Victor wrote this letter to Ron Greib, the author of Could a God of Love Create Cancer Cells, Rattlesnakes, and Earthquakes?:
Greetings in Christ Jesus, Ron,
I would like to answer your topical question with Scripture, and submit to you Scriptural answers. I will tell you before I read your book that I believe you to be in error; you have not known Him Who is Love, and therefore you cannot understand God’s love. I believe this because of some of the things you write in your site (http://www.geocities.com/ron_greib/). Without the Spirit of God, no man can know or understand the things of God, especially His infinite and supreme Nature.
We do understand, by Him, because we know Him, and are called and chosen to preach the truth He has made known to us, for the sakes of all those who do their own thing, because He loves them. They do not know Him. You do not know Him. Therefore, we write. If we know the truth, we have permission, and the right, if not the obligation, to speak it. You have rejected our ministry, unsubscribing from The Issues of Life, not knowing what you are doing, though we suppose that you think otherwise, and are not merely careless. This letter will serve to give you opportunity to hear the Truth, whether you receive it or not, believe it or not.
In asking, “Could a God of love create cancer cells, rattlesnakes and earthquakes?” you are posing the question, “Does God do evil, or is God responsible for the evils we witness and experience?” I hope you reply in the affirmative. In reply to your above question, it is written:
“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and to the sunset, that there is none besides Me. I am Jehovah, and there is none else; forming the light and creating darkness; making peace and creating evil. I Jehovah do all these things” (Isaiah 45:6-7 MKJV).
“And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth…” (Genesis 6:7).
“And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife” (Genesis 12:17).
“Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (Genesis 19:24-25).
“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him” (Genesis 38:7).
“And the thing which Onan did displeased the Lord: wherefore He slew him also” (Genesis 38:10).
“I will send My fear before you, and will destroy all the people to whom you shall come…” (Exodus 23:27).
“Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go…and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour…and there fell of the people [of God] that day about 3000 men” (Exodus 32:27-28).
Now the Bible says that God is Love. It also declares that He does not change. If this is true, and it is, all these Scriptures represent love. God describes the problem thus:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9 MKJV).
While you truly acknowledge that people do not know God as He is, your site is a misrepresentation of God, and of the way to Him. You place the onus on man to have the desire and/or ability to understand the nature of God. Understanding, we love. That is not true, Ron. It is not by our analysis and assessment; it is not by our power, or ability, or desire, or any other thing that we come to know and love Him. Is the Gospel message, “By understanding the love of God you are saved”? Or does it say, “For by grace through faith you are saved”? We are not saved by understanding anything, not even His love, which is the least to be understood by carnal man, who needs salvation. We are saved by faith, which itself is not ours, but His gift to us. Yours is an appeal to the flesh, having nothing to do with the Spirit, against Whom the flesh lusts. As Paul writes to the saints of Galatia:
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things oppose each other, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17 EMTV).
Could Love create cancer cells?
“And He said, If you will carefully listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD Who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).
Could Love create rattlesnakes?
“And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people. And many people of Israel died” (Numbers 21:6).
Could Love create earthquakes?
“You shall be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:6).
He has done and still does all these things, and more:
“So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave you; and pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring the sword upon you. I the LORD have spoken it” (Ezekiel 5:17).
“And Gad came to David and said to him, So says the LORD, Choose for yourself: either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtake you, or else three days of the sword of the LORD, even the plague in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the border of Israel. And now say what word I shall bring again to Him Who sent me” (1 Chronicles 21:11-12).
Did all these calamities and evils end at the cross? Only a short time after, the Lord slew Ananias and Sapphira, without even giving them a chance to confess and repent. It says that great fear came upon the believers as a result. I wonder how your concepts would have served them at that time. What would you have said? How did they understand God’s manifest love at that point? (If you have an answer to these questions, I would dearly love to hear them, and if I can understand and agree, I will apologize to you, and thank you for your counsel and correction.)
Forty years later, the Temple was destroyed, Jerusalem was besieged, sacked, and burned, and Israel was scattered to the four winds. Since then we have had the sword, pestilence, famine and wild beast in plenty, to this very day. God is still Love to all. He never changes. Read The Purpose of Evil.
Now, if you agree with me so far on these Scriptures, and write so in your book, then you do know something, and have more reality than I suspect as I peruse your site, which is a misrepresentation of God, notwithstanding all the study and Scripture of which you boast.
Reviewing your credentials, I want to believe that you have discovered, not by carnal study and reason, but by spiritual revelation, that God’s original and ultimate purpose is to reconcile all things unto Himself, in which case, everything that happens in this world is so much easier to understand and to accept. Indeed, we have much to which to look forward! Look at the section: The Restitution of All Things.
You will not find “the love of God” in our writings, as you judge God and love. Indeed, from what I perceive, you will find the very opposite, that which many call hate, bitterness, judgmentalism, and condemnation. However, we say that His love is indeed with and in us.
Do you not suggest that we will love God if we understand Him and His love? Will the salvation of mankind depend on its perception or understanding of God’s love? I know that I was not saved by my understanding. He simply saved me, beyond my understanding or desire to understand. I think that Saul of Tarsus would bear witness to the same, don’t you? The suggestion or promise that we will love and believe God if we understand Him is misleading. It is an attractive, subtle trap, snaring the simple. It is as one who, at a crossroads, turns the pointing sign to Jerusalem in a false direction, deceiving or, at least, confusing, subsequent travelers.
The story of Jonah is a real-life parable of God’s ultimate work of reconciling all men unto Himself. It was Jonah who served as the classic, one and only sign given to men, figuratively pointing to the day when Jesus Christ would die and be buried for three days and three nights and rise again to deliver us from death. Every soul in gentile Nineveh was redeemed. What was Jonah’s part? Did he teach them to understand God’s love? Did he? The record tells us that he himself did not comprehend or even agree with what he did comprehend of God’s love. Here is what is recorded, as you may already know:
“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. And God was compassionate over the evil that He had said to do to them, and He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10 MKJV).
“But it was a great calamity in Jonah’s sight, and it kindled anger in him. And he prayed to Jehovah and said, Please, O Jehovah, was this not my saying when I was still in my land? On account of this I fled before to Tarshish. For I knew that You are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and One who repents over calamity. And now, O Jehovah, I beseech You, take my life from me. For better is my death than my life. And Jehovah said, Is anger rightly kindled in you?” (Jonah 4:1-4 MKJV)
Have you red Our Testimonies, Ron? Please do.
Knowing His love, and earnestly contending for the faith (not the understanding of His love) once delivered to the saints,