ZOMBIE WILDFIRES - The Warrior's Journey®


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Spring came early to Siberia in 2021. Unseasonably warm temperatures even hit Yakutia, one of the coldest regions above the Arctic Circle. In its northernmost village, Verkhoyansk, temperatures reached 100 degrees (F) in June. This unusually hot weather has brought about a strange phenomenon – the early emergence of “zombie wildfires.”

Yes, you heard me correctly. Scientists have termed them zombie wildfires. Why? It’s because they were supposed to be dead, snuffed out by the minus-80 degree (F) temps of the fierce Siberian winters. The multiple layers of snow and ice should have killed these wildfires from the previous year.

But they haven’t. Not even the fiercest winters on the planet have been able to extinguish these fires. Throughout the long winter they smolder beneath the many feet of snow and ice.

But it’s not just the snow and ice above.  The permafrost which lies beneath the vast forests and tundra of Siberia should have chilled these fires to death.  But instead of killing the fires, they actually fuel them.  That’s because the permafrost consists largely of accumulated peat. And all this peat fuels the suppressed fires. And there’s an endless supply of the stuff.

Is this a bad thing? According to LiveScience.com which published the article, it’s a nightmare! Smoke from these emerging zombie wildfires has spread over 2,000 miles and has “blacked out” Russia’s third largest city, Novosibirsk. So, yes, climatologists view it as another indicator of global warming and as a very bad thing.

Of course, there’s an undeniable benefit to every forest fire. Just ask the personnel of the National Park and National Forest Services. Their personnel allow forest fires to burn and even ignite controlled fires. They do this because wildfires remove dense underbrush which prevents new growth. Plus, there are some species of conifers in our National Parks and Forests which depend upon forest fires to open their cones and spread their seeds. And, of course, forest fires accelerate the decomposition process of fallen trees to rapidly return nutrients to the soil. In retrospect, the “terrible” fires which swept across much of Yellowstone National Park in 1988 (consuming 793,880 acres) are now viewed as having been beneficial to the ecosystem.

Therefore, I’d like to ask you to imagine, just for a moment, that these zombie wildfires are actually a good thing. And, as a good thing, they serve as an analogy of the spiritual life of Christ’s church on earth. For Satan and his demons are ever occupied at suppressing the church of Jesus Christ, forcing it underground, and freezing its soul. As the fierce Siberian winters rage against the underground zombie wildfires, burying them with snow and forcing them into the permafrost, Satan relentlessly tries to freeze and snuff out the life of the church.

But it will be to no avail. For Jesus Christ has already determined to save, grow, and glorify His church (Matthew 16:18; Romans 8:29). Just as those Arctic winds, temps, and snow cannot extinguish the wildfires of Siberia, neither will Satan conquer the true church of Jesus. For Christ sustains it with an unstoppable but secret supply of fuel – His imperishable word and His Holy Spirit (Psalm 92:12-15; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; 4:16-17; 12:7-10). And there’s no limit to God’s supply.

True, there’ll be many times when it appears as though Satan has won (Revelation 13:7). It’ll look like he’s succeeded in stamping out the true church of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). But there’ll always be a fire burning below the surface. There’ll still be life pulsating in the hearts of believers. The Spirit of God will still be moving behind the scenes – and He will cause God’s people to conquer (Romans 8:35-37; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Revelation 12:11). And at certain seasons, God will pull back on Satan’s leash and allow the church to erupt in great revival and evangelism.

At the present time, the church of Jesus Christ is being suppressed. And, for the foreseeable future, it may only intensify. But we must never look to personalities or institutions to come to our aid. We mustn’t look to some charismatic personality to rescue us. We must pursue Jesus alone and put our faith in Him. Only Christ has the power to pull back on Satan’s leash. And only He will usher in the time of His coming and the establishment of His kingdom on earth.

Until then we must trust that Jesus will preserve us through whatever ordeals lay ahead. And we must never forget that our conflict is a spiritual one. Those who persecute us are not the enemy. Satan is. For what other force can possibly be driving all this suppression and persecution except Satan’s? Why else would the teachings of a man who said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” be so offensive? Why else is there such zeal in our persecutors to destroy a benevolent entity as the church? It makes absolutely no sense – unless satanic and demonic forces are behind it.

Therefore we must devote ourselves to prayer – our ultimate weapon, knowing that the battle is not ours but God’s. And we dare not employ the weapons that are used against us – hatred, anger, lies, and slander. Otherwise, we’re defeated. No, the weapons of our warfare are spiritual and divine. And they are the opposite of Satan’s weapons. Only Christ’s love will conquer the Satan’s hatred. Only His divine truth – the Gospel – will overthrow the devil’s lies. Only faith in Jesus Christ will blast away Satan’s doubts and only the hope He gives will destroy the devil’s despair. “For in the day of trouble, He will conceal me in His tabernacle. In the secret place of His tent He will hide me. …Therefore, trust in the LORD. Be strong and take heart. Trust, I say, in the LORD” (Psalm 27:5, 14).


PRAYER:  Almighty and merciful Father, in You and in Your holy Son, we put our hope and trust. No politician or statesman will save us. Only You have the power to redeem us. Only Your Son can deliver us from persecution and out of this present evil world. Father, we know that trials and persecution are essential to our growth and sanctification. We know that the time to prepare us for heaven is very short, and that You must make the most of it. Therefore, we humbly submit to Your will and pray for grace to endure. Please, dear Father, preserve our souls and our faith through whatever trials lay ahead. Help us to be faithful witnesses for Jesus. In His holy name we ask this, Amen.


(Information from: https://www.livescience.com/russia-wildfire-season-2021.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_fires_of_1988)

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