Disaster, Deliverance & Deceiving spirits
Berit Kjos - January 2005
“And there will be signs ... and on the earth distress of nations... the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them....”Luke 21:25-26
Resources to aid your Understanding
"How can you believe in a God who permits suffering on this scale?'' Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Church
"I don't know why God is testing us. It must be Kalikalam (bad times)."
"... in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits...." 1 Tim 4:1
"In the village of Batiagon.... just 4 km from the sea, there were just two buildings made of concrete: a church and a rich man's house. The rest of the buildings were straw and clay. People rushed into the two buildings for shelter. About 300 people, both Christians and non-Christians, jammed into the church. They cried out to the Lord for His protection.
"At around 11 a.m., a massive tidal wave 30 feet high slammed into the village, instantly destroying the shacks and sweeping away the rich man's house. Witnesses inside the church say the wave seemed to split and go around both sides of the building. All 300 people who had taken shelter inside the church survived.... All the people in Batiagon village confessed that God had graciously saved their lives. The Hindus declared they would never again oppose Christianity." Asia Harvest
Asia's devastating tsunami have revived some age-old questions about the nature of our Creator: If God is sovereign, why does He allow natural disasters? And how can a good God condone such horrifying suffering?
The world's answers only deepen the confusion. An article titled, "Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God," illustrates today's postmodern shift from truth and facts to feeling-based idealism. Notice the new view of right and wrong in the following admission by Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of the Church of England:it would be wrong' if faith were not 'upset' by the catastrophe which has already claimed more than 150,000 lives. ... Every single random, accidental death is something that should upset a faith bound up in comfort and ready answers."
"The Asian tsunami disaster should make all Christians question the existence of God.... In a deeply personal and candid article, he says '
Dr. Williams, who "represents 70 million Anglicans around the world,"
then raised this question: "How can you believe
in a God who permits suffering on this scale?''
You can't, if your quest is for an amenable God who conforms to our wants. Those who have re-imagined God as a benevolent force more in line with Santa Claus or Hollywood's angelic helpers must close their eyes to His own self-revelations in the Bible. As Mark L. Dickson wrote, "It almost appears as if we are bowing down before this 'golden calf' simply because we need an image of God that is more satisfying!"
That's the key. The world wants a satisfying God -- one who compliments its ways and affirms its ideals. But the God who calls His followers to self-denial, obedience and separation simply doesn't fit the new vision of a collective global community -- a model of spiritual solidarity.
Before we look at the actual answer to the archbishop's question, consider some of the other questions inspired by the heartbreaking devastation. The interfaith website beliefnet.com has posted this question for its visitors: "Does God have a role in natural disasters like the tsunami?" As you read the responses, remember that beliefnet's pluralistic "God" could represent contemporary Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and animism as well as Christianity.
 "Yes, God is punishing us. 3%
 Yes, God is testing us. 8%
 Yes, the earthquake and tsunamis were sent by God, but we don't know what the purpose was. 30%
 Although I believe in God, the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy. 50%
 God doesn't exist, and disasters like this are just forces of nature. 9%" 
Number 4, the preferred response, rejects the fact that God is both sovereign and compassionate. And it begs another question: Just who or what is their God?
Two suggestions are posted on the same website (beliefnet.com). Notice how the second quote (an astrological view) redefines Biblical terms and adapts them to an occult or politically correct context. That context is identified by the reference to Theosophy -- an insidious belief system that has greatly influenced education leaders both in the United States and the United Nations
God's Wrath in India? "...some conservative Hindus have used the tsunami to criticize both a Hindu leader's arrest and the presence of Christian missionaries in India. ...the widely-read Indian news site Rediff.com suggested that the tsunami was a sign of retribution against Christians, whose activities are seen as betraying India's essentially Hindu character."
The Planets and Stars of Y2K5: "I attended a lecture in New York in which Betty Bland, the National President of The Theosophical Society in America, told a familiar parable.... In hell, an abundance of good food was available but people were starving and miserable because they were being forced to eat with five-foot-long forks. They couldn’t get the food to their mouths. In heaven, the scene was much the same, except for the fact that the diners were using their five-foot-long forks to reach out and feed each other....
"For when you are anchored in your heart center, there's room for all to be who they are; only then will the cross you bear transform (itself) into a state of grace. May peace prevail in your heart and on earth."
This noble sentiment hides an occult suggestion that is driving both church and secular leaders toward a new global ethic -- one that sees social service and a new way of thinking as the pathway to personal and global peace. As I explained in my report on "Social Change and Communitarian Systems," there is far more to the current paradigm shift than meets the eye. Behind the movement to transform Christianity around the world hides an incredible plan for global and spiritual transformation. It would require a new "systems" view of the world -- a unified global consciousness of oneness -- and universal training in the New Way of Thinking. Of course, every global disaster becomes a useful crisis in this march toward oneness.
Beliefnet.com has another page on Theosophy. A key publishing house for theosophical teachings is Lucis Trust (changed from Lucifer). It gives us a glimpse of the spiritual background -- not Biblical revelations, but the occult forces operating through its "Ageless wisdom." It calls for "world servers" and "service learning" in every part of the world. A long Theosophical article titled "The New Group of World Servers" shows us some of the forces that have battled Biblical truth through the ages:
"...think in terms of the one family, the one life, and the one humanity. Humanity is not following a haphazard or uncharted course–-there is a Plan. Humanity determines the speed of its own evolution....
"The leaders of the New Group of World Servers are those who initiate and carry forward activities which benefit humanity as a whole....They provide the vision and mould public opinion. Behind these leaders... are the Custodians of the Plan, 'the inner spiritual Government of the Planet.' [Compare with the spiritual hierarchy described in Ephesians 6:10-12]
"Working in all the main fields of human activity and in all countries everywhere in the world, the New Group of World Servers acts as a synthesizing factor within humanity and lays the foundations for right human relations and ultimate world unity. ...
"...two emerging patterns can be recognized. First, those people who, clinging to reactionary methods of finding and expressing truth, prefer obedience to authority to clear thinking and the self-imposed guidance of their own soul. Second, those who... recognize that response to human need and spiritual unfoldment are the determining factors which will lead humanity into a new age of peace and plenty....
"These world servers are the men and women who have an international vision... They... enunciate the principles of brotherly understanding, mutual goodwill and the fatherhood of God, upon which all true brotherhood must be based. ... they heal differences and recognize the universality of truth... and they point to that spiritual relationship to God and to each other which will bring our religious differences to an end. ... They can be regarded as the embodiment of the emerging kingdom of God on earth....
"The Immediate World Problem[:] ... Over-population, trade barriers, the inequalities of supply and demand and the uneven distribution of wealth are responsible for the upheaval. ...the true reason is deep-seated.... This reason is the conflict between certain great ideals.... but all of them prostituted to ends which lead to separativeness...."
Al Gore summarized the last point well during a 1991 Communitarian conference in Washington: "Seeing ourselves as separate is the central problem in our political thinking." Gore's conclusion was quoted in the book, Spiritual Politics, co-authored by Corinne McLaughlin, the first task force coordinator for the President's Council on Sustainable Development. McLaughlin also taught her mediation strategies at the Department of Education, Pentagon, and the EPA.
"There really is only one sin--separateness," she states in her book. "War is more likely to spring from rampant nationalism, ethnocentrism, and intolerant religious fundamentalism -- all extreme and separative attitudes. . . . What is needed as a cure for separateness is a deep sense of community -- that we're all in this together."
This sense of community -- both local and global -- is essential to the planned world order. And the above article, "The New Group of World Servers," lets us glimpse the transformational process. As a starter, four different kinds of people must be identified:
The last group has two key functions:  "To hold the vision of the Plan before the eyes of men, for 'where there is no vision, the people perish.'  To act as an intermediate group between the Hierarchy and humanity, receiving light and power and then using both of these, under the inspiration of love, to build the new world of tomorrow. ... It is a group therefore without a ... bible of any kind; it has no creed nor any dogmatic formulations of truth. The motivating impulse of each and all is love of God."
But who is their God? It's certainly not the holy, sovereign Lord of the universe, who gave His life to redeem His people and free us from guilt and bondage to sin and evil in the world.
Instead, the world's counterfeit god[s] must be strong but permissive; compassionate but amoral, unifying but tolerant toward all beliefs except those that clash with the vision of solidarity. This new, more affirming image has already permeated religions around the world. His names don't really matter, for they would all represent the same universal deity -- re-imagined under the banner of love, tolerance and unity. [In contrast, see The Names of [the Biblical] God]
The results are obvious. Through media images and anti-Christian propaganda distributed by leading "World Servers," the old Biblical beliefs are fast becoming detestable to the world and embarrassing to nominal Christians. True Christians will increasingly face a choice: conform to the new solidarity -- or face rejection and persecution. 2 Cor 4:7
Two thousand years ago, God's Word told us it would happen. It's part of His plan and character. Ponder His character as you read the next six points.
1. He knows everything before it happens. By His foreknowledge, he knew that a world government would one day arise under a bloody anti-Christian puppet to Satan. When that time comes, the masses will bear a bodily mark [imbedded transponder?] on "their right hand or on their foreheads" and "no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark." [Revelation 13:16-17] Those who refuse -- mainly God's faithful remnant -- will be slaughtered. They would far rather die a cruel death than deny their Lord. After all, eternity with Him is far greater than anything this world offers." [See Signs of the times]
2. God's wisdom and timing. He had already raised His missionaries to Asia and prepared them to bring needed resources to survivors:
Native missionaries first on scene with relief for tsunami victims: "...a Christian mission that supports ‘native missionaries’ in 10 Asian countries was already on the scene, bringing pure water, food, clothing, medicine and the hope found in Jesus Christ to thousands of the terrified survivors. Gospel for Asia (GFA) reported that it had more than 200 workers in the affected areas within a day, and now has more than 1,000 of its 15,000 native missionaries involved in the relief efforts in India, Sri Lanka, and the Andeman Islands."
3. God's love and truth reaching out through His people. By His grace, God is drawing unbelievers to Himself, opening the eyes of the spiritually blind and enabling them to receive His truth, life and comfort.
4. God's concern over the evils that brings corruption and despair. Massive natural disasters are not new to our times. To deal with raging moral and spiritual corruption long ago, our God did use major devastations to awaken His people to repentance, to purge evil and to carry out His uncompromising justice. The most memorable event took place in the days of Noah. God both foretold and initiated a flood that defies our imagination today. He opened the "fountains of the deep" -- underground reservoirs of water and lava -- and brought about geological changes in the earth structures that pushed up landmasses, carved canyons and left petrified ocean shells in mountains and elevations far from the coasts as a testimony to His astounding power and sovereignty over all His creation. See "
Tsunami Survivors Desperate for Help, Open to Gospel: "Christian workers who are assisting the survivors are reporting that many are open to the gospel. 'As we go about ministering to the suffering people -- tens of thousands of people -- I'm hearing that many are listening and [asking] why it happened, saying 'We prayed to our gods' and 'Our gods did this to us.'... 'Of course, our missionaries are able to explain to them that God is love, [that] Satan is causing this disaster, and that we can trust God,' he says. 'There's such a dire need at this time -- and I pray that people of God will wake up and do what we should do at this time.'"
"Churches all over the state report growing numbers of inquirers and more of an openness to the Gospel than before. Through this disaster and the loving response of the Christians a clear witness has been given about both the holiness and righteousness of God, as well as His love and grace for all those who will humbly call on His Name." Asia Harvest
We don't know God's timing, but he does tell us that before His return we will see catastrophic events that parallel those ancient times.
“...as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all." Luke 17:28-29
"...if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people.... then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh... and despise authority." 2 Peter 2:4-9
"He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.' Now this, 'Yet once more,' indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain."Hebrews 12:26God's Word tells us that "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." [Matthew 5:45] This year's cataclysm may have been a warning to the world -- an opportunity for many to believe the truth, come to Him, and find shelter in the only ark that can bring them safely through the storms ahead. But if it was an act of God's righteous judgment, there are some indications of rampant moral and spiritual issues that might justify purging:
Indonesia bars children from leaving country: "UNICEF and other child-welfare groups warn that the gangs -- which are well-established in Indonesia -- may well be whisking orphaned children into trafficking networks, selling them into forced labor or even sexual slavery in wealthier neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore." See also The fall and rise of human violence
Free Aceh Movement: "Separatists who sought to establish an independent Islamic state in the Special Region of Aceh in northern Sumatra and combined their religious and nationalist appeal with exploitation of social and economic pressures and discontent, continued to cause unrest in portions of the region. ... the guerrilla campaign of the insurgents, under the leadership of European-based [terrorist] Hasan di Tiro and with Libyan support, renewed its hit-and-run warfare in the late 1980s, hoping to build on economic and social grievances as well as on Islamism."
5. God's absolute sovereignty. In his article on the Asian disaster, Pastor John Piper writes,
"Even if Satan caused the earthquake in the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas, he is not the decisive cause of 60,000+ deaths, God is. God claims power [over] tsunamis in Job 38:8 when he asks Job rhetorically, 'Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb . . . and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?”
"Psalm 89:8-9 says, “O Lord . . . you rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” And Jesus himself has the same control today as he once did over the deadly threats of waves: “He . . . rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:24). In other words, even if Satan caused the earthquake, God could have stopped the waves."
6. God's miraculous intervention on behalf of His people. You may have read the story about Dayalan Sanders, a native Sri Lankan who immigrated to the United States, then returned as a missionary to serve God in his native country:
Quick-thinking pastor and his wife save 28 orphans in Sri Lanka: "In 1994, Sanders founded the Samaritan Children's Home in Navalady, a small fishing village that occupies a narrow peninsula on Sri Lanka's economically depressed east coast. ...
"[His wife] Kohila ran to summon her husband, who went outside and looked toward the ocean. There on the horizon, he said, was a '30-foot wall of water.... With barely any time to think, let alone act, he ran toward the lagoon, where the orphanage's boat chafed at a pier. By then, many of the children had come running outside, some of them half-dressed. Sanders shouted as loud as he could, urging them all toward the boat....
"Crammed with more than 30 people, the dangerously overloaded launch roared into the lagoon at almost precisely the same moment that the wall of water overwhelmed the orphanage.... As it made for the mouth of the lagoon, the boat was broadsided and nearly capsized by the torrent pouring over the peninsula. 'The children were very frightened....'We were praying, 'God help us, God help us.'"
God answered that prayer in His own wonderful way! But all around this blessed orphanage -- and across the oceans -- over 140,000 people of all faiths died. Thousands more are mourning their lost or dying from their wounds. Which raises the key question again: "How can you believe in a God who permits suffering on this scale?''
I can believe in my Lord because I know He is perfectly omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), wise, loving and just. In the midst of natural disasters and man's foolish illusions, God works out His compassionate plan. Though the results we see here on this fallen earth may seem incomplete or unfair, I'm confident that He will work out His ultimate love and justice in eternity. And for all the precious people who knew, loved and served Him, there will be a happy ending -- one that the world can never understand. "The righteous perishes," wrote the prophet Isaiah. "Merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace."Isaiah 57:1
Oswald Chambers, the beloved author of My Utmost for His Highest, summarizes both the victory we have in Christ and the confusion faced by the world:
"It is easy to say God reigns, and then to see Satan, suffering, and sin reigning and God apparently powerless. Belief in God must be tried before it is of value to God or to a child of his. It is the trial of our faith that makes us wealthy in God's sight. We begin by saying, 'I know that God is love, that He is just and holy and true;' then we come up against common-sense facts that flatly contradict what we said we believed. Are we going to succumb, as the psalmist nearly did, to the pessimistic moods of intellect and say, 'After all I must abandon that view of God?'
"If we try to answer the problems of this world by intellectual or scientific methods we shall go mad, or else deny that the problems exist....
"Jesus Christ makes us open our eyes and look at these things. God is the only being who can stand the slander that arises because the Devil and pain and sin are in the world. Stand true to the life hid with Christ in God and to the facts you have to face. You will have no answer intellectually, but your faith in God will be so unshakably firm that others will begin to see there is an answer they have never guessed."
“...the waves of death surrounded me, the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.... In my distress I called upon the Lord.... His way is perfect...." 2 Samuel 22:5, 31
1. Chris Hastings, Patrick Hennessy and Sean Rayment, "Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God,"http://www.news.telegraph.co.uk/, January 2, 2005. http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/02/nbish02.xml
2. Rajeev Srinivasan, "Give so others may live again!" 12-27-04 at http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/dec/27rajeev.htm
3. From an email received 1-4-05. After writing to Asia Harvest at http://www.asiaharvest.org to verify the indicated source, we received a confirmation from Paul Hattaway, the co-author of The Heavenly Man. He also told us that this particular event dates back to a 1999 cyclone that struck the coast of Orissa in northeastern India and produced tsunami-like waves that killed thousands of people. He said, "In Orissa there were bodies of humans and animals found 30 feet (10 meters) up in trees.... I was in Orissa a few days after it happened. The devastation is almost identical to what happened recently, only on a much smaller area." Though that event preceded the current disaster, its message still fits: Our God reigns over the forces of nature! And in the midst of destruction and despair, He demonstrates His love and mercy!
4. Mark L. Dickson "The Purpose-Driven Movement," 2004, http://www.sovereignlove.o-f.com/pd02.html
5. beliefnet.com. The responses to the poll were posted in this window: http://www.beliefnet.com/polls/poll_vote.asp?pollID=1187&voteType=result
6. Arun Venugopal "God's Wrath in India?" (no date) at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/156/story_15611.html
7. Shelley L. Ackerman, "The Planets and Stars of Y2K5" (no date) at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/158/story_15865_1.html
8. "The New Group of World Servers" at http://www.lucistrust.org/goodwill/ngws.shtml#new
9. Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson, Spiritual Politics (New York: Ballantine Books, 1994),147.
10. Stated during a talk at a 1995 mini-UN Conference in San Francisco titled Celebrating the Spirit, which I attended as a reporter.
11.McLaughlin, 147-148. Dr. Brock Chisholm gave the same message back in 1946, shortly before he became the first head of the UN agency assigned to conform the world's "mental health" to the UN vision of solidarity: The World Health Organization.
12. Jeremy Reynalds "Native missionaries first on scene with relief for tsunami victims," 1-3-05 at http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s05010014.htm
13. Allie Martin, "Tsunami Survivors Desperate for Help, Open to Gospel," AgapePress, 1-5-05 at http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/1/afa/52005d.asp
14. See ""
15. Beth Gardiner, "Indonesia bars children from leaving country," AP, 1-5-05 at http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/10569543.htm
16. Free Aceh Movement, GlobalSecurity.org at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/aceh.htm
17. John Piper, "Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy," Desiring God Ministries: December 29, 2004. Scroll down to article at http://www.missionvisionnetwork.org/prayer/news.htm
18. John Lancaster, "Quick-thinking pastor and his wife save 28 orphans in Sri Lanka," Washington Post, 12-30-04 at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/12/30/MNG63AJ2411.DTL
19. Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publisher, 1992), page 560.
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