Tuesday, October 13, 2009


By Joel Ferraris

As images of the calamity flood the internet links provided by people following the developments in our country my thoughts are flooded too with many memories as if they're floodwaters too that seem not bent on leaving. And as I gaze on my family sound asleep in our cozy flat here in Hong Kong after we said our prayers to the Almighty God the Father, in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, together and continue to be assured of their protection and well-being because I firmly believe in His grace, mercy and love I cannot lull my self to sleep that easy thinking about many things.

Fleeting thoughts of specific significance swirl inside my mind like debris floating in the murky floodwaters. People at this very moment sleeping or cannot sleep on rooftops, evacuation centers, trapped underneath building spaces destroyed by landslides elsewhere or even abroad thinking about their love ones back home are only a few in a mélange of images fit for a surreal painting. They are juxtaposed with other issues expected to take effect as a result of these calamities.

More than two weeks ago just before the three typhoons all sorts of news in the Philippines fight for the headlines for prominence and priority and one of these was the revelation of one senator about the corruption and the sins of one former president that would most likely pour out an avalanche. What bothered me that same night while I was about to sleep was the thought of how Edgar Bentain died. He was still a young man, a high school student, when I was a university student boarder in their apartment inside the university campus. He was then full of energy, a young man who liked to play soccer. What happened to him? How did he die? It was reported that he was murdered. What about those other students in our universities who died because of fraternity violence? Was there or will there ever be justice in all of these? Did the truth come out finally? Only people so wicked and possessed by demons were capable of doing these crimes as it is written that they are servants of “the devil who is a liar and a murderer from the very beginning.” John 8:44

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

Many people suffer injustice from the unrighteousness of spiritually corrupt people who hide the truth. Still many people are spiritually ignorant about the will of the Almighty God the Father and cannot accept the reason why Lord Jesus Christ came as a Savior and therefore cannot be free from captivity to sin.

Floodwaters will hopefully subside one day especially in the lowest areas which are still in danger of being submerged permanently and therefore the actual total destruction will be finally revealed to a certain extent. But how about in those cases where the dead cannot be found? Are they too buried into oblivion just like the truth that is still hidden from the families of victims of the many crimes committed in my country?

This recent calamity and the magnitude of destruction it caused present a big lesson for people to ponder upon deeply. There are those who, as expected, look forward that everything will be back to normal. But what is normal? What is normalcy? Are there serious lessons learned from this tragedy? Are these simply lessons for an arrogant secular society with science-powered pragmatism as its guiding light and with foresight as its prophetic thought? If this is purely a secular thing then does it mean that apostasy as well as idolatry goes on unhampered whereby goodness towards neighbor is simply a twisted version of the law Love thy Neighbor and where acts of goodness prominently added to the laurels of big companies, religious or secular groups vying for new members, supporters or profits?

There are some parallelism from the past that could still apply in the present and the future because the Almighty God the Father's laws are still the same.

From Ezekiel 14 http://kingjbible.com/ezekiel/14.htm

1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? 4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; 5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: 8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

What will make us more terrified is this:

12 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: 14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. 15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: 16 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. 17 Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it: 18 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: 20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

What about the aftermath?

By Joel Ferraris

Prompted by the behavior of the three typhoons I have to write this very important note as a reaction to the recent calamity and the ongoing devastation caused by the 2nd typhoon (Parma) still wreaking havoc in Luzon (as of this writing) while it changed its course and is forecast to move South Southwest at 12 kph.

People familiar with military strategy (learned either by experience or through computer games), I presume, could easily agree that if one part of the army is used for advanced frontal attack on the enemy a second wave of attack behind to hit enemy supply lines will cause so much damage to weaken and eventually defeat the enemy.

Such a scenario is what I have observed in what's going on in my country. While Ondoy devastated parts of Metro Manila and its neighboring areas before its final exit Peping (Parma), followed by another typhoon (Quedan), went north as if to purposely target the farmlands wherein crops supposedly ready for harvest in the coming months were destroyed. Now one understands and could imagine what this will eventually mean.

I am seriously thinking as to why all these things happened. What are the reasons? What is the main reason? What have we done to deserve such fate? What will the aftermath be?
It’s all Biblical.

What comes to mind is the more serious calamity happening to an individual. The presence of reality that there is confusion going on about religion and spirituality whereby true Christianity, suffering serious attacks from all sides, is either absent, obscured, ignored or even dismissed as dying or even inexistent in an age of computers makes one question about life and the afterlife and if there is a need for repentance.

Meanwhile, as soon as everything’s back to normal old habits and continued ignorance of what ways are sinful might come back again and everything’s back to “normal” again especially when society follows a confused sense of morality whereby the line dividing right from wrong is obscured. And as in the aftermath of the flood in Noah’s time evil will continue to lurk and resume business to devour the next victims without them having the chance of salvation through Lord Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life.

I have my own share of personal calamities as a citizen of a country ravaged by all sorts of calamities big and small, subtle or obvious. But all these have ceased their hold on me in 1988 when I was finally baptized in the Holy Spirit and accepted God the Father Almighty and His Son Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. And truly, the gifts of the Holy Spirit available for free are what a person needs for him or her to be able to walk a straight path towards the right direction and make life easy and most of all to obey the will of the Almighty God the Father and make one identify what things are evil to be able to resist it and be free from captivity to the many deceptions of the evil one.

Indeed, after practicing true worship, my prayers were answered many times in many ways and instances. In the devastation brought by typhoon Frank last year in Iloilo my old, 80+ year old mother, who lived in our small house together with my younger brother, was spared from that calamity that not only destroyed property but also claimed many lives. Our house is located in lowland too but it was not directly affected by the devastation.

I love my family and I always pray for them and because of this that I teach them about true worship and I give my trust and faith to the Almighty God the Father who is the One who could protect not only me but all the people I love as well in this lifetime. And this love is indeed really true if we all enjoy it in the eternal afterlife.

I have no control of what happens to them but the fact that I have not hidden the truth from them about Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation through Him makes me accept the will of the Almighty God the Father for them.

Calamities and God�s Judgment: What Can We Learn From Natural Disasters? by Bob DeWaay http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue90.htm

Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy by Dr. John Piper

The God of Disasters by Vincent Cheung