Some of you know of my writing on the Doves web-site under the initials EAR.
We live about 30 – 40 ks North East as the crow flies from the epicentre of the 7.1 Earthquake which struck (Darfield) Christchurch, New Zealand, at 4:35 a.m. local time on Saturday morning; devastating many homes and business properties right around the eastern and southern suburbs as well as the Central Business District of Christchurch.
Contrary to what some people are saying, an earthquake of this magnitude in
was always likely because we sit at the conjunction of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. Indeed, even worse could be experienced should the Alpine spine of the South Island of New Zealand suffer a rift. Christchurch
The Canterbury plains, on which the City of Christchurch sits is littered with some 200 minor earthquake fault lines, many of which have been covered over in time by the loess silt loam that covers the plains, hence the problem in identifying old quake structures. This earthquake has added another fault to the collection, and the geologists believe the current after-shocks are moving outward towards the tips of the new fault line. Some of the damage is seemingly random, with some areas unscathed and others badly affected with power and water outages, liquefaction, sand geysers, over-flowing river surges, ground ruptures and rising water tables etc., all of which has added to the general destruction of older buildings.
This was a particularly scary event, even to good old Kiwis who are used to earthquakes, as it was marked by its increasing ferocity, and the fear that as it was building, it was never going to stop! In fact they now say there were three earthquakes in close proximity to one another. That would explain being woken by a gentle rocking motion that led to a sharper one, which led to a chaotic shaking, by which time we were sheltering in our hall doorway, thinking this was the end. The noise was horrendous!
After-shocks are continuing even as I write 5 days after the main event and number over 150 to date.
From where we are located, it is difficult to tell if what we are hearing is the rumble of an after-shock, or a vehicle coming down the hill towards our property, but the subsequent trembling underground proves the point. It must be much worse further South.
No doubt many of you have read the media reports and I don’t want to add to them, but God has his own communication channels, and I would like to pass on 3 things that I believe he has said to me.
1. All day on Saturday as the after-shocks rumbled on through I had running through my mind the phrase “...judgement begins in the house of God...” Peter 4:17. This seemed to be rather inappropriate under the circumstances, but it continued to impress itself on my mind, until in seeking the Lord about it, he reminded me that our City is called
... God’s House. At the centre of our City is the CHRIST CHURCH Cathedral Squarewhere our beautiful Cathedral spire rises into the sky, next to the decorative Chalice. Ten years ago it was strengthened against earthquakes, and has come through this ordeal practically unscathed.
Although this passage of scripture which occupied my mind seemed to be a prophetic word, I judged it to be “from far out in left field” in applying the “house of God” to the City of
, because this is no saintly City. However, I believe it might indicate the start of a “testing period” for the Church of God, and the wider World and that indeed “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God...” The full context of this passage of scripture from 1 Peter 4:12-19 is written below. Christchurch
I see from the Doves site that John Clark had this same verse impressed upon him - http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/sep2010/johnc94-1.htm - but he has not applied it to the same extent.
Many of you have also considered the earthquake in
to be a further sign of Christ’s impending parousia, however, from my understanding of scripture, the man of sin is to be revealed prior to our gathering together unto Him. I therefore believe that Christchurch ’s tribulation is but a foretaste of the greater trauma that the World is yet to face before Jesus returns. Christchurch
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings: that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye: for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busy-body in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:12-19
2. During the rest of Saturday, as we watched the TV news reports coming in from the various areas it became obvious that in the words of the Parliamentary Ministers, “we were blessed, that no one has died”. I don’t know if you realise that God promises a blessing to those who dwell where He has put his name. He has put his name CHRIST – CHURCH right here in the South Island of New Zealand. “...in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” Ex. 20:24b. We are indeed blessed.
3. “Just as the two “tectonic plates” on which Christchurch and environs is situated have further converged this weekend to produce this earthquake, so signs of His coming have further converged through the forcing of Israeli/Palestinian “peace talks” which point to the nearness of His return.” While
Israel’s “peace talk” is with neighbours, supported by friendly countries, ( Egyptand Jordan); “spitefully aggressive rhetoric” continues to spurt forth from their radical Islamic enemies, Hamas and Hezb’allah, raging on Israel’s borders with support from Syriaand . Iran
1 Thess. 5:3 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Ezekiel 7:25 “Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.”
Psalm 83:2-5 “For lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation: that the name of
may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.” Israel