Joseph Prince: Shepherd or Wolf?
Volume 10: Joseph Prince Is Teaching A Different God Of The Bible
Joseph Prince Is Teaching A Different God Of The Bible
Whether it has to do with natural disasters, Job’s sufferings, God’s wrath, anger, judgement, and love, etc, it is crystal clear that Joseph Prince is teaching a different God of the Bible.
It is a different God as he is presenting only the half-truths about God.
The half-truth tactic is a key strategy that he employs to deceive.
He teaches the half-truths that God is love and gracious, who accepts us for who we are.
Yet, he pushes the untrue half that God will never send natural disasters to punish believers and the world.
He preaches the half-truths that God heals and is merciful towards us.
On the other hand, he postures the untrue half that God will never take away our possessions and afflict us with sickness, as was in the case of Job.
By magnifying one half of the truth about God’s love and grace and preaching against the other half about His anger and judgement, he has created a false god, which is so different from the God of the Bible.
Copyright © February 2020 by George Ong
Not for Sale
Chapter 1: *Are Natural Disasters Caused By God Or Satan?
Chapter 2: Jesus’ Teaching On Tragedies, Natural Disasters & Repentance
Chapter 3: God’s Judgement & Wrath In The Old Testament & The New
Chapter 4: God Cannot Be Left Out Of The Picture For Natural Disasters
Chapter 5: *Job’s Sufferings Expose Joseph Prince’s Heresies & Lies
Chapter 6: Can God Not Be Angry With Us & Is God Always Please With Us?
Chapter 7: *Seven Shocking Facts About God’s Love
* Denotes Priority Reading
*Are Natural Disasters Caused By God Or Satan?
Please answer this question:
According to John 10:10, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy – true, or false?
Probably, most of you may have gotten this wrong.
See Item F, which is a must-read for the answer.
Volume 10 comprises seven chapters: Joseph Prince Is Teaching A Different God Of The Bible.
This is chapter 1.
The key issue to be addressed in chapter 1: Are Natural Disasters Caused By God Or Satan?
Remember, this is only chapter 1 of the whole series of seven chapters.
The questions you may have in your minds after reading chapter 1 would probably be answered by the time we get to the end of the series.
I must warn you that this chapter contains tough truths that you and I must grapple with.
“If God had destroyed the world once by flood and will do it again by fire, nothing could stop Him from using natural disasters to judge the nations.” (George Ong)
“Trusting God is most challenging when His silence to our deepest pain is most deafening.” (George Ong)
Who causes natural disasters?
Joseph Prince teaches that it is Satan who is responsible.
The scripture teaches that God is the cause of them, either directly or indirectly.
Just a few scriptures as starters while the bulk of the rest will be unfolded in the ensuing discussion:
Psa 115:2-3 NASB
2 Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?”
3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Psa 148:7-8 NLT
7 “Praise the Lord from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths,
8 fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey him.”
Amos 3:6 NASB
6 “If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?”
Amos 3:6 ESV
6 “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”
God is certainly aware of every single natural disaster that occurs on the earth, and many of such disasters are either directly or indirectly caused by Him.
In this chapter, I will seek to prove Joseph Prince’s doctrinal stand that it is Satan and not God, who is the cause of natural disasters, is unbiblical.
Joseph Prince Is teaching a different God of the Bible.
He is teaching a God, who isn’t revealed in the scriptures, but one which he concocts out of his own imagination.
A. Satan Did Not Take The Place Of Adam To Control The World When Adam Fell.
In ‘Destined To Reign’, Page 143, Joseph Prince wrote,
“When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them dominion over the world.
But when Adam sinned, he handed this dominion over to the devil.
That’s why we live in a fallen world today, where we see sicknesses, diseases, wars, earthquakes and floods around us.
These are not the “acts of God”.
They are the acts of the devil!”
Joseph Prince gave the impression that Adam had “dominion over the world”, and was, so to speak, the original “the ruler of this world.”
When Adam fell, Satan took over that position, thus giving him the authority to rule this world.
And Satan is so powerful that he can bring about “sicknesses, diseases, wars, earthquakes and floods around us.”
God could not stop the devil from causing havoc to planet earth, as the ‘legal right’ of world dominion of Adam was transferred to Satan.
The ‘legal right’ which passed on from Adam to the devil had to be honoured by God.
This conception is unbiblical.
When Adam fell, Satan didn’t gain anything.
All Satan got was a curse from God and that he will be decimated from the earth, eventually.
So, don’t ever listen to the rubbish of what Joseph Prince is teaching.
Next, Joseph Prince has told a lie that Adam had world dominion.
Joseph Prince, let me ask you, did Adam possess such massive dominion over the world that when it was transferred to Satan, Satan could wreck the earth with great calamities such as, “sicknesses, diseases, wars, earthquakes and floods”?
Adam was never the first “ruler or god of this world,” that he had passed over to Satan.
What kind of dominion did Adam originally possess?
Genesis 1:28 gives the answer.
Gen 1:28 NIV
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God never said that Adam had world dominion, who was to dominate over the entire creation and that he controlled everything, including sicknesses and the imposition of natural calamities, such as earthquakes and floods over the earth.
He merely gave dominion to Adam and Eve, over the fish, birds and animals and commanded them to fill the earth.
In God’s pronouncement of His judgement on Adam and Eve, He didn’t mention that Adam would lose his position as “ruler of this world.”
Adam or Eve didn’t lose their dominion over the fish, birds and animals.
They may have lost the dominion over them in degree but certainly not in kind.
Even today, humanity is still in much control over the fish, birds and animals.
And nowhere in the Bible was it mentioned that when Adam fell, he passed on the title, “the ruler of this world” or his world dominion to Satan.
B. How Do We Explain The Passage In Luke 4:5-8 Then?
Lk 4:5-8 NASB
5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”
8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
The above passage doesn’t mean that Satan has dominion over everything on earth.
It doesn’t mean he is operating out of God’s control.
Satan isn’t called the Father of lies for nothing (Jn 8:44).
God is still in control over everything, and that includes Satan.
Who is the real ruler of mankind? – God, not Satan.
It is significant that in the Book of Daniel, the fact that “God is the ruler of mankind and bestows on it on whom He wishes” is mentioned four times.
“…the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes…” (Dan 4:17 NASB).
“…the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Dan 4:25 NASB).
“…the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Dan 4:32 NASB).
“…the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes” (Dan 5:21 NASB).
What does this indicate?
This indicates that God, not Satan, is the sovereign ruler of mankind.
What Daniel said about God and what Satan said to Jesus clearly contradicts.
Daniel said God, “bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Dan 4:17; 4:25; 4:32; 5:21).
Satan said, “I give it to whomever I wish” (Lk 4:6).
Who are you going to believe?
We had better be believing Daniel, a righteous man, instead of Satan, who is the Father of lies.
Satan is “the ruler or god of this world,” in so far as he is ruling over the kingdom of darkness, which includes unbelievers in every nation who are in rebellion against God.
But that does not mean that he rules over everyone and everything on planet earth.
C. What About 1 John 5:18-19?
1 Jn 5:18-19 NIV
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
In the context of 1 John 5:18-19, the fact that the whole world is under the control of the evil one certainly does not include believers.
Believers are under the protection and safety of God, and the evil one cannot harm them (unless God permits as was in the case of Job).
What Satan has control over is his kingdom of darkness, comprising his demonic spirits (Eph 6:12) and unbelievers.
So, Satan was probably offering Jesus control over his kingdom of darkness (Lk 4:5-8).
If God truly is “ruler over the realm of mankind” (Dan 4:25), whatever authority Satan has over the rebellious mankind, and demonic angels must be granted by God.
God wants everyone to be saved and delivered from being under the control of Satan (Acts 26:18; Col 1:13; 1 Tim 2:3-4; 2 Pet 3:9).
But God allows Satan to rule over those who love darkness and choose to rebel against Him.
D. God Has Supreme Authority Over Satan.
God did not lose any control over Satan at the fall of man.
The devil can only do what God permits.
This is proven from the episode of Job.
Satan can only ‘harm’ Job to the degree that God allows him to (Job 2:1-7).
Satan isn’t that powerful that he is allowed to do anything he wants.
Satan and his demons are used as God’s agents to attain His purpose.
In 1 Samuel 16:14, we learn that it is God who uses an evil spirit to deal with King Saul,
“Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.”
God, out of His sovereign purposes, permits one of Satan’s demonic spirits to afflict Saul.
In another instance, “…God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech” (Jud 9:23 NASB).
This evil spirit of Satan is used by God to work against designated evil persons.
Evil spirits are under God’s sovereign control.
Demonic spirits cannot work against anyone and harm them, especially God’s people, without His consent.
If Satan and demonic spirits can wreak havoc on people on planet earth with reckless abandon and at their own will, then God has lost control, and that means He is not all-powerful – that scenario is certainly impossible.
So, the teaching of Joseph Prince that when Adam fell, Satan gains an authority that was so massive that he could cause earthquakes, floods, etc, that goes beyond God’s control is false.
In the first place, Adam hasn’t got such massive authority; so how could he pass on such authority to the devil?
Satan and the demonic powers aren’t that overwhelming, not just in the Old Testament, but their powers are also limited in the New Testament.
Jesus gave His disciples the authority over demons:
“And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases” (Lk 9:1 NASB).
“The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.
Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Lk 10:17-20 NASB).
Jesus can only give that which He possesses.
If Jesus can give His disciples authority over the powers of Satan and his demons, it is only logical that He must first have authority over them.
Satan does not operate entirely on his own authority, but he and his demons are under the authority of Father God and the Lord Jesus.
The devil has to ask permission from God to attack Peter for a season:
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Lk 22:31-32 NIV).
Satan does not wield total authority over the earth and his world, but he operates under God’s control.
E. Satan, As ‘The God Or Ruler Of This World’ Does Not Control Over Everything On The Earth, Including Human Governments & The Weather.
Paul designates Satan with the title as “the god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4).
Jesus describes him as “the ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
So, Joseph Prince may argue that because of these two titles of Satan, he can cause massive natural disasters that destroy people.
But does the fact that Satan is called “god or ruler of this world” means that he can do anything he likes?
Does that mean he is operating out of God’s control?
Does that mean God has no power to limit and curtail his evil activities?
What did Jesus say in Matthew 28:18?
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt 28:18 NIV).
What does it mean for Jesus to have all authority in heaven and on earth?
It means that Satan can only operate under the Lord Jesus’ consent or approval.
Satan is also under the control of Father God, who gave Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth as Jesus calls His Father as “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matt 11:25; Lk 10:21 NIV).
It goes without saying that Father God must have all authority over heaven and the earth since He is the one who created the universe.
Satan is called the god or ruler of this world, not because he is the all-powerful one who controls everything on planet earth, but that the people of the world, who are unbelievers are following Satan, and they are under his control or influence.
Whether the unbelievers realise it or not, they are serving Satan as their god or ruler, and they are under his kingdom of darkness.
This does not mean that Satan has total control over the earth.
Again, one must remember that Jesus refers to Father God as “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matt 11:25; Lk 10:21).
Paul, too, like Jesus, refers to Father God as “Lord of heaven and earth” (Acts 17:24).
Hence, Satan cannot be said to exercise complete control over the earth, and his authority must be limited to that which is permitted by Father God, who is known as “Lord of heaven and earth”.
We must note there is a difference between the two words ‘world’ and ‘earth’.
Father God is spoken as Lord of the earth, which refers to the physical planet upon which we live.
Satan is spoken to as ruler of this world, which refers to people and their system in this present age, rather than of the physical earth itself.
God ‘does not have complete control over the world’, because ‘He does not have complete control over all the people of the world’.
He has given man free will, and many have chosen to reject God and serve Satan.
Satan is the god of this world in this present age.
Believers are “in the world” but not “of the world” (Jn 17:11,14).
Though believers live among the people who belong to the kingdom of darkness, they belong to the kingdom of light; the kingdom of God.
Believers, who are the sons and daughters of God, are not under the control of Satan.
So, God has total and sovereign control over the entire earth.
Satan, by God’s permission, only has control of the world – the unbelieving people who belong to the kingdom of darkness and its evil system.
That is why John wrote that the “whole world (not the whole earth) lies in the power of the evil one” (1 Jn 5:19).
God is the one who has total authority over the earth, as Jesus refers to Father God as “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matt 11:25; Lk 10:21), and Daniel refers to Him as the “ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Dan 4:25).
As the ruler, He has sovereignly allowed Satan to rule over that part of humankind that rebels against Him.
God has indisputable control over the governments of the earth.
Satan has limited control over the governments only because they are run by unbelievers.
But from Daniel 4:17, we are clear that God has the ultimate control.
Satan has control only to the degree that God permits him.
Just as God has ‘lifted’ King Nebuchadnezzar up, He can also bring him down (Dan 4:17).
Similarly, God, not Satan, can do the same to any government of the earth.
Paul has made it clear that “…there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Rom 13:1 NIV).
God can place one in authority, but at the same time, He can also remove him.
No one can have any authority unless it is God, who permits him to.
Even evil rulers are placed by God to fulfil His purpose (Rom 9:17 NIV).
Rom 9:17 NIV
17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
In Jesus’ conversation with Pontius Pilate, He made the same point as to who has the ultimate authority:
So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (Jn 19:10-11 NASB).
In the Old Testament, evil governments have been used by God to punish His disobedient people.
The evil Assyrians were used by to God to conquer and exile His people – the ten tribes.
The wicked Babylonians were used by God to bring His judgement and to exile the remaining two tribes.
Just as God can exalt an evil government, He can also bring it down.
When King Herod failed to give glory to God, he was struck dead.
Acts 12:22-23 NIV
21 “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”
23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”
So, Satan has influence over human governments only because God permits him to.
Because God is the ultimate ruler, He can thwart any of Satan’s schemes any time if He so wishes.
Not only does the ruler of human governments belong to God, but it is also ascribed to the Lord Jesus.
John wrote that the ruler of governments is the Lord Jesus:
“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev 1:5).
Joseph Prince and others have wrongly presumed that because Satan is “the ruler or god of this world,” he has the power to control the weather and is the one who is responsible for causing all the natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
There are plenty of scriptures that contradict such a view, which I will list here and the bulk of the rest in the ensuing discussion:
God is the one who controls the weather, and in many cases, He uses the weather to judge, kill and destroy:
(Prov 30:4 NASB; Jer 14:22; 1 Sam 12:18; Gen 7:11-12; Deut 11:17; Isa 28:17; Isa 30:30; Ezek 38:22; Psa 78:44; Psa 146:6,8; Psa 147:8, 16-18; Jer 14:12; Amos 4:7; 2 Pet 2:5).
Jer 14:22 NIV
22 “Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.”
Job 37:3,6, 10-13 NIV
3 “He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.”
6 He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
10 “The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen.
11 He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them.
12 At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them.
13 He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love.”
Amos 4:7 NIV
7 “I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up.”
Indeed, the weather is under God’s sovereign control.
He could use it for productive means to bless some or destructive ends to curse others.
God’s display of His power through His control of the weather is to cause fear in the people:
(Ex 20:8; 1 Sam 12:18; Ezra 10:9; Psa 55:8; Psa 97:4; Matt 14:30; Matt 27:54).
God also uses His control of the weather to protect and provide for His people:
(Gen 41:30-31,36; Gen 45:11; Deut 8:15-16; 1 Kgs 17:1-16; Ezek 36:29-30).
All the above scriptures simply mean God has sovereign control over the weather, not Satan.
Many, such as Joseph Prince, have foolishly based their entire doctrine about the destructive powers of Satan on one scripture:
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy” (Jn 10:10).
In ‘Destined To Reign’, Page 52, Joseph Prince wrote:
“The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came that you may have life, and have it more abundantly (Jn 10:10). Hallelujah!”
In ‘Destined To Reign’, Page 20, Joseph Prince wrote:
“The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to see you broke and broken. He does not want to see you reigning in life.”
In ‘The Power of Right Believing’ Page 268, Joseph Prince wrote:
“Jesus said the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but He came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly (see John 10:10).”
Please take note that in John 10:10,
Jesus never said, “The comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
Jesus also never said, “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
But Jesus said, “The comes only to kill, steal and destroy.”
Joseph Prince is clearly lying.
He is putting words into the scriptures by his own authority.
But is Jesus really saying it is the devil or the enemy who steals, kills and destroys?
If one reads John 10:1-10 in context, especially John 10:1,6,8,10, it becomes clear that the thief (V1) or thieves (V8) are referring to the Pharisees who are the false shepherds and the false religious teachers.
In fact, the context goes as far back as John chapter 9, when Jesus had a debate with the Pharisees over a blind man who was healed by Jesus.
Jesus continued the debate into John Chapter 10 by strongly implying that the Pharisees are thieves and robbers.
The Pharisees rejected the works of Jesus in the healing of the blind man and the message of Jesus.
The Pharisees’ rejection of what Jesus came to do is tantamount to stealing, killing and destroying the destiny of anyone who followed them instead of Jesus.
If you read the passage in context (Jn 10:1-10),
Jesus was not talking about the devil,
but about false teachers like the Pharisees, who came to, steal, kill and destroy
in the sense that they rob people of eternal life by propagating that which contradicts God’s word, and deceiving them into believing it.
Jn 10:1-10 NIV
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Note that Jesus does not speak of just a single thief in John 10:1 (singular), which many have wrongly say it refers to Satan, but also of many thieves (plural) and robbers in John 10:8.
We can’t have many devils, can we?
The devil is only one singular person.
Who are these thieves?
They are the Pharisees, the false teachers who preached their own traditions instead of the word of God; and they rejected and broke the commandments of God (Matt 15:1-6; Mk 7:8-9).
They are the ones who tried to steal the sheep of the Great Shepherd through their false teaching.
Those who proclaimed another way of salvation apart from Jesus were “robbing” the people of truth.
They are robbing people of the abundant life that Christ came to offer.
They are stealing, robbing and killing their eternal destiny that Christ came to give.
Just as a thief tries to climb over the wall of the sheepcote, bypassing the gate, false teachers attempt to bypass Jesus.
The Pharisees, who place human requirements on people for salvation because of their tradition, are false teachers who “steal” peoples’ ability to see the true way of salvation.
The result of such thievery of true doctrine to salvation is death and destruction to those who are deceived by them, as Jesus said, the thief’s purpose is to “kill and destroy.”
Jesus is helping the sheep to see the Pharisees, who are the false shepherds and false religious teachers as thieves (Jn 10:1,8).
John 10:10 is indeed a contrast between Jesus who has come to give life and the Pharisees who bring death – through their stealing and killing.
The thief (the Pharisees) comes to kill and destroy, not literally or physically, but spiritually.
What is worse is that by their false teachings, those who are deceived will be led to their eternal death.
False teachers, like thieves, killed people, spiritually because they stole from them the truth of salvation and eternal life, which would ultimately result in the people’s destruction – in hell.
In two other chapters in Volume 7, I have proven that Joseph Prince is a modern Pharisee.
In the same way, Joseph Prince, who is a modern Pharisee and a false teacher, has come to steal, kill and destroy through his false teachings.
By influencing people to his deceptive, false teachings, he has stolen from many of their right understanding of true doctrine and the true gospel.
What is worse is that Joseph Prince comes to kill and destroy – that with the acceptance of his false grace teachings, you will be led to the eternal lake of fire.
Just imagine – if Joseph Prince can even get his exegesis of John 10:10 wrong (that the thief refers to the devil), how can he be regarded by the millions to be an excellent teacher of God’s word?
I am repeating my accusation that I had made in many other chapters – that Joseph Prince is a hypocrite.
He has been repeating like a parrot so many times that we must interpret a text in its context, but he is committing the same error that he is cautioning others from doing.
He has time and again, interpreted a text out of its context – this time by attributing the thief to the devil when Satan is not even mentioned in the context of John 10:1-10.
We need to ask ourselves – who is the one that can kill and destroy?
God is the one who can kill and destroy, not Satan:
James warned, “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy…” (Jas 4:12).
“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person…” (1 Cor 3:17).
“For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 11:29-30).
“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him” (Lk 12:5 NASB)!
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28 NIV).
In all the above passages, God is painted as the one who has come not just to save but He is also able to kill and destroy.
The Lord Jesus is also pictured as one who can kill and destroy:
“So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.
I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds” (Rev 2:22-23 NIV).
Many of these children belong to the church of Thyatira, but they have been deceived and crossed over to the camp of the false Prophetess Jezebel.
Notice that Jesus takes upon Himself the task of killing if He needs to – “striking her children dead”.
Mind you – all the above passages that I have quoted are not in the Old Testament, but the New, lest Joseph Prince comes to deceive you again by telling you that the Old Testament God kills, but the New Testament God doesn’t.
I don’t remember anywhere in the scriptures where Satan directly kills and destroys people on his own power.
The closest we get is that God might destroy a person by allowing the devil to destroy him, but the point is that the destruction occurs because of God’s judgement:
“Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Cor 5:5 NIV).
In the case of Job’s ten children who were killed by Satan, one needs to note that Satan couldn’t have done it without the permission of God.
Satan does not have the sovereign power to kill and destroy, even though that’s what he yearns to do.
God is the one who kills and destroys.
He did that to both King Herod, who was an unbeliever, and Ananias and Sapphira, who were believers – both of these are not in the Old Testament but the New.
Those (and Joseph Prince included) who teach that Satan is the source of death and destruction by causing natural disasters are starkly ignorant of the Bible.
Satan has no power to cause natural disasters to kill and destroy.
Father God and the Lord Jesus possess the sole power to do it.
And that is why there are plenty of scripture references (see the next section, Item G) that portray God as sending these natural disasters to kill and destroy.
If you are still not convinced, with the evidence in the New Testament that I have produced, please see below for the Old Testament passages that prove my case that God is the sole person who has the authority to kill and destroy.
It would be an eye-opener and a sobering experience for you to go through these passages.
We must get to know the real God and repent from our sentimental and soft view of God that Joseph Prince has always tried to deceive the people with.
The passages (see below) are not to make us depressed but to soberly remind us that God is not only a God of mercy and grace to be loved, but He is also a God of wrath, who judges sin by killing and destroying, and He is to be feared.
Here is the list of passages:
Gen 7:23 (2-10 billion killed – scholars have calculated that in the pre-flood world during Noah’s time, the world’s population could be between from as low as 2 billion to as high as 10 billion. Note that these are only educated guesses and rough estimates); Gen 19:24; Gen 19:26; Gen 38:7; Gen 38:10; Ex 12:29-30; Ex 14:26; Ex 17:13; Ex 32:27-28 (3,000 killed); Lev 10:1-3; Lev 24:10-23; Num 11:1; Num 14:36-38; Num 15:32-35; Num 16:35 (250 killed); Num 16:46-50 (14,700 killed); Num 21:6; Num 25:1-11 (24,000 killed); Num 31:1-35; Deut 2:14-16; Deut 2:21-22; Deut 2:32-34; Deut 3:6; Jos 6:21; Jos 7:10-26; Jos 8:1-25 (12,000 killed); Jos 10:10-11; Jos 10:26; Jos 10:28-42; Jos 11:8-12; Jos 11:20-21; Jud 1:4 (10,000 killed); Jud 1:8; Jud 1:23-25; Jud 3:28-29 (10,000 killed); Jud 3:31 (600 killed); Jud 4:15-16; Jud 7:22; Jud 9:23-27; Jud 12:4-7 (42,000 killed); Jud 14:19; Jud 15:14-15 (1,000 killed); Jud 16:27-30 (3,000 killed); Jud 20:35-37; Jud 21:10-14; 1 Sam 6:19; 1 Sam 7:10-11; 1 Sam 14:12-14; 1 Sam 14:20; 1 Sam 15:2-3; 1 Sam 23:2-5; 1 Sam 25:38; 2 Sam 5:19-25; 2 Sam 6:6-7; 2 Sam 8:13-14 (18,000 killed); 2 Sam 21:1-9; 1 Chron 21:14 (70,000 killed); 1 Kgs 15:29; 1 Kgs 16:11-12; 1 Kgs 16:18-19; 1 Kgs 18:22-40; 1 Kgs 20:28-29 (100,000 killed); 1 Kgs 20:35-36; 1 Kgs 20:42; 2 Kgs 1:10-12; 2 Kgs 1:16-17; 2 Kgs 2:23-24; 2 Kgs 3:18-25; 2 Kgs 9:33-37; 2 Kgs 10:6-11; 2 Kgs 10:17; 2 Kgs 7:25-26; 2 Kgs 19:34 (185,000 killed); 2 Chron 13:17-18 (500,000 killed); 2 Chron 13:20; 2 Chron 20:22-25; 2 Chron 21:14-19; 2 Chron 22:7-8; 2 Chron 24:20-25; 2 Chron 28:6 (120,000 killed); 2 Chron 36:16-17; Jer 28:15-16).
G. Who Causes Adverse Weather & Natural Disasters?
When an earthquake or a tornado strikes, we have to ask the hard question – who causes it?
Joseph Prince rules out God.
The argument goes – how could a God who is loving, gracious and merciful cause such untold suffering and deaths on the people?
He further argues (through a faulty exegesis) that it isn’t God, but the one who is causing such calamities is the devil because he has come to kill and destroy.
Even if one holds the view that it is Satan who causes natural disasters, one would, at the same time, have to admit that God must have allowed Satan to cause them.
God is the one who has the ultimate power and authority over the earth, not Satan, and God has sovereignty even over Satan.
Some scholars are of the view that natural disasters are just the forces of nature at work.
These disasters happen randomly, and no one is to be blamed.
But who created the forces of nature?
Even if those forces act randomly, it was God who has determined or permitted those forces to act randomly, and so He is ultimately ‘responsible’.
To say that it is not God or Satan who is responsible for earthquakes and tornadoes, but they are due to natural causes in our fallen world of sin, does not solve the problem either.
If natural disasters are due to natural causes and man’s sin, someone must have decided that they would occur at a given time and place.
The role of God cannot be easily removed from natural disasters.
Assuming if Satan is the one who causes natural disasters, then God is the one who has permitted him to do so.
God, being God, must be able to stop him anytime, or else, God is not God.
If God has permitted Satan to cause natural disasters, God must still bear the responsibility, as the earthquakes could not occur without His permission.
Assuming Satan is the cause of natural disasters, there is no possibility that God could not stop Satan.
If such a possibility exists, then Satan would be more powerful than God.
This is what Joseph Prince is teaching.
He teaches that Satan has taken over the authority and dominion of Adam when he fell, and Satan has now gained control over the world.
And Satan now has a ‘legal right’ to do whatever he pleases on the earth, causing natural disasters and killing masses of people because he has taken over Adam’s world dominion.
Let’s assume that were true – that God could no longer restrain Satan from causing damage to planet earth through natural disasters because He had allowed Satan to inherit the powers of world dominion from Adam.
This would simply mean that God did not have the wisdom to foresee that Adam would fall, and Satan, who is supposedly smarter than God, has now gained the power to do anything he likes to planet earth, something which God could have regretted.
But this is preposterous!
If Joseph Prince teaches that Satan who loves to kill and destroy is the chief culprit who is responsible for all the natural disasters on earth, then we need to ask – why Satan doesn’t cause more tornadoes, hurricanes, massive flooding and earthquakes to occur every other day?
In that way, more people would be killed and destroyed at a quicker pace and within a shorter period.
Since believers are his chief enemies, why doesn’t Satan cause earthquakes and hurricanes to occur at places where the majority of believers are residing?
Even if Satan has the power to, would God permit Satan?
If your opinion is that God won’t allow Satan to do that, aren’t you admitting that Satan can only cause damage to earth with God’s permission?
So, whether God directly causes natural disasters or indirectly by permitting Satan to cause them, we cannot run away from the conclusion that God is ultimately ‘responsible’.
Even if Satan is not involved and the natural disasters are due to the evil of man, God is still the one ‘responsible’ as He is the one who had sent it to judge the people for their sins.
Indeed, God not only accepts responsibility, but He also insists He is the one who has the power to cause both prosperity and disaster.
Isa 45:7 NIV
7 “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”
Never try to apologise for God – He does not need the help of man to protect His reputation.
Never try to twist the verse to say what we want to say – to make it more appealing to our comfort zone.
We must allow the word of God to say what it ought to say – no matter how unpleasant it may sound to our ears.
H. What Does The Scriptures Say About Natural Disasters?
1. What About Earthquakes?
Does the Bible say that it is the devil who is the cause of natural disasters such as earthquakes?
According to the Bible, earthquakes may occur as a result of God’s anger, wrath, punishment and judgement on deserving and unrepentant sinners.
Let’s look at the numerous scripture texts:
Jeremiah declared: “But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation” (Jer 10:10 NASB).
Isaiah warned: “From the Lord of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire” (Isa 29:6 NASB).
Ezekiel announced: “In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel” (Ezek 38:19 NASB).
The Psalmist proclaimed: “Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry” (Psa 18:7 NASB).
Jesus prophesied: “and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven” (Lk 21:11 NASB).
John pronounced: “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood” (Rev 6:12 NASB).
The angel stated: “Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev 8:5 NASB).
Psa 77:18 NIV
18 “Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.”
Hag 2:6 NIV
6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.”
Isa 13:11-13 NLT
11 “I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and humble the pride of the mighty.
12 I will make people scarcer than gold—more rare than the fine gold of Ophir.
13 For I will shake the heavens. The earth will move from its place when the Lord of Heaven’s Armies displays his wrath in the day of his fierce anger.”
Nahum 1:5-6 NLT
5 In his presence the mountains quake, and the hills melt away; the earth trembles, and its people are destroyed.
6 Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence.
Num 16:31-34 NIV
31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart
32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.
33 They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
34 At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”
As the Book of Revelation testifies, and as we approach the end of this age, more earthquakes are expected as an indication of God’s judgement and wrath on the earth.
Rev 6:12 NIV
12 “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red.”
Rev 8:5 NIV
5 “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
Rev 11:13 NIV
13 “At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Rev 16:18 NIV
18 “Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.”
After perusing the above texts, did you go away with the idea that the earthquakes were and will be caused by Satan as postured by Joseph Prince?
They were all caused by God.
I have exposed Joseph Prince for lying as he teaches that earthquakes and all other natural disasters come from Satan and not God.
Joseph Prince is teaching a different God of the Bible – his own concoction of what he perceives God to be.
Two other earthquakes occurred when Jesus died (Matt 27:51,54), and when He was resurrected (Matt 28:2).
Another earthquake occurred when Paul and Silas were singing praises to God at midnight in a Philippian jail: “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26).
Joseph Prince, let me ask you – could the devil have caused that earthquake?
Satan would be stupid if he did as the jailer and his household gave their lives to the Lord Jesus after God had performed the powerful earthquake (Acts 16:29-34).
It is definitely God who had caused it as it can’t just be a coincidental act of nature.
The earthquake opens the jailer’s heart to think about God.
If one is embarking on spiritual warfare against the devil praying against an impending earthquake, one may be barking up on the wrong tree.
One should be interceding for the mercy of God on behalf of the people who may be affected.
If Joseph Prince marshals his church to pray against Satan for causing a certain earthquake that had hit a country, they may be doing the wrong thing as Satan is unlikely to be the one who had caused it.
Would it be more scriptural for them to pray for God’s mercy for the people who are affected and also for them to repent of their evil ways for resisting the true God?
2. What About Hurricanes Or Strong Winds?
Although the hurricane is not found in scripture, there are equivalent or lighter versions of it when God causes strong winds to be present.
Again, Joseph Prince would see hurricanes to be the work of Satan, and never the initiative of a loving and gracious God.
On the contrary, hurricanes (or strong winds) that buffet nations are portrayed as acts of judgement of God on His disobedient people and the ungodly (Jonah 1:4; Ezek 13:13).
Jonah 1:4 NIV
4 “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.”
Ezek 13:13 NIV
13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.
But what about the storm in the Sea of Galilee (Mk 4:35-39 NIV)?
Many postured the view that Satan must be the one who caused that storm, as God would never send a storm that could harm His own Son, Jesus, and the twelve disciples?
But if God didn’t send the storm and Satan did, the issue remains that He must have allowed Satan to send it.
So, God cannot be absolved from such a responsibility.
Some pointed out that because Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee, storms of such nature must be demonic.
They are of the view that God couldn’t have caused it as Jesus would never rebuke that which God has caused:
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm” (Mk 4:39 NIV).
Yet, one must remember that in Psalm 107:23-30, it was God who caused the storm in the sea (V25) which He later stilled (V29) to calm the fears of His people (V28).
Psa 107:23-25, 28-29 NKJV
23 “Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters,
24 They see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep.
25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Could it well be that it was God who started the storm in the Sea of Galilee too as He had in Psalms 107:23-25, 28-29?
It is not farfetched to posture this possibility as it was not God that Jesus rebuked but the wind and waves.
It would be too presumptuous to base our position on this single episode and conclude that it was Satan who had caused the storm at the Galilean Sea.
Numerous scriptures demonstrate God is in sovereign control of the wind, and He is the one who had initiated it.
God can start and stop the wind at will:
(Gen 8:1-3; Ex 10:13, 19; 14:21; 15:10; Num 11:31; Ps. 48:7; 78:26; 135:7; 147:18; 148:8; Jer 4:11-12; 10:13; 51:16; Isa 11:15; 27:8; Ezek 13:11,13; Amos 4:9, 13; Jonah 4:8; Hag 2:17; Rev 7:1).
Gen 8:1-3 NIV
1 “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.
3 The water receded steadily from the earth.”
Ex 10:13,19 NIV
13 “So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts.”
19 “And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.”
Ex 14:21 NIV
21 “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided.”
Ex 15:10 NIV
10 “But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.”
Num 11:31 NIV
31 “Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction.”
Psa 48:7 NIV
7 “You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish shattered by an east wind.”
Psa 78:26 NIV
26 “He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow.”
Psa 135:6-7 NIV
6 “The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”
Psa 147:18 NIV
18 “He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.”
Psa 148:8 NIV
8 “lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills.”
Jer 4:11-12 NIV
11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse;
12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them.”
Jer 10:12-13 NIV
12 “But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”
Jer 51:16 NIV
16 “When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”
Amos 4:9 GNT
9 “I sent a scorching wind to dry up your crops. The locusts ate up all your gardens and vineyards, your fig trees and olive trees. Still you did not come back to me.”
Amos 4:13 NIV
13 “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name.”
Jonah 4:8 NIV
8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
Hag 2:17 NASB
17 “I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind, mildew and hail; yet you did not come back to Me,’ declares the Lord.”
Rev 7:1 NIV
1 “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.”
In all of these passages, was Satan the one who had caused the strong and blasting winds (hurricane)?
It was not Satan but God who had caused them.
God used the wind as a means of judgement.
Though Satan is the god or ruler of this world, he does not have autonomous control over natural disasters such as the power to cause strong winds, or hurricane or an earthquake anytime or in any place he wishes.
God has sovereign control over the initiation or termination of every natural disaster that occurs on the earth.
Jesus’ rebuke and termination of the storm on the Sea of Galilee is an unmistakable proof that God can stop a natural disaster if He wishes.
If God is sending or allowing a natural disaster, there must be reasons.
If God sends or allows a hurricane that causes widespread destruction, one reason is that He is warning and judging the sins of the people.
The most plausible reason is that He is warning and judging disobedient people to repent while there is still time.
If they don’t, they will face an even greater outpouring of His wrath in the lake of fire.
God, who starts the winds, can also with the same power stop them.
As far as I know, there is only Bible verse that ascribes to Satan for having started a great wind that caused the death of Job’s children.
There is only one occasion where a destructive wind is attributed to Satan, and even then, he had first to obtain permission from God:
“when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you” (Job 1:19 NIV)!
Satan was the one who was the cause of all of Job’s troubles.
The reason why Satan could harm Job and his children was that he had God’s permission (Job 1:12).
Can we now see that God is sovereign even over the wind that was caused by Satan?
God had to approve it, or Satan could not have caused the wind that killed all of Job’s children.
3. What About Famines?
Some people have the wrong understanding that it is Satan who causes all famines.
The truth, according to scripture, God has often taken responsibility for famines.
Famines are often reflected in the scriptures as a consequence of His wrath upon sinful people who deserved such judgements.
From the witness of scriptures, famines aren’t caused by Satan.
God is usually the cause.
Famines are used by God as an expression of His wrath and judgement on His straying people.
Let’s peruse the list of scriptures:
Jer 11:22 NIV
22 “therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine.”
Jer 29:17 NIV
17 “yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten.”
Ezek 14:13 NIV
13 “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals.”
Deut 32:23-24 NIV
23 “I will heap calamities on them and spend my arrows against them.
24 I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.”
2 Sam 21:1 NIV
1 “During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 Sam 24:12-13 NIV
12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”
13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”
2 Kgs 8:1 NIV
1 Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.”
Psa 105:16 NIV
16 “He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food.”
Hag 1:9-11 NIV
9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.
10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.
11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
Other passages that talk about famine include:
(Isa 14:30; Jer 14:12,15-16; 16:3-4; 24:10; 27:8; 34:17; 42:17; 44:12-13; Ezek 5:12,16-17; 6:12; 12:16; 14:21; 36:29; Rev 6:8; 18:8).
After reading all the above passages of scriptures, does one get the idea that it was Satan who had the power to cause these famines, as Joseph Prince would posture?
God is the one who “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt 5:45).
God is also the one who sends a famine upon evil people, and believers, who live among those evil people, would be affected too.
What if believers are affected by famine?
If God sends a famine upon an evil nation, the righteous who live in that nation should pray and trust that God will provide for their needs.
In the New Testament, Paul teaches that if we ever go through a famine, it cannot separate us from the love of Christ.
Rom 8:35 NIV
35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
Did Paul say that Christians will never be faced with a famine?
No, but he implied that they might be faced with one.
He knew from the Old Testament scriptures that famines could be sent by God to judge the wicked.
But Paul has affirmed that even famines cannot separate us from the love of Christ:
Paul didn’t say that believers will never be faced with a famine.
But famines shouldn’t affect our love relationship between God and us.
I. Natural Disasters Could Also Harm Christians.
Why does God allow natural disasters to affect believers too?
A hurricane would devastate both the homes of unbelievers and believers.
It would take the lives of both non-Christians and Christians too.
Shouldn’t believers, being God’s children, be spared from God’s wrath?
If so, how then can we say that it is God who had sent the natural disasters that would also harm His own children?
On the other hand, if our view is that Satan is the one who has brought about natural disasters (which is Joseph Prince’s view), we are still confronted with the same problem – then why didn’t God stop Satan, and instead allow him to harm His own children?
If one argues that God cannot stop Satan from causing these natural disasters, that means God is not sovereign over Satan and the forces of nature – and that to me is close to heresy.
Noah did escape God’s wrath in the flood, but he was still affected in that he lost everything, except his family.
Was Satan the one who had caused the flood that wipes out the world?
It was God who sent it (Gen 6:17; 2 Pet 2:5) because He has the power to kill and destroy.
God had given them enough time to repent, but they refused.
He was brimming with righteous and burning anger with the unrepentant people of the world that He had to destroy them.
“If God had destroyed the world once by flood and will do it again by fire, nothing could stop Him from using natural disasters to judge the nations.” (George Ong)
It cannot be helped that God’s righteous judgement on unbelievers does affect believers too.
If believers were to escape by coming out alive from natural disasters, they could not avoid the adverse consequences caused by them.
Their homes can be destroyed the same way as the unsaved.
Although Noah escapes the flood, he cannot avoid the mess of building the ark and staying with the smelly animals for quite a season.
Although the righteous Lot escaped with his life when God’s judgement fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah, he lost everything in the destruction of the fire.
When God’s judgement fell upon the wicked, the adverse effects on the righteous cannot be avoided.
Jesus had warned believers in Jerusalem to flee (Lk 21:22-23) – to avoid being slaughtered by the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
In AD 70, when the prophesied judgement of Jesus came on Jerusalem, though the believers in Jerusalem who listened to Jesus fled and their lives were spared, they lost their homes and possessions (Lk 21:22-23).
Although Christians took heed to Christ’s warning escaped with their lives, they lost everything they had by leaving them all behind in Jerusalem.
When God’s judgement falls upon the wicked through natural disasters, the adverse suffering of His people cannot be avoided.
We have to face the fact that believers would also suffer when God judges the wicked through natural calamities.
Yet, one cannot jump to the naive conclusion that God is not responsible for natural disasters just because His people had to suffer the adverse effects.
Just because it can affect believers does not mean that God is not the one who causes natural disasters.
Even the lives of believers can be lost.
But even if the saved were to die from such wrath, they will never face the eventual and everlasting wrath of God that the unsaved would suffer by being sent to the lake of fire.
The consoling and comforting fact is that believers who die during such disasters would be ushered to heaven earlier than most people.
The ‘worst’ (or the best, actually) that can happen to us is that it only rushes us to heaven early.
So is that so terrible?
We get to see the Lord Jesus and Father God earlier than many believers do.
Frankly, is this all that bad for believers?
From a heavenly and eternal perspective, it is the most glorious thing that could have happened.
Believers, who have placed their faith and hope in Christ, will never lose, either way, even in death.
This is not a copout argument but a liberating truth that while our bodies may die, our soul will live forever in the bosom of God.
The rebellious world we live in is cursed by God.
The Bible tells us that God’s wrath is being poured out all the time.
The sinful world is experiencing God’s wrath all the time.
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Rom 1:18 NIV).
Paul didn’t say God’s wrath is going to be revealed or may be revealed.
He says God’s wrath is already being revealed against a godless and sinful world.
So, should we surprise at the righteous judgement of God on an ungodly world through natural disasters?
Even though wars between nations are not natural calamities, it does paint the same picture that both believers and unbelievers can be injured and even killed.
But this is not to say that believers should be resigned to their ‘fate’ and they shouldn’t cry to God for help.
God may, in His sovereign will, choose to deliver believers (not every) from their suffering and saved their lives.
There is no need to fear, but we can choose to trust God.
Jer 17:7-8 NIV
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Prophet Jeremiah did not say that the one who trusts in the Lord will not have the problems of hot weather and drought to cope with.
But throughout the drought, God will supernaturally provide for him.
This brings to our mind about the supernatural providence of Elijah when he was fed by ravens during a time of famine in Israel (1 Kgs 17:1-6).
The righteous can trust God in what David wrote, “…in days of famine they will enjoy plenty…” (Ps 37:19 NIV).
Obedience to God and common-sense wisdom must be observed to avoid being caught in the full blow of God’s wrath that is aimed at the ungodly and lessens the adverse effect.
In obedience to God, Noah had to build his ark, Lot had to run for the hills, and the Jerusalem Christians had to flee from their city in AD 70.
In Acts 11, Prophet Agabus warned of an imminent famine that could be catastrophic to believers in Judea.
An offering was received by Paul and Barnabas for their relief (Acts 11:28-30).
Such things can still occur today, and we must be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is telling us and do the necessary.
Elisha informed a woman of impending famine and told her to stay away for a while (2 Kgs 8:1-2).
2 Kgs 8:1-2 NIV
1 Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.”
2 The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.
What if she refused to listen to Elijah?
In Revelation 18, God’s people were warned to come out of ‘Babylon’ to avoid being caught up in God’s impending judgement on her.
Rev 18:4-8 NIV
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
Demos Shakarian, the late president and founder of the Full Gospel Businessmen (International), shared a moving account of how believers escape from the brink of death.
God had spoken through an illiterate boy (prophet) to believers living in Armenia in the late 1800s and warned them of an impending holocaust.
As a result, thousands of Pentecostal Christians who believed in such supernatural manifestations fled the country, including Shakarian’s own grandparents.
Not long afterwards, the Turks invaded Armenia and slaughtered over a million Armenians, including those Christians who refused to heed God’s warning.
It behooves us to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to God during such times of testing.
My last point before I conclude is that no matter what happens, we must learn to trust God even though things don’t make sense to us.
One must soberly remember that sometimes the godly can become the severe victims of a natural disaster.
Job’s children were killed not because they were wicked, but because God wanted to test their father.
So God allowed Satan to cause a strong wind that resulted in their deaths.
Losing one child is already traumatic enough.
Losing all ten children in one go can drive a parent to go mad.
But thank God for Job, who persevered, and he had learned to trust God even though the reasons why God had to test him were not made known to him.
“Trusting God is most challenging when His silence to our deepest pain is most deafening.” (George Ong)
To recap, the Bible has testified that God is sovereign over the earth, and this includes Satan’s kingdom as well.
Yet, Joseph Prince has deceived many believers that Satan possesses more power than he actually does – that he can even control the forces of nature and cause natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, to kill and destroy.
The truth is God is sovereign over the forces of nature, not Satan (Job 38:22-38; Jer 5:24; 10:13; 31:35; Psa 105:16; 135:6-7; Matt 5:45, etc).
God’s use of the forces of nature is clearly evident in the episode of how Joshua defeated the kings:
“As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites” (Jos 10:11 NIV).
Even Satan is a created being operating under the sovereignty of God.
I have also listed plenty of occasions in the scriptures where God uses natural disasters as a means to judge and destroy deserving people.
It seems that Joseph Prince has either gone blind when he reads the Bible or is just mentally deleting all these passages of scriptures from the word of God.
Joseph Prince has the reckless abandon to teach the doctrine that Satan has direct control over the forces of nature to bring about natural disasters when there isn’t a single text that could support such a stand.
The only one, as I have highlighted, is the strong winds that Satan caused that resulted in the death of Job’s children.
Even in that example, Satan could control the wind only because God has permitted him to.
Although Satan is much more powerful than us, he is nevertheless subject to God’s sovereign control.
Satan can and does cause great trouble, but only to the extent, God allows him (Job 1-2).
Satan is a defeated foe.
He has been cast down from heaven (Lk 10:18).
He is cursed in the Garden (Gen 3:15).
He is defeated at the cross (Col 2:15).
And he is awaiting his execution at the final judgement (Rev 20:10).
Although Satan will do whatever he can to mess things up for us because his time is short, particularly for believers who live during the three and a half years of Great Tribulation (Rev 12:12), he is still under God’s control.
So, the teaching that it is Satan who causes an earthquake or hurricane, and even though God would like to curtail Satan’s powers and stop these disasters, but He can’t, is totally unbiblical, and an insult to God.
Joseph Prince teaches the false doctrine that since God is a God of love, He is not responsible for sending the natural disasters, but Satan is.
The result is a serious doctrinal error because God’s wrath is trivialised and His warning for the people to repent of their sins, through natural disasters, is annulled.
When people do not take the opportunity to repent of their sins, their destiny would be the lake of fire.
That is why I have said time and again, that the many false teachings of Joseph Prince can lead one to hell.
We must never forget that God is a God of judgement both in the Old Testament as well as the New.
All the earthquakes in Revelation are attributed to God’s judgement.
The last one will be the greatest earthquake the world has ever experienced (Rev 16:18-20).
Never forget that the God who judges yesterday still judges today.
If God will banish wicked people to hell, why would He not judge evil and unrepentant people on earth through an earthquake or some other natural disasters?