Florida Wildfires and “Lakeland Wildfire”

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In July of 2007 I posted an article about the Florida Fires that were happening then. In the article, I told about an open vision God gave me regarding the State of Florida three years before in 2004. Click here to read that post.

The vision was concerning seven “revival fires” that were kindled by the Spirit since the 1950s. God had specific purposes for each of those “hot spots” of the Spirit, but in every case God’s purposes were prematurely foiled and spoiled by supernatural schemes of Satan, for reasons I cite in the article. But, what Satan was permitted to do was only temporary; God’s purposes and plans are not subject ultimately to Satan’s devices. After showing me the things He did in the vision, He then led me to prophesy by the Spirit to the Fires of the Spirit, “Restore! Restore! Restore!”

“I then saw in the Spirit these fires begin to flare up even greater, and to move westward toward the middle of the State. Soon, it appeared that much of the State was being consumed by fire. And, from my aerial view in the Spirit, I saw the smoke of these fires rise high into the air and nearly cover the state, and strong wind currents then began to blow them toward the adjoining southern states of the US. As I watched this scene, I heard within, “The Glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. The manifestation of God’s Glory shall now be released through the church Jesus is building!”

Since then, a Statewide drought of historic proportions and duration has been gradually unfolding over the Sunshine State. There have been short-lived, intermittent periods of relief in the form of precipitation during that interim, but nowhere near the amounts needed to restore the State’s aquifer levels anywhere near to normal. Epoch drought-level rainfall over the last several years has reduced to marshlands mammoth Lake Okeechobee, a crucial reservoir and resource of fresh water for vast portions of the State, decimating the fresh-water commercial and sport fishing industry of which it was the perennial epicenter.

Over the last few days, “red flag” fire weather warnings have been posted by the National Weather Service over expansive, multi-county areas of the State of Florida, based on the potentially combustive combination of low dew points and relative humidity, high temperatures, and a specter of strong winds, “creat(ing) explosive fire growth potential,” in the words of the NWS.

The July 2007 post concluded with this prediction:

The fires shall increase and the drought shall continue in the natural realm in certain strategic places as a precursor and reflection of what God is doing and is about to do in the spiritual realm. Let us pray that God’s purposes for the fires and related circumstances be fulfilled, and that the Body of Christ begins to get the revelation of its responsibility to cover His chosen vessels on the leading edge with strong intercession of the Spirit so that His plans and desires be no more waylaid or hindered.

With the increased ambient temperatures and the continuing drought, the fires along the eastern coastal areas and Central Florida, have resumed, and I believe will be more aggressive, numerous, and destructive than in the preceding years in those areas.

The following is an overview of reports of the latest flare-ups of Florida Fires over the course of the last few days (not updated after 5/14/08):

108 total known fires statewide, involving an estimated 17,000 acres total, over 14 counties. Nine of the infernos involved very large areas and pose great potential for damage. Currently, 200+ firefighters and first-responders are employed in affected areas. As of May 14, 2008, there were 40 destroyed structures reported (downgraded from original report of 60+), with 160 structures impacted, totaling an estimated $9.6 million in damages. The approximate average value of destroyed homes is $150,000. Fortunately, at the time of this writing, there have been only 3 reported injuries and no deaths. The wildfires have forced closings of Long stretches of I-95 as well as scores of school closings in multiple eastern coastal counties over the course of three days. A major portion of the fires that so far have destroyed 6,400 acres in the Brevard County communities of Palm Bay and Malabar is believed to be an act of arson, and authorities have apprehended the suspected arsonist.

The impression I am getting from the Spirit is that these current wildfires will not be ending anytime soon. In fact, I feel it is possible that they could continue for months, and that a series of inordinately strong winds coming into Florida could fan and spread the flames over even greater portions of the State. I am almost certain that the current drought conditions are not going to end for quite a while, maybe a couple more years, or even more, without God’s intervention. Meteorologists are already reporting that the global climactic patterns they are seeing makes it appear that the onset of Florida’s typical rainy season is likely to be delayed, resulting in extended fire weather conditions.

Until now, the 2008 wildfires have mostly been occurring in eastern to the central regions of the State. However, I believe that I’m hearing the Spirit say that Southwest and South Florida are about to experience massive wildfires as well.

About two weeks ago, the Lord gave me another vision, this one in a dream. I was dining in a restaurant located atop a high tower-like building, from which I was able to see a panorama of what I would estimate to be about a thirty-square-mile area of Southwest Florida. I had the impression that my vantage point was from the east, looking westward. Suddenly, at about one-o’clock, directionally, I saw some sort of an explosive fiery flare-up that produced a tall plume of fire, which became a billowing plume of dark smoke that rose high into the air. Then at around ten o’clock of the panorama there was another similar flare-up, followed by another at about four o’clock. Then I could clearly see some very strong winds that began to blow over the entire panorama, further fanning and spreading the flames, until soon almost the entire panorama was engulfed in flames, producing a sea of dark smoke rising higher and higher into the upper atmosphere.

As much as it grieves me to have to do so, I can no longer resist speaking what the Lord has been telling me to speak for quite some time which is a warning that God is releasing judgment upon the State of Florida, which actually is not something that is just now starting, but started with the rash of massively destructive hurricanes of 2004-5. The relative “lull” of the subsequent years has been God’s “selah,” or interlude, giving Floridians time to hear and heed the obvious and deafening warnings of God, and repent. My response to those asking me what God was saying in the historic multiple 2004 hurricanes that decimated Florida was that it was like the cell phone company commercials, where the guy keeps asking over and over, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” One would think that the utter devastation those hurricanes wreaked in various parts of Florida would have gotten the attention of its population, but sadly, little has changed in the interim. Obviously, people are hard of hearing; “dull of hearing,” Jesus called it. So, unfortunately, God is releasing more judgment upon the Sunshine State, and will continue to do so until it repents and becomes the SONshine State. (Repent of what? That expansive topic must be left to another post.)

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In no way, lest I be misunderstood, do I relish this whole specter of judgment, especially upon Florida, where I have resided for 47 of my 60 years. Florida is a special State to God, which is not a statement of bias. Consider these excerpts of what I wrote in another article concerning Florida:

Florida is an apostolic state, in that the apostolic anointing and function is a “first-in” anointing and function (1 Cor. 12:28) — a forerunner, pioneering, breakthrough anointing. Virtually all the original famed explorers’ forays into the New World were along Florida’s then surreal sand-covered beaches….

Further demonstrating the State’s apostolic roots, though it has not been widely chronicled, a number of critical conflicts, conflagrations, and events precipitating the colonization and early establishment of America occurred here in Florida….

Florida is a proverbial “Fort Knox,” financially speaking, because much of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people reside in or hold properties or interests somewhere in the pearled peninsula….The unimaginable dense concentration of mammon represented in the State of necessity then comprises a lion share of the “wealth of the wicked” God declares is stored up for the righteous of the End-times Church Jesus is building that is required to finance the final great global ingathering of souls.

For these reasons and much more that cannot be addressed in this article, one of the most ferocious pitched battles between Heaven and Hell is over the 60,000 total square miles of land mass comprising the State of Florida, but more importantly, over the some 18 million souls who inhabit it. Numerous profound and portentous prophecies by prominent voices foretelling major moves of the Spirit of God have been trumpeted during the 20th and now early part of the 21st Centuries.

Unfortunately, however, as an apostolic State, the master-deceiver, the “prince of the power of the air,” has also in times past hijacked the spiritual air-currents of the fair State…for propagation of some of his most diabolical and damaging handiworks of deception—”winds of doctrine,” i.e., false movements founded on “doctrines of demons”—in modern church history.

This last paragraph brings me to the most recent emergence of what is being called “The Lakeland (Florida) Healing Revival,” which I believe is a false move, orchestrated not by God, but by Satan Himself. Space will not permit me further elaboration on that matter in this article, but I will in an upcoming post. All I am able to proffer on that topic here is the following Scripture that I believe the Spirit is speaking to me regarding it, with my parenthetic explanations:

The Lord has accomplished His wrath, He has poured out His fierce anger; And He has kindled a fire in Zion Which has consumed its foundations. The kings of the earth (believers) did not believe, Nor did any of the inhabitants of the world, That the adversary and the enemy (Satan) Could enter the gates of Jerusalem (spiritually, the Church). Because of the sins of her prophets And the iniquities of her priests (pastors), Who have shed in her midst The blood of the righteous…. [Lam. 4:11-13; parentheses and emphasis added]

My strong sense is that God’s patience with Florida believers and churches, and especially their leaders, has run out, and He is now angry with them because of their constant predisposition to “believe the lie,” and to be taken in by false moves fraught with—“the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thes. 2:9). There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the power, signs, and wonders being demonstrated in the Lakeland “revival” are not authored by the Holy Spirit at all, but rather “deceiving spirits” accompanied by “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). The leader of it, Todd Bentley, along with many of his allies and associates are neo-gnostic, New Age, sorcerers operating by the same spirit as did Simon the Sorcerer who was “claiming to be someone great,” performing his MAGIC ARTS and seducing the “smallest and the greatest” among the people of Samaria into calling him “The Great Power of God,” and “giving him attention (lit., deference afforded deity) because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts” (Ac. 8:9-11). They are magicians and stigmatacists, a la Elymas the Magician (Ac. 13:6-12), and psychic diviners like the slave girl “who was bringing her masters much profit by her fortunetelling,” and out of whom the Apostle Paul cast the spirit of divination (Ac. 16:16-21).

What is going on in this latest “revival,” hosted and promoted primarily by the pastor of one of the offshoot congregations of the church (Carpenter’s Home Church) that hosted the mixture “Laughing Revival” of the 1990s which spawned the “Toronto Airport Revival” and “Brownsville Revival,” both of which became quite controversial due to a number of biblically unsupportable occurrences that routinely transpired in the meetings. However, this current purported “revival” exceeds those last two in terms of its dubiousness, because this one is clearly nothing but SORCERY and DIVINATION of the highest order! No “mixture” of the Holy Spirit with evil spirits is involved at all, as some are claiming. Rather, this one is purely Satanic!

This “revival” is “strange fire” offered before the Lord, and it shall elicit the same judgment Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, elicited from God—death! It is being hosted, fittingly, in a newly-named Church, “Ignited Church,” whose senior leader is Stephen Strader, son of Karl Strader, former Senior Pastor of Carpenter’s Home Church, who in the past has traveled with, has an ongoing relationship with, and claims to have received a special anointing from, Rodney Howard-Browne, the original principal of the “Laughing Revival.” I further believe the natural wildfires that have been breaking out in Florida before and concurrent with the Lakeland phenomenon are God’s prophetic warnings regarding the spiritual wildfire in Lakeland (1 Cor. 15:46).

This Steven puts out an open call to two other Stephens—Stephen Strader and Stephen Strang—the latter being the founder and leader of Strang Communications, publisher of Charisma Magazine, which is the leading print medium promoting this event, to cease all their activities in promoting this false, Satanic, and extremely injurious “revival.” God will hold you accountable for the fallout from the demonic incursion these meetings are producing, as well as the judgment that they are engendering.

I hear the Spirit saying God is sending “strong delusion”:

For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence (strong delusion, KJV) so that they will believe what is FALSE, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the TRUTH, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thes. 2:11,12; parentheses and emphasis added)

Judgment has already been released upon Florida, and there is more to come relative to the “Lakeland Revival,” in the form of many sudden and unusual deaths, I predict, if there is not repentance very soon by the principals involved, in order to engender the result that transpired in the Early Church when people trifled with the Holy Spirit that “great fear came upon all who heard of it” (Ac. 5:5).

Despite how such a prediction may sound to those without understanding of God’s purposes and ways, the kind of judgment God is releasing upon Florida, it is crucial for believers to understand, is NOT the kind of judgment that God will release upon the unbelieving world at the final judgment. Rather, it is a refining judgment, a judgment of purification. It is the kind of judgment that God says, “MUST begin with the household of God,” that is, the Remnant Church. It is the kind of judgment of which Zechariah prophesied:

“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third (The Remnant Church) will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test (purify) them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zech. 13:8,9; parentheses and emphasis added)

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