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PLANETARY

CATASTROPHISM

Pastor K. Kirkland Valdez Apostolic Church, Valdez, Alaska 

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 New Testament prophecies indicate people are going to become very  interested in Catastrophism during the endtimes. To be more specific, planetary catastrophism. Back in the 70’s I chanced to read some of Immanuel Velikovsky and Donald Patten’s books. Velikovsky is most known for his "Worlds in Collision" and "Earth in Upheaval." Patten’s are mostly out of print except for his latest,  “Catastrophism and the Old Testament.”

 Velikovsky and Patten contended in Old Testament times certain planets were loose cannons in the solar system. Velikovsky believed Venus was the loose cannon, Patten believed it was Mars.

 Patten brings convincing evidence to bear that Mars was not in the nice orderly orbit it is in now. Periodically it passed close to the earth, each time wreaking havoc on a gigantic scale, scaring the living daylights out of people.

 This is why amongst the ancient Greeks, Romans, etc., Mars was so prominent. Mars was the leading deity in 8th century BC Rome. Mars Hill in Athens, for instance (Acts 17:22) is named for the planet.

 Patten asks “From whence in Roman culture comes the ancient advise to beware the ides of March?  It came from pioneer Rome, the most ancient era of Roman experience, when the Romans were still living in the catastrophic era.” March (named after Mars) was the time of the year Mars had interacted with earth.

 Isn’t it amazing that such a tiny point of light in the night sky, which the average person you meet probably can’t even pick out, yet, in ancient times was so prominent.

 In the Bible, the prophets described such astronomical catastrophism in the language of their times, theologians refer to these as “day of the Lord” passages. The prophets projected Old Testament planetary catastrophic events to the final day of the Lord.

 It appears that Mars was responsible for more than we realize. Mars, according to Patten, was the cause for such things as “the day the Sun stood still” in Joshua 10, and the turning back of the sundial by 10 degrees in Isaiah 38. The Sun only appeared to have moved in these cases, the earth, due to the intense gravitational interaction between planets, experienced spin axis change, and was actually the one being moved.

According to Patten, 701 BC, when Jerusalem was saved from destruction at the siege of Sennacherib and his armies (an event coinciding with the turning back of the sundial), was the last of  the earth’s encounters with Mars.

 The 701 BC event caused Mars orbit to be perturbed enough that it’s orbit rounded out, becoming in resonance between Jupiter and Earth, settling out into it’s now-serene orbit.

 Patten brings out that before the turning back of the sundial event, 701 BC, all evidence points to the fact that calendars throughout the world, both Jewish and heathen, reflected 30 day months/360 day years. The earth’s encounters with Mars perturbed the Earth’s orbit just enough to cause our present 365 day years. [It makes sense that God’s original creation would have been perfect - a perfect 30 day month, 12 month, 360 day year.]

 Patten says the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars is the remains of  a planet caused by a gigantic collision with Mars. Mars won, however, sustaining intense cratering from the fragments of the planet. This collision is what knocked Mars into a destructive, elliptical orbit in OT times. The collision, as Patten puts it, “Created some 3000 asteroids and splattering one side of Mars with another 3000 ‘asteroids’ or fragments. On this day, Mars staggered, and lost potential energy as it fell into its catastrophic orbit.”

 Following Patten since the 70’s, I have been repeatedly amazed at how subsequent space explorations have confirmed his predictions.

 What he said they would find in the rings of Saturn they have found; same concerning planetary electrical discharges or “flux tubes” (found between Jupiter and it’s moon Io); same concerning Venus.

 And, most significantly, what he said they would find upon closer examination of the surface of Mars, they have found!  Since the Earth has 9.3 times the mass of Mars, he said Mars would show plenty of evidence of it’s “flybys,” faring far worse than Earth.

 Scientists have been astounded at what they have found. Patten’s latest book comments on their findings: “With Mars experiencing such intense sub-crustal tides, it is no wonder that it has giant volcanoes. The volcanic cone of Ascraeus Mons could engulf the state of South Carolina. The Volcanic cone of Pavonis Mons could engulf Indiana. And the volcanic cone of the gigantic Olympus Mons could engulf all of New England plus half of New York state. The sizes of these vocanoes, results of the ancient Mars flybys.” And, this is just the Volcanoes, not to mention other Mars findings that support Patten.

 These findings have definitely sharpened my interest in planetary catastrophism. The book of Revelation seems to indicate that something may dislodge Mars from it’s serene orbit and send it once again on a destructive path with Earth. Perhaps a meteor/comet may collide, or come close enough to Mars that it perturb Mars’ orbit just enough to do it. If not a meteor or comet, some other astronomical event.

 These astronomical-scale catastrophes of the OT, the prophets used in their prophecies as previews of the  final “day of the Lord.” It appears Patten is correct, I have nothing so far that says otherwise, my own independent research supports his theory. If the OT previews of the day of the Lord were due to Mars, then I have good reason to suspect the final one will be.

 “Mens 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,”    Luke 21:26.

 “The earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard…And it shall come to pass in THAT DAY (the day of the Lord), that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.”                 Isaiah 24:19-21.

K. Kirkland, Pastor - This article is Copyright 1999, All rights reserved.

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