Getting it Right with Government (2)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest upon His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace… (Isa.9:6-7).

Families were our first institution, but they have had serious and dramatic problems since Cain killed his younger brother Abel. What does this tell us?

The family alone is not sufficient for society, and cannot be the only institution of society. It must have recourse to other institutions such as the church and state for its health and safety. The church is there to serve the individuals and families that are part of it, and it has a broader responsibility to society and the state, to teach, encourage and warn.

So the family and the church are essential, but there is still a greater need that needs to be fulfilled in any society, that of a bringer of justice in society.

The State is to be a bearer and keeper of the law. God’s plan is that it be “… a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Ro.13:4).

When Rebekah and Isaac knew that Esau harboured murderous intent towards his twin brother Jacob, they sent him away (see Gen.27:41-28:5). Why?

Jacob’s sudden exit was the only avenue open to them to partially solve their problem. They did not have a church or a State outside of their family to appeal to, to intervene. Jacob had to get out of danger, quickly.

When Joseph and Mary knew that Herod wanted to kill Jesus, they had no institutional recourse. God told them to flee to Egypt (see Mat.2:13-23), for there was no protection within Herod’s jurisdiction.

We see in these two instances that a predator upon a family (from within or without) can expose the family to grave danger. The family ignores that danger, to their peril. Isaac and Rebekah acted quickly as the responsible parents, as did Joseph and Mary (at God’s prompting) to protect the baby Jesus.

Many years later, Jacob had another nasty experience of what can happen when family members go beyond their God-appointed sphere. After the rape of his daughter Dinah, her brothers Simeon and Levi took their own vengeance on the perpetrator Shechem, his father Hamor, and their city, killing and looting there, “…because they had defiled their sister” (Gen.34:27). Not so dissimilarly to their uncle Esau, they sought to take the law into their own hands.

Jacob was not impressed.

You have brought trouble on me by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I will be destroyed, I and my household (Gen.34:30).

So we see that for the healthy life of a community to be maintained, the various levels of government must be present, but the presence of an institution is by no means sufficient. Those institutions must function responsibly according to God’s plan for them. Institutional awareness of God’s limitations is critical for the health of a society. When this isn’t present, there are inevitable and painful consequences.

Do families know their limits today? Does the church? Does the State?

Mosaic civil law did not compel anyone to offer positive sanctions. Rather, it imposed negative sanctions for evil acts. It should be the ideal for every system of civil law to remove all positive sanctions by the State and impose only those negative sanctions authorized by Biblical law. The State is to impose negative sanctions only: punishing public evil. It is not a wealth-creator; it is a wealth-redistributer. It is not safe to entrust to the State the power of making one man rich at the expense of another. It is also not moral.1

Conclusion:
It is essential that the family, the church and the State function properly, for the healthy functioning of every society. When these social institutions rest contentedly within their God-appointed spheres, there is likely to be a much greater measure of social harmony.

But if either of these institutions refuse to acknowledge their God-appointed sphere, abusing (or neglecting) their responsibility and power, this creates enormous tensions and strains within any community. The Bible warns us that “like a roaring lion and a rushing bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people” (Prov.28:15), and “when the wicked rise, men hide themselves…” (Prov.28:28).

The solution? “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Mat.6:33), and take Biblical law seriously

 

1 Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.54.

Is Revelation 6 a Prophecy About Today’s Pandemic and Other Apocalyptic-Like Events?

By Gary DeMar

Some prophecy writers are claiming that Revelation 6 depicts what’s taking place today with earthquakes (one just hit Utah) and pestilence or plagues. Is the Coronavirus a fulfillment of Revelation 6:8?:

I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, “to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence [θανάτῳ] and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

“The Apocalypse” drawn by Basil Wolverton and colorized by his son Monte Wolverton

The Greek word translated “pestilence” is θανάτῳ (thanatō) and is translated elsewhere as “death.” The rider of the horse is named θανάτῳ, the same word translated as “pestilence” in some translations.

Similar language is used in Jeremiah 15:2–3 for a local judgment against Jerusalem (15:4–14). The same is true in Jeremiah 24, especially verse 10, where a different Hebrew word is used and is translated as “pestilence” and not just “death.”

The more accurate translation in Revelation 6:8 is “death” that would include pestilence and other effects of war and famine. “The story of Mary of Bethezuba is a story of cannibalism told by Josephus in his Jewish War (VI,193) which occurred as a consequence of famine and starvation during the siege of Jerusalem in August AD 70 by Roman legions commanded by Titus. The tale is only one account of the horrors suffered at Jerusalem in the summer of 70. “

In Luke 21:11, the Greek word λοιμοὶ (loimoi) is used and is translated as “plagues,” the only time the word is used in the New Testament. As I have mentioned in a previous article, pestilences and plagues are not unusual. They can be found in the Old Testament, secular history, and the era leading up to Jerusalem’s judgment in AD 70. For example, the Roman historian Suetonius wrote that there was such a “pestilence” at Rome during the reign of Nero that “within the space of one autumn there died no less than thirty thousand persons, as appeared from the registers in the temple of Libitina.” [1]

Is Jesus Coming Soon?

Wars and rumors of wars, famines, plagues, and earthquakes. These are the biblical signs. All of them are realities of planet earth each days. Is Jesus coming back soon? Did Jesus provide an exact, predictable scenario as so many modern prophecy writers advocate?

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Now we come to the meaning of Revelation 6. What’s going on in this chapter? James M. Hamilton, Jr., a premillennialist, writes that “the opening of the seals in Revelation 6 corresponds to what Jesus describes in the Olivet Discourse in the Synoptic Gospels.” [2] I agree. See my books Is Jesus Coming Soon?Last Days Madness, and Wars and Rumors of Wars.

The following chart is from Hamilton’s commentary on Revelation:

If the Olivet Discourse is describing events leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem that took place within a generation (Matt. 24:34), then Revelation must be given a similar interpretation. Consider how stellar phenomena are depicted.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

A verse-by-verse study of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 that puts it into its biblical and historical context.

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In Revelation 6:13­–14, we read, “the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” This passage is a partial citation fromIsaiah 34:4 using the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), which reads, “all the stars shall fall.” [3]

If this is a description of physical stars, there would be an immediate end to the earth, and yet we find the earth still intact in Revelation 8:10 where “a great star fell from heaven.” If one star hit the earth, the earth would be vaporized in an instant. In fact, if a star like our sun gets close to earth, the earth would burn up before it hit. How could the earth survive if a “third of the stars of heaven” had been thrown down to the earth (Rev. 12:4)?

Then there’s the description of the male goat in Daniel 8:10 that causes “stars to fall to the earth,” an action that would destroy the earth if Daniel was describing actual physical stars. These fallen stars are then “trampled” by the horn of a goat. It must have been a mighty big goat horn, similar in size to the giant woman in Revelation who was “clothed with the sun,” stood on the moon, and had a “crown of twelve stars” on her head (Rev. 12:1). Most likely the horn refers to a civil ruler and the stars represent civil or religious authorities [4] under the ruler’s dominion.

Jesus is using language that was understood by the people of His day. The Hebrew Scriptures are filled with similar symbolic “sign” (Rev. 1:1) language. There is dramatic end-of-the-world language in Zephaniah that is directed at Jerusalem and Israel (Zeph. 1). John Lightfoot makes the point that seemingly end-of-the-world language is a common feature in the Bible and most often points to the end of the social, religious, and political status of a nation:

The opening of the sixth Seal [in Rev. 6:12–13] shows the destruction itself in those borrowed terms that the Scripture uses to express it by, namely as if it were the destruction of the whole world: as Matt. 24:29–30. The Sun darkened, the Stars falling, the Heaven departing and the Earth dissolved, and that conclusion [of] ver. 16 [in Rev. 6]. They shall say to the rocks fall on us, &c. doth not only warrant, but even enforce us to understand and construe these things in the sense that we do: for Christ applies these very words to the very same thing (Luke 23:30). And here is another, and, to me, a very satisfactory reason, why to place the showing of these visions to John, and his writing of this Book [of Revelation] before the desolation of Jerusalem. [5]

A Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Bible Prophecy

For many Christians, interpreting Bible prophecy is a complicated task. As a result, they often turn to so-called Bible experts and complicated charts that include gaps in time, outrageous literal interpretations, and numerous claims that current events are prime indicators that the end is near. Many Christians are unaware that the same Bible passages have been used in nearly every generation as “proof” that the end or some aspect of the end (the “rapture”) would take place in their generation.

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When was this judgment to take place? Jesus had His present audience in view as He made His way to the cross:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed’ [Matt. 24:19Luke 21:23]. Then they will begin TO SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US’ [Isa. 2:19–20Hos. 10:8Rev. 6:16] For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:28–31).

When was the tree dry and without fruit? The last days of the generation that was confronted from the judgment sequence prophesied by Jesus.

Even though this virus is not an end-of-the-world sign or event, it should get our attention that we are mortal and almost any unforeseen event could lay us low and even kill us. Eternity is but a heartbeat away.

  1. C. Suetonius Tranquillus, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Nero, 39.[]
  2. Hamilton, An Interview with Dr. James Hamilton. For further discussion of this point, see James M. Hamilton, Jr., Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 166–167. Also, Louis A. Vos, The Synoptic Traditions in the Apocalypse (Kampen, Netherlands: J.H. Kok N. V., 1965), 181–188.[]
  3. J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014), 179–210.[]
  4. James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 2nd ed. (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press, 2007), 426–436.[]
  5. John Lightfoot, The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot Containing “The Harmony, Chronicle and Order of the New Testament,” ed. John Rogers Pitman, 13 vols. (London: [1655] 1823), 3:337.[]

Getting it Right with Government (1)

The word government meant, first of all, the self-government of the Christian man, the basic government in all history. Second, and very closely and almost inseparately linked with this, government meant the family. Every family is a government; it is man’s first church and first school, and also his first state. The government of the family by God’s appointed head, the man, is basic to society. Third, the church is a government, with laws and discipline. Fourth, the school is an important government in the life of the child [and is an extension of family government]. Fifth, business or vocations are an important area of government. Our work clearly governs us and we govern our work. Sixth, private associations, friendships, organisations, and the like act as a government over us, in that we submit to these social standards and we govern others by our social expectations. Seventh, the state, is a form of government, and, originally, it was always called civil government in distinction from all these other forms of government.

Christians of every era are required by God to think carefully about the kind of government they should want and expect. This is not a light thing. Like marriage, it is something we ought to consider thoughtfully and prayerfully, because the attitudes of God’s people towards governments historically, have more often than not been far from God’s plan.

When this occurs, we can be sure that it will not end painlessly. In Hosea’s day, God spoke to Israel about her poor political choices in Saul’s time, centuries earlier.

Where now is your king that he may save you in all your cities, and your judges of whom you requested, “Give me a king and princes?” I gave you a king in My anger and took him away in My wrath (Hos.13:10-11).

So when the church makes its errors in relation to government, it means pain for everybody, including the church. Minimally, we finish up with egg on our faces, but commonly it’s much worse.

How do we stop this?

We have to realise that God has created spheres of responsibility. These apply to individuals, to families, the church and to government, or the State. This requires that we understand the Biblical limits of institutions. As Clint Eastwood once said, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”
Government actually begins with self-government.

As an individual, I have responsibilities and obligations to fulfill, firstly to God, and secondly to others. The Bible says that “…each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Ro.14:12).

Adam began life as an adult individual under God, and there was much for him to learn and to do. Before long God gave him Eve, and so he had responsibilities towards her, too. He’d been alone with God, so he was to teach and explain to her what God had given him to do, for she was now part of this whole picture. Their tasks began with cultivating and keeping the Garden, but there was much more. Dominion is a many-sided responsibility.

But it was just the two of them, a family of two, for now. The formal institutions beyond the family, the church and the State, were non-existent for the moment.

If God says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex.20:14), and “I hate divorce” (Mal.2:16), this should be reflected in law as well. When it is not reflected in law, it tells us we have pagans in the Parliament and an ineffective, toothless, silenced church. This is not looking good.

Yes, divorce is sometimes necessary, but it ought not to be something treated in law with the contempt that it is today. Since 1975, Australia has had No Fault Divorce legislation, which means that the innocent, aggrieved spouse will not be financially protected in the breakup.

Could this have been deliberate? Of course.
No Fault divorce legislation was introduced by a socialist, Lionel Murphy, who was Australia’s Attorney General. Like all real socialists, he was contemptuous of the family, and happy to see it destroyed. He wanted individuals to be able to destroy their marriage without facing financial penalties. Thus from the day of that law’s passing, divorce rates in Australia rapidly accelerated.

Because the family is important to God, the apostle Paul taught that the responsibility of husbands is to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph.5:25).

He also taught that older women in the church were to train younger women to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonoured” (Titus 2:4-5).
Thus from a Biblical perspective, we see that the health and well-being of the family is basic to any community. The Biblical family needs to be protected in law, and also to be left alone to do what it chooses to do. It doesn’t need to be propped up by government payments which only teach the family dependence anyway, and are a manipulative tool of destruction. Dependence is a very bad habit for anyone to get caught up in, including the family.

Conclusion:
Just as in the Garden, true government begins with the individual and his personal accountability to God. The Biblical institution of marriage means there is at least another person to consider, so the family is a place of accountability (both to God and to one another), and teamwork. The idea of “one another” which is so important in the church and society, commences in the family.

A Christian attitude towards government teaches that “less is best,” because accountable people need less oversight. The more civil government we have, the more likely we are to be abused by that government, for it has gone beyond its Biblical limitations.

The challenge for people is to learn to be accountable: “…each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Ro.14:12).

Gunnison, Colorado: the town that dodged the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic

A century on, what can we learn from how US mountain community dealt with viral outbreak

Spanish influenza victims crowd into an emergency hospital at Camp Funston, Kansas, US in 1918.
 Spanish influenza victims crowd into an emergency hospital at Camp Funston, Kansas, US in 1918. Photograph: Associated Press

In late 1918 the world’s greatest killer – Spanish flu – roared towards Gunnison, a mountain town in Colorado.

The pandemic was infecting hundreds of millions of people in Europe, Africa, Asia and across the United States, overwhelming hospitals and morgues in Boston and Philadelphia before sweeping west, devastating cities, villages and hamlets from Alaska to Texas.

Gunnison, a farming and mining town of about 1,300 people, had special reason to fear. Two railroads connected it to Denver and other population centers, many badly hit. “The flu is after us” the Gunnison News-Champion warned on 10 October. “It is circulating in almost every village and community around us.”

What happened next is instructive amid anew global health emergency a century later as the world struggles react to the emergence of a new coronavirus. Gunnison declared a “quarantine against all the world”. It erected barricades, sequestered visitors, arrested violators, closed schools and churches and banned parties and street gatherings, a de facto lockdown that lasted four months.

It worked. Gunnison emerged from the pandemic’s first two waves – by far the deadliest – without a single case. It was one of a handful of so-called “escape communities” that researchers have analysed for insights into containing the apparently uncontainable.

“Gunnison’s management of the influenza situation, one hallmarked by the application of protective sequestration, is particularly impressive when one considers that nearly every nearby town and county was severely affected by the pandemic,” the University of Michigan Medical School said in a 2006 report for the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. “The town of Gunnison was exceptional.”

Now it is the turn of coronavirus to race around the world, rattling governments and stock markets and prompting a desperate scramble to contain and control. Tourists stuck in Spanish hotels, Italian streets eerily empty, schools shuttered in Japan, pilgrimages to Islam’s holiest sites banned, international sporting fixtures suspended – a multiplying list of measures amid confusion over how to respond.

The experience of a small town in the Rockies at the end of the first world war does not provide a failsafe blueprint for a different disease in a far more populous, and far more interconnected era. It does however offer tantalising nuggets about about eluding a cataclysm that infected about a third of the global population and killed between 50 million and 100 million people.

Instead of face masks and anti-bacterial hand gels, Gunnsion relied on the guidance and authority of local newspapers, doctors and police – a trust in institutions that may now seem quaint – and on people’s capacity for patience. And on luck.

According to the state health board, influenza arrived in Colorado on or about 20 September 1918 when 250 soldiers from Montana – 13 of them seriously ill – arrived in the city of Boulder. The deadly flu – mistakenly sourced to Spain – swiftly spread.

On 5 October health officials issued a warning and on 16 October the governor, Julius Gunter, issued an executive order banning public and private gatherings across the state. By then towns near Gunnison were already reeling.

Gunnison moved swiftly thanks partly to the News-Champion, which from late September carried at least one front page article on influenza, including practical advice on avoidance and treatment, in each weekly edition.

Dr FP Hanson, the county physician, took a leading role. “An epidemic, terrible in proportions and resultant deaths, is sweeping over the country,” he wrote. “I have caused a strict quarantine to be placed on Gunnison county against the world. Barricades and fences have been erected on all main highways near the county lines.”

Lanterns and signs warned motorists to drive straight through or submit to quarantine. Train passengers who disembarked were quarantined. “Any person may leave the county at his will; none may return except those who will go into voluntary quarantine,” said Hanson. Any violators would be be “dealt with to the fullest extent of the law, and to this we promise our personal attention”, he added.

Officials fortified defences by giving another physician, Dr JW Rockerfeller, “entire charge of both town and county to enforce a quarantine against all the world”. He meant business. When residents reported two motorists and a rail passenger who tried to evade quarantine the sheriff jailed them. “This little instance should show outsiders what Gunnison county’s stand is. We have no flu, and we do not intend to have any,” said Rockerfeller.

The screws tightened. Quarantine was extended from two to five days. Several train stations around the county were shut, facilitating monitoring.

By early February, with state-wide flu cases ebbing, Gunnison lifted restrictions. It was premature: a third wave in March infected about a hundred people in the town. The cases were mild and all survived.

Other “escape communities” in the US included Princeton university, a New York tuberculosis sanatorium, Yerba Buena island in San Francisco bay and the Vermont town of Fletcher. The Michigan Medical School study attributed Gunnison’s feat to strict measures, low population density and luck – no infected person arrived before quarantine.

But a mystery endures: how did residents endure the cabin fever? Those currently under quarantine in Spain, Italy, China and elsewhere could benefit from tips but Gunnison does not appear to remember. Little documentation exists, leaving an information void. “The issue still remains of how to keep up morale and cooperation at a time of heightened stress,” said the study. In 2015 the Guardian appealed to readers of the Gunnison Country Times – a descendant of the News-Champion – for any letters, journals or folk memories about the lockdown. No one replied.

Caring for neighbors during epidemics has long Christian history

ST THECLA

St Thecla praying for plague victims/Tiepolo, 1759

Acting on the Gospel message of charity, Church has been on front lines since early times.

The current pandemic of COVID-19, the lung infection caused by a new coronavirus, has naturally summoned up thoughts of medieval plagues. For at least one commentator, it has also been a reminder that while the world has been through terrible epidemics before, the Church has been at the center of the response to them as well.From the earliest days of Christianity, the community of believers has by and large been motivated by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to not run away from by persevere in the midst of suffering and take risks in the interest of charity.

To be fair, Christians don’t have a monopoly on public service and charity, writes Lymon Stone, a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and an advisor at the consulting firm Demographic Intelligence, in Foreign Policy. But, he says, “while people of all faiths, and none, are facing the disease, the distinctive approach to epidemics Christians have adopted over time is worth dusting off.”

Stone provides an insightful overview of Christians’ response to plagues through the centuries, focusing in particular to his own religious tradition, that of the Lutheran Church.

There was, for eagle, the Antonine Plague of the Second Century, which, Stone says, might have killed a quarter of the population of the Roman Empire. It also might have led to the spread of Christianity, some historians suggest, as “Christians cared for the sick and offered an spiritual model whereby plagues were not the work of angry and capricious deities but the product of a broken Creation in revolt against a loving God.”

The Third Century Plague of Cyprian, which might have been related to Ebola, helped set off the Crisis of the Third Century in the Roman world, Stone notes. “But it did something else, too: It triggered the explosive growth of Christianity,” he writes. “Cyprian’s sermons told Christians not to grieve for plague victims (who live in heaven), but to redouble efforts to care for the living. His fellow bishop Dionysius described how Christians, ‘Heedless of danger … took charge of the sick, attending to their every need.’”

The pattern repeated a century later, when the “actively pagan” Emperor Julian would complain bitterly of how “the Galileans” would care for even non-Christian sick people, ….

…while the church historian Pontianus recounts how Christians ensured that “good was done to all men, not merely to the household of faith.” The sociologist and religious demographer Rodney Stark claims that death rates in cities with Christian communities may have been just half that of other cities.

This habit of sacrificial care has reappeared throughout history. In 1527, when the bubonic plague hit Wittenberg, Martin Luther refused calls to flee the city and protect himself. Rather, he stayed and ministered to the sick. The refusal to flee cost his daughter Elizabeth her life. But it produced a tract, “Whether Christians Should Flee the Plague,” where Luther provides a clear articulation of the Christian epidemic response: We die at our posts. Christian doctors cannot abandon their hospitals, Christian governors cannot flee their districts, Christian pastors cannot abandon their congregations. The plague does not dissolve our duties: It turns them to crosses, on which we must be prepared to die.

“For Christians, it is better that we should die serving our neighbor than surrounded in a pile of masks we never got a chance to use,” Stone sums up. “And if we care for each other, if we share masks and hand soap and canned foods, if we ‘are our brother’s keeper,’ we might actually reduce the death toll, too.”

Stone notes that early Christians created the first hospitals in Europe as hygienic places to provide care during times of plague. Attention to hygiene, he says, was important early on, as Christians were well aware of the fact that serving the afflicted was limited by concern for not infecting the healthy at the same time.

The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seemed to second what Stone said this week, when he was quoted by the Catholic Review, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

“I have witnessed firsthand the impact of the faith community’s work in global disease outbreaks,” said Dr. William Redfield, director of the CDC, in a statement. “The same compassion, counsel and care will be just as important as we confront this new virus and as many Americans and others around the world experience disruption in their daily lives.”

The Catholic Review article was about Redfield’s life as a Catholic. “The faith community has always stepped in to enhance response efforts where our public health and clinical settings lack the capacity or expertise to comfort patients, families and whole communities,” he said.

Christians in Parliament (12)

Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, and also your son’s son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you” (Judges 8:22-23).

Gideon was not thrilled by the idea of having the political leadership of Israel gifted to him and his sons. Why? He’d just had God grant him the task of temporary military leadership of Israel, and though he’d tasted success, he was hardly ambitious for more. To seek political leadership in Israel’s state, would be like asking for a poisoned chalice.

I can hear him saying,

Political leader of Israel? Well, wouldn’t that be a joy! Didn’t you hear about what happened at Succoth and Penuel? (Judges 8:4-8). I was hastening after the invaders of the nation, and the locals wouldn’t even give me and my men any bread! We were being invaded then. What would it be like to lead Israel, if we were at peace?

Gideon’s military experience showed him that political leadership of Israel would be no cake-walk, given its religious state. He’d had a first-hand taste of the state of the nation, and it wasn’t good. What sensible person would want to lead it, in its present situation? Frankly, none.

This is why we have to be ruthlessly realistic about Christians involving themselves in politics. What really matters is the religious state of the nation-any nation. When Israel was in apostasy before King Saul, it was intent on making a dreadful choice for a political leader. The priesthood was corrupt under Eli, and so the nation was corrupt. It wanted a king to centralise authority, and he proved to be a disaster.

If a nation is in rebellion against God (as all of the West is today), a Christian being given leadership has a very challenging task. He has to lead a nation whose religious views (and bear in mind: all law is religious in orientation) are fundamentally different to his. Most people would be opposed to him.

It would be harder than the task Moses had, leading the children of Israel.

What the nations of the world need to do, is to seek first the kingdom of God, and bow the knee to Jesus Christ. That is what Gideon was really implying, in an Old Testament context.

II Chronicles 7:14 begins with the responsibilities of “My people,” and ends with God promising to “…heal their land.” It makes no mention of political leaders. So far as God is concerned, the buck stops with the people of God, and no one else. They are the ones who are to have the leavening influence in the nations of the world, and if the nations of the world are in decline, it is because the church’s leavening influence has gone.

Conclusion:

So where does true reform have to begin? Not with politics, but with “My people,” God’s people. And that will be a long-term process, beginning with individuals, families and churches that set their hearts to seek and obey God.

Is that what we are really ready for?

Virus Fearmongerers Prevail

This is the optimistic position (Ed).

 

Lockdowns, Quarantines, Travel Restrictions Are All That Politicians Have To Quell An Infection That Is Far Less Deadly Than The Seasonal Flu. Politicians Are Misled By Health Authorities Who Fail To Inform Better Than 9 In 10 Have Mild Or No Symptoms & Will Not Require Future Vaccination

While Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warns millions of people will be infected by a mutated coronavirus, public health authorities fail to inform politicians and the public that most (80+%) healthy people exhibit mild or no symptoms, develop natural antibodies that will provide life-long immunity and will not require future vaccination.

If we had a vaccine that is as effective as the natural immunity that is now being exhibited, we would call it a miracle vaccine.  The typical efficacy of flu vaccines ranges from 30-50% with almost total ineffectiveness among high-risk groups (elderly and young children).

Harvard professor says up 70% of the global population will be infected with coronavirus within the next year.  That is actually a positive because most will naturally develop antibodies.  If one were to say 70% of the world just got vaccinated against coronavirus that would be considered a major achievement but if 70% were naturally immunized against coronavirus without a needle and syringe that would be considered a dire problem.  Why?

For the first time the public is witnessing what happens when there is no vaccine available for an infectious respiratory tract infection.  Millions of people are being exposed to a wintertime pathogen (virus and/or bacterium) in addition to the seasonal flu.  Better than 9 in 10 experience mild or no symptoms and develop natural life-long antibodies to these infectious germs without the aid of a vaccine.  This equates to massive over-vaccination for seasonal influenza.

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As of March 12, 2020, only 37 coronavirus deaths have been reported in the U.S., an unusually low number compared to deaths from wintertime influenza that are frankly over-stated by the Centers for Disease Control every year in an attempt to scare the masses to vaccinate.

Quarantines counterproductive

Coronavirus outbreaks on ocean liners are instructive – hundreds of passengers, largely older vacationing adults, were initially found to be infected but the death rate was under 1%. (Note: news agencies are burying these early reports and re-linking to more recent updates).  An analysis of elderly vacationers on board an ocean liner reveals a quarantine resulted in infection of 619 passengers rather than the predicted 70 if the quarantine was not mandated.

Quarantines are not likely to quell the epidemic as the more the public spends time indoors, often breathing air that is commonly shared in homes and offices, the more likelihood of vitamin D deficiency.

Hospitalization completely deprives patients of their primary source of vitamin D – – the sun, with no supplementation to normalize vitamin D blood levels.  Modern medicine is averse to vitamin therapy.

Vaccination questioned

The public should not be clamoring for a vaccine.  While at least a dozen biotech companies have coronavirus vaccines in development, an experimental study ended up killing laboratory animals.

No vaccine will ever be highly effective in high-risk groups (diabetics, obese, smokers, etc.) against ANY infectious disease because, due to nutrient shortages, these individuals cannot adequately produce life-long T-cell generated antibodies against pathogenic bacteria or viruses.

Given that vaccination IS the disease (so-called live or attenuated viruses), vaccination among immune-compromised individuals appears unwise, but is modern medicine’s only preventive. An analysis by this author reveals universal vaccination would result in more infections and deaths than no vaccination at all.

Deaths from weakened immunity, not germs

The number of people dying are not succumbing to potentially pathogenic viruses and bacteria, they are dying because of a weakened immune system.  The pathogens are always there.  Weakened immunity in winter allows pathogenic bacteria and viruses to replicate.

Smokers, diabetics, obese, alcohol abusers, prescription or illicit drug users, and nutrient deficient individuals are at greatest risk for a mortal outcome and should be advised to supplement their diet with vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc.

Is it only COVID-19?

The precise origin of these respiratory tract infections is in question as health authorities do not have a sufficient number of testing kits for the COVID-19 coronavirus and use mouth swabbing, x-rays and clinical symptoms to diagnose this infectious disease that appears to spread in households but not into the community.  Simultaneous co-infection may be in play, complicating any planned vaccines.

Health authorities didn’t tell you the tests for this virus have a lot of (47%) false positives.  Authorities were saying the tests weren’t even available.  In one study, among 1460 cases of unexplained respiratory illnesses reported to the Centers For Disease Control, only 2% were laboratory confirmed coronavirus.

Targeted prevention

The goal should be to target high risk groups and boost their immunity with vitamins and trace minerals like vitamins C and D and zinc – – zinc being required to produce T-cells that produce life-long memory antibodies.

Sunshine is the cure to ward off werewolves and coronavirus

The obvious escapes public attention.  Public health authorities are remiss to advise the public to take vitamin D pills to ward off symptoms of a wintertime virus that will likely subside as the earth turns on its axis towards the sun (from wintertime to spring solstice) and will restore sunshine vitamin D levels in northern climates.  There are no coronavirus outbreaks reported among countries that are located near the equator where sunshine vitamin D blood levels remain high.

Hand washing, face masks ineffective

Handwashing and face masks are not likely to be effective as the primary problem is weak immunity.  The same germs are in circulation in summer months, but sunshine vitamin D protects from infection.  An analysis of published studies reveals adequate vitamin D blood levels reduce the risk for pneumonia, the end-point in all infectious lung diseases.

ACE inhibitors

Hundreds of millions of prescriptions are generated for ACE inhibitors to control blood pressure.  ACE is particularly high in lung tissues.  A receptor (doorway) for coronaviruses enter living cells is angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2).  Once inside the cell, these viruses utilize the genetic machinery of the cell to replicate.  ACE-inhibiting drugs would close that cellular doorway.

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However, ACE-2 depends upon zinc and helps to activate white blood cells in their germ-killing.     ACE inhibitors (Lisinopril) operate to control blood pressure by depletion of zinc.   Over-production of ACE has been shown to demonstrably quell bacterial infections.  Anyone taking ACE-inhibiting drugs to widen their blood vessels in order to control blood pressure should supplement their diet with zinc to ensure antibody-producing T-cells are adequately produced.

America is healthier to begin with

Because of water chlorination and food fortification, the American public is not as likely to exhibit the same level of mortality as in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak was reported to have begun.

What the public is not learning from public health officials is that whatever potentially pathogenic germ (virus or bacterium) that is infecting world populations, it is not particularly deadly and over 9 in 10 healthy adults recover.

An analysis indicates a different germ may be in play (not what hit Wuhan).  The people who flew back to the U.S. from China did not spread the disease beyond their immediate families.  Death rates inside the Wuhan, China area are low but much higher than the rest of the world.  Italy is another hotspot.  But these infectious hotspots are actually believed to be caused by a mycobacterium that causes a different lung disease – tuberculosis.