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It's curious how a number of those who say they glimpsed eternity claim they were shown prophetic images concerning natural disasters and even a military attack on the U.S. Right now -- with all our bases and other mechanisms of defense -- an invasion seems a preposterous notion.

And so it is.

Someone attacking the contiguous states?

What if the landscape were suddenly very different, however -- wracked by natural and economic paroxysms that in quick fashion disabled our infrastructure? We'll get into a little bit of prophecy here.

As we have reported, there was Dr. George Ritchie -- a prominent psychiatrist in the Richmond, Virginia, area who had a near-death experience.

During that episode, claimed Dr. Ritchie, "Jesus opened a corridor through time which showed me increasing natural disasters coming upon the earth. There were more and more hurricanes and floods occurring over different areas of our planet. The earthquakes and volcanoes were increasing. We were becoming more and more selfish and self-righteous. Families were splitting, governments were breaking apart because people were thinking only of themselves. I saw armies marching on the United States from the south and explosions occurring over the entire world that were of a magnitude beyond my capacity to imagine. I realized if they continued, human life as we have known it could not continue to exist."

The psychiatrist said he was shown a second corridor or alternative future. "At the beginning they appeared very similar but the further the second one unfolded, the more different it became," he wrote. "The planet grew more peaceful. Man and nature both were better. Man was not as critical of himself or others. He was not as destructive of nature and he was beginning to understand what love is."

Destroy nature, Ritchie claims he was shown, and hurt each other, and the first "corridor" will be the one mankind traverses. He felt humans would be given about half a century to go one way or the other (the vision occurred in the 1940s, and since the 1980s, for sure, there have been a good number of natural events).

Does it have significance? How do we discern matters like this?

It is where we use the words "alleged" and "perhaps."

Curiously, another near-deather named James Wilburn Chauncey, a retired businessman from Fayetteville, Georgia, says he was also shown future natural and military eruptions during a brush with death as a young boy, his case too in the 1940s (while suffering from spinal meningitis). (What might be the significance of the 1940s? Was it a hangover from world war?)

Chauncey envisioned an invasion not from sea or air but across America's southern border. He also saw great earthquakes and mountains and lakes disappearing or emerging in the heartland, along with a global epidemic.

Are there precursors? Recent tornadoes? Rumblings in Ukraine? Whatever the military stuff, we're in a spiritual confrontation. John Paul II, as cardinal, during a visit to New York, once called it an "apocalyptic" battle between light and dark. That you can bank.

Meanwhile: wildfires. Droughts. Harsh winter weather. How about a slow-motion landslide dismantling a Walgreens in Wyoming. ("Slowly but surely"? Is that how many things will occur?)

"Whatever one's interpretation of the evidence, there is a surprising consensus on what is to come [among those who have an encounter with death]: widespread earthquakes and volcanic activity, a pole shift, erratic weather patterns, drought, and food shortages, economic collapse, social disintegration, diseases of unknown origin, and possibly nuclear or natural holocaust or catastrophe," said a non-Catholic book of such experiences called Life Beyond Death. "Such calamities are seen as the inevitable result and reflection of a universally flagrant and ignorant violation of natural and spiritual laws, a necessary shake-up and purification which will bring a new sense of unity and cooperation. The severity of the disasters is said to depend on the extent to which human beings work to acquire the qualities that the near-death itself brings: unconditional love and spiritual values."

New Age stuff?

Time will tell. And time, claimed Dr. Ritchie, is "short" (whatever "short" may mean: for our discernment.)

[resources: Dr. Ritchie's Return from Tomorrow and Chauncey's Eyewitness to Heaven]

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey]

[Michael Brown's books]

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