A Fiery Trial At Club Terra
Last week's tragic fire at a rock and roll club in Rhode Island struck this writer as an ominous spiritual foreshadowing of the present situation facing the populace of Planet Earth. For those that missed the morbid news coverage, the horrible episode was captured on video - a grotesque videographic record of many people that were completely unaware they were about to die.
Ironically the footage was being shot for a documentary concerning another terrible accident at another music oriented nightclub which had occurred the previous week. In that incident involving a large crowd listening to music at a Chicago nightclub, a fight between two girls escalated until 21 people were trampled to death.
Last week's incendiary cataclysm was triggered by a series of pyrotechnics that were intentionally set off as a rock band bashed out an aggressive beat - even as hundreds of young people bounced their bodies in a grotesque 21st century manifestation of the Pied Piper epic.
In the video footage of the dance club fire in Rhode Island, it is clear that as the pyrotechnic display ignited adjacent objects behind the band, most of the participants at the party thought the increased flames were part of the show. News agencies quoting forensic firefighting authorities estimated the entire building was engulfed in flames in about 3 minutes. Once the building was reduced to smoldering ashes, firefighters found about 100 people had been burned to death, and hundreds more required hospitalization.
The ancient figure Job saw circumstances like these thousands of years ago:
"They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore, they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? How often is the candle of the wicked put out! And how often cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away." (Job 21:11-15, 17-18).
As I watched the news accounts of the fiery tragedy, the LORD spoke to me that this incident was a microcosm of the world and the times in which we live. The Bible indicates that the world is already on fire, but most of the participants think that it's all just part of the show.
In the Rhode Island Rock fire, it appears that those few folks that emerged unscathed were the ones that first recognized the danger - and reacted quickly to their new found knowledge. As the sparks flew and most continued dancing, the video shows several people quietly making their way towards the nearest exit. These were the survivors. It's not a coincidence that the Scriptures speak of how a deliverance is to be embraced in "haste" and without hesitation (Exodus 12:11).
What is most interesting is in the analogy this sad episode offers to the world at large. Although most of the world's inhabitants presently look at the world in the same way they always have, a very few people have become aware that the global fire at "Club Terra" [an ancient term for Earth] has already been kindled, and they are presently making plans to prepare for the now inevitable firestorm that is steadily approaching.
Oddly enough, the people that should have the sharpest vision concerning the times in which we live are the very ones that have the most distorted view of the conditions we are presently seeing. I am, of course, referring to the Christians.
It is readily apparent that the spiritually unregenerate attendees at Club Terra have no idea the place is on fire at all. They cannot see the fire because "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not...." (II Corinthians 4:4). Similarly, significant numbers of believers, who have previously received the Word of God, are unaware that "the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in" (Mark 4:19) have also rendered them unable to recognize the danger and respond accordingly.
Some of the more historically literate Christians at Club Terra say there was a big fire there many years ago, but it was extinguished and the danger is long gone. That fire, they say, was God's judgment on all the unregenerate people of yesteryear, and has nothing to do with them. In fact, they claim everything of any importance already happened there a very long time ago.
Other Christians know there's a fire, but they're not sure where it is. In any event, they're not concerned about the danger as they believe they'll be miraculously removed from the Club before the fire burns any of them. Even when they're told how close the fire is and that others have already been burned, they refuse to believe the Lord of the Club would ever allow such things to happen to them.
Another large group of Christians at Club Terra say there's always been a fire, and this one is no different. They calculate there's plenty of time to accumulate more money before the fire becomes serious enough to distract them from their accumulation of wealth. In fact, they believe it's God's will that they should prosper, and they are destined to end up with all the proceeds from the events being held there.
A few in this world believe the wisest course of action is to plan a retreat from the things of this world. They were, in fact, told the fire was coming. They believed it, and they've been watching for it ever since. This small group has become completely disenfranchised from everyone else at the Club - and even their former friends, family, and other Christians no longer want to hear from them.
This Remnant of believers recognizes that God has always planned on an ultimate confrontation that will completely consume this world, and they are scheduled to be witnesses of the finale of human history. They've been working on removing themselves from all the Cares of the Club so they are not harmed when those things are destroyed.
The Remnant knows that God has warned them to come out of "her" [the club] because He doesn't want His people to be damaged when He destroys it. He's told them to "Come out of her, my people, lest ye be partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her iniquities." (Revelation 18:4).
This group has decided that the only thing that matters is GOD and the person of His Christ that came to redeem them - and accordingly, "...they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11). They also know that when their former friends and family clash with them in response to hearing the truth of the matter, they are manifesting whose child they are.
The other "Christians" tell the Remnant they've fallen into some sort of cult. As these "brethren" rebuke the Remnant and refuse to heed their warning, the Remnant has recognized their former "brethren" are doing the will of the dragon - because the Word of God has told them it is "the dragon" that is "wroth...and went to make war with the remnant...." (Revelation 12:17).
The Remnant believers have left the Club and are saddened by the needless loss of so many; but they choose to embrace the ultimate victory of the cross of JESUS CHRIST as they oppose the enemy of the lamb, the dragon, in whatever shape he takes. "And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and the word of their testimony...." (Revelation 12:11)
The Spirit of the Lord testifies as to the truth of these things. The sad fact is, the fire is already raging at Club Terra, and even now our decisions are being made. "Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." (Joel 3:14)
February 24, 2003 - James Lloyd
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