In a crisis, the deception of safety is dangerous; it prevents ongoing fact intensive reasoning, preparation, and protection. A global pandemic is one crisis. A global collapse will be many crises. If we can't get it right with one, we won't get it right with many.
This paper will examine the essence of deception to understand how deception becomes deadly in a current event–the pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus.
The power of deception that is causing millions of needless deaths in one crisis will cause billions of deaths in the complex collapse of civilization involving many crises.
Deception will be the primary strategy used to bring the downfall of humanity, just as it was in the Garden and will be by the Antichrist.
“Satan . . . deceives the whole world,” (Rev 12:9).
“The serpent deceived me,” (Gen 3:13).
“He deceives those who dwell on the earth,” (Rev 13:14).
If we understand how deception functions and replace it with the Bible’s laws in our thinking, we can conquer this darkness and prevail in our own lives. It is part of building our ark.
If we get it right with one, we are stronger and smarter to get it right with many.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much,” (Luke 16:10).
What is deception?
Let us begin with the most classic example on the planet that provides the best definition: Eve was deceived. She even figured it out–way too late–but in the end, she knew she had been deceived; “The serpent deceived me.” How? That’s the BIG question: HOW!
Carefully consider the essence of deception. Deception requires two things: good and evil. Satan used the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to deceive Eve. It had both good and evil. The tree looked good! It “was desirable.” It was “a delight to the eyes.” 
The tree was also evil; it was destructive and deadly.
Therein is the essence of deception: good mixed with evil. The optimum word in the title, Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, is the word “and.”
Mixing good and evil is the open door for deception and easy to walk through, if we do not think according to God’s biblical laws for discerning truth. (For a discussion of these laws of truth, see Chapter 3: Truth Reveals Reality.)
Pure evil does not fool anyone
any more that pure poison fools a rat.
If you are going to kill a rat, they are just too smart for pure poison (just like pure evil is too obnoxious for most people to stomach). A death potion requires 99% good wheat and 1% arsenic; it will drop ’em dead. Good plus evil deceives them, then destroys them.
Think of all the things we as Christians know are destructive, a form of poison, or evil according to God’s laws, and yet, many in the world believe they are “good” and crave them. “Good” is defined in the world’s shallow sense of looks good, feels good, tastes good–even if it kills you. True “good” is based on following biblical laws and always edifies or at least does no harm.) Illegal drugs, adultery, pornography, stealing, mob violence, . . . all feel good but are evil. Like salt water to a man on a raft in the middle of the ocean, it temporarily quenches thirst but is deadly.
Good mixed with evil opens the door to deception. There is always something good–whether man’s false good or God’s true good–that attracts us before we can be deceived. However, when God says something has evil, that evil always, ALWAYS outweighs the good. It is never right in the eyes of God to sin (commit evil) in order to achieve good.
The Lesser Good and the Greater Evil
Because the darkness of deception will be a primary factor in the excessive death toll of both the current global pandemic and the future global collapse, determining the essence of deception is the core this paper. If we can conquer deception, we can clear our minds for sharp, powerful thinking according to the biblical laws of truth to increase our chances of survival. (C.f. Chapter 3)
Noah had clear thinking. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his family. He believed God’s word and rightly discerned the world around him. He made high-quality choices and saved the lives of his family.
Under deception, we choose a lesser good that unleashes a greater evil. There is always good and evil in the equation of deception. There are always priorities to evaluate. There are always biblical laws that will be broken if we are deceived. We may have knowledge of the oncoming evil–170,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19. Or we may be ignorant of the oncoming evil–the eleven did not know of Judas’ coming deadly betrayal. In the equation of deception, destructive sin is waiting.
If Noah had been deceived, he could have chosen a lesser good that would have eventually brought the greater evil–the drowning of his family. Here are some good reasons to not build the ark:
- Preach God’s message, but don’t pick up a hammer–building an ark is too extreme. Less work is good.
- Don’t preach, just quietly believe, because people will laugh or get angry. Keeping peace is good.
- The town needs me, I’ll have time in another 50 years or so to start the ark. Helping other people is good.
- The “ark” and “the flood” are metaphorical, not literal. Preaching is good.
- Building an ark has never been done before. I’m too small. I’m too old. (Noah was 500 yrs. old! Gen 5:32) I’m too tired. I’m too busy. My wife won’t like the mess. There might be a lion out there.
There are a lot of good reasons to not build an ark. Under deception, we choose a lesser good that eventually unleashes a greater evil. Noah’s family would have died, if Noah had chosen the lesser good. Protecting human life was the highest good.
Response to Danger by a Sane Person
In the situations under consideration, human life is always at stake.
The healthy universal response to danger against human life is the avoidance or elimination of harm. If a poisonous snake sits in the road, then run, shoot, or bag him. God gives all adults across all countries physical senses to discern danger and mental reasoning to deal with it safely. This is called mental order, which is in harmony with God’s order.
Only in mental disorders do grown people invite the deadly snake to bite them or someone else.
What God put in the healthy human heart, He also put in the Bible. If our conscience is not properly functioning, then the hard copy defining mental order is in the Bible with laws and commands to guide us back into God’s order. As individual and societal conscience dims, the Bible is always our blazing light guiding our journey safely and successfully through the darkness.
The Biblical Response to Danger 
Satan tempted Jesus to jump off a high building to prove God’s love and power for Him and who He was. Satan’s implicit message involved “glorifying God” by proving His protection against reckless mortal danger for His Son. Jesus refused to test God. He saw danger and He avoided it. Needlessly putting ourselves or others in serious physical danger without good cause is against biblical law as well as secular state and federal laws. (See footnote defining “good cause.”)
Jesus said that when an enemy approaches for war–mortal danger–count the soldiers on both sides then use reason and common sense to make a high-quality decision.
Paul used his senses and reason to discern that sailing into a big storm was dangerous. He told ship leaders that it was unwise to sail. They sailed. The violent sea swallowed up both ship and cargo with great loss. Discerning the weather, using reason, and listening to a man of God with common sense would have kept them safe. 
They suffered needlessly.
God told “a man of God” to go home a certain way and do nothing else. A false man persuaded the man of God to go another way and do another thing. When the man of God finally left, he ran into a lion that killed him. God’s way was safe. He would have missed the lion. The false man’s way ended in pain and death. Even a “man of God” or a born again Christian can suffer needless harm when he or she rejects knowledge and common sense or disobeys God’s explicit commands.
This principle is really important. I beg you to not be lulled into a false sense of security because you are a Christian, an American, rich, educated or anything else. Disobey God and His warnings or recklessly jump into danger and we may suffer the consequences.
Jeremiah warned the people against a deceptive belief of safety when God repeatedly forewarned of coming danger. The prophet said to the people, “Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.'” The Jewish people said that because God was with them in the temple. God commanded worship. He would keep them safe from any harm no matter what they did; God’s judgment would not touch them. In 586-7 B.C., the Babylonians burned the temple to the ground and took millions of Jews into captivity.
This last example is the same reasoning some churches are using to defy local health restrictions and to recklessly endanger the lives of others through large, unprotected meetings. They say God is with them, so they won’t get sick. Sadly, sickness and death have taught many of them that testing God does not end well. When He gives us the knowledge and intelligence to discern danger, we need to act according to His greater commands–like “love your neighbor”–to protect human life.
Deception and COVID-19
“I thought this was a hoax“
“This” refers to the deadly virus causing a pandemic killing thousands.
A “Covid party” is a gathering held by a person diagnosed with coronavirus to see if the virus is real and if anyone gets infected. Students in the largest campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa added gambling to the party. Students put money in a pot, and the first person to catch the virus got the pot.
Multiple articles by reliable sources quoted the dying words of a thirty-year-old man (who had attended a Covid party in Texas) as he lay in the Methodist hospital in San Antonio. Dr. Jane Appleby, the chief medical officer, took his very tragic words to the world: “I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.” Dr. Appleby stated, “A broader age range were being affected, with several 20 and 30 year olds critically ill at the Methodist hospital.”
Texas continued the battle against rising COVID hitting 22% positive tests with state health officials reporting 8,196 new cases on Sunday, another 80 deaths, and a total of 10,410 people hospitalized due to the virus.
Karen Sehlke, a wife and mother of two young teens, called COVID a “hoax” on Facebook. She stated, “You don’t need hand sanitizer . . . You need faith . . . and of course guns!” She caught it. Very sadly, she died.
This young man and woman (no relationship, but they were both from Texas) called COVID a hoax. Was it? According to the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused 708,639 deaths with 18,854,287 confirmed cases.
Where was the deception? “You surely will not die!” COVID is just a hoax, a game, nothing serious. Do those words sound familiar? One side of the coin of deception negated the danger, the other side promised safety, security, “good.” Eve ate the tasty apple. The thirty-year-old man attended a fun party. They chose the lesser good and died.
Too late, Eve and the man learned that they had been deceived. The good (apple/party) did not out weight the evil (death). Good and evil mixed together led to deception. They each chose a lesser “good” that unleashed a greater evil–death.
CNN reported a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on COVID-19 misinformation spreading in 25 different languages in 87 countries. Misinformation included:
- Drinking bleach kills the virus.
- Every disease has come from China.
- It’s a bio-weapon by (a rich couple).
- Eggs carry the virus.
- High levels of alcohol in the body can kill the virus.
Following misinformation, 800 people died, 5,876 were hospitalized, and 60 went permanently blind after drinking methanol (wood alcohol) as a cure for coronavirus. [19A] They were all deceived.
The old, old trick
How do we become deceived? It is the same old scheme Satan used in the Garden of Eden.
First, deny or minimized the evil. “You surely will not die.”
Second, avoid following the biblical laws to discern truth. Do not do a thorough investigation or seek out multiple eye-witnesses of good character–primary sources, which in this case are scientists and doctors from CDC, WHO, Tufts University, John Hopkins University, or the M.D.s in the local hospitals; experts who spend their lives trying to keep others safe from diseases by seeking truth. [19B]
Third, believe someone else. The usual choice is to reject the experts who have spent their lives doing thorough investigations into the problem and accept someone close or supported by those around us, even though that someone has no expertise in the field.
Instead of sound facts, believe popular opinion by political parties on medical issues (not doctors), by friends (not national health organizations), even by religious leaders (in “faith,” they deny medical issues, or in some cases, use “faith” claiming to recreate reality or prove God).
As death approached–like Eve–the deception lifted and Karen realized too late that COVID was deadly. Eve said the serpent deceived her. Karen said she had been deceived by “media driven” propaganda. The false information was “controlled by the radical people in powerful places.” Karen was from Texas and loved Trump. Trump’s message has been–up to the time of Karen’s death–no need for masks, stop testing, and don’t worry because COVID will go away, so get back to school and go back to work. Several states followed the politics instead of the CDC and the spread of the virus exploded.
The Georgia guinea pig
Georgia was the guinea pig. They sent the kids back to school in early August. By August 8th in 2020, 260 employees in Georgia’s largest school district either tested positive for or were exposed to COVID-19. Despite this, nearly 6,000 people signed a petition in support of in-person classes. Cobb County Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale changed his mind and said the school district would remain virtual until public health data from local and state public health officials recommended in-person education. To date, Cobb county has 1,363 currently hospitalized and 317 deaths from COVID-19.
On the same day, August 8th, Vincent Barone writing for a local NBC affiliate reported “Georgia’s youngest COVID-19 death is a 7-year-old with no underlying conditions.” [22A] The boy caught the virus attending a Savannah church.
Georgia took 4 months to reach 100,000 COVID-19 cases. In just 4 weeks by August 5th, the caseload passed 200,000.
One large church in San Diego with three campuses has repeatedly defied the county’s public health order to keep people safe from COVID-19 by stopping assemblies. After the threat of fines, the rich church closed its doors and went online. Denial of COVID’s deadly effects was not the only deception plaguing this church, they thought God would alter reality for them, if they spoke the right words and had enough “faith. “
What about jumping off the cliff–leaving a place of safety and putting ourselves in mortal danger?
A full time, dedicated Christian blind man was with me in Albertville, France at language school. He received an international telephone call from the elders of his church back in the U.S. They were in a panic. They had all gathered and prayed over a diabetic woman for God to heal her. In high emotion and great “faith,” they declared her healed. To prove her faith, they told her that she no longer needed her insulin. Therefore, she stopped all insulin. She died. “Why?” they beseeched the blind Christian. He simply responded, “God gave her the miracle. You took it away.” They tested God when they pushed her off the cliff.
By following the biblical laws for discerning truth that came down into the foundation of medicine, scientists and doctors learned the truth about diabetes and insulin. These laws of God led the way to the cure. This was a gift of God to those who obey His laws.
The schools, churches, and individuals were deceived. They minimized the evil and maximized the “good.” Their disregard for the evil, led them into sin. Endangering human life took a back seat to religion, politics, education, economy, and sundry other good things they deemed more important than human life. One way or another, they denied the evil, just as Eve had denied the mortal danger God forewarned in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Death broke through their deception, just like it did in the Garden –the hard way.
Churches That Are Deceived
Google “churches that met together and caught coronavirus” to find three full pages of churches that are meeting and spreading the plague.
Like everyone else, churches have knowledge and access to the facts revealing–according to John Hopkins University–that over 170,000 Americans have died from this deadly virus, which is spread easily by casual contact causing a domino effect down through the web of relationships. COVID-19 is a dangerous, life-threatening disease.
In fact, a new study supported by the World Health Organization, the Journal of American Medical Association, and Tufts University proved that some people without any symptoms, can not only carry just as much coronavirus as a sick person, but transmit it in the same way. The Director of NIAID since 1984, Dr. Anthony Fauci, stated that “20% to 45% of infected people don’t have symptoms.”
The teachers, students, and churchgoers who defy social distancing and masks in cool spots and lockdown in hot spots for the virus not only put themselves in harm’s way, but everyone down their domino line of contacts.
It is not just the huge numbers of people dying from the pandemic. It is the one small person. What we do to even one of the least, we do to the King of kings Himself. Every individual person is important to God. The seven-year-old boy or an 80-year-old woman who die earlier than they should have because of COVID-19 are just as important as millions who die of the disease. Jesus is with “even one of the least of these.”
So if only one has died in your town or school or church, that is one too many. The mayor, superintendent, or pastor/priest should have protected every single person. Good shepherds watch out for one and for all.
Deception: Testing God glorifies Him
Some Christians think testing God glorifies Him. “We will gather in church to worship Him and prove to the world God protects us.” In reality, “jumping off the roof” angers Him. The Israelites tested God ten times through a variety of ways. In the end, “many people of Israel died” from His anger. He also prevented most from entering the Promised Land.
Jesus refused to test God by putting Himself in harm’s way. Proving God would protect Him, even from reckless endangerment of His own life, was not just foolish, but evil. “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” It was sin.
Churches and schools meeting in the middle of a pandemic in a town rising numbers of cases and deaths all around them are in sin.
Burning the church to the ground
CBS News reported a church in Mississippi that defied stay-at-home orders and was burned to the ground. Written on its property was, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites.” The arsonist(s) broke numerous laws of God in their evil act. They returned “evil for evil.”
Was the church glorifying God in her defiance? “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God . . . whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God.” The church was in sin. The city of Holy Springs was trying to save human life by preventing the spread of a deadly virus. They defied the city governance.
When nonchristians saw Christians putting themselves and others in mortal danger of this deadly virus, they became angry. They looked at Christians as hypocrites: You say you love others, then you endanger our lives. This contradictory message (I love you, but I’ll kill you) shocked the community.
What does the Bible say? “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” What does Jesus say? “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” “Love edifies.” “Let all things be done for edification.” Spreading a deadly disease is not love. Disease tears down, not builds up. If your public worship kills one person or puts them in the hospital, it is a grievous sin. Worship on zoom and at home.
Regarding the burned church, I understand the nonchristians. Their lives are not built upon the laws of God in the Bible. So when someone threatens their lives, the lives of their families, children, and friends, they strike back without law. They returned evil for evil.
But the Christians started it. The Christians showed blatant disrespect for a town ordinance meant to save life (considered good in the Bible). They put themselves, their families, their neighbors, and everyone in their town with whom they came in contact in mortal danger. Do Christians want to be threatened with a bio-weapon? Can’t they use the Golden Rule to understand how their neighbors would feel about such a threat? No. Some are in the darkness of deception.
Some churches that deny reality, get around this by naming and claiming good health for everyone in their congregation. They think they control God. This is a deadly mistake. God is always sovereign. Some churches literally think that they can create reality like God did during creation. This is another mistake. All they have to do is control that little virus–by mere words. Here is another mistake.
Using God’s biblical laws of truth that come down into good science, that little virus is controlled by staying out of its way. There is no word, no vaccine, no medicine that stops this carrier of death at this point. You either obey God’s laws (resulting in the current conclusions of science), step out of its way, or people keep dying (over 1,000 a day in the U.S. at this time).
Jesus did not want to die. He asked His Father to find another way to save humanity. The Father said no. Jesus said, “Thy will, not Mine, be done.” These churches are not submitting to God, not using the knowledge and wisdom He gives for protection, but raising themselves above God to tell Him what to do–to submit to their will.
In the end, the church’s reckless disregard for human life shamed God. The nonchristians were so angry at the church’s sins, that they burned the church down.
To nonchristians with their common sense still intact and moral law still written on their hearts, churches that protect their people and others from a deadly virus by following prescribed precautions are following “the tenets of their faith: loving one’s neighbors and protecting and showing charity to the weak and needy.” This glorifies God. These words were written by a secular news organization. Protecting others shows Christian love, especially to nonchristians who need to see God’s mercy in a time of crisis.
Deception: Breaking local laws to exercise religious freedom is my right
COVID-19 was not a religious issue. It was a health issue. Repeatedly violating the public health order, the San Diego church was given a cease-and-desist after county warnings that “actions necessary to enforce the orders would be taken,” including fines for each violation.
Exercising our American religious freedom by sinning against our neighbor, our town authorities, and against God breaks this commandment: “Do not use your freedom as a covering for evil. . . . Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor (the authorities God has placed over you).”
In the end, the secular public health department showed more obedience to God’s laws, especially loving their neighbor, by trying to protect human life than the church, which exercised reckless endangerment of life. “There is no partiality with God . . . it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law . . . they show the work of the Law written in their hearts and their conscience bearing witness.”
Some say they have “good” reasons for meeting together during a pandemic. God wants worship above all else, even if it kills people. These reasons maximize their ideas of good, minimize the extreme evil (death), and end in choices that break numerous laws and commands in the Bible. When we dismiss the sanctity of life for our religion, Jesus makes it very clear that we do not know Him,. “You will say, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we do (a lot of good works)?’ But I will say I never knew you. Depart from me you who practice lawlessness,” (Matt 7:21-23). None of the following reasons justify reckless endangerment of life and negligent homicide.
Maximize the Good
- It is our tradition.
- It is important for relationships.
- It is my right for religious freedom.
- It is my constitutional right to assemble together.
- Christians get lonely and need that contact during a pandemic.
- “We want to worship.”
- Going to church glorifies God.
Minimize the Evil
- The virus will not hurt me.
- There is no virus; it is a hoax.
- I don’t care if the virus is a problem; I have more important things.
- All my friends do not care about this virus, so neither do I.
- My politicians say the virus is not important, so don’t worry and do what you want. This is America.
- (Don’t talk about death or sickness from this virus.)
These Christians have many “good reasons” for putting themselves and their families into the winds of the deadly pandemic. They maximize the “good” and minimize the evil. They choose the lesser good and unleash the greater evil. Death is not on their radar. For those whose intentional resistance to sound knowledge and understanding of this pandemic leads to the hospitalization or death of their “neighbor,” when they face Jesus, they will say, “I was deceived.” Like Adam and Eve, there will be consequences.
They do not follow God’s priorities in the Bible, beginning with “love your neighbor.” In fact, it goes further:
1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
Death is not good. Life is good. Seek to preserve the life of others.
Out of the 216 verses in the Bible supporting truth, here are just three that encompass our lives:
Think truth (Phil 4:8) Speak truth (Eph 4:25). Walk in truth (1 Kgs 4:25).
What about the “good” of using God-given knowledge about viruses, medicine, doctors’ advice, and the global statistics on COVID-19 deaths all based on the biblical discovered through God-given laws of truth? Mental reasoning is a gift of God. We are created in the image of God. God has intelligent reasoning. He gave us intelligent reasoning to use, just like Jesus did in refusing to jump off a high building and put Himself in mortal danger.
When the soldiers came for Jesus, He took everyone He could out of danger: He healed his enemy’s ear. He asked that His disciples be allowed to go free. He protected physical health and life of everyone else around Him!
In the past, He showed great care for people’s physical health. He healed the sick (not made them sick). He raised the dead (not caused death). Can we begin to understand how far from Jesus those are who endanger the lives of others with a deadly disease?
Deception versus truth is a matter of priorities. What is most important? faith, politics, parties, school, jobs, economy, money to live, or human life? Jesus says human life. He gave His life to save life.
Keep the Sabbath
Maybe the Sabbath laws are the most important. Going to church, worshipping God, and meeting together on the Sabbath is the highest priority. “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” Do not neglect assembling together. Some Jews thought keeping the Sabbath was the highest law.
I worked one summer for a Jewish-owned restaurant. My Jewish boss told me this story, “One very cold winter, there was a little child who was close to death, and the family’s house was frigid. It was on the Sabbath when a group of Jews got together and headed to the rabbi’s house to ask how they could help the family. When they arrived, they found the rabbi chopping wood for the family’s house in order to warm the child.”
Save Human Life
My Jewish boss got it! Love God. Love your neighbor. His conscience told him that love was the greatest law.
As Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The laws of God were made to build people up; we never tear someone down to keep that law. “Let all things be done for edification.”
If we start endangering someone else’s life in order to keep a biblical law, we have our priorities wrong. Obeying the law by breaking the law is an ethical quagmire that incurs the wrath of God. “I’ll worship God on the Sabbath by endangering my elderly parent’s life” is mixing good with evil and historically brought down the angry judgment of God.
Jesus said, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” Human life (even animal life) is a higher priority than Sabbath law; than assembling together to worship God. What mother or doctor leaves a sick child to go the church? The threat to human life or even death far outweighs our personal privileges of obeying the Sabbath law, exercising American or religious freedom, or curing loneliness and having fun.
God does not accept worship that tears others down (such as a reckless endangerment of life). We cannot say we love God and at the same time hurt others. “The one who does not love [others] does not know God, for God is love.” “Love edifies.”  Protection edifies. Keeping another from bodily harm shows love. The second greatest law in the Bible is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That includes doing our best to protect others from bodily harm–such as spreading a deadly disease.
When “love your neighbor” mutates into “threaten the life of your neighbor and expect God to protect everyone as we worship Him,” we have jumped off the cliff.
Where is wisdom?
Georgia’s largest school district sent kids back to school at the beginning of August 2020. By mid August, they learned the hard way that mixing good (in-person schooling) with evil (a deadly pandemic) was dangerous; 260 employees in tested positive for COVID-19.
They decided to use a thorough investigation of facts and figures by health experts to determine when it would be safe for kids to return to classrooms. The schools will be virtual until experts and proof give the green light. Now they are following the biblical laws for discerning truth and loving the children by protecting them; they are making high quality decisions based on biblical priorities before someone dies.
The government is shoring up those who have lost their jobs with extra money. Churches take food to the needy who can’t get out. This is Christian love while respecting the truth of danger.
Biblical law says that all things should be done for edification, or at least, do no harm. Human life supersedes the Sabbath law, public worship of God, “faith” used to test God, money, in-person schooling, tradition, or sundry other reasons to needlessly endanger human life. Across three continents, we have seen many ways to worship God and glorify Him still keeping others safe. Loving our neighbor (like the Good Samaritan did by valuing human life) blazes forth our love for God and glorifies Him the most.
Our love shows God’s love to the world.
FOR CHURCHES OR SCHOOLS THAT SPREAD COVID-19
How far away from biblical law is secular law? The Bible highly values human life. Do secular law and courts do the same, especially during a pandemic? How close are biblical and secular law in this area?
I knew the intentional spread of a hazardous virus was reckless endangerment of life, and if someone died, negligent homicide from biblical law and conscience. Simply apply the Golden Rule. If I was weak and at risk, I would not want someone with the virus coming near to me. I don’t want my lungs filling with fluid so I can’t breathe, my other organs failing because of lack of oxygen, my body feeling like I’ve been hit by a train before I fly away. If I live through it, I don’t want residual brain, kidney, or heart damage as studies show happens for months if not years later to many. So I don’t want COVID-19 for myself or for others.
However after writing this paper, I decided to check out state and federal laws. Did anyone follow the biblical principles with secular law?
“A Texas woman [was] arrested and charged with a felony–making a terroristic threat–for claiming to spread COVID-19 intentionally.” The Rossen Law Firm in Ft. Lauderdale went on to say, “If someone knowingly and intentionally infected another to cause death, then attempted murder charges are possible.” Actually in Florida, the perpetrator can still be convicted, even if the victim does not catch the disease.
The Canadian Department of Justice said, “Criminal Code offences of criminal negligence causing death or criminal negligence causing bodily harm could apply [to intentionally spreading COVID-19]. Criminal negligence includes reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.”
On March 24, 2020, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen sent U.S. attorneys and federal law enforcement agencies a memo informing Department of Justice officials that they should consider prosecuting certain ‘purposeful exposure or infection of others with COVID-19’ under terrorism-related statutes.” Federal terrorism convictions can result in life imprisonment or the death penalty. In 1996, the congressional 104th Public Law Act stated, “To deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, provide an effective death penalty.” If any person dies from the intentional spread of a bio-weapon (COVID-19), in Canada it is murder. In the U.S., it is terrorism.
Both biblical law and secular law agree that COVID-19 is a deadly disease and the intentional spread of that virus can be negligent homicide, murder, or terrorism. Yet, little to nothing has been done to stop intentional dissemination of this deadly disease when it occurs. Why?
The pervasive mentality is following the functionality of mob violence. There are so many people, that the perpetrator feels protected among the masses from the law and conscience. Police, courts, and penal facilities are not set up to deal with masses. However, both biblical and secular law prohibit destructive mob action.
Exodus 23:2 “You shall not follow the masses in doing evil.”
Legally, if a person or group intentionally neglects safety and places others in a dangerous situation, risking lives, and someone dies, it is negligent homicide, a form of murder. When a person is negligent and another dies as a result, this is negligent homicide. Yell “fire” in a theatre and someone dies from the stampede, it is negligent homicide. Allow a vicious pet out into the neighborhood and it kills someone, it is negligent homicide. Go to a COVID party for young people in a high-risk area, then come home, and an older parent catches the COVID and dies, it is negligent homicide. Gather the church and someone dies from COVID, the same laws apply before God.
“Negligence” means we knew there was great danger. We knowingly and intentionally entered that danger and someone died as a result.
With millions infected in this pandemic and a passive U.S. federal government, some might get away with murder.
Bottom line: “God sees.” “Fear God.”
This pandemic shows that some in the churches and in the world, are deceived. They cannot recognize or do not acknowledge the viper in the path.
In deception, they choose a lesser good and unleash a deadly evil. Some churches break biblical law after command after precept and wonder why the godless call them hypocrites and burn down their church. Evil repays evil. Evil is the way of the world. The unchristians’ action is not justifiable, but it is understandable. But why is the church blind to her own evil?
Evil (breaking God’s laws) is not the way of our Lord Jesus. Why were the churches in sin defying local authorities who were trying to protect human life from a deadly threat (Rom 13:1-4)? Why were they scaring their neighbors by spreading a deadly plague? Why were they endangering the lives of everyone in their neighborhoods, schools, and towns? Did they really think this glorified God or they could test God or they could control a virus by controlling God? To the contrary, the Bible says, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that . . . they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Spreading a life-threatening disease is not a good deed. All good deeds come out of love; the edification of others–not the reckless endangerment of the lives of others. Why? They were deceived.
Some churches say they had “good” reason; reasons that surpassed the sanctity of human life. Did they really think that through? After the seven-year-old boy died from attending church, did they think twice? What did adult Christians think as they lay dying from the COVID virus after strolling the reckless and dangerous path their pastors had set them on? Would they rather see an old person die early, a young child die needlessly, a pastor permanently disabled from this virus so they could “worship” God together? Is endangering the life of our neighbor to worship of God really worship or just age-old deception?
When they started hurting others, they and Jesus parted ways. He still loved them, but He did not walk with them. This is where they shamed, not glorified, God in their communities.
Instead of delivering food or shopping for individuals at high risk in their communities, they terrified them. Against both biblical and secular law, they committed the reckless endangerment of life and sometimes even negligent homicide.
Eve thought eating from the Tree was good. She was deceived. It was evil.
Some churches think assembling, worshiping, keeping tradition is good. When it endangers human life and kills people, they are deceived. It is evil.
When a shepherd leads his sheep into the valley of death and they sicken and die, he has broken every law of God concerning the job of shepherding. “Woe to the shepherds” (Jer 23; Ezek 34; John 10:10-15). When he thinks he is worshipping God by putting his sheep in harm’s way, consider Jesus’ words about taking the life of one of His sheep thinking they are “offering service to God,” (John 16:2-3).
On the other hand, if that shepherd stood in the gap, did everything he could according to the biblical laws of truth to protect his sheep, and he dies, then “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt 25:21).
In Florida, a teenage girl died in July after attending a youth party at her church. In Virginia, congregants resumed Sunday services. As a result, COVID-19 infected 51 confirmed cases and three deaths ensued. In Oregon, a church reopened. Before that date, there were 6 recorded COVID-19 cases in the county. After the reopening, 356 cases were linked to that church. One church in Arizona opened on Mother’s Day for in-person services, but closed again on Father’s Day. Between that time, their pastor caught coronavirus and eventually died from the disease. A Texas pastor died of COVID. A Kentucky pastor died of COVID. An Arkansas pastor died of COVID. For the long list of pastors dying from COVID, google “pastor dies of COVID.”  Coronavirus is not a joke, a simple cold, a hoax. It is a deadly virus.
If churches cannot discern between good and evil to cast off deception during a global pandemic, how will they ever be wise enough, strong enough, brave enough to stand during a global collapse? The biblical principle is that if we are not faithful in little, we will not be faithful in much. If we can’t get it right in little things, we won’t get it right in big things.
In other words, churches that endanger people’s lives thinking they are glorifying God, are like those who think sin pleases God. We cannot threaten the life of our fellow Christian, a neighbor, or even a stranger and think we know God.
The simple truth is:
- COVID-19 is a deadly disease that strikes young and old.
- Christian love tries to protect others from serious bodily harm or at least does no harm, just like Jesus always did.
- Loving our neighbor shows our love for God.
- Do what it takes to keep your family, church, and community safe above all else. If anyone does not take care of his family . . . he is worse than an unbeliever, (1 Tim5:8).
- Science provides the truth about this virus, where it is going, and what we can do to protect ourselves.
- More than 900 healthcare workers have died trying to save people from COVID-19. Working with the public, 400 teachers and over 100 law enforcement people have died from COVID-19. 32,000 food system workers have caught COVID-19 with 109 deaths. [70A]
- Trust the Bible. Trust science. They synergize to bring us out of this crisis. Love and truth together empower us to reach safety.
- Every other need or desire requires wisdom to mitigate the damage.
- Finally, as the days darken, “Let your light shine” for Jesus, so nonchristians will “glorify God in the day of visitation.”
If the United States of America had followed both scientific truths illuminating understanding of the coronavirus and the Bible’s love for our neighbor trying to keep everyone safe from the beginning, this country would have stopped COVID-19 at the gate. Now it runs wild unleashing a devastating toll in human life wherever it goes; thousands die every week in our country from this plague.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which mildly shakes global societies killing hundreds of thousands, is only a foretaste of the coming global collapse that will kill millions and severely dismantle all societies in all nations. The same pattern that darkens thinking in deception during a global pandemic will bring us down during the global collapse.
But for those who love God, each time we do the right thing according to God’s laws in the Bible during a little crisis, we become stronger in character and wiser in preparation for the future catastrophic crises coming across our horizon bringing the global collapse of civilization. We see clearer. We act wiser. We get stronger. We lift up friend and stranger to come along with us like Jesus did.
Therefore, let us understand the power of truth and the poison of deception: the rules and dynamics that govern each; the effect of each on the probability of human survival in this physical world; the forces of each in the spiritual world; and the will of God for each one to wield the sword of truth and vanquish the destruction of deception in Christian love.
 2 Cor 11:3.
 Gen 3:13.
 God created the tree and placed it in the middle of the Garden. While the Bible does not explicitly tell us why He did this, other Scripture puts pieces in this puzzle. God’s ultimate goal was the defeat of Satan. Knowing Satan’s primary strategy is always deception, and that deception requires darkness and hiding, God created the opportunity to allow Satan to accomplish his plan, but in a way that would eventually lead to his downfall. God put this opportunity in the middle of the Garden, out in the light. It was the tree. It could not be hidden, lied about, or used to compound more deception. Satan forgot this and used the tree. He must have thought when he saw that tree, “This is just too easy!” Then the viper followed his nature and deceived Eve. Through the Bible, the whole world has been enlightened via that tree to how Satan works, and thus, this knowledge becomes a mighty weapon of light against him. BV
 Gen 3:6.
 The biblical definition of “good” is based on following biblical law. Rom 7:12, 16; 1 Tim 1:8, “The Law is good.”
 Heb 11:7.
 2 Pet 2:5, “Noah, a preacher of righteousness.”
 Prov 22:13, “The sluggard says, There is a lion outside; I will be killed in the streets!”
 Rom 2:15, “They show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.” The word “heart” has nine definitions in the Bible. We are using the definition supported in Proverbs 7:1-3. The heart is the core of beliefs, values, and decision-making process. It is the matrix of underlying personality development and function.
 Matt 4:5-7.
 Deut 6:16, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Num 14:22-23; Matt 4:5-7.
 The law distinguishes between heroic acts that enter danger for good reason (police, firefighters, soldiers, SAR workers, etc . to save life) and foolish acts that enter danger for “no good reason” (walking on thin ice, jumping off a cliff, street races, covid parties, etc.; the reckless endangerment of life).
 Luke 14:31-32.
 Acts 27.
 1 Kgs 13.
 Jer 7:4.
 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/i -thought-it-was-a-hoax-patient-dies-after-texas-covid-party/ Monday, July 13, 2020. C.f. https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/i-thought-it-was-a-hoax-man-dies-after-attending-covid-19-party/ C.f. https:/nypost.com/2020/07/11/texas-millennial-dies-after-attending-covid-19-party/
 https://www.newsbreak.com/news/1541664153359/woman-who-claimed-coronavirus-was-media-driven-hoax-dies-from-covid-19. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/6/1934731/-Texas-woman-calls-COVID-19-a-hoax-Whe-is-now-dead-from-her-willful-ignorance/ article by Egberto Willies.
 Gen 3:4.
[19A] CNN. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/covid-19-misinformation-is-spreading-in-25-different-languages-new-study-finds/ Study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
[19B] Scientist in a Lab. Image by Chokniti Khongchun from Pexels.
 https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/6/1934731/-Texas-woman-calls-COVID-19-a-hoax-Whe-is-now-dead-from-her-willful-ignorance/ article by Egberto Willies.
 N’dea Yancey-Bragg, “260 employees in Georgia’s largest school district test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed.” Associated Press, August 8, 2020.
 According to ABC News Atlanta affiliate WSB on August 8, 2020.
[22A] https://www.msn.com/en-us-news/us/the-7-year-old-georgia-boy-with-covid-19-who-died-drowned-in-a bathtub-after-a seizure-coroner-says/ August 11, 2020.
 https://www.msn.com/en-us/san-diego-church-again-defies-covid-10-public-health-order/ The Awaken church in San Diego is a C3 church (Christian City Church, a charismatic movement started in Australia growing to 500 churches today). https://c3churchwatch.com/about/ This website gives a list of the founder’s sermon transcripts: https://c3churchwatch.com/c3s-bible-garble/ I chose the founder’s sermon on Mark 11:12, Jesus cursed the tree, so we can curse our debts. “As soon as you start speaking the Bible into your circumstance, Jesus leaps out of your mouth and starts walking into your circumstance.” Words have a magical power all of their own to summon God’s power and can create reality, just like God did in the beginning of creation. . . . “Speak . . . and God is able to bring to pass the words you speak. . . . So what you say with your mouth is forming your world. . . . I am going to use my tongue as a powerful instrument for creating the future.” In the founder’s message on John 3:16, the gospel and money are closely tied: Above and beyond “God so loved the world,” the stated message is to be like God: “I so love the world, that I will give the only begotten son, [preacher specifies how to give and what it is for concluding] all of this is done through sacrificial giving.” There is a huge emphasis on money. A lockdown would lose a lot of money.
 Deut 28:1-14, “If you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments . . . all these blessings will come upon you . . . (health, wealth, prosperity, and peace). The key word bringing health and wealth is obedience.
 https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/a-new-study-proves-this-type-of-covid-transmission-is-not-rare. The article is referring to transmission of the virus by people without any symptoms. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/17/dr-anthony-fauci-says-the-us-needs-to-hit-the-reset- button-on-covid-19-heres-how. by Jade Scipion for NBC. https://www.niaid.nih.gov.
 Matt 25:40.
 Numb 14:22-24; 21:5-7.
 Matt 4:6-7.
 Lev 6:16.
 Caitlin O’Kane, “Church that defied stay-at-home orders burned to the ground in suspected arson.” May 22, 2020. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mississippi-church-burned-coronavirus-social-distancing-restrictions-arson/
 Rom 12:17, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.”
 Rom 13:1-4.
 Rom 13:10.
 1 John 4:8.
 1 Cor 8:1.
 1 Cor 14:26.
 2 Sam 12:1-18. David sinned against God with his evil disregard for human life and God was not only furious at David, but pointed out how he had shamed God before the Gentiles: “Because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme . . . ” (vs. 14).
 Sandy Huffaker, The San Diego Union-Tribune, “San Diego church again defies COVID-19 public health order,” August 7, 2020. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/san-diego-church-again-defies-covid-19-public-health-order/
 Lev 19:18; Matt 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9-10; Gal 5:14; James 2:8.
 1 John 4:7-20.
 https://www.msn.com/en-us/san-diego-church-again-defies-covid-10-public-health-order/ The Awaken church in San Diego is a C3 church.
 1 Pet 2:16-17; Rom 13:1-4.
 Rom 2:11-15.
 Exod 20:8; Heb 10:25.
 Heb 10:25.
 Luke 6:7.
 Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18.
 Mark 2:27.
 1 Cor 14:26.
 Luke 14:5.
 1 Cor 8:1; 1 John 4:8.
 Lev 19:18; Matt 5:43.
 Ndea Yancey Bragg, The Associated Press, “260 employees in Georgia’s largest school district test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed.” August 8, 2020.
 1 Cor 14:26, “Do all things for edification.”
 Luke 10:25-37; Mark 2:27; 1 Cor 8:1; 1 John 4:8.
 Exod 21:29, “If an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death.” Exod 20:13; “You shall not murder.” Exod 21:23, “Life for life.”
 Exod 21:29.
 Exod 21:29.
 Matt 7:12, “In everything, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” All of God’s laws can be summarized in this one commandment.
 Psa 90:10, At death, “we fly away.”
 Google: “any state which considers negligent homicide for the recklessly spreading covid-19.” The Rossen Law Firm in Ft. Lauderdale wrote,”COVID-19 spread intentionally could land you behind bars.”
 Manal Cheema, Ashley Deeks in The Lawfare Institute, “Prosecuting Purposeful Coronavirus Exposure as Terrorism,” March 31, 2020. https://www.lawfareblog.com/prosecuting-purposeful-coronavirus-exposure-terrorism.
 “Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-104publ132/
 Psa 94.
 Rev 14:7; Acts 13:16; 2 Cor 5:11; 7:1; 1 Pet 2:17; Exod 18:21; 20:20; Deut 6:13; 10:20. When a person is is sin breaking laws of God and refusing to change, fear is a very healthy response. God may discipline, punish, turn them over to their own evil to allow its consequences to destroy them, or kill them. Sin never ends well. Fear of God will turn us away from sin and the destruction that lies in its wake.
 1 Pet 2:12.
 Kate Conger, Jack Healy, Lucy Tompkins, “Churches were eager to reopen are now they are confronting coronavirus cases.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/coronavirus-churches-outbreaks.htm. Arizona pastor dies of COVID-19, https://www.kold.com/2020/07/20/tucson-pastor-dies-covid-family-shares-his-legacy/ Texas pastor dies of COVID-19, https://www.bet.com/news/national/2020/07/19/-houston-texas-pastor-vickey-gibbs-dies-covid/ Kentucky pastor dies of COVID-19, https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/oldham-county [Kentucky]-pastor-dies-after-nearly-month-long-battle-with-covid-19/ Arkansas pastor dies of COVID, https://www.thv11.com/article/news/beloved-arkansas-pastor-dies-from-covid-19/
 Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous in much.”
 John 16:2
 1 John 4:8, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 Cor 8:2, “Love edifies.” Exposing ourselves and therefore others to a deadly virus is not edifying. It is life-threatening.
[70A] Since April 22, FERN has counted over 32,000 Covid-19 cases and 109 deaths among food-system workers. https://theefern.org/2020/06/covid-19-shows-no-sign-of-slowing-among-food-system-workers/For data on doctors, teachers, and police officers see FNs 84-86.
 1 Pet 2:12, “Keep you behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that . . . because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
 Rev 6:15; Isa 24.
 COVID-19 virus. Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay. Bible and hands. Image by Stock Snap from Pixabay. Covid-19 and Test tube. Image by Fernando Zhiminaicela from Pixabay.
 Black Rat. Image by Karsten Pauleck from Pixabay.
 Happy Youth Jumping. Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay. Skull. Image by Mitja Juraja from Pexels.
 Rattlesnake in the Road. Image by Debbie Sanderfeld from Pixabay.
 Man Reading Bible. Image by Pedro Ivo Pereira Vieira Pedin from Pixabay.
 Ships in Distress in a Storm. Painting by Peter Monamy (1681-1749) found on Wikimedia Commons. Acts 27.
 Face to Face with a Lion. Image by Kazuky Akayashi on Unsplash.com. 1 Kings 13:24 in the Bible.
 COVID-19 photos died in green and yellow-dyed viruses on a blue cell by CDC from Pexels. COVID-19 viruses dyed in orange emerging from a human cell after multiplying. Taken by an electron microscope. Credit for image: NIAID-RML.
 Graveyard. Image in Public Domain found on Pixabay.
 Statue of Lady Justice. Courtesy of Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash.
 Girl in Blue with Mask and COVID Virus. Image by Tumisu on Pixabay.
 Doctor in Mask with COVID Virus. Image by Fernando Zhiminaicela from Pixabay. Melissa Bailey and Christina Jewette, “More than 900 healthcare workers have died of Covid-19–and the toll is rising,” The Guardian, August 11, 2020. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us-more-than-900-healthcare-workers-have-died-of-covid-19.
 Teacher. Image byAlexas Fotos from Pixabay. See 392 photos and briefs on educators that have died from COVID-19 as of August 6, 2020. https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/educators-weve-lost-to-the-coronavirus.html/
 Police Officer Silhouette in Blue Light. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Officer Down Memorial Page: Fallen Officers from the COVID-19 Pandemic. https://www.odmp.org/search/incident/covid-19/
 COVID-19 Virus by NIAID-RML. Google: niaid rml free images of covid-19 virus electron microscope. Apocalypse. Image by Erique Mesequer from Pixabay.