Y2K AND THE CHURCH by Rick Joyner *************************************
The Y2K* problem is the computer glitch that will cause many computers to malfunction when their internal clocks turn to the new century on New Years Day 2000. Because many systems were not prepared for this when they were programmed, when computer clocks go to "00" at midnight on December 31, 1999, many will read this as "1900" instead of "2000," making it difficult or impossible to retrieve the data stored in them. The fear is that banks will not know how much money they have or how much money you have in them. Inventories will be lost and manufacturing plants will shut down. It is expected that many airline reservations will be lost and that the governments will lose all or much of their data, crippling social security, the IRS, and even local water and sewer systems. The effect of this problem on civilization is viewed by different experts as being somewhere between a bump in the road to the end of the modern world.
One of the potentially devastating problems can come from the almost universal dependence on "Just In Time" (JIT) inventory control that has been almost universally adopted by western industry. For example, most products are made from a combination of parts or products which are each made by smaller vendors. A car may be built from several hundred parts all made by different companies. To save the expense of storing large inventories of all of these parts, most industries have instituted JIT where they have the parts delivered to the assembly plant "just in time" to be used. Of course all of this must be computerized. The problem that Y2K presents is that even if almost all of the smaller vendors figure out the problem, but just a few dont, the assembly plant will still be shut down, and production will grind to a halt.
Most companies have already figured out the Y2K problem and have reprogrammed their computers, but many have not, and it seems that they are not going to make it on time. For those who have figured it out, another potentially great problem has arisen. Many resolved the Y2K problem by writing new software, but now they are not sure that the software programs will be able to talk to the other vendors, assembly plants or agencies with which they need to communicate, creating a modern, technological tower of Babel that some say can never be resolved.
Even though I have a fairly good understanding of the technical and commercial issues Y2K can cause, I wanted to hear from the Lord about it. For over a year I prayed about this concern, but He said nothing to me about the Y2K situation. When He finally did begin to speak, I was surprised by what He said.
Do Not Be Shaken
The first thing the Lord said to me about this is that He is not sitting in the heavens, wringing His hands and worrying about Y2K, and neither is anyone who is abiding in Him. This is not going to be the end of the modern world, but it is going to cause some problems which we need to be aware of. The most severe problems will come from the panic generated by the situation and not the actual problems themselves. The Lord wants His people neither to be controlled by this fear, nor to contribute to it.
We must abide in the peace of God regardless of the circumstances, and if we allow fear to control our decisions, we will suffer loss. This does not mean that there are not some changes and preparations that we need to make, but we must do all that we do in faith, following the Lord and not the world. Even more important than having our assets protected is having our hearts steadfastly trusting in the Lord.
The whole world and all of its systems are extremely shaky and vulnerable, and Y2K is not by any means the worst problem now facing us. The meltdown of the Russian economy, North Korea, terrorism, and the rising tension between India and Pakistan are all going to be far worse problems than Y2K. The world is tottering at the edge of many different precipices. Only the grace of God has kept us until now, and only the grace of God will keep us in the future. We are in the period of time spoken of in Revelation 7:1-3:
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."
There is a restraining that is now taking place, and God will continue to restrain the forces that are trying to break forth across the earth until He is finished sealing His bondservants. He can and will restrain the effects of Y2K and all of the other potential disasters until He has finished this.
One thing we must understand is that not all Christians are bondservants. They are supposed to be, but few are. A true bondservant is a slave. He does not own anything, but everything that he has belongs to his Master. Even his time is not his own. He does not live for himself, but for his Master. Many claim this position, but few truly live it.
A true bondservant cannot lose anything in the stock market, or in any other business, because he does not own anything. He may be a steward of much, but it is not his, and he does not treat anything as if it were his, but his Masters. Those who have become true bondservants have built their lives on the kingdom that cannot be shaken by Y2K, an economic collapse, or any other disaster. Those who are true bondservants are being sealed in this hour, and they are protected. Those who have claimed this position but have gone on living their lives for themselves have built their lives on the kingdom of this world that will fall, and they will fall with it.
There is still time to get our houses in order. It does not matter how entangled we are with the ways of this worldtrue repentance will bring us under the Lords care. Though we are His slaves, there is no greater Master that we could ever have, and He will care for us much better than we can care for ourselves. This does not mean that we will not suffer any loss. Those who have built their lives on the ways of this world will lose, but they will not be lost. Soon they will be entrusted with much more to steward than what they have lost by trying to build their own lives. Those who have truly submitted to the Lordship of Jesus are soon to be rulers themselves. If you are moved in your heart to repent, begin by reading, studying and obeying the following:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives."
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,
and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.
For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned."
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriad of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.
And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven."
And this expression "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:1-29).
We are approaching the judgment day. We will not be able to get away with the things that God may have overlooked in the past. As He promised, those who call Him "Lord, Lord," but do not do what He says will pay the price. We must get rid of the roots of bitterness and forgive others as He has forgiven us. There are no excuses that will stand up when we are before His judgment seat. We "enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise" (Psalm 100:4), so let us be thankful for all things, even the trials of our faith which are more precious than gold, given for our good to help shape us into His image. Now is the time when all true bondservants will be revealed, and they are the ones who truly do all things for the sake of His gospel.
Spiritual Parallels of Y2K
I was told that the reason why the Lord had given so little revelation about Y2K is because of His peoples devotion to materialism. We must not continue to give ourselves to the things that are passing away, but to live for those things that will last forever. He told me to observe the problems that Y2K will cause in the natural as a reflection of the problems we have in the body of Christ. Y2K will expose many weaknesses in every system, and many of the solutions to Y2K parallel solutions to weaknesses and problems we now have in the church.
For example, possibly the most severe problem will be caused by the corporate trend toward downsizing, JIT, and other such solutions to cutting costs. These have worked well to a degree, but as Suzanne deTreville, a world class business professor and corporate consultant recently related to me, this has resulted in what is now being called "corporate anorexia." The system is so lean and mean that there are no reserves. Not only can this be devastating when a problem like Y2K comes along, but there are also few reserves for taking advantage of new potential and possibilities.
How does this relate to the church? Many have adapted and promoted a system that lives hand to mouth, without building reserves. Of course many have done this seeking to comply with the Lords admonition to "not be anxious for tomorrow" (Matthew 6:34), but to trust that He will take care of us just as He does the birds of the air. I think that this would be good if we had really complied with it, but many are having to live hand to mouth because they have accumulated so much debt. This is the opposite of "not [being] anxious for tomorrow," but it is borrowing against our future to pay for today. If we are trusting the Lord to take care of us each day by supplying all of our needs, why did we go to the bank and borrow?
There are many such inconsistencies in our modes of operation that are about to be revealed as serious flaws by Y2K and other problems. Again, if responsible financial stewardship is a problem for you, there is an easy solution: Repent. Resolve today that you will trust the Lord to supply your needs for the day, and that what He did not supply, you really did not need. He will always provide for what He calls us to do. It is when we get beyond His timing or take on needs that He does not want us to take, or think we need things when in fact we just want them, that we usually get pressed into debt. Resolve today that you are going to reduce your debt, and then establish monthly and annual goals for doing this until you are truly living by the Lords supply.
Yes, even with Y2K and an economic slide that has already begun, there is time to do this with strategy, vision and grace if we begin now and remain faithful. When we begin to live by the Lords supply, we will quickly find that we really can get by with much less. It may not be as convenient or as comfortable as we would prefer, but convenience and comfort bought with debt usually produce a stress that prevents us from enjoying them anyway, in addition to keeping us in serious spiritual jeopardy. Also, there is a biblical place for setting up reserves, and many are feeling called to help prepare "Josephs storehouses."
However, there are great dangers with this as well. Some are simply hoarding while using the facade of setting up reserves for the body of Christ during the coming times of need. While I do believe in the calling for some to establish "storehouses" for the future, I have taken note that many of those who feel so called are doing very little to help people in need now, and may do even less when the really pressing needs come. They are driven more by fear rather than love. I think that those who trust in the Lord to take care of them like the birds of the air without hoarding will be much better off than these during the times ahead. Even so, there are those who have this calling to a Joseph-type ministry and can easily be discerned from the imposters because they are generous now.
When Agabus prophesied that a famine was about to come upon the whole earth, the first century church did not respond to this word by beginning to hoard, but instead took up an offering for the relief of the brethren in Judea (see Acts 11:28-30). Their "Josephs storehouse" was built in heaven, where it was alone secure, and where there is ample supply for any need. It is also noteworthy that they gave to the brethren in Judea. They obviously understood that the famine was a curse coming upon the world, and that those who blessed Israel would be blessed, and those who cursed Israel would be cursed. The church is not supposed to suffer the consequences of the curse as these are removed in Christ. More will be said about this in later publications, but for now we must understand what the Lord said in Isaiah 60:1-3:
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
"For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you.
"And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising."
Darkness is one of the characteristics most associated with the last days. However, in this Scripture and others we see that even when "deep darkness" comes upon the peoples (usually associated with the great tribulation), the Lords glory will be rising upon His people to the degree that the nations will turn to them. The rest of the chapter is no less encouraging (verses 4-22):
"Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.
"Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you.
"A multitude of camels will cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba will come; they will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
"All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; they will go up with acceptance on My altar, and I shall glorify My glorious house.
"Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like the doves to their lattices?
"Surely the coastlands will wait for me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.
"And foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you.
"And your gates will be open continually; they will not be closed day or night, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession.
"For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined.
"The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree, and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I shall make the place of My feet glorious.
"And the sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; and they will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
"Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation.
"You will also suck the milk of nations, and will suck the breast of kings; then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
"Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your administrators, and righteousness your overseers.
"Violence will not be heard again in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders; but you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.
"No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory.
"Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be finished.
"Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.
"The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time."
All of this should make even the coming of the time of darkness a great encouragement to those who know the Lord. As He said, we should look up because our redemption draws near. However, Christians who have built their lives more upon the systems of this world than upon the kingdom of God will dread and fear these things. If we are beset with such fears, we need to examine the foundations upon which we have built our lives. If we have built our houses on the Rock by hearing and doing the Word of the Lord, the floods can come, but our "houses" will stand (Matthew 7:24-29). The Word of God is greater than any flood, even the flood of problems from Y2K.
I think that we can also see from the text above, as well as from the entirety of Scripture, that our goal should be to seek the glory of the Lord, not to stash provisions. The glory of the Lord is what will attract the provision of the Lord in these times. In the coming darkness, the glory will stand out more than ever, and even the kings of the earth and the nations will turn to those who have it.
Building for the Storms
Storms can be demonic, but they can also represent moves of the Holy Spirit. For example, the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind (Job 38). Wind often represents the Holy Spirit, and rain sometimes represents teaching (see Deuteronomy 32:2). Hurricanes will uproot trees that do not have deep roots, and can destroy anything that is not well built. Revivals do this too.
When the Lord told us several years ago that He was about to move in Pensacola, He also said that there would be two hurricanes, and both would hit a navy base as a sign of where He was about to move. We wrongly assumed that this meant two different navy bases. Pensacola has a navy base and two hurricanes hit there that year. By the time this occurred, the revival at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola had already broken out.
Over 20 years ago, the Lord gave me a word that He was going to bless us from the mountains to the sea. We are now establishing a base of operations in the mountains where we have witnessed extraordinary manifestations of the Lords grace, provision and most of all, His presence. Last year He spoke to me that it was now time to establish a base at the sea. For the last few years, we have taken our staff to a little island on the North Carolina coast with which we have fallen in love.
We were on the island when Hurricane Fran approached it two years ago on a course that was bringing the hurricane directly toward us. The intercessors and many of the children marched around the island at night to pray for its protection from the storm. As the hurricane approached, it suddenly jogged to the east, just by-passing our island, and then it turned back to the west and went up the Cape Fear River. Hurricane force winds brushed our island, but we did not even lose power and there was little or no damage done to it. The beaches just north of us were devastated, as well as cities and towns all the way to Raleigh, well over a hundred miles inland.
Last year, we were directed to a cottage on our favorite beach that was for sale at an extraordinary value. We purchased it as a place at the ocean where our staff could go to seek the Lord. Then came Hurricane Bonnie. A huge and powerful storm, it was aimed right at our little island. We prayed for it to go around the island as Fran had done. The storm did turn, but only enough to make our little island "ground zero" for the hurricane to make land fall. Because the greatest damage from hurricanes comes from the sea wall they create, the worse nightmare is for them to come ashore during high tide. Hurricane Bonnie not only came ashore at high tide, but then nearly stopped so that it continued to pound the island with some of its strongest winds through a second high tide. The hurricane also dropped nearly twelve inches of rain.
We had a beach retreat scheduled for our staff to begin the Saturday after Bonnie came ashore on Wednesday. I did not think there would be much left on the whole island, but even if there was, I figured that it would take weeks to restore power, and probably months to repair the damage so that it could be used. Twice that morning the Lord told me to "watch My miracle." I told my wife and others that this probably meant that we would get a good insurance settlement and be able to build a bigger, better place.
I prepared to cancel the beach retreat, but several people felt that we were to go anyway. I thought that they were out of their minds, but agreed not to cancel until I had a chance to fly down and check the damage, or we had heard from the real estate company. I was shocked when the realtor informed us that not only had the island survived, but that there really was not any damage and that they had not even lost power through the entire storm! Only shingles had been blown off some homes, along with some damage to window screens. This was a miracle of biblical proportions! All around us, millions of dollars worth of damage had been caused by this storm, and we should have gotten the worst of it. The authorities said that the storm surge went around both sides of our island, but did not touch it.
For days, the Lord has been speaking to many of our prophetic people about living in Goshen. Goshen is no longer a place; it is a state of abiding in the will of the Lord. The darkness that is coming will come upon the whole earth. The plague of darkness recorded in the book of Exodus even came upon Goshen, but the Israelites had lights in their dwellings (Exodus 10:21-23). In the parable found in Matthew, those who had built their houses on the rock of hearing and doing the word of God had the floods come against them too, but their dwellings stood.
Difficult times are coming upon the whole world. Most of the world has been in them for some time. However, we need not be fearful. As Isaiah 60:1-2 states, the darker it becomes, the greater the glory will be for those who abide in the Lord. We need not fear the storms if our houses are built on the Rock. If you have fear, do not complain about what is happening. Instead, repent for the way you have lived for yourself, and then choose to become a bondservant of the Master who is quite capable of taking care of His people.
Rick Joyner is President of MorningStar Publications and Ministries and Sr. Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church located in Charlotte, NC. Rick's ministry is recognized all over the world as a leading prophetic voice.
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