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Before the sons of God were to appear in glorious manifestation on the millennial earth, there was to be a groaning of God's creation. The earth was to travail like a woman experiencing birth pangs. We were advised of this by Paul in verses 19 and 22 of the eighth chapter of Romans, where he wrote: "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God," and "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and trvaileth in pain together until now." The birth pangs were occasionally felt during the time of Paul's writings, but Matthew indicated they would increase noticeably just before Christ's coming for his saints in verses 7b and 8 of the twentieth-fourth chapter of his gospel, where he wrote: "And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers (many different) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (odin)." The word "odin" is used for "sorrows" by Matthew, and the same root word for "odin" is used by Paul in Romans 8:22 to describe the "travail" of God's creation. You may use any Greek lexicon of your choice, and you will find that the basic meaning of the word "odin" refers to the birth pangs experienced by a woman in the travail of delivering a child. Therefore, when the Lord said "All these," in verse 8, he was referring specifically to the birth pangs that would be suffered, in a period of time just before his coming, because of famines, pestilence, and earthquakes. He indicated that all three of these phenomena would increase steadily like a woman's birth pangs, ever increasing in this period labeled as "the beginning of sorrows." Down through the centuries earthquakes, famine, and pestilence have been used repeatedly to teach that the coming of Jesus was at hand. However, they have never followed the "odin" pattern of a woman's birth pangs during recorded history, that is, until now. In order for this prophecy of Christ to be fulfilled these phenomena had to behave like a woman's birth pains. When true labor pangs begin, they become greater and greater in frequency and intensity with the passage of time. Earthquake surges have come and gone in short duration patterns since this prophecy was uttered, but now, for the first time since it was given, they are steadily following the pattern of "odin." The same basic pattern is now being followed in famine, pestilence, and earthquakes, just as Jesus indicated. In this update we will show the "odin" pattern in earthquakes. In future updates we will cover pestilence (loimos) and famine, Lord willing. The statistics which will follow were first extracted from the Earthquake Data File Summary, U. S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Data Service, Boulder, Colorado, which was issued in May of 1976. I have received updates to the original report from the same source every year since 1977. While the intensity of the earthquakes is similar to the Richter scale, with which most people are familiar, they are not exactly the same, but rather than launch out into a technical discussion of the difference, let me simply state that, for comparative purposes, they are the same. They come from Table 2 - Summary of data file by year by magnitude and depth. As you read the numbers which follow in the narrative, remember they are referring to earthquakes reported across the earth greater than one in intensity on the Richter scale. Before Israel officially became a nation in May of 1948, there were never more than 6,000 earthquakes greater than one reported in any 19 year period. I chose a 19 year cycle, because that is the number of years which passed between the time that Israel became a nation (1948), and the time she finally took back Old Jerusalem and her Temple Mount (1967). During the 19 year period between 1948 and the beginning of 1968, 32,789 earthquakes were reported across the surface of the planet. In 1967 Israel recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem and her Temple Mount and, for the first time since she lost it to the Romans in A.D. 70, she regained sovereignty over it. During the 19 year period that followed, from 1968 to 1986, there were 125,011 earthquakes reported across the earth. In just 14 years, from 1986 to 2000, we had 247,347 earthquakes reported on this globe. I assure you that they will continue to accelerate, but if they were simply to continue at this static rate of 17,688 per year then, by the time that the 19 year cycle is completed in 2005, there will have been 335,687 reported across the earth. The average number reported per year since 1948 has increased, in 19 year cycles, from 1,726 to 6,579 to 17,688. I realize that a large part of the increase is due to better seismological equipment, a better reporting system, and an increase in the density of population, but it cannot be attributed to these factors alone. And, after all, Jesus simply said, for all practical purposes, that more and more would be reported in may different (differs) places just before he came again. And, in saying they would be in many different places, one would have to surmise he knew man would spread across the earth and that technology would rapidly increase in the last days. In any case, it demonstrates he is who he claimed to be, the Son of God, who knows the future. Did not the Spirit, in Daniel 12:4, indicate that man would spread across the earth, and technology would bring a literal knowledge and capability explosion: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Could Jesus have known less?