New Zealand Quake—Why More Chaos Down Under?
I fell in love with New Zealand during my first visit to its North Island over 40 years ago. Twenty years later I returned to spend a couple of weeks in Christchurch on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
It was spring and the blossom was bursting out everywhere across the very English-style setting of that beautiful city. I remember thinking, “God sure did bless His people, the Anglo-Saxons, with the choicest pieces of real estate on the planet, and this has to be one of them.” (Read our booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy for proof on the identity of the Anglo-Saxons.)
Today, Christchurch looks a lot different to that peaceful setting of 20 years ago. For the second time in just five months, that beautiful city has been devastated by an earthquake, this one exacting far greater toll on life and property than the one of last September.
On the New Zealand quake, one thoughtful contributor to a social network website mused, “These things are always so hard to make sense of, despite the science we all understand intellectually.”
That surely is the case for so many of us. Yet the fact remains, there is a cause for every effect. Too often, though, we restrict ourselves to looking for the cause intellectually instead of raising our sights to the spiritual sphere which overarches all at the physical level.
There is a God. There was a first cause for all that is physical, including man. Man alone of all earthly creatures possesses the power to link with his Maker—at the spiritual level. That link alone will provide the revelation of ultimate truth that exposes the real cause of every effect. Of this reality too many remain ignorant.
There once was a man who taught powerfully of that reality. His voice was heard over the airwaves in Australia and New Zealand for decades. His name was Herbert Armstrong. A pragmatic seeker after truth, Herbert Armstrong was a lone voice in his time crying out amid the cacophony of spiritual confusion that pervades this old Earth.
He was one of the most recent of a thin red line of spiritual teachers that date back to the time when Jesus Christ laid His hands on 12 individuals and ordained them to a ministry with the command to go into all the world and teach the way of life that mankind had been designed to live, and reveal the reason for it (Matthew 28:19).
For nigh on 60 years, Herbert Armstrong fulfilled that ministry. Then he died.
What followed was a deliberate effort by his enemies to destroy the memory of his lifetime’s ministry.
They did not succeed.
The Trumpet and the Key of David television program are evidence that the memory of the ministry of Herbert Armstrong lives on. It reaches out today to affect the lives of multiple thousands across the globe through the printed word, television and the Worldwide Web.
So it is that Herbert Armstrong’s clear and concise explanation for the so-called natural phenomena—such as those that have so heavily impacted the lives of so many by wind, flood and fire in Australia and by earthquake in New Zealand—is as up to date today as when he published and broadcast it throughout much of the 20th century.
What did he demonstrate was the real power behind major world events?
Herbert Armstrong simply went back to basics. He referred to the documented history of Jesus Christ’s prophetic witness. He mentioned the time when Christ’s young students—His disciples—came to Him privately and asked the basic question about what signs to look for—signs that would foreshadow His imminent return in power to rule all the Earth and finally bring peace to humankind (Matthew 24:3).
Referring to Christ’s own prophecy in Matthew 24:4-14, Mr. Armstrong observed, “These things, Jesus replied, must come first: a false ‘Christian’ religion, whose ministers would falsely claim to be Christ’s ministers, coming in his name, deceiving the many. Then wars, climaxing finally into world wars; then famines and disease epidemics and increasing earthquakes. Just before the end, He said, his true gospel of God’s Kingdom would be preached in all the world—not to convert the world, but ‘for a witness’—and then, He said, shall the end of this world come!” (Plain Truth, March 1984).
Then Herbert Armstrong made an amazing statement. He declared, “All these things already have occurred—except that we are now in a recess during the world wars—between World Wars ii and iii; and that we have so far had only the first forerunners of the famine and disease epidemics and earthquakes. These shall increase greatly.”
But he went further. With the Bible as his primary source, he showed that Christ even identified specific nations that would be the most impacted by these events leading up to His return: “He [Christ] identified the nations primarily affected. It will be those whom God caused to be named after Jacob—or Israel—the nations descended from the two sons of Joseph. And those are the United States and British peoples of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.”
Notice! Australia and New Zealand are mentioned there specifically! You can prove their biblical identity with the aid of our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
It is not by dint of pure circumstance that Australia and New Zealand have been subject to great catastrophe over recent months. It is by design! Believe it or not!
It is by the specific design of Almighty God who created humankind, who thus knows human nature and knows the powerful forces at work that seek to deny man the fulfillment of his rightful incredible human potential!
But as our heavenly Father, He knows how to deal with His children!
He inspired one of the basic laws of effective child rearing to be embedded in Scripture: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother shame” (Proverbs 29:15). That same principle applies to the way the Creator of humankind deals with His offspring (Genesis 1:27) when they go astray.
God declares of the Anglo-Saxon nations that we are like sheep that have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). Out of an overwhelming love for these people, the Eternal God simply reproves them by increasing the punishment on them for breaking His law. Much of that punishment comes in the form of so-called natural catastrophes. God will continue to bring such penalties on His people simply to draw their attention to the reality that they are out of step with His will. And He will do this till repentance occurs and they turn to their God for His help.
When God reproves a nation—or nations, as no doubt He is doing with the Australians and New Zealanders—He implores His people, “Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted” (Isaiah 31:6).
Why this succession of calamities on Anglo-Saxon nations? To gain the attention of the people—that they might question whether their own selfish way of life may be the reason for such catastrophes befalling them, and that they might be motivated to take the action that will actually save their life and the life of their loved ones from further calamity!
In all this, the great mercy of an all-wise and all-loving God is summed up in His plea to His people: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11).
Read our booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet for deeper insight into this subject. Then read our book The Incredible Human Potential, and do something about laying hold on that potential and truly living it—TO THE FULL!