Herbert W. Armstong, Founder of Worldwide Church of God (Philadelphia Era) and the end-time ElijahTsunami Disaster   
Copy of e-mail sent to Hannity & Colmes by Mr. Elliott

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

Fw: God's involvement in the recent tsunami in the Indian Ocean

Dear Sean and Alan:

I listened and watched with interest to your program on Wednesday, January 5, 2005, in which you asked Franklin Graham why God allowed the tsunami that caused so much destruction around the shore line of the Indian Ocean. I didn't think Mr. Graham's answer was very satisfactory.

To understand God's role, or lack thereof, in the tsunami disaster, it is important to go back to the beginning of God's relationship with mankind. This takes us to Genesis chapters 1-3.  In Genesis 1:1 we are told that God created the heavens and the earth. But in verse 2 we find, "Now the earth was formless and empty . . ." (NIV).  The word "was" is better translated "BECAME" because in Isaiah 45:18, we discover the following, "For this is what the Lord says - he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; HE DID NOT CREATE IT TO BE EMPTY [as in Genesis 1:2], BUT FORMED IT TO BE INHABITED . . . ."

Thus there could be billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.  What we read about from Genesis 1:2, to the end of the chapter, is THE RECREATION OF THE EARTH TO MAKE IT ONCE AGAIN HABITABLE FOR MANKIND. But who was responsible for the destruction which necessitated a re-creation?

The Bible explains that the archangel Lucifer rebelled against God and tried to overthrow Him, causing massive destruction throughout the universe, including the earth (See Ezek. 28; Isa. 14; Rev. 12:7-9).  One result of this was the change of Lucifer's name to Satan, which means adversary.


When Christ created Adam and Eve, for He indeed was the member of the Godhead who did the actual creating (Jn. 1:1-3), He taught them His law and gave them certain instructions to follow.  He placed them in a beautiful garden He had planted, called Eden. Of particular interest in the garden were two trees. One represented eternal life, which they had free access to and the other, which they were forbidden to partake of, was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said if they imbibed of the fruit of that tree they would die! Here God was referring to possible eternal death.  God knew that if mankind decided to go it alone, without His guidance, deciding for themselves what was good and what was evil, they would inevitably sin and, as Romans 6:23 states, "THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD."

What is the Biblical definition of sin?  The answer is found in I John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW" (KJV). What law? GOD'S TEN COMMANDMENTS!  Verse 8 continues, "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil [Satan] sinneth from the beginning" (KJV). So, indeed in Genesis 3, Satan enters the picture and tells Adam and Eve that God has lied to them about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They won't die if they eat of its fruit.  They believe Satan, take of the fruit, and in essence, REBEL AGAINST GOD, just as Lucifer himself did!

The result? God put Adam and Eve out of His garden to fend for themselves.  They had decided to follow Satan and God had given them the free will to do so. Now through hard experience and apart from God, they and their children, and their children's children, right down to today, would find that Satan's way would not bring peace and happiness, but disaster, including natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

So, in answer to your question, by and large, God has allowed mankind to go his own way, to experience for himself what his way brings, or rather what Satan's way brings.  Mankind has experimented with various religions, forms of government and commerce, but all are influenced by Satan!

Does God want all men, i.e. the majority to be saved? Yes! Absolutely!  God has a plan, which involves a number of steps to this end; but that's another story. God will prevail and Satan will lose, but in the meantime mankind will continue to suffer. And yes, Sean, you were correct when you postulated that the tsunami was part of Christ's prophecy in Matthew 24.

One final point, Mr. Graham stated that God would not punish human beings with disasters. This does not comply with Biblical history or prophecy.  God was responsible for the Noachian flood (Gen. 6), and the destruction of billions of His creation, because of their violence and perversions.  Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah, the destruction of the firstborn of Egypt, and the drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. In the near future, the returning Christ will destroy the army of the nations in the vicinity of Jerusalem (see Rev. 19).  Just remember what God destroys He can later resurrect.

Now I find it strange, that men who on a daily basis break God's laws with impunity and want nothing to do with Him and who have deliberately cut themselves off from Him, should expect Him to intervene for them in times of disaster.  Considering the level of disobedience to God throughout the world, He is remarkably kind, considerate, and patient.  Most of us work, eat, and have a roof over our heads and if this is not the case in some countries, it is because of the dictators who prey on their own people. Not God!

Until mankind repents and shows himself willing to keep His laws and commandments, world conditions will get worse, natural disasters will occur, and God will stand to the side until this world comes to the point of self-annihilation, at which point Christ will return to save man and the planet.  "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:21-22).

Was God in this case specifically responsible for the great tsunami? No!  Did He let it happen? Yes! Would it have happened if people were obedient to God? No! Is anyone enjoying the death and destruction? Yes! Satan the devil!

I hope this provides you with a rationale for what is going on in this society today!

In Christ's service,

Robert J. Elliott, Pastor

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