It has been a year since we published The Arc of Empires. Thousands of books have been distributed and people across the earth are becoming aware that the various crises taking place around them have a Divine purpose. Most importantly, church leaders are being awakened and are rising to build a more accurate expression of God’s Church during the time of crisis, so their people can be established and walk through the events of the End with strong faith and awareness of God’s purpose.
The message of The Arc of Empires does more than predict or assess a single event – it describes a much wider process of God’s dealings with the earth and therefore it is unfolding, dynamic and “track-able”. What I mean by that is that the book makes the unfolding events of the earth truly discernible by providing us both with a prophetic grid for understanding and also a strong Kingdom mentality that is relevant for these particular times. It is very important to me that people can see this word from God unfold because that allows those who don’t quite “see it” at first to shift in their posture towards it as further crisis ratifies it and makes it more emphatic.
We are living in a time very much like the time of Moses when God increased the intensity of crisis – what the Bible calls plagues – and it is a sequence of events that we can track. In light of tracking what is happening, I want to survey two developments that have occurred since The Arc of Empires was published one year ago – the rise of ISIS and the Ebola outbreak – events that further ratify that God is in control in the midst of the crises.
The Ebola crisis is the worst outbreak in history. According to official counts at the time of this writing it has killed 4,500 in West Africa, though many unofficial numbers are 2-3 times higher. The disease jumped to the U.S. through the travel of a Liberian man who was misdiagnosed with a flu virus in a Dallas hospital and sent home with an active Ebola infection. A physician in New York who worked with Ebola patients in Guinea has also been diagnosed and various travel bans and quarantines have been implemented, contested and overturned in the case of a nurse in Maine.
There has been also a relatively slow response to the Ebola outbreak by the wealthy nations of the West, as intimated by the former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan who said "I am bitterly disappointed by the response... I am disappointed in the international community for not moving faster". Annan told the BBC, “If the crisis had hit some other region it probably would have been handled very differently. In fact when you look at the evolution of the crisis, the international community really woke up when the disease got to America and Europe." If there is no response to the crisis hitting weaker or undeveloped nations until the crisis “hits home”, we have moved beyond a health crisis into a crisis of morality and ethics among the world’s leaders.
My own travels have crisscrossed Africa over the last few months, and I’ve have had my temperature taken in Lagos, Nigeria’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport (both arriving and departing), in Bole International in Ethiopia and in Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi. I am in Kinshasa, Congo where we are ministering to new pastors who have come into Congress WBN. We have 11 prophets here, but two of them had to cancel their trip due to their own nation’s health policy, which would have required them to be quarantined upon returning home even though few incidents of Ebola are not part of the West Africa outbreak. Ironically when I landed at N’Djili International Airport in Kinshasa on Monday, it was the most hassle free and streamlined immigration process of all my recent trips and no temperatures were being taken.
The emergence of ISIS caught Western leaders flat footed in how to respond to a new and more aggressive jihadist threat then that posed by Al Qaeda. One senior American Army general who led combat operations in Iraq stated that “We were surprised by their regional ambitions, the speed of their advance into Mosul and the collapse of the Iraqi security forces”. This is a senior soldier in charge of training Iraq’s military, yet they could not foresee the collapse of the forces they had worked with in close quarters for years.
A State Department leader said somewhat hypocritically, “I’m not suggesting anyone was asleep at the switch, but ISIS definitely achieved strategic surprise when they rolled into Iraq”. Of course he was suggesting that very thing, and the only thing more questionable than the fight between the intelligence agencies that missed the call and the administration which made policy is the White House spokesman who declared “We continue to have the highest degree of confidence in our intelligence community to continue to provide advice”.
Beyond the battles currently raging across Iraq, Syria and the borders of Turkey, there is a real concern about those living in the West recruited to fight with ISIS. About 40% of the 30,000 ISIS fighters in the region are foreign, including: 1,000 French, 500 Brits, 300 Belgians, 400 Germans, 800 Russians and also citizens from Also Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Italy, and Netherlands.¹ Three teenage girls from Denver skipped high school one day in October in order to fly to Germany and from there to Turkey to join ISIS. Their ages were 14 & 15, and they had secreted their passports from parents and stolen cash from them to purchase tickets.
Two incidents in Canada involved radicalized Muslims just days apart. One killed a police officer in Toronto by running him over with a car and the other killed a soldier and fired shots in Ottawa’s capital building. ISIS is using social media and other technology to spread their message and recruit, and has recently urged Muslims in the West to engage in lone wolf attacks which may have been behind the Canadian incidents.
One of the things these events have in common is the inability of national leaders to forecast them and to properly respond.
- The first Ebola victim in the U.S. was Thomas Duncan, a Liberian man who presented himself at a Dallas hospital with Ebola type symptoms, and told them plainly he had just traveled from one of the cities hardest hit with Ebola: Monrovia, Liberia. Somehow the information did not make it to the diagnosing physician, who sent the man home with a simple diagnosis of a viral infection. Federal and state authorities cannot agree on how to respond, as one local court overturned a state requirement for quarantine of a nurse recently returned from West Africa.
- The rise of ISIS was not miraculous, yet it was not anticipated by intelligence analysts, one of whom said “To anyone watching developments in Iraq & Syria, the recovery and rise of ISIS should have been starkly clear” - should have been clear, but wasn’t! He acknowledged that “ISIS had an explicit strategy aimed at engendering the conditions that would lead to its accelerated rise”.
This lack of wisdom and insight as well as an inability to fix problems facing the nations is a key premise of The Arc of Empires. When God’s purpose requires nations to be broken, He “deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste. They grope in darkness with no light; He makes them stagger like drunkards” (Job 12:24-25). There are several imperatives from these verses that describe present conditions:
- God is Involved With the Crises. He deprives leaders of reason. He sends them wandering. He makes them stagger. One of the greatest needs of the Church is to come to know the God who is Sovereign, not just have a theological concept about God but actually know the God who is moving in the nations through crisis to bring to pass His redemptive purpose.
- The Problems Can’t be Fixed. God has removed wisdom from leaders, a word which describes both man’s moral conscience and also his ability to think through and resolve problems. The result is that leaders of nations and systems grope in the darkness and stagger like drunkards. For those who wonder how presidents and prime ministers can set such terrible policies and not see the direction their respective nations are going in, the Scriptures explain what is happening. Leaders have lost their conscience and moral character and they have also lost their competence and ability to think correctly and are left searching for answers to the increasing complexity caused by decline. The nations are in crisis, and no leader has the ability to fix the major problems facing man today.
The crises in our day have the same meanings that destabilization and brokenness in Ancient Egypt meant for every believer – that God had heard their cries and was coming to deliver them. Just as it was for believers living under Pharoah’s bondage, God has heard the cries of the modern Church and He is releasing a series of plagues upon the nations that have one ultimate intention – to break us out of the oppression of mortality and bring us home to God. We can say the following:
- The crisis in the earth is a sign of the presence of God and His readiness to bring deliverance. It is not a time to be uncertain or cowering in fear, it is day of deliverance and joy. This mentality and attitude is only possible if the Church is hearing accurately and responding to the words of accurate Apostolic Leadership in the church today. As Israel listened to the voice and words of Moses that served to steward them through the crisis of their day, so the Body of Christ today has to be effectively stewarded in the midst of the crisis. We must build churches, families, mentalities that make us 'immune' to the crisis invading the land.
- The crisis in the earth is God’s urgent call to the Church to engage in reformation and transformation. Churches across the earth are hearing the call of God to rise and build correctly. At the same time, God is purging His Church of false ministries, unethical leaders and oppressive methods that have kept God’s people in bondage.
- The crisis in the earth signals a time for a mass movement of the Church to positions of final maturity in the Faith. The Church (you and I) must move towards greater and more emphatic Christ-likeness. We cannot afford to be immature in a time of crisis.
- The crisis in the earth is God’s chosen environment for bringing the Church into mature partnership with Him to bring about the Finish of His purposes.
In short we can say that the crisis in the earth is designed to produce:
► Faith not fear
► Confidence not uncertainty
► Participation not passivity
► Movement not paralysis
► Maturity not immaturity.
If these things are not present in us, we have to ask ourselves “what do we need to know about God that we don’t presently understand?” Far from sending us into spirals of doubt and uncertainty and fear, the crises unfolding all around us should be recognized as God ordained circumstances which propel us deeper into Him as the light of the church arises in the midst of the darkness. That issue is what we devote the final 1/3 of The Arc of Empires to, and we will send out additional newsletters providing clarity and insight soon.