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I would like to look at the two transport accidents which occurred in March and April this year, both of which have been under such mysterious circumstances. Both tragedies accompany a phenomenon of a mysterious sudden turn, which is significant......
By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering……4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, ‘Seize him!’ But the hand he stretched out towards the man shrivelled up, so that he could not pull it back…...So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before. 7 The king said to the man of God, ‘Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.’ 8 But the man of God answered the king, ‘Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. 9 For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: “You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came”’…
11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, ‘Which way did he go?’ And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken……He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, ‘Are you the man of God who came from Judah?’ ‘I am,’ he replied. 15 So the prophet said to him, ‘Come home with me and eat.’ 16 The man of God said…17 I have been told by the word of the LORD: “You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.”’ 18 The old prophet answered, ‘I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: “Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.”’ (But he was lying to him.) ……
20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, ‘This is what the LORD says: “You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.”’……24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it…29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him……31 After burying him, he said to his sons, ‘When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32 For the message he declared by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true.’                       
1KINGS 13:1-32.
There have lately been many very unpleasant incidents happening worldwide, with circumstances which are shrouded in mystery. They might be caused by Satan, the ruler of ‘the powers of this dark world’, but even such nasty occurrence has always been under God’s control and it is God that allows it to happen. In the Scripture there are some examples, through which we might be helped to understand why the Lord allows disasters and tragedies to befall good people. This month I would like to expound on chapter 13 of 1 Kings. Before turning to it, first I would like to look at the two transport accidents which have occurred in March and April this year, both of which have been under such mysterious circumstances.
On 8th March the Malaysia Airlines jet Flight 370 suddenly disappeared from radar screens over Southeast Asia between Malaysia and Vietnam. It was scheduled to arrive in Beijing after leaving Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital. The analysis of radar data from after the plane lost contact showed a possibility of the plane continually heading west, in the wrong direction, by an unexpected turn. Reasons behind such a sudden turn were disputed to be either by a deliberate direction change or power failure. Further, a possibility was suggested that the plane may have kept flying invisibly from radar screens at low altitude for hours even after its last contact.
Firstly, shortly after the accident some strange things were reported that four passengers had valid booking to travel but did not show up for the flight and that two passengers, both Iranians who boarded the plane were found out to have used stolen passports, which naturally raised concern of terrorist involvement. In the past, would-be immigrants were understood to have used fake passports to enter Western countries. Now Southeast Asia is known as a booming market for stolen passports. It has so far remained an enigma of how both passengers were able to board an international flight with fake passports, despite both having been listed as “stolen” in the ICPO (International Criminal Police Organisation)’s database.
Next, concerning how the plane could go missing without any trace, there is another enigma that there was no report of problems by the pilots before contact with air traffic controllers was lost. Soon after the accident, ships and planes from various countries have launched searches for any wreckage, from an oil slick, suspected floating objects to pings from black boxes containing flight records in a circular area around a location. After a seven week effort the search has not identified any sign of debris despite the use of latest technology searching deep underwater.
The second tragedy took place on 16th April when one of the largest South Korean ferries carrying 476 passengers and crew capsised and sank. Why the vessel sank has been disputed among experts. Rescued passengers reported that before the vessel began to tilt a loud thud had been heard, which has been analysed to have been caused either by a collision with a rock, or by dislodged heavy cargo. The ferry made a sharp turn before it issued a distress call but the  reason for such a turn is unknown. Such a sudden change of balance caused by a sudden turn would have destabilized the vessel. This accident accompanies a lot of unwelcome and inexplicable factors. At the time of the incident, the ship was being steered by an inexperienced third officer rather than the captain. After the ship started to tilt, it took around two hours until the vessel finally sank, during which the passengers were commanded to stay in place without any proper evacuation guidance while more than half of the ship’s crew including the captain were safely evacuated. Later the ferry was reported to have been overloaded with cargo. Human errors, indecisiveness of the captain and the crew in the emergency, the mysterious sudden sharp turn of the ship to more than an angle of 140 degrees and the rough sea currents on the spot, all worked together to cause such a disaster.
Both tragedies accompany a phenomenon of a mysterious sudden turn, which is significant because it seems to be suggestive of an unknown power which suddenly interfered with the captain’s and crews’ decision. In the Scripture there is a passage which illustrates a suddenly interjected decision caused by Satan:
 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly…As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out  (Jn. 13:26-30, Line added),
and something similar may have happened to cause both these transport accidents.
Returning to the quoted passages from I Kings 13 at the beginning, here we can see two opposing powers working behind the scenes. At the time of the account, the Northern Kingdom, Israel was completely corrupted by King Jeroboam’s evil reign, in that he built up a false religious system, including calf worship and consequently he steered people away from God. No wonder, the people in such an apostate kingdom quickly fell into Baal worship, and all sorts of false gods and injustice were brought in. The merciful Lord continued to send His prophets to awaken Israel, but their words fell on deaf ears because of the people’s materially oriented hearts.
In chapter 13, God sent another prophet from the Southern Kingdom of Judah to Jeroboam in Bethel to announce a prophecy of His judgment; rebuke and doom. When Jeroboam ignored the anonymous prophet’s warning words and instead, ordered to arrest him by stretching out his hand, it immediately withered and at the same time a clear sign of the prophecy’s authenticity that it undoubtedly came from God followed:
This is the sign the Lord has declared……the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.
Having acknowledged God’s power through the immediate healing of his hand by the prophet, Jeroboam invited him for a meal at his home but the prophet flatly refused his proposal according to God’s instructions. This prophet continued to obey God by choosing a different route back home.
However, when an old prophet at Bethel was informed of this incident and the young man’s prophecy addressed to Jeroboam, he promptly went after him and found him. His motive of bringing the prophet back to his home might have initially been out of jealousy, evidence of which could be found in his deceptive words:
The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him).
The old prophet unintentionally revealed his inferiority to the prophet from Judah by not simply saying ‘the LORD’ but ‘an angel’, when he tried to persuade him with a lie. He succeeded in his deception. However, while they were sitting at the table, suddenly the Word of God befell the old prophet and he uttered an unexpected announcement of divine punishment against the younger prophet because he ironically but maybe unwittingly disobeyed His command this time. He was caught in the old man’s trap. The severity of God’s judgment immediately fell not on the old prophet who told apparent lies but the younger prophet who carelessly and without suspecting the old one’s lies accepted his invitation. Judgment was in proportion to the younger one’s significant role as God’s messenger.
After a long period of silence from God, this old man suddenly uttered a genuine prophecy, which was really from God and his words instantly came true. The younger one was killed by divine judgment, which is very significant although it sounds too cruel. If God had not judged His own prophet for his disobedience to Him and also to His words spoken to him, people would start doubting on his prophecy itself. Even God’s credibility would come into question. Thus what he boldly and publicly announced before Jeroboam would be reduced to being ridiculous. For the sake of God’s credibility and the prophet’s own credibility as His true prophet, the younger one had to be divinely killed in supernatural means so that people would know his death to have been caused by God Himself. For this purpose God used a lion as His agent of judgment but not simply an unfortunate accident. The lion killed the prophet but not his donkey and it remained at the spot where it slayed the prophet as if its purpose had been to catch the attention of passers-by. Thus, God dealt with the prophet who had the greater responsibility more severely than the other who had less.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that after this tragedy the old prophet’s deed changed dramatically. He started to proclaim the truth and testified to the dead prophet’s credibility:
he said, ‘It is the man of God who defied the word of the LORD. The LORD has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the LORD had warned him.
He must have painfully realised out of conscience that he had brought about the young prophet’s death by urging him to pursue a course of disobedience to God with lies, and out of reverence to him the old prophet wholeheartedly mourned for him and buried him in his own tomb. Although these incidents did not change King Jeroboam and he continued to pursue his evil ways, the younger prophet’s death was never wasted. Instead, the old prophet who had been far from God in the corrupted environment of the Northern Kingdom was awakened to be able to see God’s intention to use him again as a true prophet. When the old one initially deceived the young one it might have been the devil that controlled him, but God allowed the young one’s death to save the old man’s soul, and in the end He overturned the incident so as to be all turned to His direction. This story seems to tell us that if God is in control of the whole universe, things happening around us have all good meanings and purposes for His followers, even if our shortsighted eyes cannot see it at all.
The following poignant statement by Clifford Hill that connects what has been going on in Britain since last December onwards to a demonic incantation broadcast at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012, draws our attention to invisible spiritual battles behind the scene. As examined above, if we know the mighty presence of the Lord, who always works for the good of His followers and who is able to overturn whatever evil driven by the devil and its demons, our only solution during times of trouble is wholehearted fervent prayer.

A demonic incantation broadcast at the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012

The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games 2012 in London broadcast to the world a demonic incantation calling upon the spirits of the underworld to flood Britain. These are the words they used: I call upon the spirit of Autumn. The spirit of water, of the ebb and flow of emotion; of open seas and running streams, of cleansing rain; spirit of the evening sun, of twilight and of Autumn. I call upon the spirit of Winter. The spirit of earth, of the womb of creation; of the night and the snows of winter, deep roots and ancient stones. It was deeply offensive to Christians to hear words of pagan rites being broadcast to the world as representing the spiritual heritage of our nation. If it was offensive to Bible believing Christians how much more offensive it was to God! For far too long we have allowed secularists, humanists and spiritists to speak out unchallenged as though they are representatives of the spiritual and cultural heritage of this nation. When the closing Olympic ceremony was broadcast to 750 million viewers across the world it was a deliberate insult to Christians and a serious denial of the God of Creation who has blessed this nation for hundreds of years and brought us through the 20th century - the most violent in world history - with two world wars that threatened our very existence as a nation.
In 1940 the whole nation was called to prayer at the time of the Battle of Britain when the remnant of our army was miraculously rescued from Dunkirk across the Channel: and a spirit of confusion caused Hitler and the German High Command to fail to follow up with their victory in France by an invasion of England. Winston Churchill, addressing Parliament, stated that this was a miracle and an answer to prayer. Some three months later when the German air force had failed to defeat the RAF the nation was called once again to a day of prayer, thanking God for his protection of our small island. The closing Olympic Ceremony 2012 was a disgrace and a deliberate insult to the God of our fathers. He would be fully justified in saying that we had invoked the spirits of the Earth to flood the nation and now we are suffering the consequences. It is time to call the nation together for prayer once again - but this time in repentance and asking God's forgiveness that we have spat in his face and spurned the God who has loved us and protected us in times past and who is still calling out to us now and warning us of the great danger that lies ahead.
The storms over Britain today are a foretaste of the tsunami of economic and social chaos that will descend upon us in the near future unless there is a spiritual change in the life of the nation (