Joseph Prince’s Teaching that Natural Disasters such as COVID-19 are only Caused by Satan & not God is a Lie (Subtitle: Is COVID-19 Caused by God or Satan?): Part 3 of 3 Parts – By Rev George Ong (Dated 3 Jan 2022)


(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, NCCS office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)




Joseph Prince, by his teaching that Satan, not God, is the cause of natural disasters, such as COVID-19, would mislead believers to end up rebuking the devil instead of repenting of their sins.


Prince, by putting the responsibility on the devil for natural disasters, instead of God, is a ‘clever’ but deadly scheme of excusing believers for taking the responsibility to repent. (Lk 13:3,5)


The real motive for Joseph Prince to let God off the hook for the cause of natural disasters is not to protect God, but to get ourselves off the hook to repent of our sins.” (Lk 13:3,5)


This is the lethal poison of Joseph Prince’s teaching that will send unrepentant people to hell as Jesus Himself said, “If you don’t repent, you will perish.” (Lk 13:3,5)


Just think – if Joseph Prince attributes such ‘natural disasters’ to the devil, he is effectively fighting God and the very purpose for which He sends them.


The plain refusal for Joseph Prince to accept that a given earthquake or hurricane or pestilence such as COVID-19, is the work of God or allowed by Him to judge the people to get them to repent, and attribute it to the devil instead, is no simple error but a great sin.


When the Pharisees attributed the work of God to the work of Satan, Jesus pronounced that whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven (Matt 12:22-32, esp V31-32).




This is Part 3 and the last of the above same topic. To have a deeper grasp of the topic, you are advised to read Part 1 and 2.


For those who missed Part 1, please click here to read. And those who haven’t got a chance to read Part 2, please click here.


The main gist of this article is to prove the Biblical principle that though natural disasters could be caused by Satan or/and the sins of humankind, God is ultimately responsible, and He cannot be left off the hook.


The recognition of this fact does not speak ill of God, but it speaks well of Him – that He has sovereignty over everything, including the occurrence of every single natural disaster around the world. 


Joseph Prince, by attributing every natural disaster to Satan as ruler of this world, because God is not in control of it (well, Prince won’t say it this way but this is what his teaching implies), is preaching a different God of the Bible.


Prince is preaching a God who is not sovereign over His creation, including natural disasters and is not all-powerful to stop Satan from causing them. If God is a God of love and not wrath and will always protect us from every virus, as Joseph Prince (falsely) teaches, how could He stand idly by when Satan is having a field day infecting 280 million people and killing 5.4 million lives, including believers?


There isn’t a shred of evidence that Satan had caused all the natural disasters or even a single one of them both in the Old and New Testament that Joseph Prince falsely teaches. Instead, most of the earthquakes, famines, etc, especially in the Old Testament, were attributed to God Himself.


A. God Cannot Be Left off The Hook.


A minister related an incident involving a group of pastors who were chatting about a recent earthquake. They were of the opinion that since the earth is under the curse, earthquakes and other calamities are ‘naturally’ expected to occur, and God has nothing to do with natural disasters.


But, strangely, after the fellowship, the pastor, who led in the closing prayer, thanked God for the timing of the earthquake. This was because the earthquake occurred early in the morning before the rush hours, resulting in much lesser casualties.


Think with me, if God has nothing to do with the earthquake, why was the pastor thanking God for the timing of its occurrence? Why is he implying that God could somehow control the natural disaster by causing it to occur at a time where minimum casualties are caused? Is the pastor not contradicting himself?


There is an uneasy feeling that God must be protected at all costs as natural disasters, which cause massive casualties, are bound to affect His reputation as a loving and gracious God.


Hence, there are believers, who take it upon themselves to try to defend God by absolving Him of any responsibility for these dreadful earthquakes, which can result in untold suffering on those who are affected. They are more anxious than God Himself ‘to get Him off the hook’ so that His loving and gracious image isn’t marred in any way.


But Joseph Prince is worse as he is more concerned about protecting his theology of natural disasters from being exposed to be flawed rather than protecting God Himself. His false teaching is that the New Covenant God of love and grace, as opposed to the Old Covenant God of wrath and law, can never be the cause of natural disasters that bring destruction on the earth and to people.


Some portray natural disasters as a mystery – as if God is a bystander, and He is so weak that He can’t prevent the occurrences of these disasters. Others push all blame on the wicked old devil, who is all out to kill and destroy. They give the impression that God is too loving to cause even the loss of one innocent life.


What is the reason for all these efforts of trying to protect and explain for God, when the scriptures are rather clear that such natural disasters are often an expression of God’s judgement and wrath on the ungodly world (Rom 1:18)?


The reason has to do with the fears of these people. The fear is that if we tell our unbelieving friends and relatives the truth – that God is responsible for the natural disasters, we may drive them away from the Christian Faith.


Why would people tolerate and have anything to do with such a God who could bring untold suffering on the people through the horrifying earthquakes and deadly pestilences such as COVID-19, which has taken a toll on every nation of the world? 


But in trying to get God off the hook, there is the danger of portraying an unbiblical picture of God. There is a real risk of painting the wrong picture of a God who is weak. We can end up giving a false representation of a finite God who can’t quite handle the forces of nature so much so it has gone out of His control. How can such a God, who cannot control a natural disaster, be trusted to overcome evil on the final day of reckoning? That’s not how the scriptures portray God.


The word of God testifies of a God who has total control over His creation, and especially, the forces of nature:


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1 NLT).


“You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations” (Psa 65:6-7 NLT).


“The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours – you created it all. You created north and south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name. Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength” (Psa 89:11-13 NLT).


“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing (Isa 40:26 NLT).


“Then he (Jesus) got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm” (Matt 8:26 NLT).


Everyone would agree that the mighty God is the one who created the humongous universe. It would not make any sense, if God, who has the power to create the heavens and the earth, now has difficulty controlling it.


To say that God has nothing to do with natural disasters, or that He can’t control them because of the fallen world, or that the control of it has been passed on to Satan, as Joseph Prince falsely teaches, doesn’t help to repair His reputation at all. In fact, it’s a total disservice to God and great insult to His sovereignty as it is downright unbiblical.


The Bible never portrays a God who is so weak that He cannot control what He has created – the forces of nature. God has the power to control over His entire creation and every natural disaster that has occurred and will occur on the earth.


God does not have a hands-off policy for natural disasters. God has not suddenly become a weakling and lost His control over Satan for him to do anything he likes. The ultimate control of the forces of nature belongs to God.


God is in the know of every earthquake, hurricane, tsunami and pestilence, including COVID-19 that occurs; and if they occur, God must have allowed them. The picture is the same in the case of Job and his children. Even though Satan caused the wind that brought about the death of Job’s children, it was God who permitted him. 


That is why at the loss of his cattle, his servant and finally all his 10 children, Job said:


“the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21 NIV).


Job recognises that God has sovereign control even over his adversities, no matter how trying they are. 


A minister related this incident that after a tsunami that hit the shores of many nations, a pastor was asked whether God had anything to do with the disaster. His reply was that God has nothing to do with the tsunami as the issue as to why it happened demands a geological answer, not a theological answer. The answer may be scholarly impressive, but it is rather clear that this pastor was skirting the issue and avoiding the tough truth.


All of us are aware that the cause of earthquakes is due to a fault beneath the earth’s crust, but we cannot run away from the fact that the primary cause is God. This is the same with hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and floods. If God had wanted to stop a natural disaster, He has the power to do it anytime and anywhere supernaturally. God is in charge of His creation.


He is not only the Creator, but He is also the Sustainer of all His creation:


“… He is the one through whom God created the universe…

sustaining the universe with his powerful word” (Heb 1:2-3 GNT).


“…through whom he made the world and everything there is…

He regulates the universe by the mighty power of his command” (Heb 1:2-3 TLB).


If Christ has supernaturally stopped a wind in the Sea of Galilee (Mk 4:39), both the Lord Jesus and Father God could also stop any hurricane or pestilence such as COVID-19 that occurs anywhere in the world, if they wanted to.


This pastor, who postures that those tsunamis are geologically caused and not caused by God, would have to tell us who sent the flood:


I am going to send a flood on the earth to destroy every living being. Everything on the earth will die” (Gen 6:17 GNT).


Can the flood be explained just by geology? No, because it was God who determined when the flood would take place and how long it would last.


If any of you were alive together with Noah, trying to convince Noah that God had nothing to do with the weather that caused the flood, Noah wouldn’t have believed you.


You may use the argument that believers have always resorted to – how can a God of love be so cruel and heartless as to destroy the entire world with a flood? – Still, Noah wouldn’t be persuaded by you.


Those, such as Joseph Prince, who use the argument of God’s love, are the same people who hide the fact that it is because of the sins of humankind that the patient and longsuffering God had to put up with. There came a time when God said, “Enough is enough,” and He poured His wrath on every human being on the face of the earth and killed them all. The flood is just one example that God uses the forces of nature to judge and destroy humankind. 


There are many other examples, and here’s just a sampling:


Who sent the plagues on Egypt at the time of Moses (Ex 7:17-18; 8:1-4, 16-17, 20-22; 9:1-4, 8-9, 22-23; 10:4-5, 21-22; 11:4-7)?


Who caused the sun to stand still so that Joshua and the Israelites could gain victory over their enemies (Jos 10:13)?


Who stopped the rain and then brought rain when Elijah prayed (1 Kgs 17:1; 18:1; Lk 4:25; Jas 5:17)?


Who brought about the earthquakes that swallowed Korah and his followers (Num 16:1-40; 26:8-10)?


Who caused the storm that compelled the sailors to throw Jonah into the sea: Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up” (Jonah 1:4)?


Does anyone dare say that God did not cause or did not allow the occurrence of all these calamities?


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):


Isaiah 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.


Don’t you agree that the Bible isn’t as concerned about God’s reputation as some theologians or pastors do? The Bible never tries to lessen any negative impact that would affect God’s reputation, and clearly states that God has control over the forces of nature: the wind, the rain, and the disasters of the earth, and he uses them to judge and kill. He does anything that he wants as He sees fit:


“The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. 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 135:6-7).


So, whose reputation are they really concerned about? Are they really concerned about God’s reputation?


Or is Joseph Prince more jittery that his Grace Theology about the non-involvement of God over the natural disasters is about to be exposed and torn to shreds? Joseph Prince is more anxious about protecting his false Grace Theology from being exposed than protecting God.


We ought to note that God is personally involved in all the above examples – the natural disasters. Regardless of whether it is a plague, an earthquake, a strong wind, or a threatening storm, each of the events occurred according to how God has ordained. Furthermore, these disasters were acts of judgement by which God judged and dealt with the sins and disobedience of His people. 


The comforting thing is that God had also used an earthquake to protect and vindicate His people, both in the Old and the New Testament.


God sent an earthquake to help Saul and Jonathan gain victory over their enemies:


“Then panic struck the whole (enemy) army – those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties – and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God” (1 Sam 14:15 NIV).


God, also, through an earthquake, delivered Paul and Silas from prison:


“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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 16:25-26).


One needs to note that both earthquakes didn’t happen by chance. God’s hand was on both earthquakes. Any and every natural disaster is linked to God, and God cannot be left out of the picture.


B. Whether The Weather Is Good Or Adverse, God Is In Control Of them.


God is in control of His creation. The physical laws He has set in place to govern the weather and the forces of nature, all act in accordance with His sovereign will. There are plenty of Biblical references that affirm God’s sovereign control over the weather (Please also refer to Part 1 and 2 of the same topic).


The term “acts of God” is used by many insurance companies to refer to major natural disasters. One has to note that every occurrence of weather, whether it be a refreshing rain on a hot day or a destructive tsunami that destroys lives, are “acts of God”. Don’t ever believe the lie of Joseph Prince, who teaches that these are “acts of Satan”:


Job 37: 6, 9-13 NLT

6 “He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down.” 9 “The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold. 10 God’s breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water. 11 He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with his lightning. 12 The clouds churn about at his direction. They do whatever he commands throughout the earth. 13 He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love.”


Psalms 19:1 NIV

1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”


If the heavens declare the glory of God (Psa 19:1), this means that God reveals His power and glory through the positive side of nature. In the same way, doesn’t the ‘negative’ side – the calamities of nature in the earthquakes and hurricanes also reveal something about His power, glory and judgement?


Both the warm sunshine and threatening storms come from the same God. He uses the forces of nature both to bless some and curse others. If the lovely sunshine reflects the beauty of heaven, the deadly hurricane is a small foretaste of the suffering of hell.


The Apostle Paul himself teaches that God can be both kind and severe. He is kind to those who appreciate His kindness, but He could also be severe toward those who disobey Him (Rom 11:22):


22 See then the kindness and severity of God: to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; for otherwise you too will be cut off. (Rom 11:22 NASB)


Hence, Joseph Prince is blatantly lying when he said he had learnt his Grace Theology from Paul – that the New Covenant God is only loving and gracious, and always pleased with His people, but He will never be severe towards them.


Isn’t it natural for us to affirm that good weather such as warm sunshine on a breezy day is from God? But, strangely, Joseph Prince, would, at the same time, disclaim bad weather such as the occurrence of a hurricane as coming from the same God.


This is something which is puzzling and unacceptable, given the fact that the Bible has repeatedly affirmed God’s role and responsibility – whether the weather is good or bad.


Astonishingly, those who are of the view that God shouldn’t be blamed for adverse weather that brings harm and death, are the same people who would not hesitate to pray for good weather for their wedding, if it suddenly turns bad?


Christian farmers, who are caught in a drought, would, without delay, pray to God to send the rain. Believers, if they are ever caught in a hurricane, would instinctively pray urgently for God’s protection and for the weather to change for the better. Those who claim God has no control over the weather and natural disasters would start praying for His intervention when a typhoon is approaching.


The funny thing is the moment we start praying for God to intervene to stop a hurricane, we are acknowledging that He is in full control of the weather, and that He could prevent the occurrence of a natural disaster.


(For Joseph Prince who pushes the view that Satan is the cause of the most terrible natural disaster, and yet God didn’t stop him from doing it, even though He is a God of power and love, and will always protect us from every virus attack, as Joseph Prince has (falsely) assured us, just doesn’t make any logical and biblical sense.)


Pause, think and ask yourself – for God to be God, He has to be in control of everything He has created, including the forces of nature. If He is not in control of natural disasters, then He is not God.


God is in control over the most massive storms and even the most minute areas of our lives.


Didn’t Jesus say:


“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows” (Lk 12:6-7 GNT).


Didn’t Jesus say,


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” (Matt 10:29 NIV).


The God who cares for the fragile sparrows and won’t forget them, and even counts the hairs on our heads, is also the same God who is in charge and in control of the forces of nature.


We should thank God if an earthquake occurred at a time where the minimum damage to properties was caused, and the least number of casualties was sustained. By thanking God, whether we realise it or not, we are acknowledging He has control over the weather.


So, the moment people such as Joseph Prince go on to say God isn’t responsible for the natural disaster, which can do harm to people, we aren’t acting logically and biblically.


It is easy to posture the view that the loving and merciful God has nothing to do with natural disasters that brought pain, suffering and death to people when others are caught in it. But one would start to think and respond differently when it is your son who is caught in a hurricane or your wife who is swept away by the raging floods. What do you do, seriously?


You would put all your (wrong) theology aside, and start to cry out to God for help to locate them, hoping that they are still alive. Your view that God is not in control of the weather to have caused the hurricane and the flood would collapse.


You would have to agree that God must be in control over everything. And that’s why you are praying for the safety of your son and wife, and perhaps that the hurricane or flood would abate so as to make it easier for rescuers to locate them.


If we can accept that the stunning scenery of nature displays God’s attributes of His creativity and beauty, can’t we also accept that the tragedies of nature in the earthquakes and the floods, etc, are a reflection of His anger, wrath and justice towards sin (Rom 1:18)?


Zechariah 10:1 NIV

1 “Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.”


Nahum 1:3-4 NIV

3 “The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry…”


Psalms 46:1-3, 10-11 NIV

1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” 10 “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”


Think about this – if natural disasters are not from God, and they are from Satan, or due to natural causes, this means God has lost control over them. If natural disasters are out of God’s control, then what goes on in my life is also out of God’s control.


But if I believe everything that happens to my life is under God’s control, then I must also have the confidence to trust that every single natural disaster is also under His control.


All it took for the Lord Jesus to stop the stormy waves at the Sea of Galilee, is just three words, “Peace, be still!” (Mk 4:39 NIV). If Satan or nature caused the deadly tsunami, the Lord Jesus could have stopped it (if He wanted to) as He did to the waves of the Galilean Sea.


But for many of the calamities that occur on earth, the Lord Jesus didn’t stop them. He either causes it or allows it to happen for His sovereign purpose.


What Jonah had experienced testified to God’s sovereign control over the forces of nature:


“Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 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” (Jonah 4:5-8 NIV).


C. Natural Disasters For Divine Purposes.


Natural disasters are viewed negatively by humankind. Nevertheless, they are used by God for His own sovereign purposes:


First, God is unveiled as a powerful God and not to be trifled with. Calamities and natural disasters display God’s power to humankind:


“or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you (Pharaoh) up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Ex 9:14-16 NIV).


And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant” (Ex 14:31 NIV).


Second, the earthly calamities are used by God to warn the people of the world of the greatest calamity – the impending and eternal judgement that will banish them to hell. A physical catastrophe that injures fatally and kills physically is nothing as compared with the ultimate damnation and suffering that is eternal. Thus, a tsunami or an earthquake or a pestilence is a warning from Jesus to repent:


3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Lk 13:3-5).


Third, believers who passed the test of God’s discipline and chastisement through natural disasters are strengthened and toughened in their faith (Jas 1:2-3; Heb 12:5-11).


Fourth, godly believers may be taken to heaven; and the ungodly unbelievers would be removed from the earth. Though this is a tough truth to accept, one must bear in mind that God is sovereign over every life.


God has assured believers that their days are ordained by God even before birth:


“Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed” (Psa 139:16 CJB).


God will also destroy the ungodly through a sudden catastrophe:


“Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors” (Psa 73:18-19 NIV)!


Fifth, natural disasters are the judgement of God on the ungodly and the unrepentant.


The Apostle Paul states:


“the wrath of God is revealed (is being revealed) from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…” (Rom 1:18).


The Psalmist states:


“God is a righteous judge and a God who shows his wrath every day. If anyone does not repent, he will sharpen his sword; he has strung his bow and made it ready. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he tips his arrows with fire” (Psa 7:11-13 CSB).


God loves to show His mercy and forgiveness to the wicked and the repentant sinner (Ezek 33:11; Isa 55:7). When the wicked repents and turns to God, the Lord will be merciful and forgiving.


But what if the wicked are unrepentant? According to Paul, the unrepentant are storing up wrath against themselves for the day of judgement:


“Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed” (Rom 2:5 CSB).


If Romans 2:5 is to be believed, why should Joseph Prince be surprised that these unrepentant people can meet with tragedies and natural disasters as God’s judgement and wrath on them? Why is he teaching against his mentor, Paul – as Joseph Prince teaches that God would not judge the world by His wrath by His use of evil men and natural disasters?


God is merciful to the repentant wicked, but His wrath is on the unrepentant, and He judges them. God is a loving and forgiving God to the repentant, who turn from their sins, and that is why “He commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).


Although God is gracious and merciful towards all who repent of their sins, such grace and mercy are bestowed only up to a point on those who are unrepentant and defy Him. There comes a time when God says, “Enough is enough.” It is, therefore, no surprise that God judges and pours His wrath on this largely unrepentant world with tragedies and natural disasters.


D. Opening The Door To Satan?


Joseph Prince has made a statement that goes something like this,


“We can open the door to the devil because of our fears or self-condemnation.”


Other believers may say that we can give the devil a foothold because of disobedience, and we can put ourselves in the devil’s territory where he can afflict us. These are frequently said by those who hold to the position – that because of the love of God, natural disasters couldn’t have been caused by Him.


While there could be some truth in us opening ourselves to the attack of the devil, it has often been taken to an extreme, where the discipline and judgement of God have been annulled.


Because of this wrong understanding, we wrongly blame our every trial on the devil when God is the one who is trying to get our attention for our complacency or lukewarmness or disobedience by knocking some sense into us.


Never forget that while God is love, He is, at the same time, a holy judge. If we have any doubts about whether God still judges people and pours out His wrath on them today under the New Covenant, just reading the Book of Revelation will convince us.


God is, indeed, gracious, patient and full of compassion, but when His mercy is repeatedly spurned, His judgement will ultimately fall. The author of Hebrews warns us that it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31). The same author also cautions us that God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral (Heb 13:4).


Again, the Apostle Paul reminds us that while God is kind, He can, at the same time, be severe in His dealings with us (Rom 11:22). So, we must not be foolish to mistake God’s discipline and judgement on us for the attacks of the devil because we have “opened the door to the devil.”


The hard truth is, disobedient and sinning believers can open the door to God’s discipline or judgement, and God can sovereignly use Satan and his demons to discipline and judge those who are disobedient.


Joseph Prince, by his teaching that Satan, not God, is the cause of natural disasters, such as COVID-19, would mislead believers to end up rebuking the devil instead of repenting of their sins.


Prince, by putting the responsibility on the devil for natural disasters, instead of God, is a ‘clever’ but deadly scheme of excusing believers for taking the responsibility to repent. (Lk 13:3,5)


The real motive for Joseph Prince to let God off the hook for the cause of natural disasters is not to protect God, but to get ourselves off the hook to repent of our sins.” (Lk 13:3,5)


This is the lethal poison of Joseph Prince’s teaching that will send unrepentant people to hell as Jesus Himself said, “If you don’t repent, you will perish.” (Lk 13:3,5)


God has used Satan and evil vessels to accomplish His own divine purposes of punishing His own covenantal people. He is still using and will use the devil to achieve His own divine plans. He is sovereign, even over Satan.


The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all (Psa 103:19). God, using evil people for His own purposes, is not something which is unthinkable. God told Prophet Habakkuk that He would use the evil Babylonians to chastise His people (two tribes).


If the same thing were to happen in the New Testament about God using the evil Babylonians to punish His people, it would never be accepted by Joseph Prince. Joseph Prince would spin his explanation to deceive the people that the Babylonians are sent by the devil to cause devastation to His people. 


Assuming again if we are living in the New Testament, when we see the evil Babylonians coming to attack us, we must never fall into the deception of Joseph Prince, who would try to convince us that it is the devil who is coming to attack us.


Joseph Prince would insist,


“God will never commit such evil acts against His people.   It’s the devil who is behind it.”  


Friends, it wasn’t the devil, but God Himself who sent the evil Babylonians to punish His own covenantal people for their sins. So, if we are living during Habakkuk’s time, we should be repenting of our sins and not push the adversities that we are going through onto the devil.


By blaming the devil as Joseph Prince would do is a backhanded way of affirming and congratulating our self-righteous conceit – that we have no sins to repent of that God is displeased with. This is what Joseph Prince falsely teaches – we must not confess or repent of our sins as every single future sin has been forgiven – and it would be an insult to God if we confess our sins. 


Just think – if Joseph Prince attributes such ‘natural disasters’ to the devil, he is effectively fighting God and the very purpose for which He sends them.


The plain refusal for Joseph Prince to accept that a given earthquake or hurricane or pestilence such as COVID-19, is the work of God or allowed by Him to judge the people to get them to repent, and attribute it to the devil instead, is no simple error but a great sin.


When the Pharisees attributed the work of God to the work of Satan, Jesus pronounced that whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven (Matt 12:22-32, esp V31-32).


Just as God had used the evil Babylonians to punish His people (two tribes), He had also used the wicked Assyrians to judge the 10 tribes (Isa 10:5-6):


Isaiah 10:5-6 NIV 

5 “Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! 6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets.


God declares that the Assyrians were the rod of His anger and the club of His wrath (Isa 10:5-6). The Assyrians were the ones doing the clubbing, but the real person behind the ‘Assyrian club and rod’ is God.


Similarly, natural disasters could be used by God to punish both His New Covenant people and the ungodly world. God, not the devil, was sending the wicked Assyrians against Israel, His Old Covenant people.


In the same way, God could also send evil terrorists to commit atrocities against the people of the world. The Sep 11 incident is one example. Even though we may see enormous evil in the midst of terrorist acts, God is always sovereignly at work. He is in control, and He is working out His own ordained purposes.


The most dangerous man to listen to during such times is Joseph Prince who would say,


“Perish the thought that God is the one who sends the evil terrorists. God is not a terrorist. If God is love, how could He send such evil upon us? My God is too gracious, merciful and kind to commit such evil acts that destroyed countless lives.”


George would say to Joseph Prince,


“Joseph Prince, you are right. God would not act in such a way simply because He is not the real God, but the God you concoct out of your own imagination, instead of the words of scripture. Sure, such an imaginary God would not do that at all.”


God could even use the devil and his wicked cohorts to deal with the sin of His people. But God will not let such evil people off – the wicked people He had used without judging them. He would deal with the very evil people that He used to accomplish His purpose (Isa 10:12-13):


Isaiah 10:12-13 NIV

12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says: “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings.


E. Weep With Those Who Weep.


All of us are well aware that going through a natural disaster isn’t an easy thing to cope, notwithstanding the fact that God may send them to discipline and punish us. Those who are not affected must learn to grieve with those who have gone through a recent natural disaster. Weeping with those who weep is the least we could do.


Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about the cruel Babylonians who will conquer His people and bring atrocities and suffering to them. Prophet Jeremiah, who prophesied the severe judgement of God on His people, is the same prophet who grieved with them. Though it was God who inflicted the judgement on His people (Lam 1:1-15), Prophet Jeremiah still wept over their misfortune:


“For all these things I weep; tears flow down my cheeks” (Lam 1:16 NLT).


Jeremiah models for us that we can and must be both people of compassion and those who are faithful to the tough truth. 


It was God who judged His people by using a wicked nation to destroy Jerusalem. But Prophet Jeremiah wasn’t upset with God, nor did he play down the well-deserved suffering of the people. He grieved over their misfortune, even though it was they who had brought such suffering on themselves. He lamented over the fact that it was the disobedience of the people that had caused God to punish them.


We must have the courage to approach natural disasters with the tough truths that the scriptures had already revealed. Yet, at the same time, our love for the people must drive us to weep for them in their suffering.


By teaching that it is God who either causes a disaster or allows it to happen, it does not lessen our responsibility to pray, to have compassion, and to even weep with those who weep – for those whose lives are devastated.


John Piper rightly stated,


“When the Bible says, ‘Weep with those who weep’ (Rom 12:15 NLT), it does not add, ‘unless God caused the weeping’.”


Can anyone witnessing God’s destruction of the world in time past during Noah’s times; or surveying the vast devastation caused by a tsunami or the millions of lives that were lost in the COVID-19, not weep (if not through our eyes, then at least in our hearts)?


We must be prophetic and priestly in our approach to those who are suffering from natural disasters.


Prophetic – being true to the tough truths that the scriptures have revealed about God’s role in natural disasters, whether directly or indirectly.


Priestly – in our identification with human suffering and their hopelessness and distress.


Our compassion must lead to our practical acts of love to help alleviate human suffering. Thank God that the Church has always been at the forefront of reaching out to those who are affected by natural disasters, and offering hope amidst the suffering. 


The Book of Lamentations, which describes Jeremiah’s grief over God’s judgement on His nation, acknowledged the fact that God is still merciful in His judgement:


“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam 3:22-23 NLT).


It may be God who had sent an earthquake or a hurricane, but we also must do our part to save lives and care for the wounded. 


We should follow the example of Jeremiah who wept for the people of God, even though they were being punished for their disobedience:


“Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger” (Lam 2:19 NLT).


To pray, be compassionate, and even weep for those whose lives are devastated is to be human. The God of compassion calls us to weep with those who weep. Job’s comforters would have done a better job in ministering to Job if they had wept more with Job and talked less to him.


On our part, we can reach out to those caught in natural calamities. By our acts of love and kindness, we can demonstrate God’s love for people who are experiencing His temporal wrath, but who can be saved from His eternal wrath. The occurrence of natural disasters becomes opportunities to reach out to the affected for whom Jesus died.


It is a fact that people are generally more receptive to the gospel when they are suffering. As people are more receptive to the gospel during a natural disaster, it provides golden opportunities for the demonstration of love and for the harvest to be reaped.


Through our compassionate help and practical assistance, we can demonstrate God’s love for the people, and reach them with the gospel. People would generally be more open to the gospel during times of suffering. Natural disasters should be seen as opportunities for us to show our Christian love in practical deeds and for the gospel to be preached through both our words and actions.


F. Be Sensitive In What We Say.


While I maintain we must uphold the truth of the scriptures about God’s role in natural disasters, please be clear that I am not suggesting that we start to give a doctrinal sermon about God’s role in natural disasters to an audience who is suffering the loss of their loved ones from a recent earthquake.


Never must we offer our doctrinal position that God has a hand in every disaster in a cold and intellectual way to suffering people from a disaster, lest we trivialise the pain of people. This is being insensitive to those who are suffering.


The right thing said at the wrong time could backfire. The right explanation done at the wrong time, when people are suffering, may cause more pain than the help it was meant to offer. The right answers offered at the wrong time could turn out to be more hurtful than helpful.


We need to be very careful about what we say to those who are grieving the loss of a husband or a daughter. Verbal silence and our acts of care and concern are usually what would be appreciated most by those who are affected by the disaster.


The first priority, if we are at the scene of tragedy or a natural disaster, is to help. Saying nothing and doing much to help is the wisest thing one can do to minister to those who are deeply hurting from a destructive natural disaster. 


G. Don’t Flinch From Sharing The Tough Truth.


Yet, we must not go to the other extreme of not having the courage to convey the tough truth sensitively about God’s role in natural disasters when the people are ready for it. 


What shall we tell those who are affected by a natural disaster? We must be honest and tell the tough truth about what the Bible teaches. We need to tell people the truth as lovingly and as sensitively as we can.


What are we to tell the people if they ask us the reasons for their predicament? We need to tell them though God is love, He is at the same time holy. Because He is holy, God would have to deal with sin, and sin would have, not just earthly but eternal consequences.


We could tell them that the fear of having the house shook in an earthquake and being blown away in a hurricane is nothing as compared to the terror of being banished into hell. We could lovingly warn them that when seen from an eternal perspective, the suffering of those who are caught in natural calamities pales into comparison as compared to those who will suffer in the lake of fire. And God is loving enough to give them another chance to repent and believe in Jesus, so as to be saved from the eternal wrath of God.


We must teach them that the fires that they may be experiencing when their house catches fire in an earthquake is nothing compared to the eternal fires that they may go through in the lake of fire. We must warn them that they need to repent and believe in Jesus in order to be saved from God’s eternal wrath (Lk 13:3,5).


There is always the temptation to follow the sentimental, easy and false approach of Joseph Prince by telling that which would be palatable to their human ears: such as the God of love isn’t responsible for the natural disasters, and pestilences such as COVID-19, and that He understands your pain. Satan is the cause of COVID-19 and the culprit for all your miseries.


But what use would that be if our soft and sentimental assurances are built on a false foundation?


We shouldn’t shut our ears and close our eyes to what God has already revealed about His role in natural disasters in the scriptures. Must our counsel to those who are affected by natural disasters that are built on a false foundation take precedence over the hard truths that God wants the people to know?


But wouldn’t we be scaring people about the God who could cause the greatest natural disaster and has caused a pestilence such as COVID-19 that has claimed 5.4 million lives so far, and many more will die in the days to come?


The problem with many believers is that they have been intoxicated with Joseph Prince’s false gospel of an ‘all-love-no-wrath’ God. This false belief of Joseph Prince that we convey to unbelievers of an ‘all-love-and-a-fear-not’ God has deprived them of this crucial factor that might convince and convict them to repent – the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.


No wonder Peter said,


“I most certainly understand now that… “the man who fears Him (God) and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35).


Why are we throwing away this truth that could convict people to receive the gospel?


That’s where we need to believe that


“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov 1:7).


Until people have humbled themselves to fear God, they really don’t know anything.


Joseph Prince is intoxicated with a false doctrine of an all-loving God, who is not angry, judgmental and wrathful. Because of that, people are no longer fearful of God who could send natural disasters to punish the people – which is the very thing that might lead them to repentance.


Would people be angry with God for being the ultimate cause of natural disasters? Yes, many will. That’s where we have to gently help them see their pride and their sins, and repent of them. We need to sensitively help them to appreciate the God who is giving them a second chance because of His love as they may have survived a disaster, instead of cursing God for their calamity.


I don’t believe it is God’s will for people to languish in suffering. But when they keep disregarding Him and continue their rebellious ways, He would resort to drastic measures such as natural disasters and COVID-19 to get their attention. Hopefully, suffering from natural calamities and COVID-19 would wake them up and bring them to come to terms with the God who loves them.


Ironically, His judgement through natural disasters is actually an indication of His love. Through the hardship that natural disasters cause, God is warning people that though He loves, He is at the same time, holy and judgmental, and that there is a consequence for sin.


God allows temporal suffering to wake people up to see their need for a Saviour in order that they might escape the eternal lake of fire – that is love!


The natural disasters and COVID-19 are a warning from God that because He still loves them, He is giving another chance for them to repent (Lk 13:3,5).


The suffering through natural calamities and COVID-19 is to warn and wake the people up to see their need for a Saviour. This is so that they might not be lost forever and be banished for eternal suffering in hell.


Is this not love? – Tough love, though!


God’s love is never the sentimental love that Joseph Prince has deceived the people with, but it is tough love that God often displays in the scriptures, particularly those that have to do with natural disasters and the current pestilence in COVID-19.




I believe I have succeeded in showing that God cannot be left out of the picture from every single natural disaster, including COVID-19 that occurs in the four corners of the globe. We must, no matter how unpalatable and unpopular, be faithful to the tough truth – that God either directly causes or that he allows every natural disaster to take place on the face of the planet.


Yet, at the same time, we must weep with those who weep – those who are afflicted with such trauma, with the hope of winning them to Christ.


Finally, this topic has exposed the falsity of the core doctrine of Joseph Prince – that while the Old Covenant God is wrathful and judging, the New Covenant God is loving and gracious and will never send natural disasters to the earth to afflict people.


The truth is the God of the Old Covenant is the same God of the New, and He is a God of love and grace, and at the same time, a God of wrath and judgement, both in the Old Covenant as well as the New. 


Rev George Ong