Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
The Mystery of the Corona Virus. What the Word of GOD has to say!
While there may be a lot of things going on behind the scenes regarding the #coronavirus, it is vital for us to remember who is in control of the Universe and therefor the virus.
By that I mean who is in control of the entire universe and what is His purpose for us why are we here? These are some of the questions that should stimulate our curiosity concerning what is really going on in the world today and what is our part in that. For example, we have quoted 2CO 5:7 hundreds of times before, but do we truly believe it? 2CO 5:7, for we walk by faith, not by sight. One of the manifestations of “walking by faith, not by sight” is that when we walk by faith (pistis - doctrine), we do not allow the garbage from the Cosmic system to be our guidance or our light. We receive and learn what is needed as far as “current day news,” but ultimately, we need to be sure that the Word of GOD is our final authority and not what man says, no matter what!
For in ACT 5:29, if it comes down to doing what man says contrary to what GOD says, then, “We must obey GOD rather than men.” The point is that we need to be prepared and ready for whatever is coming our way and that is why in ROM 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Everyday, especially today, you ought to have some sanctified time that you have set apart for you and GOD, when you can either pray, or just talk to GOD the Father, GOD the Son, and GOD the Holy Spirit. We are to operate in that divine order of praying to the Father, in the name of the Son, under the power of GOD the Holy Spirit, which is the wisdom of GOD incorporating all three members of the GODhead in the powerful weapon of prayer.
Prayer is not often regarded as a weapon by most believers, but prayer is one of the greatest weapons we have. If you are having trouble with a relationship in your life, you can use the Problem-Solving Devices to HELP YOU handle the problem, but they might not help the person you’re having the problem with. This is why the Apostle Paul would say such things as ROM 12:18, If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. You can be at peace with yourself concerning how you have treated the other person that you may be having a problem with but, at the same time, they are not willing to be at peace with you. We can pray for guidance and direction in the relationship that we may be having trouble with, but we cannot pray that GOD would violate the free wills or the volition of those involved. The doctrinal principle that I wanted to emphasize was something I began with Friday evening from PRO 16.
PRO 16:4, “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.”
Let me show you what our LORD thinks whenever chaos, war, sickness, famines, and major disasters happen during human history.
ISA 43:1-6, But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your GOD, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
Now, here is another reminder of who’s in charge, ISA 43:7, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” Remember the principles again. They are stated right here in ISA 43:7. We are called by HIS name. We’ve been created for HIS glory, And we have been formed and made by Him., even whom I have made. The reason for “all things” is giving to us once again which is the fact that “All things have been created for His glory;” REV 4:11.
In ISA 43:21, notice what our Lord said about those whom He formed or created: “The people whom I formed for Myself, Will declare My praise.
All things are controlled by our Lord, even the so-called bad things that causes believers to freak out and live in fear according to. For there is actually a passage in the Word of GOD that warns us about listening to bad news. When we realize and are totally convinced that “all things” are designed for Him to receive glory then when it comes to all things or anything, this should be our attitude.
EPH 5:20, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to GOD, even the Father.
How many things?
What kind of things?
EPH 5:20 says, ...for all things…
Speaking of the things that we all must face because of Him and our desire to bring Him glory. 1TH 5:18, we give thanks for everything; for this is GOD's will for you in Christ Jesus. When you are faced with “bad news” or things that are threatening to your life and the lives of your loved ones, such as family and friends, do you respond or do you react?
Well that all depends upon your response in COL 1:13-15, For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. And He is the image of the invisible GOD, the firstborn of all creation.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a good thing or what appears to be a bad thing, this is our thing to keep on thinking about.
COL 1:16-18, For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
Notice whether it is something or everything, our Lord is still in control of all things. Therefore, what right do we have to make ourselves miserable by worrying or living in fear because we listen to the bad news that Satan and his kingdom of darkness promote with their lies.
1JO 4:16-18, And we have come to know and have believed the love which GOD has for us. GOD is love, and the one who abides in love abides in GOD, and GOD abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Here is where love and truth drive out fear. We have so many promises in the word of GOD. In fact, we forget at times when fear begins to control our soul where the information that causes us to fear comes from?
Most of you know where it comes from! It comes from JOH 8:44, the father of lies, the devil, who does not stand or stay with the truth, because there is no truth in him.
REV 12:9, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
If these things are true, and, of course, they are, then what should our attitude be like when the Cosmic System causes us to question what is going on in this world that has been created for our Lord to be glorified.
We need to make a choice!
As the Lord said to Moses in DEU 30:15-20, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your GOD, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your GOD may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.
But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other GODs and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your GOD, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
As Elijah said in 1KI 18:21, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is GOD, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. (Figures right?)
There are two more passages I want to show you before we learn to glorify the Lord, you must handle fear. The first one is actually a tremendous illustration of how believers respond to “bad news,” literally, in JER 49:23-25.
I told you last year or so ago to watch Damascus, because it was going to be a very important city in the end times. It was Damascus, the capital of Syria, that I said would have a unique calling upon it that would wake up the city and destroy it.
JER 49:23 Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, For they have heard bad news; They are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, It cannot be calmed.
What was the problem concerning Damascus? The problem was that they were all prospering, but they forgot the source of their prosperity, Jehovah Elohim, known to us as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He was also known to them as Jehovah Jireh who is “the Lord who provides,” and who also had prospered Damascus, Hamath, and Arpad, who forgot how thankful they should all be to the Lord.
These believers were the type of believers that REV 3 talks about as being lukewarm and no longer excited about the blessings and the promises that the Lord had given to them. They thought and bragged about the fact that they had become rich and wealthy, and have need of nothing”. But the Lord said: They do not know that they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
These are some of the problems that Damascus and Hamath and Arpad had as cities who were now fallen under divine discipline because they rejected the “good news” and dwelt upon the “bad news.” It is also interesting to note the different responses that took place in the different cities even though they had the same environment.
Just like we are seeing today with different people coming up with different ideas and reasons as to what we are going through, not only in our nation, but throughout the entire world.
In the past, I gave you some examples from the Word of GOD where individuals were brought up in the same environment but turned out quite differently, including differences in their eternal home, which is either Heaven or the Eternal lake of Fire. For example, there was:
Cain and Abel - same environment but different results.
Jacob and Esau - same environment but different results.
Joseph and his brothers. same environment but different results.
Solomon and Absalom - same environment but different results.
One of the most prominent illustrations found under this principle is Moses and Pharaoh. Knowing anything about ancient Egypt, we would have to put Moses and the Pharaoh of Egypt in the same category, they were successful, wealthy, powerful, wise and great military soldiers. Both were rich men who were also brought up in the same environment but turned out differently.
The whole point is that there is no place for complaining about your environment, your parents, your siblings, your gender, your nationality, the day of your birth and the day of your death. Remember what our good friend Solomon taught us about the day of our birth and the day of our death?
ECC 3:1-2, There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven A time to give birth, and a time to die.
Go forward to ECC 7:1, A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.
ECC 8:8, No man has authority to restrain the wind with the wind, or authority over the day of death.
All of these principles were taught in “Damascus, Hamath and Arpad,” cities who were put to shame and became disheartened when they heard the bad news. They became disheartened and all thy could think about was their fears.
Now, there are a few different areas that we need to note when we talk about fear. First of all, fear is a system of thinking that GOD has designed or created within man to be on the alert for things he may be about to face. In that sense, there are times when fear is good because it serves as a warning of something to come.
As a system of thinking, fear will cause you and I to be on the alert because of the fear of present danger. Also, as a system of thinking, we are told to fear that we might miss out on all the gracious blessings and promises of entering into GOD’s rest. In fact, we are warned and told that we “should all fear” missing out on receiving GOD’s highest and best, including His rest.
Not only should we fear that we may miss out on the promises of GOD, we should also fear that we have not entered into GOD’s rest through His doctrines. As you can see, there can be some benefits when it comes to fear.
This is why John said in 1JO 4:18, There is no fear in virtue-love; but mature love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not matured in love.
Fear is worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Consternation is when a person becomes paralyzed toward their problems.
Fear is an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees. All I can say is if all things are for Him, what do we have to fear?
We are designed by GOD to be rational creatures; fear makes us irrational. Fear is an irrational and emotional sin most of the time.
JER 49:23, Concerning Damascus. “Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, For they have heard bad news; They are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, It cannot be calmed.
Fear is a self-induced misery that we are told in this passage causes believers even to be stressed out when they hear “bad news.” Fear is also said to be disheartened which is an emotional reaction filled with depression and self-justification and sin enslaved to discouragement and negativity.
In JER 49:24 notice that it says, “Damascus has become helpless;” There is no hope for those who have become helpless because of the fear. Emotional Rebellion of the soul produces even believers to become useless and helpless.
We are told that this fear causes others to flee when no one is even chasing after them; PRO 28:1, The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.
I hope that you are noting and appreciating the passage that the Lord gave me to give to you especially in light of all that is going on in the world today.
What has really impressed me these past few weeks has been the fact that the Bible is a supernatural book filled with supernatural knowledge and fulfilled prophecy, and yet the average individual won’t even take some time to examine the evidence. If you are an honest student of the Word of GOD, and truly desire to know the truth concerning why you have been created and for what purpose and reason are you here, all you have to do is believe.
ISA 41:10 ”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your GOD. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
PSA 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
PHI 4:6-7, not be worried about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD. And the peace of GOD, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
JOH 14:27, “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”
2TI 1:7, “For GOD has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
ISA 43:1, “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
JOS 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your GOD will be with you wherever you go.”
ISA 35:4, “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! GOD is coming to your rescue…”
MAR 6:50, “Immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
DEU 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your GOD goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”