Can Satan Control the Weather?
who controls the weather?
Can Angels and Demons?
When I was writing Fate of the Redeemed, one of the things I studied was how much power Satan and his devils have. What I found is somewhat surprising and absolutely disturbing. For this post, I will be focusing on the answer to the question: Can Satan control the weather? The next obvious question is whether Satan’s devils (demons if you prefer) can control the weather.
There are a lot of opinions on this and a lot of different takes on what the Bible says. I won’t spend any time talking about what everyone else believes. Rather, I’m just going to focus on what the Bible says in order to get a better understanding of this topic. My hope is that this will give us all better insight when we start trying to rationalize through disasters with questions like, “Am I being attacked?” and “Am I being punished by God?”
Attack or Punishment
I basically see two common arguments taking place when extreme weather causes major damage or, worse, death. There is the mentality that says I’m under attack, and there’s the mentality that says I’m being punished. Many preachers, Bible scholars, and even conspiracy theorists love to get behind and fuel these fires. Some of these are well-intending people who want to bring about revival or provide comfort to those facing adversity. Some of these are corrupt instigators who want nothing more than to cause strife. I’ll leave it at that, but the unfortunate truth is that both parties have created a paranoid population, and only truth can free us from the fear and undo anguish they’ve caused.
Am I Under Attack?
Yes. 100% yes. Every time something bad happens to you, it’s the devil. You are the most important person in the world, so when the tree hits your house, it’s because Satan is camped out at your doorstep, plotting ways to crush you.
That’s sarcasm, folks.
The reality is that you might be under attack, but you might not be under attack. Who can know? Job never did, and he was absolutely the target of that old serpent, the Devil, which is Satan. There’s no question that Satan was unleashing havoc on Job’s life; but Job never once attributed it to the devil. In fact, scripture plainly shows us that he named God as his adversary:
“Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book” (Job 31:35).
Throughout the book of Job, he acknowledges that true power comes from God. His so-called friends are accusing him of sin and telling him that he’s being punished and needs to repent. Well here’s a real dilemma. Was Job being attacked? Yes. Was he being punished? No. Was Satan his attacker? Yes. Who allowed it? Was God allowing it in order to force Job to repent of his sin?
See the problem? We can’t just jump to conclusions. I don’t think some of these preachers and teachers realize how much influence they have over people. The average follower of Christ is not getting his or her theology from personal Bible study; it’s coming from the pulpit, podcasts, or the thirty second snippets on K-LOVE in between songs. That means what some man or woman says becomes the gospel truth in the minds of the listener.
For years now I’ve heard people blaming major hurricanes on the sins of America. They show the date a new law is passed and then show the date of the disaster. For example, some have said that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans because the city was planning a homosexual rally. Like I said, I’m not going to focus on these people or their claims, other than to show the error in thinking.
Almost every time one of these claims are made, verses from the Old Testament are quoted. Every time that happens, those verses are ripped out of context, and common sense is tossed out the window. Deuteronomy is quoted, verses pronouncing blessings on Israel if the nation follows God’s commands and curses if the nation disobeys God’s commands. That all sounds good, but there’s a couple of problems:
America is NOT Israel. We are not the new Israel. We did not replace Israel. We are not God’s newly chosen nation. Israel is God’s chosen nation. America isn’t in the Bible. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. You can try to force it all you want, but Israel is Israel. For that matter, the Church of Jesus Christ is NOT Israel. The church is not the new Israel and did not replace Israel. That line of thinking has to stop because it has no foundation in scripture. God is not done with Israel. This is the time of the gentiles, but there will be a full restoration of the Jews in the Promised Land.
The curses pronounced were droughts or unfruitful crops and flocks, not storms. The warning was that another nation would come and destroy them and take them captive. Guess what? All of that happened! It didn’t happen to America or the church because it was pronounced on ISRAEL! Even so, God gave plenty of space to repent. He sent judges and prophets. He took down their enemies each time they repented until they were past the point of repentance.
This misapplication of scripture does so much damage. It gives us false license to take every promise in the Bible and apply it to ourselves, and that’s just not possible. It also paints a false picture of God. It saddens me to hear people broad brush the Bible like this:
“The Old Testament is law. The New Testament is grace.” NO IT IS NOT!
This is why people think the New Testament has nothing to do with the Old Testament. This is why people think God is a tyrant and can’t wrap their minds around Jesus Christ being God. In this warped interpretation of scripture God is waiting to destroy people and entire nations while Jesus is some weak caricature that represents kindness and peace. Absolutely not. God is balance, and that same God of grace is clearly evident all through the Old and New Testaments.
You know, we can say God destroyed Egypt when He set the Jews free, or we can say that He gave the Egyptians an opportunity to repent and turn to God. He showed them His power and, even though He sent plague after plague, He didn’t just wipe them out. He gave them chance after chance to turn from their ways, and scripture points to the fact that it was effective for some. Why? Because when the nation of Israel left Egypt, they went out as a mixed multitude. There were some converts among them! Have you ever closely read the books of Moses? God clearly laid out what Israel was to do when someone from another nation came seeking to follow God. In fact, the Jews were supposed to tell the other nations about God; they just dropped the ball about a million times.
I’ll rest my case on this one example and move on to the focus of this post. Who was the pagan king who took Israel captive? That would be King Nebuchadnezzar. He was an idol worshiper who then turned himself into an idol and demanded that the people worship him. He was evil and a tyrant. Few in history have more blood on their hands than that man. Yet, we read in scripture that he turned to God before his death. God drove him to madness in order to allow the king to see how weak he really was and how powerful the true God is. When the king came to his senses and acknowledged God, he was restored. That’s grace, friends. Grace to a man who deserved a painful death, and that’s why we call it grace because none of us deserve it.
So are we under attack when major disasters strike? Maybe. Maybe not. Ask the islanders who experience so many hurricanes and tsunamis that it’s almost like just another Tuesday what they think. That’s right. There’s a world outside of the United States, and very few people think like we do. People in third world countries don’t look at missing a meal or an entire day without food as punishment. They call that Saturday.
There’s another aspect that we need to think about, and that’s the fact that the Earth is not static. There are plates constantly moving beneath the surface. The tides are affected by the moon. Changes in heat and cold cause all sorts of problems. Polar ice caps are melting (they are; it’s a fact that is physically being measured). That creates more water and a whole new set of issues. We’re not on a perfect planet, and we won’t be until God restores it.
Can Angels and Demons Control the Weather?
Now that we’ve established the fact that bad weather is not necessarily the wrath of God or some demonic attack, let’s just take a look at some things the Bible has to say. Will this give us clear answers for all of the weather related problems we face? No. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. And hey, not all adverse weather is bad. We need heavy rains, sometimes. I live in Texas, and I appreciate some strong, cool winds every now and then.
Honestly, I’m not sure why people push back when I suggest that Satan can in fact control the weather. I referred to the book of Job earlier in this post. Sometimes I wonder if the people who disagree with my position on this have ever read that book. Here’s what the Bible says:
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:12)
“While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee” (Job 1:16).
“And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee” (Job 1:19).
All I did just now was quote verses. Someone is going to say that I’ve lifted them from their context. By all means, please go read Job chapter one and come back to this post when you’re done. I don’t mind waiting.
Welcome back! The context of those verses is this: Satan challenged God, saying that people only bless God when He is blessing them. I’ll briefly point out that God brought up Job, not Satan. Anyway, God gave all that was in Job’s possession into Satan’s hand, but he told him not to touch him. Satan left, and he sent people, fire, and wind to destroy Job’s livelihood. In chapter two, God gives permission for Satan to afflict Job’s body but not kill him. Satan gives him a skin disease.
That’s not out of context. That’s just plain scripture. Satan controlled people, the elements, the weather, and had the power to make someone physically ill. There’s more, though. Until Calvary, Satan also had the power of death according to Hebrews 2:14. Had, as in doesn’t have anymore. But, Satan had that power for a long time. None of it, however, was without God being ultimately in control. God gave permission. Satan is not the creator, God is.
There’s no argument here, and by that I mean I’m not going to argue with anyone over this. This isn’t my private interpretation, just the verses the way they are. We don’t have to agree. These matters don’t affect our salvation, so it’s one of those things we can have a friendly discussion about, but it’s absolutely crazy to allow strife and contentions over such things.
Not Just Satan
I’m sure there have been a lot of wilderness survivors throughout the years who wished they could have called fire down from heaven. It sure would have made things easier! But, Chad, man can’t do these things. Unless man can. Elijah called down fire from heaven a few times. The beast spoken of in the book of Revelation will be able to call down fire from heaven. So there we have examples of the elements being controlled by someone other than God.
Pharaoh’s magicians were able to mimic the signs and wonders that Moses performed. They turned their staffs into snakes. They called up frogs out of the water. They turned water into blood. That’s going to happen again during the Great Tribulation. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 warns of one coming who will perform signs and lying wonders. We’re being desensitized to this now with many false prophets claiming to possess the power of healing and miracles. I’ll believe them when they show up to Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital without an offering plate. Those men and women are fakes, but one is coming who will actually be able to do these things.
Revelation chapter seven sheds an interesting light on this subject.
“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” (Revelation 7:1-3).
Angels, not God, not Satan; angels controlling the four winds of the earth. Please don’t mistake me. There are countless verses making it clear that God is the Creator ultimately in control. He has storehouses of ice, hail, etc. Let’s not forget who sent the waters that covered the earth, and let us also realize that no being was capable of stopping it.
What I am pointing out here is that God has clearly granted permission over the elements to beings other than Himself. The comforting part of these verses is that these angels do not have free reign. They can’t just unleash violent storms on the earth. God has set boundaries, and I’m thankful for that. Notice though, that the power of the wind wasn’t isolated. These angels have the ability to “hurt” the seas and much more.
I’ve always been fascinated by the princes referred to in the book of Daniel. Daniel has been praying for three weeks, but in Daniel chapter ten, a unique being shows up and says that he has been fighting with the prince of Persia. I’ve written in previous blogs how these are not monarchs but supernatural beings. This man’s appearance is very unique including his “face as the appearance of lightning.” Now, that doesn’t say that he has the power of lightning, but it does allude to the fact that there are extremely powerful beings fighting in the unseen realm, and I’m pretty sure the appearance of lightning comes from somewhere. I’m not dogmatic on this because the verses won’t allow it.
I am, however, very intrigued by it. In fact, I use this as a plot point in my upcoming release, Fate of the Redeemed. In that fictional novel depicting spiritual warfare, an angel with the power of wind battles a demon with the power of lightning. I fully admit that I am taking creative license with that story, but I also think I’ve demonstrated that it’s not entirely impossible.
Many stories exist of gods and goddesses in various cultures possessing power over the elements, such as lightning and rain. I am not saying that these stories are true because they have obviously been shrouded in myth upon myth. However, it is interesting that, at a time when cultures rarely had communication with far away cultures from other continents, these cultures have strikingly similar stories and even similar names for these gods and goddesses. This is really me just stirring the pot, but we know from several portions of scripture that thousands of angels fell from heaven with Satan. Could these be the origin of those stories?
God is the Creator. He alone is all powerful. He does, in His wisdom, grant permission over aspects of His creation. There have been and will be times that man is granted these powers but only within the boundaries set by God. There have and will be times when supernatural beings (whether angel or demon) has the power over the elements but only in line with God’s purpose and plan.
The Earth is not a static entity. It is shifting and has been subject to changes for the worse since the ground was cursed back in Genesis. As a result, there will be earthquakes and storms. Jesus Himself said these things would increase as we draw closer to the end of days.
These disasters may or may not be a punishment from God to various nations, but it is very difficult to discern whether this is the case. People who take a dogmatic approach to these things misapply scripture to situations as a means of justifying their opinions and positions, but this is a dangerous mistake. Such claims stem from a misinterpretation of the nation of Israel now being either the Church of Jesus Christ or some present nation on earth, which is corrupt and arrogant.
Ultimately, we can only see what the Bible says, but we are given no clear guide as to what causes storms or bad weather that causes destruction and death. We are in a dying world, and our hope is in Christ alone for the salvation of our souls.