Infamous words were spoken by Gerry Adams of his fellow IRA terrorists in the IRA, back in March 2011, at a Republican rally in Belfast. He said, “They haven’t gone away you know!!”
Some 10 years on, we can rejoice that his words are no longer true, irrespective of how true they were back then! Martin McGuinness is gone; Bobby Storey is gone, and so too is a myriad of other murderers whose passing took place with little publicity.
‘Where have they gone?’ I believe that if they died as they lived then each one went, as did Judas, “to his own place,” Acts 1:25. The Bible teaches that “The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death,” Revelation 21:8. Such a dreadful truth should make you tremble for the follies of men that caused them to reap such a terrible eternity and humbly bow before God and thank Him for His mercy in delivering us from such wickedness!
Having said that, I wish to alter Adams’ statement by replacing two words and apply the amended statement to the Covid-19 virus which abounds in the world today. We can say with alarm: “It hasn’t gone away you know!!”
The statement is true despite the activities of men and manufacturers, propagandists and the ‘human ostriches’ who stick their heads in the sand and refuse to see the obvious. Evidence of that may be seen in the mounting infection rate throughout the United Kingdom and further afield.
A headline in today’s CNN news site reads: Denmark ditched its Covid rules two months ago. Now it’s joined other EU nations in mulling new restrictions.
Another news site, that of the ‘Financial Times’ has the headline: Denmark poised to reintroduce Covid passports as cases climb.
As I say, “It hasn’t gone away you know!!”
Throughout this pandemic, the voices and influence of certain sections of society have been dominant.
I would speak first of the MERCHANTS AND BUSINESSMEN.
£millions have been made by the manufacturers of the main vaccines. Earlier this year the following headline appeared in the press: “Pfizer Reaps Hundreds of Millions in Profits From Covid Vaccine.” No matter what tragedy has come upon mankind there have always been those who profit by it!
In Revelation 6, a passage which speaks of the closing days of this age, we read these words: “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine,” verse 6. It is believed that the ‘measure’ spoken of here is that sufficient for the daily intake of one person and the ‘penny’ the amount a man may earn in a day. So it speaks of what we would term a time of very high inflation when wages merely meet the cost of food. It is a day when the merchants will coin while the populace suffer penury!
Many merchants have done well out of Covid-19!
But the voice of the business man has been heard demanding the lifting of those restrictions which were introduced in an attempt to hinder the spread of the virus. Such restrictions close down many businesses, especially those in the entertainment world. The complaints of those thus deprived have been loud and I think that we can say, influential in having many premises reopened. That in turn inevitably gave rise to an increase in the spread of the virus. While this fact was noted it was done so in a rather muted fashion. The economy counted more than safety and life itself to governments and merchants!
A recent report by The British Medical Journal was highlighted in the following fashion. “Moderna vaccine side effects: EMA assessing reports of a new ‘serious’ complication.”
A quotation from the article in the ‘Daily Express’ states: “The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced earlier today that it was assessing reports of a serious but rare side effect linked to the jab.”
The haste with which the vaccines were developed and the short-cuts that such haste must surely have necessitated, will possibly result in difficulties and side effects for those who took these vaccines.
There was also the voice of the FRIVOLOUS MULTITUDE WHO ARE TERMED ‘LOVERS OF PLEASURE’ IN GOD’S WORD.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves,” 2 Timothy 3:1-2. “Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter,” James 5:5.
There has been displayed to a very great degree a spirit of selfishness and self-seeking in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19. The denial of pleasure to the smallest degree brought forth howls from those for whom the pursuit of such is their everything and their all!
When there was an easing of restrictions what scenes of shameful exultation and hysteria were reported in the press. It became evident that the nation has raised a generation for whom ‘eternity’ and its realities simply do not come within the ambit of their daily considerations. What a harvest hastens on for our land!
Sadly, the arrival of the virus gave rise to a plethora of IDIOTIC NOTIONS, EVEN AMONGST SOME CHRISTIANS!
The existence of the virus was denied and the efforts to curtail its spread were deemed a deception of the devil. The medical attempts to hinder the pandemic were seen as the beginnings of the rise of the ‘Antichrist’ and was ‘the mark of the beast.’
I have set forth my objections to the main vaccinations promoted by the Government and upon which it has spent multiple £millions. I am not opposed to the use of vaccines but I am opposed utterly to vaccines which were developed through the use of the tissue of an aborted baby or their finished product tested upon such tissue.
Abortion is murder and no one should seek to advance or safeguard their own health at the cost of the murder of an unborn baby.
Having said that, I view with incredulity the notions spread in the ‘name of the Lord’ by evangelicals, usually with absolute lies and falsehoods used as ‘evidence’ of the truthfulness of their views.
A recent article in the ‘Belfast Telegraph’ made sad reading as one of the promoters of such notions, a man I know and respect as a preacher, but who nevertheless was confronted with his follies and it was sad to see the pitiful response offered in defence of such notions. His reputation and testimony will have suffered as a result I believe.
It is becoming ever more clear that a MONUMENTAL CAMPAIGN OF DECEPTION BY BOTH GOVERNMENT AND VACCINE MANUFACTURERS WAS CARRIED OUT OVER THE LAST 18 MONTHS OR SO!
Much by way of criticism may rightly be directed at China regarding Covid-19 and its origins. However, China was not alone when it came to telling lies regarding the pandemic. In the wake of the introduction of the vaccines, a promised return to normality was just over the horizon we were informed, though the horizon kept retreating, as horizons do, and as time went on the shallowness of the predictions became more evident.
A recent statement appeared in the ‘Belfast newsletter’:
Expert warns that vaccines alone not enough to keep Covid in check
Part of the article read as follows: The warning comes as a further six patients who had previously tested positive forCovid – 19 in Northern Ireland died yesterday. Another 1,462 cases of the virus were also notified by the Department of Health. Yesterday morning, there were 387 Covid-positive patients in hospital, with 37 in intensive care. Some 2,773,870 vaccinations have been administered in the Province. . . . Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, warned that this coming Christmas is not the only one to be worried about, and that Covid could be a concern for the next five years.”
Such sentiments are far removed from the first upbeat confident predictions at the launch of the vaccines!
It must be especially note that THERE HAS BEEN A UNIVERSAL IGNORING OF THE TRUE SOURCE AND THE REAL PURPOSE OF THE PLAGUE BY CHURCH AND STATE.
God and His Word have been utterly ignored in the surfeit of discussions and debates surrounding the pandemic.
Of course, to have introduced God into the discussion would have resulted in the real and true reason for the catastrophic outbreak. Many have had a part in the spread of this plague starting with China. We may highlight the greedy and selfish attitudes that have surfaced during the spread of the virus but in order to understand WHY it has happened and that in such a fashion as has not be evidenced before. Yes, there have been national plagues but I don’t think that there has been a plague that recognised no geographical barriers and has crossed mountains and oceans as this Covid-19! Neither have there been the lamentable financial consequences which have followed in the wake of Covid-19.
Only the Bible can supply a true explanation for the arrival of Covid-19. Of course, accompanying that explanation is an indictment of the sins of this age, for therein lies the reason for what has taken place.
Nations have set their faces against God and His Word. That which is so succinctly set forth in the opening verses of Psalm 2, is what is taking place worldwide today.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us,” Psalm 2:1-3.
There is a universal movement dedicated to rebelling against the Lord and His anointed One, Christ. The objective of the rebellion is to break the restrictions placed upon mankind for his eternal good and to cast away the ‘cords’ of His Holy Law.
Those engaged in this wicked rebellion are not just the heathens, the unbelievers, the atheists and the agnostics. No! Prominent in the ranks of this latter-day rebellion are the churches which, to a very large degree, make up Christendom.
There is the Church of Ireland, The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, marching shoulder to shoulder with the sodomites, the lesbians, the transgenderists: all of whom they welcomed into their ranks and whose sins and wickedness they have declared to be no longer evil and rejected of God and a bar to heaven! No, the mainline churches, worldwide, have called “evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20.
Apostasy, the utter denial of God and His truth, reigns in the pulpits and pews of the churches of Christendom, with the exception of the ‘remnant’ which has obeyed God’s call to separate.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
That is the reason for Covid-19! But actions of God to bring home to mankind its rebellion against Him have been ignored. Any attempt to draw attention to the divine origins of what is happening is greeted with derisions and contempt. Not one word has been heard from the leaders of the main churches regarding God and His part in either sending the plague or His ability to remove it were He to be heeded and obeyed.
The silence of these men (and women!) sadly declares that as far as they are concerned the ‘God of the Bible’ is dead!
But an acknowledging of God as the source of this judgment would require also an acknowledgement that the age is drawing to a close. The plagues of Revelation 16 ff, are clearly to take place at the end of the age. I wrote the following to a friend just the other day.
‘Here is the record of the beginning of God’s visitation in judgment.
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth,” Revelation 16:1.
This visitation will take place at the close of this age, in the days of the Antichrist. This is made clear in Rev 16:2.
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.”
This also is made clear in verse 10. “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.”
Further evidence of the time at which these things will take place is seen in verses 14-15. “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
The scenes are just before the ‘great day of God Almighty’ – even the return of Christ in judgment.
Earlier in the book, there is given us an account of the return of Christ and the reaction of the forces of Antichrist to His appearing.
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:15-17.
The book is not written in chronological sequence but, like any good teacher does, the Lord repeats in greater detail the same truths throughout the book, from the chapter 4 onward.”
These truths are utterly unpalatable to sinful man. He does not wish to be reminded of his mortality and of the fact that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead,” Acts 17:31.
The proclaiming of the truth brings forth the same response today as it did on Mars Hill, some 2000 years ago when Paul preached it. “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter],” Acts 17:32.
No hearing, no heeding of what God has to say about His plan for the future!
In this whole period of the onslaught of this disease, MAN HAS SHOWN TOTAL SELF-ASSURANCE AND CONFIDENCE THAT HE CAN OVERCOME COVID-19.
Boris Johnston, in his usual blustering manner has splutteringly declared his conviction that Covid-19 will be overcome. The same self-confidence has been shown by world leaders at the recent COP 26 ‘climate change’ conference in Glasgow. Again, there was no mention whatever of God. Rather young and old, chanted the mantra, ‘we can save the world by our own skills and efforts’!
That has ever been man’s approach to the matter of his salvation. It is found in his ‘own works’ and for that reason the death of Christ has been rejected as the SOLE MEANS OF REDEMPTION!
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.
How often Paul preached against man’s own works as the means of salvation!
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified,” Galatians 2:16.
Such sentiments are found in all his epistles and corresponding statements are to be found extensively throughout the Bible. Indeed, the Bible closes with a call to faith in Christ alone. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,” Revelation 22:17.
Oh that God’s people would awaken. “And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying,” Romans 13:11-13.
May the Lord be pleased to stir all our hearts.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
Saturday 13th November, 2021.