Fires and floods ravage the nations of the Western world. Drought, disease and the suffering they bring are becoming routine to hundreds of millions around the world. What is God's role in all this? Why are weather disturbances increasing, and what lesson should individual Christians learn as a result?
Last summer, raging wildfires burned across vast portions of the American west. The United States is now enduring one of the worst droughts in decades. As Time magazine recently reported: "Cursed by a drought worse than the Okies saw at the height of the Great Depression, the West's farmers are selling their cattle and leaving plots to blow toward the Rockies. As harvest season arrives, grocery stores will raise prices and the nation's growers will seek relief, yet again, from a Congress with its own budget problems" (September 16, 2002).
Yes, food prices in the United States and Canada are destined to rise because of the serious drought. The Wall Street Journal for September 10, 2002 reported: "Wheat futures charged to the 30-cent-per-bushel daily trading limit at all three U.S. wheat markets and set fresh contract highs in all major months due to panic over dwindling world milling-wheat supplies.… This season, major reductions in output have been seen in four of the world's largest wheat exporting nations—the U.S., Canada, Australia and Argentina. Both the U.S. and Canadian all-wheat crops are seen at their smallest levels since the early 1970s, and those figures may be trimmed further as overly wet conditions threaten fields waiting to be harvested."
Mainly because of the tinder dry conditions, enormous wildfires have destroyed literally millions of acres of forests and farmlands throughout the West. And the drought has been so severe in the mid-Atlantic states that entire church congregations have had special prayer services to cry out to God for relief.
Are all these extreme weather conditions just a product of "mother nature"? Most of the climate "experts" will calmly explain that there have always been shifting weather patterns throughout the world. They will say, in effect, that "this too shall pass."
But will it?
Or are these current weather woes—the wildfires of enormous magnitude, the present "global warming" episode and the "worst drought in recorded history" in many areas—conditions that will just "pass away" and be forgotten in a few years? Will terrifying tornadoes, hurricanes, massive earthquakes and other such phenomena just follow the "normal" patterns of the past?
Here is a challenge to all of our readers: If such "normal" weather and other disaster-related incidents such as wildfires and earthquakes continue for the next ten years in their "normal" patterns, then you should simply throw away your Tomorrow's World magazines, discontinue your subscription and assume that Jesus Christ is not going to return any time soon! But, if these "unusual" weather and related conditions continue to get worse and worse, then you had better "listen up"! You had better be willing to acknowledge that there is a real God—and that it is the Creator God who ultimately controls the weather!
Because, once you have proved to yourself (and you can and should!) that the Holy Bible really is directly inspired of God, then you should really study this "Manual for Survival" and acquaint yourself with the fact that the true God has always used the weather as a tool to chasten rebellious nations and sometimes even individuals. You should then be willing to ask yourself: "Where have we gone wrong? Is there some 'lesson' we should learn from the severe weather conditions that God predicts will be widespread just before Christ's coming?"
When Jesus Christ was asked, "What will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age" (Matthew 24:3), He began to warn His disciples that "many" false prophets (or preachers) would arise and deceive the "many." Then Jesus predicted wars and world wars. Finally, Jesus stated: "There will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places" (v. 7). The Bible and history have recorded that, even by Jesus' time, there were countless famines and earthquakes. Obviously, then, Jesus was indicating much more severe weather conditions than in the past.
And these conditions are now beginning to appear! As the Associated Press reported on September 11, 2002: "The Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to provide almost $6 billion for ranchers and farmers battered by the drought, ignoring President Bush's objections and highlighting the pressures lawmakers face as elections for congressional control draw near. With crops and pastures withering across the West, Midwest and Southeast, the measure won bipartisan approval in a 79–16 vote. Thirty-one Republicans joined 47 Democrats and one independent in supporting the proposal, as senators showed little taste for opposing a new boost in farm assistance at the height of the campaign season. 'Help us with the drought,' was the plea from agrarian states, said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the chief sponsor. 'Provide us assistance. Do what is right.'"
In contrasting weather, most of you have undoubtedly read about the "worst flooding of the century"—as it was called—which hit several nations in Europe this past summer. As we shall see, the Bible predicts both famine and floods to strike our peoples. Yet the vast majority of professing Christians "don't have a clue" about this! And neither do their ministers! For most of them seldom read and certainly do not understand biblical prophecy. They remain in ignorance of the one-fourth of the Bible that is prophetic. They remain in ignorance of our national identity. They remain in ignorance of the awesome prophesied intervention of God at the end of this age.
In Luke's account of Jesus' Olivet Prophecy, Jesus states: "And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven" (Luke 21:11). And later: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring" (v. 25). So, in Luke's account, Jesus explained that "great" earthquakes would shake this earth! And with the seas and waves "roaring," we will undoubtedly see enormous storms swamping even the most powerful ships built by man—plus huge tidal waves surging miles inland and devastating entire cities. Talk about divine intervention!
We often forget that the book of Revelation contains a direct message from Jesus Christ: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things that must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John" (Revelation 1:1). In Revelation 11:6, God states how He will use two men described as the "two witnesses" to control the weather: "These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire." Almighty God has always used His control over the weather as a means of chastening rebellious peoples and of guiding the outcome of battles and even the fate of nations.
In the New Testament book of James, we are reminded of how the ancient prophet, Elijah, asked God to intervene in the weather: "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit" (James 5:17–18).
One of the most significant prayers recorded in the Bible is the prayer of King Solomon as he dedicated the temple of God in Jerusalem. Part of this inspired prayer states: "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance. When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers" (1 Kings 8:35–40).
At that point in his life, Solomon was very close to God. Almighty God directly spoke to Solomon and gave him wisdom and understanding above all men on the earth (1 Kings 3:10–12). So when Solomon describes in the above prayer how "the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You," we should listen!
We should all come to realize that the true God has absolute control of the weather! In a "dual" prophecy—a prophecy that applied to ancient Israel and also applies today to our peoples—God states: "If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely" (Leviticus 26:3–5). Later in this prophecy God warns: "But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant.… And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit" (vv. 14–15, 18–20).
Until recently, God has richly blessed the American and British-descended peoples above all nations of the earth. At one point, we controlled three-fourths of all the world's developed resources. We won all the major wars and have had a living standard above all other peoples. But now, God is beginning to intervene to humble us—to shake us to our senses before it is too late! And He is beginning to use the weather as part of this humbling process.
Unless we truly repent and turn to the true God and begin to keep His commandments (Matthew 19:17), our days of national greatness are numbered! For we will experience massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions such as have never before been seen by our peoples. We will go through continuing drought, famine and horrifying disease epidemics on a scale never before experienced by our peoples. A vital "key" to understanding exactly how and why these tragedies will strike is revealed in our powerful booklet, What's Ahead for America and Britain? You need this fully documented booklet to genuinely understand about 90 percent of end-time prophecy. We will be pleased to send you this booklet absolutely free upon your request. Just call us or write the Regional Office closest to you, as listed on page 2 of this magazine.
Once we realize that the American and British-descended peoples really are the descendents of the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes of Israel," we can recognize the fact that God is speaking directly to our peoples in many of the Old Testament prophecies. In a prophecy that was written for us, today, the great God proclaims: "They do not say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.' Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you" (Jeremiah 5:24–25).
Yet, we all need to realize that God is not an ogre. He is a God of love and mercy who desires to teach all of us—individually and collectively—the lessons we need to learn to prepare us for eternal life in His Kingdom. Because of His promise to Abraham, God has blessed and blessed our peoples with generally good weather—"rain in due season"—and excellent natural resources. Again and again, the true God has intervened in the weather to deliver the British-descended and American peoples. These successful interventions made possible the religious freedom, prosperity and power the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic powers of the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom continue to enjoy.
In 1586–87, Catholic domination of the English throne was made impossible by the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. The following year, Spain's King Philip II unleashed his "invincible" 124-ship Armada against England in an effort to reassert Catholic control. Though the English naval forces tenaciously fought, eventually they exhausted their gunpowder! At that critical point, an unprecedented gale-force wind arose and drove many of the heavily armed, lumbering Spanish galleons to their doom. The weather-beaten ships that limped home to Spain were so damaged that many could never again be used. Queen Elizabeth, commemorating the Spanish defeat, issued a silver medal, bearing the inscription: "God blew and they were scattered." She knew who took charge of those winds at that critical hour in the history of her people!
In 1940, Hitler's forces had swiftly invaded France and the lowlands. They had cut off 330,000 crack British troops, forcing them to retreat with their backs to the English Channel at the port of Dunkirk. If the British lost this army, they could hardly have hoped to beat back the Nazi hordes set on conquering them. Word went out all over Britain: "Winnie [Churchill] needs boats." Though the English Channel is normally rough and treacherous at that time of year, hundreds of ships, yachts and small boats—anything that would move while staying afloat—were sent to rescue at least a remnant of the army. But the situation seemed grim.
Then, surprisingly, bad weather on the continent grounded most of the German air force. But, instead of being rough and choppy as usual—dangerous for small craft—the channel became almost as calm as a bathtub! Men and women who had lived all their lives on its shore had never seen it so tranquil. Winnie's motley armada of naval flotsam and jetsam rescued nearly one-third of a million British troops—the backbone of their entire army! Hitler was dumbfounded. The Nazi generals bitterly grumbled under their breath for having lost an easy kill. The British were profoundly thankful and called it "the miracle of the calm seas."
I have spent four years of my adult life in Britain, and talked to several older men who were personally familiar with the Dunkirk rescue operation. They all got a certain glint or tear in their eyes when they talked about it. They all remembered the outpouring of gratitude to God by the British people after this event. Sunday, June 9, 1940, was appointed as a "Day of National Thanksgiving" for God's deliverance at Dunkirk, and many English vicars will tell you that their churches were packed on that day and have never been as full since. On the day before, one British newspaper ran an article about what it called "the miraculous deliverance" at Dunkirk. A British officer who had himself been rescued from Dunkirk said: "One thing can be certain about tomorrow's Thanksgiving in our churches. From none will the thanks ascend with greater sincerity or deeper fervor than from the officers and men who have seen the Hand of God, powerful to save, delivering them from the hands of a mighty foe, who humanly speaking, had them utterly at his mercy" (London Daily Telegraph, June 8, 1940). Yes, God controls the destinies of nations—and individuals—often by intervening in the weather.
In a dual prophecy for Israel that certainly applies to us today, God tells our peoples: "'Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your places; yet you have not returned to Me,' says the Lord. 'I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered. So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,' says the Lord. 'I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me,' says the Lord" (Amos 4:6–9).
Notice that—in chastening His own people—the Creator will sometimes bring drought on one area and floods on another! But His purpose is always the same. It is to bring His people into heartfelt repentance from their mounting sins!
In another such prophecy that very obviously applies to the end-times, Joel describes God's coming intervention in the weather: "Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; and what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.… The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. Be ashamed, you farmers, wail, you vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley; because the harvest of the field has perished" (Joel 1:2–4, 10–11).
Then God commands His ministers: "Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty" (vv. 14–15).
As most of you readers know, the "Day of the Lord" is mentioned about 30 times in the Bible. It occurs at the "time of the end"—at the time just before and including Christ's Second Coming. So our Creator is warning all who will listen to "cry out" to Him and ask for forgiveness!
In the earlier fulfillment of this dual prophecy, Joel says: "O Lord, to You I cry out; for fire has devoured the open pastures, and a flame has burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the open pastures" (vv. 19–20). Then God commands: "'Now, therefore,' says the Lord, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.' So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm" (Joel 2:12–13).
Even though our nations as a whole continue to indulge in illicit sex and gorge themselves on brutally violent and sexually titillating films and television shows, even though the use of illegal drugs continues to rise especially among our young people, even though the worldly liberals continue to dominate our media, our politics and even most of our churches, you personally should begin to see "the handwriting on the wall" as God's intervention in the weather becomes more and more obvious. You, personally, can begin to seek God with all your heart. You can turn to Him in heartfelt repentance and faith through the true Jesus Christ of the Bible and let God rule your life!
Then, you will have God's promised divine protection in the years just ahead. You will have His blessing and guidance through the traumatic situations all humanity will soon face. "Then" as God told ancient Judah: "you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:12–13).
After describing the terrifying events just ahead of us, Jesus instructed: "Watch and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). May God help you to do just that! And may He guide you to act on the knowledge you have just received.