated to be the size of Mount Everest. If it ever went off, magma would rain down on people hundreds of miles away. Some say the ash could be upwards of ten feet thick for a 1,000 mile radius.

Though not widely publicized some believe a verse directed towards the end times actually warns of massive volcanic eruptions. I have read this verse for decades and never saw the connection:

“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)

Joel talks about columns of smoke that are iconic images of volcanoes. Notice also how the prophet refers to columns (plural). There will be more than one.

The 2010 volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland had an ash plume that was 9 km high. It disrupted air traffic as far away as Europe for about a week.

Joel also mentions the sun turning to darkness and this is another description that fits a volcanic explosion. When Mount Helena exploded in 1980, there was a haze over our community for several weeks after and we lived 1200 miles away. That eruption resulted in 57 deaths and it was nowhere near the size of a mega volcano.

When Indonesia’s Mount Tambora exploded in 1815, it killed an estimated 92,000 people. Based on descriptions from that time, its column of smoke was probably 43 kms high.

The ash associated with Tambora darkened the sun and affected crops for the next few years. In a report on volcanoes, Extreme Geohazards: Reducing the Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience, the European Science Foundation described Tambora’s impact:

“[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.”

In Luke 21:11, Jesus speaks of earthquakes, famines and disease associated with the end times. Could this be referring to the impact  of volcanoes?

In an interview with Fox News, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku said if the mega volcano beneath Yellowstone park erupted, it would “rip the guts out of the USA.” He went on to add that such an explosion is “overdue.”



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