[Beloved, I am not writing to mock anyone. This came pouring out of me after spending time in prayer and the word—out of a heart of love and deep concern for God’s people.]
Notice that I did not write “conspiracy theories” but conspiracies. Let’s start this with the assumption that some or all of the different potential conspiracy theories are not theories at all, but true:
Okay, now what?
The question is: How should we respond?
What is the response of the Christians in China to the fact their government conspires against them daily? Preach the gospel. Win as many people as possible. What was Paul’s response to Rome’s persecution of believers? Preach the gospel. What was the response of the apostles to the illegal trial and murder of Yeshua? Preach the gospel. Or when they were arrested and beaten (Acts 3-4)? Preach the gospel. What were the last words of Yeshua? “Warn the people about Bill Gates?” No, and forgive me, I am not trying to be cute here, but to make a point. His last words were to go all over the world and make disciples. What is Paul doing in his cell? Is he worried about Emperor Nero? No, he continues to minister through his letters.
I am not saying that we ignore injustice or people conspiring to do evil. (Of course, we will need more evidence than a few facebook posts.)
The nations conspire
It should come as no surprise that eventually we will not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. The day will come when the governments of the world will turn on believers and persecute us. While I do not believe the present encouragement not to gather in large groups is motived by a desire to shut down the church, this is a good opportunity to practice because that day will surely come! They will “conspire” against God and His Messiah.
Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed (Ps. 2:1-2)
The fact that certain powers conspire against God and his people is neither news, nor shocking. It was prophesied long ago. The questions is, are we ready?
Too often we fear the raging, conspiring nations, more than the One who created them. When we fret over the conspiracies of man, we make God very small. The greatest of all the bad actors to come is not Prince Charles, the WHO (not the band), Bill Gates or Dr. Fauci, but the antichrist, and he is a mere puppet in God’s hand. For three and a half years, this powerful man will be unable to touch Jerusalem, as the two witnesses, who happen to breath fire and “strike the earth with plagues as often as they want,” will hold him back as they proclaim Yeshua from the Old City of Jerusalem. Only after they are gone (to heaven), does he attack the Holy City (Zech. 14:1-2)
Despite all the plans of man, God will have his way. No one is going to pull the wool over God’s eyes, (with 5G cell towers or fake vaccines) but quite the opposite—they are his servants whether they know it or not. During the last seven years before Yeshua comes back, they have great difficulty implementing their evil schemes amidst plagues, earthquakes and droughts, whereas believers will enjoy protection from much of it, like the Israelites during the passover plagues. It is going to be a harrowing time on planet earth.
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences (plagues) in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me.” (Luke 21:10-13)
“I pledge my head to heaven”
My concern is not who is conspiring, but for those who are not prepared for difficult times; for persecution. Even now, many are prophesying, hoping and praying that we can all go back to normal—and normal means 30,000 in the stock market, strong economy and megachurches full.
But is that what God wants? Maybe for a season, until the next ‘birth pang’. Certainly, if we are in the last days, the old normal is not what is going to happen— I am far less concerned with someone’s prophetic word or vision, than I am with the unshakable, 100% accurate, word of God which speaks of a time of cataclysmic suffering before Yeshua returns.
But we want our normal back. I talked to a megachurch pastor the other day who gets it, but he told me that all his megachurch pastor buddies are saying, “Don’t worry…everything will be back to normal soon.” Or, maybe God is doing what he said in His Word? Hebrews 12:26-27 tells us that He will shake everything that can be shaken, so that only that which is unshakable will remain.
I see a time soon when God is going to bring some of our ministry structures crumbling down. I do not exempt myself—for God alone knows my heart and motives, my fears and jealousies. Let it all come down! I imagine that some pastors are panicking over losing their platforms. Beware of those who tell you the key to stopping the plague, is a gift to their ministry. Giving is super important, especially in a time of famine or plague, but the people of God have too often been manipulated by millionaire preachers. I keep seeing in my spirit scaffolding and structures that were man made, and a wrecking ball/earthquake taking them all down. Then something more beautiful arising—the ecclesia, the people of God—in its place. Could it be that God is not only draining the swamp in politics, but also in ministry? Does not judgment begin with the house of God? (1 Pet. 4:17)
I absolutely believe in leadership. But leaders are called to “equip the saints for works of ministry” (Eph. 4:11-14) not to do all the ministry themselves. My guess is that more non-leadership believers are doing more ministry now than before, because of COVID-19. We needs to be Jesus to this world.
I would love for things to go back to the way they were. My life was good. Our small tour business has lost about $20,000…so far. But as Keith Green said, “I pledge my head to heaven for the Gospel.” Whom have I but Jesus? He is stripping everything else away. And yes, it is scary, but I am longing for His glory. He does not return to a distracted bride, but one who yearns for Him.
(I wrote those last few paragraphs in tears, holy fear and trembling.)
Yeshua calls it the beginning of birth pains (Matt. 24:8). For those of you who have given birth, you don’t need me to tell you that birth pains or pangs, come in waves. Amongst other things, these serve to let the mother know that the baby is coming. That tells me two things: One, this will eventually subside, but not for long. More pangs will come in the form of what Yeshua said: Earthquakes, famines, wars and plagues and of course, persecution.
Secondly, the birth pangs end with a birth. We are getting close to that glorious Millennial Kingdom where, as my dear friend who is now with Yeshua, Marc Chopinsky, wrote, He shall reign over all the earth. Any mother will tell you that once the baby is born, the birth pangs quickly become a distant memory.
What to do?
Instead of focusing on conspiracy theories (even if true) we should:
1) Prepare for what is coming. I don’t mean, stock up on water—I mean, emotionally and spiritual get ready. We must learn to live supernaturally like Elijah during the drought. That is what Jesus told us:
“do not be frightened… But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.” (Luke 22:9, 14)
Why does He tell us this? Because people’s hearts will fail them. In fact, in Matthew, Yeshua says people will even get angry at God and fall away: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” The birth pain is a sign for us to wake up and get ready. To pray and seek God. To find our security in him. The first part of that quote has to do with worldwide events, and then the second part has to do with being arrested for our faith. These things are going to happen.
2) Rejoice and get excited. Speaking of the end-times sign, Yeshua gives us the vaccine, if you will, to the plague of “panic”:
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)
Let’s go after God like never before!
We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:51:-57)
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, June 17, 2020, and reposted with permission.