“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” Matthew 24:7 and 8. “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” Luke 21:11.
“Over the past 48 hours, there have been five major earthquakes globally, and one prominent seismologist has declared that ‘catastrophic mega earthquakes’ could be on the way. In fact, seismologist Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado has made headlines all over the world by warning that ‘current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude.’ If his projections are accurate, our planet could be on the precipice of a wave of natural disasters unlike anything that any of us have ever experienced before.”1 These earthquakes took place in Japan (6.4 magnitude), Vanuatu (6.5), the Philippines (5.9), Myanmar (6.9), and Japan for a second time (7.0).
These five earthquakes seem to be old news as more earthquakes equally devastating continue to ravage cities around the world. Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 16. “The country’s vice president called it the strongest to hit the country in decades.”2 The earthquakes experienced in Japan and Ecuador are considered to be the strongest since 1900.3
To students of Bible prophecy, the frequent occurrences of earthquakes and other catastrophic weather events come as no surprise. It is true that the incidence of catastrophic weather is largely attributable to the earth’s waxing old like a garment (Isaiah 51:6); however, prophecy also indicates that as far as God allows, Satan and His agents have control over the elements and have created environmental conditions that bring about calamities. There is a sinister agenda behind their trying to “play God” and exercise control over the elements.
Satan’s supreme objective is to garner worship and usurp the reverence and homage that should go to God, if not directly, than indirectly through his system of apostasy. He therefore inspires men to manufacture problems, of such magnitude so as to bring the nations and inhabitants to their knees, financially, socially and otherwise, that they will accept the solution which entails them surrendering their rights for the supposed good of humanity and healing of the world.
“Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment…he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast.”4
The cry will be echoed from pastors, scientists and the masses in general that God is sending weather catastrophes because of His displeasure of the corruption, greed, degraded state of morals and other evils, and that in order to appease God’s wrath and bring an end to his judgments Sunday observance must be enforced by law.
“It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday-sabbath, that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced.”5
“There are calamities on sea and land: and these calamities will increase, one disaster following close upon another; and the little band of conscientious Sabbath-keepers will be pointed out as the ones who are bringing the wrath of God upon the world by their disregard of Sunday. Satan urges this falsehood that he may take the world captive. It is his plan to compel men to accept errors. He takes an active part in the promulgation of all false religions, and will stop at nothing in his efforts to enforce erroneous doctrines.”6
“This time is right upon us. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth. When the angel of mercy folds her wings and departs, Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do. Storm and tempest, war and bloodshed,–in these things he delights, and thus he gathers in his harvest. And so completely will men be deceived by him that they will declare that these calamities are the result of the desecration of the first day of the week. From the pulpits of the popular churches will be heard the statement that the world is being punished because Sunday is not honored as it should be. And it will require no great stretch of imagination for men to believe this. They are guided by the enemy, and therefore they reach conclusions which are entirely false.”7
“Men in responsible positions will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but from the sacred desk, will urge upon the people the observance of the first day of the week, pleading tradition and custom in behalf of this man-made institution. They will point to calamities on land and sea–to the storms of wind, the floods, the earthquakes, the destruction by fire–as judgments indicating God’s displeasure because Sunday is not sacredly observed. These calamities will increase more and more, one disaster will follow close upon the heels of another; and those who make void the law of God will point to the few who are keeping the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as the ones who are bringing wrath upon the world. This falsehood is Satan’s device that he may ensnare the unwary.”8
4. White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 589
5. White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 590
6. The Review and Herald. March 18, 1884 “A Sabbath Reform Needed” Ellen White
7. The Review and Herald. September 17, 1901 “A Time of Trouble” Ellen White
8. The Review and Herald. January 17, 1884 “The Sabbath Reformation Under Nehemiah” Ellen White