Oct 30, 2017

The California Wildfires

The wildfires that have raged through Northern California have caused at least $1 billion in damage to insured property. The fires killed over 42 people marking the greatest loss of life from a single fire event on record in California, surpassing the 29 deaths from the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles.

It will take months to finalize the total insured losses from the fires. Insurers have so far found that there were 4,200 partial residential losses, 7,200 total residential losses, 1,000 commercial property losses, and over 3,000 auto losses. It is stunning to have over 8,000 structures destroyed in that state. The cedar fire in 2003 had the previous record with 2,830 structures destroyed by fire.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Oklahoma City at the Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum, and one of the speakers talked about how California environmentalist policies have compounded the fire damage. He said lawmakers don’t allow for the removal of dead trees and brush that would have helped prevent the fire storms that consumed all those houses.

It is true that leftist rules on logging have provided more fuel for the fires, but we’ve had this problem for decades. In 1988, a large portion of Yellowstone park went up in flames. There has not been a major fire in the park since because the forest will take many decades to grow back to the pre-1988 density.

There is something very odd about this year’s fire that defies all other growth or drought explanations. The current fire season has burned less acreage than many recent years, and yet, it has been the most destructive. Historian Stephen Pyne noted, “It’s no longer just the case that we’re building homes where the fires are. The fires seem to be going where the houses are.”

In 2012, when the largest single fire in California’s recorded history burned 315,000 acres, only a single barn was damaged. During an average fire season, fires will burn in the high mountains for months without coming anywhere near populated areas.

Only a small portion of California’s 104-million-acre landscape goes up in flames each year. When 1,375,781 acres were burned in 2008, the most ever, that number was less than one percent of the state’s total land area.

It is incredibly strange to have fires cause so much destruction and loss of life over such a long period of time. I’ve looked at years of records for California fires, and most of the great fire events are single events that last one to two days. This month’s blaze had five notable fire events that devastated property for a solid week.

Lately, I’ve noticed that nearly every occurrence of a natural disaster has had some form of extreme classification. The most recent, Hurricane Ophelia, marks the 10th consecutive Atlantic-named storm to become a hurricane in 2017. This ties the record for the most consecutive Atlantic-named storms reaching hurricane strength, which last occurred in the 1800’s, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Colorado State University tropical meteorologist.

The press has almost zero interest in why we are having so many disasters. Every time one occurs, they devote an increasingly smaller amount of time reporting on it. They don’t care about the welfare of the American people. Their main focus is on attacking Trump.

The worst type of disaster a property holder can experience is fire. When a house is flooded, there are many things that can be recovered when the water recedes. When a home is consumed by flames, there is nothing to claim but ashes. When I saw block after block of homes destroyed in many of those California cities, I could only think of how the rapture could deliver a believer from such a dreadful event. With natural disasters becoming a regular occurrence, the “blessed hope” is our only remedy from future calamity.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:16-18).

“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

— Todd

Prophetic Indicators in View

Those who are watchful for Christ’s soon return from the pre-Millennial, pre-Trib view of Bible prophecy see this present time as inundated with significant signs. We more and more often these days hear the term “convergence” bandied about. “Convergence” is used to define the coming-together at once of most of the indicators the prophets–particularly Jesus–gave for the end of the Church Age (Age of Grace).

Two signals fitting within that definition, I believe, are in the news while we continue to observe these troubled but exciting times. I say “exciting,” because the signs are indicators that our Lord must be very near that moment of shouting from the clouds of Heaven, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1-2).

First, I would like to again look at the prophecy Jesus gave about when He will next be revealed to mankind in a catastrophic way. As those who read these commentaries regularly know, I believe Christ was talking about our present time very near the end of the Church Age in this prophecy.

The Lord, as recorded in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30, said it would be just like the days of Noah and the days of Lot when He intervenes or is revealed. I believe this has to be the time of the Rapture. He said people will be buying, selling, building, planting, marrying, etc. It will be business, I believe He was saying, even better than usual when the Rapture occurs.

But, we have to look into other aspects of the way it was in Noah’s day in order to find reference to the prophetic signal I wish to examine here. We go to Genesis chapter 6 for that perspective:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (Genesis 6: 5-6)

Paul, the great apostle, further enlightens on how it was in Noah’s day:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  (Romans 1:21-25)

The following item in the news is quite telling, in my opinion, regarding how this generation fits within God’ prophetic timeline.

“So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,” [Coco] Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. “It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.”

Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.

Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science…

Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based “metaphysical boutique” Catland, said she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and a “Spirit Seance.”

“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “…

Astrology isn’t the only spiritual field overwhelmed by demand: Danielle Ayoka, the founder of spiritual subscription service Mystic Lipstick, said her customer base is growing exponentially. The self-described astrologer sells a “mystic box” subscription, which includes crystals, “reiki-infused bath salts,” and incense customized to the unique energy of the current moon cycle for $14.99 a month. She says she’s seen 75% increase in her audience in the past year. (Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology, MarketWatch, Rapture Ready News, Oct. 21, 2017)

Second of the prophetic indicators I think appropriate to mention here involves the incessant assault by the globalists elite.

The drive to construct the New World Order, as President  Herbert Walker Bush termed it, continues at a stepped-up pace. President Donald J. Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” has sent the one-worlders into a frantic effort to get our thinking back on track. –Back on the track upon which President Obama faithfully took the U.S., in line with recent presidents who came after Ronald Reagan, who, for the most part, was a staunch advocate for American sovereignty.

Now, the son of the first President Bush has weighed in, demonstrating where his strongest allegiance lies. Without mention of Trump’s name, Bush 43 unloaded on any thought of America being given first place over the more important globalist agenda.

Former President George W. Bush delivered a public repudiation of President Donald Trump’s political identity, suggesting many aspects of the current administration are fueling division in the United States and around the world…

“We cannot wish globalism away,” Bush said, noting that the United States must sustain “wise and sustained global engagement” for the future of the country.

Bush indirectly accused Trump of fueling dangerous ideologies that threatened the unity of the United States and global stability, spending a large portion of his speech complaining about social ills in the country…

Bush urged Americans to “recover our own identity,” citing a commitment to global engagement, free and international trade, and immigration.

“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, and forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” he lamented…

Bush’s decision to publicly criticize Trump’s presidency is unusual after he made a point of rarely challenging President Barack Obama while he was in office. (Source: George W. Bush Emerges to Bash Trump, ‘Nativism’: ‘We Cannot Wish Globalism Away,’ Charlie Spiering -Breitbart, Oct. 21, 2017)

George W. Bush had qualities I admired in a president. His holding to his father’s desire to bring the world back to configuration like it was during the days of Babel is not one of them. Globalism is a satanic, not a godly, concept. It will eventuate, however. We are seeing stage-setting for producing the platform from which Antichrist’s regime will rule with an iron fist.

Here’s what the Lord says about that effort we see in development at present:

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psalms 2:2-9)