Fulfilled Prophecy: The Beginning of Sorrows Part 6
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
August 18, 1999

Last Updated :
March 20, 2011

Valley Of Decision And Valley Of Megiddo, Signs Preceding Jerusalem Earthquake, Significance Of Southern Europe And Middle Eastern Earthquake Region, Mount Of Olives And Dead Sea Rift, Distortions Of The U.S. Geological Survey, All Things Continue As They Were?, Earthquake Tables From The USGS, 1999 Turkey Earthquakes And Other Recent Earthquakes

Dead Sea Rift: The Mount of Olives will split in half at Christ's Return

Allow me to now share with you my final evidence which may point to a possible link between the Valley of Jehoshaphat, or the Valley of Decision, and the Valley of Megiddo. First of all, consider what the the Hebrew and Greek lexicons have to say regarding the name Megiddo, or Megiddon:

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Megiddo or Megiddon = "place of crowds"

1) ancient city of Canaan assigned to Manasseh and located on the southern rim of the plain of Esdraelon 6 miles (10 km) from Mount Carmel and 11 miles (18 km) from Nazareth.

Armageddon = "the hill or city of Megiddo"

1) In Rev. 16:16 the scene of a the struggle of good and evil is suggested by that battle plain of Esdraelon, which was famous for two great victories, of Barak over the Canaanites, and of Gideon over the Midianites; and for two great disasters, the deaths of Saul and Josiah. Hence in Revelation a place of great slaughter, the scene of a terrible retribution upon the wicked. The RSV translates the name as Har-Magedon, i.e. the hill (as Ar is the city) of Megiddo.

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Now, please notice that the Hebrew form of Meggido, or Armageddon if you prefer, actually means "place of crowds"; which is actually a very significant name if we consider that the multitudinous armies of the Beast will be gathered there in order to fight against Jesus Christ. In describing the battle in the Valley of Decision, do you recall the words of the Prophet Joel which I shared with you earlier? If not. allow me to repeat some of those verses for you:

"Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."
Joel 3:12-14, KJV

Do you see the connection? Megiddo means "place of crowds", and the Lord inspired Joel to write "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision". Thus, as I describe in other articles concerning the Endtime, after the Lord lands upon the Mount of Olives, which will result in a great earthquake forming a valley running from east to west, perhaps He then takes His Heavenly Forces to Armageddon for the final great battle. Obviously, the fact that this earthquake will be so near Jerusalem, is going to have some kind of an effect on the city. In fact, as we saw in an earlier verse, it is going to cause a tenth part of the city to fall, and seven thousand people are going to perish as a result of the earthquake. Here again is that same verse in case you've forgotten it:

"And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."
Revelation 11:13, KJV

Thus far we have learned that the Great Jerusalem Earthquake will have its epicenter on the Mount of Olives, that it will result in a great valley running from east to west, that a tenth part of Jerusalem will fall as a result of it, and that there will be seven thousand casualties. As if this prophecy isn't already clear enough, while we may not yet know the exact day when Christ will return, we do know many of the signs which will precede His Coming, and thus lead up to this great earthquake. If you study my article "The Two Sackcloth Witnesses Of Revelation 11" and many other Endtime articles, you will see that this earthquake will be preceded by the three and a half year period known to many Christians as the Great Tribulation; during which time, the Islamic Beast and his followers will persecute the Jews. From verses I shared earlier from the Book of Zechariah, we know that the city of Jerusalem is going to be besieged, and that half of the city will be taken into captivity by the Islamic forces of the Beast.

We also know from the aforementioned article, that during the full three and a half year period, the Two Sackcloth Witnesses will be performing a variety of miracles; primary of which will be a severe drought. You may recall from the verses I shared earlier from Revelation chapter sixteen, that the Euphrates River is going to dry up, in order to prepare the way for the kings of the East. I discuss these mysterious kings in the in-depth series "The Seven Heads". It is also during this three and a half year period, that the satanic Mark of the Beast will be enforced. Please see such articles as "Mondex And The Mark Of The Beast", "666: The Patience Of The Saints", "666: More Proof Of The Coming System", "Precursors To The 666 And The Mark Of The Beast" and "666: VeriChip, Somark And Microsoft Unmasked!" for further information on what the infamous 666 may signify. So then, while we may not yet know the precise date of this coming great earthquake which will herald the Lord's Return, we certainly do have a lot of information, straight from the Holy Scriptures, which accurately tells us all about this event, literally thousands of years in advance. I challenge any modern-day seismologist to provide me with a similar earthquake prediction. They just can't do it.

Now, for those of you reading this who may scoff at the idea of making a prediction concerning a tremendous earthquake splitting the Mount of Olives in half, based upon Biblical evidence alone, allow me to provide you with some geological information. As we have already seen, over two thousand five hundred years ago, Jerusalem suffered an earthquake, which apparently was so powerful, that it was recorded for us in the pages of the Bible; however, this tremor is by no means the only earthquake to have ever struck the land of Israel. Moving up to our more recent history, on January 1, 1837, an earthquake of unknown magnitude struck Safad, Israel. This quake resulted in over five thousand deaths. The greatest earthquake to occur this century, known as the Jericho earthquake, struck Israel and the surrounding area on July 11, 1927, and measured 5.9 to 6.25 in magnitude. Sources I have read indicate that the Jericho earthquake resulted in approximately six hundred and seventy fatalities.

In more recent history, on November 22, 1995 an earthquake measuring 6.2-7.3 struck northeastern Egypt. According to the USGS report I read, at least eight people were killed and thirty more were injured in the area of the epicenter. Damage occurred in many parts of northeastern Egypt as far away as Cairo. One person was killed and two more were slightly injured at Al Bad, Saudi Arabia. Some damage occurred at Al Bad, Al Ula and Haql, Saudi Arabia. One person died of a heart attack, several people were injured and substantial damage with power outages and liquefaction occurred at Elat, Israel. Some damage also occurred at Jerusalem and Aqaba, Jordan. This earthquake was felt from Sudan to Lebanon, and high waves were reported along the coast at Aqaba, Jordan.

About three years earlier, on September 12, 1992, a deadly earthquake struck Cairo, Egypt. Measuring 5.2-5.9, its death toll was at least five hundred and forty-one people, as well as more than six thousand and five hundred people who were injured. About eight thousand three hundred buildings were damaged or destroyed in the Cairo area. This earthquake was felt in much of Egypt from Alexandria to Aswan, as well as in Israel from Elat to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

As you will soon learn from the earthquake data I will be presenting to you shortly, the region stretching from Italy to Greece, to Turkey, to Syria, to Iran, is one of the most seismically-active areas in the entire world. Excluding the great Chinese earthquakes, this area has claimed more lives down through history, than any other earthquake-prone region of the world. Personally, I am of the opinion that the fact that so many earthquakes occur here is of deep spiritual significance. Not only did this region bring forth the birth of Christianity, and then nurture its growth in the first churches established by Paul and others in Asia Minor, now known as Turkey, but it was also in this same area that true Christianity later compromised with pagan Roman authority in Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, Turkey. As we have now seen, the Bible also indicates that some very important Endtime events are going to occur here as well, so I believe that there is a connection between the physical and the spiritual.

In order to provide you with a basic understanding of the geological structure of Israel and the surrounding area, following are some extracts taken from "Earthquakes In The Holy Land" by Bailey Willis. This report was included in the June 1928 edition of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America:

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"Palestine is a plateau, which has well-defined limits except toward the south. East of it lies the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. North of it is the Plain of Esdralon. West of it is the Mediterranean, which is not quite full enough to flood the narrow coastal plain. The general altitude of the flat top of the plateau is between 2,000 and 2,600 feet above sea level. Jerusalem stands on a summit, a low hill, similar to many others which have at one time or another been occupied as defensible city sites . . ."

Matching the Palestine plateau, but lying east of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley is the Transjordan plateau, a bench on the Arabian highland. The Palestine and Transjordan plateaus are completely separated by the profound trough of the Dead Sea, in which the surface of the water lies 1,200 feet below sea level.

In both of these plateaus the geologist notes that the rocks are strata of marine limestone or sandstone, which have been uplifted without appreciable disturbance. In general the beds lie nearly as flat as when they were deposited beneath the sea. Closer inspection shows, it is true, that they have been bent and crushed along certain lines, but the compression is not the obvious thing. One would infer that a great force, a swelling perhaps, had raised the whole mass of either plateau gradually. One would not at once arrive at the conclusion that the deep-seated foundations of the regions were being crushed as in a vise and that the squeezed masses were moving in the direction of least resistance, that is vertically upward. Study of the structures has, however, led me to that conclusion, and I would attribute the earthquakes that shake Palestine to yielding within the body of the plateau or to the slipping of the whole plateau upon the shearing planes that underlie it.

North of the Palestine plateau is the lowland which stretches from west to east, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, and comprises the Plain of Esdralon and the Valley of Jezreel. It would extend eastward beyond the Jordan, as it once did, if it had not been covered and heaped up by thick lava flows. They form the upland of Bashan, ranging northeastward along the southern slopes of Mount Sermon toward Damascus. Earthquakes impinge on the margins of the low country, Esdralon and Jezreel, but they do not originate within it. It is a non seismic zone between Palestine and northern Syria.

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It is due to a major fault system which runs between the two aforementioned plateaus, that the Jordan River Valley, also known as the Jordan Rift Valley, exists. This fault system, known as the Dead Sea Rift, is believed by geologists to be the result of a convergence between two tectonic plates, the African Plate, and the Arabian plate; thus, this region is referred to as the Afro-Arabian rift zone. The Dead Sea Rift is believed to be a continuation of the East African Rift, which passes through the Red Sea, then through the Gulf of Aqaba, also known as the Gulf of Elat, and then northward to the Dead Sea. From that point, geologists believe that rift faulting joins the Dead Sea to the Jordan River Valley and Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, further north. Beyond that point, that is, in Lebanon, the Dead Sea Rift splays out into a series of north-northeast directional faults.

While Mount Everest continues to contend for being the highest point on the Earth, and the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean holds the claim for being the deepest point in our oceans, the Dead Sea Rift is believed to be one of the deepest, if not the deepest, continental depression on the Earth's surface. It is not surprising then that the surface of the Dead Sea is 1,292 feet, or 394 meters, below sea level. As its name implies, it is the separation of the Dead Sea Rift which is believed to have resulted in the formation of the Dead Sea, as well as the other major basin in the area, that is, the Gulf of Elat. The Dead Sea Rift is easily visible from the air, as can be seen in the NASA space images which I have made available to you at the top of this part of our series.

While the Dead Sea Rift is the major geological fault in the area, just as a bolt of lightning possesses a series of what we might refer to as minor tendrils, so too, the limestone and sandstone plateau upon which the nation of Israel sits, is permeated with many fractures and fissures; some of which are undoubtedly the result of shifts in the Dead Sea Rift itself. Some of these secondary cracks are visible on the surface, while others are not. Returning to Bailey Willis' report, in later paragraphs of this same bulletin, while discussing the July 11, 1927 temblor, Mr. Willis provides additional information which is evidence that a part of the Dead Sea Rift system does in fact penetrate the Mount of Olives:

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Jerusalem, walled in on its rocky promontory between the gorges of the Hinnom and Kedron, had received a strong shock.[5] So had Hebron, twenty miles to the south, and Nablus, thirty miles to the north. These three cities are on the crest of the plateau, on the axis which might be supposed to correspond to an axial fault within the uplift, though no fracture is visible in the surface. The inference which connects the vigor of the shock with a structural feature is strengthened by the greater severity of the earthquake in the Mount of Olives. The Mount is a broad ridge, but a mile east of Jerusalem. it ranges from south to north on the axis of a fold, which assumes the character of a fault in its northern extension. The greatest damage occurred on that axis."

"Among the examples of unfavorable exposure were the Mount of Olives and Es Salt. While the destruction on the Mount was in large part due to the fault within the ridge, it was increased by exposure to the east. Habitations on that far side, the side away from the advancing surface wave of the earthquake, were subjected to its full intensity unrestrained by any mass to impede its emergence into the air . . ."

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Thus we see that geologists have been well aware of the existence of a dangerous fault system beneath Jordan and Israel for many years; and it is the very part of the Dead Sea Rift which runs through the Mount of Olives, which will undoubtedly cause it to split in half at the Lord's Return. I recall reading several decades ago, how the Holiday Inn had planned on building one of their famous hotels on the summit of the Mount of Olives; however, if memory serves me correctly, once their engineers became aware of this fault, they withdrew their plans. Sadly, despite the damaging earthquakes which have already shook the mount, and caused a considerable amount of damage in the past, money-minded entrepreneurs have ignored the obvious danger; and to this day, the Mount of Olives hosts a number of hotels, religious buildings, and other tourist-related traps.

Despite all of the Biblical evidence I have shared with you, which not only describes earthquakes of the past, but which also prophesies of even more earthquakes in the future, due to the hardness of their own hearts, some non-believers have tried to disprove the Lord's words. They argue that while there have indeed been many earthquakes in recent decades, there have not been more than in times past. Those people who adopt this anti-Biblical view, contend that this seeming increase in the number of earthquakes is simply due to the fact that in our modern day, in addition to the advent of modern, worldwide seismographic instrumentation which more accurately records the Earth's tectonic movements, global communication networks have made it possible for news of such events to spread further and faster than in times past. In other words, because of this fact, we are being given the false impression that there are more earthquakes when, according to them, there actually are not. As proof of this, consider the following interesting report entitled "Are Earthquakes Really On The Increase?", which was issued by the USGS, that is, the United States Geological Survey:

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Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?

We continue to hear from many people throughout the world that earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant throughout this century and, according to our records, have actually seemed to decrease in recent years.

A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more that 4,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by telex, computer and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years, and we are able to locate earthquakes more rapidly. The NEIC now locates about 12,000 to 14,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 35 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.

According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 18 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year. However, let's take a look at what has happened in the past 28 years, from 1969 through 1996.

Our records show that 1992 is the first time that we have reached or exceeded the long-term average number of major earthquakes since 1971. In 1970 and in 1971 we had 20 and 19 major earthquakes, respectively, but in other years the total was in many cases well below the 18 per year which we may expect based on the long-term average. The following is a list of major earthquakes during this period:

1969 - 15 1970 - 20 1971 - 19 1972 - 15 1973 - 13
1974 - 14 1975 - 14 1976 - 15 1977 - 11 1978 - 16
1979 - 13 1980 - 13 1981 - 13 1982 - 10 1983 - 14
1984 - 08 1985 - 13 1986 - 05 1987 - 11 1988 - 08
1989 - 06 1990 - 12 1991 - 11 1992 - 23 1993 - 15
1994 - 13 1995 - 22 1996 - 21 1997 - 20

Great earthquakes during this 27 year period were also below the level indicated by the long-term average:

1969 - 1 1970 - 0 1971 - 1 1972 - 0 1973 - 0
1974 - 0 1975 - 1 1976 - 2 1977 - 2 1978 - 1
1979 - 0 1980 - 1 1981 - 0 1982 - 1 1983 - 0
1984 - 0 1985 - 1 1986 - 1 1987 - 0 1988 - 0
1989 - 1 1990 - 0 1991 - 0 1992 - 0 1993 - 1
1994 - 2 1995 - 3 1996 - 1 1997 - 0

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The previous report from the USGS is another clear example of man's word versus God's Word. It is a case of the sure Word of Prophecy versus the scientific lies of modern men. As far as I am concerned, either we accept the Lord's words as being true, or else we don't. Considering the Bible's perfect track record in other areas of prophecy, I for one accept the Lord's words as being absolutely true. Allow me to remind you of the verses I shared with you at the beginning of part one, such as the following:

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV

Not only does the previous report seek to discredit God's Word, but there is a certain subtlety about it as well. In this and other reports issued by the USGS, they define a great earthquake as being one which reaches a magnitude of 8.0 or higher. A major earthquake is defined as one which has a magnitude of 7.0 to 7.9. Below the major category are those temblors which are defined as significant earthquakes; which the USGS describes as follows:

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A significant earthquake is one of magnitude 6.5 or higher or one of lesser magnitude that causes casualties or considerable damage.

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Now, please note that even though an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 may cause considerable casualties and damage, according to USGS standards, such a temblor can only be classified as a significant earthquake, but not as a major earthquake, because it has not reached magnitude 7.0; and this is where the subtlety of the USGS enters the picture. Their claims that 'all things continue as they were' is based upon the number of major earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater. I am reminded of the following verses from the second Epistle of the Apostle Peter:

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV

Isn't that precisely the lie which is being spread by these modern-day false prophets? "Oh no; things are not getting worse! There are not more earthquakes! All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation! The number of annual major earthquakes has been constant!". You see, what they are ignoring, is that God does not require that an earthquake be of 7.0 in order to mete out His judgments. The subtlety behind this method used by the USGS to make their claims, will become even more apparent to you after I share some actual earthquake data with you in a moment. So then, based upon their approach of only using earthquakes of 7.0 magnitude or greater to support their claims, they provide us with the following data for the past ninety-nine years.

Allow me to call your attention to the fact that for the twenty-eight-year period spanning from 1969 to 1997, this report lists 483 earthquakes, whereas the 1997 report, which I shared a moment ago, only lists 403 earthquakes for the same period. Considering the supposed accuracy of their equipment, why is there a discrepancy of eighty earthquakes? Even if we combine the twenty great earthquakes from the previous report, we are still left with an additional sixty earthquakes in the report below. Why is there such a major revision in their figures?:

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Number Of 7.0+ Magnitude Earthquakes Per Year 1900 - 1998 :

1900 - 13 1901 - 14 1902 - 8 1903 - 10 1904 - 16
1905 - 25 1906 - 32 1907 - 27 1908 - 18 1909 - 32
1910 - 36 1911 - 24 1912 - 22 1913 - 23 1914 - 22
1915 - 18 1916 - 25 1917 - 21 1918 - 21 1919 - 14
1920 - 8 1921 - 11 1922 - 14 1923 - 23 1924 - 18
1925 - 17 1926 - 19 1927 - 20 1928 - 22 1929 - 19
1930 - 13 1931 - 26 1932 - 13 1933 - 14 1934 - 22
1935 - 24 1936 - 21 1937 - 22 1938 - 26 1939 - 21
1940 - 23 1941 - 24 1942 - 27 1943 - 41* 1944 - 31
1945 - 27 1946 - 35 1947 - 26 1948 - 28 1949 - 36
1950 - 39 1951 - 21 1952 - 17 1953 - 22 1954 - 17
1955 - 19 1956 - 15 1957 - 34 1958 - 10 1959 - 15
1960 - 22 1961 - 18 1962 - 15 1963 - 20 1964 - 15
1965 - 22 1966 - 19 1967 - 16 1968 - 30 1969 - 27
1970 - 29 1971 - 23 1972 - 20 1973 - 16 1974 - 21
1975 - 21 1976 - 25$ 1977 - 16 1978 - 18 1979 - 15
1980 - 18 1981 - 14 1982 - 10 1983 - 15 1984 - 8
1985 - 15 1986 - 6# 1987 - 11 1988 - 8 1989 - 7
1990 - 13 1991 - 10 1992 - 20 1993 - 16 1994 - 15
1995 - 25 1996 - 21 1997 - 20 1998 - 12

Total 1900 - 1997 = 1960 major earthquakes

Events = 20 earthquakes per year

* - Most active year since 1900

# - Least active year since 1900

$ - Year with most people killed since 1900

(295,000 - 699,000; dominated by the Tangshan quake with casualty estimate from 255,000 - 655,000)

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At the time of this writing, the most powerful seismic event of 1999 continues to be the devastating 7.4 earthquake which struck western Turkey on August 17, 1999. As I write this, almost four months after the temblor, the exact death toll is still unknown, and in fact, may never be known. On August 29, 1999, the BBC reported the following:

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As the official number of dead from the Turkish earthquake continues to rise, more reports are emerging of the trauma faced by survivors still searching for missing relatives. The confirmed death toll has now reached 14,000, but estimates suggest another 30,000 bodies remain undiscovered.

At one location, the naval base at Golcuk, there are 400 confirmed dead, but more than twice that number are missing. BBC Ankara Correspondent Chris Morris says that pattern is repeated across the region, adding to the psychological strain on survivors who are unable to arrange funerals for their missing relatives.

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While the earthquake in Turkey held the world's attention for several weeks, it is not the only temblor to shake our planet since the beginning of this year. For example, on January 25th, the South American nation of Columbia was also struck by a devastating earthquake which claimed the lives of over one thousand people. Following are some excerpts from a report issued by Disaster Relief several days after that catastrophe occurred:

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Colombian Earthquake Kills 1,000; Death Toll Expected to Climb

At least 1,000 people are dead, thousands more injured, and tens of thousands homeless following a powerful earthquake Monday that leveled major portions of western Colombia. In the hard-hit city of Armenia, rescue workers scrambled to free people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. City residents clawed at the tangled concrete and steel cables with shovels, sticks, and hands to reach the victims. The deputy fire chief of Armenia said at least 1,000 people were dead, "perhaps more than 2,000 in Armenia alone."

Witnesses described an apocalyptic scene of flattened buildings, crushed automobiles, and bodies littering the streets. Armenia Mayor Alvaro Pulido said his city was devastated by the earthquake, and that his resources were so stretched that the bodies of many victims could not immediately be collected.

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As we continue this series in part seven, I will be sharing some additional news reports with you concerning earthquakes which have struck the planet during 1999. I will also be explaining some of the information-gathering challenges and obstacles I encountered while compiling this data for you. I will also be sharing some additional data with you, which will show exactly how much our Lord's words have been fulfilled during this past century alone. This will include a table which shows the most destructive earthquakes for the past fifty years. The number of deaths and injuries which have resulted from these earthquakes, and the amount of destruction which has accumulated from them as well, truly almost defies the imagination. It is only when one takes the time to really study this issue in detail, instead of just being spoon-fed small pieces of information over a period of time by the mass media, which tends to soften the impact of the truth upon one's conscience, that he is able to form a clear picture in his mind, of how devastating these mighty shakings of the Earth have truly been. I trust that you will join me.

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