Apologetics, End times, Main, z77
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The prophet Joel warned of columns of smoke


Column of smoke associated with volcanic erutpion on Iceland in 2010: Credit: Arni Frioriksson/Wikipedia

Column of smoke associated with volcanic eruption of Iceland Mount Eyjafjallajökull in 2010: Credit: Arni Frioriksson/Wikipedia

In the prophet Joel’s vision of the end times, he saw columns of smoke towering into the sky.

“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)

Though some have interpreted this as a reference to catastrophic events being brought on by such things as earthquakes.

Others are not so sure.

They suggest the columns that Joel saw are more likely volcanic eruptions that are often characterized by large columns of smoke pouring into the sky.

This resulting smoke can be so severe, it can even disrupt air traffic as the ash can damage jet engines. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland resulted in the cancellation of 95,000 air flights across Europe, stranding millions of people.

If the smoke is severe enough, it can also darken skies and this was noted in recent eruptions in Indonesia (2015) and an eruption in China (2005).

Read more: Eruptions at 5 volcanoes darken skies with ash over large swath of Indonesia and Volcanic eruption darkens skies over Northern Marianas.

In the volcanic explosion that took place in China’s Northern Mariana in 2005, smoke towered 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) into the sky.

The China Daily reported:

“Residents said the sky was as dark as night although it was only morning.”

Though eclipses are referred to several times in association with end time events, in Joel’s prophecy the darkened skies may actually be a result of volcanic activity.

If this is the case, then the prophet was warning of several major volcanic eruptions as the prophet referred to “columns (plural) of smoke.”

On the volcanic front we are reading reports of a looming eruption on the island of Bali. Towards the end of September upwards of 75,000 people were evacuated around Bali’s Mount Agung because of the potential threat.

The government has also installed a seven mile zone around Bali’s volcano to stop people entering the kill zone as seismologists are warning of an eminent and probably major eruption.

In recent days, people on Bali reported another strange phenomena – thousands of dead birds. Volcanoes are known to release toxic gases capable of killing, but at this point the birds are still being tested to see if this was the cause.

Though Mount Agung is the largest volcano on Bali, it is not a super volcano of which there are three in the world that have earned this classification.

This includes the 17,700 foot high Mount Popocatepaetl located 45 miles SE of Mexico City. The New York Post reported that Popocatepatl had an eruption on September 20, that day the country was hit with an 7.1 earthquake that killed nearly 300 people. The article also noted that the volcanoe had been active all summer and had a previous eruption on August 21, the day of America’s total eclipse.

Despite the activity, seismologists do not believe a major eruption is eminent.

The second super volcano is located in America’s Yellowstone Park in Northwestern US. Though there have been swarms of minor earthquakes recently associated with this super volcano, seismologists are not concerned.

The third, Campi Flegrei, is found near Naples, Italy. It could potentially endanger 1.5 million people. Earlier this year, volcanic experts studying this super volcano concluded it is more dangerous than previously thought.

Dr. Del Sienna described what was taking place as a “a boiling pot of soup beneath the surface.”

Should any of these super volcanoes erupt, the results would be catastrophic not only due to the size of their volcanic cauldrons but also because of the hundreds of thousands of people that live near these volcanoes.

Sources:

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