KEYWORDS: god, people, life, lord, world, love

World Currents!--No.102: Letter Links

February 11, 2005

(ML #3528, GN 1122)

FD/MM/FM February 2005

Medusa Touch

ML #955:16–19, Vol.8

16. (Dad:) ISN'T THAT THE WAY A LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT GOD? "God‚ You may be right, but Your punishment was too severe! That nation had been a wicked nation, but why did You have to kill millions of them, or hundreds of thousands in an earthquake?" The basic question that comes up & is going to come up in a lot of people's minds … it's an age-old question that has plagued philosophers & theologians & mankind for ages‚ those who are not very convinced or firm believers.

17. IT'S THE OLD QUESTION OF WHAT IS RIGHT & WHAT IS WRONG! The whole World is judging God everyday. The whole World in every disaster that happens are judging God, & most of them are saying God shouldn't have done it, it was too much, too severe, why did God allow such a thing to happen?

18. ONE THING WE CANNOT DENY IS THAT'S AN APPARENT FACT, THERE ARE SUCH DISASTERS & CATASTROPHES, & those things do happen! Could God prevent them? Do you believe that an almighty all-powerful omniscient omnipresent God could prevent them? Let's not even blame Him for causing them, just for the matter of the question at the moment, let's say, "Well, I couldn't believe, that God could cause things like that!" Well, if you believe in God at all, that there is a God & He is all-powerful, if He didn't cause it, couldn't He have prevented it? Then comes up the age-old question again, why did He allow it?

19. THE WHOLE THING COMES DOWN TO THE BASIC QUESTION OF WHAT IS EVIL? And the old theological question that the World always asks the preachers, why does God allow evil in the World? I think we're probably going to be a little surprised one of these days when we get on the other side‚ at the difference between our standards & God's standards:—What God considers evil & what the Devil has taught the World to call evil, which is almost always a reflection on God. Almost always it's something that he wants to reflect on God & as a condemnation of the justice of God.—He's pointing an accusing finger at the Love of God to try to prove that God is neither just nor loving nor merciful—that's the Devil's whole idea!

Why Disasters

ML #959‚ Vol.8 or DB 1

1. (MARIA: WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE LORD DIDN'T WIPE OUT THE BIG WICKED CITY OF NAPLES IN THE ITALIAN EARTHQUAKE but instead dealt with all the little mountain towns around it?) Well, sometimes "His ways are past finding out!" (Rom.11:33.) Well, what comes to me is that He usually deals more strictly with His Own children than He does with the World & the Godless. He deals more stringently with those that know better, "Who know to do good & do it not, to them it's sin." (Ja.4:17.)

2. THE COUNTRY FOLK & SMALL TOWN PEOPLE USUALLY HAVE MORE OF THE TRUTH & KNOW IT BETTER & PROFESS TO FOLLOW IT. They're more religious & churchy & usually more faithful to the old standards & religious teachings than are the godless or anti–God city people that God just sort of seems to let go their way sometimes until they crash themselves.

3. BUT HE DEALS STRICTLY WITH HIS OWN CHILDREN & THOSE WHO ARE THE CLOSEST TO THE TRUTH & KNOW BETTER. Like chastisement‚ "They that are without chastisement are not sons but bastards." (Heb.12:8.) So we're to thank God when we are chastised of the Lord, it's a sign that we are His sons.

4. NO DOUBT THOSE PEOPLE ARE BEING CHASTENED & CHASTISED OF THE LORD FOR THEIR SINS, the things He lets city people get away with because they're not His children & godless & are totally destroying themselves. He doesn't have to chastise them, it wouldn't do any good.

5. HE CHASTISES THE PEOPLE THAT THERE ARE STILL SOME HOPES FOR, & He punishes them & brings down judgments & chastisements on them to try to straighten them out & get them to repent. With the city people there's not much hopes of repentance, besides, He doesn't have to destroy them, they destroy themselves.

6. SO THAT'S ABOUT THE WAY I SEE IT, BECAUSE I KNOW GOD IS RIGHTEOUS & GOD IS JUST! God is fair & God is loving, so I know He knows what's best. If He slaughters thousands in earthquakes & so-called natural disasters which are obviously the judgments of God—"acts of God" even as they're called in insurance policies & laws—then we know that it's God's will & that God is doing it or allowing the Devil to do it for some reason, & that His reasons are good & fair & just & loving & even kind.

7. AFTER ALL‚ EVEN ALL OF THOSE WHO WERE KILLED are as the World would say the "lucky" ones or the blessed ones, because if they did know the Lord or they did have faith or believe, they've gone to a better World where they'll learn better. The ones left behind & suffering either pain or grief are the ones God is still trying to reach.

8. FOR THE OTHERS, THE LESSON IS OVER & SCHOOL IS OUT & THEY'VE GRADUATED TO ANOTHER REALM TO LEARN‚ possibly because they couldn't learn here. But the ones left behind are the ones to feel sorry for who are still suffering sorrow, grief, pain & deprivation. As someone has said, "the living dead," those who still must suffer in this World to learn their lessons before they're ready to go.

9. WHEN GOD TAKES PEOPLE IT MUST BE THEIR TIME FOR SOME REASON. Of course with some, as Jesus said of the Scribes & Pharisees, the most wicked of all, the self–righteous, the hypocrites, He said their time was always ready! (Jn.7:6.) And when they asked Him about the people upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, were they more wicked than others, the Lord gave a rather indirect answer. He said, "I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish!" (Lk.13:4,5.)

10. HE SAID OF THE SELF–RIGHTEOUS, HYPOCRITICAL, CRUEL, SELFISH, DEMON-POSSESSED SCRIBES & PHARISEES, "Ye are of your father the Devil" & "the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews but are not" (Jn.8:44; Rev.2:9), "Your time is always ready!" (Jn.7:6.) In other words, "You could go anytime because your cup of iniquity is full & you could be cut off any time & it would be due to you!"

11. ONLY GOD KNOWS IN HIS WISDOM JUST EXACTLY WHY HE TAKES SO MANY IN A NATURAL DISASTER, like I think 20,000 in Algeria recently & 2‚000 in Italy‚ & hundreds other places, but it's apparently their time. It's a big subject & a big question that the World has wondered over for ages, even Christians & theologians & church leaders: Why does God destroy so many people?

12. WHY DID HE DESTROY THE WHOLE WORLD IN A FLOOD? Because they were so wicked He just couldn't let them continue! They were destroying souls, they were destroying the souls & the spirits & the lives & even the bodies of their own babies‚ so before they could destroy any more & destroy themselves & their children, God destroyed them all! He didn't even want them bringing any more wicked children into the World.

13. HE DEALS MORE WITH THE GOOD PEOPLE & THE BEST PEOPLE‚ THE TRULY GOOD PEOPLE; He deals with them more strictly & chastises them as His children than He does with the totally Godless anti-God wicked. They're not His sons, He doesn't even care for them. He doesn't have to destroy them, they destroy themselves.

14. THE THING THAT PEOPLE WONDER ABOUT IS WHY IT SO OFTEN SEEMS TO STRIKE THE POOR & THE NEEDY & THE HELPLESS & children & the innocent. Well, when you realize there's a better World Hereafter & the afterlife is one to be anticipated & looked forward to, who else but those who are the most suffering & the most innocent need to be relieved of this life & will appreciate the next life more than ever? Who else deserves to go sooner?

15. AS SOMEONE HAS SAID, "THE GOOD DIE YOUNG!" Well, this isn't always true, but it seems often true. Who better deserves to go on to a better World than the good? Yet most people say "they don't deserve to die"; well, that depends on where they're going! "To deserve to die" for us means a promise & something far better than we have now.

16. TO DESERVE TO DIE MEANS WE HAVE FINISHED OUR JOB! "We have fought the good fight, we have kept the faith, & from henceforth is laid up for us a crown of righteousness!" (2Tim.4:7‚8.) So we deserve now to die having finished our job. To us‚ death is literally a blessing & a relief & an exit from the horrors of this World!

17. SO FOR THE POOR & THE SUFFERING & THE STARVING & SICK LITTLE CHILDREN, FOR THEM TO DIE IS A BLESSING! It's the ones who are left behind that are to be pitied, the ones who don't die. But those‚ no doubt, God is trying to teach lessons to & prepare for the afterlife to get them ready to die—which they frequently do soon after their suffering & their sorrow.

18. DEATH IS NOT A CURSE FOR LITTLE CHILDREN & THE INNOCENT & IGNORANT & the poor & the suffering & the less responsible, less accountable. Death is not a curse for them, because they go to a better World & a better life & a relief from the evils of this horrible planet, & so death's a blessing.

19. SO PERHAPS THIS IS WHY THE LORD ALLOWS SO MANY OF THE POOR & THE YOUNG TO DIE, those who are suffering just almost beyond endurance in this life. Therefore the Lord takes them out of their suffering & out of their poverty & out of their pain & out of their starvation, & blesses them with death—which to those upon whom He has such mercy is a mere gateway, a doorway, an entrance to a better life in which they'll be relieved of all this.

20. SO PERHAPS THAT'S WHY THE LORD ALLOWS SO MANY OF THE POOR COUNTRY PEOPLE & VILLAGERS TO DIE IN SOME OF THESE GREAT DISASTERS, because they're the ones who are struggling & starving & suffering & poor & poverty-stricken & oppressed & in pain & oppression almost beyond endurance‚ so God mercifully relieves them from this life. (Maria: And from the suffering brought on by the Devil & his workings, instead of the Lord like most people try to say.) Yes.

21. SO OFTEN THE DEVIL BRINGS ON SUFFERING TO SOME PEOPLE WITHOUT KILLING THEM, HOPING THEY WILL BLAME IT ON GOD & TURN AGAINST GOD & "curse God & die" as Job's wife advised him to do, & as [some] Jews so often do. (Job 2:9.) They blame God for all their troubles & curse Him for them, because they are of their father the Devil & of the Synagogue of Satan & are not Jews but pretend to be what they're not!

22. SO THE LORD ALLOWS THE ENEMY TO TEST PEOPLE TO SEE IF THEY'RE GOING TO ENDURE IN FAITH & TRUST GOD ANYWAY & say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!" (Job 13:15.) And when they express that kind of faith, either He rewards them with relief & new life, or death & new life, one or the other.

23. THE WHOLE THING IS, PEOPLE HAVE DIFFICULTY GETTING OVER THIS HABIT OF CONSIDERING DEATH A COMPLETE CURSE, that to die is horrible & it's awful that all these tens of thousands of people should be killed in great disasters, etc. Well, that's not awful & horrible! The more people that get out of this World‚ the better off they are, much better off! They should be thankful, & they probably are!

24. EXCEPT THE VERY WICKED, WHO GOD SEEMS TO ALMOST IGNORE UNTIL THE VERY END, & then He just completely wipes'm out just to get rid of'm!—No doubt send them to Hell to learn the lessons there that they refused to learn here. (Maria: But the moderately sinful won't go to Hell at all?) Everybody will be rewarded according to his works & according to his sins or whatever they are.

25. HE SAYS THAT THEY WHICH DID THINGS DESERVING PUNISHMENT, STRIPES, HAVING KNOWN THEIR MASTER'S WILL & still did those things, shall be beaten with many stripes—they will receive severe punishment. But those who knew not their Master's will & yet did things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with very few stripes. (Lk.12:47,48.)

26. THEIR PUNISHMENT WILL BE VERY LIGHT, CORRECTIVE, NO DOUBT OF THE CHASTISEMENT NATURE, & they'll undoubtedly then repent & be forgiven & given a new life completely—not the same as those who are saved‚ not the same as those who serve the Lord faithfully here & repented here & now before death, but there are going to be plenty of people repenting after death, that's obvious.

27. JESUS WENT AND PREACHED TO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON, & there wouldn't have been any point in preaching to them if it hadn't been possible for them to repent & be sorry for their sins & to receive some kind of opportunity thereby to get forgiveness & to find a better life, to be delivered from their imprisonment in the heart of the Earth. Whatever it was or what it was like is not clear, but if it's spoken of as a prison, that's bad enough! (Mt.12:40; 1Pet.3:19; 4:6; Eph.4:9.)

28. BUT FOR JESUS TO COME & PREACH TO THEM, IT WAS OBVIOUSLY TO GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO BELIEVE & RECEIVE WHICH THEY HAD NOT HAD, & to be released or saved. That's obvious, you don't even have to argue about it. Theologians argue about it because it doesn't fit their particular doctrine, but it's right there in the Bible plain as day! Why else would Jesus have gone to the trouble to preach to them unless there was a second chance in some way—really their first chance—& an opportunity for them to be sorry & repent & be forgiven & released?

29. GOD PROBABLY HAS AS VARIED TERMS & MEANS OF PUNISHMENT & CORRECTION IN THE AFTERLIFE AS THERE ARE IN THIS LIFE under the System & its laws, etc. He's probably got a great & wide variety to show people how wrong they were & give them an opportunity of repentance & change—as has been manifested in many near-death experiences or of people who have had death experiences. ("Life after Death," ML #850.)

30. GOD ACTUALLY LET THEM LEAVE THIS LIFE TEMPORARILY TO SHOW THEM THEIR MISTAKES WHEN THEY COULDN'T LEARN ANY OTHER WAY; to actually come face to face with the Judgment Angel & be told & showed & taught where they were making their mistakes & what they were doing wrong‚ with the opportunity to correct their life & even allowed to go back & live again in order to change!

31. WELL, IF GOD WILL DO THAT FOR THE LIVING, THEN WHY NOT ALSO FOR THE DEAD? If there's no further opportunity or possibility of them learning & repenting in this life‚ then He takes them on the other side permanently to show them & teach them—& there's no point in showing them unless there's opportunity of repentance & some chance that they'll be able to change.

32. AND IF THERE'S A CHANCE TO REPENT & CHANGE NOT ONLY HERE BUT THERE, THEN THERE MUST BE SOME OPPORTUNITY FOR FORGIVENESS & release from punishment & from chastening & such purging as Purgatory. Purgatory, as the Catholics call it, I believe in! I'm a firm believer in Purgatory, but not necessarily their kind of Purgatory, whether it's Hellfire, Lake of Fire or whatever, it's a purging.

33. IT SEEMS FROM ALL I CAN GATHER FROM THE SCRIPTURE, THAT THE LAKE OF FIRE IS PRETTY BAD PUNISHMENT FOR THE VERY WORST! To be cast in the Lake of Fire you've got to be a pretty wicked sinner who has been really defiant of God & every opportunity God has given you to repent, & have really done a lot of damage & hurt a lot of people; like Hitler & some others‚ someone who has turned many astray.

34. IT ALMOST SEEMS THAT HELL COULD HARDLY BE BAD ENOUGH FOR SOME PEOPLE!—Like some of our enemies who have persecuted their own children & imprisoned them & tortured them to try to persuade them to deny their faith! It seems to me that Hell's almost too good for such people who would take their own children & torture them & even kill them rather than have them change their faith!

35. SO THAT'S THE KIND OF PEOPLE THE LAKE OF FIRE IS RESERVED FOR—including the Devil & the False Prophet & the Antichrist & all his crowd! That's very plain in the Scripture. (Rev.14:11; 19:20; 20:10‚14-15; 21:8.) The very worst, the scribes & the Pharisees, the [hypocrites], & the ultimately wicked who just are horrible & have slaughtered millions & destroyed nations & killed babies & innocent women & children, Hell could hardly be bad enough for some of those people, & it'll be plenty bad! It'll be bad enough‚ God will see to that!

36. BUT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T BEEN THAT HORRIBLE & THAT WICKED, BUT HAVE BEEN DISOBEDIENT—especially of course for those who knew God's will & knew the truth & defied & disobeyed it—they'll receive a very great punishment even though saved! They're going to receive a certain amount of correction for their disobediences, even though they claim to be saved.

37. IT SAYS "HIS MASTER," SO HE MUST BE THEIR MASTER, they must be saved! In this case He says, "That servant which knew his Master's will & prepared not himself neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not his Master's will"—in other words, the ignorant & innocent, those who never heard the Gospel & never heard about Jesus—"and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes." (Lk.12:47,48.)

38. THESE FOLKS‚ THEY NOT ONLY DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS THEIR MASTER'S WILL, THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THERE WAS A MASTER, possibly! But if they didn't know their Master's will & did things worthy of stripes, they're still worthy of some punishment. Because the Lord Himself in His Word says "This is the Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the World!" (Jn.1:9.) Everybody is given some light.

39. SO THIS IS THE GREATEST QUESTION THAT HAS PLAGUED THE WORLD & ESPECIALLY THE DOUBTERS FOR AGES: Why great disasters that slaughter thousands of the supposedly innocent & ignorant—certainly innocent little children & babies & women & mothers & old people, the helpless—why these disasters? The same age-old question, why pain & suffering & why even death? My mother used to have a message, "Why Hitler?"

40. TO THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH, TO THOSE WHO KNOW THE LORD & HAVE IMPLICIT CONFIDENCE IN HIS LOVE & His mercy & His righteousness & justice & fairness & implicit belief in a life after death—a better life, another life, a place where things will be corrected & made right & people will be rewarded according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—we know there's an answer, & I think the answer's pretty clear even in the Book, as well as through experience.

41. IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM & KNOW THE ANSWER, OF COURSE, YOU MUST BELIEVE IN GOD & HIS LOVE & His faithfulness & His righteousness, goodness, mercy, justice & fairness. Then you know there's got to be an answer, a good answer, why He has to do this or allow it to happen. If He doesn't do it, then OK, the Devil's done it; but He allowed him to do it, so it's almost the same thing.

42. GOD ALLOWS THESE THINGS TO HAPPEN! He allows the Devil to wreak such destruction & horror such as war through wicked men & great so–called natural disasters that wipe out thousands such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods & storms that take thousands of lives, usually the poor & those who are already suffering almost beyond endurance. Maybe that's why He wipes them out‚ maybe that's why He takes them!

43. IF YOU HAVE TOTAL CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE & IN A FUTURE BETTER LIFE AFTER DEATH, then you can certainly understand why God even in His mercy would sometimes take thousands of people out of this horrible World & their suffering & their pain & their agony & their oppression & their poverty.

44. WHEN THEY GET TO THE POINT WHERE THEY'RE POSSIBLY SUFFERING BEYOND ENDURANCE, HE RELEASES THEM & TAKES THEM INTO A BETTER WORLD where they're relieved of all this pain & agony & poverty & suffering & starvation & sickness—most of it caused by man himself & his own sins & the sins of others—& all of it caused‚ of course, by sin of some kind.

45. ALL OF THE SUFFERING, PAIN, TRAGEDY, SICKNESS, WAR & DEATH IS CAUSED BY SIN, SOMEBODY'S SIN—either the sins of the people who are suffering for their own sins‚ or many who suffer for the sins of others. I think that's going to be part of the punishment of the wicked is to have to suffer the sight of the very suffering they caused, maybe for a long time in retrospect in God's movie houses of the future life!

46. WHAT COULD BE WORSE IN THE AFTERLIFE THAN THE CONSTANT REVIEW OF THE PICTURES OF THE PAIN & SUFFERING & AGONY THAT YOU YOURSELF HAVE CAUSED OTHERS, to hear their screams of pain & witness the horrors of their suffering! What worse punishment could you have than to see in another life, in the hereafter, all the damage you've caused & all the people you've caused to suffer; all the pain & agony you've brought through your sins & oppression & wars & cruelty, etc.

47. APPARENTLY THERE'S SOME HOPES EVEN FOR THESE PEOPLE if God's going to allow them to suffer the sight of what they have caused to try to bring them to repentance, to make them sorry so that they can be forgiven. For others it looks like there's almost virtually no hope of their ever repenting, like the Devil, the Antichrist, the beast & the False Prophet.

48. JESUS SAYS THEY WILL BE CAST IN THE LAKE OF FIRE & THOSE WHO FOLLOW THEM, that take the Mark of the Beast. "Cast into the Lake of Fire which burneth for ever & ever!" (Maria: But it doesn't say they're going to burn for ever & ever.) It says, "The smoke of their torment ariseth for ever & ever" (Rev.14:11), but that's where you have to go back to the original Greek to see what the actual word "For ever & ever" means.

49. THIS DOES NOT MEAN IN EVERY CASE ETERNALLY, IT MEANS "AGES UPON AGES." "Aenon" is the word that's used in Rev.14:11, & the word used for "eternity" is a different word. Even the word using "aenon" to represent something which is virtually eternal, going on & on seemingly forever, is a doubling of the word "aenon" which means age. In some places this word aenon—which is translated in the Bible‚ of course, by the Catholics or Reformists or the Church of England—is translated "for ever," but literally it means "for an age‚" & an age has limitations; all ages have ends.

50. THIS IS ALL IN DR. PRIDGEON'S BOOK, IS HELL ETERNAL OR WILL GOD'S PLAN FAIL? & if you want to go into the details of it, then it would pay you to read that. He was a Presbyterian minister who just could not believe that God would cast everybody who didn't know Jesus into an eternal fire of Hell & fire & brimstone, the same kind of punishment for everybody‚ for the innocent as well as for the Hitlers & the guilty.

51. SO HE BEGAN TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES—IS HELL REALLY ETERNAL? If so, then it looks like God's plan is going to fail if He can't really redeem mankind, if He can't really save man & "cause all men everywhere to repent" or "cause every knee to bow, above the earth, on the earth, & under the earth!" (Ac.17:30; Phil.2:10.)

52. SO HE FOUND OODLES OF SCRIPTURES INDICATING THAT THE TIME WOULD COME WHEN EVERYONE WOULD BELIEVE, everyone would repent, every knee would bow, everyone would worship the Lord, every man would know Him, everyone would be corrected, & virtually everyone would change—whether they did in this life or in an afterlife of some kind; whether they did in the afterlife in a hellfire type of Purgatory, or in some milder type of punishment or retribution or chastisement & judgment for their sins.

53. BUT VIRTUALLY ALL PUNISHMENT, EVEN INCLUDING IN THIS LIFE ACCORDING TO LAW‚ HAS SOME KIND OF AN END! There comes a time when the sinner has paid for his sins with his imprisonment or his fines or even with his life! This satisfies the law of man, why not the laws of God? Perhaps some people pay for their own sins, since they wouldn't believe in Christ & they wouldn't believe in His death, so they have to suffer the prescribed punishment pronounced upon sin, & that is death!

54. EVERYONE WILL DIE, BUT THOSE WHO RECEIVE CHRIST'S SUBSTITUTIONARY OFFERING IN THEIR PLACE therefore do not have to suffer the kind of death that the sinner will suffer, but suffer only a mere momentary cessation from this kind of physical life in an almost instantaneous transfer to another life in the Spirit which is far better. (1Cor.15:51-52.)

55. BUT THE KIND OF A LIFE THAT THE SINNERS ARE TRANSFERRED TO WHO HAVE NOT REPENTED, have not received Jesus, even have rejected Him when they had a chance & have done evil, "knowing to do good & doing it not," they deserve some pretty severe punishment, including death to begin with. They receive a lot of punishment in this life, & in the World to come they receive even more until they get straightened out.

56. BUT CERTAINLY NOT EVERYBODY DESERVES THE SAME KIND OF PUNISHMENT & THE SAME AMOUNT OF PUNISHMENT & the same severity of judgment as do the worst of sinners. Many simply didn't know the Truth‚ never heard the Gospel‚ never even heard about Jesus, didn't know about His Love, were ignorant of their Master's will, but still they had done things worthy of stripes & had sinned.

57. AND IT'S AN AMAZING WONDERFUL THING THAT THE WORLD OVER‚ even in the darkest jungles & the most remote savage places, even the worst of savages seem to know the difference between right & wrong, good & evil, & know that certain things are sins & wrong & it's wrong to do them. God's basic moral standard against, for example‚ stealing & killing & things like that, are pretty universal. Nearly every kind of culture, even the most savage & primitive & aboriginal culture, knows that these things are wrong & have laws against them, believe it or not!

58. "THIS IS THE LIGHT WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD!" (Jn.1:9.) The Holy Spirit by His faithfulness speaks to the heart of all, I'm convinced, & tells people when they're doing wrong. They know the difference between good & evil‚ even if they may not have known all their Master's will.

59. THEY MAY NOT HAVE EVEN KNOWN THEIR MASTER, they may not have known the Gospel or the Truth or the Good News of Salvation‚ but they knew the difference between right & wrong. If they then, therefore, in spite of that, did things worthy of stripes‚ it says they'll be beaten with few stripes—their punishment will be light, comparatively speaking.

60. WHEREAS THOSE LIKE THE JEWS & EVEN THE CHURCH & THE CHRISTIANS & THE U.S.A. & WESTERN CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION WHO KNEW THEIR MASTER'S WILL, knew the Word, knew the Bible, had heard the Gospel, know about Jesus, know it in all of its fullness‚ & yet did things against the Lord & against their Master's will—& the worst of all rejecting Jesus completely—He says "these shall be beaten with many stripes!" They will suffer severe punishment both in this life & the afterlife.

61. THE WICKED SUFFER NOW! THEY SUFFER NOW, ALTHOUGH IT DOESN'T ALWAYS LOOK LIKE IT. For example, riches don't make people happy. Robbing the poor, making themselves rich never has made them happy. Their wars don't really bring them happiness. Alexander the Great, a young man only 33 years of age had conquered virtually all the known civilized World in only ten years, & yet he died drunk & sobbing like a baby, "But alas, there are no more worlds to conquer!"—It didn't satisfy!

62. SO THEREFORE THE RICH & THE POWERFUL RECEIVE A LOT OF PUNISHMENT RIGHT IN THIS LIFE ITSELF. As many of them say, "Yes, I believe in Hell—this is it! I'm living in it right now!"—And that's certainly true of a lot of the wicked! They're suffering plenty right now for their sins. And I'll tell you, particularly God's children‚ boy, He spanks them quick & in a hurry & they know it! They get it quick, so the Lord can immediately bring them to repentance for their sins & mistakes.

63. BUT AS THE WORD ITSELF SAYS, "SOME MEN'S SINS GO BEFORE THEM"—in other words, they're judged even in this life & they suffer for them even here & now. "But other men's sins follow after"—they're not going to get theirs until after they die. (1Tim.5:24.)

64. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GET THEIR FULL PUNISHMENT UNTIL THE AFTERLIFE, & that punishment is really going to be effective, I'm convinced of that, to show them the error of their ways & the horrible suffering & misery & everything else that they have caused—both to themselves & their loved ones & their families & their children & their relatives & their people & others.

65. THEY'RE GONNA GET IT SOONER OR LATER‚ BECAUSE GOD IS JUST & GOD IS THOROUGH & "every man will be rewarded according to his works"! (Ps.62:12; Jer.17:10; Mt.16:27; 2Cor.5:10; Rev.2:23; 20:13; 22:12.) We'll even have to "give an account for every idle word, for by thy words shalt thou be justified, & by thy words shalt thou be condemned." (Mt.12:36,37.) That's why it's so important to confess Christ by your words, with your mouth. (Ro.10:9–10.)

66. SO GOD IS JUST, GOD IS LOVING, GOD IS PURE‚ GOD IS HOLY, GOD IS PERFECT, & everything will work out perfectly in the long run. There will be perfect judgment & punishment for the wicked, & perfect reward for the righteous & the believer & the one who obeyed the Lord, but it will all be to the same end or purpose.

67. FOR THOSE WHO STILL HAVE TO BE PUNISHED HEREAFTER, the punishment & the reward will be designed & tailored according to their deeds‚ for a reason. For what purpose? Just to get revenge? Just to be vindictive? God is not that type of vengeful God, vindictive‚ only to want to make people suffer for their sins, but for a purpose, to show them something.

68. TO BRING THEM TO THE LIGHT, TO DEMONSTRATE HIS GOODNESS & KINDNESS & LOVE & SHOW THEM THE DIFFERENCE & what damage they did by their disobedience & their lack of love. Why? To hope for belief & to hope for Godly sorrow & repentance & a change; that if they did not choose to do good here, that they will be shown in the afterlife how important it is to do good, & will choose to do it there.

69. THAT'S A SAD THING THAT THEY HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THEN TO FIND OUT OR TO DECIDE‚ & those who wait until then will never be able to walk in the Holy City, Space City, & enjoy the greatest blessings & joys of God. But obviously they'll be outside in varied degrees of punishment, reward, freedom‚ imprisonment or whatever it may be until such time as God deems that they have served their sentence, suffered enough, repented enough‚ & they will be released or relieved.

70. HE MAKES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEW STRIPES & MANY STRIPES, but in that case, whether few or many, they all come to an end! A few is a number, many is a number, and whether few or many‚ they come to an end when they have received enough to have accomplished God's purpose to cause them to repent, see the Light & be sorry & turn away & change. Having received the punishment that they deserve because they refused Christ's sacrifice, then they have to suffer for it.

71. IF THEY REJECT CHRIST'S SUFFERING, HIS ATONEMENT‚ HIS SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH FOR THEIR SINS‚ then they have to suffer for their own sins. So therefore, they then will suffer the judgment & serve out the sentence until they have suffered enough to pay for it, they themselves, & then they will be released from whatever that is & allowed some better life—but not as good as those who received Him in this life & repented here & now & served him here & obeyed Him in this World & did good in what they could now, here on this Earth, & who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior, as their substitution, sacrifice for sins.

72. WE ARE COMPLETELY FORGIVEN, WE ARE COMPLETELY RELIEVED FROM THE PUNISHMENT OF SIN, "For the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin"—past, present & future! (1Jn.1:7.) But not them, because they rejected Jesus & they rejected His blood & they refused to believe & they refused to receive, therefore they shall have to suffer for their own sins, their own punishment.

73. JESUS DOES NOT TAKE IT FOR THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED HIM. He took it in a way for everybody‚ He died for the whole World, but only those who receive it, get it! (1Tim.4:10.) So that's the story, & I'm convinced that if things aren't squared in this life, they certainly will be in the next, good or evil.

74. THEREFORE GREAT DISASTERS THAT SWEEP THOUSANDS OF LIVES INTO THE NEXT ARE UNDOUBTEDLY IN SOME WAY GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE INVOLVED. Those who die go right into a life where they'll certainly be taught what's right & wrong. And for many it will be a release from the agony & the punishment & the pain‚ like Lazarus the beggar who begged at the rich man's door & the dogs licked his sores.

75. THE LORD SAYS HE SUFFERED HIS HERE & HAD HIS EVIL THINGS HERE, but now he's going to have his good things. Whereas the rich man has had good things here & he was going to suffer for his sins in the afterlife, that's the way it goes. (Lk.16:25.) There are lots of pictures of it in the Word of God‚ the difference between the rewards & the punishments.

76. THERE'S GOING TO BE A GREAT DIFFERENCE IN THINGS IN THE AFTERLIFE JUST AS THERE ARE IN THIS, but things are going to be squared up & evened up & straightened out in the next life. Those who did evil in this life but maybe didn't suffer enough for it here, will suffer for it afterward unless they have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. In that case, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." (1Jn.1:9.) But some will have to pay for their sins by death, suffering & pain in this life & the Afterlife.

77. WELL, IT'S A VERY VERY BIG SUBJECT & HAS PLAGUED THE WORLD FOR MILLENNIUMS & caused men to wonder & question & argue as to whywhy these disasters? Why earthquakes, floods, eruptions, wars & famines that wipe out tens of thousands of people here on this Earth—why?

78. WELL, AS I SAY, IN MANY CASES IT COULD BE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE to relieve many of the poor & the pitiful & the suffering & the oppressed & the starving from their agony & their horrible lives & the torture that they're suffering in this life.

79. TO THEM THEY'LL FIND THAT DEATH IS A BLESSING, even if they didn't know the Lord & didn't know His Word & didn't know Jesus. I'm sure God's going to have mercy upon them & His relieving them of this life is going to teach them the things they need to know in the next life, because we didn't get to them in this life—our responsibility! (Ezek.3:18-19.)

80. THE CHURCH DIDN'T FULFILL ITS OBLIGATION OF REACHING THEM WITH THE TRUTH & THE GOSPEL & JESUS & HIS LOVE IN THIS LIFE, so where are they going to learn it? Certainly God wants them to know it & learn it sometime, sooner or later‚ & if they don't get it here & now, they'll get it there & then! I'm convinced of it, & I'm sure the Scripture is quite clear on it too.

81. IT SAYS THAT, "THEN NO MAN SHALL SAY‚ 'KNOW THE LORD,' FOR ALL SHALL KNOW HIM!" (Jer.31:34; He.8:11.) Well‚ if everybody's going to know Him, then they're all going to know the Truth & all know Jesus! They may not know Him as well & as personally as we do, because we already knew Him in this life‚ & learned to know Him well & communicate with Him well & love Him & Him us & live with Him & serve Him throughout this life.

82. WE HAVE ONLY HAPPINESS & JOY & BEAUTIFUL ETERNAL REWARDS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE NEXT LIFE because we have received His substitutionary sacrifice for sin‚ Jesus Christ & His blood shed on the cross, so that we are relieved from the punishment & the penalty of the sin & relieved from the sentences that will be passed on others at the Great Judgment.

83. THAT JUDGMENT IS FOR A REASON! All the people who ever lived, whether good or bad, if unsaved, will have to stand at the Great White Throne Judgment of God. (Rev.20:11‚12.) Not at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we will have a different judgment. The Judgment Seat of Christ is a different judgment in which we are judged by Christ Himself because we know Him‚ & there He will reward us according to our works also. (Rom.14:10; 2Cor.5:10.)

84. CHRISTIANS WILL BE REWARDED EITHER WELL OR POORLY, because if they served poorly they'll be rewarded poorly. Or if they served well, they'll be rewarded well. Some in the Resurrection, He says "will shine as the stars" those that turn many to righteousness. They're going to be shining stars! Whereas others will be "raised to everlasting shame & contempt"—but nevertheless raised, & nevertheless rescued from death & this World. (Dan.12:2,3.)

85. SO I'M SURE AS I'M SITTING HERE THAT GOD IS JUST & MERCIFUL & LOVING & RIGHTEOUS & IS DOING THE RIGHT THING, even if He wipes out whole populations! They say in that great earthquake of Tangshan—the great mining town & industrial center north of Peking, one of the biggest in all China—that about a million people were wiped out in that earthquake which hit there. One million people! That was a few years ago while Mao was still alive.

86. THE CHINESE DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO LET THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT IT FOR AWHILE. I think they were afraid that in the midst of that disaster & horrible mess they were in‚ that some of their enemies like Russia might take opportunity to attack in their weak moment before they recovered, so they just didn't let the World know. But now the news is out, now that it's some years later, they've even let correspondents go & see some of the devastation—a million people in one stroke!

87. WHY DID GOD WIPE OUT, OR ALLOW THE DEVIL TO WIPE OUT, A MILLION PEOPLE? Of course some people would contend, "Well, it wasn't an act of God or the Devil‚ it was just a natural disaster caused by natural forces & causes." Well, there's no such thing as natural forces & causes which are not designed by God, because it's all God's creation & under His control, & nothing can happen except by His will & His design, or to say the least, His permission.

89. EVEN IF IT WAS SATAN, THE "FIDDLER ON THE ROOF," THAT WAS THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE, they still know he's working for God & couldn't have done it without God's permission, so they in a sense rightly blame God for it; but of course it's in punishment for their own sins. They always blame somebody, but they never blame themselves.

90. THE STUBBORN REBELLIOUS PEOPLE, BE THEY JEW OR GENTLE, ARE SUCH A TYPE OF ALL SELF-RIGHTEOUS HYPOCRITES who are more righteous than God Himself. They wouldn't have done things the way God did things! They wouldn't have run things the way God ran things, they would have done better! "If I were king," the old song goes‚ "I wouldn't let all these things happen!"

91. THAT SONG WAS ALMOST LIKE THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL! It's an old song, "If I were king I would do this & do that & so on." Just like the Devil speaking, "If I were king!" Just like David's own son Absalom who stood at the gate & said, "Well‚ if I were king I wouldn't let these things go on, I wouldn't let you be treated like this!" What a treacherous traitor & conniver! (2Sam.15:2-6.)

92. AND THAT'S WHAT ALL THE WICKED & THE SELF–RIGHTEOUS OF THE WORLD ARE SAYING, "WHY DOES GOD DO IT?" You know what they're really saying? They're saying, "Well‚ if I were God I wouldn't treat people like that! If I were God I wouldn't do terrible things like that! If I were God, I wouldn't have let that happen! If God's a God of Love, He shouldn't have let it happen!"

93. —ALL BECAUSE THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND GOD & THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND HIS LOVE & THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED, that thousands of people have been relieved, usually the poor. The poor little farmers & villagers & children are relieved of all their hard work & toil & suffering & are cast instantly into another new & better life & relieved of all that, thank God! That's the difference!

94. HOW YOU INTERPRET IT DEPENDS ON WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN GOD OR NOT! How you interpret it depends on whether you believe in the afterlife or not. Of course, if there were no afterlife, then the whole thing is a farce & a tragedy & travesty against justice. But of course there has to be an afterlife to square things up, to reward the good & the righteous & to punish the evil.

95. SO OF COURSE TO US WHO BELIEVE‚ IT'S OBVIOUS WHAT GOD IS DOING! He's either punishing the wicked in this disaster, or He's releasing & relieving the righteous out of this evil life—or both! To some it's a punishment, to some it's a reward, & it's a reward whether it's good or evil! They'll be rewarded evil for their evil works, or they'll be rewarded good for their good works. (Jn.5:29.)

96. SO PROBABLY MANY OF THOSE WHO SUFFER & DIE IN THESE DISASTERS ARE BEING PUNISHED FOR THEIR SINS, & quite possibly & likely, many of those who are suffering & dying are, through their suffering, being prepared for the afterlife, & in dying are relieved from their suffering in this life. So in it God is either punishing the wicked or teaching them a lesson, or He is relieving the good from their suffering & sending them to their reward in the afterlife & relief from this Hell on Earth.

97. SO WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?—WE ALL DIE SOONER OR LATER! And if you are good & you are righteous & you are saved & you know & love the Lord, the sooner the better‚ really, except for the fact that others need you to help them to find the way & to help them to live it & make it.

98. SO THAT WE WHO ARE ALREADY SAVED, THE SOONER WE GO THE BETTER! The sooner we can go, the sooner He'll let us go, the sooner we'll be relieved from the suffering & the agonies & the hardships of this life‚ the sooner the better. Maybe that would be a good title: "Death!—The Sooner the Better!"—for us who know the Lord!

99. OF COURSE THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO EVEN WORSE PUNISHMENT & WORSE CHASTISEMENT & worse suffering in the afterlife for their cruel wickedness & unbelief & Christ-hating in this life, they want to put it off as long as they can. They dread death & are horrified at the prospect because they sense they're going to get something worse hereafter. They had it bad enough in this life, some of them, but they're going to get it even worse there because of their sins.

100. BUT WHY WEEP FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TAKEN & GONE ON TO THE NEXT LIFE? They're the blessed ones! It's those who didn't die, who still stay behind & suffer that you are to pity & be sorry for, because apparently they weren't ready to go & God's still teaching them lessons to prepare them. They're still having to suffer in order to learn what life is all about, & suffering helps us to learn.

101. AS DAVID SAID, "BEFORE I WAS AFFLICTED I WENT ASTRAY, but in my affliction I cried unto the Lord & He saved this poor man out of all his troubles. (Ps.18:6; 34:6 & 119:67.) Affliction & suffering drives people to God, at least those who can be driven. With some, like with the [ACs], affliction & suffering causes them to curse God all the more because they're still unrepentant, still hardened of heart & rebellious & stiff-necked as all of God's Prophets said of them. (Ez.3:7; Mt.23:37, etc.)

102. SO SUFFERING IS A CATALYST, SUFFERING IS THE TEST-TUBE–TIME to see if you either have got the grace already to take it by faith, or if it can turn you to grace, cause you to call upon God & ask Him to forgive you & cause you to repent & cause you to seek His mercy & His Love & His salvation; or whether the same suffering is going to cause some to hate God all the more & curse Him the more & reject Him the more & deny Him the more!

103. AS RALPH UNDERWOOD THE FAMOUS ATHEIST ONCE TOLD ME—he was head of the AAAA, the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, the biggest Atheistic outfit in America at that time, really, before Communism—he said, "Dave, all those years I went around preaching against God & claiming He didn't exist, I knew He existed, but I just hated Him, & therefore I didn't want people to believe in Him. So I tried to destroy their faith, undermine their faith & wipe out their faith in God if they had any." Of course if you have any real faith in God‚ it can't be wiped out.

104. WHAT LITTLE THREAD OF CHILDLIKE BELIEF OR WHATEVER IT WAS THEY HAD‚ HE WENT AROUND TRYING TO DESTROY because he hated God & didn't want people to believe in Him. He said, "I cursed God & hated Him for the life I'd had to live. I had been an orphan when I was a child, & I learned to hate God." But look how the Lord in spite of his hatred & working against God for years finally saved him—through suffering! He had some kind of a horrible crash or accident that brought him to God finally.

105. SO SUFFERING DOES ONE OF THOSE THREE THINGS: It purifies & humbles & cleanses the saved & draws us even closer to God; it turns some of the unsaved to God, it brings some of the wicked to repentance & salvation as in their suffering they cry unto the Lord; & then the totally unrepentant, the totally renegade or utterly wicked, it causes them to curse God all the more & therefore be all the more deserving of His judgments.

106. SO I'M COMPLETELY UTTERLY CONVINCED OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD & His Love & His mercy & His justice & fairness & that He does only the right thing & the good thing that's good for us; or the bad thing that is bad & deserved by the wicked, which is also good, of course. Even the judgments of God are righteous! Even the disasters of God are righteous & right, & either the wicked deserve them as punishment or the righteous as deliverance from this life.

107. SO WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE 2‚000 DEAD IN ITALY‚ DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR THEM UNLESS THEY WERE UNSAVED, of course, & they'll still have to suffer for their sins until they repent & have paid for them. But think of those who are still living, the righteous who are still suffering‚ that it has helped purify & purge them & draw them closer to the Lord & to glorify God in that the wicked are receiving their just desserts & punishment that they deserve. One way or the other‚ however, it's good.

108. THE WORKS OF GOD ARE GOOD & NOT EVIL! They may seem evil‚ look evil & appear to some people to be evil, but even so-called evil is good if God is in it. The 20,000 slaughtered by the great earthquake in Algeria, they deserved it one way or the other. They either deserved the justice & judgment & punishment of God for being wicked, or they deserved the release & relief from suffering for being good, so it works both ways.

109. AND WE'RE CERTAINLY NOT TO BE SORRY FOR THE DEAD, ONLY EXCEPT PERHAPS FOR THOSE WHO DIED IN UNREPENTANCE & UNBELIEF & in rebellion against God, I'm sorry for them. And from what God has shown us‚ we're even to pray for them that they will yet turn & repent in the afterlife. If they can't be saved as we are, that they will be spared from further retribution & punishment.

110. AND FOR THE GOOD POOR WHO DIED, IT WAS A RELEASE & RELIEF FROM THEIR SUFFERINGS & from their hardships & hard life & oppression, depression, pain, deprivation, & I'm sure that God has a fair & just reward for them, & relief from this life was undoubtedly with thanksgiving & pleasure.

111. IN A SENSE WE ALL LIVE IN A MEASURE OF SUFFERING IN THIS WORLD UNDER THE CURSE OF SUFFERING, PAIN, SICKNESS, DEATH, etc. So it's for the living that we need to pray—for the mercy of God & relief of suffering if they repent, or a tightening of the screws if they don't. Pray for the millions of the poor who still suffer‚ who'd be better off if they were wiped out in some kind of great disaster.

112. IT'S FOR THE MILLIONS WHO STILL LIVE THAT WE NEED TO PRAY & WHOM WE NEED TO REACH WITH THE GOSPEL & THE LOVE OF CHRIST & the Message of Salvation & His forgiveness & His joy & happiness, His Love. These are the ones that we need to be praying about & worrying about or at least concerned about & caring for & striving to help—the living dead—not those who are already dead & have passed on to their reward, whatever it may be.

113. WE'RE NOT TO WEEP FOR THE DEAD IN THAT CASE, UNLESS THEY WERE WICKED & EVIL & HAVE GONE ON TO MORE SUFFERING‚ in which case perhaps our prayers might help them. "All things are possible with God & the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (Mt.19:26; Ja.5:16.) Since they are still in a stage of learning & being taught in hope & preparation of their repentance & turning & changing & becoming purified & purged in Purgatory, then surely we can pray to that end & that's good prayer. In that case we can yet pray for the dead, the unsaved dead, that they may learn in the afterlife what they failed to learn here.

114. BUT MOST OF ALL WE NEED TO PRAY FOR THE LIVING & THOSE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE & CAN STILL BE SAVED HERE & NOW & MISS ALL THAT, be spared having to go through even more suffering & agony & teaching & training & chastisement & judgment & punishment in the afterlife. We need to be concerned with trying to save the people now, building a fence at the top of the precipice instead of a hospital at the bottom.

115. WE NEED TO WORK ON THE OUNCE OF PREVENTION NOW RATHER THAN WORRY ABOUT THE POUND OF CURE LATER, because it's so simple & so easy that they be saved now & spared all that, so that the quicker they die the better‚ the sooner the better, except to live for the sake of others. So praise the Lord!

116. GOD IS JUST‚ GOD IS GOOD, GOD IS MERCIFUL, GOD IS LOVE‚ & I BELIEVE IT WITH ALL MY HEART. No matter what happens or how it happens or what great disasters befall the poor & the meek, "they shall inherit the Earth!" (Mt.5:5.) So PTL! And those who die, if they were good & did the best they knew how‚ they're better off & they're out of the suffering & agony of this World. Amen? Which are you?

The Rescue

ML #2296, GP poster

THE CATASTROPHE THAT STRUCK SUZY'S QUIET LITTLE COUNTRY VILLAGE was something that neither she nor her fellow villagers were prepared for! The nearby legendary volcano had not erupted for generations, & though this region frequently experienced minor earth tremors, no one was expecting the killer quake that utterly destroyed their village & took all but a few of their lives!

PRIOR TO THE DISASTER, LIFE IN THE SLEEPY VILLAGE HAD BEEN GOING ON AS USUAL. The only out-of-the–ordinary event which had recently taken place was the arrival of a small band of traveling minstrels. They spoke freely to all about the King of Love & His Kingdom, which they said were not of this World! They also distributed many colorful posters which they described as "travel brochures" that told of the beauties & glories of their Kingdom, a Paradise to which everyone was freely invited!

SUZY WAS ONE OF THE VILLAGERS WHO BELIEVED THE PILGRIMS, & after listening to their Message & several of their songs of love which they sang to her & a small group of her friends, she showed them great kindness by offering them a place to stay for the evening. Thankfully accepting her invitation, they went with her to her humble home where she prepared a meal for them & put them up for the night. After dinner, they spoke with her around the table, explaining:

"ALTHOUGH OUR KING & HIS GREAT KINGDOM ARE PRESENTLY INVISIBLE TO OUR MORTAL EYES, PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT THEY ARE REAL!—And if you believe & accept Him into your life, although you may not see Him, you will feel His presence, His loving Hand upon you, & you'll know His Love which is greater than any other you will ever find in this World!—He will become your closest Friend, the dearest One in your life‚ & His Love will wash away all of your fears!—Even the fear of death!—For you will know that there is a special place prepared for you in His Kingdom where you will live with Him & others who love Him forever!"

SUZY BELIEVED THEIR WORDS &THOSE IN THE SPACE KING'S BOOK, & THAT NIGHT DECIDED TO ASK THE KING OF LOVE TO COME INTO HER HEART! In so doing, she immediately experienced the love, peace & joy that these strangers had promised she would find! She then knew that all they had said was true!

AFTER THE PILGRIMS LEFT, THE VILLAGE WAS DIVIDED. Some, like Suzy, not only believed their Message, but personally received the King of Love into their hearts, thus becoming actual members of His out-of-this-World Kingdom! But others scoffed & completely rejected all that the pilgrims had said!—"We already have our own beliefs & traditions!"

IT WAS JUST OVER TWO WEEKS LATER THAT DISASTER STRUCK!—The nearby ancient volcano literally exploded in a deafening roar that could be heard for hundreds of miles in all directions! Rivers of molten lava spewed from it, setting ablaze much of the surrounding countryside. As the startled villagers gazed in horror towards the erupting mountain, the earth beneath them suddenly heaved & the killer quake hit in all its fury! In many places the earth cracked & split, opening its fiery mouth & swallowing entire houses!

SUZY, WHO HAD RUN OUT OF HER HOUSE & WAS STARING AT THE EXPLODING VOLCANO, WAS INSTANTLY STRUCK by a huge rock spewed out of the volcano! Scores of her neighbors also met a similar fate. In fact, the entire village was destroyed! The last thing that Suzy remembered is that just after rushing out of her house to look at the volcano, the earth suddenly trembled & shook, & she heard the roar of the quake as she fell to the ground!

WHEN SHE FIRST AWOKE & BEHELD THE DESTRUCTION AROUND HER, & found her own house reduced to rubble, as she sat up amidst the ruins she was amazed that she felt no pain!—It seemed as if she had somehow survived it all without even a scratch! But, when she looked down & saw her own body lying lifeless on the ground‚ the realization of what had actually happened suddenly struck her! "Oh my God!—I'm dead!" she gasped!

THEN, LOOKING SKYWARD, SHE BEHELD THE MOST SPECTACULAR SIGHT SHE HAD EVER SEEN!—Silently floating over the site of destruction was a huge celestial Spacecraft, glowing & glistening in a pure white radiant light! As the huge ship hovered overhead, dozens of its crew-members effortlessly flew out of the opening on its underside! One of them flew directly down towards her‚ & with a warm smile said, "Greetings, Suzy! Fear not!—For we have been sent by our King to take you with us to His great Space City! A wonderful place has been prepared for you There!"

ALTHOUGH SHE'D NEVER MET THIS MAN WHO FLEW DOWN FROM THE SKY, his kind face & warm, assuring touch comforted her & made her feel that all was well. As she rose up out of her body, she found she was literally lighter than a feather & was able to effortlessly glide up through the air with this Celestial Stranger, joining several others who had also perished in the disaster.

AS SUZY & HER GUIDE APPROACHED THE SHIP, THEY WERE BATHED IN THE WARM GOLDEN GLOW EMANATING FROM ITS CENTER, & she felt more love than she ever had in her entire life! Although she had never met any of the other Celestial beings on the ship, she immediately felt at ease in their presence! They all smiled warmly at her & greeted her as if they'd known her all of her life!—And she realized that, like her, they were all children of the King of Love, & were therefore her brothers & sisters!

THE POWERFUL & AUTHORITATIVE CELESTIAL BEING WHO SEEMED TO BE IN CHARGE THEN ANNOUNCED to Suzy & all of the other newcomers‚ "Welcome aboard! The King has sent us to greet & welcome you into the Unseen Realm‚ & to escort you safely back to His Headquarters, the great Space City! We will now be leaving Earth for our Heavenly destination! Please feel free to ask any questions you may have to any of our flight-attendants & crew members, for we are here to serve you!—Have a pleasant voyage!" Then suddenly—WHOOOSH! The great ship silently took off at a speed that Suzy had never before imagined!

THE EVENTS PORTRAYED IN THIS STORY ARE NOT MERELY SCIENCE FICTION, NOR SOMEONE'S WILD IMAGINATION, but a glimpse into actual realities which are regularly taking place! With increasing frequency we see & hear about great disasters in the news: Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mudslides, cyclones, floods, fires, air-crashes, etc., in which hundreds & sometimes thousands of lives are swept out of this life into the next!

IN SUZY'S CASE, THE SEEMING CURSE OF A SUDDEN UNEXPECTED DEATH WAS ACTUALLY A BLESSING IN DISGUISE, for she went on to a better World & a better Life, relieved of all of the hardships & evils of her Earthly existence! The King of Love Whom the pilgrims told Suzy about‚ whose Kingdom she became a part of‚ is God's Own Son, Jesus, Who loves & wants to give Eternal Life to all who will simply ask Him into their hearts!

THE AMAZING CELESTIAL SPACECRAFT IS A HEAVENLY VEHICLE OF LIGHT, many of which often appear in our night skies as signs & wonders, showing men that indeed we are not alone on our planet, but are being watched over by intelligent beings far superior to ourselves!—The Angels of God! However‚ these Heavenly craft usually remain invisible, operating behind the veil of the Fifth Dimension, the Spirit World.

WHEN THE TIME COMES FOR YOU TO LEAVE THIS LIFE, WILL YOUR SPIRIT, LIKE SUZY'S, BE RECEIVED & SHUTTLED AWAY TO GOD'S GREAT HEAVENLY SPACE CITY?—A Paradise which the Bible describes in detail as being 1500-miles high, wide & long, where Jesus has prepared crystal-golden mansions for all who love & receive Him!

—OR WILL YOU SINK DOWN INTO THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH like those in Suzy's village who rejected Jesus & His Message, to await your final fate? Of course, those who never heard about the Lord & His Word, will be mercifully instructed after leaving this life‚ & given the opportunity to receive or reject God's Son & Salvation in the future.—The same choice you are faced with now!

WHICH WILL IT BE FOR YOU?—You can receive Jesus & His free Gift of Eternal Life right now by sincerely praying this little prayer: "Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God & that You died for me. Please forgive me for all my sins. I now open the door of my heart & I ask You, dear Jesus, to please come in & give me Your free Gift of Eternal Life!—In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

Unnatural Disasters and Churchianity

ML #2318:8-20, Vol.18

Unnatural Disasters—Judgments Of God By The Devil!

8. (Dad: ) The World calls them "natural" disasters, but they're not natural, they're very unnatural! They're not the way God intended for things to be or for the World to be with all these earthquakes‚ volcanic eruptions, huge storms & floods & terrible things that happen. God didn't plan the Earth that way & plan its climate, etc., to be that way. Sometimes I believe as my Father did about storms, etc., that they are executed by the Devil! He used to quote the Scripture to back it up, that the Devil is called "The prince of the power of the air."—Eph.2:2.

9. The Devil is like God's law enforcement man, almost like a police force or the prosecuting attorney. A country or a city has a police force which will usually only attack you if you do wrong.—I mean that's the ideal, for punishment‚ for wrongdoing. Now that may be a shocking conception to some people, but I've mentioned it before‚ that the Devil is like the Prosecuting Attorney. (See Nos. 73A & 1439.) He's the Accuser of the Saints! There it is, clear as anything!—Rev.12:10.

10. When criminals go to court they are accused by the prosecuting attorney for the state. He brings up the charges & the evidence & accuses them of their crimes & holds up the law & tells the Judge, "Look, here's the law they broke, they need to be punished! Sock it to'm!" The Judge is like God‚ see? And the Prosecuting Attorney is the accuser. In this case the Devil is the Accuser of the Saints, not the criminals‚ but he is also the accuser of criminals. In our case, we are Saints, not criminals. But he is given the authority & the right to accuse, & if it's a correct judgment & accusation, even the right to be not only the accuser but the executioner of judgment on those who break God's Laws & who are in rebellion against the Lord.

11. So over years of experience & testimony of the Word & experience of others & some of the beliefs of people I respect & who know the Lord, like my Mother & Father, I've come to pretty well believe that too, that the Devil is the prince of the power of the air, & sometimes when it comes to these earthquakes & volcanic eruptions he seems to be prince of the power of the deep too! He lets all Hell break out & come loose! These terrible unnatural disasters, there's nothing natural about them! They're very unnatural, contrary to God's usual laws of nature or that which is natural. That which is natural, according to the nature God has created‚ is beautiful, wonderful, perfect, peaceful, marvelous! There wasn't even any rain, much less any storms before the Flood!

12. So they're very unnatural disasters, & more & more as I see & read & hear about them, especially the people that they're striking, I'm more inclined to think that they are the judgments of God executed by the Devil! You say, "Now how is that possible that God could allow the Devil to do such things?" Well, if the people deserve the punishment, why not? The Devil loves to destroy, he loves to create chaos & confusion, & if the people deserve it, why not let him? That's what they've asked for, really, by their behavior & by their rebellion against God & defiance of His laws & breaking of His commandments & persecuting of His people & causing horrible things to happen to little children & all‚ cultures & societies which even persecute children & make their lives miserable, with wars & famines & things like that too.

13. I can't help but think those people must have deserved it! There must be some reason for it or God wouldn't have let it happen! Because He has promised peace & prosperity & rain & blessing upon His children & those who are good & try to keep His commandments, even if they don't know His Word & don't know Him. He speaks of them as those who are without the law, who knew not their Master's Will. He said there are those there that even try to do right & try to do good, knowing the difference between right & wrong.—Rom.2:14.

14. And then if people just stubbornly & rebelliously & with great meanness do things which are evil & wrong & wicked which harm others, even harm little children & helpless women & old folks & things like that like they're doing in Lebanon & everywhere around the World, why shouldn't God let the Devil let loose all Hell on Earth to sock it to'm? The Devil's cruel people, the Devil's own children are always attacking the good & the innocent and destroying those who are trying to do good.

15. Well‚ one thing that God doesn't like & will usually stop is when the Devil starts accusing God's Own saints & starts persecuting God's people. The Lord may allow it for a little while to accomplish His purpose, to drive'm out of a country that doesn't deserve to hear any more, to get'm out of the way of their persecutors & to save & spare them so they'll go someplace more fruitful & more receptive, & also to get them out of the way so He can judge their enemies!

16. So I'm fully convinced that the Devil is working for the Lord! I always like to make that shocking statement because it really wakes people up! Even though they may not know it, he's carrying out a lot of the judgments of God on the wicked. Now if God would even tell Satan that he could test a Saint like Job with all the afflictions he tested Job with, why shouldn't He tell Satan‚ "Okay, go ahead & sock it to that country! Go ahead & sock it to that person for being so bad!" If He even let Satan test Job for being so good, why shouldn't He let Satan annihilate whole populations for being so bad?—Right? And I believe that's what happens in a lot of these things!

17. I don't think those tornadoes just accidentally hit all those houses & flattened towns & even socked it to some churches. I don't think He let those islands of Bangladesh be completely almost washed away because they were so good & such good people, there must have been something wrong somewhere or God would have protected them & kept them from the Devil's devices! I believe it.

18. A lot of times we are tempted to question the Lord‚ "Why me, Lord? Why did You let me get sick? Why did You let it happen to me?" Well, He allows that just like He did Job, to test your faith & to test your love‚ which actually strengthens your faith & your love & causes you to love & believe in God no matter what, not doubt no matter what happens. As Job finally said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!"—Job 13:15. And when he finally said that, he got the victory. The Devil gave up & saw he couldn't make him quit even if he killed him.—Although the Lord had told him he couldn't take Job's life, but Job didn't know that. And the Devil certainly didn't tell him that, the Devil tried to make him think he was killing him!

19. Finally his wife told him, "Why don't you just curse God & die, you miserable man!" Just think, he even lost the love & respect of his own wife. He lost all his children, lost all his wealth, lost his health & lost his wife! She said‚ "So why don't you just curse God & die & get out of the way!" She probably wished he'd hurry up & die so she could marry some better man. He said‚ "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!"

20. But if God will allow that to happen & will allow Satan to tempt & test even His Own Saints, surely He will allow the Devil to wreak judgments & slaughter & horrors & unnatural catastrophes & disasters upon the wicked & the rebels & those that hate Him & defy Him & disobey Him!—Even His Own people who are rebellious & defy & disobey Him.

Prophecies Received at the HCS for the Kobe Earthquake Situation

ML #2970, DB 12

1. (Mama: ) Dear Family, all of you, I'm sure, have been watching on TV the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake in Japan. The best commentary on events like these can be found in Dad's Letter, "Why Disasters?" (ML #959.) (Note: See also ML #2318:8-20 on "Unnatural Disasters," and the Cat Book section on "Catastrophes and Disasters," which contains many good quotes from other Letters.)

2. In addition, when the Japan Family prayed about what their response to this disaster should be, the Lord gave them many beautiful answers in direct prophecy which we would like to share with you below.

3. These prophecies bring out the principles that the Lord wants us to follow in ministering to folks who have been devastated by disasters, so these not only apply to the Japanese earthquake, but will apply to other crisis situations as well.—Of course, some apply more than others, as in others there may be more physical help available from other relief workers, therefore more opportunity for our folks to minister more spiritually and more freely and more openly. But for the most part we have to win their hearts through their bodies, and these prophecies bring this out very well.

4. The most striking point in these prophecies—at least to me—was how the Lord views these precious people and how His heart is so broken for them, how He is weeping for them in the halls of Heaven because they have no hope and no answers. They have nothing left—their loved ones are gone and their dreams are shattered—and the Lord in His great love reaches out to these dear folks who are so precious to Him.

5. He says‚ "They mean the world to Me—every one of them. They are the reason that I died, the reason that I came and gave My life. I cannot bear to see one of them lost, to see one of them miss the eternal reward." He is pleading with us to be His hands and His feet, to "walk in love," and by our love help them to see that we are His disciples. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). Love is the key to their hearts‚ love is the key to our fruitfulness. Our love is what He is pleading for. He has given us everything!—Can we not share a little of it with others who have nothing?


6. Weep with those that weep. I was hungry and you came unto Me with food. I was thirsty and you came unto Me with drink. I was naked and you clothed Me. I was sick and wounded and you visited Me. This is the love that I have bestowed upon My children through My Word. Your mission is to comfort and to bring salvation and to bring the love of God in living form to these that have no hope.

7. For there is a great need and you must follow Me into this catastrophe to find the souls that I have waiting and have prepared for salvation. But you must go with great compassion and you must have a great empathy for these who are suffering, and know that they have no other hope but Me. And I have prepared them, so be not afraid, but walk in love and ye shall save many.

8. If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them‚ "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled‚" notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due‚ when it is in the power of thine hand to give it.

9. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. For many shall come in that day and say unto Me, "Lord, when saw we Thee naked and clothed Thee? When saw we Thee hungry and fed Thee? When wast Thou sick or imprisoned or lonely and we did bring Thee comfort?" And I shall say unto them, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

10. For it may well be that those who seem the least in your sight may be the very greatest in My eyes. It may be that these whom ye think not much of, are very highly esteemed in My regard. It may be that these are the ones that I dearly love. It may be that at this very moment I weep for their souls, that I cry tears for them in the halls of Heaven, for their lonely broken hearts which ache without Me, for those who cry in their despair‚ who see their loved ones perish before their eyes and know not what to do. They have no answers, they have no hope, they have nothing to look forward to, they have no future. Everything that they dreamed of, that they planned and that they built their lives on is lost. They have seen it all fall before their eyes in great destruction. They are desperate, and they are broken for Me.

11. Can you not see that My heart breaks for them? How can your heart remain intact when My heart is broken? How can you not cry tears for them? How can you not give your all to help them? Even if you cannot go in body, your prayers can go. Your thoughts and your hearts and your spirits can help these precious ones who are so very special in My sight. They mean the world to Me—every one of them. They are the reason that I died, the reason that I came and gave My life. I cannot bear to see one of them lost, to see one of them miss the eternal reward.

12. And this is why I have chosen you as My ambassadors to go and search for My sheep and seek them out, to bring them into the folds of David. As you give of yourselves‚ ye shall find much joy and happiness and fulfillment.

13. Though ye may not have the things that you need for your body, yet your soul shall be full to overflowing as you see these ones begin to respond, as you see the light slowly come back into their eyes, as you wipe away their tears and slowly they begin to smile as the hope of Heaven is born in their hearts. So shall My joy be born again in you, and My love will fill your hearts so that ye shall overflow plentifully onto them.

14. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another. For how can you say that you love God whom ye have not seen, if ye love not your brothers, whom you have seen? Can ye not weep with them? Can ye not feel their cold, taste their hunger, feel the brokenness of life that they have felt?

15. Let not your light be hid under a bushel. Let it shine forth, let it be put on a candlestick. And this whole nation shall see that "These are the ones that they persecuted‚ these are the ones that they slandered, and these are the ones that we need. These are the ones who have the answers to our problems, these are the ones with true love. For they had it beside them and they gave it freely, to their own hurt."

16. As ye give, I will give, and there shall be a great pouring forth, both of the physical and of the abundant spiritual life that ye partake of daily within your camps. Ye feed and are fed, and now is the time to give it, to scatter it forth, and behold, ye shall watch it increase. Your spirit shall come back to you in the lives and in the smiles and in the happy, joyful, singing hearts of those whom ye have touched with one simple smile, one word of encouragement, one ray of hope that perhaps there may be something to this life, there may be something worth living for, something that shall not be destroyed by the next aftershock‚ something that will live on past the next earthquake, the next disaster.

17. Are there any of you who, having a hundred sheep and finding that one is lost, will not leave the ninety and nine and go after that one which is lost, to your own hurt, that the other may live? Ye shall carry him home in your bosom and suckle him and comfort him. Before you scold him you will comfort him, for ye go to rescue, not to preach.

18. My love shall be upon you and all men shall see it, for ye shall go where there is no hope, in a place where despair covers the land. And ye shall be a tiny light in the midst of darkness. My Spirit shall go with you and shall overflow out of your mouths. And though you be not great with words, I will be with you as I was with Moses. For love is the most important thing. If they feel that you care‚ no matter whether they be rich or poor, this is a true accomplishment. As My children, ye are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.

Storm washes away hopes for future in Central America

END 13

Los Angeles Times

CIUDAD SANDINO, Nicaragua—Maria Corina Artola has never been wealthy or even financially comfortable. But now she is the poorest she has ever been. Little by little over the years, she had established herself as a street vendor, earning enough to support her four children in a shack along an open sewer. That was until tropical storm Mitch washed it all away.

Standing dazed before a few sticks of wood and plastic sheets donated by the Managua city government, Artola tried to figure out how to make a shanty that would shelter her family. "All that I could rescue were my children because they are the most precious thing I have‚" she said.

Artola's tragedy underscores the plight of millions of people left homeless by Mitch and symbolizes the overall predicament of the tiny, poor countries of Central America where they live. "Suddenly, in two weeks, we have lost what it took 50 years to build," said Javier Ibisate‚ dean of economics at the University of Central America in San Salvador.

In Nicaragua, seven new bridges built with $20 million in Japanese aid had been inaugurated in the past three years. All of them survived, but this country must now replace 80 other bridges destroyed or damaged by Mitch.

Honduran officials estimate that their development efforts have been set back 30 years. El Salvador‚ Guatemala and Belize suffered relatively few deaths and less damage than Honduras and Nicaragua. Panama and Costa Rica largely escaped damage.

Mitch, the fourth-largest hurricane to hit the Caribbean, will go down in the record books as the most destructive storm since the Great Storm of 1780 killed 20,000 people. One U.N relief official termed Mitch the worst natural disaster in Latin America in a century.

The rains and flooding also have come close to extinguishing the hope that the region would finally begin to recover from the devastating civil wars of the 1980s. "As we say in El Salvador, it has rained on what was already wet," Ibisate said. "There was so much destruction from the wars, and we had just begun to rebuild bridges and roads."

In a reminder of the days when wars spilled across the region's borders‚ land mines have floated up in the flood waters along the Honduras–Nicaragua frontier, presenting new dangers.

(Dad:) Pray for the poor survivors of this storm, that they'll be comforted in their losses, draw nearer to the Lord through this tragedy‚ and learn all that He's trying to teach them. His heart breaks for those who have been left behind, those whose time was not up yet. Many of their friends, family members and loved ones are Home in Heaven now, and they're separated‚ sometimes sick, often suffering.

Death is not a curse for those who know Jesus. Those who were saved are now happy in Heaven. It's only difficult for those who have been left behind. But the Lord uses such tragic events to work in their lives, so that they can get saved too, if they're not already, and thus be able to join their loved ones in Heaven later on.

Never forget that God is love, and that His judgments are loving and merciful in some way, even though you may not see it now.

He's also using this disaster to test the hearts and pocketbooks of the rich nations of the world and see how willing they are to help the poor and the needy. He judges both nations and people by their attitudes and actions when they're faced with such circumstances. The results go into the books in Heaven. They're autobiographies—we write the contents ourselves, every day!

The unnatural disaster was caused by human greed

END 14

By Alexander Cockburn, The Nation

There was nothing "natural" about the awful disaster of Hurricane Mitch. Those thousands of lives were lost to mud, water‚ hunger and disease through human agency. Hillsides dissolved and shantytowns vanished in the flood waters because of economic and political policies, mostly imposed at the point of a gun.

If you want to pick a date when the fates of those thousands of poor people was sealed‚ it wasn't when Hurricane Mitch began to pick up speed off the coast of Honduras. It came 44 years ago, in 1954, when the United Fruit Co., now renamed Chiquita Banana, prodded the CIA to take action against the moderately leftist government of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. Arbenz had purchased vast unused stretches of productive land held by United Fruit and was planning to redistribute it to poor peasants.

A CIA–organized coup was not long in coming. Guatemala entered its long night. Along with Arbenz vanished all prospect of land reform, not merely in Guatemala but throughout Central America.

Through the next 30 years in Central America‚ small peasants were pushed off their traditional holdings by local oligarchs flush with money and military equipment furnished by the U.S. The peasants had no option but to migrate to forested hillsides too steep to be of interest to oligarchs and foreign companies. Year after year, the peasants tried to ward off starvation, raising subsistence crops on slopes so extreme that sometimes, in photographs from El Salvador, one comes across a peasant working his land while tied to a stake, so he won't slip. In such manner the trees got cut down and the land worked and overworked, until a tropical storm would send the bare hillsides careening down in deadly mudslides.

Tens of thousands of other peasant families, forced off the good land, moved into Managua or Tegucigalpa or other towns and cities. The consequent shantytowns burgeoned along riverbanks, on precarious flood basins where at least the inhabitants had access to water. As with the degraded hillsides, these shantytowns were deathtraps, awaiting the inevitable.

So, for years now, those worn hillsides and flood plains throughout Central America have been awaiting Mitch.

The only way forward is for the peasants to be given good agricultural land and adequate financial resources. That's even less likely now than it was in 1954.

A couple of years ago, Hurricane Lili struck Cuba. The government had evacuated thousands, stockpiled sandbags, positioned backup generators, rallied medics. When Lili moved on, thousands of homes had been destroyed, but less than half a dozen lives lost. Just recently‚ the right-wing President Arnoldo Aleman of Nicaragua refused offers of help from Fidel Castro, making disparaging remarks about Cuba's political system and saying, incredibly, that Nicaragua needed even greater disciplines of the free market to recover from the disaster. There's a bleak truth Aleman and many others should reflect upon: "Natural" disasters are nature's judgment on what humans have wrought.

(Dad: ) The selfish rich are the same everywhere, whether they're American, Central American or any other nationality. They sow the seeds of their own destruction through their selfishness, and they reap what they've sowed. Their riches make themselves wings and fly away toward Heaven, and as for their souls, their fate depends on whether they know the Lord or not. Those who do know Him join Him and the heavenly hosts‚ although in many cases with feelings of great sadness that they didn't do more with their riches to help others when they were alive. The Lord wipes away all the tears in Heaven, but there are still regrets sometimes.

Global warming could cause droughts, disease, and political upheaval

END 41

By Nancy Shute, US News & World Report

Bizarre weather could soon become more common, and the consequences far more dire, according to a UN scientific panel. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently met in Shanghai and released the most definitive—and scary—report yet, declaring that global warming is not only real but man-made. The decade of the '90s was the warmest on record, and most of the rise was likely caused by the burning of oil, coal‚ and other fuels that release carbon dioxide, as well as other so-called greenhouse gases. What's more, future changes will be twice as severe as predicted just five years ago, the group says. Over the next 100 years, temperatures are projected to rise by 2.5 to 10.4 degrees worldwide, enough to spark floods, epidemics, and millions of "environmental refugees."

By midcentury, the hotels that now line Miami's South Beach could stand waterlogged and abandoned. Malaria could be a public health threat in Vermont. Nebraska farmers could abandon their fields for lack of water. Outside the United States, the impact would be much more severe. Rising sea levels could contaminate the aquifers that supply drinking water for Caribbean islands, while entire Pacific island nations could simply disappear under the sea. Perhaps the hardest-hit country would be Bangladesh, where thousands of people already die from floods each year. Increased snowmelt in the Himalayas could combine with rising seas to make at least 10 percent of the country uninhabitable. The water level of most of Africa's largest rivers, including the Nile, could plunge, triggering widespread crop failure and idling hydroelectric plants. Higher temperatures and lower rainfall could stunt food production in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

If temperatures keep rising, over the next century global weather patterns will shift enough to affect everyday life on every continent. Weather would become more unpredictable and violent, with thunderstorms sparking increased tornadoes and lightning, a major cause of fires. The effects of El Niòo, the atmospheric oscillation that causes flooding and mudslides in California and the tropics, would become more severe.

Natural disasters already cost plenty; in the 1990s the tab was $608 billion‚ more than the four previous decades combined, according to Worldwatch Institute. Other anticipated effects include:

Death and pestilence. Cities in the Northern Hemisphere would very likely become hotter, prompting more deaths from heat stroke in cities such as Chicago and Shanghai. Deaths would also increase from natural disasters, and warmer weather would affect transmission of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and West Nile virus, which made a surprise arrival in the United States in 1999.

Wildfires. Rising temperatures and declining rainfall would dry out vegetation, making wildfires like last summer's—which burned nearly 7 million acres in the West and cost $1.65 billion—more common.

Rain and flooding. Rain would become more frequent and intense in the Northern Hemisphere. Snow would melt faster and earlier in the Rockies and the Himalayas‚ exacerbating spring flooding and leaving summers drier.

Rising sea levels. Sea level worldwide has risen 9 inches in the last century, and 46 million people live at risk of flooding due to storm surges. That figure would double if oceans rise 20 inches. The IPCC predicts that seas will rise anywhere from 3.5 inches to 34.6 inches by 2010. A 3-foot rise, at the top range of the forecast, would swamp parts of major cities and islands‚ including the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific and the Florida Keys.

Water wars. Drought—and an accompanying lack of water—would be the most obvious consequence of warmer temperatures. By 2015‚ 3 billion people will be living in areas without enough water. The already water-starved Middle East could become the center of conflicts, even war, over water access.

Refugees. The United States and other higher-latitude countries would be affected less by climate change than would more tropical nations. The developing world will be hit hardest—and least able to cope. "Bangladesh hasn't a prayer," says Stephen Schneider, a climatologist at Stanford University, noting that flooding there, and in Southeast Asia and China, could dislocate millions of people. "The rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer. That's not a stable situation for the world."

(Dad: ) Yes‚ the world is entering a very unstable time because of the greater wickedness of man. Man has caused many of these things by his disregard for God's beautiful creation, which the Lord gave him to be steward over, to tend it and tenderly care for it. So man is beginning to reap what he sowed.

And the Lord has also given the Devil, the prince of the power of the air, greater authority to wreak havoc on the Earth in these Last Days. In these various disasters, the Lord's children are gathered Home to their Heavenly reward; the innocent and the ignorant are given the chance of a better world, eternally freed from the pain and suffering they endured while on Earth; and the evil and unrepentant receive their reward as well, their just deserts.

It's those who are left behind who suffer, but then they're often the most receptive to the Lord's voice in their hearts, open to the voice and message of His children‚ and ready for His free gift of eternal life in Heaven, where all pain and suffering will be ended and where all tears will be wiped away, and where they'll live forever with the loved ones they lost and the God of Love Himself!

Catastrophes climbing

END 49


Natural disasters are soaring according to the world's largest reinsurer, Munich Re.

Storms and floods dominated this year's statistics‚ contributing more than two-thirds to the 700 major disasters and causing 91 percent of all insured natural disaster losses, the company said.

Putting total economic losses at $36 billion, Munich Re said catastrophes related to extreme weather were a result of continued global climate change.

"Forest fires in Australia, floods in Brazil and in Turkey, snow chaos in central and southern Europe and a typhoon in Singapore, which was meteorologically seen as impossible, are all indications for a link between climate changes and a rise in weather catastrophes," the company said in a statement.

Citing World Meteorological Organization statistics, the reinsurer said 2001 had been the second warmest year since the beginning of systematic temperature recording 160 years ago.

The worst weather-related disaster in 2001 was tropical storm Allison, which caused losses of some $6 billion, making it "the most expensive tropical storm in history."

(Dad: ) Why disasters? Well, there are lots of reasons. For one thing, the Lord allows them because of the wickedness of man—his rebellion‚ defiance of God's laws, breaking of His commandments, and violence towards his fellow man. So as man grows more wicked or unjust in a certain age or area, the judgments of God through natural disasters are unleashed more often‚ and become more destructive.

Also, in these Last Days the Devil‚ the prince of the power of the air, has been granted more leeway to inflict destruction and unleash judgment, so that the Lord's Word might be fulfilled.

Sometimes the Lord's own saved children are caught in these catastrophes, and that can be difficult. But we have to trust the Lord that He knows exactly what He's doing. After all, those who pass on go to be with Him, safe in His loving arms, and those who survive are often drawn closer to Him in one way or another, or are more receptive and obedient.

Christians aren't immune from the Lord's chastening, you know. Sometimes judgment begins at the house of God, for their own good and purification, with people you'd least expect it to happen to. Look at Job, a very good and godly man judging by outward appearance. Yet the Lord allowed the Enemy to test and try him to the uttermost, until he was willing to say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Can you say the same?

Death and Destruction in Bam

END 69

Editor: On December 26, 2003, a massive earthquake leveled the city of Bam in southeastern Iran, killing more than 41‚000 people. The quake struck at night and destroyed about 80% of the ancient city, where many of the houses were made of mud bricks or mud and straw‚ as well as the Citadel of Bam, the world's largest mud-brick fortress.

We asked the Lord to give us some insight into this earthquake, the largest and most devastating to hit a populated area in years.

(Jesus:) There are often many reasons why I allow what you call natural disasters‚ and that is the case in this one as well. But first let Me address one great underlying question that you often have, even you who know My ways so well: How could a loving God kill so many innocents all at once, and shatter the lives of the survivors?

You must remember that death is not the end, but is simply a passing from one realm to another. Those who are My children come to join Me and the hosts of Heaven. Those who have never had a chance to receive Me either get that chance then or pass into the spirit realm, where they will receive a chance later. And those who have fully and definitely rejected Me are given over to the Enemy.

The only time death is a punishment is for those in the last category, who receive the stripes they are worthy of, the chastisement they deserve for their rejection and iniquity. Those who receive Me receive a wonderful reward, and those who have neither decided for or against Me wait out their time in a realm of the spirit world which is far better than the conditions they lived under on Earth, which were often miserable. Often it is the poor of the land who perish in such calamities, and their passing on into the spirit world is a great relief to many of them.

So, dear ones, do not think of death as a great punishment and judgment. For some few wicked ones, it is a judgment, yes‚ but for the great majority of those who die it is a release from this present evil world, a relief from their grinding poverty, sickness and pain, and a step into eternal life.

I know your hearts still go out to those who perished in this city, but there were few among the dead who suffered. Most were sleeping and never even woke up as their houses collapsed around them. Some experienced a moment of pain in their passing, but will never again feel physical pain or suffering. They have been set free from the torments of the flesh and its frequent afflictions. Do not sorrow for the dead as do those who have no hope.

Now, as for the "why," there are many reasons I allowed this, as I said. It is a sign of the times, one of those earthquakes in diverse places that indicate the approach of the End. More than that, the news of this quake works in the hearts of many around the world as they consider the brevity and fragility of their lives, how quickly they can pass on. It reminds them that their lives are more than a constant scramble to survive and accumulate possessions‚ the abundance of their things, because both lives and things can be taken from them in an instant, in the blink of an eye. They are forced to ponder their mortality, and through this I work to draw many to Me, planting seeds that My children water and harvest afterwards.

This was also a demonstration to the world of what happens when they build their house on the sand, as had many of those in this city. It was a city of sand‚ a city of mud bricks, and when the quake came, it fell, for it was not founded on a rock. Many of those around the world who have a passing knowledge of My Word know of this parable, and again I use it to work in their hearts.

I also use this quake to help bring the Gospel to those of this city, for there are many Christians who have taken part in the relief missions who have flown there from other countries. This is My gift of love to these simple people of the desert who have survived, the care and concern of those who are My children‚ and who can minister to them not only physically but spiritually. Not all preaching of the Gospel will be open—very little will, in fact—but My sheep will hear My voice and sense My touch and My love, and they will follow‚ whether now or later.

Another reason I allowed this earthquake was to slow down Iran's march toward the atomic bomb, for its acquisition would have been fateful for both Iran and the Mideast as a whole. Those of Israel would not have allowed such a thing, and their objections would have been both violent and destructive, as Iran's retaliation would have been likewise. But it is not yet My time for such events in the Mideast. With this disaster, Iran will be forced to put more money and energy into rebuilding and less into weapons which destroy and tear down. And both Israel and her ally, the United States, will be less likely to attack her, for this would cause an outcry around the world.

So you see that the status of this country on what has been called the axis of evil has been downgraded to the axis of not quite so evil, at least for a time. The enmity remains, and that which I have spoken of Persia in the Last Days will be fulfilled, but it was not yet time for the fulfillment. (See Ezekiel 38:3-9.) Those of Zion maintain their belligerence and the mullahs of Persia maintain their hatred, and that which is to be will still come to pass, but not yet.

The End will come at the time appointed, and it will not be a moment too soon or too late, My dear ones. And the destruction which you have heard of in this city of the desert is but a fraction of what the unbelieving nations of the world will experience for their rejection of Me and their attacks on My children. So this too is a sign—let the wicked beware, and tremble, for My Word will be fulfilled. Both the righteous and the wicked shall receive their just recompense, and as for the wicked, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.

Wild weather in the U.S.

END 71

(Dad: ) The southern U.S. has been hit by four hurricanes so far this year—especially Florida. It's been more than 100 years since a single state has been hit by four hurricanes in such a short time‚ and many folks in Florida are asking, "Why us?"

I've lived through a few Florida hurricanes myself, and my heart goes out to those poor people who lost loved ones or all they had during those storms. That can be a very sad loss and a difficult situation, I know.

Still, the Lord did many miracles to protect and keep His own and to bring many others to Him! He answered a lot of prayers, and new faith sprang up throughout Florida even as a lot of houses or material belongings were damaged and destroyed. The Lord looks on the material and the physical differently than those who are in human flesh do. While He's a God of love and compassion and mercy, and it hurts Him when His creations suffer, the spiritual is the most important in the long run, because that's what will endure forever. So He sometimes allows what seem like terrible things in the physical, to those who are looking at it naturally, because they bring forth wonderful fruit in the spiritual, to those who can see it supernaturally.

As far as the "Why us?" well, it's not that the people in Florida are any worse than Americans as a whole. There are the good and the righteous, and the evil and the iniquitous, just like most places. But the Lord allowed these storms to hit Florida as part of the judgments He's allowing on the U.S. as a whole.

You see, when the ruler of a nation goes astray and leads the nation astray in some way‚ the Lord sometimes allows the nation itself to suffer as a result. That happened a lot in the Bible, where the lessons are brought out very clearly, and it's happened a lot in the thousands of years since that time, but more modern people haven't always realized it or learned their lessons.

In ancient Israel, for example, the actions of the kings often brought down plagues and pestilences and attacks and various disasters upon their countries as a whole. Israel suffered because of Saul. Israel suffered because of David as well, when he sinned by taking a census in Israel. The Lord judged the country itself as a result, and 70,000 men died of a pestilence in the course of one day (2Samuel 24)! And if you go on reading Kings and Chronicles, they're often chronicles of the misdeeds of the kings and the Lord's resulting judgments on both them and their kingdoms!

So the Lord often judged kings and nations by judging their kingdoms and their people‚ and that's what's happening in Florida. The Lord is starting to judge Bush and the U.S. government for the destruction they've caused in Iraq, and although it might be more fitting in our eyes if the ground were to open up and swallow the White House and some other government buildings, that's not how the Lord works all the time. The nation itself often suffers because of an ungodly ruler and an ungodly government—in this case, one that they voted into office.

Just as the U.S. has left a swath of destruction in Iraq, these hurricanes, tornadoes and floods have left a swath of destruction in the southern U.S., and there's more to come if the U.S. continues on its wicked way under its present wicked government.

Now that's not something to gloat about or to point the finger about, saying, "The U.S. had it coming to them." If anything‚ it should cause a greater fear of the Lord to spring forth in you, praying that you'll be an obedient servant and not do anything worthy of His judgments! The Lord's a loving Father and He hates to have to spank His children, but He will if they're naughty and need it!

When Disaster Strikes

GP tract

Shock, pain, anguish. Fear, confusion‚ turmoil. Disbelief, terrible sadness‚ anger. In this dark hour, I know even these words cannot fully express what you who have been touched by grave tragedy feel inside.

I feel and understand your pain. I hear the questions that barrage you. I see the horror that haunts you. I know the havoc‚ the devastation, the tragic loss of life. I grieve for you. I see your misery. I feel your heavy-heartedness.

I know many of you feel that, at this point, there is no peace to be found. Mental anguish and an array of emotions grip you. Some of you ask whether I care that your loved ones are gone. You may wonder if I care that your heart is breaking. You may question if I see. Yes‚ I do see. I do care. I am deeply touched with your grief.

My heart aches for you, and I want to comfort you. I want to relieve your pain and clear your mind. I want to give you peace that passes all understanding. I want to give you peace though all seems lost. I want to give you peace in place of fear, and comfort in place of distress, turmoil, and confusion.

No matter what you feel at this moment‚ no matter how deeply grieved you may be, no matter how hopeless or distraught you feel, I ask you to put Me to the test. Test My love. You can do this by letting Me comfort your heart, ease your mind, and free you from fear.

I'm reaching out to you now. If you'll grab hold of Me, if you will call on Me for help-even if you do not understand, even if you feel confused, even if you feel the pain is too much to bear-if you'll just put your hand in Mine and trust Me, I will give you peace that passes all understanding. There is peace to be found. In the midst of this terrible destruction and despair that has touched your lives, in the face of bereavement and suffering, I will be your comfort and your consolation.

I want to answer the questions that trouble your mind. I want to allay the anguish and heaviness of heart, mind, and spirit you feel. Put Me to the test. I am here with outstretched arms to bring you comfort. No matter how difficult the circumstances‚ I can give you perfect peace, freedom from fear, and strength to pull you through. I will be a light in the midst of the darkness that surrounds you. Try Me!

Those of you who already know Me, please talk to Me more. You can call out to Me anywhere, anytime‚ any hour of the day. When you do, if you'll wait a moment and listen, I will answer you. I will speak to your heart and mind, and will comfort and guide you through this difficult time.

Those of you who don't know Me yet, I will do the same for you if you'll call on Me now. Simply say: "Jesus, if You really are the Son of God, I need You. Please make Your presence known to me. Give me Your peace and comfort and love. Take away my fear, ease this pain, comfort my aching heart. Set my confused and anguished mind at peace. Help me to talk to You, and to listen when You reply. Give me answers to my questions."

All you have to do is take this first step. No matter how dismal these days may be, I will pull you through if you'll hold on to Me. I never sleep. I am attentive to your needs and listening for your voice all the time. I am here to comfort and care for you. I am ready to answer your every question. Though your dreams may be shattered‚ there is no sorrow that I cannot and will not heal.

I am here to hold you‚ to console you, to comfort you.

With never-ending love,


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