“Let The Fire Fall!”
It was early evening one summer when a man screamed the above command. He was yelling to other men high atop Glacier Point in the Yosemite mountains. My beloved wife Cindy and I were in the valley below along with hundreds of other people waiting for a certain, planned event to happen. Describing things of this nature really isn’t my ‘cup of tea’, but let me make an attempt to share a special memory with you.
Many years ago (in the 50s and 60s) they used to build an enormous fire in a huge metal grate at the top of Glacier Point (a few thousand feet up). It would burn all day to finally become red hot coals by the evening time. Visitors to the park were invited to gather in an amphitheater near the foot of Glacier Point to hear presentations about the park and to watch videos. But we were all really more interested in what was in store for us to see in real time. This event was timed to happen when it got real dark, usually about 9:00 p.m.
Everything was done very dramatically. At a certain point in time we were instructed to look upwards when the ‘commander’ among us yelled to other crew members above at Glacier Point. When the signal “Let The Fire Fall” was heard by those above, they would yell back in response. We were instructed to remain silent so that we could hear them (faintly) saying that they heard the instruction and would obey the command which was issued by the ‘captain’ who was with us.
Then suddenly, we could see what looked like a ball of fire emerge from the very top of the mountain and begin to fall down the slope of the tall, stone mountain side. The fire would broaden and spread widely as it descended to the earth below. Thousands of cinders which escaped the large parts would slow down and, due to the breezes, float in all different directions casting their red glow majestically across the backdrop of the cliff-side. Oohs and aahs from all the viewers corresponded to what we were seeing, making it all fit together in a very special way. It was quite a spectacular event.
The above real-life story came to my mind when I read yesterday’s newspaper. The main headline stated “Lightning Sparks 842 Blazes”. Let me quote a bit of the article:
“More than 840 wildfires sparked by an ‘unprecedented’ (my emphasis) lightning storm are burning across northern California, alarming Governor Schwarzenegger and requiring the help of firefighters from Nevada and Oregon. Schwarzenegger said he was told late Sunday evening that the state had 520 fires, and he found it ‘quite shocking’ that by Monday morning the number had risen above 700. Moments later a top state official standing at Schwarzenegger’s side offered a grim update. ‘The figure was actually 842 fires’, said Del Walters, assistant regional chief...,. ‘This is an unprecedented lightning storm in California, that it lasted as long as it did, 5,000 to 6,000 lightning strikes,’, Walters said. ‘We are finding fires all the time.’”
I suppose it is due to my extended appreciation for, plus studying and writing about Biblical prophecy as it relates to modern times, that I am not at all surprised by the above account of the unprecedented lightning storm which has hit California precisely when it did. (A friend who is captain of a local fire department told me after the above article appeared that the official count is now over 1100 fires were started by the lightning.)
HOW EXTENSIVE IS THIS FIRE AND RESULTANT SMOKE?
The following news report came out a few days later in the Davis Enterprise: “Hundreds of lightning-sparked wildfires have turned the air of Northern California into an unhealthy stew of smoke and ash, forcing the cancellation of athletic events and other outdoor activities. Health advisories urging residents to stay indoors to limit exposure to the smoky air were issued Saturday from Bakersfield north to Redding, a distance of 450 miles. Air pollution readings in the region are two to 10 times the federal standard for clean air,...some areas are experiencing the worst air quality on record with the smoke hanging down to the ground like a fog.” And the article continued with much more content describing just how awful these conditions really are.
IS ALL THIS LOGICALLY, & MORE IMPORTANTLY, BIBLICALLY EXPLAINABLE?
It was only last week that I wrote an article and sent it to my entire email list about the Sodomy issue which has recently also ‘struck’ California. I won’t describe the details of that again here for all who receive this letter today also received the previous one.
The revealed Lord God of the Bible is the ultimate God of grace, love and mercy. But if you think that God will sit idly by allowing the decision of California’s Supreme Court ruling relative to same-sex marriage to become law and socially acceptable, in a land that was chosen by Him for preaching and teaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the nations, thus thumbing the nose at what God has already defined as “abominable” to Him, then I would advise you to better acquaint yourself with the judgment side of the God of the Bible.
The heavenly Father is also a holy God. He has standards. And He has revealed those standards to us. A forgiving God? Absolutely! He forgives the worst of sin and sinners. I know what I am talking about here too, for I, somewhat like Paul, know what it means to be ‘chief of sinners’. So, I possess some understanding both experientially and by studying what God’s Word plainly reveals. If we claim to know Him as Lord and Savior, and yet knowingly continue in our sin, then we are kidding and lying to ourselves. As all of you likely know, Jesus forgave a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, but He also instructed her to “go and sin no more”. Jesus did not turn His back on the woman or stop loving her. But also, He did not ignore the sin. He told her to repent and stop it.
I hope you are not offended by the language, but homosexuals and lesbians are practicing sodomites. I have history of dealing with some as friends, others in counsel and, yes, even family. Am I willing to forgive these people for their sinful ways? Well, yes, of course. Unconditionally? No. If they repent, confess their sin, and seek forgiveness, then, in likeness to God’s ways, then I too must forgive them.
But here’s a question that disturbs many Christians — If sodomites fail to repent, should I continue to fellowship with them? Absolutely not! In fact, we are commanded by Scriptures not to do so, which says ”...come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing:...” (2 Cor. 6:17. How clear. Believe it or not. Take your choice.
It is “tough love” to be willing to actually cut off one’s contacts from someone you have established a friendship with. But I can guarantee you that there will be definite and severe negative consequences which will eventually affect both you and the one who refuses to discontinue their sinful ways which has been revealed to them by you, based on Scriptures.
Liberal theologians like to argue that one is being unloving by being unwilling to maintain continuity of friendship with “gay and lesbian” folks who are convinced they know and love God just as you do. Their argument is often that they are simply living a lifestyle which dominates their thinking due to inheritance traits and/or a myriad of other nonsensical lies of the devil. But such teachers are far from the God with whom I am familiar. They have believed in what the apostle Paul called “another Jesus”. A Jesus, not of the Bible. Not the true Jesus who not only saves but also delivers us from our sinful ways.
Do I think that one should never again have contact with a former lesbian or homosexual friend? No. I think that periodic meetings would be appropriate, but under carefully-controlled conditions. For example, you should, in a loving way, be very careful to make your friend aware early in an encounter where you still stand and that you are praying for them to change their minds about their humanistic beliefs. And always have Scriptures prepared to share with them which relate specifically to the evil lifestyle they have chosen to follow. It’s very important to relate to people that your convictions are not based merely on your thoughts and ideas. Have no opinion outside God’s Word. If you do this, your values and expressions will be more tolerable and, hopefully, more acceptable. The Holy Spirit bears witness with truth which will have its intended effect on your friend’s heart if they truly desire to know what God thinks about the way they are living.
Whether there are to be subsequent meetings should be based upon your friend’s response to the truth you have presented to them. But an on-going, regular relationship with Sodomites to be the same as among your Christian friends is not in order. (Read 1 Cor. 5.) As hard as it may sound, sometimes separateness is a must. Remember, God is working on that person’s spirit with whom you have shared the truth. He is also working based on your prayers for them. (For many years, I have prayed literally thousands of times for a family member who has chosen the sodomy lifestyle. And I shall not quit. But I presently have no ongoing fellowship with the individual. He even once prayed the “sinners prayer” with me for salvation, but he has not repented, and his life remains miserable.)
Some people take the soft road on this issue, turning their heads with thoughts like, “Oh well, no one is perfect”...”I’m a sinner too”...”I want them to know how much I really love them so I can’t cut myself off from them”...etc., etc., etc. Again referring to liberal theologians, some have been responsible for not only accepting the sodomy lifestyle, but their beliefs and teachings, in some churches, has led to “gay” and “lesbian” people being ordained into pastoral and priesthood positions. Surely God has had no part in such endeavors.
Here are some appropriate commands for Christians to obey, and also a key forecast God gave about our day relative to the kinds of things which are becoming so prominent in our beloved land of America:
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4.
Back to the current fire situation in California:
I just went outside and took a look around. The sky is filled with smoke of such a magnitude that it’s almost indescribable. It looks like the whole area might have been bombed with heavy artillery. There are no clouds in the sky but, due to the density of the smoke, one can almost look directly at the noonday sun without its normal brightness hurting your eyes. For readers living in other states, let me say this: I’ve lived in California for 56 years and have witnessed many forest and brush fires over that period of time. But never have I seen anything remotely like what has happened the past week. The governor and his associate were not exaggerating at all. It is “unprecedented”.
Some will say, “So what, Lance? What are you trying to say?” I’m glad to respond to these kinds of questions. I have no reluctance to see and report on the “signs of the times”. I do believe that God gives His children signs to observe so that we can learn of His involvement to situations in the here and now. Now I also know that some will immediately quote me Matthew 12:39, which says, “...An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign...”. Well, the truth is, I am not seeking after signs. But I also want to say loud and clear that I don’t mind seeing and reporting signs when I see them!
Relative to end times, the disciples once asked Jesus this question:
“...Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3.
Did Jesus rebuke the apostles for asking this question regarding a “sign”? Indeed not. In fact, He followed by giving perhaps the most prominent and most informative description in the Bible of things that would be occurring on the earth just prior to His coming.
Jesus’ rebuke about the “evil and adulterous generation” who “seeketh after a sign” refers to people who are not followers of Jesus but rather to those who might say things like, “Well, I don’t believe in your Jesus. Prove it to me with a sign. Otherwise, I refuse to believe in your gospel.” Etc. These are unbelievers who choose to remain in their rebellion against God.
But to the Church, God does in fact give us signs of the times. He commenced alerting me strongly to this reality 32 years ago on a certain day in December 1976. I could write a book on what He showed me over this course of time. Well, actually I have. It’s called The Two Witnesses and can be read online in its entirety at the Come & See Ministries’ website.
But to you, dear reader, today I have no reservation in saying that I believe that the current, widespread fires in California are in fact a sign of the times which express God’s judgmental viewpoint of the Supreme Court’s decision about same-sex marriage. I believe it is part of the final stages being set relative to the USA becoming spiritual Sodom. (Revelation 11:8 also says America will become spiritual Egypt, a parallel subject not discussed here, but is fully addressed in my book, TTW.)
We need to also consider the fact that at the same time California is experiencing raging fires throughout the state, extreme flood conditions are simultaneously occurring in the mid-west. And in the state where I was born and raised, Georgia, severe drought conditions prevail. Some will ask, “Are these God’s judgmental answers to certain wickedness going on in these places?” Others will say, “Well, Lance, you have picked out a certain type of sin which you believe is responsible for the current, out-of-control fires in California. What sins are causing these other catastrophes?”
Well, obviously God alone holds all the answers to these kinds of questions. True, extreme wickedness and gross atrocities of many kinds have reached rampant proportions in America today. The main point I’m attempting to drive home among Christian believers within my sphere of influence is to say, let’s not stick our heads in the proverbial sand in an attempt to hide from clear evidences which the Holy Spirit is laying before our eyes to see. Make no mistake about it, the vast array of the fearful conditions which I’ve touched upon today are definitely not mere chance coincidences.
How do I respond to the beliefs which I have outlined? Well, I pray for God to especially bless the body of Christ and to keep those safe who have not bowed the knee to “Baal”, i.e., to Satan. In the past, I have prayed similar prayers when we have experienced drought conditions in our state. I believe these conditions were of a judgmental nature. I always remind God (not that He has forgotten, of course, rather that I try to express my remembrance) that as Elijah’s faith once floundered, thinking he was the only believer left in the land, he was reminded by God that there were 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal. We must always remember and thank God that He has a “remnant” of the “faithful” in the land. So I pray for them. Regularly.
Fellow Christians, we serve a risen Savior! And the world is being prepared for His Second Coming! Praise the Holy Name of Jesus!
Love, in His Grip,
Lance Johnson, O.D.