Many millions are asking: “Why another powerful storm?—and why now?” “What does the future hold?” There are clear answers—you can understand all that is coming!
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Hurricane Sandy plowed into the eastern seaboard of the United States on Monday evening, October 29,causing major disruptions in the lives of tens of millions in this densely populated area. This so-called “Frankenstorm” combines a number of elements, including a large tropical storm, two cold fronts from the north and west, and high tide conditions, resulting in an unprecedented weather event—a hurricane on steroids. Although the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm as it came ashore, its destructive effects were not lessened.
Scores of casualties were already left in the wake of the storm’s trek through the Caribbean. Now 78 million Americans—a fourth of the population!—have been directly affected by this monster cyclone, which will have serious repercussions for weeks.
As the storm neared landfall, the northeastern U.S. was virtually shut down. Hundreds of thousands were ordered to evacuate as government officials eyed satellite images of a swirling behemoth, its extending cloud bands drenching a quarter of the country.
Los Angeles Times reported the morning following the cyclone’s arrival to shore: “Floods and fires, seawater surges and electrical outages, fierce rains and lashing winds continued to pummel parts of the Northeast as Sandy continued its destructive march…
“From Chicago to the Atlantic Ocean, through major cities including New York, Philadelphia and Washington, the impact of the storm continued to grow. Transportation systems in New York and New Jersey were crippled. More than 16,000 airlines flights have been canceled.
“Sandy continued to generate wind gusts up to 80 mph and dump up to a foot of rain and as much as 2 feet of snow in some areas. Many residents in coastal areas woke to both nasty winds and flash flooding from record surges pushed by the winds, high tides and a full moon.
“The financial toll, including losses from people who heeded officials and skipped work could reach $20 billion, according to some insurance estimates.”
The massive storm system sustained its push through the northeast Tuesday, October 30, with “its violent winds and lashing rains [transforming] city landscapes into tableaus of destruction in the region” (The New York Times).
“Roughly six million people, including many in a large swath of Manhattan, were without electricity. Streets were littered with debris and buildings damaged. Seven subway tunnels under the East River were flooded. While several bridges over the East River were set to reopen, other mass transit service, including commuter rails, was still suspended.
“At least 26 deaths in seven states were tied to the storm, which toppled trees and sparked fires in several areas, government officials and emergency authorities said. Falling limbs became deadly bludgeons in three of the New York deaths and two in Morris County, N.J., where The Associated Press reported a man and a woman were killed when a tree fell on their car Monday evening.
“There were at least 10 killed in New York City alone, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday, adding that some were killed when stepping in a puddle where a power line had fallen or when a tree fell onto a house.
“‘We had a storm of unprecedented proportions,’ he said in a news conference” (ibid.).
Following the same news conference that morning, AP recorded an update given by the New Jersey governor, “‘We are in the midst of urban search and rescue. Our teams are moving as fast as they can,’ Gov. Chris Christie said. ‘The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we’ve ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point.’”
“Lower Manhattan, the financial center of the U.S., was among the hardest-hit areas after the storm sent a nearly 14-foot surge of seawater, a record, coursing over its seawalls and highways and into low-lying streets.
“Water cascaded into the gaping, unfinished construction pit at the World Trade Center, and the New York Stock Exchange was closed for a second day, the first time that has happened because of weather in more than a century.
“A huge fire destroyed as many as 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood in Queens on Tuesday, forcing firefighters to undertake daring rescues. Three people were injured.
“A downtown hospital, New York University’s Tisch, evacuated 200 patients after its backup generator failed. About 20 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit were carried down staircases and on battery-powered respirators.
“And a construction crane that collapsed in the high winds on Monday still dangled precariously 74 floors above the streets of midtown Manhattan.”
Referring to the flooded tunnels under the East River “Joseph Lhota, chairman of the regional Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the damage was the worst in the 108-year history of the New York subway” (AP).
A grave weather report on Fox News before landfall used phrases such as “rewriting the coastline,” and “major event that we have not seen in this lifetime,” stressing that Sandy is the biggest storm ever seen in the Atlantic basin, and holds the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded so far north. Waves are expected to reach as much as 30 feet above storm surge water levels. The meteorologist concluded by warning those on the New York/New Jersey coast, “If you’re not already in your safe place…you’re in trouble.”
And coastal areas are only part of the story. Wind gusts were projected to reach 60 mph as far west as Chicago! Many trees still have most of their leaves, which made them even more susceptible to branch breakage and uprooting—and the possibility of taking power lines down with them. This is further compounded by the fact that North American trees tend to have stronger roots on their western sides, as a result of growth stimulated by prevailing westerly winds. The effect of a strong east wind on billions of trees could be a faster weakening of the trees and result in more toppling.
Another serious concern is the storm’s influence on the presidential election. Early voting has been slowed or halted in a number of states as well as Washington, D.C. “The vast majority of voters have made up their minds at this point, and more than one in five have already cast their ballots,” stated Reuters. “But the storm could throw a wrench in the campaigns’ efforts to drive voters to the polls in the final days before the election and will require them to ensure that their armies of door-knocking volunteers stay safe.
“An extended power outage could sideline millions of dollars’ worth of television advertising that is set to saturate the airwaves in the final days of the race.
“It also scrambles their efforts to schedule rallies in the handful of states that are likely to decide the outcome.”
Consider: the largest-ever Atlantic storm—arriving with the full moon’s high tide—in one of the most populous regions of the leading Western superpower—and hammering a quarter of its citizens right before the most bitterly contested election in generations.
The magnitude of the storm’s effect is hard to comprehend—especially when many communities in the Eastern U.S. are still grappling with the aftereffects of 2011’s Hurricane Irene, which was also seen as a “100-year storm.”
With storm after storm and disaster upon disaster, it seems impossible to keep up. Each impending catastrophe wipes a previous one from society’s collective memory. Sandy is one storm, now threatening one coast of one nation—but it must be seen in the context of the endless litany of global crises: ongoing global financial turbulence—looming international conflicts—worsening disease outbreaks—civil unrest—moral collapse—and much more.
With all these in mind, the global forecast seems bleak—a perfect storm of horrendous disasters.
This ghastly worldwide picture can seem overwhelming. Each new calamity only compounds the situation. How many more natural disasters, disease pandemics, and international conflicts can mankind sustain?
Seeing such things understandably elicits the question: why? Yet this query is often pushed out of mind for those grappling with very real crises in their own lives. When one is unemployed, starving, gravely ill—or struggling to recover from a storm surge that destroyed a family home—the question of why the world is in turmoil is understandably forgotten. Even attempting to keep up with piling bills pushes why out of the way. Those beset with problems on every side instead tend to ask, “What does my future hold?”
Most naturally desire to know what is coming. They look to meteorologists for weather forecasts, seismologists for an idea of when an earthquake will happen, and economists for their financial futures.
They turn to newscasters to make sense of current events and historians to understand what has already happened. Yet there is one source that records what will occur before it happens—in effect, history written in advance.
Notice: “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.”
This description could have been lifted from today’s headlines. Yet this is a quote from what is known as Jesus Christ’s Olivet prophecy, found in Matthew 24. It is an extended answer to His disciples asking what world conditions would be like at the end of the age.
The original Greek word translated troubles is tarache, defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as “disturbance, that is, (of water) roiling, or (of a mob) sedition.”
Note the reference to “roiling” water—an apt description of hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, violent thunderstorms—and now, Hurricane Sandy.
These conditions are not new to the 21st century, but it is clear they are worsening. Because such weather events have been occurring for thousands of years, the only thing that Jesus could have meant was that they would grow much worse in the end times.
Author and Real Truth Editor-in-Chief David C. Pack writes, “Unknown to many, the Bible is a coded Book. Yet it also contains the keys to unlocking prophetic understanding. For instance, Scripture speaks of future events involving Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Ethiopia and others—but what about the U.S., the very greatest and most powerful single nation the world has ever seen?
“You might be surprised to learn that roughly one third of the Bible is devoted to prophecy—much of which directly centers around the peoples of America and its sister nations, Britain, Australia and others. But one must be able to recognize which biblical key reveals the prophetic identity of the American and British peoples. My book America and Britain in Prophecy does so with overwhelming proof.
“Many are falling prey to non-biblical delusions promoted by self-proclaimed religious ‘experts.’ But God declares that ‘they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord … I have not sent these prophets [religious leaders], yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings’ (Jer. 23:16, 21-22).
“Despite such wide-scale deception, God assures this: ‘The anger of the Lord shall not return, until He has executed, and till He has performed the thoughts of His heart: in the latter days you shall consider it perfectly’ (vs. 20).
“A prophetic ‘megastorm’ is brewing over the horizon, reserved long ago for the ‘latter days’—our time now! The Bible calls it ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble.’ Take note: ‘For thus says the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble…’ (Jer. 30:5-7).
“Explaining to His disciples about events leading up to His Second Coming, Jesus Christ said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…’ (Matt. 24:21-22). This coming time of tribulation, also called ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble,’ will bring mankind to the brink of total annihilation! Only the Return of Christ and the establishing of God’s kingdom on Earth can prevent this!”
“Jesus Christ foretold that immediately preceding His Return these and other prophecies would slam into a completely unsuspecting, unprepared world (Luke 21:34-36). Notice what He told His disciples in Luke’s version of the Olivet Prophecy: ‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth’ (vs. 34-35).
“These are truly stunning words. Yet, most do not concern themselves with conditions and events that Jesus plainly states will affect everyone on the entirety of the planet—‘all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth’—and that these things are to occur without notice or warning, as with any snare.
“Jesus continued with this all-important instruction—again—for those who are listening: ‘Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ (vs. 36).
“Are you concerned about a prophecy of such magnitude?—one with so much at stake for every man, woman and child alive today? You can escape what lies ahead. You need not fear—IF you are obeying God and doing what He requires.”
Mr. Pack continues, “Many think of the Bible as a book of ‘doom and gloom.’ Yet within its pages lies the very greatest good news. So many are largely unaware of the most positive elements of Bible prophecy—and of the true gospel! This gospel, meaning ‘good news,’ tells of a coming time when the world will experience a complete change in governance that will bring peace, prosperity, protection, health and abundance—even good weather.
“Consider. Soon after Christ’s Return and the establishment of the kingdom of God on Earth, suffering will disappear. War will be a thing of the past. So will terrorism. Crime will vanish. Children will play safely everywhere. Drugs and alcohol will no longer enslave people. Poverty will be gone. So will illiteracy. Mass healings will occur. A pure language will help re-educate the population. Earth’s polluted environment will finally be restored. Air will be clean. Pure drinking water will be abundant. Even the nature of animals will be changed.
“Joy will literally break out worldwide.
“As ‘King of kings,’ Christ will rule all nations as they have never been ruled. He will be compassionate, absolutely perfect in character, truthful, full of wisdom and having all knowledge—as well as filled with love for those He governs. He will never compromise God’s Law, which is summarized as the way of outgoing concern for others. Yet, while firm, He will administer the commandments in every nation with patience and understanding, and grant forgiveness to all who seek it.
“What a marvelous time. The world will become a perfect environment for all to be able to live God’s Way according to His perfect Law—which is the way of peace, prosperity and joy.
“Religious deception and confusion will no longer exist—and neither will fear of the future, including fictional end-of-the-world dates. Humanity will finally be truly humble, and thus teachable. Everyone will learn God’s truth. Isaiah wrote, ‘For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord , as the waters cover the sea.’
“It will be a world full of happy, fulfilled human beings living in harmony, led by Jesus Christ and the saints, who will be co-ruling beside Him over all cities of the world.
“Now understand this point. Jesus also foretold in Matthew 24, ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ Not before!
“Since the true gospel was foretold to be preached until ‘the end come,’ someone must be preaching it now—in our present age—because the end—while close—has not yet come. The Restored Church of God, the publisher of this magazine, is doing this—and the task must be completed before time is up! All who want to truly follow God still have time to turn around.
“The Tribulation will soon arrive—and the whole world will be caught off guard as Christ described in Luke 21:35. So then, the all-important question that should be on the minds of all who care about these prophecies is: ‘Can I escape what is coming, and if so how?’
“Knowledge of awesome future events has been unlocked, opened and explained—and it thunders a powerful warning to all who will hear and heed!”