The eminent Australian historian Manning Clark foretold the coming of “the phoenix bird” after an age of ruins

“You feel like you don’t belong here. You don’t. They can’t begin to comprehend what you are.” Thus goes a line in Dark Phoenix (2019). When I first covered that movie in October 2022, I was under the impression that a phoenix was an occult construct, a misappropriation from Christianity of death and rebirth.

It was Herodotus that first brought the legend of the phoenix to the west. According to him, the phoenix was a mystical bird that lived in Arabia, that occasionally flew to Heliopolis, Egypt – the city of the sun – to build a nest there that ignites, and then to be reborn from the ashes. This version of the phoenix is celebrated by occultists.

Another way to think of a phoenix is to imagine a spirit or god-like being, in the shape of an eagle, whose body comprises of light and fire. This kind is portrayed in Dark Phoenix (2019).

Dark Phoenix (2019) trailer

Furthermore, in ancient Chinese culture, the phoenix, fenghuang 凤凰, represents the empress, and is always paired with the dragon representing the emperor. But the Chinese version never dies and so is never reborn. I have longed assumed a dragon represents evil because of Genesis and Revelation. But to ancient China, the dragon, a mythical serpent with four legs that lives in water as opposed to a legless serpent that slithers on its belly through dust, has been a symbol of imperial power and auspicious rule. For China, although the phoenix is not fiery, the dragon is often associated with fire.

In regard to a fiery serpent, notice Numbers 21:8-9.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Numbers 21:8-9

Here, the Bible says, a fiery serpent is something good.

My point is, I may have been wrong all this time about the nature of a phoenix.

If Mulan (2020) and William Blake’s poem Tyger were both from the side of God, then the phoenix, or an eagle-like bird of light and fire, must be a metaphor of a saint. The reason is, a saint is someone who will be able to fly like an angel (ref. Luke 20:36) as if he has “wings as eagles” (ref. Isaiah 40:31), and a saint will have the power of “the morning star” (ref. Revelation 2:28), both light and fire.

Now, if the other side is claiming the phoenix as symbol of their own, I suppose it is because by the time of Gog and Magog, some of the saints will turn away from God and towards Satan (ref. Revelation 20:7-10). This means, eventually, there will be loyal saints, and also treacherous saints: there will be good phoenixes, and evil phoenixes.

According to some Jewish Rabbis, Job 29:14-18 describes a “phoenix”: the Hebrew word for “sand” in Job 29:18 is read by them as “phoenix”.

I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem… And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand [phoenix].

Job 29:14-18

This man that Job is describing, presumably he himself, who puts on “righteousness” and is given a “diadem” of royalty in order to judge “the wicked” corresponds to a saint, a soldier of Christ. It follow then that the phoenix is a picture of a saint.

In Mulan (2020), the phoenix is described as a powerful protector of the kingdom.

Mulan (2020) trailer

In William Blake’s Tyger, there is a stanza that mentions both “wings” and “fire”.

“On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?”

Besides that, the creature is “burning bright”.

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night; “

Moreover, his eyes are fiery.

“In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?”

Because of the two attributes of “wings” and “fire”, this creature, which is like a tiger – to mix metaphors – is also like a phoenix, a bird of prey that is literally fire.

As such, this creature is dreaded by others.

“And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? and what dread feet?”

The poem goes on to say, the tyger, created by God to be a weapon – a weapon shaped through the furnace, the hammer, the chain, and the anvil – will defeat Satan’s second rebellion at the time of Gog and Magog. This is because, presumably, of all the saints, God will make this saint the most powerful.

“When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”

William Blake’s Tyger

I have explained before why Mulan (2020) and the poem Tyger both point to me. But even something such as Dark Phoenix (2019) has the year “1975” in it, which is the year of my birth, a year that alludes to the idea of a “wood tiger” – a tyger that hunts the enemy in the forests of the night.

What I would like to do now is draw attention to the aspect of fire.

For our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:29

We humans often make the mistake of assuming that God is like us (ref. Psalms 50:21), because we read in Genesis that man was created in the image of God. But God’s mind is different from everyone else’s. His wisdom and manner of thinking is unique.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 55:8

Furthermore, the substance of God’s actual body is quite different. Yes, Jesus Christ was born into the world some two thousand years ago as the Son of man (ref. John 1:14), through the line of David (ref. Revelation 22:16), but at the same time, and ever since the beginning, Jesus Christ is “the bright and morning star”.

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Revelation 22:16

Jesus Christ is also the “Star out of Jacob”.

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and he shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Numbers 24:17

All that to say, physically speaking, Jesus Christ is something similar to a star, sort of like the sun that is at the centre of our solar system. This means, the Son of God is literally both light and fire.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Revelation 21:23

Fire is such a signature weapon of God that even the two witnesses will wield the power of fire when they defend themselves during the days of their testimony.

These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth. and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

Revelation 11:4-5

So, if Jesus Christ were to create a soldier more powerful than anything ever before seen, that soldier would have to wield the power of fire. Fire, because all life on the planet earth is carbon-based – human beings, animals, reptiles, fish, insects, plant life, etc. There is no life on earth that will not succumb to fire!

… they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame…

Isaiah 47:14

In Zechariah 14:16-19, it reads that any nation that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the LORD and keep the annual feast of tabernacles will suffer an absence of rain.

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

Zechariah 14:16-17

No rain means less food.

All they that be fat upon the earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

Psalms 22:29

Yet at the same time, no rain means every opportunity for fire!

The American novelist Stephen King once imagine what it would be like for a human being to have the power of fire: his novel Firestarter.

For sure, Stephen King was inspired by the other side, because in his story, an orange cat is burned to death by the Firestarter. No doubt this is a cheap shot at Blake’s tyger.

Nevertheless, we see from the story that the ability to kill by fire, a key attribute of a saint (ref. Malachi 4:3), will dramatically change the world.

And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 4:3

Now, since a saint is essentially a star, a kind of fusion reactor, it follows that a saint should be able to not only burn a target with flames of fire but also trigger a thermonuclear blast.

FireStarter (2022) trailer

While an atomic blast is based on fission, a thermonuclear blast is based on fusion. Whereas the former is radioactive, the latter is not.

For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed [Christian humans] shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities [desolate but not radioactive] to be inhabited.

Isaiah 54:3

I am making these points now because no one has stopped to think just how much power a saint will have over everyone else.

Indeed, I think it is through this power that God will bring an end to wars: it is through this new army that God will accomplish worldwide peace.

Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalms 46:8-10

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into prunninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 2:3-4

Apart from Stephen King’s Firestarter, there is Shadow and Bone (2021)’s “Sankta Alina Starkov”. This character, also inspired by the other side, is again described as the first of her kind. Starkov means “son of the Star”, because if it were “daughter of the Star” it would have to be Starkova. Back in 2021, when I first noticed “the Sun Summoner” of Shadow and Bone (2021) my thinking was along the lines of light, but now it is obvious that the sun is as much fire as it is light.

Alina Starkov, the Sun Summoner montage

So you see, both sides, good and evil, have acknowledged that there will be one among the saints that is the strongest, and this person like the others will wield the power of fire.

Over a thousand years from now, when Jesus Christ is in heaven, this phoenix, a ravenous bird from the east, also described as the burning bright tyger, will win an important battle for Jesus Christ and God the Father.

… from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.

Isaiah 41:25

With all that in mind, let me draw your attention to the words of the late and eminent Australian historian Manning Clark. It is not clear to me which side Clark was on, but I have noticed that he knew enough to distinguish between the kingdom of God and the empire of the Enlightenment. At the end of his “A Short History of Australia”, first published in the year 1963, he writes the following about Australia and “the phoenix bird”:

“Australians have liberated themselves from the fate of being second-rate Europeans. Australians have begun to contribute to the never-ending conversation of humanity on the meaning of life, and the means of wisdom and understanding. So far no one has described the phoenix bird which will arise from the ashes of an age of ruins. No one has risked prophesying whether an age of ruins will be the prelude to the coming of the barbarians or to taking a seat at the great banquet of life. The life-deniers and the straiteners have been swept into the dustbin of human history. Now is the time for the life-affirmers and the enlargers to show whether they have anything to say, whether they have any food for the great hungers of humanity.”

So Manning Clark somehow knew about the rise of “the phoenix bird”, as he puts it. I suppose he ends his history of Australia by hoping that Australia as a nation and a culture will choose life over death. In so doing, Australia will live on as a people in the commonwealth of the kingdom of heaven (ref. Revelation 21:22-26).