Hello everyone. I’ve been getting emails and comments asking what has happened to the videos. Well, the answer is quite simple. I’ve been sick, so production has fallen off.  I’m better now.  Don’t worry. It wasn’t COVID-19, just a case of Shingles.  Apparently, I had chicken pox as a child and the virus has been hiding in my system all this time waiting for a chance to attack. I have to admit that at the worst of it, my face looked quite a sight – like I had been at the wrong end of a bar fight.

Right now, I’m alone, standing outside in these beautiful surroundings, because I just had to get out of the house.  Since I’m alone, I’m going to take my face mask off.

I’ve been a little concerned about some things for a while.  My concern is for the children of God.  If you are a Christian—I mean a real Christian, not just in name, but in purpose—if you are a real Christian, then your concern is for the body of Christ, the congregation of the chosen.

We have been offered the opportunity to rule with Christ and to be the means by which the world’s problems–not just those of our local community, not just those of our particular country or our particular race, indeed, not even just those of the world, but the problems of humanity since the beginning of time—it is offered to us to be the means by which the entire failed and tragic history of Mankind can be fixed.

Can there be a higher calling?  Can anything this life offers be more important?

We need faith to see that.  Faith allows us to see the invisible.  Faith allows us to overcome what is before our eyes and what may seem more important at the moment. Faith allows us to put such things into perspective; to see them as the pointless distractions that they really are.

In the beginning, the Devil laid the foundation for a world of deceit; a world built on the lie.  Jesus called him the father of the lie, and lately lying seems to be growing in strength.  There are web sites that track the lies told by politicians and some of them number into the thousands, yet these men are accepted and even revered by many.  Being lovers of truth, we may be moved to act against such things, but that is a trap.

Anything that distracts us from our commission to make disciples and preach the good news of the Christ is playing into the hands of the wicked one.

When Satan first deceived, Our Heavenly Father uttered a prophecy explaining that there would be two lines of descendants, one of Satan and one of the woman.  The woman’s seed would eventually destroy Satan, so you can well imagine why he has become obsessed with doing everything he can to destroy that seed.  Since he cannot do away with it by direct assault, he tries to mislead it; to distract it from its true mission.

Let us not play into his hands.

There are thousands of us out there scattered about trying to find our way out of false religion into the freedom of the Christ. Sometimes we can lose our way. Having been under the thumb of men for so long, we become suspicious of any authority. Some have gone from the one extreme of absolute trust in men to the other extreme in which they are willing to believe any wild theory as long as it calls into question those in positions of authority.

Do you think Satan cares? No. All he cares about is that we are distracted from our main mission.

Maybe we see a web site that seems to offer credible evidence that the wild fires in California were caused by the government using particle beam weapons, and we jump on that band wagon.  Or perhaps we see the contrails—condensation trails—left by jet engine exhausts and believe the claim that the government is seeding the atmosphere with chemicals.  A surprising number of people have accepted the claim that the earth is flat and that Nasa is in on the conspiracy.

The Bible says at Proverbs 14:15, “The naive person believes every word, But the shrewd one ponders each step.”

I won’t spend time proving that each of these stories is a hoax, because you can do so yourself quite easily.  The power to verify the truth or falsehood of any claim is at your fingertips.  So why do some prefer to just believe rather than make the effort to check things out for themselves.  Isn’t that what got us to waste so much time in our previous faith: a willingness to just believe without verifying.  We put blind trust in men.

I recently saw something on Facebook claiming that the coronavirus is not as deadly as we were led to believe, that it has a 99.9% survival rate. That means that only 1 out of a thousand people die from it.  That doesn’t seem so bad, does it?  The person making that post even gave us the figures, so it seems credible as long as—as long as—we don’t do the math ourselves.  I’m sure that was what he was counting on.

How did the person making this post arrive at that figure? By dividing the number of people who have died from the virus against the entire population of the earth. Well, of course you’re going to survive if you are never infected in the first place.  I mean, if you were to calculate the chance of dying during childbirth by including in your calculation all the men in the world, you’d end up with a pretty good survival rate.

The Facebook poster challenged the reader to share this information, “if you are brave enough.”  And therein lies the problem in my opinion. These people are exploiting a growing mistrust in authority.  As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I trusted the authority of the men heading up the Organization.  I now see that I was betrayed by the organization.  I know that governments have misled us, institutions have misled us, churches have misled us.  So, it can be very easy for me to come to mistrust all such authorities.  Having been fooled for so long and so completely, I don’t ever want to be fooled again.

But it wasn’t the institution that betrayed us, be it political, commercial, or religious.  It was just the men behind it.  Other men seek to exploit our sense of betrayal by lying to us and planting wild conspiracy theories in our heads.  If we are kicking ourselves for putting blind faith in what the eight men of the Governing Body taught us, we do we now blindly trust what some unknown guy with a web site tells us about anything.

I’m telling you things right now, but I don’t ask you to believe me, I ask you to verify what I’m telling you.  That is your only protection.

How can you avoid being fooled again?

There was one human who was willing to die for you. That was Jesus.  He never exploited anyone, but came to serve.  His faithful disciple John was inspired to write the following from 1 John 4:1—“My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere.”  (Good News Translation)

You and I have been created in the image of God. Unlike the animals we have the power of reason. We have this magnificent brain, but so few of us choose to use it. It is like a muscle. If you train your muscles, they get stronger and you become more coordinated. But that takes effort. It’s much easier just to sit at home and watch TV. The same goes for the brain. If we don’t exercise it, if we don’t make the effort, then we make ourselves vulnerable.

Paul tells us: “Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry YOU off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

That does not just relate to religious teaching, but to anything that would distract us from the Christ.

The Devil want us to be distracted. In fact, he’d love it if he could get us to disobey our Lord.  He’s tricky and has had thousands of years to perfect his craft.

Recently, I’ve heard some claim that facemasks are part of some government conspiracy to take away our freedoms.  Soon we’ll be injected with ID chips under the guise of COVID-19 injections.

American’s cherish their first amendment right to freedom of speech, so this argument seems to have traction.  However, let’s think about it critically for a moment.  Would you say the same thing about signaling your turns when you’re driving? You could argue that where and when you turn is a privacy issue and no one has the right to know that.  You could argue that whether you decide to tell others if you plan to make a turn or not is a freedom of speech issue.  Therefore, if a policeman fines you for failing to signal a turn, hasn’t he has violated your constitutional rights?

I can just see the devil laughing himself silly when he gets Christians sidetracked on such ridiculous issues.  Why? Because not only is he changing their focus from the kingdom to issues of the world, but he might even get the to engage in civil disobedience.

Does it matter whether a face mask works or not?  To Christians, it shouldn’t.  Why do I say that? Because of what Paul wrote to Christians in Rome.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:1-5 NIV)

You may find the character of your president, King, prime minister, or governor reprehensible. The idea of showing such a man respect or honor might seem abhorrent. Nevertheless, this is the command we have from our King, and he does deserve our respect and honor and obedience. Besides, if you please him, then one day you will be in the position to judge the whole world. So just be patient.

What I’m trying to say is that we have been freed from enslavement to men, so let us not allow ourselves to again fall under the control of men promoting self-serving wild and zany ideas.  They could cause us to miss out on the prize, just as the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses almost did.

Please read the following passage and ponder it prayerfully, for there is a world of wisdom in it:

Paul’s words to the Corinthians at 1 Corinthians 3:16-21 (BSB).

“Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Let no one deceive himself. If any of you thinks he is wise in this age, he should become a fool, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

Therefore, stop boasting in men. All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All of them belong to you, [all of them belong to you]

and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”

Think about it: “You are God’s temple.”  “All things belong to you.”  “You belong to Christ.”

Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.
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