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Gustav Grieves the Gulf

{This is taken from the last chapter of REPORTS FOR BELIEVING, chapter 17 entitled "Respect for God".  You can download and/or read the whole chapter by going to the Reports for Believing Page of the SunGrist_Bible website, www.biblecombibleman.com/Reports_for_Believing/ .  You must have Adobe Reader on your computer.  It is available free at www.adobe.com .  Adobe works best in Internet Explorer 6.0 .}


17-13: Calamities, Curses, and Chastisement from God.



What you will find in the brief study of the Bible on calamities like Gustav, curses, and the Chastisement from God is that there is a close relationship between the cursing of man, which shows a lack of respect for God, and the CURSE as contrasted to promised Blessing from God where God responds to that lack of respect for His own people. Sometimes in the Bible the same Greek and Hebrew word is used for curse and cursing in the two ways, from God and from man. History and the Bible has ample testimony to the reality that a lack of respect for God is in many ways the beginning and fulfillment of the downfall of civlizations, and that the Curse of God on His own people is evidences when there is a long period of intense calamities. It can be said: IT TAKES A LOT OF CALAMITIES FROM GOD TO MAKE A CURSE ON THE PEOPLE OF GOD! Unfortunately the people and the land of the country like the United States where God has begun to chastise His own people to promote righteousness, humility, and prayer are just innocent bystanders of the continous work of God.


Even as it takes many blessings for us to know that God has blessed us, so it takes many calamities for God’s people to realize that God has cursed them; but the guarantee of the Bible is that God never does anything without warning, without letting His people know what He is about to do!



17-14: Gustav Grieves the Gulf Coast.



It seems that the real question then is whether the calamity of the hurricane named Gustav is the warning {and certainly for the Gulf Coast, especially for New Orleans, there was over a week of warning}, or if Bible teachings on calamities, curses, and chastisement from God are the warnings, and that the intense series of calamities on the United States since 9/11 in floods, droughts, invasion from external enemies in the destruction of the twin towers, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes is the actual chastisement on God’s people. It would seem that Bible teachings in colleges, seminaries, churches, and homes for several generations are adequate to know that God either curses or blesses His own called people directly proportional to (2) their righteousness and obedience, and (2) the effectiveness of their fervent prayers based on righteousness. And what really makes convictions on these Bible teachings of blessings and/or curses from God on God’s people from the heathen practices of past history where any "act of God" was considered as punishment from the gods is: (1) where there are many gods as recognized by the Creator of the Universe and written about in the Bible, there is only one real God with the power to manage these calamities; and (b) the ability of God’s people to know and understand the teachings of the Bible remove us from such superstitous reactions to "acts of God".


Even as such destructive acts of nature have always been historically attributed to God or "gods", so even our weather men of science, if there can really be any such thing, have personalized tropical storms and hurricanes with personal names, which within itself is almost a primitive act of diefication; or would be were it not for the Bible teachings on calamities, curses, and chastisement. How do you know when an intense series of calamities are simply the natural result of the law of God automatically applied to the "rain on the just and the unjust", or when it is evidence of a curse from God on God’s people and the rest of the world is just innocent bystanders. {Certainly, this is not an intention to seek the human sacrifice of churches and church members to appease God, like the heathen practices of the past when bad things happened from nature; however, as the professed people of God they are responsible to God for what happens in blessings and/or curses from God on the land and the people, by the extent of their righteusness and the effectiveness of their prayer.} Well, the answer to that question of how to chose between an automatic law of God and evidence of a curse from God, for one thing, is in the intensity of the calamities, and the location, per unit of time. Also you can go by the acts of grace manifest during the calamities like hurricanes and as for example that while Gustav killed approximately 98 people on the way to the Gulf Coast, on land where we would agree that few of God’s people live, it only killed approximately 7 people on the Gulf Coast!


However, back to the Bible and Bible teachings for some sure word of clarity on calamities and curses!



17-15: Calamities and Curses in the Bible.



It is clear from Bible teachings such as in II Chronicles 7, Solomon’s dedicaton of the Temple as the House of God and the place where God would place His name, that it takes a curse from God is made up of a lot of calamities. However before a more detailed look at exactly what God told King Solomon in reponse to His prayer during the dedication of the first Temple of God, we must consider the Bible teachings from Deuteronomy that already existed in the minds and hearts of God’s people, taught often to them and which is the same for us, on the blessing and/or curse of God.


1. Deuteronomy 11:26: The Established Natural Law of God for His own people of either a BLESSING or a CURSE.


God clearly set before His own people in the wilderness, and used the words Himself "I set before you" this very day "A Blessing and A Curse".


"Behold {sort of like Christ His Son, who learned of course from the Father would stress a most important teaching with the preface of "verily, verily, I say unto you}, I {this is God speaking and none less than God the Great I, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end}...Behold, I set before you today {no doubt as to when He did it and where, in the wilderness, through Moses, and at the time of the 40 years of wilderness wanderings as the new nation of Israel was formed up from the multitudes brought out of Egypt}...."Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse..." (Deuteronommy 11:26)



What would you like to argue with here, that God said it or that God did it? Or do you just want to disagree by any intellectual and spiritual efforts possible that God exercises those two options toward the treatment of His people throughout history where (1) He either blesses His people based on the extent of their obedience on righteousness, or (2) He curses the people because of the wickedness, the opposite of righteousness, and because of their ineptness on prayer.



NOTE: Even as righteousness and effective prayer go hand in hand, that is according to the Bible "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man {and righteous people} availeth much", and the opposite would also be true--without righteousness in the churches and among the church people while still many formal prayers and many words spoken, the effectivity of the prayers will be lessened, so the first big evidence that any House of God has passed from a "House of Prayer" to a "Den of Thieves", as spoken by Jeremiah and later Jesus, is when the extent and effectiveness of prayer has disappeared. Likewise as the churches pass from houses of prayer to HIDEOUTS FOR BAD HABITS, which is the real meaning of Den of Thieves as used in Jeremiah and from Jesus. Yet you should not be shocked that the most religious people who ever lived, led by the Pharisees, priests, lawyers, Saduccess {the religous leaders} in spite of much speakikng of prayers in public and on street corners, and with many words as Jesus observed to His first disciples, became ineffective in prayer about the same time Jesus said they had turned a "House of Prayer" into a "Den of Thieves." {You may want to read these two ebooks from SunGrist_Bible at www.biblecombibleman.com .}



a. THE BLESSING from God to God’s people when and if you obey the righteous teachings of the Word of God, the Bible.



"...the Blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today." (Deuteronomy 11:27)



Yes, this was also the time of the giving of the commands of God, in particular the Ten Commandments that God’s people in the churches of the US know so well.


b. THE CURSE.



"and the curse,if yhou do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known..." (Deuteronomy 11:28)



REMEMBER, then and now, most basic and fundamental is the command to have no other gods before the One LORD God of the universe; and that simple and basic to Bible understanding is that any thing, person, or "mammon" that has the place of loyalty in your life where God should have this commanded priority, be it inanimate or animate, becomes a "god" to you.



2. Deuteronomy 30:1-- For the world, the US included, of God’s people just like for our example in the Bible of the history of Israel, and as predicted and fulfilled for Israel in the Bible, the blessing was followed by the curse, and sometimes vice versa, and the cycle of the history of Israel was (1) Blessing, (3) Curse, (4) Return to God and Restoration, and (5) A repeat on the group level of the nation of God’s called people again Falling Away.



NOTE: Be not deceived as sure as the prediction and fulfillment in the Old Testament of this cycle and Falling Away of God’s people, so is the surety of the same for God’s people today in the world and the US. The whole book of Hebrews is about the Falling Away we are in now; Jesus taught it in His famous teachings on eschatology like in Matthew 24 where "because sin will abound the love of many will wax cold"; Paul wrote the often ignored book of II Thessalonias to explain that you must look for the Falling Away before the Second Coming, and that if you confuse the historical sequence you are out of step with the Word of God and God’s plan for the Universe.



"Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you, and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul {recall the summary of the 10 commandments on love for God and fellow man}, that the LORD your God will being you back from captivity, and have compassion on you..." (Deuteronomy 30:1-3)


You want some history and wisdom on curse, blessing, and calamity much older than any history we have about nations and nations of God’s people, here it is! Heed!


a. Curse in the Dictionary: "a prayer for harm to come upon one".


Of course in the case of a curse from God Himself, the prayer is not a request but a demand to the universe and the nature of the universe that it will be done; and in the case of God the Father for His own people, it not harm for destruction, but rather for chastisement and in order to promote righteousnes and holiness in the life of His own people.



"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11)



By the way, why is it that often you hear from people that "God has blessed us", why but self-denial and at the group level, do you never hear "God has cursed us"? Is it respect for God? No, it can not be for you see what the teachings of the Bible is on these matters of calamities and a curse. Perhaps it is because of our false concepts of God, having in the US in the last few generations created like Phillips said in our minds and hearts "a god that is too small", or beyond that in the last 40 years or so of the unsound doctrine of the Falling Away in our churches and other pulpits created a god that is not at all the God of the Bible, an idol in our mind that does not exist but to whom we give loyalty over the real God of the Bible and of the Universe. You know what has created this Gospel of Prosperity of this "time when they will not endure sound doctrine" is a false gospel that has rationalized and justified the creation of false gods; and that is need now is a Counter Gospel to this, perhaps a GOSPEL OF GOD’S CURSE OF CALAMITIES!


b. Calamity in the Dictionary: "great distress or misfortune; an event causing great harm or loss and affliction; a disaster".


That Gustav and Katrina and others of these hurricanes and tornadoes--fire, floods, invasions from abroad by Muslim fundamentalists, and droughts--are great distresses, misfortunes, events of great harm with loss and afflictions, alias diasters is obvious; and obviously calamities, that an intense series of calamities is evidence of a Curse from God should become more evident, and that it is a gracious reminder for the people of God, alias the many churches of America, to return to righteousness and effectual fervent prayer.


c. Chastisement in the Dictionary: "to correct through punishement or suffering; discipline."


And since we want to be known in churches as God’s people who believe in the Word of God, let us look at the definition of the chastisement of God’s people in the Bible:



"..but He for our profit,that we may be partakers of His holiness." (Hebrews 12:10)



You certainly have a good concept of the Bible teachings on chastisement if you read this and remember the verse after it, Hebrews 12:11, quoted above and add to that the total teachings on the total context of Hebrews 12 on chastisement, how that it is not for the bastard children of the world but for the people of God, those whom God loves and wants to make more righteous, holy, and effective in prayer.


d. Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible for "calamity": the word is found 20 times in the Bible, literally meaning "mist or vapour", "accident and misfortune", and "evil" or "bad" {Isn’t that definiton of a calamity like Gustav being labled by the Word as evil, an interesting personification in light of many political efforts to personify evil as something far from our churches and our land and people, all the way to bad nations of the world or even to the streets of Chicago and the caves of Pakistan?}


e. Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible for "curse": found so many times in the Bible, referring to acts of God and man too often to number with 22 distinct Greek and Hebrew words and meanings such as: (1) oath, (2) devoted thing, (3) execration, (4) a reviling or thing lightly esteemed, (5) swearing, (6) imprecation, (7) to place under an anathema, (8) to bless, etc; and the word "cursed" has at least 7 more defintions and words in the Bible in the Greek and Hebrew,


3. Life and death in the Bible is correlated with respectively blessing and curse in the Bible: Deuteronomy 30:19.



"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live..." (Deuteronomy 30:19)



NOTE: You really want to do something good for the future of this country and the children to follow, then make the choice and choices in your churches in favor of righteousness, effective prayer, and a loyalty for the one God over other gods.



17-16: Now we are ready for Dedication of the House of God by Solomon.



1. When pestilences, calamities, and other acts of God comes upon God’s people, it is literally as stated in law "acts of God"; for you will notice in II Chronicles 7:13,14 the number of times and the number of actions by God Himself as He says, "I shut", "I command", and "I send". How can you doubt in the light of the teachings of the Bible on this matter that when these hurricanes like Gustav strike the people of God in the US, that it is God who shuts, God who commands, and God who sends!



"When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:13,14)



2. According to these verses form the Word of God above: the American land and the American people, and the welfare of both in the present actions and planning and management of God is dependent on the righteousness, loyalty, and prayer of the churches; and bottom line, the churches of America are responsible for the blessing or curse from God.


3. As the assessement of the damage to the Gulf Coast is made, like in other hurricanes and tornadoes as well as other floods and calamities, the question will be asked in mind and heart if not in words, "Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?" (II Chronicles 7:21)

Yes, like in the pervious intense series of calamities being experienced by America, you will see churches destroyed and you will see suffering among God’s people! Why not a start from the pulpits and a renewal of Bible teachings on more than a superficial explanation than that being given by people such as Major Nagel, "we live in a hurricane prone territory", a start of reconciliation of Bible thought that GOD HAS DONE THIS TO THE LAND AND THE CHURCHES, TO HIS OWN PEOPLE!


4. God’s people of the churches are in a proper mental position, it is called attitude,to begin on a revival of righteousness over the Gospel of Prosperity; from excuses and rationalization to an enlarged concept of "Evil" based on the Bible which faces up to "the spirit within us that lusteth to evny", the rising tide of the mystery of lawlessness of the Falling Away; from the HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS to the recognitions of follies; and from the "Den of Thieves" back to the Houses of Prayer and righteousness.



"Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the landof Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them." (II Chronicles 7:22)




2008-09-04 12:53:22 GMT
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