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Plain Truth Magazine
October 1966
Volume: Vol XXXI, No.10
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Albert J Portune   
Church of God

Died: July 2, 2002
Ambassador College: 1959

Another "killer" quake has struck this time in Turkey. Thousands are dead more thousands injured multiple thousands homeless. Shaken into abject terror, the populace of a four-province area faces the grim harbingers of famine, cholera and death. Is this disaster only an isolated incident or is there a terrible pattern unfolding? The staggering truth in this article reveals WHY killer quakes are stalking the earth and what the FUTURE holds.

HOW LONG is five minutes?
   Watching your favorite television show, playing a scintillating game of bridge or laughing and talking with old friends five minutes slip away almost unnoticed.
   BUT, when the earth suddenly convulses beneath you in savage violence and your familiar world begins to dissolve in crashing chaos five minutes can be an eternity.
   For the one million inhabitants of 150 remote village sin and around Erzurum Province in eastern Turkey, the five-minute time period in which their "world" collapsed in grinding, rumbling horror will forever stand out as a seemingly unending period of terror.
   The majestic mountain peaks framing the broad, fertile plain, which is Erzurum Province, caught the mid-afternoon sun that day. The villagers worked peacefully in their fields as they have for centuries. The grey, volcanic stone buildings clustered in little village groups made quaint patterns in the patchwork of grey and green.

That Fateful Moment

   This peaceful, pastoral world came to an end at 3:26 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 1966. The rolling shock wave of a giant "killer" earthquake striking in sudden fury engulfed a four-province area. For five long, "eternal" minutes, shock wave after shock wave convulsed the valleys and made twisted rubble piles of the once patternful villages. Thousands of homes built of wood frame and adobe-type mud plaster dissolved in an instant.
   Whole mountainsides collapsed with the jarring power of the quake sending rolling waves of earth and debris like a tidal wave to engulf homes and villages. Cracks and crevasses opened and closed like many huge mouths roaring the anger of a tortured earth.
   Thousands died!
   Whole families were wiped out. Children, mothers, fathers were buried some never to be seen again. Children, now without mother and father, sobbed uncomforted, unheeded into the chill, black night of terror ahead. Frantic parents searched hopelessly in the twisted rubble of homes and buildings for children who moments before waved a cheerful hello across the meadow.
   The grim statistics may never be completely known 150 villages in 4 provinces were demolished. At least 2500 are dead perhaps many more. Other thousands are injured. The economy and structure of the area will be affected for years to come.
   Yet the earthquake alone may not take as many lives as the macabre aftermath of starvation, polluted water, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid.
   This is the story of a "killer quake." This is a story that has been written many times before and will be written many times again. But underlying this story is a terrible pattern and a far more profound and terrifying story that you need to know and realize because it affects your life, your future. Don't think it can't happen where you live earthquakes can strike anywhere on earth!

The Historic Record

   For centuries earthquakes have occurred, bringing sudden death and terror. In the centuries that man has recorded these quakes a definite pattern has developed. The majority of earthquakes occur in a giant belt which encompasses the western one third of the continents of North and South America, swings westerly across the Aleutian Islands, then proceeds southerly in a two-thousand-mile corridor down the eastern coast of Asia down through Indonesia, swinging out into the Pacific Ocean east of Australia, taking in New Zealand before disappearing into the vast Pacific regions of the Antarctic. This belt appears again, rising up out of the North Atlantic Ocean to proceed in a thousand-mile wide swath through the Mediterranean coastlands of Spain, Southern Europe, North Africa, Italy, Greece and Turkey, joining the east Asian belt through Iran, Pakistan and India. Another tributary of this zone turns south near Egypt and runs the length of the eastern one third of the continent of Africa. (Study the accompanying map)
   Certainly vivid in most of our memories are the recent "killers" which struck Yellowstone, Wyoming, U.S.A. in 1959, Chile in South America in 1960 and Anchorage, Alaska in 1964. Other "killers" of recent years were the San Francisco quake of 1906 and the Los Angeles-Long Beach quake of 1933.
   Countless other major earthquakes, too numerous to mention, have occurred in this earthquake belt through the centuries and in recent years.
   Even greater earthquakes than these listed have occurred in remote, unpopulated areas of the earth and under the sea. These huge "killers" have gone unpublicized because no major loss of life has been recorded.

What Recent Investigations Have Disclosed

   Although scientists and seismologists have known that earthquakes were more likely to occur in these areas, the awesome correlation of these areas into associated earthquake fault systems is a fact only recently discovered.
   The International Geophysical Year of 1957 a year devoted to intensive and far-reaching studies of the earth's crust and the vast ocean beds revealed hitherto unknown facts about the earth's earthquake systems. The facts gathered from this 1957 study are still being studied and analyzed.
   The most significant findings of this survey disclosed that the known earthquake faults or cracks in the earth were not isolated cracks or faults, but a vast interrelated system of faults which is WORLDWIDE in scope. The San Andreas Fault line in California, which for years was thought to be a single great fracture in the earth's surface, is now known to extend indefinitely in both directions beneath the surface of the sea.
   The Pioneer, a vessel of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, doing research in the North Pacific in 1963, discovered a gigantic sea-bottom crack and fracture zone. One newly discovered crack begins about 700 miles southwest of Kodiak Island in the Aleutians and appears to run for eight hundred miles toward the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. In this same zone running approximately between the Hawaiian Islands and the West Coast of the U.S.A. are several giant cracks or faults running for approximately four thousand miles. According to the Science News of May 1966, these newly discovered earthquake faults or cracks are not just the separation of a few feet in the earth's crust, the usual picture of an earthquake, but are nearly TWO HUNDRED MILES WIDE.
   One of the outstanding earth fault discoveries made during the 1957 Geophysical Year was the discovery of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a fantastic rift beginning in Antarctica at the southern polar region, tracing its way through the South Atlantic and the North Atlantic to the north polar region, where it joins another system which extends down through the Pacific Ocean, making a gargantuan crack AROUND THE WORLD.
   Seismologists and earthquake researchers have had to revise their concepts of earthquake potential in light of the recent discoveries. No longer can a single earthquake be considered as an isolated incident, but, rather a symptom in a complex interrelated system of earthquake faults which is worldwide in scope!
   But more breathtaking than this is the sobering realization that seismic forces of such cataclysmic proportion exist within the earth that earthquakes of WORLDWIDE scope are now a reality.

What the Future Holds

   All about us in this earth is mute testimony. We see great mountains with twisted, uplifted strata. We can visit giant valleys and chasms which have been created by super upheavals of the earth. In many places on the surface of the earth can be viewed the very fault lines themselves with the tortured rock and distorted strata. One such area I have visited many times. It is here in California, not over 50 miles from Pasadena, in the Coastal Range Mountains near Gorman, California. Here the San Gabriel fault, a tributary of the great San Andreas Fault line often called the "Mother of Earthquakes" is exposed plainly to view.
   I have never seen such a dramatic display of wildly distorted strata anywhere. As many times as I have gone through this area I am still spellbound by the fantastic potential of earthquake force shown so graphically there. I have often thought what a mighty city like our neighboring metropolis of Los Angeles would look like should such displacement occur beneath the city. No building could withstand it.
   This testimony, written in the strata of the earth, with the facts recently analyzed and put together, brings us to one inexorable question: when will global quakes strike?
   You need to know the answer. It is revealed in your Bible.

The Truth Revealed

   Whether the world acknowledges it or not, there is an Almighty, Omnipotent God who has set down rules and regulations of life. If mankind were to follow those laws they would lead to peace, happiness, good health and prosperity.
   Almighty God wants mankind to OBEY those laws so He can give them the peace, joy and happiness they so sorely need. Yet, man has rejected those laws and turned to his own set of standards and origins. This disobedience as prophesied by God has brought misery, war, starvation, hatred, crime, sexual degeneration, disease and unhappiness.
   No thinking man can deny this world is on the brink of self-destruction. Even our world leaders admit there is no workable solution to our present calamities. Many top world advisers can foresee nothing but nuclear holocaust, worldwide famine, worldwide plague and pestilence.
   Man, left to his own determination, will certainly end up exactly that way. But God has other plans!
   God is going to see to it that mankind achieves happiness and a peaceful, wonderful, bountiful world TOMORROW. That wonderful world tomorrow is the GOOD NEWS that Jesus Christ came to announce to this world nearly 2000 years ago. It is the same good news announced by His true servants on earth today. It is the good news you read in the pages of The PLAIN TRUTH magazine and hear on The WORLD TOMORROW program on the radio.

Only One Way

   But there is only one way to achieve that wonderful world tomorrow. That way is through obedience to God's laws. But the world does not want to obey God's laws. Yet God, knowing the world must turn to Him to obey Him and keep His laws and regulations in order to be happy, is going to FORCE this world to acknowledge Him and serve Him FOR ITS OWN GOOD.
   Human beings filled with their own stubborn nature do not turn easily. Asking, pleading, begging is not enough. Man's carnal (meaning human, physical) nature naturally turns away from God and His ways. The Word of God says: "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).
   Yet being subject to God's laws is the ONLY WAY man can ultimately find the peace, happiness and abundance he seeks for and cannot hold.
   Therefore God has only one alternative and that is to FORCE mankind to turn from his own way and to turn to God in order to FIND that God's way is the good and right way.
   God has given man 6000 years of human history on this earth to try out his own human way and to record a bizarre history of every conceivable evil, misery, debauch, lawlessness, perversion and wanton destruction. That is indeed the recorded history of man on earth.
   Those 6000 years are nearly up. Man is living in the last few fleeting moments of this earth's present history. This is so graphically portrayed by the existence NOW on earth of the potential to wipe out all human life in the space of a heartbeat.
   God will soon intervene to save mankind from himself to save him from total annihilation.
   Tremendous events are soon to occur which will stop man from going his own way. The disciples of Jesus Christ asked Him what would happen in the end of the age when He would again return to this earth (Mat. 24:3). Jesus told them there would be a time of many wars and rumors of war. He said famines would increase and that there would be disease epidemics. These things are certainly beginning to be fulfilled in our days.
   He also told them there would be earthquakes in various places (see Mat. 24:4-7). Yes, earthquakes are going to play a major part in jarring mankind into acknowledging their God.
   Those same days are described in Luke 21:25-26: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts FAILING THEM FOR FEAR, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."
   With giant earthquakes often come the accompanying TSUNAMI waves a Japanese term for tidal waves. These seismic waves, created in the sea, can travel at fantastic rates of speed often over five hundred miles per hour! Striking land, they devastate coastal areas often miles inland. Such waves took many lives during the 1960 Chilean quake.

Yes, WORLDWIDE Earthquakes

   With what is now evident in recent discoveries, this earth has an earthquake potential far beyond anything previously imagined by scientists. Leading seismologists acknowledge something worldwide involving great forces is building up beneath the surface of the earth.
   Giant, worldwide earthquakes ARE coming!
   Right here in the Los Angeles area we are told we are long overdue for a KILLER QUAKE. Dr. Richter at the California Institute of Technology has expressed concern over the giant stresses building up along the high San Andreas Fault line.
   Notice the prophecy of Isaiah 2:17-21: "And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish [the possessions men value above God's way). And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for the FEAR of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to SHAKE TERRIBLY THE EARTH.
   In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats: to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for FEAR of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty WHEN HE ARISETH TO SHAKE TERRIBLY THE EARTH."
   Nothing can be more terrifying than feeling the earth that solid mass we are so accustomed to having firm and stable under our feet suddenly heaving and tossing like a windswept sea. With our homes and our familiar buildings crashing around us into shapeless rubble with our families and loved ones being crushed or swallowed up in a hungry mouth in the earth with the panic, the chaos and confusion of a "Killer Quake" COMES TERROR AND FEAR the kind of fear that will wake men up.
   But, with the wars, the famines, the plague, the pestilence AND THE TERRIFYING EARTHQUAKES which precedes the return of Christ will come the ultimate realization that God is INDEED GOD. Mankind will go through these terrible times and the lesson will be learned. Men will come to FEAR GOD, and God says: "The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom" (Ps. 111:10).
   Then mankind will begin to obey their God. They will turn from their own evil way to obedience to God's laws and they will learn the way of happiness, peace and joy. God will send His own son Jesus Christ to become King over all the earth. He will establish that wonderful world tomorrow.
   Micah, a prophet of God, foretold that day: "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
   "And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it" (Micah 4:1-4).
   Isaiah says of that time ahead: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. And they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:6-9).
   Just before the return of Jesus Christ to this earth, the most powerful and Mighty earthquake ever to strike this earth in the history of man will occur. Islands will disappear, great cities will fall, the earth will be crushed under the impact. It is mentioned in Revelation 16:18, "... and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great."
   There can be no doubt the part earthquakes will play in the near future! The "killer quakes" which now - stalk the earth are mere forerunners and symptoms of a FAR GREATER FORCE TO BE UNLEASHED soon!
   To the people of God who serve Him and obey Him NOW, God promises Supernatural protection from this terrible time ahead. God's people will see the beginnings of these things but will be afforded a means of escape and safety provided by an Almighty, All-Powerful God.
   God says to His people: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape ALL these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
   You CAN escape!
   You can be spared!
   If you will turn to God with all your heart in obedience to Him, not following the ways of this world, you can escape. You will be protected in the day He arises to SHAKE TERRIBLY THE EARTH. You will then be His son to be a ruler and governor with Him to help usher in that happy world tomorrow (Rev. 20:6).
Be sure to read our free, full-color booklet with many breathtaking, on-the-scene photos entitled Truth about EARTHQUAKES. This booklet will give you more dramatic information about earthquakes and more of the story of the part they will play in YOUR life - Editor.

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Plain Truth MagazineOctober 1966Vol XXXI, No.10
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