RESPONSE TO NEW YORK EVENT WILL DETERMINE NEXT PHASE OF CHASTISEMENT
By Michael H. Brown
We continue to hear from people who had prophetic indications of the September 11 attack. One woman woke up that morning from a nightmare in which a skyscraper was collapsing around her. Another had drawn a picture of a plane heading for a tall building. A friend had a vision of the sky exactly as it was to look after the terrorists struck.
Then there's the prophecy from 1990. "These chastisements will differ according to regions, and like the great evil, will not always or usually be immediately noticeable for what they are," it said. "In the period also will be a warning that involves not fire from the sky but fear of fire from the sky, and strange loud rumblings. This, according to mankind's response, will then be followed by another chastisement..."
If that's true, our response to the September 11 event will determine what comes next: whether we're granted a reprieve -- whether the next event is delayed or even lessened -- or whether we'll have to withstand the full brunt of chastisement.
How are we doing so far? How are we responding?
In some ways, very well. Churches are full. People are speaking about God. Suddenly, "God bless America" is allowed in public places. In a poll conducted September 21 and 22, Gallup found that 64 percent of the population says religion is "very important" to them. This is the highest percentage in the survey since 1965. Moreover, Hollywood is shaken up. They've at least temporarily stopped the release of some violent movies, and even Halloween may be affected (many are forsaking ghoulish outfits for the costumes of police and fireman). There is even a report that couples headed for divorce have been trying to patch things up.
The terrorist events had other effects for other reasons. The fear of flying has caused people to stay home. Disney World is hurting. Casinos in Las Vegas emptied. In Manhattan, the cold way of dealing with each other has opened into comradery. There is less emphasis on money. There seems to be a distaste for sex on TV.
No doubt, there has been introspection, and if this continues -- if it expands -- it can forestall chastisement.
But the question becomes how long the churches will remain full and how far the introspection will go. We're concerned about how swiftly everyone's eyes are returning to the stock market -- which was at the very epicenter of this warning. It's okay to earn money; it's okay to make an honest living; it's not okay to obsess on it. We're also concerned that we have already returned to a stiff resolve, a defiance, that is overshadowing repentance. We need to look at our own evil as well as root out the evil of terrorists.
Evil begets evil; when we sin we open ourselves up. Evil invites even greater wickedness. It is deadly. It is the word "live" in reverse. And yes: we see judgment. If we don't convert, expect societal events (including terrorism) along with natural disasters. Expect the event in New York to be but a precursor to a general breaking-down of society as we knew it. We're sorry to say that. We don't say it to alarm. We say it because we believe it. There could be years of sporadic attacks.
The only way out of the situation is through prayer, which means "divine intervention." With prayer we can forestall events! With prayer, we can find our way out of a situation that otherwise seems to have no exit. Otherwise, great storms are coming. There will be signs in the sky. And more "strange loud rumblings." Anyone who doesn't believe that God chastises doesn't believe in the Bible.
And it will also take action. The prevention of a larger calamity in the near future will necessitate a massive societal turnaround. That's what our leaders should be talking about. That's what should be the focus of our prayer. Until the last hundred years -- until we became too "smart" to believe that God intervenes in worldly affairs -- men watched the signs of the times and reacted -- prayed in response -- to them.
"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men to own their dependence on the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon," said Abraham Lincoln in 1863. "And insomuch as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?...
"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us," continued this great man. "It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."
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