In the wake of the California fires, apocalyptic visions and biblical references were hard to ignore. The news footage showed what appeared to be mountains melting like molten lava with flames shooting upward. It reminded me of images seen at the edge of a Hawaiian volcano. If you squinted a little, you could almost imagine different levels of torment as described in Dante’s Inferno. You could almost see demons going up and down ladders attacking the damned, while shrieks of tormented souls were heard in the distance. A handful of people were literally burned alive in Paradise, California.
“When you find yourself in hell, you just keep moving”- Resident of Paradise, California, CBS evening news.
The preceding statement is astounding to me for many reasons. First, it shows that the man making it is fully aware of the concept of hell, heaven and God Himself. Yet obviously he does not believe in the concept of hell as a punishment from God. Rather, it is something to simply run away from. For those of us who believe the Bible, it is extremely troubling to see this reaction. It indicates a kind of desensitization and indifference to tragedy that is hard to comprehend. Shouldn’t we be asking why and looking to God for answers at this point? If we aren’t actually repenting for our sins, shouldn’t we at least be humble enough to honestly seek real answers?
All this begs the question, where did this man get this concept of hell? Why does he see it as just something to run away from? Since California is primarily a liberal and progressive state, religion is seen as an antiquated concept with centuries of superstition and ignorance surrounding it. Religion was the great myth that dulled the thinking and independence of thought that society needed to advance into the modern age. The subjects of heaven and hell were quaint and entertaining at best. They represent a period in art and literature that was known as gothic and medieval. Works like Dante’s Inferno and John Milton’s Paradise Lost were taught to English majors in college. At one time, Hollywood had no problem tackling apocalyptic subjects such as the Antichrist and demon possession. There were movies like the Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. There was an entire series on the life of the Antichrist called The Omen. But this genre of film making has long faded. Today’s film makers don’t delve into heavy and apocalyptic themes. The mindset of this generation has set the stage for a society that is prepared to explain away every apocalyptic judgement of God as meaningless, or the result of climate change. Since environmentalism is seen as sacred and almost a religion in itself, all weather aberrations are seen as man made. Personally, I never thought it would get so bad that the wicked could politicize the weather and get away with it. But fortunately, the day is approaching when it will be impossible to ignore the source of the destruction God sends our way. One day, thank God, the myth of global warming will be revealed to be exactly what it is- global craziness, the convulsing of nature and “all creation groaning in travail in pain until now” Rom. 8:23. The media was exposed when record cold weather contradicted the global warming theory and they had to substitute the term ” global warming” for “climate change”
Spin Proofing the Judgements of God
“Spinning”, or distorting the truth, reached its apex of refinement with the creation of 24 hour cable news, in 1981. I am tempted to draw a parallel between Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, and his creation of the “Big Lie” and link it to this event. Goebbels carefully emphasized the need to repeat the lie over and over until it was accepted as truth. CNN has followed this strategy faithfully since its beginnings. The difference with Goebbels was that his lies had no element of truth that could be distorted. There was no conspiracy of Jews to take down Germany and advance the spread of Communism. His strategy was to tell a total lie. But when CNN was founded, something new happened. A whole new cottage industry of political discussion shows appeared with lots of “talking heads” on every panel. This served to set the spin cycle to high, and create an infinite supply of not only lies, and something new. Something we call ” half-truths”. We do well to remember Isaiah’s warning “Woe onto those who call good evil. and evil good” Half truths have only one purpose, and that is to fully discredit the real truth about an issue. God tells us to “Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay”. Equivocation, dodging certain facts, being disingenuous- all are exposed and forbidden by an absolute God with laws of absolute truth. Mankind in its deviousness thinks it can perpetually hide behind an intellectual “iron dome” of protection from God’s incoming bombardment of truth. Progressives imagine that every ill of society can be blamed on Republicans, conservatives Christians, or Jews. Thank God that He has ways to destroy every new wrinkle of subtle deception that the devil puts forth for human consumption. In the time of the Tribulation, God will demonstrate two ways of accomplishing this. First, he will send plagues and judgments so rapidly that people will not even have time to “spin” lies before the next judgment hits them. Before they can spue out “climate change” or “new gun laws needed” they will be slammed with violence again and again. It will be unmistakable that these are coming from a force or person from heaven, a personality that they cannot spin into something else. Second, it will be obvious that they are the selected targets of these judgments when they look up to heaven on several occasions and curse God directly. The book of Revelation has several instances where the wicked curse God directly and shake their fists at heaven. They will have prayed for rocks to cover themselves “from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” Rev. 6:16. Yet, they will have no defense and will be exposed. They will no longer be able to blame things such as “greenhouse gases” for all their misery.
Where Reason and Revelation Unite
Progressives and liberals have always loved to mock the person of God as some bogeyman in the sky who sends wrath and punishment on everyone below. They compare Him to being as real as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny in the eyes of his followers. It is a way to render invalid the arguments of any true believers. But something interesting happens when we examine what are termed ” acts of God” in the form of natural calamities. Liberals will say that earthquakes and famines have always happened, and of course they’d be right. But a 500% increase in earthquakes is something abnormal and requires a new explanation. That new explanation was comprehensive and covered everything that nature could dish out. It was called “global warming”. For some time this definition stuck. But when it became obvious that warming wasn’t the only problem with the weather, it became something new. It became “climate change”.
Excessively violent hurricanes, winds, flooding, tornadoes, drought and earthquakes all began to appear. Weather events, that had never before occured in one region, all appeared overnight. Apparently carbon emissions possessed all kinds of powers we had never seen before. But California wildfires? Come on now, we protest. Blame them on global emissions? Think like a scientist, we say. Everyone knows about the infamous Santa Ana winds of California, and how much damage they can do. So why did they manage to burn the entire state?, we wonder. So we dig a little deeper and discover something very interesting indeed. We discover that whole forests that should have been cleared earlier, had never been cleared. There are tens of thousands of dead trees just sticking up in overly dense regions. They should have been felled and cleared to plant new ones, but they never were. As a result, the entire state became a tinderbox for the inferno we just witnessed. And the culprit of all this? A cult of idol worshippers we all know better as “tree huggers”. Once a marginalized band of crazies in the state with more false religious cults than any other in the nation, “tree huggers” are now the majority rule in the state. Scraggly old hippies chain themselves to dead trees and claim they can hear the tree “scream” when the chainsaw cuts into it.
So as it turns out, the progressives were right-in a way.An angry old man in the clouds didn’t pronounce judgement on California and send hellfire for their destruction. However He did send something that made it inevitable. He sent insanity. He sent idiocy to a state that had rejected all wisdom and understanding of creation and even the basic laws of nature and man’s stewardship over the earth. You see, when we reject God’s laws and His guidance, we unwittingly break the first commandment, which says, “You will have no gods before Me” We break not only the laws of God, but, as the founders of the country added, “nature’s God” We put all our faith in a created object, a tree, and worship it was the creator Himself.. All of creation is now churning and convulsing as a result of us all embracing that which is unnatural, and rejecting all that is natural. Famines and poor water management can find their source in things like greed, racism, and cruelty. Starvation comes, not because we don’t send help and plant crops, but because of the cruelty and greed of tribal leaders. Science works hand in hand with revelation to reveal to us what we are and what we have become. And God is placed right in the center of everything.
The people of Paradise, California have sadly embraced the denial of all truth. They are living in the most precarious geographic spot in the world. I am a former resident of California. I spent almost all of my formative years there, and met my wife there. Yet in 1982, I looked around and saw which way the wind was blowing. I saw unprecedented greed running wild everywhere. We left California soon after, seeking a simpler, more traditional life. And I simply wanted to live where I could afford to buy a house without selling my soul. At one point I thought of California as a kind of paradise. And now it is hell. Christians in California should take a lesson from the Rapture and know that “God has not appointed us to wrath”- and certainly not unnecessary wrath. God never sends us needless and unproductive suffering. There is always a lesson provided for us. There is also a way of escape provided. Just as He has called His people, the Jews, to leave country after country when they were being persecuted, so He calls His “engrafted” Jews,(the Christians), to do the same. Read the writing on the wall. We all look forward to the eminent event known as the Rapture. Just as the California fires are a preview of hell for all who have eyes to see, so the escape from California can be a preview of the Rapture for believers in California. It is a perverse, lawless and violent place. It is a kind of tower of Babel. Escape while you still have time