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Crime and Natural Disasters to Increase

Strife Beyond Words

In this article we will examine some of the predictions Ellen White made regarding the increase of lawlessness and natural disasters in the future. We will compare what she said with the chaos and lawlessness that gripped New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which is a sobering illustration of what can happen in any of our cities.

First, we'll look at a statement that connects scenes of strife and anarchy with catastrophes such as hurricanes:

The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. Men cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 408, bold added.

The four winds of Revelation 7 themselves apparently represent not only natural disasters, but also the evil and violent passions of men:

We feel depressed, greatly depressed, as we see the world and its wickedness. . . . Why is it that all this wickedness does not break forth in decided violence against righteousness and truth? It is because the four angels are holding the four winds, that they shall not blow upon the earth. But human passions are reaching a high pass, and the Spirit of the Lord is being withdrawn from the earth. Were it not that God has commanded angelic agencies to control the satanic agencies that are seeking to break loose and to destroy, there would be no hope. But the winds are to be held until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 269, bold added.

Anyone who has read the first chapter of Ellen White's Great Controversy cannot but see something ominous in both the above words and in the looting and lawlessness that went on in New Orleans. She describes in that first chapter the utter anarchy among the Jews that occurred during the Jewish revolt of 66-70 AD, and then claims that that entire tragedy is a "faint shadow" of the judgments of God that will fall in the end of time:

The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens, and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future. The records of the past,—the long procession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions, the "battle of the warrior . . . with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood" (Isaiah 9:5),—what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining Spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan's rule.—Great Controversy, pp. 36, 37, bold added.

Back of a house in Grand Isle, La.
Robert MacMaster.
Those who have "rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law"? A connection between natural disasters, and strife and anarchy? Hmm. This seems to make sense.

What would happen if 5% or 10% or 15% of society were living extremely self-centered, self-indulgent lives, trampling upon the 10 Commandments, doing whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it? What would happen if a significant amount of infrastructure collapsed, and food, water, sanitation, police protection, and other basic services simply vanished? Would not utter chaos break loose as that 5% or 10% or 15% began to run amok?

This whole topic demonstrates that the survival and tranquility of our society depends on people everywhere allowing the Holy Spirit to transform their lives through the power of the Gospel.

New Orleans: A Glimpse of the Future

According to the passages we read above, we can expect to see an increase both in lawlessness in our cities and also in natural disasters.

Let's first take a brief look at some of the lawlessness that gripped New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. After that we'll take a look at some of the ominous signs that occurred prior to Hurricane Katrina that indicated that just such lawlessness was on the horizon. Then we will look at the trend of natural disasters.

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