Christians lose credibility and influence when they promote conspiracy theories in these dire times.
The last year of human history has proven to be one of the most bizarre thanks to the strange political divide that has widened over masks, vaccinations, Donald Trump and cultural troubles.
Speaking in generalities, those on the right are pro-Trump, anti-mask and anti-vaccine. The left despises Donald Trump, wear masks as a badge and are dumbfounded that anybody could oppose a virus-ending medicine.
Certainly, there are others who analyze the sharp contrast and are stunned at where the arguments have landed. Can a conservative not don a mask without the fear of being called out? Are there any liberals who are admittedly nervous about the vaccine? Is it at all possible for the left to appreciate anything our former President did for our nation? Can those on the right do the same with the current administration? Or is it all black and white? Well, I personally haven't seen the gloriously mundane shade of gray much at all since the crisis has begun.
THE RISE OF THE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS
We are living in a day when the world is in desperate need of balanced, biblically invested and prayerful Christians. The days are complex and confusing to most and fearful to many. This end-time season should have been a testing ground for the church, a time for us to grow in our faith, to learn how to love and to truly discern how to respond.
For many Believers, this in fact did happen, yet many others have instead adopted right-wing conspiracy theories as their go to reaction. This is deeply compromising the mission of the church and it is wounding our nation.
Sometimes I sit back and shake my head as I read the social media rants promoting ridiculous theories. Honestly, it's an embarrassment to the church, while also being an indictment on the church. Where are the biblically grounded pastors and leaders who are speaking into the lives of these rogue propagandists?
As an example, many believe receiving the vaccine results in taking the Mark of the Beast. This is impossible. The level of biblical illiteracy is stunning. Others actually are saying the vaccine changes your DNA, deeming you an unhuman hybrid. I'm not making this up. You are now unredeemable. With altered genetics, it's impossible for you to ever become a child of God, or if you already were one, impossible to remain in God's family. A visit to the drugstore to get vaccinated apparently transforms you into a Nephilim of sorts, resulting in a sentence of eternal torment in Hell. Others are saying the virus is entirely a media-driven myth. Nonsense. Any intellectually honest person will admit that COVID kills.
I believe we all need to err on the side of civility and endorse people's right to make their own medical decisions for themselves and their families. No shaming is ever appropriate for Christians.
Instead the mere suggestion of vaccinations triggers many who hold to an opposing scientific view. This is where the dividing line is drawn and the shaming begins. Again, I personally find it both suspicious and strange that a vaccination is where so many have chosen to divide. For those who believe the risk of the vaccine is greater than the reward, it's appropriate and good that they share their concern with others. But, good-hearted concern isn't mostly what we are seeing today. There's an underlying rage at play, anger that spikes when warnings about the vaccine go unheeded. There is an unholy spirit at work and we need to do a much better job discerning just what it is. Of course, you'll find rage on the other side too from those who are disgusted that some would defy national efforts to increase the vaccination rate. Everybody is triggered.
A RIGHT RESPONSE
It's important to admit that nobody has the full revelation on anything in this season. Both pro and anti-maskers and vaxers simply can't presume to be the resident experts on the topics. Too many are listening exclusively to their own echo chamber by finding supposed medical experts that are promoting their views. Statistics do suggest that vaccinations are extremely effective and are saving lives. Still, some are legitimately concerned about health risks. These concerns are valid, yet nobody can definitively say that all should be vaccinated or all should not. It is not black and white, which is why we must not respond with unfounded conspiracies or misguided fear-mongering.
The right response includes operating in a spirit of honor towards those who disagree with us. If someone does or does not want to get the vaccine, their decision can't be expected to include us (unless they are in our immediate family). Honor their right to autonomy.
Responding correctly also means we must go deep in intercession, in the Word of God and listening intently to the Holy Spirit. As someone who endorses true prophetic ministry, I must say that we need clarity regarding God's heart in this time. We can't presume anyone who experiences a flickering of their spiritual antennas to possess valuable and accurate revelation. Too many are spiritually immature or undisciplined to hear God clearly.
Does this mean we are to pull back and remain silent? No. We are free to communicate our beliefs on the subject if we admit we aren't privy to the full picture. If our concerns are severe originating from an authentic warning from God, shout it from the rooftops. However, that shouting must be from a tender, humble heart. Arrogance, presumption and know-it-all-ism isn't behavior becoming of a Believer in Jesus.
Lastly, abandon the conspiracy theories. Yes, even conspiracy theorists will be right every now and then, but the hour we are in demands sobriety and accuracy. We can't afford to provoke unnecessary scorn from the mockers. May God raise up true end-time people who are led by love, who reveal the heart of God and who refuse to be triggered by simple differences.
Politics are at the center of the story of Jesus. His historical life ended with a political execution. ~Marcus J. Borg
Under its new guidelines, Twitter users who are deemed to have peddled false COVID-19 information will be given a strike.
Five strikes and you are out. Banned. Terminated. Forever.
Something is abundantly clear to anyone who has been surveying the rapid and sudden eradication of our freedoms: muzzles have been securely adhered to the mouths of Christians and conservatives. The ungodly decision makers of America are pouncing on the opportunity the recent global situation has provided to silence their dissenters.
Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and rest of media have been agitated into a frenzy. They are unapologetically attempting to play God by eliminating anything that threatens their humanistic utopia.
THE THREAT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Jesus proved to be such an extreme threat to the religious and political system of his day that they paid Judas 30 pieces of silver. Then the bloodthirsty political mob killed him. They were willing to do whatever needed to be done to shut down the “propaganda” and to regain control of the narrative.
They failed. An earthquake, several passed out soldiers, a displaced boulder and a missing body created a new and greater threat. Desperate to avoid losing power and influence, the “sleeping” guards, just like Judas, were given a large sum of money to stop the threat. A wicked scheme was put into action and lies were spread to combat the truth of freedom and righteousness.
The body of Jesus was stolen. His disciples were hallucinating. Any excuse would suffice. Even one of their own, Thomas, doubted anything miraculous happened. Jesus was, as the coroner of the land of Oz might say, not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead.
WE ARE AT WAR
We must understand this isn't about an attempt to ensure correct information about COVID is being disseminated. It's about cancelling any and all who promote anything that contradicts the personal beliefs of those who control mass communication. We have truly entered into a time when crafty propaganda is manipulating the thoughts of millions. Social engineering is alive and well. Refusal to comply with tech leader's ideologies will result in eradication. Jesus was killed because of his message and influence. Today, Christians and conservatives are being eliminated from social media because of our message and influence. Oh, and don't think that we won't also be killed for our message one day. It's coming.
THE RIGHT TO LIE
I know it's strange and even a little concerning to hear a devoted follower of Jesus promote the right to lie. I'm not suggesting that we as Christians ever actually lie. What I am suggesting is simple: those who are in control of communication in our nation are determining themselves exactly what qualifies for truth and lies.
So, those who are exchanging truth for lies are unilaterally calling good evil and evil good. This means for us to reveal truth, the right to lie becomes indispensable.
Should we not, as free Americans, be allowed to communicate our deeply held personal beliefs no matter who may disagree? Isn't it an American right to promote any variety of conspiracy theory? Are we no longer allowed to suggest aliens crashed at what is now Area 51? Can we not share our views about the Illuminati, the assassination of President Kennedy, the existence of Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster sightings, time travel and other debatable topics? Should we lock up Ben Shapiro? Does the left not have a right to spew hatred, lies and filth about the recently deceased Rush Limbaugh?
Yes we should be able to talk about aliens. No, Ben shouldn't go to prison for being ridiculously balanced and smart. And, no, vile monsters shouldn't be cancelled because they smeared Rush. It's called freedom of speech. Truth and lies should be aggressively scrutinized while completely free of restriction.
“If I had to say something positive I guess I’m glad Rush Limbaugh lived long enough to get cancer and die,” comedian Paul F. Tompkins said.
In another attempt to silence conservatives, any suggestion that the election was stolen has been judged to be an untruth by social media giants. These Goliaths will taunt their enemies and restrict any debate that threatens thier points of view. Anyone who is intellectually honest must conclude that there may have been a possibility of election indiscretion. There's no way it can be definitively determined that zero fraud took place. Yet, today's uncircumcised Philistines overseeing mass communication aren't what you'd call intellectually honest. Their truth is the only truth that matters.
So, whether it's COVID or Trump or masks or riots, many of the messages conservatives and Christians are communicating have been determined to be lies, and subsequently erased from social media. Therefore we absolutely must support the right to lie. If we don't, it's five strikes and we are out.
THE GOSPEL TO BE CANCELLED NEXT?
Truthfully, much of the Gospel has already been cancelled. Just as cultural leaders frantically attempted to modify the truth of the resurrection before it reached the whole of society, the truth of Scripture is being rewritten to meet the strict guidelines of today's censors.
In fact, the Bible has already been censored or outright outlawed in many places around the world. The living truth it contains is as threatening today as it was to the religious and political leaders two thousand years ago.
If the Word of God deals with hot topics such as homosexuality in a manner that runs contrary to today's intellectually awakened humanistic gurus, it's cancelled. Not only cancelled, but whoever embraces what the Bible teaches can have their lives destroyed by today's woke mob.
When love speech is called hate speech simply because people are radically resistant to the type of love the Bible reveals, you know we are in trouble as a nation. God and his methods are not only being rejected wholesale in today's ungodly American culture, but those who have decided to follow Jesus are shamed, despised, ridiculed, hated and cancelled.
We shouldn't be surprised. The Bible we believe and the God we serve have made it clear this would happen. Sadly, if things don't change now, it's only going to get worse.
“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:21–22, ESV)
Originally published by The Stream.
The science argument has neutered much of the church's potent, supernatural message.
“(Nancy Peolosi) suggested that some government officials and members of Congress were anti-science because of their faith.” ~The Blaze
Nancy, I'm sorry I used a trigger word in the title (trump), but I had to jump at the chance to address something you said. You were dismayed by “faith oriented” members of Congress who put more stock in God's healing power than in man's scientific advances. As a leader in this Christian nation, I'm stunned that you would have such a viewpoint. Sadly, many Christians have adopted similar faithless ideologies, straying so far from the wonders of supernatural, miraculous, shock and awe faith toward a natural, godless version of spirituality (if such a thing were possible).
The bible calls it a form of godliness. The problem? This style of religion is devoid of power. It's atheistic at its roots, only dressed up to appear just superstitious enough to pass as spiritual.
We are in the last days, and this issue makes it onto a very sobering list:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, ESV)
Lovers of money. Proud. Arrogant. Heartless. Lovers of pleasure. To top it all off, an appearance of godliness and a denial of God's power.
Avoid such people.
As followers of Jesus, we should be living in the miraculous realm every moment of our lives. It's disheartening that so many professing Christians have fallen for the delusion that science is superior to faith. Scientific fact is the ultimate litmus test. If science proves something in Scripture to be wrong, then science is the clear victor. Nonsense.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MIRACULOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE?
People have attempted to use science to silence Christian zealots for centuries. Christians have stumbled over their own arguments by attempting to agree with the opposition. Their debate is fueled by the thesis that what is found in the Bible will always affirm science. They declare that biblical truth will always affirm scientific fact. This argument is doomed from the beginning.
From cover to cover in Scripture we see science defied. It's everywhere.
Jesus walked on water. Science defied.
Lazarus rose from the dead. Science defied.
A sea split in half. Science defied.
A paralytic walked. Science defied.
The sun stood still. Science defied.
Thousands fed with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Science defied.
An iron axe head floated in water. Science defied.
And, the Savior of our world was conceived without his parents having sex. Thank God, science was defied.
WHERE ARE THE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANS DURING THIS GLOBAL CRISIS?
In an article I wrote titled Christians are Being Embarrassed By The Coronavirus, I dealt with the mostly natural, scientific approach so many followers of Jesus have defaulted to:
Are you taking the opportunity to show the lost you are fearless, full of faith and joyful? Or do they sense your anxiety about coronavirus?
A crisis of faith has been exposed. Coronavirus is embarrassing the church.
Have you noticed any difference at all between the godless world and those who are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, the Healer? Bold decrees of faith, not confessions of fear and worry, should be exploding out of our mouths!
Instead, Christians are hiding in caves, running from the battle and trembling not in the fear of the Lord, but the fear of the enemy.
Sure, take precautions, but don’t cower. Don’t respond like the world. Don’t allow the enemy to impact your life. Live! Be free! You are covered by the blood of Jesus!
An unmoving devotion to belief, to faith, to confidence that supernatural, divine healing is our portion should be the mark of every Christian. Faith trumps science.
In fact, when we gain more confidence in vaccines and other medical measures than we do in God's desire and ability to heal, we set ourselves up for judgment.
“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.” (2 Chronicles 16:12–13, ESV)
King Asa's devotion to doctors to the exclusion of God resulted in his judgment. Death.
To be fair, what Nancy said isn't completely untrue:
“People say around here sometimes, ‘I'm faith-oriented so I don't believe in science' and I said, ‘Well you can do both. Science is an answer to our prayers and our prayers have been answered with a vaccine,'”
To be clear, I doubt the people around her who live by faith actually said that they don't believe in science. Gravity is real. So are germs. So is medicine. Nobody would debate any of that. My guess is they were saying that faith trumps science. That is what I agree with, and apparently what Nancy disagrees with.
However, she did point out that both faith and science can work together. Scientific discovery can be the answer to prayer. I agree with that. What I disagree with is that faith must align with science. If our faith must come under submission to scientific fact, then we'd be nothing more than full blown athiests. A people who deny supernatural wonders whenever they contradict with scientific proof. These people are rejecting the power of God and the Bible commands us to have nothing to do with them.
NANCY, I IMPLORE YOU TO REPENT AND TO DISCOVER THE GLORIES OF SUPERNATURAL LIVING
By giving science and the natural realm more credence than the invisible realm, we imprison ourselves to its restrictions. This is a terrible, disappointing and powerless way to live.
When we live our lives not by sight, but by faith, everything changes in a moment! Miracles are common! The impossible becomes probable! The presence of the Holy Spirit radiates all around us!
We can't live like King Asa, running to the physicians, the scientists, the logical intellectuals in search for answers. Our first and continual focus must be on our omnipotent God and his plan to work miraculously in our lives. From that place we can certainly take advantage of natural remedies. But, our faith must be extreme and it must be in a God we cannot see and his abilities that are far greater than any scientist that has ever lived. Yes, Nancy, faith absolutely trumps science. Every day of the week.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, ESV)
Originally published by The Stream.
Defying authority can either catapult the church forward or result in judgment.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1–2, ESV)2002 has given the church an unusual opportunity to learn a critical end-time lesson. When is it time to defy authority, and when should we remain submitted? Choosing correctly can launch the church forward in the face of tyranny and persecution. Choosing incorrectly can result in God himself bringing judgment against the church. There seems to be a misconception among many Believers that God is cheer-leading a spirit of rebellion as we fight against the very authority that he put into position. News flash: We are mandated by Scripture to honor and obey all authority, be they good or evil, just or unjust. Yes, there are exceptions, but we don't start there. The exceptions are not the norm. By default, we submit.
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.” (1 Peter 2:18–19, ESV)I'm confident many will argue this point. That's okay, but I want to challenge you. Argue it with Scripture, not with your own emotions, intellect, common sense or ego. The Word of God is the authority, no matter if it makes sense to us or not. Remember, God requires us to obey both good and evil authorities, both good and bad laws. The Bible couldn't be more clear. Every person is required to subject themselves to (submit to) governmental authorities. Why? Because God placed them in position and granted them authority. Further, if we resist the authorities that God has empowered, we will (not may) incur judgment.
A SPIRIT OF LAWLESSNESSIt's easy to accuse rioters, for example, of operating from a spirit of lawlessness. After all, it's obvious to all that they are boldly breaking laws. I propose it's the same spirit of lawlessness that is driving the rebellion in many Christians who refuse to follow state and local mask and social distancing mandates. We don't have the option to reject an ordinance simply because we disagree with it. We are required by Scripture to be subject to governing authorities, and if they require masks in certain situations, we as representatives of Christ must respond with integrity and wear masks. I am personally not a fan of masks (though I must admit they may be beneficial in certain circumstances) and I believe there are some nefarious influences behind all that the coronavirus has unleashed. However, I also realize I am not authorized by God to defy the mandates. I'd be in rebellion both to man and God if I did. It's disturbing to see pastors breaking the law by allowing meetings, small groups and other events to take place without adhering to local mask and distancing ordinances. This rebellion invites God's judgment, even if we are convinced the masks are unnecessary or that the government is attempting to implement freedom threatening controls. By all means, do what's appropriate to have the laws overturned. Attend city council meetings, vote politicians and policy makers in or out of office and sound all of the alarms you can in hopes of drawing attention to the cause. But until the laws are overturned the laws must be obeyed. If we truly fear God, we won't play games, rise up in pride or arrogantly resist those he put into position.
THE EXCEPTIONSThe exception to all I have written above is simple: if the Word of God would be violated by us obeying an earthly authority, then, and only then, do we refuse to submit. We honor God and not men in this scenario. So, if the government mandates that churches remain closed and that Christians don't gather to worship, we can't comply.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24–25, ESV)The Bible clearly requires us to meet. If the government allows the church to meet, but demands we not sing, again, we refuse to obey that order.
“Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!” (Psalm 149:1, ESV)When (not if) the time comes that we are told by lawmakers that we cannot preach certain truths of Scripture, we boldly reject their mandate.
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27–29, ESV)The principle should be quite clear and simple. If the Word of God would be violated should we submit to a governmental decree, we do not submit. If the Bible wouldn't be violated, we do submit. One response results in the favor of God and another the judgment of God. It's not about being a champion of what is right (in your own eyes). It's about aligning with God's commands. Many are shouting “Persecution!” in selfish arrogance simply because the government is requiring them to submit to laws that are merely inconvenient and that in no way violate Scripture. We see this truth played out in the Book of Daniel:
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;” (Daniel 2:21, ESV) “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”” (Daniel 3:17–18, ESV)God put the king in position, and then the king gives an unrighteous decree. The king was to be honored until he mandated worship to an idol. At that moment, the three Hebrews had no option but to refuse the command.
WHAT SHOULD THE CHURCH DO?The church should obey the laws of the land unless those laws are clearly unscriptural. Gathering together and worshiping as Believers has been instituted by God. So, gather, with masks on if the local ordinance requires that. In my city of Branson, Missouri we are required to wear masks in any public setting unless we are able to remain six feet away from others. Since this is a theater town, the law allows us to remove our masks when seated in an auditorium as long as we maintain social distancing. Public speakers, singers and performers can remove their masks when on stage. The same rule applies to the church. So, this means masks must be on at all times except when socially distanced in the sanctuary or speaking, singing on the platform. Prayer lines, altar time, greeting time and other times would require masks to be worn. Small groups and other gatherings should adhere to the same guidelines. We need to be wise and carefully choose our battles. Again, favor or judgment hang in the balance.
THE ARGUMENTSI've heard all sorts of extreme arguments in opposition to what I'm addressing here. “What about Anne Frank? Are you suggesting she should have obeyed her government and turned Jews over to the Nazis?” Several people have angrily blasted that argument my direction. Of course the the answer is no. Why? We'd be complicit in murder, and murder is forbidden in Scripture. “What about Rahab who lied to protect Israeli spies?” Rahab was commended for giving lodging to the spies, but not for her lie. I find it disturbing that Christians are becoming more enthralled with their own wisdom while at the same time looking for loopholes in the Bible so they can do what they desire. Many don't consider the Bible to be the final authority on a matter or to be the infallible Word of God. We are most certainly in the end times.
FAVOR OR JUDGMENTI don't want this point to be missed. No matter how convinced of how right you are or how righteous your position is, if you defy God's established authority, God's judgment rests on you. However, if you honor authority in every instance except when they would require you disobey Scripture, God's favor rests on you. Oh, and by the way, understand that the written Word of God is the final authority, not your own prophetic revelation. We can't use the God card here. If your local government requires you to wear a mask or a seat-belt or to pay your taxes or to wear pants in public, and you think God told you something different, you can know it's not God's voice you are hearing.
PHARAOH IN THE CHURCHAs I close, I want to encourage you to read an article that will give strategies to resisting tyrannical and wicked human governments. I understand the arguments about masks and lock-downs and control. Greater persecution (by far) was experienced in Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh. The strategy there wasn't to defy Pharaoh's authority, as God placed him in that place of ruler-ship. God sent a messenger and immense pressure to Pharaoh. The goal? For Pharaoh, the Hebrew's legitimate authority, to make the decree that they may go. He released them. It was at that moment in time that the authority over the Hebrews shifted from Pharaoh to Moses. This is why we must be living, walking and praying in the Spirit. Prayer movements and prophetic decrees will bring down unrighteous human systems. Pride, arrogance, anger and rebellion however will only strengthen them as God's fury rains down on us all. Originally posted by The Stream.
Should Christians wear masks or would that be an indicator of a lack of faith?My most recent article titled “Offended by Faith: The Pandemic has Exposed an Unbelieving Church” has created quite a stir among the pro and anti-maskers. Interestingly, the article really wasn't about masks at all. It was about faith. In fact, I made it quite clear that we should use both wisdom and faith in these treacherous times:
Wash your hands. Wear a mask if called for. Go to the doctor if needed. Do your due diligence. But don't put your faith in such things.It never ceases to amaze me how triggered people zero in on the narrative they want to attack, all while blowing past qualifiers and clarifiers that would address their concerns if they only took time to read them. I can't tell you how often people become unglued just by the title of one of my articles. They arrive at conclusions that are unfounded because they didn't read past the first sentence. Spoiler alert: I wear a mask if the situation demands it. Here's a pic to prove it. I'm not a card-carrying anti-masker. I'm definitely not a pro-masker either. I'm watching the carnage pile up all over social media as a result of verbal assaults, judgments on morality and ethics, crazy conspiracy theories (and some possible true ones) and accusations that pro-maskers are killing America and anti-maskers are killing grandma. It's ridiculous to point nasty, crooked fingers at the uncovered calling them selfish, unloving and reckless. Not only is that statement generally untrue and the motive fairly disingenuous, the logic behind it simply doesn't work. It's equally ridiculous to presume those who wear masks are fearful by default and surrendering to the anti-Christ. No, these aren't masks of the beast and no, America isn't going to become communist because we wear them. I would encourage you to read an article I wrote on the spiritual reality surrounding the 2020 crisis. Yes, I do believe witchcraft is behind it, but wearing a mask doesn't mean we are surrendering to that spirit. This bizarre conversation between pro and anti-maskers that has overtaken our culture must be refocused onto what is most important.
UNBELIEF HAS BEEN EXPOSEDI don't think anybody can deny that the entire world has been shaken by the virus. The purpose of my recent articles on the subject is to awaken the shaken to the supreme opportunity to shine our lights into a desperate and dark situation. Be honest. Christians are worrying, nervous, fearful and scrambling to do whatever they can to be safe from this invisible threat. This isn't true of all Believers, of course. It's true of a whole lot of them though. I don't know how often I hear blood-bought Believers urgently warning people to wear masks, to socially distance and to lock down while rarely hearing them proclaim the power of the blood that bought them. I'm dumbfounded. The lack of a faith-driven spiritual response is a problem. If our joy, peace and confidence in Jesus has been impacted, we must respond in repentance. In the midst of a threat, abundant life is still ours. Joy unspeakable and full of glory. Peace that passes all understanding. We are more than conquerors, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. We trample on serpents and scorpions. We have authority over all the power of the enemy. That will preach. The sad reality is that a lot of Christians simply don't believe that Jesus heals or protects today. Some believe that he can, but they doubt that he will. Miracles are rare. Wonders of old can be taught in Sunday School but they really don't occur today. They boldly defend the power of the enemy by confessing that nobody is safe, Christian or non-Christian. What many Christians call faith is little more than hope. Hope is posturing ourselves by sitting back and waiting for God to do something we'd like him to do. Faith is altogether different. It's active. There's an attitude driving it. It's demanding. It's expectant. It's militant. Vibrant faith results in people speaking to mountains, shouting from rooftops, casting out demons, decreeing the Word of God and refusing to allow common sense, human wisdom or anything else to stop them. Faith crushes fear. Faith destroys worry. Faith demands results. Faith pleases God. Instead, too many default to hope (or hopelessness) and live pretty much the same way as the unredeemed do. Truths of Scripture are somehow dismissed as unreliable:
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18 (ESV)The sick may recover would be a better translation according to the belief system of many Christians. In fact, they tend to get quite mad at those who stand in faith on the Word of God, especially regarding healing. Accusations of “holier than thou” and “spiritual pride” are hurled at those who simply state they believe Jesus paid the price for sickness. There are many reasons people are not healed. This article isn't the place to dive into a deep discussion on the topic. Suffice it to say the reasons include one or more of the following: unbelief, fear, sin, lukewarmness, receiving communion in an unworthy manner, not understanding our authority, curses, lies we've adopted, ignorance of the Word, misunderstanding timing, lack of fervency, trusting in doctors more than God, etc. Another reason is what I call the treasure map. Healing is a hidden treasure that often must be sought after. The Holy Spirit will lead us as we discover truths, repent of wrong thinking and work to grow in faith. The treasure map is the unknown. It's the journey. There may be no sin, no doubt and no clear reason why sickness remains. So, we seek, pray and stand as God progressively brings revelation to our situation. Those who are sick should not live in condemnation, but they should be earnestly seeking the treasure of healing with joy and great expectation. If someone is not healed, it doesn't necessarily mean they are less spiritual. It simply means they are somewhere in the middle of their journey on their personal treasure map. That being said, please hear me. Faith demands that we stare sickness in the eye and fight. We can't allow the “chances” of healing or our own failed experiences with sickness to cause us to doubt, to stand down or to divert to other more natural remedies. No! We decree truth! We stand as warriors! We declare that Jesus took all of our sickness on the cross. We proclaim that healing is ours! It's this type of boldness the world needs to see!
THE CALL TO ALLIf you don't remember anything else in this article, please remember the following. This is what is burning in my spirit. This is the real purpose of my writing. Declare the goodness and power of God! Stop declaring the deadly power of a virus! The church should be commandeering the media, social and otherwise, with faith-filled messages to those who are haunted by fears of sickness and death!
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 (ESV)We are anointed to proclaim good news, liberty and healing! Are you doing that every day on Facebook and Twitter? You must! Especially during this opportunistic season! The world should be witnessing a supernatural explosion as we radiate the power of the Holy Spirit and decree with passion that peace, freedom and healing can be theirs! Christians, stop with the faithless drivel about the power of masks or the threat of COVID. Ok, sure, make your point and be safe, but please stop giving the enemy more power than he already has. Speak life! If the world wants scientific data on whether masks are beneficial or not, they can do their own research. What they need from you and me, however, is powerfully anointed, deeply profound and supernaturally charged revelation! Preach, preacher! The call to all is to rise up in fearless faith, with smiles on our faces and fire in our eyes as we proclaim to a worried and dying world that Jesus has conquered death, hell and the grave! There is a love that eliminates all fear! This is the message. This is the cry of my heart. We should be preaching Jesus! Where are the social warriors who will share verses that ignite faith? Where are the Believers who truly embrace the healing power of Jesus? Where are those who refuse to be shaken by the enemy? Where are the firebrands who will push back the darkness and laugh at the threats? This is your mandate, Christian. This is your call. It's time you stop repeating all of the news stories and reports that spread fear. It's time to burn hot with the truth of the Word and show the world just what it is to be a sign and a wonder in the earth! Originally published by The Stream.
Only two things can eradicate a powerful and strategic spirit of witchcraft that's kneeling on the neck of our nation: Deliverance or judgment.
“One purpose common to all forms of witchcraft is control.” ~Derek Prince, The Seeking of ControlIt shouldn't be surprising that Derek Prince also reveals that the fuel to the power of witchcraft is, in part, sacrifice. Animal sacrifice. Human sacrifice. With that in mind, we should not be at all shocked with the events of today. Human sacrifice in the form of abortion has given power to mighty demonic schemes in our nation. The sacrificial blood of innocents is flowing from sea to shining sea. The church has been given a chance to lead our nation in repentance in this time of testing. Instead, Christians are clamoring for church and life to return to normal. It doesn't seem mass repentance is going to happen in our nation. At least not yet. As people who are expected to understand the spiritual realm, Christians should be clearly discerning what's happening with the upheaval. We should be living, walking and praying in the Spirit, cued in to what wars invisible entities are initiating and what their end game is. Instead, a large percentage of blood-bought people are mostly seeking natural remedies just as those who have no advocate in Jesus. They would probably admit to “trusting God's will” while having no idea what his will is. Their relief doesn't come from knowing the Word of God or standing in their authority. It comes from closely adhering to the advice of media, medicine and magistrates. The obvious retort, especially in secularized, humanistic America, is to accuse me and others like me of overspiritualizing the crisis. After all, natural solutions will work just fine, right? Ridiculous. Don't overspiritulize? I'm dismayed at how underspiritualized COVID-19 and the rest of the 2020 crisis has been. All too often, Christians are mirror images of the world in terms of their response. The truth is that this leviathan will only be defeated in the spirit realm.
WITCHCRAFT IS DRIVING THE ASSAULT IN OUR NATION
There are three ways the desire to control expresses itself: manipulation, intimidation and domination. The goal is domination. ~Derek Prince, The Seeking of ControlIn his excellent article, Derek Prince says, “A main tool of manipulation is guilt.” The enemy will speak into our souls, convincing us that guilt will overwhelm us if we don't respond to his specific directives. The only obvious solution for those who haven't correctly discerned the source of the command is to obey the voice. We are watching manipulation, intimidation and the end goal of domination play out before our eyes every day during the pandemic and social uprising. Groups are intimidating through protests and riots. Politicians and reporters are manipulating their audiences. As Believers, we cannot allow ourselves to be seduced into seeking natural resolutions instead of (or ahead of) spiritual ones. We can attempt to treat the symptoms, but the wicked evil that has been unleashed upon our nation will not be deterred. In my decades of ministry I've had some intense encounters with witchcraft and one of the prime factors when under its influence is the feeling of suffocation. You can't easily breathe. Additionally, fevers, confusion, fear, sickness, hopelessness and other manifestations are common.
GEORGE FLOYDWe all know that George's life tragically came to an end shortly after he uttered the infamous words, “I can't breathe.” He was suffocated.
MASKSThe enemy clearly desires to control the people of our nation. I do believe, spiritually speaking, that the masks are absolutely symbolic of his scheme. As I've shared, key indicators of witchcraft are control and suffocation, and masks are physical manifestations of both. (Keep reading for my opinion on whether we should wear masks or not.)
VENTILATORSThe virus attacks the respiratory system. Suffocation is the goal, and a last gasp (almost literally) effort to save the patient from having the airflow stopped comes in the form of ventilators. They are simply another reminder that witchcraft is behind this deadly assault.
CHURCH CLOSURES/SINGING BANNEDIf you know anything about the strategies of witches you know they target churches. They infiltrate them, pray against them, curse them and do all they can to destroy them. I've had dramatic encounters with witches when leading churches. Threats of death and destruction were hurled at my family, my church and myself. Further, in certain places, the government has mandated singing in church to cease. While people must be physically muzzled with masks, this ventures into the spiritual, muzzling voices of worship to God.
PROTESTSWitchcraft and rebellion to authority go hand-in-hand. While respectful peaceful protests can bring appropriate attention to a matter, riots and violence cross far over the line. Interestingly the “I can't breathe” storyline continues as Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland confessed yesterday, “It’s hard to breathe, it’s a lot harder to breathe than I thought,” Wheeler told The Washington Post after he was tear-gassed. “This is abhorrent. This is beneath us.”
SOME PROTESTS EXEMPTEDAs outlandish as it sounds, mayors and governors have actually admitted to exempting certain protesters and rioters from mandated masks and social distancing. If the agenda matches theirs, they turn a blind eye. So hateful aggressors can spit and shout as a massive mob, but Christians can't sing? Do you see the enemy winning the narrative as Believers stand down? It's happening. Witchcraft has intimidated, manipulated and controlled and few are rising up in opposition.
FACEBOOK/TWITTER SPEECHAgain we see the suffocating muzzles, this time covering the mouths of people online. Shadow banning, deleted posts and cancelled accounts have become the norm as social media leaders are exerting control. The stranglehold on free speech is tight enough to threaten the very life of one of our nation's most sacred rights.
LOCKDOWNSSuffocating people's livelihoods and forcing people to shelter in place is further evidence of the restrictive, constrictive nature of this year's crisis. This has been an easy sell to a fearful people.
CANCEL CULTUREBe sure to read my article on this topic on The Stream. Manipulation is on display as people curse others who don't measure up, or who have failed at some point in their past.
THE RESOLUTIONWe must understand that our battle is mostly spiritual, not natural. This is a very important point to consider as it will directly impact our response to the crisis. For example, I don't believe the answer is to refuse to wear a mask. Sure, make your voice heard and your arguments clear in whatever setting is most appropriate. Stand opposed to mandated mask laws if that's what you desire. Communicate with your lawmakers. But, at the end of the day, a rejected mask isn't a tool in your spiritual tool belt. I personally wear masks when necessary. It's not a sign of defeat or compromise to wear a mask. My strategy against the spirit of witchcraft in our nation isn't natural. It's spiritual. Further, while it can be argued that lockdowns aren't (or are) necessary in a pandemic, the answer isn't to fight that fight in the natural. Opposing the symptomatic laws and social pressures will not result in victory against a very powerful, intelligent, wicked and invisible enemy. We must fight in the Spirit.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (ESV)So, just what is the resolution? I believe we have two choices: Deliverance or judgment. Deliverance of this suffocating, controlling, manipulating, intimidating demonic force on a national level will require mass repentance. I'm talking about full-blown revival from California to New York. This principality must be cast out. If revival and deliverance don't come very quickly, judgment is the next viable option. We can trust God's loving judgment to make wrong things right. His deep love for his people demands he take action when wickedness overtakes the nation. Remember, I firmly believe, at least in part, child sacrifice is to blame for the plague and protests. You can add to that the rampant, deviant sexual sin that has infected so many and blatant rebellion against God (which, as we know, is as the sin of witchcraft). I prefer deliverance over judgment, but if judgment comes, so be it. I trust God to take care of business and to bring justice to a people who have been cursed, manipulated and muzzled.