Chicago and Peshtigo Fire: A Forewarning of Armageddon


“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, but the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” – (2 Pet.3:7).


   The great Chicago fire of 1871 wiped out the central business district and destroyed 17,450 buildings. The flames killed 300 people and left 90,000 homeless. On October 8, 1871 – the same night of the great Chicago fire – the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wis. was struck with a five mile-wide wall of flames borne of tornado-force winds of 100 mph that tore across more than 2,400 sq. miles of land, obliterating the town in one hour and killing 2000 people. The fire scorched 1.2 million acres and 2 billion trees and also burned 16 other towns, but the damage to Peshtigo was the worst. The firestorm at Peshtigo was the deadliest fire in U.S. history. In one hour the whole city was reduced to ashes. That’s why the week of October 8 has become Fire Prevention Week.


   Peshtigo had no police force or jail and wickedness was rampant. With sixty saloons spread throughout the region and almost as many whorehouses, the lumberjacks and loggers and railroad workers sinned greatly. Fights among the drunken loggers were expected and they’d use knives, ropes, guns, even the metal on their caulked boots to settle their arguments. Men were lynched for such menial things as theft or a dirty look. It was an ungodly town with a thin veneer of Christianity.


   The churches there were of the Laodicean type. Sundays the people filled the Congregational, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, but the town was split between religion and wickedness. The evil was permitted because lumber was giving people money. The lukewarm churches were impotent to stop the flood tide of wickedness in their midst. “That thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth…” – (Rev.3:14-20). The lukewarm churches contributed to the scorching fire of God’s wrath and God burned them up.


   God was merciful and longsuffering before the fiery day of His wrath fell. He sent His preachers into Peshtigo preaching repentance and salvation in Christ weeks ahead of time. But unlike Nineveh, the people would not repent of their wickedness. Finally the fire of God fell like it did upon Sodom and Gomorrah. America now is more wicked than Peshtigo was and we are flaunting the abominable sin of sodomy in the face of a holy and just God that Peshtigo was not doing. Our fiery judgment cannot be far off – Armageddon comes soon. Chicago and Peshtigo were a forewarning of a fiery nuclear Armageddon upon U.S. The fornication and drunkenness of Peshtigo is shown us with the Bible words – “The wine of her fornication.” Babylon-USA will fall like Chicago and Peshtigo – “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” – (Rev.17:2). As Peshtigo burned in one hour so will Babylon-USA burn in one hour – (Rev.18:8-10).


   After the deadliest fire in American history in Peshtigo on Oct. 8, 1871, as if that had not been enough to contend with, the next spring of 1872, when Peshtigo was expecting relief, the town was invaded by army worms. It was a particular loathsome, destructive and tenacious worm.


   The army worms were so named because of their massive numbers and their habit of moving in only one direction. The one and a half inch army worms erupted from the earth after having spent the winter burrowed deep in the soil of the burned district. Once they appeared, they began to move as a writhing mass devouring what ever lay in their path. Some places were so thick with them that they were shoveled up by the bucket. They clogged wells and streams making the water undrinkable. They slithered everywhere in their blind drive toward more food. Only when one of their natural enemies, a parasitic fly, appeared did their numbers decrease.


   But the people of Peshtigo were delivered from one plague only to be afflicted by another. The fly invasion was worse than the army worm assault because the worms stayed on the ground, but the flies flew into houses, barns, stables, stores, everywhere, even covering the animals. It looked like a black, moving blanket, had descended on the town. For the fire survivors, it appeared that God was determined to drive them from their land. They called them ‘Green Bay flies.’


   In the midst of all this destruction, there were no crops. The seeds fell on dead ground. There was not even one dandelion. Throughout the burned area nothing would grow – 1872 was a very bad year for Peshtigo. Yet there was no repentance.


   God says one of the plagues that God will send upon the ungodly is worms – “Thou shalt plant vineyards , and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the vine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them – (Du.28:39). Again in (Amos 4:9) “I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees, and your olive trees increased, the Palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” God brought these plagues upon Peshtigo and yet they would not return unto the Lord Jesus. Again – “There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm…” – (Nah.3:16). Jesus described hell three times in (Mk.9) and said, “to be cast into hell fire: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” What happened to Peshtigo with the fire and worms was just a type of the awful judgment upon unsaved sinners in hell. It will come upon all people who refuse to repent of their sins and receive Christ as Savior.


   This firestorm of Peshtigo had 100 mph winds and it was studied by the U.S. military so it could determine how to create the most devastating incendiary attacks on cities during WW II. Peshtigo was the first documented firestorm and the only firestorm to destroy 17 towns. And when Chicago is included because it burned the same night, it was the only firestorm to destroy towns, forests, and large cities. Chicago was the beginning of the A-Bomb. The University of Chicago achieved the first nuclear chain reaction in December 1942.


   The great fire of Peshtigo was called – ‘a baptism of fire’ and yet they would not take heed to John the Baptist’s call to repentance so that they would not receive the Baptism of hellfire reserved for thousands – (Mt.3:10-12). Jesus said – “I am come to send fire on the earth on the earth: and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straightened till it be accomplished” – (Lk.12:49,50). The Lord Jesus came to kindle two kinds of fire: Pentecostal fire and the fire of His wrath. The Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire came and gave birth to the church. The fire of wrath was upon unbelieving Israel by the Romans in AD 70 when they destroyed and burnt Jerusalem. The revival fire foretold by Joel (Joel 2:28-32) and his baptism of the Holy Spirit upon every believer into the body of Christ swept the world at that time. But Joel’s prophecy will have a second fulfillment at the end of the great tribulation. At Armageddon the Lord Jesus will send His punitive baptism of fire again to make short work of Antichrist’s sin-soaked world. If you don’t receive the spiritual Baptism of fire, you will receive the fire of God’s wrath when He burns the world, and it will be a firestorm – fire and a mighty, rushing wind.


   What God is showing us at Chicago and Peshtigo with the firestorm and the many deaths and the great forest fire and small towns and large cities burnt, is the heat of His great righteous anger. His wrath will be kindled upon the whole world as it was on Oct.8, 1871 in the U.S. He’s showing U.S. Armageddon and Hell fire. The army worms and our military using the knowledge of the firestorm at Peshtigo to bomb nations with incendiary bombs in WW II shows us the battle of Armageddon and nuclear firestorms.


   Joel prophesies of Armageddon – “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker worm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you” – (Joel 2:26). Surely you can see the army worms of Peshtigo after their firestorm. “And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come” – (Joel 2:30,31). This is Armageddon at the end of the great tribulation when all the armies of the world headed up by the Antichrist will look like army worms on the ground to destroy Israel. Then Israel will use their H-Bombs and ignite WW III and a nuclear holocaust, of which Oct.8, 1871 was a miniature type of. Chicago and Peshtigo were a forewarning of a fiery Armageddon.


   O America, I beseech you in Christ’s name, be reconciled to God. Please repent of your sins and turn to Christ before it’s too late. Do not spurn the love and mercy and grace of God through His beloved Son on the cross. Christ is God’s perfect, supreme sacrifice for sin on the cross. He is our burnt offering sacrifice. When we’re saved by Him, the fire of God’s wrath falls upon Him and not upon us. He saves us from death and the grave and hell and gives us eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” – (Rom.6:23).


   Jesus Christ is the Savior and He will save us from the fiery wrath of God. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” – (Rom.5:9). Again – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” – (Jn.3:36).


   Repent of your sins and believe in your heart by faith on the Lord Jesus in truth and you will be saved and receive forgiveness of sins and become a new born again creature in Christ. Humble yourself beneath the cross of Christ and with an honest and contrite heart call upon the Lord Jesus to save you. Don’t keep your pride like the people of Peshtigo did and burn in hell.



Pastor Mike Storti

5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76

Tucson, AZ  85705



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