Australia’s Hottest Day - Australia on Fire!
Malachi 4:1 For behold, the day comes that shall burn like an oven, and all the proud and arrogant, yes, and all that do wickedly and are lawless, shall be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
Australia’s Hottest Day
Australia is experiencing a widespread, hot and dry Summer and this weather pattern is expected to continue for some time (weeks at least). The Northern monsoon has not yet arrived (or just in part) and this is keeping moisture levels and rain in Australia down, creating ideal conditions for fires. What stands out is the widespread nature of the dry weather - very much like the time when Elijah called down fire from Heaven! (1 Kings 18). This weather pattern may end with a vengeance (severe thunderstorms, hail and floods) once the moisture arrives.
· If the natural fires are a prelude to the outpouring of the fire of the Holy Spirit, then revival may be just around the corner!
The national public broadcaster ABC (www.abc.net.au - link to news item below) reported that the hot weather that has fuelled fires in southern Australia has also delivered the nation its hottest day since records began a century ago. The national temperature is the average of hundreds of daily readings across the country and it hit 40.3 degrees on Monday 7 January 2013. And what does Isaiah 40:3 say (see below)! A warning indeed! Once data are in, this record is expected to be broken on Tuesday 8 January 2013.
Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!
Hobart’s Hottest Day and the Tasmanian Fires
Hobart (the capital of Tasmania) is a long way South - yet recorded its highest ever temperature on Friday 4 January 2013 at 41.8 degrees! This was exactly 37 years after the previous highest temperature of 40.8 degrees on 4 January 1976. There were severe fires on Tasmania’s Black Friday with around 125 buildings destroyed. Thankfully, at this time, there have been no fatalities, although there are people missing.
Indicative Timelines for the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
So is there a link in these events to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps! The record temperatures in Hobart were exactly 37 years apart - just three years before completion of a 40 year cycle. The date was 4 January 2013 - just three days after the 112th celebration of Australia’s birth as a federated nation on 1 January 1901. From the arrival of the eleven ships of the First Fleet (see below) in January 1788 to nationhood was just under 113 years, and from nationhood to now there are 112 years - then (symmetrically) 113 on 1 January 2014.
Is there a direct link between the Asuza Street revival and Australia (see note on Asuza Street revival below)? Just after midnight on 31 December 1900 Charles Parham laid hands on a woman and she was gloriously baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in Chinese! So while this was taking place Australia (ahead in time) was entering its first day as the nation of Australia! And the name of the woman - Agnes OZman (OZ is a colloquial name for Australia!). There is also a broad link to the Welsh revival in the early 1900s - both Sydney (the largest city in Australia) and Canberra (the capital of Australia) lie within New South WALES!
Finally (for those Doves who have made it this far through the letter), I would like to revisit the remarkable time gap between the Tasmanian fires (Black Tuesday) on 7 February 1967 and the Victorian fires (Black Saturday) on 7 February 2009 - exactly 42 years, with 42 being the signal number for the Coming of the Lord! There are two very important aspects of this timeline. First, it is now four years since the Victorian fires, and thus just three years to completion of a seven year cycle. This will then mark the entry into the 50th or Jubilee year since the Tasmanian fires in 1967! Jerusalem was liberated four months after the Tasmanian fires. These latest Tasmanian fires are a wake up call to Look Up for our Redemption draws near!
· I had struggled with why 7 February was a key date - but Wikipedia opened up this mystery. On 7 February 1788 there was a Proclamation to the First Settlers - this is included below and the force of the words speak for themselves.
The First Fleet and the 7 February 1788 Proclamation
The First Fleet is the name given to the eleven ships that left Great Britain, bound for Australia, on 13 May 1787. The ships arrived at Botany Bay between 18 and 20 January 1788. On 7 February 1788, after his commission as Governor was read, Phillip addressed some words to the first settlers:
"What Frobisher, Raleigh, Delaware, and Gates did for America, that, we are this day met to do for Australia, but under happier auspices. Our enterprise was wisely conceived, deliberately devised, and efficiently organised, the Sovereign, the Parliament, and the people united to give it their authority, sanction, and encouragement. We are here to take possession of this fifth division of the globe on behalf of the British people, and to found a State which, we hope, will not only occupy and rule this great country, but will also be the beneficent patroness of the entire southern hemisphere. How grand is the prospect which lies before this youthful nation!"
Birth of Asuza Street Revival (previous letter - abbreviated)
With the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, we should also remember the anniversary of the day when the church once again discovered the baptism in the Holy Spirit -- New Year's Day, 1901.In October 1900 in Topeka, Kansas, a small band of believers led by Charles Parham started Bethel Bible School. The school "invited all ministers and Christians who were willing to forsake all, sell what they had, give it away, and enter the school for study and prayer, where all of us together might trust God for food, fuel, rent and clothing." No one paid tuition or board and they all wanted to be equipped to go to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel of the Kingdom as a witness to every nation. The only textbook was the Bible. Their concerted purpose was to learn the Bible not just in their heads but to have each thing in the Scriptures wrought out in their hearts.
As they searched the scriptures, they came up with one great problem - what about the second chapter of Acts? In December 1900, Parham sent his students at work to diligently search the scriptures for the Biblical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. They all came back with the same answer - when the baptism in the Holy Spirit came to the early disciples, the indisputable proof on each occasion was that they spoke with other tongues.
Armed with this head knowledge, they now sought to have it worked out in their own hearts. Parham called a watch night service on December 31, 1900. He assembled about 75 people including the 40 students. One of the students, Agnes N. Ozman asked that hands might be laid upon her to receive the Holy Spirit since she desired to go to foreign lands as a missionary. According to Parham, after midnight on January 1, 1901, he laid hands upon her and:
"I had scarcely repeated three dozen sentences when a glory fell upon her, a halo seemed to surround her head and face, and she began speaking in the Chinese language, and was unable to speak English for three days. When she tried to write in English to tell us of her experience she wrote the Chinese, copies of which we still have in newspapers printed at that time."