In the album “An Epic Season,” I passionately made the point that the current pandemic is a judgment from God.
Since its inception, the WHO, CDC and much of the medical community has been severely discredited by the plethora of double reverse summersaults over myriad policies.
Government has alternated between looking stupid and acting in incredibly self-serving ways.
Much of corporate American has revealed the cynical, cruel edge that has always been there.
Churches have demonstrated vastly more defiance than ability to heal the sick.
There is one more god of secular humanism that I suspect will fall, and fall hard – like Dagon and his fan club. That is Big Pharma. Most Americans are casually secular humanists by default, without really knowing what the term means. The brains and the heart of Big Pharma are broadly, militantly, anti-God.
Currently the world is looking at Big Pharma as their savior-in-waiting. When THE vaccine comes out, the world will right itself in short order, and life will go on.
Unless . . . our God is smarter than Big Pharma and He is not overly impressed with their theology or their role as savior of secular humanism.
Imagine one of these scenarios.
-THE vaccine is released with a well-orchestrated plan for distribution. 50 million willing people are vaccinated in the first 90 days. Millions more are waiting in line. Having the vaccination card opens doors for you the world over.
Then, mysteriously, about a third of the first 10 million to be vaccinated become sick and die a swift, cruel death.
Can you imagine the sheer panic among the other 40 million, wondering if anything can be done to forestall their death?
-Or a year after vaccinations become standard, there is a flood of nonviable babies in the wombs of those who have been vaccinated, and there is no way to unvaccinate them. So millions of women must forego ever having children because of mysterious irreversible genetic damage from the vaccine.
-Or keep it simpler. Governments spend billions on purchasing and distributing the vaccines only to discover that the protection in half the population mysteriously lasts only two weeks. The cost and the logistics of revaccinating the entire population every two weeks, is prohibitive.
And those are just my primitive ideas. God has vastly more ingenious ideas. I don’t know how He will do it, but I strongly suspect that Big Pharma is going to join the ranks of the highly discredited secular humanist institutions in the world today before this global judgment is over.
At present, God’s plan to humiliate the humanists seems to be progressing quite effectively, with a double bind the world has not seen on this level before.
-If you as a leader focus on keeping the people alive, the economy dies.
-If you as a leader protect the economy, the people die.
A simple, brilliant, unfixable double bind.
God knows how to make a point.
Against that backdrop, the current American presidential and congressional election outcomes are essentially irrelevant. Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Biden can beat God at His game. Neither can make the judgment of God go away. Neither can solve the double bind. Neither can make the nation prosper in peace without repentance. And neither seems particularly focused on leading the people of God and the nation as a whole into repentance for much of anything.
We will continue to be robustly spanked for the indefinite future, and it just doesn’t make much difference at all whether God spanks us with the right hand or the left hand.
It is going to hurt until there is repentance, and the book of Judges shows that humanity can be defiantly obsessive about their secular humanism and their religious humanism through a whole lot of years of severe economic and political pain.
The size and the nature of this pandemic is new. This conflict between God and humanists is as old as Cain.
So if we as a nation, and the world, deserve this judgment, does that mean we remain passive and let it happen without intervention?
I don’t think so. Scripture points to a much more complex tapestry than just “you deserve it.”
Here are four different grids for viewing the believer’s interaction with a global judgment from God, in the pre-repentance phase when things are pretty ugly.
1) Selective appeals for Mercy
David’s sin in taking a military census was flagrant and the punishment was well deserved. But he appealed for mercy regarding the city of Jerusalem, and was granted that, for no reason other than pure mercy to the undeserving.
We do not have to wait for the highest authorities to lead on behalf of the nation. Each person in charge of a state, a city, a business, or a department within a business, can appeal for Mercy, but it should be preceded by vigorous confession of guilt.
Asking God to spare our lives and the lives of our loved ones just because we love them is a weak petition, and we have seen it fail repeatedly. Repenting individually, for the things I explored in the album “An Epic Season” is a solid beginning for a petition for mercy for those under your care, who may still be secular humanists or religious humanists.
2) Exercise Stewardship
In Numbers 16, Israel as a nation made God so mad He announced His intention to kill everyone but Moses. God Himself commanded Moses to leave the people so God could eliminate them as a nation. The plague broke out immediately and people were dying swiftly.
But Moses stepped into his role as the steward of the people God had assigned to him and crafted a plan whereby Aaron could stop the advance of the plague after a mere 14,700 of them had died.
If God has called you to steward a particular region, whether it is one block long, or a whole county, I would lean into it with vigor. Even if thousands of people die on your watch, keep fighting, so as to mitigate it somewhat, when your authority finally prevails.
3) Grow in Power
When John the Baptist was beheaded as part of a sex game, it was as traumatic to Israel as 9-11 was to America. The apostles were out on their first missionary trip when it happened, and they didn’t need a Tweet to tell them to head back to headquarters.
When they returned, there was no record of their having accomplished anything. In fact, after Jesus had done triage, He determined they were so beaten up, He needed to drop all public ministry and do a retreat with them, so He could patch them back up again.
The pursuit by the 5,000 disrupted the healing and restoration plan, and in that place of trauma and personal turmoil, Jesus calmly forced them to take a piece of bread and fish and go feed 50 people. The miracle happened in the hands of the apostles, in full public view, not in Jesus’ hand.
In the book of Judges, God prepared His champions in the fire of adversity. We have some insight into Gideon’s journey from survival to dominion. Not so much most of the others.
But the bottom line for us today is that we must vigorously pursue the power to heal COVID-19. So far, I have not heard of anyone who is routinely healing people of this disease. But we should all be pressing in.
If we fail the first 50 times we pray for someone’s healing, that does not mean there is no grace for healing. It means we haven’t grown enough yet. So pray for another 50, using a different technique.
Somewhere out there is the champion God designed before the foundation of the world to lead a Mt. Carmel power encounter, where he or she will walk into a hospital without PPE and empty it out.
That champion needs practice before the pressure of prime time.
So practice already!
Every one of us who considers himself an intercessor should be praying for COVID patients every single week, until someone grows into the needed power.
4) Playing the Long Game
This would be Ezekiel’s story.
Judah was guilty. They were in exile as punishment. Nothing at all was going to change the 70-year sentence. Nothing.
Ezekiel was sent to preach to them, at times twice a day, even though they were not going to repent.
During a life that was spent pounding away at an unmovable, hard-hearted people group, during which he made no recorded change in God’s dealing with the people, Ezekiel grew into an incredible spiritual stature so he could raise the dead nation (Ezekiel 37) many centuries in the future.
He changed nothing then. He changed everything in the long run.
Christ did the same.
He poured into Capernaum, doing more miracles there than everywhere else put together. In the end, it appeared to be an exercise in futility because the people did not respond and He cursed them with a judgment worse than Sodom.
Did He fail?
He went there specifically because hundreds of years ago, Isaiah had pinpointed that region as the headquarters of the Shadow of Death.
Jesus went there to grow personally in His authority against this formidable spiritual entity. He succeeded, and later on He confronted this critter on the cross during those three hours of darkness, when the Shadow of Death came between Him and the Father.
And Jesus won.
The critter fled. Jesus and Father were reconnected before Jesus’ death.
And world history was changed by Jesus playing the long game.
I think some of us are called to throw ourselves headlong into 100 different facets of this judgment from God, to be utterly ineffective in changing the course of this judgment, but in the process we will grow to the point that we can change something else, probably in some other season.
But of the many who are called to change human history, few can endure the pain of apparent futility, in pounding away at unmovable issues for decades at a time.
But some are tough enough and have faith enough to play the long game . . .
Is that you?
That said, keeping a low profile and protecting our resources until the wrath of God blows over, is not the calling of a Noble Subject.
There is work to be done amidst a broad cross section of opportunities and strategies that are not there when we are not in a pandemic.
Let’s seize the moment of destiny.
This IS an Epic Season, not just a time of disaster.
Copyright by Arthur Burk
My 7 year old asked me to read the story of Nehemiah and Jehoshaphat’s fight against the Moabites and Ammonites (2 Chron 20). Both are about the underdog beating out a more powerful enemy with repentance and prayer.
Thank you Arthur for directing us on how to pray.
Going to start with suggestion 1 and work through your list!
You know how when you first start up a two-stroke engine, it runs a bit rough until it warms up? I feel like that is what is happening - in that I been running a bit rough for a long while, but in this season, my engine is starting to settle down, and get into the groove. I was asking the Lord about the horse therapy - wondering how I would be able to address deliverance issues in that setting, with people, often groups, who were not even aware of the realities, and too wobbly to engage on that level just yet. I got the sense that He has been developing the blessing of presence I carry - hadn't thought of it in terms of effectiveness with Covid, but that, too - that would position people to be able to access the next step in their journey, whatever that looked like for them: whether it was healing from Covid (identified or not) but also deliverance. Just interesting...
Dear Brother Arthur
My mom follows you faithfully and I am beginning to. I am concerned for my adult children. One is under the influence of demons in the form of schizophrenia and is hyper religious in a bad way. We pray and fast continually. The critters are powerful. My daughter is getting ready to finish law school at Regent and getting a Christian education. I have an older son 28 who is not walking with God. If required for staying in school she must take the vaccine how can she opt out. I don’t want any of them infertile. How do we handle if all my sons benefits are removed if he is forced to take the shot It has aborted tissue from a 14 week old Caucasian boy from the 1966 abortion line. This adding rna or dna is very evil I believe. They are all grown 26,27,28 I pray and fast and like my mom believe this is a flu type just like any other and they are trying to use it against us to divide us and stop worship. I hate what is happening to America but I also know for all countries to stand against Israel American must fall away. I see Christians against Christians daily. It is hurtful and the church follows man made rules to stay open. It seems they lack faith to trust God and “just need to be safe”.
Do you think there is any hope the blatant lawlessness will be uncovered for us to have 4 more years to repent ? Judgement is here I understand and there is no man or woman in power turning to God publicly, but the lawlessness is so terrible and so obvious it hurts my heart.
One last question. You stated in this last commentary that The father and Jesus were United while he was on the cross. What did you mean? I thought Jesus had to die and go to hell to pay for sins and preach to those in captivity and then the power after 3 days and nights reunited Him to the Father. How did this happen ON the cross. I have never heard that.
Many blessings and prayers for healing of our land and the removal of critters from my sons
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Thank you Arthur,
It is true that there is a pandemic, covid-19, financial struggles, business failures, government issues, and lack of normal community. But the TRUTH is God has predestined our identity, our purpose and our vision. He will give us the strategies, plans and courage to do our part to bring His redemption and healing to our part of the world. I truly believe that.
I love how you speak the TRUTH. Jesus is the Way, the TRUTH and the life.
Oh yes the principle of repentance. I will keep pressing in. I want to move in intimacy and dominion. I am remembering His mercies toward me. I will not grow weary in doing good.
For me, the Lord has been emphasizing the separation - on every level. It is a work of divine calling out, both internally and externally to prepare the people of God to engage with Him like never before. It is "God with us" - "all creation waiting for the manifested presence of the Sons of God", "Being still and know that He is God". Not just memorized ideology, but manifested reality - and a reality that is to be seen and experienced by the whole world. Amazing power, authority, dominion over all - that God is true and every man a liar.
Thank you for so succinctly summing up great strategies to pursue.
This is sobering to read and very thought provoking.
I'm plugged in to an M.D.'s website, who specializes in cellular function and nutrition. He has access to things like clinical trial results and vaccine development protocols and is very vocal in his warnings against the vaccine as it is being produced. With his expertise in cellular function, he is sounding the alarm of how our natural human defense mechanisms at the cellular level, will be overwhelmed by the vaccine itself with fatal consequences. The vaccine will cause our God created natural defense immune system, to malfunction and turn against itself. It makes your scenario of the vaccine being a death mechanism, very plausible.
I'm going to keep this article handy and re-read it often, hoping to develop some personal strategies for the possible scenarios.
.... for by your pharmakia all nations were deceived. Rev 18:23
Arthur, you already pointed out that Big Pharma is the biggest evildoer. From Revelation I believe that this is the beginning of the end time judgement. At the end of it Big Pharma will be completely annihilated. Awesome writing from you, thanks.
I have prayed over people for healing years ago and had quite some success, as there was revival in the atmosphere at the time. I don't feel this anymore today. The people I encounter on a daily bases are less and less desiring to engage with God and receive healing from HIM. Even my own father denied my offer to pray with him. He expects to pass away in a couple on months now.
People we have fellowshipped with in the past have little by little turned away, offended over things, that don't even have anything to do with our fellowship.
When I asked Yehovah on what to do, I get encouraged to walk alone and stay put. HE even wrote the word "separation" on our new propane tank, and HE did that in Hebrew letters.
More and more we see the fence straddling coming to an end. You are either all in or all out. And HIS remnant is very small.
Arthur, thanks for this so much needed biblical approach among so much confusion.
It’s so significant to see your examples from the Bible like David, John the Baptist, Ezekiel and Jesus reaction were in the midst of adversity. It’s encouraging to see that to get involved in the warfare and not produce immediate results is not that we are not called or anointed or we shouldn’t have done this or that because there are no results. Wow even Jesus miracles in Capernaum . We should just persevere and leave the results and know God is building our capacity. A new revelation. Eish.
Also powerful is how you summarize the secular humanism way to deal with Gods judgement. we don’t have to depend on the world for solutions. God is in control in all circumstances. True repentance and mercy for us is crucial.
Thanks you for everything you share. It builds us.
I loved that gymnastic and basketball comparison to. Powerful and needed for us to get a better understanding of what we face. May God bless you.
Well stated, Arthur. We all have a God-designed and God-ordained role in this season, and it is up to each one of us to lean in and discover what that role is; then to develop and execute. I will be sharing this with my portion of the Tribe.
I read a column from two years ago by Anne Hamilton about the shadow of death. I was reading Regions of Captivity this morning (Ferrell) about the shadow of death. I sought a piece of scrap paper out of an old notebook . There were notes marked Arthur Burk and also Anne Hamilton (honestly, I am not a follower) about guess what? The shadow of death... oh, and I have be a part of two different groups which are repenting, fasting, and decreeing.
I also appreciate your entreaty to "keep fighting". I recall the story of John Wimber in the early days when they felt God had called them to pray for the sick. They spent a whole year praying with no results. And finally after getting on their faces before Him the dam broke, and it began a healing wave within the Vineyard movement that I was privileged to be a part of years ago.
I appreciate this Arthur. It's hard hitting as usual, and sorely needed.
I'm glad you pointed us away from "sinking ship theology" and towards engagement. The four grids are excellent. I'll be looking to find my place in all of them, "for such a time as this..."
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Thank you for sharing Arthur, I needed to hear this perspective. It only confirms what I keep pushing into background as truth. Being a “faith girl” it has been very conflicting to accept judgment as opposed to God making it all go away overnight.
Earlier in the year I was compelled to study repentance of Nineveh. So far, I’m not seeing a response of repentance from from believers, much less those outside the community of faith. The prophetic just keep moving the goal post.
My prayer has been for “Jonahs” to come forth and for Gods mercy to be extended, and Gods healers would take their place.
I pray that repentance would start with me.
Yes and Amen
Replied by : Arthur Burk