Only the Beginning of Sorrows
by Jim Josephsen
By now you are keenly aware of the devastation and utter chaos,
civil unrest; the deteriorating living conditions throughout the
nation of Haiti.
The news coverage is complete, print media, telecasts and Internet
stories abound as the nation of Haiti is laid open for the entire
world to see.
At 4:53 p.m. on January 12th, a magnitude seven earthquake with an
epicenter just south of Port-au-Prince flattened much of the
capital, affecting some two million people. The nation’s population
of some nine million people has been affected. The number of dead
will easily reach 200,000.
The nation’s Presidential Palace was ravaged. The effects of the
earthquake were indiscriminate as residential homes and shanties
alike; office buildings, hospitals, schools, police stations, the
many Ministry buildings, international relief headquarters and
religious missions all suffered ruin. City mile after mile has been
Lifeless bodies lay everywhere. Those who have survived, walk by
corpses, stagger in disbelief, uncertain what tomorrow will bring.
Mass graves are quickly being filled, with little time to identify
the dead or give honorable burials. Haitian leaders struggle to
comprehend the extent of the catastrophe. The
International Red Cross estimates that easily one third of the
nation’s population need emergency aid now, if they are to live in
the days ahead. News headlines make it clear; Haiti is on the brink
of internal collapse, as water and foods are in short supply and in
critical need. The United States and other nations have laid out
plans in response to the disaster. Helicopters, transport planes,
U.S. and UN troops, Israeli Search Teams, and hundreds of volunteers
aid in the rescue, recovery, distribution and rebuilding efforts.
Occasional stories of rescue provide hope and moments of joyous
relief. What we see as the mounting aftermath of such a horrifying
disaster leaves many heartbroken, utterly helpless. Anyone watching
the news coverage, with natural compassion, bends over in pain and
offers up a silent prayer that God’s mercy will aid those people.
How can anyone not hurt after witnessing the suffering survivors of
Donations will make their way to the organizations that will offer
assistance. Rebuilding efforts will proceed. Relief efforts will
avail help, as mankind in its best humanitarian efforts will attempt
to aid and comfort that beleaguered nation.
Yet at a time when human beings are suffering and a nation has been
brought low, we are witnessing a dark, corrupt side of human
behavior. We are unfortunately made aware of carnal corrupt
individuals who take advantage of this kind of disaster by setting
up bogus charities and rogue telemarketing phone banks with the
intention of stealing your money in the name of relief efforts.
Even more pathetic, and certainly exposing ignorance, were the words
of a high profile, supposed religious man; one
This individual, who commands much “face time” on his
CBN program, 700
Club, has once again expelled words that expose his lack of
understanding of the Truth and of God.
This man proclaimed the reason the earthquake hit Haiti was
Summarizing his argument, Robertson stated, “You know, something
happened a long time ago in Haiti. They got together and swore a
pact with the devil and said we will serve you if you free us from
the French. And so
the devil said, OK, it’s a deal. And the Haitians revolted and got
themselves free. But ever since they’ve been cursed by one thing or
another.” Robertson’s spokesman said, “Robertson never stated that
the earthquake was God’s wrath.”
So then why did Robertson say what he did?
Originally under French rule, during the 1700s, Haiti was once the
wealthiest colony in the
representing one third of France’s economy. In
Haitian slaves revolted against the French colonists to gain
their independence. History explains how the slaves engaged in
voodoo rituals in order to secure victory over the French.
Did the Haitian’s swear a pact with the devil to gain their
independence? Did this earthquake hit Haiti, specifically, in
response to that nation’s religious practices and superstitions? Is
God overly concerned that these people then or now practice voodoo?
Was God out to get those people?
These questions are genuine and are logically answered from the Word
of God. One need not listen to the ranting of a posturing religious
man, who clearly misuses the Word of God to promote his opinions.
Clearly, he does not represent Jesus Christ.
What occurred in Haiti is the result of time and chance, of tectonic
plates shifting and the earth realigning. Earthquakes occur as a
natural result of geologic forces at play.
If God were to arise to get your attention, something He will do
when Jesus Christ returns to the earth with righteous judgment, you
will know it is God at work. ALL nations and ALL people will know!
The day will come when God will “not only shake the earth but the
heavens” (Hebrews 12:26; Haggai 2:6). The Book of Revelation and the
many prophecies designated for the latter days, the time of Christ’s
return are specific in revealing that when God is ready to get the
world’s attention, the world will know and have no doubt. You will
know it is His doing and not time and chance.
The earthquake in Haiti, like the hundreds to date, is not in direct
response from God in answer to its sins. If this were so, then all
the nations of this earth today would be wiped flat, including the
good old Christian United States of America. Talk about a nation
laden with sins and religious hypocrisy. God is a God of compassion
and long suffering, not willing that any should perish but that all
should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). After all what is the work
of God, as revealed by Christ but a work showing the compassion,
grace and forgiveness of God? Those who stand up as a witness of the
Words of Jesus Christ preach repentance and salvation and the hope
Those who preach the truth from the Bible know exactly what Jesus
Christ had to say about earthquakes in our time, this end-time. “…
There shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in diverse
places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:7-8).
To comment that the Haitians made a pact with the devil again shows
ignorance of the Word of God. We understand that Satan is the god of
this world (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9).
Satan told Christ that all the governments of the world are
something Satan controlled and could give to Christ if Jesus would
only worship the devil (Luke 4:5-7). Jesus Christ came to uproot the
power of Satan, to destroy his works, rendering Satan powerless.
Although Christ has conquered, dethroning Satan, it will only be
when Christ returns that Satan will be completely and firmly removed
from the earth (Revelation 20:2-3). As for now he has but a little
time to continue his deceptions over mankind. All nations today
have, as it were, a pact with the devil.
The reality is the world, all mankind (except for those who are
called out of the world (John 15:19; 17:14-17)), are all held
captive by Satan at his will (2 Timothy 2:24-26) and it is necessary
for any minister or preacher of the truth to express compassion and
mercy, while teaching the hope of salvation.
To proclaim that Haiti somehow now got what it deserved shows one’s
absolute ignorance of the Word of God and ignorance of God’s plan of
salvation; why Jesus Christ came to this earth
What would Jesus Christ have to say about this tragic, devastating
earthquake? We can understand an answer in principle by looking at a
similar event that occurred in Christ’s day. Luke 13:1-5. In summary
Christ admonished those who would think a calamitous event was God’s
way of punishing sinners.
Is this what God would do? Christ said no! And unless you repent,
you too will perish, insignificantly.
The reverse of that statement is the message of Christ and
Christianity. If you repent, you will still die as it is appointed
unto all men once to die (Hebrews 9:27; Psalm 89:48), but your life
will have meaning, significance, and you will be brought up in the
first resurrection. Consider Psalm 116:15, Proverbs 14:32 or
Revelation 14:13. Those who repent and are followers of Christ will
be resurrected to eternal life. Those in Christ have a life that is
significant, meaningful and precious in God’s sight. All those
having not repented, never being given the chance to come out from
under Satan’s captivity, will await the second resurrection, the
resurrection to judgment. The thousands, who died, buried in mass
graves in Haiti, are not lost, but will await their resurrection.
God will provide a way for them to finally escape the captivity of
Christ made it clear. God is not out to “get you.” God the Father
and Jesus Christ are concerned with saving sinners, redeeming
mankind, all nations; saving their creation.
The nation of Haiti is now just as deceived as most of the citizens
of the United States. Although the United States is by far a
wealthier nation, it is still destitute of knowledge of the one and
only true God. The citizens of Haiti are just as deceived as are the
millions of American Christians and the thousands of members of the
Talk about “a pact with the devil,” all one needs to do is look into
the Word of God and compare the truth of God with the falsehoods and
doctrinal lies taught by Sunday-keeping Christians. It was clear
even in Paul’s day that Satan had transformed himself into an angel
(messenger) of light and Satan’s ministers masqueraded as preachers
of the truth (although their message was and still is falsehood and
lies) in order to deceive the people (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). So it
remains today, the doctrines prevalent in the mainstream,
Sunday-keeping Christian world, are appealing to the listeners as
nice stories about Jesus and Bible heroes, but the truth is missing.
American Christianity’s doctrines are loaded with falsehoods,
deception and lies.
The messages taught by the likes of Robertson and the overwhelming
majority of American Christians are right in line with the
deceptions Satan promotes. Satan would have one worship a false
Jesus, where all you need to do is believe in the Lord without
having to obey Him and keep His commandments. Christ requires that
you hear, do and obey. Starting with the Sabbath Day, American
Christianity is disobedient to the Laws of God. If an earthquake
were God’s way of getting sinners, He would start here at home.
American Christianity abuses the love, mercy and grace of God.
Mainstream Christianity embraces the lies of the devil which were
introduced to the Christian religion en masse at the time of the
birth of the Roman Catholic Church. And without skipping a beat,
Protestant Churches have kept pace with mother Rome.
The work of God is the preaching of reconciliation, offering mankind
the hope of salvation! To suggest that God is out to get you flies
directly in the face of the words of Christ and the hope of
salvation. Without doubt, the world and the governments of this
world will be humbled at the return of Jesus Christ. Yet only then
will God have the full attention of those who remain, having
survived the tribulation to come. Only then, will the process of
salvation begin for those alive and will continue for all those who
died, never knowing the real Jesus, when Christ resurrects them.
To be certain, earthquakes should get our attention, reminding us of
our dependence on God. Without God and His true intervention and
relief, we are indeed most hopeless. All man can do after each
earthquake is rebuild - until the next one. And just where will that
Earthquakes should humble us to get us to understand the time is
coming when God will shake the earth and the heavens. While the
earth is for now at rest, now is your opportunity to get right with
God; to accept His salvation, to obey Him and become reconciled to
Him so when He does shake the earth, you will survive. For now, this
earthquake is only the beginning of sorrows.