Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
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January 11, 2020
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January 11, 2020
Urantia Book Question: Does God Cause Natural Disasters?, My Urantia Book Articles, My Facebook Commenting Policy, My Main Priority Is Bill's Bible Basics Ministry, Abide In Your Own Calling, Don't Start Doctrinal Debates Or Argue, The Lord Hath His Way In The Whirlwind And In The Storm, God Does Not Leave The Wicked Unpunished Nor Sees Them As Being Guiltless, Prophecy Against Nineveh, False Claim That God Does Not Kill Or Destroy Anyone, God Uses Earth's Natural Forces As Tools Of Chastisement, Genesis Flood, Sodom And Gomorrah, Plagues Of Egypt, More Divine Chastisements By Natural Disasters, God Kills And Makes Alive, God Makes Peace And Creates Evil, Does God Only Chastise Through His Word?, Passing The Buck To The Devil, Satan Can Only Do Things By God's Permission, Satan Afflicts Job, Prince Of The Power Of The Air, Has God Given Satan Control Of Natural Elements?, Devil Acts As Prosecuting Attorney And Executioner, Accuser Of The Brethren, Two Sides To God's Nature: Lion And Lamb, God Doesn't Afflict Willingly
The other day I engaged in an online conversation with a few of my Facebook friends. This conversation actually began when a sister in the Lord posted a particular quote from the Urantia Book on her timeline. I don't know how accurate this quote is, but this is what she posted:
----- Begin Quote -----
Does God Cause Natural Disasters?
"Of one thing you may be sure: The Father does not send affliction as an arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing."
----- End Quote -----
For those of my readers who may not be aware of it, to date, I have written three articles in which I expose the lies and distortions which are contained in that abominable, damnable, faith-robbing book. They are the following. You will find them listed again at the end of this article with links:
The Urantia Book: A Dangerous New Age Doctrine!"
The Urantia Book: An Attack on the Blood Atonement!"
Genesis Flood: The Urantia Book Exposed Again!"
At any rate, for those of you who have known me for a while, I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that upon reading the above Urantia Book quote, I felt compelled to respond to that post. Normally, it is not my policy to post comments on other people's timelines. There are several reasons for this. First of all, I keep quite busy with the Bill's Bible Basics ministry as it is. At my age, and with the little energy that I have each day, I need to remain focused on the work which the Lord has specifically given me to do.
As it is, I am literally years behind in my work. While most of you don't know this, I have dozens of articles and series which need to be reviewed and updated. I also have dozens of other articles and series, and snippets of other partially begun articles, which have never even been completed and published yet. All of this on top of creating new graphics, writing new poetry, compiling new KJV Bible Verse lists, responding to online comments, etc. Believe me when I say that it is a lot to do for one old man like me. But I do what I can each day by God's Grace.
In addition to the aforementioned reason, another reason why I don't frequent a lot of my friends' timelines, is because I also strongly believe in abiding in my own calling, exactly as the Scriptures advise us to do. In other words, I do not like meddling in the ministries of other servants of the Lord. In short, for the most part, I simply prefer to mind my own business, and concentrate on my own ministry. I base this belief on the following group of verses:
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand."
Romans 15:20-21, KJV
"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called . . . Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."
1 Corinthians 7:20, 24, KJV
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."
2 Corinthians 10:12-18, KJV
"But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."
Galatians 2:7-9, KJV
The third reason why I don't frequent a lot of other pages on Facebook, is because I don't like starting doctrinal fires on other people's timelines, which I know I won't have time to become involved in, and much less time to put out. In fact, as I explain in articles such as "Should Christians Engage in Doctrinal Debates?" and "Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word", I learned years ago that becoming involved in doctrinal debates is usually a waste of one's time, and an exercise in futility. If you want to better understand why I say this, please refer to the aforementioned article.
Having said all of that, if I am tired and laying in bed with my iPhone, I will go to my Facebook news feed and see what is going on. If something really catches my attention, or if I just want to lend support to something that one of my friends is saying, I will post a comment here and there. So as I said earlier, when I came across the Urantia Book post, I simply could not resist offering my opinion, because I really don't like the lies and deceptions which that book espouses. So, in a one-sentence response, I informed my sister that I strongly disagreed with the Urantia Book statement, and I shared a link for my series entitled "Hurricane Katrina and Other Natural Disasters".
Thankfully, the sister in question did in fact agree with my position, and stated that she believes that God both creates and allows such storms to happen. So at that point, I shared the following verse with her, in support of what she had said:
"The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
Nahum 1:3, KJV
According to the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon, in the previous verse, the word "acquit" is translated from the Hebrew word "naqah". The primary meaning of this word is to be exempt from punishment or to be found guiltless. But notice what the verse says. It clearly says "will not at all acquit the wicked". In other words, God is not going to just turn a blind eye to their wickedness. He is not just going to view them as guiltless. He is not going to leave them unpunished. And it is right after that, that the same verse states "the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm." In other words, my understanding is that the verse is saying that God uses the storm and the whirlwind as tools of His chastisement. He has His way, He performs His Will, by using the storm and the whirlwind.
Now, if you have any doubt that this is what Nahum 1:3 is saying, then consider the fact that this is an opening verse in the prophecy against Nineveh. To make the point even more clear, consider the surrounding verses which speak of God's wrath, vengeance, anger, fury and indignation against His adversaries and enemies. In this context, the meaning of verse three seems rather clear, in my view:
"The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time."
Nahum 1:1-9, KJV
Well, shortly after I responded a few times to this sister in the Lord, another person entered the conversation. Sadly, from the very start, he was opposed to everything that I had told this sister. More to the point, he very clearly stated that, in his view at least, natural disasters are not created by God, or sent by God, and they are not His judgments. My friends, figuratively speaking, my jaw dropped. I could not believe what I was reading; because what he was basically saying is that God is no longer in control of His creation. I hope that you the reader can see that by even saying such a thing, he was directly contradicting the many examples of Divine Chastisement which we find in the Scriptures.
When I saw where he was headed after his first response, I made it clear to him that I was not interested in engaging in a doctrinal debate with him. However, sadly, he was not about to give it up so quickly. In fact, he tried a few times to validate his position by sharing a few verses, as well as by paraphrasing a few others. But in each case, he either took the verses out of context, or else he refused to acknowledge other verses which challenged his understanding of the ones he had shared. To be honest, his responses were confusing, as well as contradictory at times.
While he admitted that natural disasters are the result of sin entering the world, as I mentioned earlier, he plainly stated that he does not believe that they are sent by God, because in his view, God does not kill or destroy anyone. God only gives life he said. So at this point, I began to share a number of examples from the Scriptures to help him see that he was wrong, and to prove to him that God does in fact use the natural forces of the Earth as His tools of chastisement when He deems it appropriate. I began by reminding him that God's very first major chastisement against the world was the Genesis Flood. Clearly, in today's terminology, we would refer to the Flood as a "natural disaster". Can any Christian in their right mind deny that God had His hand in that event? For those of you who may have doubts about this, let me just share one set of verses which will set you straight:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I WILL DESTROY MAN WHOM I HAVE CREATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
Genesis 6:5-7, KJV
Can the truth be more plain than that? I likewise reminded him of how an angry God rained down fire and brimstone upon wicked Sodom and Gomorrah in retribution for their sins. Again, this is a clear Scriptural example where God used the natural forces of the Earth to punish evil people. All Bible-believing Christians know this. Even nonbelievers know the story.
"Then THE LORD RAINED UPON SODOM AND UPON GOMORRAH BRIMSTONE AND FIRE FROM THE LORD OUT OF HEAVEN; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when GOD DESTROYED THE CITIES OF THE PLAIN, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt."
Genesis 19:24-29, KJV
Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain due to their extreme wickedness? Those verses make it perfectly clear that God is the one who did it; and again, He used the natural forces of the Earth to accomplishment this Divine Chastisement. As I mentioned earlier, this too would be called a so-called "natural disaster" in our modern day.
We find so many other clear examples in the Scriptures where we see God using the natural forces of the Earth and beyond as tools of His chastisements. I could not possibly mention them all here. What about the plagues in Egypt? Was the Lord's hand not in those? Did He not orchestrate every single one of them? Can we also just blindly ignore the droughts, famines, pestilences, fiery serpents and other things which God used repeatedly as a means to chastise the rebellious Israelites? In fact, He repeatedly warned them through Moses that these things would befall them if they rebelled against Him. For any doubters amongst my readers, I offer you the following sample verses which clearly reveal God's hand in all of these things:
"Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you."
Deuteronomy 11:16-17, KJV
"When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers."
1 Kings 8:35-40, KJV
"Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites."
2 Samuel 21:1, KJV
"Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years."
2 Kings 8:1, KJV
"Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread."
Psalm 105:16, KJV
"Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:"
Jeremiah 11:22, KJV
"And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers."
Jeremiah 24:10, KJV
"And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand."
Jeremiah 27:8, KJV
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:"
Jeremiah 29:17-18, KJV
"Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them."
Jeremiah 42:16-17, KJV
"A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them."
Ezekiel 5:12, KJV
"When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:"
Ezekiel 5:16, KJV
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them."
Ezekiel 6:11-12, KJV
So, yes, despite how very uncomfortable this Biblical truth may be for some people -- not just nonbelieving Urantia Book readers, but even some weak Christians as well -- God does in fact kill and destroy people when it suits His purposes, and when they are sufficiently evil. To argue otherwise is to be denial of all of the previous verses and examples I have shared here. To put the icing on the cake so-to-speak, allow me to share two more verses with you:
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I KILL, AND I MAKE ALIVE; I WOUND, AND I HEAL: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand."
Deuteronomy 32:39, KJV
"I form the light, and create darkness: I MAKE PEACE, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do all these things."
Isaiah 45:7, KJV
Sadly, despite my sharing some of the previous Scriptural examples with the man in question, he continued to reject what I was sharing with him. In fact, due to his somewhat twisted way of thinking, he informed me that because God is so gracious and merciful by nature -- which I certainly can agree with -- when He is forced to chastise His children, He uses His Word to do so, and "not satanic calamity and evil", as he put it. Well, if God only uses His Word to chastise His children, how in the world do we explain the plethora of verses I have shared here which say quite the opposite?
Regarding his "satanic calamity and evil" comment, now if I understand him correctly, he wants to pass the buck to Satan. Well, actually, he is partially correct in doing so, as I'll now explain. It was at this point in our conversation where I directed him to the Book of Job, and explained to him that Satan can only do things by God's permission. In other words, while Satan did indeed cause all of those tragedies to happen in Job's life, it was God who allowed Satan to torment Job in the first place. Quite simply, Satan was powerless to torment Job without that Divine Permission. This is made very evident in the following verses:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."
Job 1:6-12, KJV
One verse I found particularly interesting is verse nineteen; because not only does it point back to a verse I shared with you earlier, but it also points to a well-known verse which we find in the New Testament. After a number of calamities have already befallen Job and his family, then the following happens in verse nineteen:
"And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee."
Job 1:19, KJV
Wow! A "great wind from the wilderness." Now do you remember the verse that we discussed earlier from the Book of Nahum? Here it is again to refresh your memory:
"The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
Nahum 1:3, KJV
So point one: God has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm. Point two: God gives Satan permission to torment Job. Point three: Satan turns around and uses the wind as one way to afflict Job's life by killing his sons. Point four: Some of you are probably familiar with the following verse which is found in the New Testament:
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
So basically, collectively-speaking, these verses seem to be suggesting that God has given Satan control over the natural elements; and Satan can use the elements to afflict humanity. You may recall that earlier, I said that this man was just partially correct. That is because while he apparently wants to assign blame to Satan, he refuses to acknowledge that God is standing behind Satan, telling him what he can and cannot do. One way I have explained it before is by saying that the Devil kind of serves as a Prosecuting Attorney, as well as an executioner. After all, the Book of Revelation does call him the Accuser of the Saints or the Accuser of the Brethren. Furthermore, as we have seen, he also executes God's Will on the Earth in the form of afflictions and chastisements.
In my view, the reason why this man refuses to acknowledge that Satan can only operate within the sphere of control that God gives him, and only with God's permission, is because he does not want to accept that God can kill and destroy, as we have already seen. Apparently, even thinking that way must shatter his personal image of God. At least that is what it seems to me. So as long as he can assign all blame for evil in the world to Satan, his personal -- but misguided -- image of God remains intact.
Like so many other people -- including a lot of Christians -- this man only wants to see a gracious and merciful God. He -- and they -- refuse to acknowledge that there are actually two sides to God's nature. The Lord can indeed be very be patient, compassionate, gracious and merciful; but He can likewise be filled with anger, indignation and vengeance; at which time He will lower His rod of correction, if need be. In short, as I point out in a number of other articles, depending on the situation, God can be a lion or a lamb. Which of His faces we see depends a lot on us, and our obedience to His Will for our lives. That begins with acknowledging Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
But concerning Divine Chastisements, what we also need to understand is that God does not afflict any of us willingly. He is not just some kind of merciless monster, as certain nonbelievers like to paint Him, in their attempts to justify their own rebellion against Him. To the contrary, the Bible clearly informs us that it actually breaks His heart when He is forced to lay down the law, and resort to using His rod of correction, due to our stubbornness and rebelliousness. His desire, after all, is that we repent of our wickedness, and return to Him. This truth is made clear by verses such as the following:
"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"
Ezekiel 33:11, KJV
"For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men."
Lamentations 3:31-33, KJV
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9, KJV
Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .