Believers must live free of the highly contagious, spiritually oppressive virus of fear to be able to live free of the anti-scientific, data-less Covid mandates and the tyrannical governments pushing them.
Do Not Fear:
Proverbs 1:7 (ESV) states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” There is a righteous fear of the Lord that leads a believer into greater trust and knowing the Lord. This fear leads us to worship and obey Him alone: “Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart” (1 Sam 12:24, NASB).
Righteous fear is a holy fear that produces deep awe and respect for our high and mightily exalted God. Righteous fear of the Lord leads us to greater knowing and experiencing Him in ever-increasing ways and in every moment. This is the yada intimate-knowing that comes through relationship with Him. The Proverbs verse makes clear, it is foolishness that disregards this yada-knowledge and this foolishness is connected to a lack of the right fear of God, which is: fear God, only. That is, fear nothing and no one else.
Unrighteous fear hinders or blocks our relationship with God. This is why we are commanded, “do not fear,” “fear not,” or “be not afraid” more than three-hundred times in Scripture. Unrighteous fear, which is fear of anything else other than God, reveals a lack of faith in God. We cannot rightly fear the Lord and simultaneously have fear of other things in our heart.
Unrighteous fear leads to spiritual slavery, “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (2Pet 2:19). Unrighteous fear is all that is associated with punishment, tyranny, oppression, drawing back, being silenced, compliance, coerced behavior-modification, manipulation, sickness, disease, loss of reputation, or even loss of life. Unrighteous fear leads to many and varied kinds of bondages in a person. Unrighteous fear drags a person into spiritual slavery.
Many believers in Christ know/acknowledge their eternal salvation but live under heavy burdens of spiritual slavery here on earth. Many believers are stuck waiting for their one-day-in-heaven-freedom, completely missing Jesus came to set us free here, now. We are meant to live FREE here and now. Believers that live under fear are saved, their eternal salvation is secure, but they are not free: SAVED BUT NOT FREE.
Jesus came to set us completely free.
Unrighteous fear works in opposition to a believer’s faith. It is for our freedom that Christ came to set us free. If we do not begin to realize and walk in this freedom, Christ is of no advantage to us (Gal 5:1-3). Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). The word “troubled” is from tarassestho, one of the many words for fear. It means to be agitated, perplexed, terrified, disturbed, emotionally upset or unstable. Jesus is saying, do not fear, trust/believe Me, because… “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:1, 6). His Way is the way of following and abiding in relationship with Him, obeying all His commands (John 15:4-14). Jesus is the Truth and we align with His life, to Him, because He came as Truth personified. He is our Life, both our physical here-and-now life and our eternal, spiritual life. It is Jesus who gives and sustains our life. It is why He said, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 37).
Jesus further said, “According to your faith, let it be done to you” (Matt 9:29, NIV). This was in relation to a healing miracle but it also applies in the context of a believer living free from fear or out from under fear’s oppressive tyranny.
Unrighteous fear can lead to, or is a manifest symptom of idolatry in the believer. Idolatry is forbidden by God and stated in the first three of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20: 2-7). An idol is anything or anyone we worship other than God Himself. Further, it is anything or anyone we give allegiance to or obey over God. Examples here: if we obey a parent, a spiritual/church leader, or a government leader and their instructions are in opposition to God’s, but we obey the human instead, this is idolatry. The need to obey the human over God springs from idolatry.
There is no soft way to communicate this, if we obey/follow another person and this causes us to disobey God, this is idolatry. Believers have often been duped into this form of idolatry by religious fear and false understandings of honor. Against the religious leaders who were teaching this usurpation of honor and obedience, Peter emphatically stated, “We must obey God rather than human beings” (Acts 5:29).
Further, many believers idolize science, media, entertainment, man’s intellect and successes, and will quickly obey man over trusting God and living by His truth. An example of this idolatry is believing the lies of 2020, that Covid-19 is a world-ending pandemic, that unending, anti-scientific mandates are justified, and the unproven, experimental vaccine will help you. It is blind trust in media and government who have lied and deceived the nations. They lie and deceive, create fear and panic, then come up with the way to save you. They are power hungry and act like gods. Many believers have scooped up the propaganda as if it was their last meal.
For many, Covid has become a cult-like false religion. People blindly follow what media and politicians are saying, as if these are authoritative voices. People will do anything these voices say to allay fear and comply with the phony system of arbitrary mandates. (A link is provided here to the Great Barrington Declaration, whose authors and co-signers have publicly stated, the Covid response of lockdowns and mandates is the biggest public policy mistake ever made, a crime against humanity.)
Fear is a prison of believed lies. Fear is a trap the devil uses to control, manipulate, steal, kill and destroy. Unrighteous fear always leads to unrighteous decisions. We do not honor God when we make decisions from a place of fear. It is a self-deception to believe we are pleasing God or, “playing it safe” when making decisions based upon fear.
Fear works in the opposite direction of our faith. If we make excuses for fear-based decisions, we hinder our faith in God. We set a limit to our own spiritual-growth. The Proverbs 1:7, quoted above, explains we have foolishly despised His wisdom and His knowledge, we have foolishly despised the yada personally knowing God, that is, we have foolishly despised the experience of a relationship with God.
This is why as believers we cannot join our heart and its affections, which includes all our mind, will, emotions, and thinking, with any lie, hoax, hysteria, or propaganda. Nor can we fret about anything, be riddled with fear, worry, or anxiety. A life of fear and worry is the mark of unbelieving paganism (Matthew 6:7, 32).
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1John 4:19). When we open ourselves and receive more of the love of God into our heart—sometimes this requires our repenting of not trusting Him—He delivers us from fear. Deliverance! The people of God need deliverance. The love of God in us drives out all the false and unrighteous fears. It is the experience of the love of God that draws a person near to His heart. (More on this in the section, “Why We Gather.”)
Faith believes and takes God at His word. His written Word, our Bible, is the highest authority for a believer. And the spoken “now” word received by revelation, the rhema word, or prophetically apprehended word, is to be received, believed, and acted upon. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 stating, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus states our daily spiritual-bread is the now, prophetic, rhema word of God. God is continually speaking and communicating with us. We are the objects of His love. He desires relationship with us. He communicates daily with us to this end. The rhema words from God always solidify a believer’s faith in His written word, the Bible. The written and rhema words do not contradict each other but will work together to grow and expand our knowledge (yada knowing) and faith in Him.
Here we finish this section with the Proverbs 1:7 again, yada-knowledge, wisdom, and instruction come from the Lord. A believer’s love for God is inextricably measured by the believer obeying God’s every word. If we want to please the One we love we cannot live a life of unrighteous fear. Each of us must choose, it is either the right fear the Lord, or unrighteous fear of anything and everything else which leads to spiritual slavery. God calls His people out from under such oppressive tyrannies, He calls us out from under such burdens and into His FREEDOM.
Deceit and lies are the work of the devil. Jesus stated plainly, people who lie are children of the devil: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
A believer sins when they lie. Yes, of course there is forgiveness, but only upon repentance. Repentance is not just saying, “I am sorry.” Repentance demonstrates a change of heart, a change of behavior, a life change. Lying cannot be the practice of a believer. We must live by truth and be constantly willing to align ourselves with truth. Remember, it is only truth that sets us free (John 8:32, ESV).
When a believer believes a lie they align themself with the Liar. This opens a believer up to demonic persuasion. One example of demonic persuasion is fear. The devil uses fear to control people. The demonic persuasion of lies and fear open doors to demonic oppression, a believer invites demonic oppression if they will not yield their fear to God and repent.
During this pandemic millions of lies have been perpetrated upon the American people. Through the news, social media, advertising, and regular television programing; including television shows made for children. The devil has used this to spread lies and fear and its affects are immeasurable. (But for the Cross of Christ. Thank God for the work Jesus accomplished on the Cross.) The propaganda is on a scale that Hitler could not have conceived of. The purpose is control. Fear and lies are used to manipulate and coerce people. Threats of loss or punishment are powerful motivators used to control people. It is demonic. Just as lies are the work of the devil, spreading fear and using manipulation is the work of the devil.
One particular manipulation has been the appeal to a person’s moralistic self-righteousness: “You are showing love to your neighbor by wearing a mask.” Worse, “Jesus would wear a mask!” Worse again, “Stay away from your elderly grandparent, you could make them sick!” (How many of our elderly have died separated from their loved ones based upon this lie? When will people start to push back against this de-humanizing, psychological torture?) A believer does not want to be found unloving. The slightest whiff of an accusation of being unloving, being unlike Jesus, being thoughtless or dishonoring, is enough to control the behavior of many people; even though the accusations are false.
Who is the Accuser? It is the devil (Rev 12:10). Many people are controlled by the avoidance of accusations. The devil knows false accusations are powerful controllers of behavior.
Though there are a few mandates, I am going to pick on the mask because it is the most visible sign of having believed or acquiesced to the much larger body of propaganda and lies that have been perpetrated against humanity this past year.
Fear and lies and threats are the foundation of the mandates. Accusation and manipulation have been used to get people to comply with the mandates. Partnering with these is to partner with deceit, and the chief deceiver himself, the devil.
Telling people they are “unloving,” “dishonoring,” or “selfish” because they are not wearing a mask is deceitful, lying, manipulation. Some believers, including church leaders, have taken this so far they are guilty of perpetrating and reinforcing lies. They are guilty of manipulating. They are guilty of using the same tools the enemy uses to control people.
To partner with, further, or proliferate these lies is against Love. It is against Truth. To continue in the lies by telling people, “wear a mask for the benefit of others,” or “it is a way you can show love,” is itself AGAINST LOVE. Lies produce or increase a person’s bondage to fear. If I partner with or ignore a person’s bondage, especially when it is within my power to remove the bondage, I have acted against love.
I will make this more plain: Wearing a mask so the person next to me is not afraid of me only reinforces that persons mental bondage to fear. By wearing a mask, so they are not afraid of me makes me responsible for helping to reinforce their mental bondage to fear. It does not alleviate their fear, it reinforces it.
A deceitful stronghold is built thought upon though, lie upon lie, just like building a wall, one brick upon the next. There is no scientific evidence stating masks work to stop the spread of a respiratory virus. There is, however, a very windy twenty-four-hour news cycle and a manipulative political system that is seeking to shape people’s thinking and control their lives. Believers are cautioned, if “they sow the wind… they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hos 8:7). If believers remain indifferent to lies, worse, partner or promote them, even more lies will be what they reap.
So, I will not wear a mask. I will not partner with fear. I will not reinforce nor enforce any lie. I will not ask any other person to comply with lies.
Masks through history have been associated with acting, playing a fool, disguise, projection, concealment, and lying. Masks have played this role in the pandemic. People have been taught to believe, en masse, masks work to protect them or protect others from a virus. Not because of any scientific evidence but by the media and by political and corporate policies. Media, politicians, and corporations have used fear, lies, threats, and manipulation to condition people into wearing and believing masks. Previous to April 2020, there was no scientific evidence that stated masks protect people from viruses. Since April 2020 those scientists and doctors who have maintained this truth (and other truths about the pandemic) have been the most heavily censored, some have lost jobs, reputations, and careers. These brave people would rather live with these losses, than with the loss of their personal integrity.
Further, hypocrite in Psalms 26:4 is the OT Hebrew word alam. It means to conceal, hide, or cover. A hypocrite is one who conceals. The writer of the Psalm is saying, he will not associate with a person who lives deceitfully hiding and covering things. In the NT Greek, hupokrites means actor or stage-player, one who wears a mask and pretends. Jesus used it to describe those who were politically or religiously motivated, those who wanted to be seen doing the right thing in public, for applause, attention, to avoid scandal, or hide evil by covering and hiding.
Expressing God’s Glory:
Man was/is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27). His intention was that we would be His image bearers, expressing and reflecting His glory. Man sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Man, in his sinful state, “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Rom 1:23). Without God, we are helpless, broken, and destitute. We are spiritually dead in sin (Eph 2:1). But, when a person turns to God, repents and accepts Jesus Christ, His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, the person is made new in Christ (Rom 3:5). We are a new creation in Christ (2Cor 5:17). We are brought into His New Covenant and now again, we reflect and express His glory.
Panim is the Hebrew word for face and is used in the OT to explain we live before the face of God, our whole lives are lived before Him as we live in His inescapable, omniscient Presence. In the Old Testament (OT), Jacob experienced God’s grace before the Old Covenant had been established through Moses. There were a few men and women, like Jacob, who encountered God, but they were anomalies. Jacob even said, “I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared” (Gen 32:30).
Moses accessed a grace in God and was able to speak with God “face to face as one speaks to a friend” (Ex 33:11). After Moses had spent time with God his face would shine because of the glory he had been exposed to in the presence of God. But the people were afraid of Moses’ face looking like this, glowing with God’s glory, so Moses would cover his face with a veil (Ex 34:29-30). This was because the people were spiritually dead in sin and the glory of God was an inapproachable light that could kill a person…
Christ had not yet died, men’s sin had not yet been atoned for by the blood of Jesus, so it was not a small thing for Jacob to see the face of God and live, nor for Moses to want to cover the glory being reflected from His face.
“Face to face” or “before the face of” are the terms from the OT used to describe the presence of God. The presence of God, and especially the presence of God among His people, which is really close relationship with us, is one of the major biblical themes. We can say it is the major theme. Genesis begins with it. Revelation ends with it. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was to return us to a place where we can once again come boldly into the presence of God, into relationship with Him (Heb 4:16). The Bible is God’s story of His creating us, His heart toward us, His continual reaching for us, and what He has done to rescue us from sin. The Bible states that every one of our days is lived out “before the face of” God. That is, in the presence of our very loving Father, God.
In the New Covenant we have been made spiritually alive in Christ Jesus. We live under a new and better grace, sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, made new in Him (Heb 8:8; 8:13; 9:15; 2:24). Every believer is a minister of the New Covenant (2Cor 3:6). We are to live as Jesus lived, expressing God’s life and His glory in everything we do. We cannot cover up that very part of our self that was created to reflect and express God’s glory. Even a child recognizes the glory of God on a face. A child can see it in a smile. We catch glimpses of God of the faces of His people.
The Holy Spirit resides on the inside of every believer and, “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2Cor 3:17-18, NIV). The Contemporary English version says, “… so our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.”
We reflect God’s glory when we live in the Light of God’s Truth and we cannot cover our faces, for from our faces shines the very Light of Christ. Why would any believer be ashamed or deliberately hide this, except that they lack revelation of His presence and the power that is within them.
Why We Gather:
The Church does not need buildings, professional clergies, denominational permissions or accreditations. The Church does not need government approval, permission, nor tax exempt status. The Church needs to gather; or, assemble. We do need to gather. And we gather around the One Man, Jesus Christ. We love, serve, obey, live, and die for the One Man, Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I will build My Church” (Matt 16:18). Ekklesia (or ecclesia) means assembly of called out people. We are called out from the world, set apart to God, and set into His eternal kingdom. The Church is the mystical body of Christ. Ekklesia specifically refers to the public assembly or gathering of a group of people. The word ekklesia existed in the Greek language previous to Jesus’ use of it. It had been used by Greeks and Romans to refer to the public gathering of people in a governmental capacity for a few centuries already. It was secular term. Jesus may as well have said, “I will build My Government” because this is how His Jewish audience would have heard the statement. And against Jesus’ Government, “the gates of hell shall not prevail.”
The Church is God’s called out people, an organically growing, living, vital body of people. We meet to worship Jesus, together. David wrote, “in the great assembly I will bless the Lord” (Ps 26:12). The primary reason we gather is to worship Jesus. The second reason is for the mutual care, encouragement, and the love shown to one-another. We are a family, a spiritually family. The third reason is for teaching and instruction.
Hebrews 10:23-25 commands, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” And further, 10:35-37 continues, “…do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
Scripture places the gathering together as vital to the believer’s spiritual health and life. Verse 25 uses Greek words that mean a believer is left helpless or abandoned, or left in dire straits, without a spiritual family. The implication is of being left alone to fend for oneself in a dry, desert wilderness. But the abandonment has been by their own choice, they walked away from a well-watered, spiritually alive family. The greater context of these verses is, gathering with the family sets a believer in a spiritually alive environment, a family environment that God has ordained us into for our own growth and benefit: “God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land” (Ps 68:6).
It is the experience of the love of God that draws a person near to His heart. There are two ways we experience His love: 1) Supernaturally, His presence can be known and felt as love, He speaks to us, and reaches for us on an individual level; and 2) Through being loved in the community of believers, God’s family. The love experienced in His family is that of genuine, life-transforming love. There is nothing like this love on the earth, other than the love of God Himself, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1John 4:7-8).
The Need For Up Close And Person Social Engagement And The “Laying On Of Hands”:
We were created to be in relationship with others. I do not have to spend a long time explaining what is already plainly known, we need each other. Isolation is a psychological warfare tactic, a weapon of warfare. It is used as punishment in the jail system. Loneliness is a tormentor of the mind and heart. Loneliness invites depression. It is known to cause failure to thrive in children. Physical unhealth is linked to loneliness, including poor recovery from sickness, rapid decline in health, and early death. Loneliness is a leading cause of suicide. Loneliness is a killer.
What is widely known is that human physical touch and close proximity is needed for a person’s wellbeing. It affects their mental, physical, and spiritual health (mind, body, spirit). Further, it reverses all the negative effects of loneliness.
The early Church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47). And again, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 5:42).
The Christian greeting is one of greeting a dearly-beloved, close family member, “Greet one-another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26). Affection, close proximity, warmly embracing family members is normal, natural, and needed for the demonstration of authentic love. “Children were brought to [Jesus] that He might lay His hands on them and pray” (Matt 19:13). Jesus took children “in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them” (Mark 10:16).
There is a transference of the Holy Spirit from one person to another because He flows and moves through His people. Instructions for “the laying on of hands” is basic and foundational to the Christian faith (Hebrews 6:2). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is given through the laying on of hands, “… the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands” (Acts 8:18). Many of the gifts of the Spirit are imparted through the laying on of hands and so is the identifying or calling people into their God-given purpose, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).
People receive healing through the laying on of hands. “The people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, He healed them” (Luke 4:40). Jesus said, “these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18).
God Instructs Us To Obey Government:
Romans 13:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 instruct the believer to obey and honor authorities, for they are from God, and they are God’s servants for our good. Governmental leadership is God’s idea, it was set up by God, it is a gift from God to us. It is right and good to honor and obey authorities. Just as it is right to love and honor every person made in the image of God.
However, when authorities are in rebellion to God, then we do not comply with their unrighteous, immoral, and rebellious laws. One blindingly clear example here is abortion. Abortion is murder. Any person conducting or condoning abortion is in rebellion to God.
Forced medical mandates and treatments of any kind are outright rejected as a crime against the individual. Every person must have the freedom to choose to participate or not. Free will is the gift of God to all humanity. (“Forced” includes: bribed, enticed, coerced, threatened, manipulated, against the person’s will.)
God is the God of justice and truth and righteousness. All legal matters of government need to be conducted in the open, so all citizens can clearly see decisions made. Any decision made is to be made to the benefit of citizens. The citizens pay the salaries of government. The government exists to serve the citizens. All governmental positions are that of servant. The government is accountable to its citizens. If it fails in this accountability, it fails in its service to its citizens.
When a government wages war against its own citizens it is acting in rebellion to God. When a government makes laws, decrees, and mandates that are unjust, corrupt, and in rebellion to God, a believer should not obey it. The believer is morally obligated to disobey a governments criminality and to expose its evil. This is what the prophets in the OT did. Many were killed for it. But they lived and died faithfully before God with their integrity intact.
When a government turns on its people, as history records has happened around the world and in every century, God’s people are obligated to stand up and speak against the injustices, to stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves, and speak up for those who do not have a voice.
This is not a time for the American Church to be quiet, nor to live complacently under government controls. No church should be shut, nor teaching its people that online church is a real and viable option. No government of man can dictate what worship should look like, or how worship is to be practiced. Neither should a government offer “safe suggestions” for attending church —this is veiled manipulation akin to the Ronald Reagan quote where he warned us to watch out for the phrase, “Hello, we are from the government and we are here to help you!” because the phrase really means, “we are here to take away your freedoms.”
When a tyrannical government begins to rise and seize its citizens freedoms, historically, a first step is to place limits on the Church, remove the Bible, and stop Christians from gathering. The end goal is to stamp out Christianity because the message we carry is the most dangerous and subversive to a tyrant and his evil agenda.
Our message that threatens the tyrant: God has bestowed absolute dignity upon every human being. We are created in His image. And we have been given freedom of the will to choose how we shall live and whom we shall serve.
So, limiting or shutting down churches, offering alternative online meetings, abiding by governmentally prescribed worship practices, these are not options for the Church that belongs to Jesus Christ; His ekklesia. Through history, anytime a government has cracked down upon the Church, it has only grown bigger and been strengthened, as if being tested and proved by fire. The greater the government limitations, the greater the growth. Where governments are engaged in heavy persecution of the Church, this is where the Church is growing the fastest and strongest…
I have said these things to you, that in [Jesus] you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; [Jesus has] overcome the world” (John 16:33).