Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
September 5, 2017
Celestials & Catastrophism
Considering all that we see and hear transpiring around us in this day, it makes one wonder what is coming next
and where we are on God's timeline. Will governments completely fail? Will the global financial system crash? Will
there be war with North Korea involving nuclear weapons? Will World War III come? Will Jerusalem be destroyed?
Will there be revolutions? Will there be a dramatic increase in natural disasters—hurricanes, earthquakes, fires,
volcanoes, etc., accompanied by famine, pestilence, disease? Will there be a dreaded pandemic? Without doubt,
given enough time, some of these and much more will occur, for these are found in the cycles of man's history.
Nations fail, governments fail, institutions fail, currencies crash, markets fall, wars come and go, peace remains
elusive, hurricanes and tornadoes and other weather events come at will, and people die for all sorts of reasons.
This is life.
But, what about the signs in the heavens?
On August 21, 2017, many in the United States and those who traveled from other lands experienced the effects of
total darkness caused by the so-called Great Eclipse of 2017 . Prior to this, the world witnessed four so-called Blood
Moons and two solar eclipses from 2014-2015. One more total eclipse is to arrive in the US in 2024 that will pass
across the country from the southwest to the northeast. Once completed, the two eclipses combined will have
marked an X across the country with Missouri at the center of the X.
Are these signs from God? Is God sending us a message? Are more to come? Leading up to these celestial events,
there was a lot of prophetic chatter about what these signs in the heavens portend to happen on earth. Books were
written, the so-called prophetic appeared on talk shows, and many websites were abuzz with more prophetic
utterances. Now, people are starting to talk about the seven-year period (2017-2024) between the two solar
eclipses. Is this going to be a time of tribulation? Is the holy spirit going to be poured out? Some are even looking
to the near term, specifically September 23, 2017, when there will a specific alignment of the stars. The sun will be
in the constellation Virgo and the moon will be at Virgo's feet in a portrayal of Revelation 12 and the birth of the
man child. Is this when the so-called rapture occurs? Is this the beginning of the apocalypse that so many are
expecting? Finally, for the tin foil-hat crowd, is Planet Nibiru or Planet X, the unseen infrared planet that the
government knows about but conspires to keep secret, finally going to arrive and smash into earth, destroying all
life? Frankly, sometimes I feel like I could join the tin foil-hats; at least they think outside the box and are not caught
up in orthodoxy. Besides, I enjoy a good conspiracy; it's fertile ground for new ideas.
It might surprise you, but I consider this last point far more interesting and possibly more pertinent to the season
that is upon us. Before you get the tin foil-hat for me, let me explain. All of the examples and questions cited above,
along with many more that could be posed, are known entities to all of us who have spent any time on this planet
or who have read the history of mankind. There is nothing new under the sun. As the saying goes, history repeats
itself, and it has done this over and over again in cycles that can be tracked and even predicted.
So, the big question is this: If God wants to get our attention, how is He going to do this? How has He done this
before? Is He going to just pick a previously manifested event and repeat it? How will we know this is from Him?
Or, is He simply going to take many of these events and increase them in frequency and intensity until we think few
will survive? After all, right now in the US there are raging fires in the west, a recovery underway in Texas, and now
a mega-hurricane named Irma is heading our way. This might start to get our attention. Or, is He going to expect us
to look into the heavens and study the zodiacs, as some are doing for September 23 rd and take well-known
alignments of the stars as signs? But how or why would this get our attention? After all, the stars and the planets
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have coursed through space in known and predictable orbits for some time now. Some say they have been lined up
this way for mega years, while one school of thought says they have coursed this way since 701 BC. Take your pick.
This leads to the one thing that I believe would be an effective way for God to get our attention—shake earth's
stability through the celestials. Think about it; God does not need a secret planet hidden on the back side of the sun
to swing our way and crash into earth to catch our attention or, even worse, to annihilate us entirely. This latter
suggestion goes against the grain of God who is love. Of course, He could send a large meteorite or asteroid our
way that hits us or makes a mighty close flyby to shake things up a bit. But what about the planets? What if there
were a subtle or even major shift in the orbit of one or more planets in our solar system? Could God do such a thing?
Of course!
The question is—Has God done such a thing in the past, that is, changed the orbit of planets to bring terror on earth
as well as dramatic, even catastrophic upheaval through off-the-chart quakes? Consider the major mountain ranges
on our planet, such as the Himalayas. Did they develop such great heights due to a gradual process over billions of
years? Orthodox theories of our day say yes. This theory is held within gradualism and/or uniformitarianism . But
there is one theory called planetary catastrophism that theorizes that our planet experienced catastrophic events
from about 9,900 BC to 701 BC. During this period, it is believed that Mars was in a much different orbit and made
flybys (passovers) over the earth that ranged from 15,000 to 60,000 miles out on a 54-year cycle with 108-year
cycles, causing catastrophic upheavals on earth and 540-year cycles causing mega-catastrophic upheavals—the type
that creates huge mountain ranges, causes massive floods, and alters the magnetic poles of earth.
Apart from whether this is a valid scientific theory or not, one reason why it has not been accepted by the scientific
community is that it challenges the theory of evolution and leans toward creationism. The scientific community is
not much different from the theological community—both fight over certain views (theory, doctrine) until one side
prevails over the other and their view becomes orthodoxy. It doesn't mean it is the truth or the best view; it simply
means one side prevailed. In the past, among so-called Christians , sometimes the winner prevailed by labeling the
other side a heretic and burning them at the stake. Sometimes the religious-institutional system challenged even
the scientists. In 1642, the famed Galileo faced the Catholic Church Inquisition for his belief in the Copernican System
(the sun is the center of the universe). He was labeled a heretic and placed under house arrest until he died in 1648.
Back to planetary catastrophism; there is a book titled Catastrophism and the Old Testament, The Mars-Earth
Conflicts by Donald Wesley Patten (1988, Pacific Meridian Publishing Company). It may be out of print but used
copies are available online. In his book, Mr. Patten, who is a creationist, proposes that many of the catastrophic
events (e.g., Noahic flood) in the old testament were the result of a heavenly/celestial war between Earth and Mars
in what were Mars flybys or passovers. There is too much detail to properly summarize the book, but one point
caught my attention. The ancient prophets often used what theologians call poetic language that was not meant to
be literal. However, Patten proposes that, in some cases, this language is more than this, for it describes a celestial
event that literally caused havoc on earth. Consider Isaiah as one example: The earth is broken asunder, the earth
is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for
its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again (Isaiah 24:19-20). As a child and years later as
an elder, Isaiah might have experienced or seen the effects of two flybys, the last being in 701 BC. If this theory has
merit, the implications in our understanding of the ancient prophets is profound.
To me, all of this is fascinating stuff, offered simply as food for thought, so to speak, and not as some prediction.
Regardless, the point I want to leave with you is that God could manifest His hand through the one thing that
scientists reject and, frankly, we Christians know so little about. The creator knows how to align the planets and
change their orbits to bring about His judgments. As the Lord told Abraham: Now look toward the heavens. Perhaps
we should do likewise. Some of God's future, attention-getting judgments could come from the celestials.