Special Bulletin - #2 2007 April 19, 2007
by Rick Joyner
The nation now sits in stunned disbelief at the tragedy that took place on the Virginia Tech campus when a student killed thirty-two fellow students and faculty before taking his own life. Certainly our prayers and any other kind of support or help that we can give should be going out to the families and friends of those touched by this seemingly senseless disaster.
Everyone immediately began asking how and why something so terrible happened. This is to be expected and is appropriate. "How" may be easier to answer than "why." Even so, this question must be answered too, and it can be. The families and friends of those affected by this tragedy need to know why this happened for their own comfort, but even more importantly, these questions need to be answered so that tragedies like this can be prevented from happening again.
Of course, everyone would like to prevent another one of these tragedies from happening, but can that be done? It can. No one thought that the U.S. could continue as long as we have without another major terrorist attack after 9/11, but we have. This was not just luck.
Much of the credit for our nation not suffering more attacks should be given to the present administration and authorities, such as the intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Such public servants usually get little credit for things going right, but often get much blame if anything goes wrong. While there are times when at least some of the blame toward authorities is merited, we need to give our appreciation to them for the good job that they do. It has been proven that people usually do a much better job with positive motivation than negative. Giving honor to whom honor is due is a biblical command (see Romans 13:7). It is justice and something the Lord cares very deeply about.
However, the ultimate credit for America not being hit with more devastating terrorist attacks should go to the Lord for answering the prayers of His people to stop them. I do not think He, or His people, will get much credit for this either. Even so, we do not pray in order to get credit for it, and the Lord also does many things He knows few will ever even notice, much less thank Him for. That's because He loves us. Even more than public servants or law enforcement, the Lord gets very little credit for the good that He does, and He almost always gets blamed for tragedies. This is a basic injustice too.
There is another important reason why we should learn to be a thankful people instead of complainers, which is stated in Psalm 100:4-5: "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations." As we thank Him, we enter into His presence. If you want to abide in His presence, learn to be continually thankful. We must do this not only for the Lord, but for all who deserve our thanks.
Another ultimate question is: If the Lord loved the students and professors at Virginia Tech, why did He let this happen? I certainly would not presume to know the complete answer to this question, but I am confident of one thingthough the Lord obviously allowed this to happen, even though He does love them, their families, and friends, we can also be confident that this was not His will, and the Lord would not have allowed this to happen if we had not allowed it. How is that?
Psalm 115:16 states: "The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men." First, this is not to imply that it is anyone's fault specifically for not praying for Virginia Tech, but there is no true authority without responsibility, and God gave authority over the earth to men. What happens is because we allow it. It is because He has delegated authority over this earth to men that we must pray for the Lord's intervention on the earth before He will intervene.
As all Christians are called to the priesthood, to intercede for others, we do have a responsibility to pray for our loved ones, which is supposed to include our "neighbors." The Christians in every city must pray for the schools in their city or region. We should all be praying for Virginia Tech now. It will make a difference.
As everyone has been touched by this terrible tragedy, let us not waste the emotions we are feeling, the compassion for the remaining students, faculty, and administration, and families of the victims. First, we need to earnestly pray for the Comforter to intervene and be with all of the families and friends of those killed or wounded. It is right to feel shock and grief, but we should turn these emotions into intercession for those who are personally impacted by this tragedy and are wrestling with this pain in a more difficult way than those of us who are just touched by the news.
We must also pray that what the devil has intended for evil will be turned into good. We may understandably wonder how anything like this could result in good, but it can. First, let us consider how the devil will try to use this for even greater evil, and how we can help prevent that. There is insight into this in Mark 3:22-27:
The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."
And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
"If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
"If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
"If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!
"But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his
property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house" (NAS).
Satan is called "Beelzebul" here, which means "the lord of the flies." In dreams and visions, flies often represent lies. Of course, Satan is also called "the father of lies," and lies are the primary weapon that the devil uses to divide, destroy, and kill. One of the remarkable and interesting descriptions of battle scenes in wars is the loud sound of flies that swarm to the battle scene because of the wounds. Likewise, lies swarm to any place that there are spiritual wounds, and when they land on a wound they can cause infection in it, especially if they have just come from a dead body, one of the most potent germ factories of all.
As the Lord in His prophetic language always uses metaphors which are technically accurate to the truth He is seeking to convey, that Satan is called "lord of the flies" describes how he sends his lies to swarm to wounds. This is why in everything from divisions that arise in churches to national tragedies, he seeks to send flies which will cause even more devastation and bring spiritual infections that make the wounds worse and even more deadly.
Last year, our prophetic friend, Bob Jones, was given a word that dragonflies were about to be released from hell. These were large, far more powerful lies that were from the Dragon himself. When the enemy comes in like a flood, we have the promise that the Lord will raise up a standard against him (see Isaiah 59:19). If this is true, then we can also expect great truths to be released from the Lord with the power to counter any lie of the devil. This is what we must start to pray forthe power of truth to overcome every lie.
The tragedy on the Virginia Tech campus is another terrible wound to our nation, like Columbine and like the attacks of 9/11. After the 9/11 attacks, lies flew like bullets over a battle. Accusations were thrown at everyone, and the infection from that turned the war on terror into a partisan battle at home instead of the unification required to win a war. Even the "bi-partisan" studies on how it happened broke down along party lines into just more conflict and accusations. The infections from that wound continue to spread to this day and have seriously weakened our resolve as a nation to fight, much less win this war.
It is not unusual for people to lash out when they are hurt or wounded. Even faithful pets will lash out at their beloved owners when they are wounded. However, I was personally surprised by how fast the accusations began to fly on the Virginia Tech campus after this tragedy. We can now expect a swarm of lies to come upon this situation as the devil attempts to further infect it and cause even more damage. However, Christians can help to stop this. How?
First, we need to pray for those who have been psychologically wounded by this situation, either by the loss of a loved one or by being physically wounded, as well as the other students and faculty at the school, especially those who witnessed the carnage. Trauma is one of the biggest gates of hell, or open doors for hell, to enter a person's life with yokes of fear, depression, and other maladies which could oppress them the rest of their lives. These are spiritual infections which are the result of lies, such as someone starting to become irrationally fearful of other people or situations.
This kind of fear is probably now gripping other college students across the country, as well as students at any school. It is likewise trying to get a grip on parents, as well as school administrators, teachers, and other workers. There will be an almost irresistible tendency on the part of all to overreact to this situation. We need to pray for the focus and energy caused by this tragedy to be turned into positive action, not just reaction, becoming a victory, especially for those most closely affected by it. Once the grieving is over, this can inspire all who were touched by it to have a more meaningful life, because of the impact to impart just how precious and fragile life is.
It was encouraging for all of the college students around the country to start emailing students at Virginia Tech with their support, many saying, "We're all Hokies now." This is the way we should react. I confess that my first thought about my daughter, who will soon be choosing a college, was to feel that there was no way she would now consider Virginia Techthen I knew this was the opposite of the way we should react to this. I am going to encourage her to seriously consider Virginia Tech now. If this tragedy causes the registrations of this great school to go down, then the devil has won another victory.
Right now, and because of this tragedy, there are probably few places safer than a college campus, and the safest of all is probably Virginia Tech. Campuses will more than likely become even safer for our children when the lessons learned from this can be applied. Do not let fear control you or your children. As we are commanded in James 4:7: "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." The devil almost always comes in the form of fear. Do not let fear control your actions, but resist it and he will flee. If we allow him to control us with fear, then he will certainly hit us again.
As we are told in I Peter 5:6-9:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
But resist him, firm in your faith
We must acknowledge that there is a real devil and that he will kill and devour if he gets a chance, but we can resist him with our faith. Fear does not resist him, but gives him an opportunity. If you are a student, or the parent of a student, resolve to live by faith, not by fear. Do not let fear dictate your decisions, but be guided by faith.
There is one danger that is real right now, and that is copycat killers. To be of "sober spirit" is to acknowledge this and be watchful. This is a real threat, and even though we should not let it control our lives, we must find the place between being controlled by unhealthy fears and using sound judgment, being vigilant, and being wise. This event should help all schools become more security conscious, but we must resist paranoia.
As has been said, "Truth is the first casualty of war," but it is the first casualty in almost every disaster as well. We need to also pray for the Spirit of Truth to prevail over this scene to both lead authorities to the truth, and to The Truth, Himself. Christians are often criticized for using such tragedies as opportunities for evangelism, but Jesus Christ is the answer to every human problem. Sympathy and care expressed do help the survivors of a tragedy, but only the Lord can turn what must be the worst day of their lives into something truly positive, and an even greater victory for life.
We must not let the prophetic significance of the heroism of Professor Liviu Librescu escape us either. He was a Holocaust survivor who died on Holocaust Remembrance Day, giving his own life to block the door to the killer so that his students could escape through the windows. When his son in Israel was being interviewed, he said simply that his father did not fear anything, which explains why the students said he seemed very calm when he walked to the door to face the killer so his students could get away. This man faced one of the worst horrors in human history, the Holocaust, using the experience to live well and die well. Pray that his example will be the way that all who have been touched by this tragedy at Virginia Tech react to it, with a greater resolve to live well.