Guest Post: Conspiracies

This is an essay written by guest author, Allen Simmons. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Baptist Bible College and a Master of Religious Education degree from Tennessee Temple University. Allen has decades of experience studying, preaching, and teaching the Bible at several institutions including the Akron Baptist Temple, Copley Baptist Temple, and Calvary Baptist Church.

INTRODUCTION

When I was a teen, my friends and I would read so-called conspiracy books.

It was like reading novels that were part mystery and part science fiction rolled into one. They would proclaim the efforts of one cabal or another that had usually been operating for hundreds if not thousands of years under different names and with different forms in an effort to rule the world after changing it to their liking. As a rule, the cabal would consist of wealthy and powerful but secretive men who have been working behind the scenes to enact their mostly sinister ends in a way that no one (with the glaring exception of conspiracy theorists, of course) should discover what they were doing until it was too late.

If this present world system is a result of their efforts to date, I’m not impressed. If they are trying to create Utopia after generations of manipulating the world, they stink at it. They need to take up more useful pursuits because they must be the greatest bunch of losers this planet has ever produced. They are right to hide themselves… in shame at their failures after all these years, these decades, these generations. If they exist as written, then they are blind, incompetent fools.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Actually, a good part of any discussion about conspiracies is whether or not they truly exist or if someone is just making this stuff up to scare people. Most people, when I was younger, would see them as nonsense and dismiss them out of hand. After all, the named conspirators are familiar names, some of which we have elected to office or have been appointed to office by the people we have elected to office. These days people are more likely to believe the conspiracy theorists especially since a conspiracy is the best rational explanation for some of the things happening in the news today (like Epstein’s “suicide” and the origin of the Wuhan virus). To some of our leaders, a lie comes as naturally as sparrows flying. This doesn’t inspire confidence. Couple that with the penchant of some tech pranksters to try to change the reality that we perceive for what appears to be no good reason except to amuse themselves and the resultant situation practically breeds the intellectual insecurity that, in its course, bears fruit in conspiracy theories.

The first thing I think we all need to understand straight up is: Yes.

Conspiracies exist. Most, if not all, human beings consciously enter into a few over the course of their lives. If I was a betting man, I’d give odds that the persons reading this have all conspired to one purpose or another. Well. Maybe not for anything as grandiose as world domination, but maybe to get a spouse, fool your parents, play a prank, pass a test, get something you want, or avoid something or some situations. I could go on and on, but we need to keep things moving along.

Some of the things I write may make the people reading this think I’m a nut.

That’s O.K..  I think the same thing about you.

Let’s approach this in 3 sections: Human conspiracies, the Satanic conspiracy, and the Godly conspiracy. They overlap in places, so it won’t be clearly divided, but even that is educational and worthwhile to study. This isn’t going to be so much a names, dates and places kind of thing (if you’re interested, the internet is full of that kind of thing). Instead I am trying to show the kernel truth of the matter of conspiracies from the standpoint of a Bible-believing Christian.

HUMAN CONSPIRACIES

When I was a teen, my best friend introduced me to conspiracy books. The first two were None Dare Call it Conspiracy, and None Dare Call it Treason.

Since then there have been many more (some more credible than others). Over the years, I have been exposed in various ways to conspiracy theories concerning the Illuminati, the Club of Rome, the Bilderbergers, the C.F.R., the Trilateral commission, Cecil Rhodes, the Rockefellers, Area 51 and the U.F.O. conspiracies, the Black Nobility, the Blue Bloods, the Skull and Bones society, the Masons, and on into the horizon. These days they’ve graduated from paperback books to the internet like seeds bearing ominous fruit. What a crop they have yielded!

Tales of shadowy figures possessing great wealth, great political and/or religious power coupled with disturbing levels of intelligence and a drive to rule the world that would put a comic book mastermind to shame are in great demand these days it seems. In these days of uncertainty, and feelings of personal powerlessness, folks retreat from personal culpability by laying their troubles on some obscure, powerful others who they think are manipulating their lives (and sometimes their very brains) to such an extent that nothing is really the fault of the “normal people”. A lot of people are looking for a way out of paying for their own sins while ignoring the fact that Jesus Christ has already provided one that has nothing to do with laying the blame off on other human beings.

You might rightly ask after reading some of their material: “But isn’t a lot of this true? After all, these are historical figures and there are fairly well-known organizations that are involved. You even see them in the news from time to  time!” I answer: “I didn’t say they didn’t exist. I just question if their true role in things isn’t spun by the conspiracy theorists into sinister threads that, in way too many cases, is exaggerated until a lot of it is implausible.”

Without the supernatural element, purely human grand conspiracies are ridiculous. A lot of the original founders of well-known conspiracy groups have long been dead and in Hell. Their successors (because they are humans) have revised and otherwise changed things to suit themselves. How can I say that? I grew up in the Akron Baptist Temple that had in my teen years the world’s largest Sunday School. Now it doesn’t even exist. The original pastor died.  His vision was not copied over by his son, the next pastor down the line further diverted it to suit his own vision, then the next likewise. I’ve seen this basic scenario played out in a lot of organizations I’ve been acquainted with. I’ve seen it played out by governments also.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon concurs with the above observation (Ecclesiastes 2:15-19; 5:15-16; 6:11-12; 8:8). Do you think the founders of our country foresaw what would become of it today? Leaders want to impose their own vision, not endure the constrictions of the moldy visions of the past! The successors might keep the same basic goals, but everything else changes with the times.  Humans are mortal so their conspiracies die when they die, and that which they pass on is discarded or morphed into something else.

Why start conspiracies in the first place? Motives are hard to quantify.

Some like to think they can play a tune everyone will dance to. To some, it is a game and they are game masters. Some actually think they are doing good. Some are sold out to evil and the occult. Some have nothing else to do that interests them. Some get a kick out of making people believe a lie or be forced to act as if something they know as wrong is the truth. Because they do not agree on motive, they oppose other groups. Sometimes they agree in goals or to maintain the status of each other because the loss of status is too great a risk to take.

The main point is this: strictly human conspiracies are just as temporary as the humans that invent them…unless…they are tied into or absorbed by an immortal with an agenda of his own.

THE SATANIC CONSPIRACY

It starts out with a cherub (Ezekiel 28:12-19) named Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12- 15) who, although he rejoiced with the other spirit-natured created beings at the creation of the physical universe (Job 38:4-7), was corrupted by pride in his own beauty (Ezekiel 28:17). Originally, he was stationed over the throne of God, and probably lead the heavenly chorus as they sang before the throne (Ezekiel 28:13). At some point he rebelled with the declaration in his heart “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14) Thus his conspiracy was born. God countered with: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the. sides of the pit” ( Isaiah 14:15). Needless to say he was removed from his position and his basic appearance was changed into the form you see in Revelation 12 and Job 41: that of a winged dragon/serpent. This is what Eve saw in the garden (although some would say he appeared to Eve as an angel of light as in II Corinthians 11:14 for purposes of deception and possible seduction). You might say “how could anyone having been in the presence of God possibly consider this course of action.’ Maybe the answer lies in Job 41:33 which says: “Upon the earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.” He is a powerful wicked being without fear. Think about it for a while.

Let’s go back to Genesis 3:15.  Most folks rightfully see this verse as the first messianic prophecy in the Bible. It is also a challenge to the conspirator. It sets up the scenario for the great conspiratorial battles to come throughout Biblical history. The Devil uses his part of the prophesy (his seed) to gain immunity and license for certain actions and simultaneously, he tried to trip up the prophesy about the woman’s seed.  He came pretty close to succeeding in Genesis 6 when  he attempted to pollute the human race’s gene pool with “the sons of God” (Genesis 6:2-4) who had followed him in his rebellion.  With the birth of Jesus, it is shown that he failed to thwart God’s design in that front. With the cross, he lost the seed contest. His only real goal since is to damn or trip up as many souls as possible before his inevitable doom. That doesn’t mean he has slowed down or slacked his wickedness. It may seem petty, but God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Do all come to repentance? Not hardly. The Devil still serves as a freewill test for humans. He still accuses the brethren day and night (Revelation 12:10). He still has the world system to run until his time comes to be chained in the pit (Revelation 20: 1-2).

He still can wield the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). He may have been thwarted, but he is still very dangerous…and he doesn’t like you very much.

To expand a point, Satan has been given charge of the government systems of the world. Luke 4:5-6 says “and the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto him, all this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that  is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” Notice Jesus doesn’t contradict him.  Now think.  God has placed Satan in charge over the world system, Not only that He tells you in Romans13 to be subject to His ordained authority which has the job of punishing people who step out of line. Mind blowing isn’t it? God has given rule over this sinful race of men to a monster to keep them in line.

Look at Jeremiah 24:5-8 for a second: “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant;  and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.  And all nations  shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.  And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence until I have consumed them by his hand.” Nebuchadnezzar is the strongest type of Antichrist in the O.T. (for instance, compare the end of vs 8 with Revelation 6:2-8), and yet it is God who  has put him in charge of things even to the point of punishing his enemies. In several passages, God calls him “my servant.” Even the baddest of bad guys serve the Lord and fulfil His purpose whether they know it or not. I’ve always liked Daniel chapter 4. This is where God demonstrates to Nebuchadnezzar who is the ultimate authority on the planet.

Why would the Lord create a situation where the Devil has basically become the “god” of the present world system (II Corinthians 4:3-4)? Perhaps a lesson derived from recent history could shed some light on it. The United States created Iraq out of 3 continually warring factions (the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunnis). They knew the new nation would tear itself apart in short order without a certain kind of guy in charge. Enter Saddam Hussein. Under the leadership of the monster, the nation didn’t tear itself apart but rather thrived and flourished until he got too big for his britches and the United States put him down.  Sometimes it takes a monster to keep discipline and the Devil is God’s disciplinarian. He is the “rod” in Job 9:34; Lamentations 3:1; and in other passages. In others, this role is delegated to his minions. If God wants to punish or destroy, He frequently delegates Satan and his minions for the job.  This is the reason you are not to  speak evil of “dignities” (Jude 8 & 9; II Peter 2:9-11). They are, in a fashion, doing the Lord’s work. Remember Josiah when he went up against Pharaoh Nico in II Chronicles 35:20-24?  He was killed because he tried to go against the Lord in that case after a lifetime of being the best king Judah ever produced.

The Devil has never been God’s equal in power. Not even close. What is impossible to accomplish through force of power, he tries to do through subtle means. Instead, he tries to thwart prophesy or get God to work against His own best interests or to break His own rules. A good Biblical example of how Satan tries to get God to work against Himself is Balaam. Balaam is a man whose story is told in Numbers 22-25 (please read it). He was a man who was willing to trade prophesy, curses and blessings for money. Probably, he was one of God’s men for that region who had become corrupted and became a type of the false prophet. He was hired by Balak the king of Moab in Midian to curse the children of Israel because he was rightfully afraid of them as they were come to conquer the land.

God would not allow the curse, so Balaam had a problem: how to get the reward when God forbade the curse, so he devised a plan. The council of Balaam (Numbers 31:16) was to work indirectly to get God Himself to curse His own people. The doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14) taught Balak to put moral stumbling blocks before the children of Israel. He got them to eat things sacrificed to Baal-peor (Balak’s god), and he got them to fornicate with his people.

This was effective (Numbers 25). God got angry with His people (vs 3) and He called on Moses to kill the people (vs 4). He also sent a plague that killed 24,000 of them (vs 9).  God was placated when Phinehas killed a couple that would have united leadership bloodlines (remember the whole “seed” thing we talked about) in verses 6-8.

The plan had a serious backfire. God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). God ordered the slaughter of the Midianites (vss 16-18), and Balaam himself was slain in Numbers 31:9-20.

This all shows a “successful” methodology on the part of Satan and company. He still uses the methodology today to destroy Christians both individually and in groups. 1- He promotes fornication with and intermarriage with unbelievers that jeopardizes both the Christian and the generation to come. 2- He promotes tolerance for error that leads to participation in that error and a casting away of the truth. Before long, a person who started out in good shape spiritually can become sympathetic to the ungodly people’s complaints about us, our God, our Book and our true brothers and sisters.

THE HIERARCHY

Satan is not alone in his work.  He has a kingdom (Matthew 12:26).

His kingdom is a counterfeit of the Kingdom of Heaven that will come when its rightful King comes to claim and to build it (Revelation 19). I frequently point out that what the Bible calls the “world” isn’t the Earth but the Satanic World System that is the fruit of his management. When in I John 2:15 the Lord says “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world,” He isn’t talking about fresh

air, sunsets, mountains, trees and animals, He is referencing the next two verses: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

Notice James 3:13-18. Here you have contrasted “the wisdom that is from above” (God) from the wisdom commonly in use by the members of the Satanic World System.  It is characterized in vs 15 as “earthly, sensual, and devilish” and  it leads to characteristic fruit gleaned from vs 14 and 16 (1 – bitter envying and strife in your hearts. 2 – lying against the truth. 3 – confusion and every evil work). This, in turn, is derived from a being who Jesus says in John 8:44 to unbelieving Jewish leaders: “Why do ye not understand my speech: Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is  a liar and the father of it.” If you doubt his effectiveness, take a look at our current situation. Government in all of its forms are dancing to his tune. Media are dancing to his tune. Culture is dancing to his tune. Education is dancing to his tune. Even (too) many churches dance to the same tune his world system dances to.

People worry about conspiracies and then find themselves both compliant and complicit in the greatest and most convoluted wicked conspiracy of them all.

Every kingdom has its sub-rulers who serve under the high king. Even so Satan has his principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). The Bible doesn’t dwell on these characters much. They are basically doomed and rarely named although clashes and conflicts are sometimes mentioned.

Among these we can see “gods” (Exodus 12:12; 18:1; Jeremiah 51:44; Psalm 82:1). We can see “princes” (Daniel 10:13, 20-21); good and bad. We see part human “kings” (Daniel 2:4-44; Revelation 17:12-14; 9:11). We see mysterious supernatural figures (Zechariah 5:5-11; Revelation 9:13-19). We even see humans working with them knowingly and unknowingly (See the magicians in Exodus 8. Also see Ezekiel 28:1-10, and Acts 13:6-12). So, you can see from the Scriptures there is a dynamic interaction of the spiritual and the physical in the Satanic World System. The greatest interaction will be when the seed of Satan comes into his own and becomes the Beast of Revelation 13. He will be given an earthly, physical kingdom prepared for him by his father and his father’s agents.

Notice vs 2: he is given “his power, and his seat, and great authority” by the Dragon (Satan) in mimicry of our Lord’s relationship to His Father. This is facilitated by the 10 “kings” listed above. They are the point where the supernatural and the natural merge. I believe they are the generators of the conspiracy groups everyone likes to research.

Any legitimate extra-governmental power group leads to the “kings” that  are set up to make the world ready for the Beast. They are the top physical hierarchy in the so-called “shadow government”. They pull every body’s strings if there are real strings to pull. (A lot of conspiracy theories are nonsensical. That is why I use terms like “real” and “legitimate”. Anybody can make stuff up). I’ve read many a conspiracy book where the author postulates a small group that ties together the best known conspiracy groups under their ultimate headship. Of Biblical necessity these “kings” would form that group. How long has this been going on? Since Biblical days. (At least since I Thessalonians 2:7, but good arguments can be make going back to Nimrod after the flood). You can see their influence in the unclean spirit “foot soldiers” who help out with the corruption of the same.

For a long time I’ve said politics is how the Devil runs his world system.

Politics works because the truth is doled out in controlled doses, and lies are used to manipulate people into capitulation to the system.. All world system governments, no matter the stated political philosophy tries to control the truth about everything because the one who controls the source of information is the one (or group) with the power. It is easier to control people who have to come to you for answers. It is easier if those answers are created to serve the purposes of the government above all else. If you give the truth to everybody, you leave yourself open to second guessing, looking bad in the face of other people who are smarter or better than you and who come up with better solutions, and a thousand other things that would make your life miserable. Truth can be used to hurt as well as help. Think of the Bible. The Bible is truth (John 17:17). It is also a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It can wound or heal. All truth carries this same characteristic. Ministers use the truth to heal and comfort and edify. Evil people use the truth to harm, embarrass, blackmail, ruin peoples’ lives and destroy reputations, businesses, political opponents and on and on it goes. Have you ever confided your deepest secrets and opinions to someone only to have that someone turn on you and tell other people about what you told them (usually warped or edited for maximum harm)? Maybe you have changed the way you look at things over time, but in politics, embarrassing information about you lives forever.

Now that we are in the end times, the world system is being conformed to the oft anticipated one world government that presages Antichrist. Example: When I was a child in the 50’s, we used to watch Miss Universe.  I always liked the way the ladies would come out in the traditional garb of their native countries. On T.V. would sometimes be displayed the culture of other countries. They had music and dress that was distinctive from one another. From that time to this, the cultures have been subsumed into the rock culture along with i’s music, dress, lifestyles, language and characteristic rebelliousness. Sex, drugs and rock and roll have provided a one world culture.

The world governments are bound to the U.S. dollar and that along with various free trade agreements have created a vast inter-national economic system. Everybody is now interdependent on everyone else for food and manufactured goods. We are told this will help prevent major wars. Let’s face it, it’s hard to declare war on the country where your war machinery is manufactured. This is one reason Trump is so problematic to the world system. He evidently wants to bring some of this back to America and weaken our interdependence with other countries. Of course, Trump is a temporary glitch even if he does win four more years. After that, it’s back to the plan. The one world economic system is crucial for Revelation 13:16-17 to come to fruition. If you control the economy, you have great power in the World System.

Since I was a child, prophetic speakers would talk about a one world religion, Usually, Roman Catholicism was pegged to be that system based on Revelation 17&18 as well as interpretations of other passages that indicate to people that Rome will be the head of Antichrist’s kingdom… but, have you noticed that other ideas of secular origin have largely infected the “Christian” groups as well as the other major religious groups all over the world? Even the Moslems are slowly but surely being infected by the virus of secular humanism. Religion is being bent and reshaped by the inexorable forces of the world culture and the world economic system. The world secular humanist ethical system now reigns supreme with a few exceptions. Have you listened to the Pope lately?  Let’s face it, traditional religious beliefs still try to wrap the latest secular humanist ethos  into their own religious garb, but they are all letting the “birds” (demons – Luke 8:5,12; Mark 13:9) into their branches. These days church organizations are well leavened (Luke 13:20-21) with few exceptions. The “falling away,” commonly understood by premillennial Bible teachers as Christian apostasy, is well along.

Strangely enough, the secular humanism ethos that is being adopted by the world’s religions at varying rates is also creating a basis of cooperation and unity within the otherwise disparate groups. The world religions are melding together by inter- adopting certain beliefs and held together by the glue of secular humanism. The popes have been trying to take advantage of this to bring everybody under their ecumenical umbrella for years now. Every world crises sees an eclectic group of differing clergy coming together to pray in common cause. Whoever the false prophet (Revelation 13) is, he will have a pliant group to work with. This will be aided because of the blatant use of supernatural powers while his boss poses as God (II Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:8).  Secular humanism is doomed.  It  is merely a useful tool to marginalize Christianity and bring on the one world religion. It is a very effective tool.

Yes. The Satanic conspiracy is well along and close to fruition but, there is a greater power with ideas of His own. That brings us to the “Godly conspiracy”.

THE GODLY CONSPIRACY

The Godly conspiracy is unique because other conspiracies are secretive and operate more or less behind the scenes to affect whatever the desired change might be. God wrote His down in a Book for all to see who cares to look. His human conspirators are pretty much out in the open. They don’t operate within secret meetings. They even announce the meetings along with the times of the meetings in public and invite you in. If you want to come, you are welcome. As a matter of fact, people get invited so much, they get irritated and resentful. Not only that, in the Bible, the things God has written down obligates Him to do what is written down. The phrase, ”it is written,” puts shackles on reality itself. It really chafes lesser conspirators. A lot of what they try to do is attempt to change the reality the Book has chained them with (Psalm 2). The Bible frequently calls these attempts “vanity” or the products of “vain imagination.”

You would think an out in the open declaration couldn’t also be a conspiracy, but it has become this way because of Satan and humans who have tried vigorously for centuries of time to cover it up, denigrate it, contradict it, change it, ridicule it and replace it. Anymore, few people give God’s Book heed or even read it with open hearts if they read it at all. The Godly conspirators are persecuted, and people try to shut them up and cause them to vanish from public discourse. We have become conspirators by public acclamation contrary to our own intent. This is because both human and Satanic conspirators don’t want exposed for what they really are and that is exactly what our Book does. If we act according to the Book’s dictates, it is what we do as well (Ephesians 3:9-10; 5:8- 13).

Like the other two branches of conspirators, God has a plan. He made plans before he created the physical universe (Ephesians 1:4). Let’s shorten the whole thing down into simple bites: God’s purpose for creating the physical universe was for it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) by beings that have the free will to choose Him and to love Him and whom He can love. See? Isn’t that simple? Unfortunately, since Genesis 3, things have gotten WAY more confusing and complicated. It has gotten so bad that the simple statement given above is rife with controversy and argument. We’ve gone from the peaceful days in the garden of Eden to “Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).

The Godly conspiracy aims to restore the original track.

 The Bible tells us what has happened and is happening on that front. God’s plan is assaulted by humans and diabolical spirits led by the Devil and how it eventually triumphs over all to be what God originally intended it to be (Revelation 20-22). The Devil’s main job is to provide an alternative to God in the hearts of people so they can make a real choice. He is very good at it. As a matter of fact, he is remarkably creative at it.  The sin nature of man inherited from Adam after he ate the fruit does the rest (Genesis 3; I Corinthians 15:21-22; Ecclesiastes 7:29).

To me, a Bible-believing child of God, I can read the end of the Book and believe it and that settles it. The conspiracies of Satan and mankind are doomed to failure because they oppose God. Period. End of story.  Except we aren’t at the end of the story quite yet. We still have some time to go before the end. The other two conspiracies are in full swing and are persuading people right and left with the end product of damning souls to a lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:11- 15), and the Godly conspirators are falling down on the job.

Some are apostate. Some have decided they don’t like the way God has been handling things and, like Satan, have gone their own way, and started their own movements. They are seduced by the idea they can be the heads of their own groups with all the worldly perks involved. A lot of us have grown weary and fearful of the constant conflict and have retired from the struggle to try to live lives of peace and austerity. Idealism and sacrifice seem to be at a premium these days. We live in a time when the “falling away” of II Thessalonians 2:3 is coming to pass. We can see the idea of Matthew 24:12 in the lives of many of the brethren, and seeing it, can tell that the end times are upon us.

Jesus once asked the question as part of a parable: “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Stop for a second and ask that question of yourself. When He comes for His own, and you are here, could He look at you and answer “yes” to His own question? If the answer is truly “yes” than I say to you “fruitful conspiracy to you my brother or sister!” Then I remind you of I Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” We are to win souls, not shoot or bomb people.  Persuade with the power of God through the gospel, and remind yourself what you are supposed to be doing and for whom you are doing it.  Don’t give up. Don’t despair.  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (II Timothy 4:2-5).

Do what God wants you to do; the way He wants you to do it; in the place he wants you to do it.

Here endeth the lesson, but not the task.

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