The fact is notorious that in the formative days of the church, the beliefs, custom and governmental policies of the world and its paganism values were at variance with the ways, beliefs and creeds of the “Pentecostal Christianity”. However, one remarkable action of the early apostles and disciples (our patriarchs) then, was that they doggedly withdrew from the antichristian policies of the society without any act of overt rebellion but held meetings of prayers, fasting, breaking of breads and upholding the truth of the gospel in the face of the fiercest persecution of the day. This defiant positions taken by the early and later apostles became the object and reasons for all kinds of charges from immorality, terrorism to cannibalism so much so that by the end of the first century, nearly every pagan hand was lifted against the Christians and for more than two hundred years, the church lived under threatening shadow of persecution of the roman government.
The persecution was fashioned in governmental decree and policies just to officialize the conspiracy for justifiable enforcement. In fact the decree of the Roman Empire which “Criminalizes the Christian Assembly” was “no licet esse vos”, a Latin phrase which interprets that it is not lawful for you to live or exist.
It was a practice not different from the anti-Christian totalitarian position that the government has taken today in response to the of Covid 19 pandemic, which position is born out of the fear that the Pentecostal ideal of freedom, divine health and healing, truth, justice, deliverance salvation and redemption are dangerous to the suppressed truth about Covid 19.
For conceptual clarification and elucidation of hidden truths; Covid 19 is a plague, pestilence or epidemics, which could only have resulted from satanic networking, demonic oppression or antichrist agenda aimed at bringing mankind to its very knee under the cruel charge of the devil through the antichrist regime.
On the other hand, the lockdown policy across the globe is a premeditated satanic strategy to disarm the church (the body of Christ) of its most relied weapons: the assembly of the brethren in fellowship, prayers, fasting, breaking of bread and confession and dissemination of the gospel of truth even at the expense of the life of believers. REVELATION 12:11
In matters of this nature, It has been reputed to the credit of the Holy Spirit that the church, the body of Christ is the only body vested with the spiritually power to stop the hand of the devil anytime he rises against the human family.
We must know that while Satan’s constant drive is to kill, steal and to destroy, One of the assignments of the church on earth is to serve as watchmen in battle who do not only keep the gate of the Christian faith but also keep the wellbeing of mankind under strict watch against the invasion of anything that raises itself against or above the knowledge of the almighty; be it disease, pestilence, famine, terrorism, war or whatsoever. In doing that, the Lord “…….. Will be a spirit of justice to him that sits in judgment and a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate” ISAIAH 28:6
But the battle is a spiritual one and we must not only appreciate that we are in a spiritual warfare, but also deploy the relevant “spiritual intelligence” and weapons: the brethren’s assembly and fellowship in prayers and fasting, breaking of the bread and radical confession and dissemination of the truth of gospel “for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but might through God to the pulling down of strong holds casting imaginations and ever high thing that exulted itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. 2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
“They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the words of their testimony and they love not their lives to death” REVELATION 12:11
Covid19 is one of those high things that seek to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. But knowing the unbreakable truth that the church has its role-call of instrumentation of the redemption of mankind from this present torment of Covid19 by bringing into captivity any thought created or inspired by Covid19 to the obedience of Christ (all to the glory of God), Satan has strategically moved one step ahead by instigating the minds of the world leaders to make policies to the effect of frustrating the assembly of the brethren, disarming and bringing the church to the position of reproach and irrelevance in the very matter that indicts or tries our faith.. It is a pity!
I believe by the word of God that one effective way the church, in its formative age, responds to indictments that seek to strip the church of God’s glory is by organizing a praying assembly. “Peter was therefore put in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” ACT 12:5”. That was an attempt by Herod to have peter, the rock upon which the church is founded, outlawed, gagged and detained. But the fervency of inclusive prayer of the brethren in holy assembly as a body has always been a damning threat to the kingdom of darkness and its activities. The prayer of the assembled brethren generates aggressive angelic intervention and the chains broke and fell off Peter’s hands and the gates open of its own accord.
One may argue that this is not about the church but national policies affecting every other facet of life, but such conclusion will only amount to an unpardonable bigotry- for the policy, though affects many other facet of our national life, is a conspiracy whose chief aim is to disarm the church of its most relied weapon: the inclusive prayer of brethren in solemn assembly, fellowship and breaking of bread.. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place………”
“and they were all filled with the holy ghost……”
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread in prayers.” ACT 2:1, 4, 42
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the word of god in boldness” Act 4:31.
The above biblical scenarios were the days of the fiercest persecution of the church immediately after the death of Christ. The disciples did not submit themselves to state policies and decrees that tend to jettison their beliefs. They gave up their lives in the protest as they became vulnerable to all sorts to governmental sanctions, imprisonment, eaten by the beast, mowing; public canning etc. The penetrating question raised by this situation is the question of Christ and ceaser; where does the highest loyalty of man belong?
I don’t intend to author any philosophy that rebels against public policies and governmental regulations, but we cannot wriggle out ourselves from the ever springing truth that right during the formative age of the church, ranging from the days of Christ’s earthly ministry to the days of the early and subsequent apostles and saints, Christians have always insisted that mans highest loyalty belongs to God and as such no governmental or caesarean policy can stop the services of Christian to God. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name? …. Peter and the apostle reply: we must obey God rather than men” ACTS 5:28-29
We must not be confused by the provisions of ROMANS 13:1. In construing that verse, we ought to test our interpretation against the criteria of conformity with the intent of the framer of that verse, the Apostle Paul. I find it difficult to align myself with the submission that, Apostle Paul, by that verse, intended to bring the church, the body of Christ subject to the pagan administration of the Roman empire where as a matter of governmental order, incenses where to be burnt on the alter dedicated to the divinity of Ceaser. Impossible! The absurdity of such construction and application of that scripture would be so monstrous to our Christian Faith that all Christians, without hesitation should unite in rejecting this interpretation and application. Light has got nothing to do with darkness! The lifestyle of the apostles even the most learned of them St. Paul, demonstrated the absolute independence of the church. This has been the toughest and suppressed truth of all the time- the church is a divine institution headed by Christ whose supremacy to human institutions cannot be overemphasized. The church will rather submit itself for prosecution than accept practice that contradicts this truth. The apostle and Saints died for this truth. And in fact they enjoyed the glory of dying for the truth. The proof of this is indelibly written in the blood of thousands of Martyrs in the days of trial. The early church never submitted or aligned itself with any governmental rule that tends to distort the least of the Christian creeds. So two titles of supreme courage and honor in the early church were birthed as:
- Confessors: Ono one steadfastly confessed the faith of Christ despite all suffering inflicted on him
- Martyr: one who was burned, stoned, torn apart by wild beast or crucified in imitation of the Lord whose service, he would not jettison in a bid to comply with any governmental demand which tend to turn his highest from God to any earthly royalty.
- The blood of the lamp. The very essence of the doctrine of Passover is our exemption from epidemics of any sort. EXODU 12:7-13. The blood of the lamb being the token of that covenant by which Christians are exempted from epidemics.
- The words of our testimonies – The word of our testimonies are the overt declaration of the deliverance, salvation and healing potency of the blood of Jesus and the words of God. — the power of God is encapsulated in his word, and the overt proclamation of the word and its wonder working power is the only way the power of God is lifted out of the drawing board (bible book) into reality.
- Self sacrifice of our lives in defiant challenge of any agenda that threatens the well being and beliefs of the church “……. and they love not their lives unto death” REVELATION 12:11
St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, before his execution for refusing to acknowledge the divinity of ceaser, prayed “…… Lord God almighty, father of Jesus Christ … may I be an acceptable sacrifice … I praise thee, I bless thee, I glorified thee through Jesus Christ”
Forty years later, in the same burning spirit of the church against the Roman rule, Tertullian, a fiery Christian writer, flung his defiance against the persecuting roman authority “kill us torture us, condemn us, grind us to pieces, the more you mow us down, the more thicker we rise up… the blood of the martyrs is a kind of seed—“
It is time for the church to rise up to this lockdown conspiracy which though, appears to be a general public policy but is more of a conspiracy against the Church.
Why the conspiracy?
With the assembly of the brethren on earth, Satan and his antichrist will be crushed anytime they rise against mankind.
“They overcome him by the blood of lamp and the words of their testimony and they love not their live unto death.” REVELATION 12:11
To put it in its proper perspective, Covid19 is a strong hold of Satan and his antichrist institution which cannot survive the Pentecostal Christian faith, the church of Christ. No matter how destructive it may appear, it cannot survive the fervent inclusive prayers of the assembled brethren. “And when they have prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” ACTS 4:31.
As spelt out in the book of REVELATION 12:11, our victory over this satanic oppression of Covid19 epidemics will only be delivered if believers deliberately shun this antichrist policy of shutting down the churches, gather in praying assemblies to wage this unavoidable war against the fiery darts of the wicked one while leveraging:
Today Jesus Christ “is our Passover lamp” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:7. And his blood and flesh (the Passover) is availed us in material form of the Holy Communion which Jesus Christ handed to us a matter of Christian creed. MATTHEW 26:26. How and where did Jesus Christ administer the communion? – It was at the Solemn assembly of himself and his disciples (the brethren) on a feast— Thereafter, it follows as a matter of doctrine that the apostles were always coming in assembly and not isolation to break the bread.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” ACTS 2:42-43.
“On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread Paul spoke to the people” —ACT 20:7
It is pertinent to know that the administration of the communion is to be done in the assembly of brethren
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes”. ROMANS 1:6
“By the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the spirit—- I have fully preached the gospel” ROMANS 15:19.
In fact the apostle Paul re-emphasizes it that our preaching is not just for philosophical engagement but a matter of demonstration of Gods power and spirit, so that the Christian faith is not built on just biblical theological philosophies but in the power of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:4-5
We see the apostles gave up their lives any time they are faced with the question of Caesar or Christ— anytime they had to defend the course of the gospel and the church against prevailing imperial rules and orders. We see them unreservedly insisting that their services and allegiance to God cannot be distorted or disrupted by the prerogatives of Caesar or any earthly man-made authority.
It is going to be the greatest order of self sabotage if we allow the church to be stripped off its most relied weapon (by being locked down); the assembly of the brethren, the administration of Communion which is the blood of Jesus, the confession and dissemination of the word and our aggressive defence of the gospel of truth.
Christians must wake up from their sleeps. The church must assemble again. Prayers must be made without ceasing against the aggressions of Satan and his antichrist while we are still here on earth. There cannot be two kings ruling in one kingdom. Until the church is raptured, the antichrist has no place here on earth, for they must stay down in obedience to Christ for the moment. 2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5.
The antichrist may begin to set stage for their later invasion through any form of technological advancement as it is obvious that our days are numbered here on earth. However, they cannot move ahead of God’s schedule. We must sit in judgment enforcing this unbreakable truth. “He will be a spirit of justice to him that sits in judgment and a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate” ISAIAH 28:6
Again, we cannot resist the technological advancement because “the profit of the earth is for all”. The technological advancement in form of G5 or whatsoever could be a leverage for the antichrist when they would have finally invaded the earth, but that does not mean that the new innovations are satanic creations. Satan created nothing. God created everything. God is the source of scientific and technological knowledge. The world must experience the digital revolution which the book of Daniel spoke of. And the Bible never said it is going to emanate from the devil or antichrist. It is just the process of the life of the world. What the world must go through. SOS the church should not concern itself with the fact that Satan and his antichrist may leverage on Digital Revolution, the church should rather concern itself with the fact that digital revolution must not disrupt the great business of the kingdom here on earth i.e. The church, souls and wellbeing of mankind.
The technological advancements must not interfere with but promotes and preserves the business of the church on earth until the church is raptured; And what is the business of the church on earth? It is the continuous flow of souls into the kingdom and the work we must work while it is day- dealing with and invalidating all forms of satanic oppression. JOHN 9:3-5.
“How God Anointed Jesus Christ of Nazarate with Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppress of the devil; for God was with him” ACTS 10:38
“for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but might through God to the pulling down of strong holds casting imaginations and ever high thing that exulted itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. 2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
Finally I make bold to state that the lock down arrangement was targeted at displacing the assembly of the brethren, frustrating the administration of communion on this Eve of Easter of 12th April, 2020, thereby disarming the church and rendering mankind vulnerable to the whims and caprices of Satan and his antichrist.
The churches must rise in defiant protest to ensure the assembling of the brethren for this was the first step the Church took after the death and resurrection of Christ. ACTS 1:12-14!!!!!!
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Evang. Cmr. PAUL S. ONYILO. and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)