Whirlwinds And Devils: Fires Blaze As 'Ill Omen' And Previews Of Future Events
By Michael H. Brown
The big news is that a court in California decided to ban the Pledge of Allegiance -- specifically because it mentions God. This is of course the greatest travesty since the announcements on human cloning, which means only the greatest travesty in several months. That's how busy being evil we are.
We'll leave it to the many others to debate. We could get into how this country was founded by men who not only believed in God (and not only invoked Him constantly) but also invoked Jesus. We could go on with quotes from the early fathers. George Washington was so devout he prayed for hours and even fasted. Later was Abraham Lincoln -- who went so far as to publicly discuss divine chastisement. "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge THE Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and to humbly implore His protection and favor," Washington said in 1789. And before that was Christopher Columbus -- who recited the Hail Mary every night with his crew on the Santa Maria. We could discuss how this once-great nation was rooted in the Blessed Mother, how the Chesapeake was once the "Bay of St. Mary," how the Mississippi was once "the River of the Immaculate Conception."
We could go on and on about all that. It says "In God We Trust" on our very currency.
But the court decision will be struck down. It is not the most pressing evil. It is a mere symptom. What concerns us more are abortion, cloning, greed, and hard-heartedness across the board. We are morally adrift, and now the purification that started with the Church (that started, as usual, with those closest to God) is now ready to move through our institutions of business, finance, law, education, government, media, and entertainment.
That purification is already moving in the U.S. (and in the rest of the world) in the way of nature.
Our time is the hour of storms. It is the hour of floods. It is the hour of fire. Natural disasters of all sorts are intensifying. The recent and almost apocalyptic pictures from the west only confirm this. Consider that in the past few years, fires have blanketed entire nations with choking smoke and have for the first time in known history reached up into virgin cloud forests. Even Canada has experienced terrifying flames; so intense is the situation that in 1997 the World Wildlife Fund declared it "The Year the World Caught Fire."
It portends to get worse. Flames whipped by the dry winds of El Nino have destroyed millions of acres in Asia, Mexico, and the Amazon. Smoke has chased tigers out of the jungles and through rural towns in Indonesia -- where school children have had to wear gas masks to school. During the late 1990s a blaze in the Amazon stretched over an area the size of England -- costing members of a Stone Age tribe, the Yanamamo, their homes and preventing navigation on the world's largest river. At one point 72,200 fires were spotted over the vast territory by satellite. Smoke from Mexico has choked parts of Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. One witness described it as a "stinking wind" that reeked of sulfur, "a gust of dark ill omen."
And now: Colorado and California and Arizona are on fire themselves.
They'll control it for now. They'll stem much of the destruction.
But how about the future?
How big -- how intense -- can a fire get?
We may find out in the next several years -- and be stunned by the answer. According to the U.S. Forest Service, nearly forty million acres in the United States are at risk of "catastrophic wildfire." Just ten years ago a fire near Oakland destroyed 3,000 homes in a matter of days, moving at a rate at times of a hundred yards in fifteen seconds.
The flames whirled and leapt and made it as tornadic flames -- as what they called "fire devils" -- to the other side of even the widest proximate freeway.
Is there mystical significance?
"Your gold and silver are corroded," it says in James 5:3. "Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days."
"The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire," adds Luke 3:9.
"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age," states Matthew 13:40.
"I have come to bring fire on the earth," says Luke 12:49.
"But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all," Luke 17:49 reminds us.
"Then suddenly, in an instant, you shall be visited by the Lord of hosts, with thunder, earthquake, and great noise, whirlwind, storm, and the flame of consuming fire," says the Old Testament (Isaiah 29:6).
And, indeed, what is juxtaposed to news stories about fires in Arizona this week but stories about the Pledge of Allegiance (showing us the corruption of our judiciary) and the scandals rocking Wall Street?
"Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake," states Revelation 8:5.
"The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire," adds Chapter 16, verse18.
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief," says 2 Peter 3:10. "The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare."
We are in a stage of "warnings." We are seeing the build-up -- the previews -- of future events.
"God Who gave us life, gave us liberty," Thomas Jefferson once said. "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
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