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Monthly Archives: January 2020

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 07: Has God Ever Flooded the Earth?

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This is part 7 of a series, and will best be understood by reading the previous parts first here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.  I recommend starting at part 1.

In this post we will examine the idea of whether God flooded the earth in the times of Noah.  It is the culmination of the past six posts, so please read them all to get here.

And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life from under heaven, and everything that is in the earth shall die (Genesis 6.17)

If you start reading through the Bible, you will start with Genesis.  It starts off with a gracious and kind God creating a paradise for His children, and when they sin, He clothes them and blesses them and provides a sacrifice for their sin, and promises a total redemption for them.  When their son murders his brother, God marks him and protects him from lynch mobs.  Despite sin obviously having consequences, we see a God of great grace and mercy and love and kindness.

Then we get to Genesis 6 and it seems at face value that God has suddenly become the destroyer!  That God is out to get people.  Now, we have examined in posts 1 and 2 of this series that God is not the destroyer, and looked the life of Jesus and the Hebrew language and found out that God will allow destruction to take place, but it is our sin that causes destruction.  Now, is this the same for Noah’s flood, or is this a somehow divine exception where God decides He has to judge the planet?  Is it true that God never engages in acts of destruction except when it comes to Noah’s flood?

Now, look at the Scripture above, at face value it seems very clear: God is going to bring a flood.  But remember what said about God bringing something – we have to interpret Scripture with Scripture!  When God says “I will bring” we find over and over that what God is doing is delivering people over to something, forsaking the people who reject Him and push Him away, and not actively destroying them.

This fundamental truth: that when we read of God destroying people, what happens is that God abandons them to their sin and the consequences of it, is still true when it comes to the flood.

In Job 42.11 we are told that the Lord brought evil against Job, same Hebrew word “bring”, but we know that satan did it, and not the Lord, but the Lord stepped back because through fear Job pushed Him out of his life, and in that sense, the Lord “brought” it.  It is the same here: what happened to Job is satanic in nature, and has nothing to do with the good God that Jesus came to reveal.

The flood is the earth responding to the worst sins ever committed on the planet, and God is not to blame.

So we know from Scripture that man had dominion over the earth, and we know from our last blog post that the earth hates sin (see here). And in Genesis 6, we know that the violent sin of humanity was directly affecting the planet:

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Genesis 6.11-13, KJV)

Before God says in v. 17 “I will bring a flood”, He tells us clearly that the whole earth is corrupt due to the violence of humans.  The wickedness of people before the flood had corrupted the world so much, and because the people were all over the planet, the entire planet was corrupted and sick.  The earth responded to that much sin with a flood.

The flood was not the Father getting so fed up with His children He decided to wipe them out.  God did everything to save people, He called Noah to build an ark, He held back the flood water as long as He could.

The flood was the earth’s way of cleansing itself from the sickness it had because of the sinfulness of humanity.  It had been corrupted more than it could ever have been predicted and it reached a critical mass and the earth shook and the results of that was a flood that was global.  It was not the Father fed up with His people, it was the earth.

Inside most modern buildings is a sprinkler system and if the temperature in a room gets too hot, the sprinkler goes on.  The earth is the same, if the sin of humanity gets too hot, the sprinklers come on.  In this case, the fire of vile, violent sin had infected the whole planet causing a global “sprinkler” activation.  The accumulation of sin makes the earth sick and if it gets too sick, it just vomits.  It is an earth failsafe, that is supposed to protect us and bless us.  But sin as always distorts and destroys everything.

So Genesis 6.12 says “all flesh has corrupted the earth” – the word corrupt means to bring to decay and disaster.  The disaster of the global flood was not caused by God, but by flesh.  It is the same word “corrupt” in the next verse where God says “I will destroy them with the earth”.  Man is destroying and corrupting the planet, but God is letting them – this is the passive tense.  God is allowing it to happen because every human, apart from Noah, has pushed God out of the planet, and God will not invade the planet and not break His integrity to take lordship of the planet from us.  If we want to destroy the world through constant and continue violent sin, God will allow us.  And sin made the earth sicker than it has ever been made throughout history.

Violent sin causes natural disasters.  The earth has a moral compass just like the law of gravity.  When you jump off a building, you fall down, not up.  When you sin, the earth cannot cope with it.  And mankind was destroying itself, mankind’s sin was bringing about the flood.

The truth is that God was clearly holding back the flood as long as possible.  Did you know that God upholds everything by the word of His power (Hebrews 1.3)?  God is not the destroyer, He is the upholder, He is the one upholding and sustaining things, He uses His power to bring life and order, not death and destruction.

God had to let the flood happen because the humans in charge of the earth made it happen and rejected God and would not turn to God or listen to God.  Only one man listened and God used that as an opportunity to provide a way out from the global natural disaster.

God brings the ground out from the waters in creation, He does not then submerge the land into the ground by destruction.  The flood of Noah was God stopping holding back the waters and letting the destruction caused my man’s sin continue and happen.  God did not flood the earth, God did not cause the flood, God did not make the flood happen, God did not drown millions and millions of children.  Sin did.  Vile, evil, violent, continual sin.

It is interesting that in many cultures there are stories of gods fed up with humans and then deciding to destroy them all with floods, but those stories are paganism and they are not reflective of the true God of the Bible, who is trying to stop humanity from destroying the earth through their sin.  In 1 Peter 3.20 God says He was patient with humanity until the ark was prepared.  God gave people chance after change to come right, but they rejected Him and chose death, and God – because of His integrity – had to allow the people to have the death they chose.  A death God did not create, did not do, and was not responsible for.

Nineveh was spared because the people repented, and the same could easily have happened if before the flood the people repented and came to God, and God through His wisdom would have shown them how to live in a way that stopped the flood.  The people could have spoken and rebuked the flood the same way Jesus has rebuked and stilled storms.  But they did not turn to God, they did not turn from their wicked ways.  Noah preached to them for one hundred years, but no one listened.  They in fact told God to leave them alone (Job 21.15-18).   God is a gentle, loving Spirit and when He is told to leave people alone, He does.  Reluctantly, and with grief, but He always will.

When you push God out of your life, your community, your business, your church, your planet there will always be consequences.  The flood was not caused by God, God simply backed away and the earth sick with sin vomited the flood up (Genesis 7.10-11).

God had made a dome of water in the sky (Genesis 1.7) to protect people from radiation and heat from space, and it was destroyed and all that water started to fall from the sky, at the same time, the earth was shaking so badly that all the water under the earth started to erupt up.   What a day that would have been.  God was striving with people to not let it get this bad, to not let this happen, but when pushed out of the planet, God had no choice but to remove Himself, and the flood them happened.

God did not start the flood, it happened due to the sin of men.  God knew it was coming, He could see it was coming, and He tried to stop it.  He did not flood the earth.

One translation of Genesis 6.17 says God is going to unleash the flood.  That language is close – God had leashed the flood and was restraining it, but when God was pushed out of earth by the violent sins of people and the people had infected the earth, God had to let go of the leash, and the flood just happened because of sin!

In order for you to realize the truth that God is not an angry destroyer of worlds, we must realize that some of the Old Testament language that looks causative is permissive.  God merely removed His protection, and a flood that He was holding back, then happened.  Even in the Greek, in 2 Peter 2.5, rather than best be translated God brought the flood, it is best translated God let loose the water.

I think most people are aware that Methuselah is the oldest man who ever lived.  What most people do not know is that his name means “When he dies, it will come”, and he died the flood year.  The man who was a living calendar to the flood, as named by his father, the prophet Enoch, lived longer than any other man, as God was holding it back as long as possible.

God- far from being the vindictive destroyer of the world – was the one holding back the flood as long as possible, stopping it from happening despite the sin of men hurting the earth so badly.

Humans destroyed the earth so badly that it vomited up a global flood.  The pre-flood civilisation hated God and demanded He leave them alone, and He was the only one protecting them from their own rebellion.  Look at Isaiah 54 in the New Living Translation:

“Just as I swore in the time of Noah
that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,
so now I swear
that I will never again be angry and punish you.
10 For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
says the Lord, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54.9-10, NLT)

God did not cause the flood, He let it happen.  He had to because humanity booted Him off the planet that they owned, that He gave them, that He promised was theirs, that He gave them dominion and ownership over.

Now some of you might accuse me of splitting hairs here, and ask “does it really matter if God made it happen or allowed it”, but it makes a huge difference because what is at stake here, and why I am writing these posts, and why I am so passionate about these things is that the entire character and nature of God rests in the answers to these questions. Is God the vengeful destroyer of worlds, or is God Christ-like, the loving kind Father who would do anything to bless, to help, to promote, to prosper His children.  Does the Father steal, kill and destroy or is that satan?

Is God using His power to destroy anyone who sins, or is God doing everything to protect sinners and rebels and haters, until they push Him away and eventually, reluctantly, He has to leave them to the consequences of their choices?

When we study the Word properly, we find out that all natural disasters are satanic, are stealing from us, killing us, and destroying us, they are caused by sin, not a good, good Father.  We know satan will cause a flood to kill people (Rev. 12.12-16) and we know God is like Jesus.

We can therefore conclude with confidence that God is not the one who sends floods.  He is the One who protects us from the floods, and keeps them from washing us away.  By staying in the Word, resting in the love of God, we can overcome every flood and storm caused by sin and satan.  But you have to know God does not send natural disasters and does not cause floods, global or local.

Our next post will be on Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 06: The Earth Hates Sin

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This is part 6 of a series examining the will of God and natural disasters.  If you want to read the previous parts you can access them here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  I recommend reading from part 1.

International evangelist Winkie Pratney says the following:

Look at the nations of the world that suffer from the greatest poverty, sickness, drought and sickness, where ecological disaster seems to be a constant curse.  Then ask: what is the dominant religious mindset in this place?  In what ways do they mirror the true and living God and think and live how He says to think and live?

Many people do not understand the authority mankind has over the earth, so they do not understand the power our actuons have over the environment to make it better or worse.  Therefore, when natural disasters happen we naturally – and religiously – blame God when it is our sins that actually make the earth sick.

In Leviticus 18, we find out that if people defile themselves by sinning, then they defile the land, and eventually the land will, in King James English, “vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Lev. 18.25, KJV).  If the people living in an area keep sinning, that actually makes the land sick, and it reacts to our sins.  Tornados, hurricanes and other natural disasters are not God judging the land, they are the land becoming our enemy as a natural response to sin.

Some people get disturbed when they read about the holy wars in the Old Testament, when the people of God engage in war, but one of the issues is that their sinful behavour was destroying the land that they lived in.  God had to remove them before the land was destroyed completely, and started impacting the whole planet.

When people turn their backs on God, society has no foundation, but you also have to realize that these evil societies affect creation too.  In Leviticus 18, God actually lists the sins that the heathen nations are committing that will defile the land.  The list includes incest, bestiality, homosexuality, adultery, murder and child sacrifice.  A society that is engaged in these sins will defile their land and the land will get sick and eventually vomit.

God told the Israelites that if they disobeyed Him and defiled the land, then the land would also vomit them out.  The land knows no favourites, it is not choosing, it just reacts to sin.  Sadly, our nations in the West are now involved in these sorts of sins, and the weather is changing.  The problem is not global warming, it is global sinning.  It is not God judging the people, it is just that our rebellion defiles the land and makes it sick.  The fault is ours, and the only thing that can heal the lands and stop those natural disasters, is if people change!  That’s the only solution.

In Leviticus 20, this concept of the land getting sick and vomitting out the people is mentioned again, specifically in reference to homosexuality, incest and bestiality:

13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.

20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.

21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. (Lev. 20.13-22, KJV)

We must understand that these sins defile the land, especially in the light that even churches are now accepting some of these things and saying they are acceptable and not sins.  We have to be Biblically correct, not politcally correct.  As we move forward in time, the Bible will contrast more and more with society about what is right and wrong, but sin is sin, and the sin will affect the land.  One of the reasons our nations are in turmoil is sexual immorality of various forms.

God loves you.  No matter what you do, have done, will do.  God never gives us a command that is not for our own good, He is not just trying to prove He is the boss and make us do what He wants.  Satan will tell you that, satan will tell you God is a control freak who just wants to boss us around, and that God is holding back from us, but it simply is not true.   Satan does not want us to realize that sin has consequences, that God is trying to get us to choose life, but choosing sin is always choosing death (Romans 6.23).  God is anti-satan because God actually loves us, and if we fail to co-operate with God’s laws, then as individuals and as society, we will face sicknesses and natural disasaters and you cannot blame God for you just reaping the harvest of the seeds you sowed.

Psalm 106 tells us that the people sacrificed their sons and daughters to devils, and that this polluted the land with their blood (Psalm 106.37-38).  One modern issue that is happening in the UK is abortion.  A foetus is a human being, and children are a reward from the Lord.  I do not care what some scientist or doctor says, the Word of God is our authority, and if we kill the fruit of the womb while still in the womb we are committing a murder.  Now there is grace and love and forgiveness for doing that, but let us not use grace as a way of saying a sin is not a sin.

Abortion has no difference from the child sacrifices of the ancient Israelites to false gods, and it is done as a sacrifice to the Western idols of an easy life and sexual immorality.  These are just as much idols as the wooden and stone idols the Israelites would sacrifice their children too.  And this pollutes our land with blood.  The only way to cleanse a land from blood is through blood (Numbers 35.33).  This is one of the reasons that God introduces capital punishment after the flood of Noah so the build-up of pollution never gets so bad, the entire earth shakes so much and is so sick that it brings about a world-wide flood.  By enforcing the death penalty, the land is cleansed from the blood that the murderer has spilled.  Now, the good news is that in the New Testament, whatever your sin you can find cleansing and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus and when you do that, the blood of Jesus does not just forgive your sin but it actually starts to cleanse the land.

God loves unborn babies, He also loves women who have had abortions, He also loves abortion doctors.  He loves the callous, hard-hearted man who pushes a woman to get an abortion to save money and their lifestyle, He loves them all.  God does not want you to have an abortion because it destroys so much on every level.

But the point I am making in this post is that God is not sending those natural disasters as punishment.  It is the land reacting to being polluted.  God actually led Israel through a wilderness and protected them and loved them as they were on their way to the promised land.  The land would have destroyed them, but God protected them.  But even in the promised land, the sins of the Israelites defiled the land.  In Jer. 3, we find out that the people corrupted the land with reckless behaviour, and then says “that is why the rains have failed”.  Their sin stopped the rain, and their sin made the earth sick.  God was not judging them, it is just that sin has consequences.  In fact, in Jeremiah 3, we find out that God actually divorces Israel because of its prostitution.  Now, without God there, the land is defiled and God is not protecting and providing, so the land leads to drought.  God was not beating the people with drought to get them to submit, that is not the kind of husband He is, but when Israel threw Him out of their house, that house reacted badly to their sin and their selfishness.

God is not to blame when this happens, it is the sins of the people that cause it to happen (Jer. 5.23-25).  People are just reaping what they have sown, God is not involved in that judgment or disaster.

The earth hates sin.

Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.  (Hosea 4.1-3, KJV)

 

10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. (Jeremiah 12.10-11)

Our sinful acts can hurt the planet we live on – bringing drought, desolation and disaster.  Plant life, animal life, the weather, can all be affected by our sinful actions.  The problem with planet earth is sin.  It started with Adam and we have all made it worse.  We have rejected God and kicked Him out of our house, and we pushed away His grace, His provision and His protection.

And right now, the earth is yearning for redemption, it is yearning to be made new (Romans 8.18-22), it wants to be free from the death and decay we have imposed on it.  You see anything that is separated from God just decays, it is not God cursing it, it just does not have access to His life-giving life anymore.  When Adam sinned, the earth under his feet had no more access to God’s life and started to decay.

So – do not blame God for natural disasters.  It is our sin that has been causing them.  The fault and blame is on us, and we need to rather than blame God thank Him for such a great plan to redeem this planet when the sons of God manifest their fullness.  But God does not require us to wait until the end of time to start to bring healing to our land, just like God heals our bodies when we turn to Him in faith, He can start to heal our cities, our nations and our land too.  God is not the destroyer, bringing natural disasters, and in fact if we work with Him He will work with us and help us overcome satan and sin and make the whole world a better place.

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 05: Sin Affects the World

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The Bible is very clear that sin brings death (Romans 6.23).  Not God.  Sin.  You see you have to realize that sin is more than just breaking the law.  It is not that you sin, and because you sin, God works out you broke a law and then God starts to destroy you because He is so angry and offended that you sinned.  That is not how it happens!  Sin contains its own death and destruction.  Death is the wages of sin, not the wages for sin.  Sin pays its own wages and brings its own death.

God does not hate sin because God hates pleasure and fun and God wants to take away all the joy from life!  God love you and wants your best and wants nothing but abundance and good for you – and God is aware that sin itself brings death and that is why God wants to keep us away from sin.

Much of what has traditionally been understood as God personally bringing wrath and destruction on a person is not God at all.  It is the sin itselfs that pays the wage of destruction and death.  The Bible talks about the law of sin and death, and it works the same as the law of gravity.  If you walk off the top of a building, you will fall down.  It’s not God punishing you, it is just the way things work.  If you sin, that sin brings death into your life.  It’s not God punishing you, it’s the way things work.

God is not sitting in Heaven waiting for you to finally sin so He can smite you and destroy you.  He is doing all He can to protect you from sinning so that sin does not destroy you.  Jesus died to save us from the destructive power of sin.

Proverbs 1 tells us that the prosperity of fools shall destroy them, but if you listen to the Lord you shall live in safety.  Being foolish will destroy you, but listening to the Lord shall protect you from destruction.  The Lord is not the destroyer!

But when God is reaching out to us so we listen to Him so we can live safely, and if we ignore Him he keeps reaching out to us in love, but He will not break our free will.  He has no choice but to leave us to that sin, but at the same time He is leaving us to the consequences of that sin too.  He is not the destroyer, sin is.

Sin is what kills the sinner, not God.  It is not God destroying us.  It is the seeds of sin that we sowed that have produced a harvest of destruction.  We need to stop blaming God for what is our fault.  Proverbs 19.3 in the GNB says “Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions, and then blame the Lord”.

In terms of natural disasters, it is very clear that sin affects the whole world that we have dominion over.  Before Adam sinned, this planet was paradise.  Sin wrecks the planet!  God told Adam that when the fall happened that “the ground will be under a curse” (Genesis 3.17).  Before the fall there was no problem in getting fruit, but after the fall you had to work for it.

Now did God curse the ground to punish Adam for his sin?  Most Christians would agree with that, but it was not God who cursed the land, it was Adam’s actions that brought the curse.  God did not make the ground difficult, but Adam had dominion over the ground, and then when Adam sinned His dominion meant the whole earth was impacted by his behaviour.

When Adam was given authority over the earth, we was made the lord of the earth.  The Hebrew word for dominion means both lord and owner.  So therefore what humanity does affects the word.  If Adam walked in righteousness before God then the earth would have remained Edenic.  But because God gave dominion to man, because God is love and God is kind, God was not in charge of the planet anymore.   And because God does not lie or break His words, just because Adam rebelled against Him was not reason to suddenly take the earth back.

God could potentially take the earth back and stop all natural disasters right now, but He will not because that would break His integrity, that would violate His Word.  God has the power to have His way, but He does not have the duplicity to take the Word back.

This is why God is always looking for a man to co-operate with on the planet.  so He can change the earth working with us and using the original dominion to exert His kingdom over the planet.  God so respects the authority that He has given man that even our unbelief will stop Jesus from working miracles (Mark 6.5-6).  Our actions affect the whole planet.

If we read Romans 5.12 it tells us that by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin. Death was not here because of God, but because of sin.  When Adam sinned, death entered not just Adam’s spirit, soul and body, but death entered the world.  Just five verses later, Paul tells us that “death reigned by one”.  Because Adam sinned, death became the king of the world!  When Adam disobeyed God, the whole world became under the reign of sin and satan.  God was not putting death on Adam or the world – the death was the wages – the consequences – of sin.  The law of sin and death works like the law of gravity – God can not be blamed for an earthquake any more than if someone jumps off a building.  It is just the violation of the laws of the universe.

God told Adam when he sinned “Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse” (Genesis 3.17, GNB).  By following satan, and rejecting God, Adam caused the whole earth to be cursed.  Adam, not God, messed up the world.  Humans cannot sin with out the earth being affected.

Because people do not understand this, they think – and sadly teach others – that God supernaturally curse the ground out of wrath because of Adam’s sin and rebellion.  That is not what happened.  Man brought the curse to the land.  By one man sin entered the world, and death by sin.  The curse came to the world because of sin, not because of God.

Adam brough the death and the curse into the world by misusing his dominion, God did not curse the earth.  Sin does not just affect you as a person, it actually affects the entire environment.  Isaiah tells us the people on the earth have defiled it, and therefore the curse devours the planet (Isa. 24.4-5).  In other words, the curse is brought into the world by human sin, not God’s wrath.  This is why we have storms and earthquakes and volcanoes.  Every natural disaster is the world being defiled by our sin, not an act of God. Sin brought the curse on the world, and God cannot sin, so therefore natural disasters do not come from God.

If you look at what the curse looks like in Deut. 28, you can see clearly that it affects the entire environment., with droughts, floods, locusts coming as part of the curse.  Again, the language of Deut. 28 at face value makes it appear that God is bringing the curse, but a closer look at the Hebrew will see that God just allowed it – if people will not listen to God He will let them walk where they want, and have to deal with the consequences of their actions, not the consequences of His wrath.  The curses are caused by the lack of God acting, due to rejecting Him, not due to the active wrath and destruction of God.  God is not the destroyer.

God never made a planet that kills people.  God never created a planet with tornadoes and hurricanes and bush fires and corona viruses.  That is the result of the fall of man, and the kings of the earth, humanity, rejecting God and pushing Him out of the planet He has made.  When humanity serves themselves, their rebellion brings death to the whole planet we have dominion over.

The weather is not random, it is not at the will of a capricious God, it is the result of the actions of humanity.   We are living in a great generation of faith, where Christians are starting to realize their actions and words affect their prosperity and their health, and now it is time to realize that we are connected to the earth, and we will realize our actions and words can actually impact the environment.  Let’s stop blaming God for natural disaster and start opening our hearts to Him and work with Him in His great love for us to make a difference in the world.

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 04: Take Responsibility

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If you have not read parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series yet, you should start at part 1.

The idea that God causes natural disasters and is the destroyer is what I sometimes call a convenient theology.  In other words it is an image of God, an idea about God, that is very convenient.  Someone who is sick, well God loves you so much He has made you sick because you are His special angel.  Everything that happens, happens for a higher purpose.  It comforts our flesh and makes us feel better.

But the truth is that we need to take responsibility for ourselves and this planet as human beings.  The idea that God controls everything cuts the legs of our responsiblity as humans.  Why pray, why repent, why walk in faith, if God is just going to do what He wants anyway!  The truth is far different from this:

“And so I tell all of you: what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited by heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted by heaven. (Matt. 18.18)

God has given humanity far more power than anyone has ever realized.  Due to God giving the earth to man, and due to God promising us dominion, God cannot intervene on this planet unless someone on earth prohibits or permits it.  That is a staggering statement, and it cuts through so much religion.  This is why God has to look to find someone to allow Him to release His power on the earth.

There is a lot of responsibilty on your shoulders as a human.  God will only allow on earth what you allow.  He will plead with you to make the right choices, but He will never ever force you to do or think anything, ever.  What happens on the earth is on us, not God.

Andrew Murray tells us that God told us to subdue the earth and have dominion over it, and that man is the ruler of the earth.  The only conclusion says Murray, that we can draw from this, is that man is the ruler of the earth.

In the beginning God created man with dominion, but man sadly gave that dominion over to satan and plunged the world into chaos.  Until that event there had never been a natural disaster on the planet.  Sadly, this authority of man – and the resulting responsibility – is not taught enough – and so God keeps getting the blame for humanity’s sin and selfishness!

Every time you sin there are consequences to that sin, and everything you permit on earth and do not resist in faith and boldness, you have to live with.  When God gives people up and permit them to endure the consequences of their own rebellion, that is not God destroying people, that is God permitting what you permit.  Let’s grow up, take responsibility, learn how to release our faith, learn how to move mountains with our words, and let us stop blaming God for what humanity is allowing and permitting through our actions and inactions!

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 03: Can God Do Anything?

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Image result for flooding"We are looking at whether natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanesa are God’s will or not – are they caused by God?

In our first post we looked at some principles to help us really see and understand the nature of God, and in our second post, we looked at where destruction really comes from.  Now, I want to answer the question of whether God can do whatever He wants.  Because one of the main reasons well-meaning Christian teachers and preachers will tell you that a natural disaster killing thousands, destroying millions of pounds of property and stealing hope and a future from people is the will of God, even in the light of John 10.10, is that many of these Christians think everything is God’s will!

We have to realize that God gave the earth to humanity, He gifted it and the rulership of it to Adam and Eve when He made them, and as we have already seen, God does not do take-backs.   Adam and Eve had authority over this earth, then they handed it to satan, and God will not illegally invade the planet.

Everything God has ever done on this planet has been with the help of humans.  This is why the eyes of the Lord are running to and fro throughout the whole earth to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him (2 Chr. 16.9).  God is looking for people that He can make a deal with and then He can legally impact the earth.

In terms of power and capability, yes God can do whatever He wants.  However God has never broken His Word, never lied, and when He gave authority to humanity He meant it and God will never use His power to break His Word.

God gave humanity dominion, and God respects that and honours that.  God will not display His power to break His Word.  This is why natural disasters happen and God is not jumping in the way to fix it.  Even in Nazareth, Jesus could not (not would not, could not) work miracles because the people did not have faith in Him.

Did their unbelief make Jesus lose His power?  No – it just meant He had no way of transmitting the power to the people because He will not force it on people. God has the power to completely heal every sickness, solve every problem, cast out every demon, stop every storm, but we have the power to stop God using His power.

The idea that God is sovereign in the sense that He forces us to do things, that He will not allow us any choice in the matter is wrong.  God allows His creation far more dignity than that.  He will not force us to do anything, even for our own good.  We have to believe and receive what God has for us, or we will go without His power in our lives and ministries!

God Does Not Control Everything

When a natural disaster happens, you will very quickly hear Christians say things like: God knew what He was doing when He sent that earthquake, God knew what He was doing when He took your baby – He knew that maybe one day that baby would grow up evil, all things work together for good, the Lord works in mysterious ways, we receive the evil as well as the good from the Lord, God is in control, God has a purpose.

All of those comments are rooted in a total misunderstanding of the nature of God and how God utilizes and releases His power on the earth.  The most famous passage used to state everything is God’s will is Romans 8.28, but if you read it in context, it is telling us when we pray all things work together for good, not every single event.

Let’s imagine someone is hurt or killed in a tornado or flood, someone misquotes Romans 8.28 and tells the family “well, God works all things together for good” – that is a disgusting and revolting use of this Bible verse.   God does not send natural disasters for a higher good, God is not forcing anything on us and God does nothing to harm us.

C H Dodd talking about Romans 8.28 says that “Paul never wrote all things work together for good, the literal translation is ‘With those who love God, He co-operates with all respects for good'”.  It is so sad that so many Christians think that this verse means that sickness is God’s will, poverty is God’s will, that sin and tragedy are God’s will.  None of these things come from God, He is the Father of lights and good gifts come from Him.  God’s will is not that you grin and bear sickness, poverty and disaster – you do not thank God for these things, and you do not call it walking by faith or walking in victory!

Victory in life never comes from calling good evil and evil good, or a blessing a curse or a curse a blessing.   Never call a blessing what God has told us is a curse.  Rest in the help of God!

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 02: The Source of Destruction

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Image result for earthquake"

In our last post, we looked at the fact that the God of the whole Bible is a good God and not a destroyer and that Jesus is the true image of God.  The truth is that:

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. (Luke 9.54-56, NKJV)

Now if the Son of Man did not come to destroy men, and the Father is just like the Son, then it is clear that the Father does not come to destroy men.  The Father is not the destroyer.  Now I know that often in the Old Testament it looks like destruction and disasters are being ascribed to God, but we know that this cannot be so because we understand that the Father is just like Christ.

When Jesus’ disciples asked to burn down a village, they thought they were being like God, but they misunderstood God, because Jesus – the image of the Father – showed them that He and the Father are not like that.  He stated that the desire to destroy others is a different spirit from the spirit of Christ.  The Father is not a different spirit to Christ,the Father has no desire to destroy people.

Jesus was not saying here in Luke 9 that He had a different plan from His Father – well God tried being harsh in the Old Testament, now we are going to try and be nice – no, Jesus only did what He saw the Father do.  Jesus never saw the Father destroy people, not in the Scripture and not in their relationship (John 5.19).

If the Father did the sort of destructive behaviour that some people claim He is, then Jesus would have said “Hey James and hey John, what a great idea, let’s torch the place”, but He didn’t – He got right on top of His disciples and said “I am not here to destroy”.  We need to realize this – God is not the destroyer.

One of the most powerful Scriptures in the Bible emphasises this so strongly:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. – John 3.16-17. KJV.

Now the perishing here is the same Greek word as destroy in Luke 9.56 (apollumi).  The Father wants to stop the world, and stop every human, from being destroyed.  That is why He sent Jesus.   So where does destruction come from?  Well, keep reading John 3:

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. – John 3.18-19 KJV

The world is already heading towards destruction – that is the simple fact of the matter.  The world was already on the road to hell and so were you.  Jesus was sent by the Father to save it from self-destruction.  If God was the destroyer, then God sent Jesus to save the world from God.  That is nonsense.  So if it looks like God is destroying in the Old Testament, we will have to dig deeper because we can see that God is not the destroyer.

The condemnation and destruction in the world are because it has rejected Jesus, men keep hold of sin, refuse to turn to the one redeemer there is, and they are destroying themselves by their selfish actions.  In 2 Peter 2.1 Peter says that false prophets and false teachers “bring upon themselves swift destruction”.  God is not even destroying false prophets, they are destroying themselves.  Hosea 13.9 says “O Israel, you have destroyed yourself”.  There is destruction in the world, there are disasters in the world – not because God is a big destroyer, but because the world denies God and rejects God and He is the only one who can stop us destroying ourselves!

God does not destroy us – He delivers us from our destructions (Psalm 107.20).  It is not because of God that people are destroyed, it’s because they choose sin.  Men choose to sun and choose to bring all sorts of destruction upon themselves.  God sends His Word to heal us, not to harm us.  Even in the midst of our selfish self-destruction, God sends His Word to save us and help us.

Hosea 4.6 tells us people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because they rejected knowledge.  So, that’s not God destroying them there either.  People are ignorant of God and selfish and that behaviour is destroying people.  Now Hosea 4.6 gives us a big clue to how God deals with that kind of selfish behaviour, continuing with “I will also reject you, that you shall not be my priest… I will forget your children”.  Now, that is not God being vindictive, harsh, or judgmental.  Not at all, it is just God showing love and grace – God does all He can to show us love and kindness and redeem us, but if we walk away from Him, He will never force us to come back, He will never make us turn to Him, He will never force us into His arms.  That is not love, that is coercion.  God does all He can to rescue the sinful humans, but when we reject Him, He has to step back from us.

If God forced His will on us, God would be the worst dictator the world ever knew.  But God gives us the freedom to choose, the freedom to sin, the freedom to reject Him.  Love cannot be something that is forced, and the blessings that flow from love cannot be forced on someone.  If you want to remain ignorant of God and His goodness, God will let you!

But The Bible Says God Destroyed This Person Or That Person

So, we now having built our foundation have to deal with the fact that there are definitely more than one Scripture in the Old Testament that at face-value ascribes destruction to God.  But when we interpret the Word properly, we will see what this means.  Let’s start with a familiar Scripture in Ezekiel first:

30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 22.30-31, KJV)

Now what the passage says is that no-one stood in the gap to stop God destroying the land, so He destroyed it with wrath.  It is interesting to think that if you take these verses at face-value that God needs someone to stop Him destroying the land – He must find a person in the world to stop Him?  If God does not want to destroy the land and God is the destroyer, why not just not destroy it?   Maybe the answer is not what it first appears.

If we understand that in Hebrew what looks like causative language in English is very often what we would cause permissive language, then we can understand this Scripture and similar ones better.  God is letting the destruction happen, because people choose darkness, but God is not causing the destruction, God is not the destroyer, God is love.  God is just like Jesus.

How exactly was the destruction coming in the days of Ezekiel?  To find out, just go back one chapter and read Eze. 21.31: “I will pour out my wrath upon thee, and I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath… and deliver you into the hand of brutish men and skilful to destroy”.  God is not destroying – the brutish men are destroying, because the people of God chose the brutish men over God!

When you turn your back on God and push Him out of your life, then He is not there to protect and deliver you from the brutish elements of this world.  God is not the destroyer, and you need to realize it.

Isaiah 34.2 backs this up by telling us that people who the Lord destroys are delivered over to other armies to be slaughtered.  The Lord was not the destroyer, but the people rejected God and there was therefore no protection from the armies.  The word “deliver” comes from the Hebrew word “nathan” which means to permit.  God permitted it, because He loves us so much He will never force Himself on us, but He is not the destroyer.  When we turn our back on God and reject Him, God withdraws His grace and lets the sinner walk into their own selfish behaviour and the consequences of it.  God did not harden Pharoah’s heart – He allowed it to be hardened.  If we are obstinate before God He will allow us to walk wherever we want into whatever we want.

God permitting a nation to be invaded by another nation is what the Scriptures are referring to and talking about when God “destroys” a nation.  In the Hebrew language, it looks like it is saying “God destroys a nation”, but the truth is that God is not destroying anything, He is allowing it to take place by not forcing His protection and love onto an individual or community that is clearly rejecting His love and Him.

This is why in Ezekiel God was looking for a man to legally invite Him into the earth and stop the destruction.  His will is not destruction, He doesn’t want destruction, He is not the destroyer.  He is looking for someone to pray and turn to Him so He can show love that is genuine love and not coercion and save people.  If no one stands in the gap, then God has no choice but to allow it – He must permit what we permit (Matt. 18.18-20).

This is so important we grasp this, and Eze. 22.31 actually says “their own way have I recompensed upon their heads”.  People went their own way, and recompense here is the same Hebrew word “nathan” – God is allowing – not bringing – destruction. Satan is the destroyer.

Satan is the Destroyer

Satan is real and he is a destroyer.  Satan does not work for God, because God does not destroy, and satan does.  There is no developed information on satan in the Old Testament, he is only mentioned six times, and most of them are in Job.  So, we sometimes do not realize his role in a destruction.   But he is the same satan in the Old as he is in the New: the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  He came to destroy Job.  Why?  He was annoyed how much praise Job gave God, and was envious and jealous.

God removed His protection because Job was pushing God away, through fear.  Satan attacked Job, not God.  Satan destroyed Job’s family and businesses and health, not God.

But Job did not know that – Job had never read Job, Job had never read John 10.10, he did not have a Bible.  So Job assumed God gave and God took away, but it is just not true.  Every good gift is from God, and His giving is without repentance – so therefore, He does not give and take away.  He gives and does not take away.    When satan destroys Job with a natural disaster, Job calls it the fire of God.  People still make the same mistake today, and ascribe the work of God to satan!  Satan destroyed Job’s property, but the people called it the fire of God.  Even today, if you get insurance they talk about natural disasters as acts of God.  No they are acts of satan!  God is still being blamed for things He did not do.

Now while there is no excuse for a born-again Christian who has a Bible for blaming God for destruction, but let us not be too hard on the people of Job’s day who knew nothing of satan.  God says that satan moved Him to destroy Job without cause (Job 2.3) but God’s only part to play was to not protect Job and allowed satan to destroy.  The NLT realizes this and translates Job 2.3 as “I allowed you to go against him”, and labels satan as the destroyer.  This is how we need to interpret every time we see God labelled as the destroyer in Scripture – in the Old Testament and in the book of Revelation.

In the book of Revelation, we find out the four creatures are holding back the wind.  They are actively working for God in holding back destruction (Revelation 7.1-3).  They are holding back the winds of destruction and stopping them from blowing.  The angel tells them not to hurt the earth until God’s servants are sealed.  How would these angels hurt the earth?  Not by getting in there and destroying – but by releasing their restraint of destruction and allowing the wind to do the destruction it would have always done had they not been there.

God does not engage in destruction, He is not the destroyer.  When we read Biblical langauge attributing destruction to God, we need to utilize this principle and understand what is actually happening: God is being ascribed actions that He has only stood back and let happen due to his respect and love for humans and His refusal to force His way into them.  In further posts, I will show how this is true throughout Scripture.  Every disaster ascribed to God is actually caused by the evil duo sin and satan, and it is unrepentant sin that drives out God from situations that leads to satan and death rushing in to destroy.  God is not the destroyer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Disasters and God’s Will 01: Three Fundamental Truths

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Image result for hurricane"

Last Sunday when preaching I mentioned that God did not flood the earth, and that God is not a destroyer.  I would have assumed that such simple truths that God is love and God is good would not be controversial, but they are.  So we need to examine these things in the light of Scripture and find out what the Bible actually says rather than what we assume it says.

So to build a foundation, I want to ensure that you are aware of three fundamental truths that everyone needs to be aware of when it comes to interpreting the Word of God.

  1. The Father is Exactly Like Jesus
  2. The Old Testament writings were about Jesus
  3. Therefore, God is not a destroyer

The Father is Exactly Like Jesus

Jesus told us very clearly that if you have seen Him you have seen the Father (John 14.8-9), so we can be very definite that if you want to know what God is really like – we look at Jesus.   If you have ever taught someone the Scripture you know what it is like to teach something and then someone says something that shows that they just do not get it.  Well, you are in good company.  Jesus said if you have seen Him you can see the Father, and Philip asked “Show us the Father”.  Jesus realized that people did not see God the same way they saw Him, and it is still the same way today.

Some people think Jesus is kind and loving, and the Father is harsh and destructive, ready to show wrath and judgment any day now.  These ideas come because we do not understand what the Old Testament is really about.  Jesus came to show a Father who was just like Him.  If Jesus is gentle, the Father is gentle.  If Jesus is kind, the Father is kind.  If Jesus is merciful, the Father is merciful.  If Jesus heals, the Father heals.  If Jesus forgives all sins, the Father forgives all sins.

The Father is not a wrathful vengeful God that Jesus came to rescue us from! No way!  The Father sent Jesus because of how much love the Father has for us (John 3.16) because the Father is kind, compassionate, loving.  The Father would have died for us just as much as Jesus would have.

If the Father had come to earth as a man instead of Jesus, the gospels would not have been different!  Jesus did nothing that teh Father did not do, in fact the Father was healing, was delivering, was prospering people through Jesus.  Every act of compassion Jesus did, the Father was working through Him (John 14.10-11).

If you see Jesus, you will know that the Father is good, loving, healing, protecting, kind, against satan, against evil, against sickness, against hurting people.  Jesus and the Father are one (John 10.30-32).

Jesus healed the sick, Jesus cast out devils, Jesus fed the hungry, Jesus gave money to the poor, Jesus forgave sins, Jesus died for us so we could go to heaven.  In John 10, Jesus says that His good works “show the Father”.  That is the natuer of God.  Jesus and the Father are one.  God does good works and God undoes the evil of the devil.

Satan is the killer and the destroyer.  God is not the killer and not the destroyer (John 10.10).  The Father only came to bring us good, to bring us life, to help us, to bless us. The devil only comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Satan’s biggest steal as the thief is he stole from us the simple trust we had in the goodness of God by blaming God for His destructive works.  Jesus never killed, He saved.  Jesus never sent a demon, He cast them out.  Jesus never sent a natural disaster, He rebuked them!  And that is what the Father looks like.

That the Father is revealed by Jesus – Jesus is the Word – the message of the Father to us, He is the revealer of the Father, and this truth is fundamental to Scripture.  Satan is the evil one who makes peopel sick and murders people and brings death and destruction. God gives up His own life to rescue us.  Satan sifts us, but Jesus prays for us!  The Father gives us the Word, the devil tries to steal it.  Can you see how different they are?  The devil is the cause of evil in the world, not God.  Do not confuse the two.

The Old Testament is About Jesus

If you ask the average Christian what the Old Testament is about, you will hear a lot of answers about geneaologies, Moses, the law, and so on.  Those things are all in the Old Testament, but they are not what it is about.  The Old Testament is about Jesus.

When Jesus rose again, He had to explain this to His disciples:

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24.25-27)

When the disciples realized the Old Testament was all about Jesus, about His death, His burial, His resurrection, the stopped being discouraged and started to get on fire – their hearts started to burn.  When you realize that the Old Testament does not present a destructive, evil God, your heart will catch fire with love for Him too!

When you realize the Old Testament is all abou Jesus, and that Jesus is the key to interpreting the Old Testament, and understanding the Father.  We are not supposed to neglect the Old Testament, we are supposed to read it realizing it is about Jesus.

Satan is the god of this world, and according to 2 Cor. 4.4, he has blinded people’s minds.  One of the most blinding thoughts is the idea that God is a harsh judge, rather than a kind Father.  In fact 2 Cor. 4.4 says that people’s minds are blinded by satan so that they do not see the gospel of Christ “who is the image of God”.  That is the issue – Jesus is the image of God.  The CSV says that Christ “shows us what God is like”.  That is how we need to find out what God is like – by looking to Jesus.

When God was giving His Word to the prophets, satan was trying to distort it to stop people realizing God was like Jesus. Jesus is the good news, and the Father is just like Him – so the Father is good news.

Adam lost eternity in his spirit when he fell, and he stopped automatically understanding God, and the first thing he did as a fallen man is hide from God.  Satan uses our fallen spirit and its built-in fear of God to distort our image of God and twist our understanding of God into a scary monster, a destroyer, a world-flooder, a cancer-giver, a hater, a wrathful vengeful deity.  But the truth is that God is, and always will be, just like Jesus.  The Son of Man came to give us an understanding of God (1 John 5.18-20).  Satan is the wicked one, and the evil one, God is true and pure and good.  God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (John 1.5).

Jesus had to come and show us the Father because there is so much misinformation about God in the world, so much that even today in the church people believe!  Light is good and God is light and God is good and the devil is darkness and evil.  It is that simple.

God is Not a Destroyer

Jesus never hurt anyone.  He healed people.  He delivered people.  But He never hurt anyone. He is good, and the Father is just like Him.  The Father does not hurt people.  The Father does not destroy people.  The Father is love, is good, is Christ-like!

Satan steals, kills and destroys (John 10.10) and Satan makes people sick and satan causes natural disasters and satan has conned most of the human race, and – so sadly – most Christians – into thinking that God does those things.  Jesus came to the planet to set the record straight.  Jesus came to show men that God just is not like that.  God does not kill, God does not send devils, God does not destroy, God does not send natural disasters.

If natural disasters are the will of God, why are they not in heaven?  Why did Jesus rebuke storms rather than start them?  The will of God is so explicit in Scripture – God wants no one to perish (2 Peter 3.9).  So, someone perishing, in a flood, in a fire, in an earthquake is not God.  God is not in the earthquake, He never was and never will be.  Satan is the wicked one.

When you grasp this, you start to realize that God never does anything to inflict misery.  God is the one who came to set us free from misery.  God blesses, God does not curse.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which in heaven give good things to them that ask Him.  Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets (Matt. 7.11-12).

Do you see here that Jesus connects the law and the prophets to God being a good Father who only gives good gifts. That is the picture of the Old Testament.  In the New Testament, we find out that:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights (James 1.17)

When you take an evil thing – cancer, poverty, a flood, an earthquake, whatever – and rationalize that God did it to make it reach a higher good, that this evil is a “blessing in disguise”, you are contradicting Scripture, you are doing the opposite of Jesus.  Jesus says that His Father will not treat His children worse than a human father!

Using the character of the Father as an example, Jesus tells us that this is how we should behave – like the Father.  That, says Jesus, is the foundation of the teaching of the Law and the Prophets.  All ideas about God that make Him appear to be bringing evil are not the teaching of the Law and the Prophets – they are just a twisted understanding of it.

This is another reason why we have to reject the teaching of God as capricious and doing evil – because God is love and tells us to follow His example of love.  If we followed some teachers ideas about God and what love is, to be loving we would have to be putting cancer on people, making them have accidents, and placing them in tempting situations!

We know that if we did those things to humans we would not be loving, we would be evil.  It is not love to kill someone’s child and leave a mum and dad without a child, so you could have an extra flower in your garden, or allow a teenage girl to be raped so she can have a great ministry to other rape victims, or throw a two-year old girl a mile with a hurricane to teach people about how great we are.  If we did those things, we would be locked up.  We know this is not love, but I have heard people say these things about God!  That God would do things that He then would not want us to do – that sane people would never want to do, that sane people should never believe a loving God would ever do.

This is why Jesus showed us the Father – so we could see a real picture of Father God.  God is not harming people.  He wants to bless us and set us free from satan.  He will not even give us a stone instead of giving us bread, and He certainly will not give us snakes or scorpions.  Jesus never failed to heal someone, never failed to help someone, never put disease on someone, never caused a natural disaster.  Ever!  He does not do evil, He does good.  And the Father is the same.  When you pray, you can believe and rest in peace that God will only do good.  Reject the devil and stand against satan, and submit to God and His goodness.

We have to realize deeply that there is not a contradiction between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament.  We just have failed to see what God is like in the Old Testament.  It is the same God, the problem is not contradiction, it is faulty interpretation.  God did not change, He never changes.  We have just misunderstood some Scriptures in the Old Testament, and one of the main missions of the Lord is to show us what the Father was really like and to dispel these false ideas of God.

Every time Jesus healed, every time He rebuked a storm, loved and forgave He was showing us the true picture of His Father.

So when we study the Word, especially the Old Testament, we have to interpret it all in the light of Jesus being the image of the Father.  If you think a Bible verse said God lied to someone, God deceived someone, God killed someone, God made someone sick, God destroyed someone, you have to press pause and think “Is this what Jesus would do?  Is this the Father that Jesus came to reveal to us?”

If the answer is no, it’s not what Jesus would do, it is not Christ-like behaviour, then you have made a mistake with your interpretation.  We will in the next few posts get into some specific examples and give you some keys to interpreting the Old Testament.  God is not destructive.

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